Reversing The Descent Of Humanity
Nothing To Do With Economic Growth
The elements of life that bring satisfaction — including food and shelter, stable relationships, good health, and unconditional reciprocal love — have little to do with the motives of big business or governments.
In defending a contract to continue a strip mine operation across a huge swath of pristine rainforest in Central America, an international conglomerate recently claimed it had created thousands of jobs in the region. The assertion that economic benefits for workers justify the continuous ravaging of ecosystems is illustrative of a materialistic standard that has permeated all aspects of society for centuries.
Despite noble battles attempting to protect beneficial and sustainable natural habitats from human greed, the argument that providing employment and salaries eclipses all other concerns has been accepted by most cultures as an indisputable doctrine. It has allowed unfettered competition for resources, fueled disputes over boundaries, and sustained hostilities and wars among nations.
Industrial and corporate dictates dismissing destructive activities by invoking false prosperity are a ruse to disguise overt piracy — their bounty is never shared with those whose backs and lives are broken. The promise of economic improvement through devastating technology has only made life on the planet more precarious.
Hostilities have always plagued peaceful co-existence; often initiated by competition for resources. However, it is evident that dysfunctional priorities have multiplied aggressive behavior, while more dangerous weapons are developed in a mad pursuit of profits and power.
Although humans have always had conflicts, for generations people sustained creativity and prosperity by working the land, growing their own food, and satisfying basic needs while maintaining a balance with nature. There was enough to feed everyone well, and no lack of shelter. Communities worked together, close to home, where gratifying family life was sustained and unbroken.
With small farms dwindling, no one remains to sustain the soil and cultivate biodynamic crops — or fulfill the emotional needs of children and elders. After the most important relationships in the world are completely broken — jobs and money will not bring satisfaction or lessen worry, nor buy back health or the joy in life.
At the advent of the Industrial Revolution, there was an immediate objection to being paid wages for monotonous work. Instead of being fairly compensated for the quality of creative endeavors or agrarian production, time became money. This dehumanizing process, pressed upon the vast majority of the public, became the 9 to 5 work-week — the standard of all profiteering enterprises.
Child labor with horrific working conditions is still tolerated in many regions of the world and ended in other areas relatively recently. Strikes and labor wars over pay, hours, and benefits continue to highlight the battle between personal rights and an ever-expanding power structure that dominates and directs everyone’s preferences.
The human spirit has been harnessed; people have been entranced to accept a life where daylight hours are comprised of labor, most often resented — for a paycheck. Whether in a socialist or capitalist state, this is no less than modern-day slavery.
The benefit of work that takes one away from a community for the sake of money is questionable. Attempts to manipulate the public into conformity are not new. A false reality has been established by powerful interests where employment and income take precedence over everything. The big lie is claiming this is beneficial to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Compensation has been given penultimate importance so that giant entities prosper in a self-sustaining cycle of destruction. Agribusiness has now defined what is edible, churning out depleted and dangerous foods, using chemicals that poison the land and pollute the atmosphere. This primary driver of the degeneration of health is basically ignored by a profitable medical industry that claims it has no idea about the cause of increases in cancers and debilitating chronic disorders. Instead of understanding the obvious dietary and environmental factors in disease, trillions of dollars pass through the hands of a healthcare machine dependent on the illnesses manifested by corporate food production.
The wealthiest investors and largest financial entities on the planet are thriving from the beginning to the end of this destructive cycle.
As polarization, divisiveness, and devastating warfare have only increased on the planet, we can easily recognize that the repression of instinctive freedom by almost every form of government and business is central to the problems we face.
This degradation is recognized and felt by greater numbers as lives are further strained and devaluated.
Nearly seventy years ago, Carl Jung, the eminent philosopher and psychotherapist, described the foundations of this process in his insightful essay, The Undiscovered Self.
Science supplies us with, instead of the concrete individual, the names of organizations and, at the highest point, the abstract idea of the State as the principle of political reality. The moral responsibility of the individual is then inevitably replaced by the policy of the State. Instead of moral and mental differentiation of the individual, you have public welfare and the raising of the living standard. The goal and meaning of individual life (which is the only real life) no longer lie in individual development but in the policy of the State, which is thrust upon the individual from outside and consists in the execution of an abstract idea which ultimately tends to attract all life to itself. The individual is increasingly deprived of the moral decision as to how he should live his own life, and instead is ruled, fed, clothed and educated as a social unit, accommodated in the appropriate housing unit, and amused in accordance with the standards that give pleasure and satisfaction to the masses. The rulers, in their turn, are just as much social units as the ruled and are distinguished only by the fact that they are specialized mouthpieces of the State doctrine. They do not need to be personalities capable of judgment, but thoroughgoing specialists who are unusable outside their line of business. State policy decides what shall be taught and studied.
Jung also speaks to the concept that modern humanity has reached a precipice by embracing a self-deceptive collective vision of skewed priorities.
We all say that this is the century of the common man, that he is the lord of the earth, the air and the water, and that on his decision hangs the historical fate of the nations. This proud picture of human grandeur is unfortunately an illusion only and is counter-balanced by a reality which is very different. In this reality man is the slave and victim of the machines that have conquered space and time for him; he is intimidated and endangered by the might of the war technique which is supposed to safeguard his physical existence; his spiritual and moral freedom, though guaranteed within limits in one half of his world, is threatened with chaotic disorientation, and in the other half it is abolished altogether. Finally, to add comedy to tragedy, this lord of the elements, this universal arbiter, hugs to his bosom notions which stamp his dignity as worthless and turn his autonomy into an absurdity. All his achievements and possessions do not make him bigger; on the contrary, they diminish him, as the fate of the factory worker under the rule of a “just” distribution of goods clearly demonstrates.
The altruistic and noble organizations, including religions and governments, that humans have created to sustain any semblance of a virtuous life, have compromised their values and collapsed into vestiges of what they once were.
Wealth is the gauge of all things; polls indicate the main concerns of voters are prices, inflation, and jobs. The public has been fooled into thinking these issues are the primary drivers of a good life, while politics oriented to economics is fueling disaster.
Politicians in every type of government view the world with a materialistic mentality. They relentlessly beguile the public with a false hope that life will get better with their leadership designed to end financial woes. They dispense empty promises that unemployment will disappear, salaries will increase, and inflation will diminish — thus life will be easier and their families will attain security.
Even when economic figures are promising, the basic needs for survival for the vast majority are not improving. The burdens of stress, poor health, addictive drugs, atmospheric toxins — and violence close at hand or far away — are impacting everyone on the planet. Rather than apply themselves to the cause of these issues, leaders stoke divisiveness and inflame hatred.
At their core, people everywhere do want the same things, but they are not those benefits promised by those wielding power. The reliance on economic salvation and dependence on a reality engineered by the false prophets of government and science has only increased suffering. These factors have engendered a dysfunctional world divided by meaningless inducements and harsh dictates.
Individuality and creativity have been eclipsed despite the powerful unique spirit within each one of us. Change will only begin through an awakening and a recognition that new priorities must be established to strengthen the human spirit.
The challenge is staggering; solutions will take no less than an emergence of thoughtful, innovative paradigms and endeavors designed to counterbalance the descent of humanity into disposable automatons.