One of the more interesting criticisms that I have gotten over the years is that I don’t offer “solutions” to our problems. It is an accurate one.
I see people, close and distant, who are beyond reach. For example, they imagine themselves insightful as they invest in Trump or Sanders or Clinton, thinking that an important activity, even good citizenship. They imagine they are active participants in a vibrant democracy. They do not begin to understand the levels of deception built into our lives. But dammit, they vote.
The key to managing the American population is to marginalize the dumb ones via sports and entertainment, stage elections for the slightly less dumb ones, and offer false leaders for the smarter ones. Those who can overcome state-controlled media and brain-deadening education will find that once outside the matrix, others are there to mislead them.
The very brightest among us were drawn for years to Noam Chomsky. He happens to work for an institution, MIT, that only exists on Pentagon largess. He is a fixture, and has been supported by the military for decades. He has for years offered up volumes of seemingly useful information, but ultimately leaves us high and dry. (I just quoted him extensively in a post about Zika two days ago. I cringed, but it was a vital link.) Among his more enlightening revelations are that the Federal Reserve is as useful as our own government in managing our economy, that 9/11 happened just like we are told, and that JFK was a war hawk intent on invading Southeast Asia. (As it turns out, he is right about that last one, but his object is not to demean JFK, but rather steer his followers away from a path of inquiry that can ultimately lead to intellectual emancipation.)
Even the brightest among us are under state management. Chomsky is there in O’Brien fashion* to take us nowhere.
So the a healthy percentage of us (40%?) are inundated with entertainment and sports, and so dumbed down by the education system that they cannot think their way out of a can of tomato soup. They don’t matter. A level above that (50%?) are those who pay attention to managed news (FOX and NPR being two different packages with the same content), and are vaguely aware of some of the wedge issues and vote in the elections. They don’t matter. A level above (7%?) that read books and newspapers, even watch congressional hearings and attend lectures, maybe even watch CSPAN**. They don’t matter.
And one level above that (3%) are those bright enough to figure out part or all of the game. They usually don’t vote. They are effectively marginalized by a thought control meme called “conspiracy theorist.” The other 97% are sure that the 3% who are actually somewhat on top of things are mentally ill. So they don’t matter either.
It is fucking brilliant.
So, why do I not propose a solution? There do not appear to be any solutions. I am living my life, doing the things I love doing, and having a nice laugh now and then. And traveling.
*O’Brien is the chacter in 1984, a sinister false leader who greeted Winston Smith as he made his escape.
**Nah. Nobody watches CSPAN. I kid.