Friday, March 2, 2012

The Apolitical Strategist – Part 1

This is not a political blog. It never has been and it never will be. I consider myself apolitical and it is my intention to keep this blog apolitical. When I speak of living free and freedom it’s not in reference to any government tyranny or dictatorship. When I do mention the government I speak about it collectively not by individual names, titles or positions, though for an example or to make a point I may select any or all of the above. Our (the U.S.) government has three branches as established in the U.S. Constitution; the Executive branch, the Congress made up of elected representatives of the people from each state including one non-voting representative from the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court that consists of nine appointed justices. I don’t care about religious, gender, age, race, sexual orientation or anything else about them. They simply are “The Government.”

Now, a lot of what I’m going to say and suggest in my periodic “Apolitical” musings may step on some people’s toes or sensitivities. Tough! As a matter of fact, DO NOT expect me to be politically correct. That is more balderdash as far as I’m concerned. I will never purposely or maliciously say anything to demean or hurt anyone if I’m saying what I believe to be the truth . . . as I perceive it. You can make any comments you’d care to in the comment section of my blog. But, remember, we can agree to disagree, but we don’t have to be disagreeable. Got it? I hope so. If you want to name call or attempt to demean me, remember, I control the delete button for this blog and I will delete you. Start your own blog and disagree with me if you want to be vehement. However, in all fairness, I am interested in your opinions and perspectives. Believe me when I tell you that I fully understand how complex our society and world is. I’ve been part of it for nearly 67 years at this writing.

So, those are the ground rules. Oh yeah, one more thing, I will do my best to not be a hypocrite. Some of the things I may discuss and point out as problems, causes of the problems and downright stupidity are things I am guilty of being a party to and/or participant of. I will say so when I realize that “I have seen the enemy and he is ME.”

With this in mind, let me say, and I’ve said this over and over, everyone is born with the natural right of personal freedom. Civilization, society, government, politics, political parties, special interests and so on are all inventions of humans. In the name of governance, since whenever our early ancestors conceived of it, every kind of inconceivable crime against humanity has occurred. I am not an anarchist. Because we are basically social animals, we need to live together in some form of harmony. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, that is that we all have light sides (gentle, loving, caring, concerned, collaborative and so on) and dark sides (corruptible, greedy, violent, power mongering, controlling, murderous and so on) there has to be some form of governance to help maintain order and resolve conflicts, disorder, crimes against one another and so on. So, like it or not, we need some form of governance. We simply have to deal with it. Thus, some of our natural freedom has to be sacrificed for what we hope is a civil and orderly society.

For all you right wing, ultra conservatives and extremist left wing liberals out there – Bite Me! I don’t buy into all your claptrap political posturing. Whether most people believe it or not, those people who count as the ultra or extremist on either side of that pendulum number a very small percentage of any population. Only two percent of the Soviet Union’s population was Communist Party, card-carrying members. The leaders of the Party were a small percentage of the total Party membership and they controlled hundreds of millions of people. Boy, did that shock me when I discovered that fact. Most of the Russian and Iron Curtain countries’ population was just simple, ordinary people who wanted to live peacefully, enjoy and take care of their families and have the basic needs of life and a few special extras and luxuries when that opportunity was available. The same is true of China. And, it’s just as true of the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries that espouse some form of democracy or other forms of government.

What exactly does this mean? Well, to be blunt, here it is in a nutshell. The vast majority of the people of all societies are pawns, our own society not withstanding. We are used by a very small percentage of the population to instill them with the power they need to control the vast majority of the population. And, of course, within this structure are all manner and shades of special interests that play the game to gain precisely what they want to secure their own power and position. In the past it was much more challenging to play this game. But, throughout much of the 20th Century and most definitely during the 21st Century, the power mongers have tools at their disposal that didn’t exist even 50, 60 or 70 years ago.

History speaks of the despicable personage of Adolph Hitler. He certainly is no hero or role model of mine. What was his most powerful tool in climbing to the ultimate power he ascended to? Communication! Hitler could stand in front of a crown of thousands and bring them to an emotional fever that would cause them to believe anything he said and do anything he willed the people to do. His second most powerful tool was FEAR. Once he had a large enough following he would use the fear of bodily harm, destruction of one’s family, torture and death. And exactly how did he spread this fear? He simply turned all those who got sucked into his inhuman madness into informants even against their own family members. He had the power of public address systems and the radio waves, which he ultimately controlled, to reach the masses.

So, how does his madness and corruption apply to our current world? For one thing, with the most modern technology it’s even easier today. One simply needs to be a charismatic leader and give him access to the radio and TV airwaves, the cable TV providers and the Internet. What do we call these leaders today? They have a variety of labels. Some that immediately come to mind are the Pope, evangelists, presidents, prime ministers, monarchs, dictators, CEO’s and so on. Think about the current president of the United States and the last election. Through the use of the Internet and social networking he raised more money from more people for his campaign fund then any other “free” election in history. With those campaign funds he bought more TV and radio time, more PR and the ability to travel at will to more locations to rally supporters through his speaking ability. It still amazes me that he drew a crowd of some 100,000 people in Berlin, Germany at a rally for people he would not have any governing power over. But, we are a global society and this man who essentially came from nowhere, that no one knows from his past, who, by some people’s accounts, has never proven any qualification for the position he has been elected to and, yet, there he sits as the leader of the free world and the wealthiest and most powerful nation the Earth has ever known.

He used the same techniques that Adolph Hitler used to ascend to power only with more advanced technology. I’m NOT comparing or putting him on an ideological parallel with Hitler. But, he’s there because enough people, like you and me, voted to put him in that position. In my book, he never proved himself to me. I never bought into him and still don’t. However, back in 2000 didn’t a somewhat similar thing occur when a candidate at that time used his influence (and that of his party) to put him into that presidency? Please note, I have not called either of these men names nor am I passing judgment on their records. History will determine their place in the course of events. Go back to 1992 and one of the two candidates that year had a fantastic amount of charisma and was an excellent communicator and won the election. Twelve years before that there was another great communicator. And don’t forget the people who said things like, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” and “I have a dream . . .”

I have, on any number of occasions, used the term, “lemming mentality.” If you don’t know what a lemming is, quite simply it’s a group of people who reportedly will blindly follow a leader to a cliff and then jump off in mass suicide. Point of fact, that’s actually a myth. A real lemming is a small rodent. The lemming (the small rodent) does not commit mass suicide. But, there are some examples of this kind of mentality in humans. They are mostly motivated by charismatic leaders who mesmerize or hypnotize people through effective mass communication techniques and by telling them what they want to hear or persuading them to believe what the leader wants them to believe.

There are many examples, some mythical and others, unfortunately, real. There is, of course, the Pied Piper of Hamlin who, fictitiously, led the rats infesting the town away to their death. When the town refused to pay him, he mesmerized the children of the town and led them to their deaths. Again, this is fiction. However, there is the Jonestown, Guyana massacre where Reverend James Jones had 912 followers of his People’s Temple drink a poisoned Kool Aid type drink while he led them to their death by shooting himself in the head. There is the Branch Davidian massacre in Waco Texas. And, certainly, what was the mentality of the kamikaze pilots from the Japanese Air Force during World War II who were instructed to fly their aircraft into U.S. Navy vessels for the cause of the motherland and the emperor. Many of those pilots were never taught how to land their aircraft because they would never need that skill. And, perhaps, a more current example would be the suicide bombers who killed almost 3,000 people on 9/11 and continue blowing themselves up in the Middle East and other parts of the world. This behavior was also not uncommon during the Vietnam War and other conflicts over history.

So, my point in this first part of my musings as The Apolitical Strategist is to point out that, while humans are supposedly the most intelligent creatures on Earth with the ability to use logic and reasoning, huge numbers of them can easily be influenced and led down a primrose path to mass destruction of their own making. In so many ways, humans are pack animals looking for an Alpha animal to lead them and show them the way. This is why I refuse to label myself or be labeled as a Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist or anything else . . . other then an Independent thinker. Living free, to me, means doing everything I have to in order to preserve as much of my natural right of personal freedom as possible. I firmly believe that many people, perhaps the majority, blindly follow a “party line” because it’s what they’ve always done or their parents followed the party or it’s the union way or the preacher showed them the “light” and so on.

It’s sad that so many will give up so much because it’s easier and eliminates some really hard work. That work is called thinking critically and independently. Why think for yourself when someone else can do it for you? All you have to do is shake your head up and down like a bobble head on the dashboard of your car. We are prone to do things the easy way. There may not be any commonsense in the easy way, but it eliminates the hard work of actually thinking for yourself, even if you don’t fully agree with the “leader.”

I’ll expound more on living free and critical independent thinking in another post in the future. Comments? Anyone? Bueller?

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