What You See Isn

’t Real Essay, Research Paper

The world is all make-believe; recorded history a total fraud. Yes, that’s a broad statement. But after messing around on this planet for 18 years, I feel I have penetrated the thick emulsion of fraud, humbug, deception, mythology, hypocrisy, and make-believe that we are imbued and indoctrinated with beginning in our vulnerable, susceptible childhood. I suspect that by nature I was a pliant, naive kid who dutifully and trustingly swallowed it all. But at 12 years of age, even I rebelled against the religious scam. However, it took many more years to see that almost everything else too was bullshit. The successful of the world-the establishment-are the authors in deception. They devise the cultural myths to gain and preserve control. They cover up their chicanery and deny it. They proclaim that the best people in society rise to the top and lead humankind. I ask if we are led by the best people in society, then why is history the story of one atrocity after another? Obviously, we are led by our morally worst people. Our worst people get to the top because, talent being equal, they outweigh their competitors in the four primary traits that lead to success: selfishness, dishonesty, ruthlessness and destructiveness (you succeed by destroying your competitors). Then from their top positions, they control the instruments of information and propaganda-the press, airwaves, schools, churches, recorded history, governments. By dominating and controlling the whole culture, the successful establishments, with the help of their bootlicking spaniels-the school teachers, journalists, preachers, bureaucrats and historians-paint themselves as heroes and paragons. The deluded public erects statues of them, names bridges and schoolhouses after them, worships them. It’s enough to make the man in the room puke. This is the theme of human history since time immemorial. As historian Edward Gibbon expressed, “A register of crimes, sorrows, and misfortunes.” Psychiatrist Thomas S, Szasz put in rhetorically: “In this respect, it (the history of psychiatry) resembles traditional religion and natural history which depicts the violence and power-hungry leaders as a series of selfless struggles for God or nation.” In a similar vein, Adam Smith wrote in Wealth of Nations, “The violence and injustice of the rulers of mankind is an ancient evil, for which I am afraid, the nature of human affairs can scarce admit a remedy.” Religion can be seen as another powerful tool in the hands of the unscrupulous successful to narcotize the populace into meekness and subservience. Whole-hearted support of religion by the successful establishments is inevitable. Niccolo Machiavelli said that the successful prince should seem to be all mercy, faith, integrity, humanity and especially religion. He presented a new view of the social dynamics of his day. He pointed out the overwhelmingly obvious to unclouded minds. But, as today, there weren’t very many unclouded minds. The successful denied and covered up their chicanery and deceptions and enmeshed the benighted herd in chains. The successful owned or controlled the instruments of education and enlightenment-primarily the press in Machiavelli’s day. That explains why he died before even one word he had written was set in type! But, fortunately, there have been enough insightful people in the Western world in the past 500 years to recognize Machiavelli’s genius and to raise his book,The Prince, to classic stature and put Machivelli into our dictionaries.

The fact is, people win by breaking rules, not by following them. Rules, laws, principles, ethics and morality are the balls and chains that are hung on docile, gentle, vulnerable children. In the ensuing struggle to win the race, a few less ingenious children early slip out of the chains. They climb up to the top and become our world leaders. Good people are crippled by conscience, the inescapable chain. Budd Schulberg expressed it well: “That’s what you get for being a rabbi’s son, a conscience. Going through life with a conscience is like driving your car with the brakes on. ” I suspect that many people are capable of seeing the world as a frightful, shameful, loathsome contest among predatory liars, cheats and bullies struggling to control the reins of authority over the benighted, deluded, subjugated groveling herd, but the find such a view too distasteful and painful to accept. one doesn’t need to be real smart or exceptionally insightful, but just needs to wipe the thick film of conditioning, indoctrination, taboos, prejudices, superstitions and particularly biased self-interest from one’s eyes that blind one from seeing the world as it is so obviously, patently and clearly is. I have on occasions wondered if I might be completely-that the people who get to the top and lead humankind really are our best people. But the thought is too horrible to entertain very long. The rubric favored by the successful is that our lives are what we make them. So, the 168 victims, including 19 children, killed by the Oklahoma City bombing were responsible for getting themselves blown up; the 58 tourists recently gunned down in Egypt asked for it. And the hundred people who lost their lives in the recent California floods and the other hundreds who were killed by the Montserrat volcano-well, our lives are what we make them. The 150,000 Chinese murdered by the Japanese in the Rape of Nanking in 1937 have to be blamed for it themselves; the six million Jews, Poles and Gypsies gassed and burned at Auschwitz had it coming to them; the millions and millions of people who died in the 1917 flu epidemic should have known better. Pollyanna garbage! Sure, we suffer from our own mistakes, and we suffer a lot from natural misfortunes, but we suffer most from what the successful, the leaders of the Earth, do to us. Fortunately, I don’t seem to be the subject of depression. I hear people complain about depression. They take pills for Prozac and possibly sample some alcoholic beverages to dispel their gloom. Or they seek the help of therapists-even acupuncturists and chiropractors. I don’t know what they are talking about when they complain of being depressed all the time, but I am like the fish that does not know it is wet. This essay may sound like an excuse, exoneration and exculpation of a loser. Then again, it may not.

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