By Gary Null PhD & Richard Gale, Progressive Radio Network
As Americans make their choices in the contentious midterm elections, the populace is confused and angry. Public trust in the mainstream media’s narrative about the state of the union is abysmal. Forty percent of Americans wake up each morning uncertain whether they will be able to make ends meet. Amidst the heated dialectical skirmishes between competing political ideologies, the majority of Americans no longer know who or what to believe.
The penetration of woke anger throughout the halls of Washington, university campuses and news networks have turned otherwise civil discourse into renewed racist vitriol. The very term “racism” is losing its relevant meaning, which in the past was based on historical facts. Critical thought is further being suppressed by a bombardment of various forms of indoctrination. Accept the growing number of genders or be canceled. Get vaccinated or else. The freedom to make personal medical choices for one’s own body and health are being stripped away and replaced by the choice of complying with mandatory medical interventions or losing a job and becoming a member of a marginalized apartheid class.
Whenever the official playbook is challenged, the critics will be attacked. Not infrequently they will have their reputations destroyed by the new cancel culture. It is no longer acceptable to voice a difference of opinion about the dishonest power structures. The brutal shakedown and flattening of two centuries of American cultural development, including the trends that made the U.S. the world’s most ethnically diverse nation, has transformed the country into a morally decrepit wasteland.
The intelligence agencies and their NGOs wielding power over their captured media, university administrations, and the Silicon Valley tech giants have adopted a “take no prisoner” policy. On college campuses, woke students are usurping curriculums and grading. They demand to be the final arbiters that determine whether a professor should be fired or not. When Portland State University philosophy professor Peter Boghossian spoke out against the “woke orthodoxy” that hijacked the campus, he started to invite a variety of speakers to offer alternative views. As a result, the media reported,
“Digital vigilantes infiltrated his social media accounts, calling him a ‘bigot’ and a ‘Nazi’ and contacting old friends in search of dirt.”
Other examples include John Staddon, a distinguished professor emeritus in neuroscience at Duke University who was removed from the American Psychological Association’s discussion group for holding the view that there are only two sexes. Charles Negy, a 22-year tenured psychology professor at University of Central Florida, was fired for criticizing woke ideas about racism and white privilege. And the dean of the University of Massachusetts’s nursing school was fired for emailing the egregious phrase “everyone’s life matters.”
Sadly the mainstream media fully supports the neoliberal revolution to overturn all traditions that have permitted some semblance of social cohesion that gave the U.S. meaning in the past. No matter how often the media is wrong—Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, Russiagate, the lies about the covid-19 vaccines ever having been tested for preventing viral infection and transmission, broadcasting violent anti-racial street protests as peaceful, etc.—we never hear the pundits apologize and correct their misreporting.
It should not be a challengeable offense to speak out against why 34 million Americans are food insecure, including 9 million children. Over a half a million are homeless and about 44 million don’t have health insurance. It is not a conspiracy theory to place much of the blame for these dismal statistics on the government’s incompetence and indifference.
In his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow outlined his theory of a “hierarchy of need” for understanding the various levels of human motivation for reaching genuine well-being. It was Maslow’s belief that the apex of a fulfilled human life was to become self-actualized, which could be defined as an individual who has had all of his or her physiological, security, emotional, social and personal esteem needs met. He believed that humans possessed an innate desire to be fulfilled and be all they could possibly be, and this was possible within a healthy and productive social environment. Despite some flaws in Maslow’s theory, it nevertheless may serve as a rudimentary template for understanding the moral and social collapse of American culture and values.
In the 1940s, the majority of Americans, whether Democrat or Republican, were conservative by today’s standards. They were dependable, respectful and had a strong desire to provide their children with more opportunities than they had. For the most part, they understood their place within the social hierarchy, had pride in their heritage and made efforts to follow an ethical life.
After the Second World War and largely continuing throughout the 1970s, there was a social fragment that held American cities and towns together. In general, there was a gradual growth in prosperity and opportunities for families to move into the middle class. Although the majority of people were politically silent, they possessed a commitment to work on behalf of their community’s common good. Members of a community collaborated together. Many people were satisfied to work in jobs that many today would find unbearable; however, according to Maslow’s model, their basic needs of food, shelter, economic and health security, love, and meaningful relationships in their families and neighbors were met. The result is that people had a sense that they were living a purposeful life.
Perhaps the turning point arrived with the rise of junk bond kings and financial villains. Predatory capitalism was discovered to be exceedingly profitable and the markets increasingly became more rigged in favor of Wall Street and high rolling investors. It was a time when a certain new class of dynamic and aggressive individuals became leaders of industries and finance who were content with retreating from the public good for their own aggrandizement and pursuit of individual wealth.
People need to feel a secure sense of stability in their lives that can later be transformed into purpose and meaning. Yet following the destruction of Maslow’s second fundamental need for security, the third need for family, community relationships and a sense of belonging begins to deteriorate. This trend started in the 1980s and reached an accelerated speed during the Clinton years. Major cities and towns were increasingly abandoned by their dynamic and creative leaders, notably Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. These five cities alone would lose over half of their population due to the erosion of their economic job base and emigration to greener pastures as free trade agreements kicked in.
Today, there is now a billionaire class that no longer has allegiance to a country, or any culture. They are transnationalists who perceive the entire world as their playground to exploit, rape and submit to their economic shackles through international banking systems and Western governments’ foreign ministries that serve to advance private interests. They have the freedom to create their own rules regardless of the public’s welfare. This provides a level of confidence and heightened self-esteem – Maslow’s fourth hierarchical need.
But here is where Maslow’s hierarchical progression towards wholeness becomes its opposite. It is a different hierarchical order whereby a distorted self-esteem becomes an opiate. Moreover, similar to Freud and the later generation of behaviorists after James Watson, Maslow failed to observe that not everyone is the same. People have a variety of motivations and follow different daily rituals.
The new globalist elites are indifferent towards social and national collapse and chaos, and seem to have no reservations to enable its pace to increase. For example, in Michigan a law was passed that permits anyone to break into a private home and not be arrested. The intruders can leave when they please. In New York, criminals are given a revolving door from the court to a return on the streets. Again Maslow’s hierarchy topples as the law-abiding populace lives in constant fear and angst. As an example, the exodus of people leaving Los Angeles, New York and Chicago to states that are less restrictive and safer.
When we consider Maslow’s fifth level of self-actualization, this is where his theory was one-sided. Maslow’s ideal of a fulfilled life was closer to Plato’s vision of eudaimonia or genuine well-being and happiness, which is a state of being independent of transitory hedonic pleasures and essential survival needs. For Plato, genuine happiness cannot be acquired by stimulation from the external, objective world; rather it is a state of inner contentment that is only to be cultivated introspectively.
In our post modernity, self-actualization is nothing less than another form of hedonic self-aggrandizement. The ruling elite of government and industry perceive themselves as independent from society altogether. Their isolation is misinterpreted as some kind of self-fulfillment. Since they have reached the top of the pyramid, they have the financial means to live in a perverted utopia built upon accumulated wealth. Rather than serving as the financial stabilizers of society, they are its destroyers. Rather than act as privileged neighbors with the means to uplift communities, they live in manicured “green zones” for the rich and powerful, protected from the commoner who they view as potential barbarians at the gate, a species lower down their social Darwinian ladder.
They represent Gordon Gecko’s mantra that “greed is good”—the complete inversion of a genuine moral character. Their height of earthly achievement is a mansion or yacht bigger than the neighbor’s. Their lives are always uneasy and crave more hedonic satisfaction. Their kingdoms are stolen without public coronation, exemplified by the Davos crowd who believe they are authorized to control billions of lives without any electoral process. And as we passively observe the elite becoming richer, and the powerful becoming more powerful, the social fabric that holds communities together frays and rips apart.
Then there is the professional class, the well educated who support the elite and comprise approximately 18 percent of the population, who want to be wealthy and desire to sit at the decision-making table. They won’t contribute to any constructive change because they are too disconnected from the average Americans’ authentic needs. They are preoccupied with their own needs and therefore frequently ruthless towards others.
All the while, the media and entertainment industries have been profanely bewitched by the elites’ globalist dystopia. The penetration of reality shows has imported the worst of human nature into our living rooms. We witness envy, greed, jealousy, vindictiveness and sheer stupidity being rewarded to cheering audiences. Everything that an earlier religious upbringing warned against is glorified in its full display. With very few exceptions, there is no longer anything redeeming in American entertainment. Andy Warhol is believed to have predicted “in the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” Although untrue, it doesn’t stop woke narcissistic “influencers” from seeking unearned relevancy. From our television screens and computer monitors a faux celebrity mindset now dominates social media such as Youtube, Tik Tok and Instagram.
Among the ten highest Youtube earners for 2021 was 24 year old Jimmy Donaldson, who goes by the pseudonym Mr. Beast. Donaldson has captured 3 billion views and earned $54 million. That is more than the highest paid professional basketball player at $48 million. Mr Beast’s sole goal is to double his figures. What made this seeming perpetual Peter Pan so popular? Moronic stunts, such as freezing himself in ice, running around a Ferris wheel a thousand times and constructing the largest Lego tower. If this is indicative of how low entertainment has fallen, we should not be surprised at the epidemic of depression, anxiety, and angst raging in the country.
The American psyche is broken beyond repair. It is therefore not surprising that the World Economic Forum’s self-empowerment guru Yuval Harari receives high praise from Obama and the global elite when he declares that the majority of humans are “useless eaters.” The globalist solution is slow depopulation—addict the unskilled population to the soma of a strap-on machine so they can entertain themselves unto death. This is a horrid proposition but is nevertheless a solution being fervently debated among Klaus Schwab’s new globalist elite such as Bill Gates, Al Gore, Blackrock’s Larry Fink and many other Western business and government leaders.
If we simply wait for a sufficient number of Americans to awake from their stupor to proactively protest en force, we may as well sit on a toadstool and wait for Godot. It won’t happen. There are countless issues Americans have a legitimate need to protest. Unfortunately the professional class is irredeemably complacent. Physicians daily witness pharmaceutical and surgical price gouging bankrupting their patients. Yet they are silent.
Across American university campuses, professors and administrators know full well that outrageously overpriced education fees are putting students into perpetual college loan debt. Tens of thousands of intelligence employees and elected legislators realize their agencies undermine democracy and remain silent. Journalists throughout the media know the stories they report are bogus but will publish anyway. And nobody working in the arms industry will speak out against the blood money their lucrative careers depend upon.
So is there any hope that there may be the emergence of a new revolutionary American ethos? The power elites have succeeded in Balkanizing and splintering the US landscape with too many warring factions fighting over their pet ideologies and personal ambitions. There is no unity, ergo a concerted populist offensive is unlikely. Collapse and decay lie ahead as the masses rush towards erecting their individual illusory utopias, all the while unknowingly fueling a certain dystopia.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Trends Journal.