What do you do in your life? Do you get born, grow up, discover how things are, and then fall in line? You were born into a complicated human arrangement of power, structure, and construction. How easy it is to play along! The tremendous pressures you are subjected to by living in the natural habitat of Earth are increased by the pressures of social structures and powers until the human species is evolving toward ignorance, ineptness, and servitude.
All your life you have experienced the effects of human society right down to the way your parents raised you. Experience has done things to you. This fact has not escaped the people who derive fantastic benefits from society. The lives of the privileged are something that they intend to preserve and augment. To do this they must make sure you never become a problem to them and they have developed ingenious techniques to insure that you do not. The events of human history are well known to them while the general public remains ignorant. They have learned lessons that help them maintain the systems. Then, knowledge of the past is tailored to further insure that the people never come to realize the power of numbers. The greatest threat to the society of human kind is the uniting of the people.
The privileged few do not think highly of the masses. There are exceptions to just about everything, but exceptions are like a lone voice in the wilderness. Predominant disdain for the people is ever present and can be discovered in the artifacts that have survived time. Pharaohs, kings, and emperors have considered themselves gods granted the human species, all life forms, and the Earth for their use and pleasure. They have seen themselves as far above the general people, and have treated the people with less regard than they gave the soles of their shoes. This is not just an aberration of the past. It is the reason you have to struggle to survive in a world of plenty. It is the reason for the wars, the social conflicts, the pain, and the suffering.
When the Pharaohs conscripted slaves, institutions were created to manage them. When slavery was legal in the US, techniques were devised to control them. We are the heirs of such institutions and techniques. By now they have evolved into invisible hands manipulating the strings of puppet that call themselves the “people.” It is you!
Like it or not, believe it or not, the reality of your life is in the hands of the puppet masters. You were born into it and escape is unlikely but possible. You did not build the cities. You did not create the government. You have done very little in a world exploding with the products of those who came before you. The entire planet is blanketed with things and systems that you are subjected to as surely as a slave is subjected to the will of the master. It took a long time to create this situation. Since the first leader commandeered the assistance of his peers, the human race has experienced the effects of Pharaohs, kings, queens, tyrants, and leaders. It is the stuff of legend. It is the past and the present.
As we plunge ahead into the future, we might want to look into the past and see how our world got like it is. In so doing, something wonderful for everyone might come to light.
In our quest to discover our past we have found that humans have had to struggle for the things they needed to survive as far back as we can detect. It was hard and dangerous work. There was seldom plenty. Only the strong and capable could manage to live and the conditions imposed by nature were compounded by the conditions humans imposed upon each other. Complex social arrangements evolved as if by accident, for vast vision is still severely undeveloped and evidence of social design suggests a relatively recent development. Slowly the concepts of specialization and organization gave rise to social structures and mechanical means that have changed the requirements of survival. One must take a position in some specialized position operating one of the multitude of society’s cogs to survive now. Exception are rare.
Behind us in time is history studded with conquest, wars, atrocities, and horrors more frightening than the fiction of the most talented imaginations. Power shifted constantly, but it was always regional. Global dominance, though dreamed of and aspired for, has remained unattained, though it is becoming more likely every day. As you must surely know, the shifts of power were most often, if not entirely, a result of conquest. If not conquest, then some other form of violence. On more local levels, power came into the hands of those who were not restrained by moral or ethical virtues. Many families that have power today acquired it initially by illegal means and have managed to expand into legitimate areas of society. The sad reality of this is that power has been taken by the sort of person that virtue would disdain.
Throughout all the wars and unscrupulous power plays the substance of societies developed. All too often the structure of society was adjusted to meet the needs of those who had power and the general population was kept in subservience. When someone rose in notoriety who had the general welfare at heart, the mighty hammer of the power players pounded them into oblivion so as to protect and perpetuate the systems that afforded them their power. The influence of great humanitarians and visionaries could not be eradicated every time and society inched ahead despite effort to thwart it. We arrived at today with many systems in place the people have little or no awareness of that are preventing the attainment of a virtual utopia that has become more attainable now than ever before.
Institutions and social structures have been created that developed their own means of survival; like some robot that has escaped the control of its builder and found the means to defend and sustain its existence. There are so many such things that it is doesn’t make sense to attempt a literary presentation of them all; especially in this article. They are holding us back. I find it very difficult to conceive the reality of systems that have become living non-entities, but it must be brought to light and examined. They exist only by our effort, yet their acquisition of that effort is mostly unseen even though we go to great extremes of labor, danger, and seeming devotion to give them life. If these things can be brought to light, something wonderful can be gained.
The Pyramid System
One of the social structures that has lingered is the often repeated “pyramid” type of social structure; one or few at the top with the rest of humanity below in service to the top. Aspiring world conquerors have littered the pages of our history as far back as we can see, and they all were destroying and killing so that they could have the top position in a pyramid style distribution of wealth, power, and prestige. If you think such humans are no more, you are wrong. This pyramid has been around a long, long time. Naturally, it tends to take over the world.
With our high-tech communications, conveyances, armaments, and militaries, a global pyramid is not a farfetched notion; it’s a looming threat. Do you want to be a part of the global pyramid? Maybe you would rather have a more equitable system, an egalitarian one. Why should there be a pyramid at all? Do you think that some deserve more than you deserve? Maybe you think you are more deserving than others.
We were all born into the systems that dominate the people. They have us from birth to death. Within them, we occupy a place in the pyramid and have little or no opportunity to move to the top. There have been rare exceptions that are publicized and glorified to make it appear as if anyone could lift themselves from the bottom to the top. I think they know better and are simply trying to keep the system in place so they can protect the abundance and freedom they enjoy by keeping the people so enticed and hopeful of rising up in the pyramid that they do not rise up in revolt. If you think you are free or that you live in a free country, you are terribly deluded.
In the USA, the powerful social system known as the Federal Government was established by men who believed in freedom, and was put into place by consent of the people. Since those people passed away, the consent of the people has never been sought again. Everyone living here have been subjects of the government whether they like it or not.
When a large number of states (11 of 34) tried to escape subjugation to the government in the mid-1800s, a terrible war was fought and the attempted escape was prevented. In the ploy to mitigate the reactions of the people to the truth that war was said to have been fought to “preserve the union.” Sounds a little better than “preventing the escape of 11 states.”
If you are an American, you were born into servitude without even the opportunity to consent and escape is resisted with violence. Even an individual can leave the USA only with permission, and still does not escape the systems. You can measure your loss of freedom by the amount of your earnings you are compelled to give up to the government, if you want. That would be very helpful in keeping you pacified in you bondage. Or, you can measure your freedom by determining how much of your life is bound by old social systems that you take for granted.
Even the powerful and wealthy are stuck in the systems. The social systems have you and your family. The power to affect those systems is limited, but it is not entirely absent. Those at the top in the pyramid of wealth have some power to affect the systems, but even there change is not easy. We are in the pyramid, and pyramids are strong. Most of us know that only a very small percentage of us are ever going to even improve our standing within the pyramid. The top is already occupied.
There is no room at the top for everyone, nor even a large percentage of everyone. At the top people have vast amounts of funds. If too many people acquired vast amounts of funds and reached the top, the economic systems would collapse in hyper-inflation. The top of the pyramid cannot handle many. There is no possibility for everyone to be wealthy, and there must be many poor. It is an inherent flaw in the system, and there are many such flaws. Some see it as an inherent blessings.
Those at the top look down at the rest of us with haughty disdain. They really do think they deserve more than everyone else and we deserve none to little. It is not even hidden. The “divine right of kings” is an old attitude. The attitude of the wealthy is similar and has changed little over the course of history, and rather than oppose the attitude, the people seem to accept it and cling to a fragment of hope of becoming one of them, complete with the disdain and feelings of entitlement.
Interviews with some of the people who have lots of money have revealed the completely guiltless feelings of belonging to a special group that treats the rest of the people as if they are not even there. They live lives completely separate from the other 99% of the people in many ways even though their lives depend on the work of the people. The acquisition of lots of money has not brought enough happiness with it, for happiness is not found without, and the suicides and tragedies of loneliness testify to this succinctly.
There has been quite a bit of publicity lately about some who have suddenly gained vast fortunes expressing their disdain for the general public. We have heard the words “mindless feeders,” and other more vulgar words used by some of the wealthy to refer to the general public. This type of attitude often comes from those who were able to get a lot of money, as if doing so made them better than the masses. By now, we can find many at the bottom who agree. That is how effective the systems we inherited are.
There are a lot of people who live very well. They can have almost anything they want, do anything they want, and go nearly anywhere they want to go any time they want to go staying as long as they want; it is “freedom” of a type. They like it. I think they realize that the only means whereby they are so able is through the social structure of our society; the pyramid and many others.
It stands to reason that the people at the top of the pyramid would be resistant to change. After all, they have a lot to lose. The people in the lower parts of the pyramid, inversely, have less to lose. We could use a system that improves the lives of everyone, including those at the top. I wonder if they realize what they are missing.
The Monetary System
We live in a “monetary” system. There are places you can learn more about such things, but it is sufficient to say that a monetary system is a “money system.” It usually has a central bank, as we in the USA do. The founders of this nation disagreed amongst themselves about the institution of a central bank, especially one with control of issuing currency, and despite efforts to prevent it, the central bank keeps coming back into our lives. Great power comes to the central bank via the monetary system.
I was not granted the opportunity to consent to having a monetary system. No one alive was. It’s like being born into a kingdom. And as if that injustice is not enough, I have found that few have even a rudimentary understanding of the monetary system even though they spend their lives in pursuit of money and in many ways their lives are dominated by it. It was not taught in the first twelve years of my education. (I have removed from this draft an explanation of some of the fundamental aspects of money. You can get such information easily enough. I have written about it already.)
Money is king. Money if “freedom.” Despite its relevance, its vital importance to their lives, and even the status of the planet, the people don’t know much about it. Those at the top are grateful for such ignorance. Be aware that they do not share it with them, the ignorance nor the benefits. It is my opinion that the ignorance of the people regarding the monetary system and many of the life’s other systems is a carefully cultivated condition.
The monetary system has many complicated aspects. Banking is just one of them. Inflation is another. You can take it from me, if everyone were able to get pay raises to a million dollars a week for their work, they would be getting no more than they are getting today. If, by some miracle, the entire society didn’t break down, the monetary system would automatically adjust by means of inflation to keep you in the same place you were before you got the raise. Pretty clever! Wouldn’t you say?
Prices are determined by “what the market will bear.” In other words, as-much-as-possible is the price of an item. That means that if everyone had millions of dollars to spend prices would adjust so that your raise would be meaningless, other than the fact that you would need help hauling the money around, and that job has actually been created. The pay for it is at the top of the scale; you may know some of it as “banking.” Perhaps you have noticed the well-built fancy little bank branches that keep being built on virtually every expensive corner. They are just branches of a gigantic tree with roots deeply embedded in the soil of our lives.
The Class System
We are the heirs of many systems; or the “prisoners,” is a better term. The “class” system is one that works quite well with the monetary system. The system is closed and even the acquisition of great wealth will not get you into the “exclusive club.”
You can encounter plenty of denial, but it cannot be successfully refuted that the class system grades people. Some are better than others in a class system. Therefore, some think they deserve to live better than others and the monetary system serves that concept quite well. You can be sure, however, that there is no way for the monetary system and the class system to provide lifestyles similar to that of the people at the top for everyone. Indeed, like the monetary system, there is little or no likelihood of improving ones position. In the class system, the top is already occupied.
Now, consider the fact that the monetary and the class systems are social constructs. They were created by man; perhaps predominately by that gender. They are not like the solar system, the endocrine system, or any other natural system. They only exist because we make them. Well, we don’t have to make them. We shouldn’t make them any longer. Change is required.
The Power of the People
The people have the true power in the world. They always have. There is nothing without the people. Kings would have no kingdom, Pharaohs would have no workers without the people who have not been fortunate enough to be Pharaohs themselves. Both are titles of a mere person; a person just like all of us, despite their opinion to the contrary. Only the people provide. Only the people have true power. They rise up now and then, but they seem to prefer not to. Of course, those at the top never stop working against such an uprising. The people so outnumber those at the top that there would be little chance of the people failing in an earnest attempt. What would the people do? Well, that has been the problem. They don’t know what to do.
They have relied on those at the top to lead them and to take care of them so long it has become generally accepted as one of the “laws of life,” and apply little effort to the examination and evaluation of the arrangement. Only the most dire conditions have compelled the people to use their power to change the system. They want to spend their time dealing with their own affairs and to just trust the leaders. Do you think the leaders are trustworthy?
Some people are born with the ability to work with their hands, some the ability to run very fast, some with a fabulous sense of music, some with the ability to perform great mental feats, and the variety is incredible. Now and then through history some have been born who have many abilities and they have often been leaders of others. Though there have been great leaders who have done good things as leaders, there appear to have been far more who have led the people into horrors such as piracy, looting and pillaging, slavery, wars of conquest, and even eradication of other peoples.
Buckminster Fuller wrote about some such men and referred to them as “great pirates.” The term fit since they were usually leading the people out to sea to attack other ships, but they did not limit themselves to ships. Towns were often subjected to their attention. They robbed and destroyed without remorse. They killed people with pleasure in unfathomable numbers. It was heartlessness unbound, and it went on over the millennia. It still goes on! One of the effects of the bloody history is the acceptance as a natural law the social arrangement of leadership. Leaders have made followers rich. They have not made the followers as rich as they have made themselves, though.
This type of exploit was played out by many such leaders and followers. Battles were conducted between them and power shifted around constantly. Nations evolved from this history of leaders and followers consolidating holdings and winning new territories. It certainly shaped the face of the world we know until the leadership role has become one that does not require persons of many qualities. The people at the top have become the type that cannot survive without the provisions of the rest of the people. They cannot perform the tasks required to produce the things they have. Without the systems that provide for them, they would perish. Intellect is not enough. They have the intellect, for sure, though it seems to me to be trending toward insanity. No other explanation fits all the horrors. Nation against nation forever! Wars over and over. This is the legacy we have received. There is more to it though, thankfully.
While the fighting was going on, others were working to make peace, to improve the character of the people, and to establish morals, ethics, and virtues; to bring heart to the world. Religions came to be. Great prophets came forth with teachings and messages that helped alleviate the violence and improve the general character of the people. It is my belief that each was needed and occurred as it should have when and where it should have.
Beauty and horror mixed and created great currents that have yet to settle, and from these currents came the social structures to which we are currently subjected and which we accept as though there is no other way. It’s as if it all came about by accident, as if no one actually thought about it and decided to create what we have, and we don’t have it. It has us.
Social System Influence
We can change the systems that control us. We must! It is going to happen one way or another. We can let things unfold while we “mind our own business” and hope for the best. We can allow those who have a will to change things to do so and hope they have our best interests at heart and in mind. We can rely on the deity and try to ignore the fact that we have been waiting for that for many thousands of years. Or! We can put ourselves into it and develop a vision of how we want to make things for ourselves and then make it that way.
It will be necessary to evaluate ourselves. We must find the areas of ourselves that are not the products of our conscious creation, at least our conscious approval. The centuries of established systems have shaped the very nature of our beings; even our genetics.
The pyramid, monetary, and class systems virtually dictate the quality of our lives and the substance of our beings. We have some control, to be sure, but only within those systems and the others that are not part of this discussion—not yet anyway. The systems have been in place so long they have affected the very foundations of reason in the minds of the people and caused us to feel what we feel; those of us who do feel, that is. It is not safe nor wise to trust your own judgment these days, and what you feel is treated like a phantom that disturbs your thoughts.
We all know that the greatest human power is the power of a united people. As old Ben Franklin said, “We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.” Find that cause that we can join as a people. Put aside the difference long enough to prevent the end of the world and to create a utopic society.