Being Superior

This is something Americans believe in passionately – and explains much of their strange behavior. It is not a conscious belief – it is too ridiculous for that. But being unconscious makes it more powerful – because it can be acted on more easily.

What is it, exactly?

They are not saying they are morally superior – because they cannot claim that. The closest I can rephrase it is – military superiority. And America does have that – the most powerful military in the world, several times over. It is not a very smart military – but Americans do not think that necessary. Brute strength will do.

American superiority is backed up (rather strongly) by its military superiority. And, under cover of this – a smug moral superiority.

What happens when the American military is not enough to demonstrate America’s overwhelming superiority? Which is the situation right now, in Afghanistan. Americans go crazy – and will do anything to get their power back – even electing a demagogue, who is promising them just this – to make America strong again!

This is not the first time this has happened. In the Thirties, the Germans (the most advanced people in the world, at the time) elected Hitler! And followed this madman to their doom.

Americans did not have to panic – their situation was not really that bad – they were the leaders in Software (and still are). But they did not understand this – only power at the end of a rifle, or a missile.

America is no longer the most powerful nation in the world – but doesn’t have to be. It can share power easily.

But sharing power internally is another matter. Figuring out how to do this, would make America (and the whole world) powerful again.

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If You are Nothing

Plenty of people will tell you how to be successful, but I am going to tell you how to be unsuccessful – and get away with it. You have been told, no doubt, that those in charge of the world know what they are doing.

This is nonsense, and we can take this as our starting point – they don’t know what they are doing, and this gives you ample opportunity to take advantage of them.

However, you must do something else first – make sure they really have power that is worth sharing. There are plenty of small-fry around that try to look powerful, but are not. Ignore them.

Your job is to carefully insert yourself, as high as possible, in a position of power. The trick is to find the right place, where you will not be seen as a threat to those above you – but still be powerful, in your own right.

To do this, you will have to be a keen observer of those in power – and of your own capabilities. A misstep here can set you back for years – if not permanently.

Perhaps this frank talk of power makes you nervous – it’s too scary. Take notice of this, and include it in your plans. If you want to be a small player – look for a small place to be. But carefully calibrate how small a place you want to be in.

Power is Limited

And the Power Complex now has all of it. This is the most important fact of our time – and only I seem to be aware of it. But let me continue anyway.

This is really a continuation of my posting Power not Only Corrupts Completely, it Destroys Completely. In either case, the subject is power: the most important thing in the world, but one we are completely ignorant of – and we are determined to stay that way.

Our innate assumption is that power is unlimited, anyone can go out and get as much as he wants – all it takes is a little gumption. But plenty of people have discovered that power has been safely locked up where they cannot get at it. They discover this, then promptly forget it – and do not come to any conclusions based on their experience.

The reason for this is simple: they are not supposed to notice this – it is strictly forbidden. This would mean they have some power themselves (the power of recognition), and this would make them dangerous. No cracks in the armor must be permitted.

The only way to get power is to play the game, and become part of it. Independent players are no longer permitted.

I am tempted to end today’s observations there, and maybe I should – but I will continue with some speculation about why our situation is the way it is.

The experience of having no personal power is one of the most frightening things people can experience. It makes you “sick at your stomach” – which is directly connected to your gut-level self. It is the sentence of death, and people will do anything to avoid it.

If I were a historian – and I might as well pretend to be one – I would note that the last half of the 20th Century changed everything. Television changed everything: people were bombarded with multi-sensory inputs – programmed by those in power – they could not resist or understand.  The television had become their communal placenta. I did the right thing by deciding to turn the thing off, but I was unusual.

But this was only the beginning. We were hit by the big three: computers, software, and the Internet. And we will never recover from them. The business world was quick to use them to consolidate its position, and turn itself into a giant complex – that has all the power.

This happened so quickly, within less than a typical lifespan, that people went into shock – ceased to function normally, and could not defend themselves. This was covered up by the Cold War – really a war against America itself, and everything it had stood for. No one noticed, because they were sternly instructed not to. Noticing became anti-American.

At the end of the Forties, the schools turned against their students. I remember it clearly – it was a shock I never recovered from. But this was only part of a larger pattern: people turning against people. People had frequently been against other people – and not adverse to slaughtering them in large numbers. But this was the first time they had been against people themselves – and devoted to their own destruction. People were no longer people, and considered themselves super-people – devoted to eliminating the other kind.

And no one is noticing. It’s like were are standing next to a huge elephant, that is shitting copiously – and everyone is singing in perfect harmony “It ain’t there!”

From the Ruling Classes to the Power Complex

First, some definitions. Human societies usually became stratified, with some groups in them ending up with more than other groups. These groups controlled the others. They had more prestige and usually more wealth. They dominated the other groups. In a word, these ruling classes had more power.

The people in these classes were often related to each other, and comprised powerful families. Needless to say, there were often conflicts between these groups, and this is what history has been mainly about – struggles for power.

But on a different level there has also been the struggle between different kinds of societies – societies with different values and different ways of being organized.

I am now listening to a course about the Reformation – which was about one of those long, drawn-out conflicts. The one which produced the modern world, and a fundamentally different culture. And centuries later, in our time, a fundamentally different kind of power. One in which people are controlled by it.

The forty-dollar question, of course, is what is this it? Whatever it is, it has showed up and taken over without our being aware of it – almost as though we have been occupied by a force from another planet. Except that this force, whatever it is, must be been one of our own creations. It couldn’t have come from anywhere else.

So far in my struggles this morning I haven’t gotten very far, but I have re-defined the question to this “What have we done to ourselves?” The answer, which is certainly an unpleasant one, seems to be: we have destroyed ourselves.

I am certain this is the correct answer, but I could also have said: we have created a power complex – and given our power to it. This power complex is what I referred to earlier as simply it – for lack of a better term. Whatever it is, it is clearly in control. Now I want to say more about it.

Since the middle of the 19th Century, two things have happened: an increased understanding of ourselves (the social sciences) and high-technology. The first gave those in power, mainly the large corporations, the ability to control us, via the Media, which was created by the second: high-technology – which also (via the computer and the Internet) gave them the ability to create ever larger organizations – which eventually included everything – the Power Complex.

Previously, the ruling classes chose who would represent them in the power structure. Now, the power complex choses those who will serve it best, and gives power to them temporarily. There is only one rule they must follow: it must have all the power.

We have been forgotten, and it has taken over.