"Western consumer culture is creating a psycho-spiritual crisis that leaves us disoriented and bereft of purpose. How can we treat our sick culture and make ourselves well?" John F. Shumaker The Demoralized Mind http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44653.htm
Many Westerners are coming to the inescapable conclusion their culture is creating a psychological malaise that is metastasizing throughout the society, stifling empathy, enthusiasm and any sense of meaning, purpose or real fulfillment in our lives. We find ourselves like laboratory mice or hamsters on the proverbial treadmill going nowhere fast, depleting our energy and finances with nothing to show for it but tons of planned obsolescence stuff and suffocating debt.
There was even a mindset propagated in the 80's and 90's that said the measure of one's worth was the material things one possessed at life's end. They said "greed is good" which fueled consumerism, materialism and a dog eat dog winner take all mindset. The angst many feel today is a direct result of falling for the okey-doke of the "American Dream" which for far too many is really a nightmare.
If the measure of your being, your self-worth and success are based upon the amount of gizmos and gadgets you have, what happens if you lose them, they become obsolete or you can no longer afford them? Many Americans were devastated by the 2007-08 economic downturn. Millions still have not rebounded from the economic implosion brought on by the reckless and fraudulent activities of the big banks, lending institutions, insurance companies in collusion with government. Many folks owe more on their homes than they are presently worth, while millions have lost their homes and fancy cars to foreclosure and repossession.
Wealth inequality, homelessness, depression and despair hang over this country like a thick fog and many are succumbing to alcohol and opiate addiction as a way of numbing their misery and frustration. Opiate prescriptions are at an all time high in America and the suicide rate is the highest it has been in thirty years!
Many thinkers, philosophers and reformers have warned that America is heading in the wrong direction, is lost and about to plummet into an abyss of maladaptive, self-destructive responses to culturally and politically induced socio-economic circumstances. Social engineering is real, social programming and mind control are real. The US government has been working on them for decades. Do some research on the CIA's MK ULTRA, Operation MONARCH and other mind control programs and then look into what is going on at the Pentagon at its Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It will blow your mind. It's science fiction mad scientist type stuff on the real! Then ask yourself what is the impact of six conglomerates controlling almost everything we see on TV, the movies, streaming, books, magazines and newspapers? Is this representative of free and open markets or is it more in line with monopoly consolidation?
But this is nothing new. American history is fraught with moral contradictions, blatant discrepancies between their professed creed and their actual deeds. How do you talk about "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" while aggressively engaged in policies and programs of genocide, extermination, slavery and dehumanization?
These facts about America are undeniable and yet the ruling class has never, ever really attempted to remedy or reconcile those policies. In fact they are still negatively impacting the lives of people of color, Native Americans, African-Americans and others today! The only difference between now and back in the day is, the Black Codes, Slave Codes, and government sanctioned segregation are no longer on the books. However the consciousness and practices that created them still exist and remain in effect because the ruling class who created and uphold the cultures' institutions and systems have not purged themselves of that mindset and values.
Africans in America have long attempted to change the situation by urging America's leaders to repent, galvanize and organize to alter the trajectory of this nation's immoral and inhumane policies. The continuing consequences of the sins of the "founding fathers" are still being visited upon successive generations as the ruling class attempts to keep their criminogenic culture (a system, situation or place causing or likely to cause criminal behavior) in tact and expand its reach on a global level..
The European settlers arriving in this hemisphere came not as scientific explorers, seekers of freedom or with a plan to establish a new way of governing but as pillaging soldiers of fortune looking for bounty and booty to expropriate. Their history of genocide, slavery and crimes against humanity have never been reconciled, avenged or punished. A cloud of depravity hangs over America blotting out the sunlight of morality, justice and true civilization. Until this cloud dissipates America will never free itself of its consciousness of exploitation, plunder, greed and war.
David Walker the son of a slave father and "free" mother was born in 1785 in North Carolina. Walker's father died before he was born. Walker was a passionate foe of the institution of slavery. He eventually fled North Carolina and moved to Boston. He taught himself to read and write. In his fiery Appeal To The Slaves of the United States of America written and published in 1829, Walker shocked the world when he denounced the cruelty and barbarity of the whites in his treatise. Writing about their history and character he said, , "But we will leave the whites or Europeans as heathens and take a view of them as christians in which capacity we see them as cruel, if not more so then ever. In fact take them as a body, they are ten times more cruel, avaricious and unmerciful than ever they were; for while they were heathens they were bad enough it is true, but it is positively a fact that there were not so audacious as to go and take vessel loads of men, women and children and in cold blood and through devilishness, throw them into the sea, and murder them in all kinds of ways. While they were heathens, they were too ignorant for such barbarity. But being christians, enlightened and sensible, they are completely prepared for such hellish cruelties. Now suppose God were to give them more sense, what would they do? If it were not possible would they not dethrone Jehovah and seat themselves upon his throne?" David Walker's Appeal Article 1.
Walker's 1829 Appeal like the 1804 Haitian Revolution and Nat Turner's rebellion in 1831 sent tidal waves of fear and dread amongst the slave holding South because Walker encouraged Blacks to use violence to secure their freedom. When Walker's book was smuggled to the South it caused quite a stir. So much so, a bounty of one thousand dollars was placed on Walker's head if killed and ten thousand if captured alive. Walker died shortly after he published his work but it made a powerful impact on the whole country.
Would that we had men and women like David Walker and Ida B Wells Barnett who spoke truth to power and challenged the evil and wickedness of their day now. Would we be as comatose and apathetic as we are today if we had champions like them fighting on our behalf? What will it take to rouse us from our stupor and stiffen our backs to challenge our oppression?
The ruling class has more weapons at its disposal today than ever before. In 1830 they primarily used fear, the Christian religion with its narration about the bogus curse of Ham, a shame and guilt based theology, violence and torture to get the masses to submit to Catholic and Protestant dogma and control. Today they have a pervasive technological network that manufactures a reality that dumbs us down, disorients and discombobulates us, they poison us with GMO Frankenfoods, pump us with pharmaceutical and illicit drugs to numb our minds and push us towards stultifying addiction.
All this is designed to reduce resistance to their nefarious global agenda. As a result America faces a psycho-spiritual crisis of enormous proportions. The push back against the political candidates sponsored by the ruling class is not based upon moral indignation or a desire to transcend and transform ourselves and society. The current so called "political revolution" is not based upon spiritual enlightenment. Rather, it is based upon frustration because the materialistic consumer gravy train is no longer running and white folks feel betrayed. They are angry and anxious.
Black people are rudderless and lost. We have no real strategies to save ourselves other than foolishly coupling our hopes to a Democratic Party that has sold us out time and again. Neither political party has our best interests at heart we have to realize this and act accordingly.
What can we do to improve ourselves and our situation? We can come together, unify and develop a survival infrastructure, an information sharing infrastructure and action plans. We have to build values producing institutions: create and support our own schools, develop our own pedagogical theories and practices, expand economic networks and capital formation groups. Most importantly we must formulate a cosmology to substitute for the decadent Western values of selfish alienation, materialism, war and predation.
We can do this. We already have the model, traditional African values and cosmology. http://www.emeka.at/african_cultural_vaules.pdf ; We already have the concept, model and action of Sankofa, going back to retrieve that which is good, bringing it forward and adapting it to present realities. We were the first humans to do all this. We have done it many times in the past in our history, we can begin now to create a brighter future for ourselves and our children.