Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Commodification of the People

The article by Rune Kvist Olsen, Vertical To Horizontal: A New Workplace Reality, was a very well thought out and written piece on the structures which keep us in an ordered and submissive role within society and the workplace. I am surprised that the piece did not get more attention than it did. Some have said it was entirely too long! I suppose we have acquired an attention disorder due to the increase in the speed of information brought about by the Internet. We live for small bites of information and would rather taste a variety of spicy morsels rather than sitting down to a full course infomeal. But the piece is very relevant to our current situation and our future as a society in my opinion. It got me to thinking about how will we begin to move more horizontally and what keeps us from refusing to submit to the damaging hierarchical structures and building our own power source.

The people, who sell their labor to the corporate interests, have become so alienated from one another by design. We have so many barriers and fences between us, it's a major struggle to find some sort of common ground. We have a whole spectrum of fences we must tear down before we will see the power transferring into our hands! The fences of the mind, while not tangible, are just as real and effective as the concertina wire strung around the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

The common people must find a way to tear the fences of the mind down and begin freeing themselves from the social prisons engineered to maintain a certain hierarchical order. The only way we will see a more egalitarian society is by finding a place, or building a place, where we can somehow shrug off hundreds of years of conditioning by hierarchical societies, and begin building it ourselves. Issues, issues, issues; we have so many issues to confront and discuss before we can actually begin! Opening the mind to new thought is difficult to say the least. I so wish we could find that place of interrelationship where we could hang all our armor and weapons outside the door and somehow find that piece of common ground which will help us overcome all our differences on certain issues in order to really see our full potential of power.

These issues which separate us need to be brought up time and again. We must be forced to face our differences in order to find our path to power over corporate business interests along with their partners in the business union world. One of the main source of issues which keep us from reaching consensus is religion. I'd veture to say this is the number one builder of barriers the earth has ever seen! We have many different religious fences. Some are built on the belief in a supernatural power and it's power as a creator, some on a set of beliefs or principles based on conscientious devotion, and others on an institutionalized system based on worship. The list could go on and on! Religion has separated the people of earth ever since time began and as I look around, I don't see any great strides being made to overcome these pious structures of separation!

Another source of issues is of course politics. I'd say these days that this is easily number two behind religion as the chief creator of barriers to keep us from our due power. Although the political spin doctors will very often utilize religion and piousness into their spill to either pull people to their side or convince people of their righteousness. Political structures will use any means at their disposal to maintain their order. As of late, the issues of national security and immigration have been at the top of the list! It's a circus designed by the few to keep us, the many, in the three rings while they collect the benefits generated by our dog and pony show! They sure know how to play on our ignorance and our willingness to accept their design!

We must step out of our nice, comfortable, non-power structure and reach a common consciousness and we must reach a consensus on a common morality. We have an obligation to humanity to strive for a better world for future generations. Reaching consensus on moral issues is a must if we are to move ahead and make strides in a more egalitarian society.

"Individuals interact in accordance with their obligations to others and to society as a whole. In doing so, each person also receives some recognition of his or her own rights and contributions within the collectivity. Social morality in this sense is "strictly necessary" for solidarity between people to occur; without morality, "societies cannot exist." -Ed Grabb-

In our social interactions within business and our unions, we currently find ourselves within a type of subscription membership rather than a participatory membership. Labor unions have moved from activist-based self-organizations into check-book unionism. Organized labor has become an insurance service which doesn't need participation but rather a constant flow of currency to keep the insurance premiums paid. Our political systems are the same with representation taking the place of participation.

We have become abstract participants within our multifaceted world. True communication between the people of our planet has taken a back seat to commercialized information provided by hierarchical structures intent on maintaining their order. To do otherwise, to question the social order, is to invite anarchical chaos. At least that is what the social designers want to make the majority of the people believe! And make no mistake, they will use fear, intimidation, law, and coercion to keep their existing order in place. And the top two tools as I mentioned previously, is religion and politics. So until we can separate ourselves from these two powerful tools of oppression, I really don't think we will see any true power transferring to the common people. Of course, the willingness to discuss these issues is a beginning, but I'm afraid we have a long way to go and there are more of us who would rather ignore these issues labeled as taboo, than there are those willing to discuss them.

The people have become commodified, and rely on services which alienate us from our mutuality except for commercial relationships. However history has shown that sociability is a variable and changes over generations. Many factors such as slavery, oppressive regimes, war, and depression can change our sociability. I truly believe we are seeing the beginning of major social changes with many more drastic changes to come, as our world grows smaller through globalization, corporate wealth continues to soar, and us commodified human beings continue to lose ground due to the unequal and unjust social orders currently in place around the globe. But we must be the ones to initiate the changes, and addressing the religious and political issues which keep the barriers between us is an essential first step in building a better world!

Article first appeared on Uncharted.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Civilization Through Conquest

I have throughout the majority of my life sought solitude and isolation from the social systems which I found restrictive and dictatorial. I have striven to separate myself from the corruptive nature of the accepted social guidelines which were called "norms", because quite frankly, I thought they were bordering on the idiotic and these so-called social norms seemed to work best for merely a few people who were being supported and empowered by the rest of us! So the biggest part of my life was spent in search of a place where there was no injustice; a place where I could be free from the inequality; a place of independence where I could live life the way I thought it should be lived. Needless to say, my search for that place was in vain and no matter how far I traveled and no matter how hard I attempted to escape from those restrictive frames and borders, I found that no such place as this exists outside my own mind. That is when the realization hit me that this place would never exist unless the people built it themselves! In order to have such a place as this, the real people of the world would have to envision, design, and construct a better society. The people will have to set the standards that will create a civilization which will endure and be beneficial to all.

It was at this juncture of my life when reality finally set in and I began to search for others who like myself, were sick and tired of the foolishness. Rather than continue running in the opposite direction of the existing problems, I began to focus upstream towards the source of the social problems. In doing this, I discovered I wasn't alone and there were literally millions of other people who felt the same way I did! It was at this poi9nt that I also began to realize just how deeply entrenched and how powerful the existing structures are. Thanks in a huge part to the world wide web, this is when I realized we were all connected and this relationship is what I had been in search of for such a long time. It was as if I had discovered a lost family, and the doors of isolation began opening and the minds of this fractured family were being reunited, as one desperate person after the next began turning to the web for support and answers.

Through my fight for independence, I finally was able to see that I could no more be apart from society than the earth could be independent of the sun. I saw society as a threat to my natural rights and my ego set the pace in this fight against social norms. Of course this only accentuated my problems and in turn my social ties deteriorated. I discovered that I was creating my own separate prison and enjoyment of life was nowhere to be found. I realized that only through devoting more of my time and effort toward others could I find answers and solutions to my own fears, angers, and insecurities. This is the power of community! And it's this power of community which is going to stop the rape of our planet and it's peoples.

The phrase, "We the People", has never meant so much or has it been so relevant to our future as it does today. We are being reunited and our communities are thriving. Why? Because we the people are tired of the gluttony. We are tired of the selfishness. We are tired of the corruption. We are tired of the injustice. And we are tired of the inequality. We the people of this planet want a fair and just civilization, not more corporatization!

Throughout our history here on earth, civilization has been designed and built by people whose entire purpose has been establishing their own legal and economic systems and forcing these systems upon people in other countries through conquest. Through these conquests, the conquerers established themselves as the privileged class and set into motion their very own monopoly of ownership and this elite class has appointed religious leaders and educators from their ranks. Once in control of education, the class division was embedded into a permanent institution and the conquered people's social behavior was guided and manipulated by the conquerer's ruling economic and legal systems which they put in place.

Is this a true civilization? Can there be a true civilization when predation and assimilation is the driving force in establishing a social order? If not, then what really is meant by the word civilization and exactly how do we recognize and understand what civilization really is? Is it merely a word used by conquerers of races, societies, and nations in order to establish their own power of ownership?

In a civilization, shouldn't we be focusing on more social and ethical ends for the populations of our planet rather than allowing ourselves and others to continue to evolve into a deteriorating self-serving conquering society? As a society, we are in the middle of a social crisis throughout the world. The systems of our past which have been built on predation are no longer sustainable or feasible to our new knowledgeable world populations whose eyes have been opened and whose minds have been freed from the control of the predators. The people have become weary of the beast which stalks the populations in order to sate it's hunger for complete power. Yes, we are weary of the failed attempts of the conquerers to maintain their social order through deceit, deception, and mis-information.The people are tired of living within an unjust and inhumane world that the predators have built for their own satisfaction. The day when the social orders turn upside down is nearing.

The days when society relied on the so-called experts of the social sciences and governmental structures to make the right choices and dictate the best answers for the rest of the population is nearing it's end. People over the entire world are realizing the importance and necessity of involving themselves in finding alternatives and answers to the critical problems that face each of us regardless of which borders we happen to be born within. Each of us will play a huge role in directing the organization of the societies of our future. We as people will transform from creatures of solitude, and the populations of the world will break free of the social isolation which the ruling class has used to keep us within designed social pens. The people of the world are in need of and in search of more fertile open range. Our future societies will be designed by the common people for the benefit of us all, not by the few who only seek to benefit their chosen group.

It is true that each of us is dependent upon society but the process isn't fixed by hereditary instincts as in the other species on the planet. There are innumerable variables in our relationships and social patterns which are susceptible to change. These changeable variations range from traditions, organizations, literature, science, and art. We can influence life's processes, and our desires and wants can be achieved through our interrelationships and communities. Cultural patterns and social behaviors have changed and adapted through history and these changes are inevitable. We are not condemned to annihilate each other, the human race, or the entire planet. We can change these social behaviors and cultural patterns to better our societies and bring to our world a real thoughtful and humane civilization. A true civilized world! These changes will begin to take place through small communities, and the number of these communities will steadily increase until every township, state, province, and country will find themselves working together and sharing thoughts and ideas to finally bring civility into our world. We the people will force the discontinuance of these predator civilizations!
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