Noam Chomsky said once “The general population doesn’t even know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.” This applies to people’s misconceptions of the way the world works as an interconnected and interdependent whole just as well as it applies politically.
However, the main constructs of our hyper-real perceptions are indeed political. They get tossed around in our unsustainable, hyper-real bubble: capitalism, communism, democracy, plutocracy, conservatism, liberalism, along with a plethora of other “isms” and “ocracys.” The ignorance with which these myopic ideals get thrown around is astonishing. Indeed, they each maintain their own hyper-real bubble within which biased information constantly gets pushed around, usually with prejudiced and blatantly parochial agendas. It creates a troubling bubble against bubble (us versus them) mentality, and some bubbles are worse than others. We need to burst these bubbles, lest we become surrounded by inside-the-bubble thinkers. Like Friedrich Nietzsche said, “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” Egos run amok within these all-too-precious bubbles, creating socialized egoism and nationalized conceit. Everybody thinks their “way” is the best, damning all others. Meanwhile, everything collapses in on itself. “Like toddlers and tyrants we are quick to take our own stories for the infallible truth,” writes Kathryn Schulz, “and to dismiss as wrongheaded or wicked anyone who disagrees. These tendencies are most troubling for the way they fuel animosity and conflict. But they are also troubling because they make it extremely difficult to accept our own fallibility.”
Herein lays our current state of affairs. An example is a recent poll taken in which 96% of the American people think their government is absolutely corrupt and elected representatives only cater to the wealthy corporate elite interests (which by the way is absolutely correct). However, where it becomes hyper-real is these same 96%, by a margin of 91%, believe we are powerless to do anything about it! In reality, we have a 96% majority that feels powerless over a 4% minority! On its surface that is just plain insane, yet it is exactly our current state of political reality.
In order to break free of a broken system, you have to change the way the game is being played. The best way to change the game is to stop playing it the way it has always been played. So far the game that’s being played is a game of greedy one-upmanship. If we can find a way to change “greedy” into “giving” and “one-upmanship” into “relationship,” then we just might be able to change the game and break free of the broken system. But this is beyond tricky. It is in fact an arduously Herculean task, because it requires taming our pride. It requires curbing the smug self-importance we’ve gained within our respective bubbles. It requires balancing ego (psychosocial) with eco (interdependence). In short, it requires us being more disciplined and healthy: individually, socially, and ecologically.
While no doubt awakened individuals would whole heartedly agree with this truth, the problem lies with the majority of the population who either doesn’t live outside of their personal interests or sadly, because of a failed education system, simply don’t even have clue to the point of this discourse at all. Yet all the while they are slipping farther and farther into both an economic and political poverty, with the wealth of their labors being stripped from them in an ever increasing blatant manner.
There is absolutely no reason why our ego-moral values cannot complement and enhance our eco-moral values. Ego-moral means holistically individuated and ethically motivated. Eco-moral means holistically conscious and compassionate. There is most definitely a way we can use our egos as tools of conviviality and altruism while still maintaining veneration and prestige. It doesn’t have to be a glass-is-half-empty mindset of: “Why should I earn something just to give it away to lazy-ass moochers?” It could just as easily be a glass-is-half-full mindset of: “I can have pride in what I’ve earned while also achieving greater prestige by helping those who are less capable.” Shame is a sufficient enough leveling mechanism, anyway. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Humility is as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement.”
The problem here however, as some are lucky enough to elevate their status of well being through education or inventiveness, they tend to forget the reality of their fathers and mothers who sacrificed their lives to elevate them in the first place. Instead they compare their fates with those who were less fortunate in the parental lottery and therefore believe THEY were totally responsible for their good fortune and those who are not making it are the lazy-ass moochers. Everyone should adopt as a big brother a lazy-ass moocher. Really get to know how they were raised and under what circumstance they became just a lazy-ass moocher. In reality we all have the same hopes and dreams. However, more importantly, those who have succeeded can best instill hope in those who by real life experience have lost all hope.
The end result of such efforts is the realization of an absolute truth. ¼% of 1% of the population cannot control 96% of the wealth in any kind of a society that is going to remain sustainable. It will implode and take all down with the implosion. If the top 20% of our society realized just two realities: 1). They are only the last slaves of the ¼% and 2). They are the ones truly empowered to effect the critical changes we so desperately need at this moment, we would have a shot at avoiding the coming implosion.