Monday, December 23, 2013

Adult Bullying: Why We Need to Shed our Animal Instincts

            Bullying is based in a power play. Such power plays are going to happen for the rest of our lives. Adults just call it office drama. Nature also shows us that predatory creatures like lions and wolves play fight to practice for the hunt. Wolves fight each other to establish who will be alpha, beta, gamma, etc. These wolves will protect their pack at all cost, but also fight viciously for rank within the wolf pack. Humans have refined their razor teeth into polished rhetoric and gossip, but make no mistake that the majority of humans are still a predatory based creature. Notice I said the majority of humans.
            The current fight is not between humans, but between the new evolution of humanity and the old predatory instincts. Humans have finally developed to a point where everyone is waking up to the fact that we need each other. We have developed weapons that can kill everyone; economic systems that can impoverish entire populations with one economic bubble bursting; and heavy machines that are polluting our earth with filthy energy (seriously, so many better options out there). This has led to a painful fact. Humans are either going to evolve and shed our predatory instincts like a winter coat, or we will all die together in a blaze of glory from climate change or World War 3.
            We have even glorified a system that harnessed our polished animalistic instincts to shocking success. We call it capitalism. Capitalism works due to the fact that it harnesses our animal instincts, but it does not work for everyone. Granted, there have been those that have evolved past this wolf pack greed such as Gandhi, Bonhaufer, and Martin Luther King. However, even these men had their weaknesses. Humans are a work in progress to say the least. However, even predatory humans are still different from animals in one key area.
            Humans are the designers of their own hell through cultural pressures, expectations, and social narratives. It never ceases to amaze me how much humans miss that fact. Is Sally in accounting really a slut, or has biology just given her a high sex drive and you're being a rude gossip? Granted, she might be making things messy with the raging hormones of her gentlemen callers, but is that really your problem or the manager's (the one responsible for keeping the office productive and professional)? Let's flip that logic on its head. Aren't the "studs" down the hall also making things messy by hitting on every secretary? To deny our basic instincts is to deny we are human, and did not God create us flaws and all? Jesus taught us how to love others past these social controls created by humans to enslave us.
            If we are a Christian nation, then why are you following the father/mother of lies and gossip into his/her hellish den. Notice I gave Satan both genders. (If feminists can have a debate about the gender of God, then we should also have a debate about the gender of Satan). Need I mention movies like basic instinct and mean girls? Both genders are equally capable of being mean. Moving on, to understand adult bullying requires looking at humanity as a whole. We have created a system of hierarchy in the modern world, and we ruthlessly punish those on the bottom of the hierarchy. We cannot change human nature. We can create a system with a different incentive motivation for our energies. Cruelty will remain in our world as long as there are incentives to backstab each other and climb the social ladder. What we keep forgetting is that the social order was created humans, which means it can be redesigned by humans. I am not saying we should all hold hands and sing Barney songs together, even our founding fathers wanted a meritocracy (meritocracy: a system were ones skills and abilities determine social rank. Even meritocracy acknowledges rank of some sort). However, have you seen how broken and corrupt our system is? Really? This is the best we can do with the wealth of America?
            We must acknowledge that high school drama is a direct reflection of adult society, because teens and young adults model themselves after the society around them and learn from the adults in that society. The first shots in the battle for the next evolution of humanity were fired in the high schools of the current generation. Our generation here and there began to realize that no one is free until we are all free to be ourselves. It is time for this evolution to carry over into the rest of society. These ideas of loving each other and working together are not new. Jesus preached this amazing message over two thousand years ago. Where do you think society got the message of love and equality? The Greeks and Romans never mentioned it in their writings of power and empire! Humans have the ability to work together, but fear keeps holding us back.
            Everyone is trying to claw their way to the top. Therefore, what happens if our kindness is perceived as weakness? This is a valid question in a world of ruthless individualism. There is no easy answer to this, which is why it must happen on a society wide scale of small victories: turning off nightly news and reading a book full wisdom, or donating to a company on kick starter. There are lots of great ideas on such websites bringing jobs back to the United States. It could be as little as shopping at a farmers market to help grow small farms instead of big agricultural corporations. These farmers spend their money locally, which pumps money into the community. Plus, you get fresher produce - everyone wins! This is going to be a long road ahead of us. The only decision the current generation of young people must make is whether we will continue to be predictors with winner take all ideology, or whether we will evolve into the next stage of human social evolution and shed our predatory instincts!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Life Lessons from Literature, Part 2

            The majority of people want to fit in. There is something primal about being left out of some type of group. There will always be those that act like they do not care, or maybe they are an introvert that prefers to be alone with their thoughts. However, most humans want be feel apart of a group. There is something primal that goes all the way back to our survival days that makes us want to be a part of a group. The safety of knowing that someone will help us or be there for us when we fall is comforting. We go to great levels to know that people are friends with us. Honestly, we don't really need fake friends with the amount people on this planet (there are 7 billion on this planet. Surely, you can find someone who enjoys your company). Yet, we still have this desire to belong to a group. The main character, Charlie Brown, in the comic strip Peanuts is always trying to fit in, and is even willing to get abused.
            Lucy keeps pulling the football from him. Charlie Brown continues running toward the football like it will still be there. Surely, Charlie Brown has figured out that the football will be pulled from him. The only conclusion is that he does it anyway knowing he will get hurt. Humans will sometimes even take abuse or negative attention rather than be alone. He even goes to Lucy with his problems for five cents. She keeps tricking him, and he is paying her for nonsense advise? He knows that Lucy is a bully. The other characters ignore him for the most part. They treat him with apathy, and that seems to be worse than abuse to poor old Charlie Brown. He is neglected and even left out of things throughout the series (going all the way back to the November 1950 comic about being not allowed to play football - page 14 of The Complete Peanuts 1950 to 1952). The sad thing is that this wonderful piece of art is reflecting back something that happens every day.
            We see this type of willingness to be abused in exchange for acceptance everywhere from high schools, to colleges, work place, and love relationships. There is no stage of life that does not have these people in the group somewhere. It keeps happening due to the fact that there is a primal need to feel a part of something. Granted, there are those that have become wise enough to learn how to be content alone. There are also those that are devious enough to wield these internal problems of their fellow man against them. Playing with people's emotions is the oldest trick in the book for manipulative people. Charlie Brown is a sad case of someone that is willing to run toward the football hoping that Lucy with change and he will have a friend. Yet, it is this internal need of Charlie Brown that keeps Lucy confident in her ability to keep tricking Charlie Brown time after time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Life Lessons from Literature, Part 1

     Many people like to think that they are better than everyone else. Humans enjoy feeling good about themselves. The problem is that we humans are all the same. The core that makes us human is the same as what makes other people human. Whether this thought has consciously entered the minds of humans or not- I'm not sure. However, humans are always looking for new ways to define themselves as better than their fellow man. Some cultures use ranks such as Baron, Earl, Duke, Lord, Sir, etc to define their rank. Other cultures it's a cast system (such as in the religion of Hindu). In America we have no titles or cast system to define or rank ourselves and our place in the world. Americans have solved this problem by granting ourselves titles such as Abercrombie, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Ecko, and Prada. We wear shirts with these brand names proudly displayed across our chests. Proudly shouting to the world- I spent more money on clothes then you- therefore I have more money then you. Even though the labels might have changed- the concept of using little things (which have little to do with reality) to prove that someone is superior or inferior is a concept as old as time. A monkey in a suit is still a monkey and a productive member of society in a t-shirt is still a productive member of society. In the story "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant I will examine how a person can berate, and rank themselves. How we inside the quiet and still of our mind can be our own worst bully.

     Loisel in the opening paragraph has a defeated attitude."She had no dowry, no expectations, no means of being known, understood, loved, wedded by any rich and distinguished man; and she let herself be married to a little clerk at the Ministry of Public Instruction." The line I enjoy most is "and she let herself be married to a little clerk". To let something happen means to allow or permit, she is permitting a lower class man to marry her. No were in that phrase is a talk of happy marriage or what a wonderful man she is marrying. Brides in American culture plan and await their wedding all their lives. However, Loisel isn't awaiting the wedding- instead is permitting it, allowing it to happen- almost as if it is an unpleasant event that must be done eventually. This has nothing to do with her husband. Throughout the story the husband is an enjoyable character with great kindness toward his wife. The wife is settling for a clerk as a husband. Yet, there is no mention of her ever going wanting. She bullies herself into believing that she is being deprived of something. Even when she has a chance to mingle with the rich at a party she still finds ways to bully herself into thinking that she must be more then she is "Nothing. Only I have no dress and therefore I can't go to this ball. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better equipped than I." She believes that she isn't capable of going to the ball. Life is hard and then you die: life is going to be hard (have its challenges and hardships) any way you look at it, so you might as well make your life what you want it to be.

     Loisel is making her life what she thinks everyone else's life is. People even today think in such a fashion. People don't understand that the wealthy and powerful hide their weaknesses and flaws because such traits are seen as weakness. Therefore, people who take what they see are fools. The only difference between a wealthy person and a poor person is that wealthy people are better at with money. Wealth is has to do your skills with money and nothing more. However, money is the currency of our lives. However, if a person is smart enough and willing to work more money can always be made. Money can't buy friendships or family- therefore it shouldn't destroy them either; however, money is the currency of our lives. Money is how we buy and trade items we need or desire. Therefore, money is a valid issue and should not be wasted or loaned out to wasteful family members.

     Loisel not only hurts herself but also her husband in the process. "They found, in a shop at the Palais Royal, a string of diamonds which seems to them exactly like the one they looked for. It was worth forty thousand francs." Loisel was so driven to be equal to the wealth and great of the Paris that she was got into a hurry and ended up losing the neckless. The amount of money that had to be paid back not only burdened her but her husband as well. A amount of that sum is a great amount on a clerk's salary and cannot be repaid quickly. She never thinks of her husband or the extra burden that her mistake has caused him. Sadly, when people believe that they are better than others the cost to the lower classes rarely matters as long as the superior group benefits. This story is true with from the Ancient Egyptians in the Bible killing the first born of every Israelite, to the French elite taxing the poor into starvation in the streets to build their palaces (this later led to the French revolution and great stories like Les Mis being told), to the first emperor of China enslaving (and almost all dying in the process) one third of the Chinese peasants to build the wall of China. This concept has been done the world over and can be found in every people group, nation, and religion. I remember one time in physics I said "wouldn't it be great if we all had the innocence of children". My physics teacher looked at me and said "sweet heart, I have seven children- if you want to see the dark side of human nature put a toy in the center of a group of children and tell them to share." I never forgot that, my teacher was completely right. If I put a toy down in the center of a group of children (anywhere in the world) and tell them to share- I will see the dark side of human nature the second the toy hits the ground. Loisel is the selfish child that never grew up. Granted, with age we don't get any less selfish only more clever in the way that we get the toy first.

     External bullying most of the time becomes internal bullying when we start believing that the people bullying us are right and we stop believing in ourselves. The interesting part of this story is that there is no sign of external bullying. All the bullying is internal- within Loisel. She believes that she deserves better then what she has. Therefore she bullies herself into putting on a facade that isn't really her- nor does her fa├žade benefit her in any way. In the process to become better and then she is she also uses others and bring misery to people around her (her husband being the main one). No one in the story bullies her, but she becomes so obsessed with facade she has built that she internalizes her- miserable- life and begins to bully herself for not being good enough. If a person is smart, willing to learn, and work hard, then more money can always be made and our lives improved. However, in this story Loisel truly does become her own worst enemy- the bully within. She becomes her own worst bully! This is a problem the world over- in every people group, religion, and nation. We (all of humanity) cannot solve what we don't understand. Sadly sometimes the enemy that we can't see or understand is ourselves. There is so much that we humans don't understand about ourselves and the world around us. Which is why more money is not the answer to the world's problems, knowledge is the key to solving world's problems. We humans need to dive into ourselves- into the depths of our minds, our emotions, and examine the chains the tie us down. The only person we can control is ourselves, and history is filled with examples of one person changing the world, therefore we are all a powerful force in this world.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Matrix is Real as a Metaphor

            The matrix is real. It is not real in the sense that we are all brains in jars. It is real in its artistic form as a metaphor. Art reflects the reality back at us in whatever form the artist wishes to express themselves. The matrix is a metaphor for the modern world. The matrix is a set of machines that have taken on a life of their own. The people that it uses and abuses for energy are interchangeable to "The Machine". Capitalism is like this in the sense that incentives and market forces pick the winners and losers far more than the best and brightest surfacing to the top. If you don't believe me that incentives and ruthlessness are more of a factor than being best and brightest, then I'll be happy to introduce you to my English major friends. I have lots of English major friends that the free market has kicked right up the rear end! Having something that is in demand is more likely to determine your success. The ones that go from poverty to the penthouse in this modern world are those clever enough to create the demand, then supply it.
            We must think above the matrix, or forever be locked into the system. The majority of Americans still think that being loyal to their company will bring them that wonderful corner office. Granted, this illusion was always a lie unless you were male and college educated in the 1950s. The system the world build post world war 2 was one built on money. The Europeans proved that they couldn't be trusted to not start wars. Worse, they became too dangerous with atomic weapons. Germany was working on an atomic bomb at the end of the war. A Third World War could not be risked. The United States founded mechanisms to tie the world together with money. The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund, and the Federal Reserve (American's Central Bank) are all based in Washington D.C; that was not a coincidence that just happened! America had found a way to channel the warlike culture of Europe into commerce. Money was flowing and everyone was happy, but these systems have now become our masters as we buckle under their lust for more. The system had a good run, but it is now time to rethink the world once again.
             Incentives take on a life of their own, and humans become interchangeable as "The Machine" grows. Everyone keeps thinking that businesses are run by humans, which means we need to hold humans accountable. Yes and no. Yes, humans are still in control and need to be held accountable. However, greed always wants its way regardless of the talking puppet doing its bidding. This has led to a group at the top we will call big investors. These big investors live in their palaces. Everything has a reward and punishment. These people are completely removed from the consequences of their actions (environmental damage, poverty wages, etc). This class of people only look at the numbers and never see the faces of the people wearing their consequences. This class just moves their money from profitable business to another making more money. The profit incentive has caused whoever is ruthless enough to rise to the top in a dinosaur economy far outliving its usefulness. We keep thinking that people are running businesses, which is why we can appeal to their emotions. The problem is that there is no room for emotion in business, which means the profit incentive has removed those that are "weak" with emotions from leadership. This is why profit itself has taken on a life of its own.
            This current matrix has given us an upside as well. The saturated markets are so filled with stuff clogging our homes that an innovation race has begun. The goal is not to find a way to make it cheaper, faster, better. The goal is now to advance the technologies or products so far that it leaves your opponents in the Stone Age. The cell phone was just for phone calls until the smart phone blasted it into the last century. This has caused an innovation renaissance that has led to technology literally reinventing itself every few years. This is also how I believe the modern matrix can be broken without rebuilding society. We need to realize that we are all Neo in this matrix (Read my blog post Disadvantages to Advantages: Our Evolving Economy for more). We are living in an age with annoying old jackasses from the last century like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch that still think the 1950s and treating your secretary like a play toy is the way everything should be. We cannot fight these entrenched forces inside their own matrix that they created, but we can take the whole system away from the dinosaurs destroying our economy and society.
            We are living in a technology renaissance, but still the masses fight each other for the chance to become a wage slave. The masses need to out innovate the current matrix to render it obsolete and those controlling it powerless. An obsolete economy will die. Those wielding this massive power will become irrelevant as the investor class begin to back the new rising economy (remember, the investor class just watches the numbers - nothing more). We are the technology generation living in a technology society. In the movie, the main character is called Neo, which means new. We have the chance to become a generation of complete innovation, which means the masses will buy our products instead of the products of the dinosaur economy. Technology is getting to a point where the masses can own the means of production.
            Historically, it is technology that has broken the old system and brought in the new. The printing press led to mass publication, which led to mass education and the Enlightenment. The rise of gunpowder weapons allowed soldiers to be trained within months instead of years, which rendered a warrior class of knights training for a lifetime useless and silly. The rise of 3-D printing could render old world polluting factories irrelevant, and bring specialized manufacturing to whatever country gets this technology into people's hands. Solar power could create countries were power companies sell a product produced literally out of thin air, which will render disgusting coal polluting power stations irrelevant! Also, think of the profits to be made from selling something that is produced without expensive fossil fuels or expensive coal. The savings alone would make it worth the trouble!
            Picture a world where the masses finally get to control the means of production. The goods and services of everyone being bought and sold on massive websites of commerce. Such a world is possible if we commit ourselves to innovation. The matrix we are living in now was technology drive with the printing press, gunpowder weapons, and the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution matrix broke the feudal system matrix. This matrix has had a good run, but it is now time to out innovate the dinosaurs and bring about a world that works for everyone. I am not saying it will be easy or perfect. I am not even saying the old matrix will go away (we still have a Queen of England and King of Sweden, don't we?). However, I am arguing that a new world that works for everyone is possible, and it has been technological innovation from the masses that has created it throughout history. Let us not fight the current matrix on its terms, because we will lose and they will be ready for us with riot police. Let us think above the matrix they have created for us and create a new world through our creativity and innovation. Let us once again use technology and innovation to render the old system irrelevant!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Why Nothing is Changing

            Education in the United States has become an economic hierarchy system. The reason why so little is changing in the United States is that those that can afford the education are those benefiting most from the system. Rich schools have everything that money can buy. It has the nice labs and the top prize winning scholars. This does not really mean that they are better than the Colleges substituting their income with massive sports programs (see blog post College Sports: How Sports Became the Most Important). However, why would a rich kid use an expensive education to change a system when he is the top of the hierarchy? The other side is massive student loans. The problem is that such a system straps people into years of working to pay off the loans, which makes them far more docile.
            The only way out of this trap is to read everything we can get our hands on. The masses have access to the knowledge through books sold to them through the capitalist system. Irony, I know! The capitalist system is even willing to sell books about how messed up the system is to make a profit. Such is the nature of profit and capitalism! The only problem is that people are too tired to do anything with the demands of constantly rising productivity on their backs. The United States work force has been increasing its productivity every decade, but wages have not increased with that productivity. The masses have been kept so busy with the constant demands from the ruling elites for boosted productivity that they exhausted. Boosting productivity not only makes the ruling elites more money, but it keeps people too busy to figure out the real problems or do anything about it!    

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Who is in Control?

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize" - Voltaire.

            Americans criticizes the government all the time, but nothing happens. According to Voltaire's logic, the government is not the one in charge if we can criticize them openly. This begs the question of who we are not allowed to criticize. America has to look no further then the occupy movement and how brutally that was smashed to realize who we are not allowed to criticize. Bashing the government seems to have become a national past time with their corruption, but let us keep it in mind that we bash them not for who they are. We bash them for who they are "in bed with" as the saying goes. So, let us put this logic to the test. Can Americans bash President Obama? Yes, it is done all the time. Can Americans bash congress? Yes, it is done all the time. Can Americans protest Wall Street with fearing riot police. No, we saw how ruthless occupy was put down. Can Americans protest any corporation without police showing up ready for a riot with power lust in their eyes? No, they always show up and seem ready (and sometimes wanting) violence. Starting to see my point?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Profit over People: Private Prisons and the Need for Prisoners

            It is my prediction that debtors prisons are going to come back to the United States. Stay with me and I'll walk you through how I got to this grand conclusion. The prison industrial complex has massive lobbying power in the United States. The prison companies make billions of dollars every year from the private prisons. The war on drugs has provided them their "customers" in the past, but even extended sentences will eventually not be enough. The nature of big business is to always push its product, which leads to new "customers" always needing to be found. The extension of sentences in the name of "justice" has caused these private prisons to make more profit to keep these prisoners longer - I see a link between "justice" and profit! Big business needs to constantly grow in order to be happy. The question now is what will happen when the war on drugs can no longer provide "customers"  and that "market" is tapped, which leads to these prison corporations looking for new "markets" to provide new "customers"? See where I am going with this? Awesome, now let us look at how this might happen.
            We now live in a technology panopticon society. The panopticon concept was created by the father of utilitarian philosophy Jeremy Bentham. The panopticon prison system was based on the concept of being constantly watched. The prison no longer had to wait for minor problems to become bigger problems. The trouble making inmates could just be dealt with quickly and effectively. The prison was set up so that the prisoners constantly knew they were being watched, but not when they were being watched. The guards could see all the prisoners at all times, but were hidden from the prisons. The effectiveness of this tactic was psychology instead of literal force being used (Read Oxford History of the Prison, or Discipline and Punishment for more). This fear is being installed into the masses is what will keep them in place.
            Poor areas are stopped and frisked for drugs, because this keeps feeding the private prison system. (vast research has been done on this if you wish to read more. Just search the web and type in prison industrial complex). There is no conspiracy about this fact. The same politicians that accept theses bribes from the prison companies are the same ones that give the police their marching orders. They have all our information to help track how much debt is out there, and anything else they want to track. So, what happens if these prison companies need more "customers"? We have already proven that they pick on people causing trouble and poor areas. Unrest in the masses are far more a result of desperation than any other reason. We have a group of college educated young people in student loan debt, which could lead to them causing trouble for the corporations pillaging the system. These ideas might just spread into the lower classes that are also in debt due to not having enough money. Notice the common denominator of debt, and the fact that these prison companies need new prisoners to keep growing.
            The two biggest groups that might cause the American government trouble as the economy gets worse could be swept away with debt prisons. The prison industrial complex will need more prisoners to keep growing as an industry to keep their shareholders happy! I foresee a future where both the poor and the new college educated poor under crushing student loan debt start to realize they are fighting the same enemy, which leads to them refusing to be divided and conquered anymore. This will cause a massive headache for our government. I believe that this will speed up the government's hunt for a way to get rid of this annoying united front from the people. The only people that will stand to make any profit off them will be the prison industrial complex, which they will figure out sooner or later. If these people are causing the government a headache, then I can easily see the laws getting rewritten to get these people behind bars and out of their hair. All they will have to do is use the information they have to slander your name, which will cause you to not be able to get work. Not able to work will cause debt to be called in, which will get you into debt prison. Thus, making the prison companies money and you out of their hair!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Money is the New Religion

            Money and Stuff is the new religion in the United States. Granted, greed and selfishness are human and international traits. Every economy the world over uses money to stream line trade in their economy. This is a given. However, the United States has begun to worship money on a level that is truly emotional and devotion based. This makes money the new religion in the country. The definition of religion is "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held with ardor and faith". (Taken straight from my dictionary). I am going to argue through both the good and bad points of this definition to show how I got to this conclusion.
            The cause behind money is to make our lives better, because money can buy us stuff we need or want. This is not a bad thing by its nature, because it is in our nature to keep improving and progressing. There are ways to channel that energy that benefits humanity and ways that this is harmful to humanity. Recently, Black Friday happened in the United States. I watched as my news feed filled up with people getting into fights over towels and people getting knifed over parking spots. People, let me break it down for you. You work your rear end off to get that money away from a company in a pay check, then jump at the first chance to throw it away because there is a "sale" sign on something? No wonder the top 1% thinks the populace is stupid!
            The principles of the religion of money is thou shall have no other gods before money. I want all my readers to have blessing flowing on them. I want you to have nice things. However, let's get back to thou shall have no gods before money, shall we? We exalt anyone that is the most loyal servant of money regardless of how they got it. The Kardashians have basically prostituted themselves in pretty much every way. Sometimes literally with sex tapes. We exalt her. The family makes their wealth by the fact that we are constantly paying attention to them. We give these people titles like celebrity and fame for their bad behavior. This makes them wealthy. Their bad behavior is quickly forgiven as people wish for their lives as their wealth and power is flaunted for all to see. Thus, bad behavior is only looked down upon if it does not bring wealth. Thou shall have no principles/gods before money is established.
            The system of beliefs that keeps this going is ruthless individualism and winner take all ideology. The top 1% fills the air with programming for the noise boxes (TV) that is filled with jackasses telling the masses the wealthy deserve the money. Why? Because they were the ones smart enough to trick the masses into buying useless products from slave labor factories. Sure, you get bored with the product with a week, but you need the product in the exact moment you are told you need it! Silly people with morals. Learn to trick people into buying things they do not need if you want to be wealthy like the jackasses you worship! Sarcasm aside, the point I'm trying to drive home is that money above else has created devoted religious leaders of this message of worshipping the rich for no other reason than their wealth. Do not worry mindless sheep like people, I have not forgotten you.
            This principle of ruthless individualism and winner take all ideology is the only thing about trickledown economics has flooded into the masses. A man was stabbed, this past Black Friday, over a parking spot. The man was stabbed at a Walmart. Let us think about this for a second. A human being was so eager to throw his money away on useless products from Walmart (only hours after being thankful for what he has) that he was willing to stab someone. Thus, the 99% prove that the new religion of money (and the stuff it buys us) has crossed into all social classes and levels of society. The devoted disciplines of the religion are carrying the message of their masters far and wide. To all corners of the globe shall this message go forth with globalization! The example of a man getting stabbed is extreme, but there were enough examples of people getting into fights over stuff for me to call it a nationwide cultural thing!
            The system is kept in place by the fact that every American views themselves as the next rich person. I keep hearing how people are going to make it big someday. I want people to be successful, but let us break down what success means in this concept. These Americans are not saying they want to live full lives or better lives with money making their lives easier. They are looking at the bad behavior and wealth of the rich and saying "I want to be like that". Why would the masses want to be like the jackasses they keep seeing on their noise boxes? Society must overhaul its definition of what success is and what a better life means, or we will just keep replacing one trickster for another! Leaders wanting to build a better world will only rise when the people start following them instead of lies they have been fed by the wizard behind the curtain (wizard of oz reference). People should use money to live, but we have become a society that lives to make money.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What is Capitalism?

            What is capitalism? Most people say that it is a system of buying and selling goods. However, people have been buying and selling goods since the beginning of time. So, what is capitalism? It is not always big investments that drives everything! So, what is capitalism? How is capitalism any different than all the other systems throughout history. Think about it! If capitalism is the buying and selling of goods, then how is it special from every other system throughout history?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Religious Narratives and Women's Rights.

            Religion affects culture and is a part of culture. The main way that religion is a part of culture is by providing a social narrative for the masses to follow. Religion has many characters, but we are going to focus on Christianity and the Abraham traditions for now. The very nature of our gender roles comes straight from the Bible. The Abraham traditions believe that the sex organ people are born with defines what role they play in society. The roles are molded by the narratives of the patriarchs and matriarchs found in the text. In this blog we will explore the two main matriarchs and how women have been treated based on these matriarchs. Eve and Mary are the main female characters, but I fully acknowledge that there are others. The reason for picking these two is their roles as mothers to life. Eve is the mother of human life, and Mary is the mother of spiritual life in the form Jesus. The narrative of these characters have created the virgin and whore contrast we see women suffering under today.
            Eve was the naughty wife that disobeyed and caused the downfall of mankind. The question that modern humans need to start asking themselves is whether or not this narrative made its way into western culture. Do we treat rogue women as dangerous and needing of a man's control? There are many ways to frame the question, but let us break down the narrative. The woman acted on her own and was easily tricked into doing something that she should not have done. She led her husband astray and caused the downfall of humanity. She thought on her own and become dangerous to humanity through her disobedience to God. This caused her husband to go against the will of his God, which shows a system of hierarchy right away with dangerous subordinates acting on their own thoughts. The rogue woman acting on her own caused the downfall of humanity, which leads us to the innocent virgin that saved society through obedience.
            Mary is a virgin from the very beginning of her story in the Bible. This shows that she is a good little girl submitting to the hierarchy. She stays in her place by doing her part giving complete possession of her sexual experiences in exchange for marriage. She only has one man that she submits to, and her husband submits to only one God (hierarchy complete). Her obedience of the hierarchy is what earns her the privilege to be the mother of the world's savior. She is a character that transcends the hierarchy by getting to mate with God, which is her husband's master. Mary does not think for herself or act on her own. She obeyed the hierarchy and what is asked of her. The narrative repeatedly talks about how Mary was obedient to God. This shows a narrative where a woman is exalted above all others due to her unquestioning obedience. This leads to the question of whether or not these characters have been a part of how women have been treated in western society.
            Eve thought on her own and went rogue, and caused the downfall of mankind; Mary obeyed the hierarchy and became the exalted mother of salvation. Has this narrative caused the foundation of how women have been treated throughout History (obeying virgin and rogue whore)? I believe that this is wrong and the fact that we strap women into a narrative like this with only two choices is wrong! Granted, there are lots of other women in the Bible that could be picked to represent women, but these two characters tend to pop up over and over as the main female characters. Modern humanity needs to break out of this trap it has set for women for hundreds of years. Whether this is done by picking new female role models to exalt in our religious texts (there are lots that get no attention), leave this narrative behind, or create a new narrative for women to model themselves after is for society to discuss and debate to a conclusion. The point of this blog article is to point out how these religious narratives are far more than just stories, and how the narrative of these two women creates the foundation of how western society has treated its women for hundreds of years. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

College Sports: How Sports Became The Most Important

            College coaches are making more money than ever before in history. Some people think that this is a problem for society, because it shows a shift from academics to athletics. The argument on one side is that big sports programs make lots of money for the University. The other side is arguing that the money should be going to academic programs. I agree with both sides, and I believe that both sides are missing one key reason behind this drive toward massive sport programs. State houses are slashing the budgets of their Universities like crazy in this bad economy. So, let us look at where a lot of these big sports problems are popping up.
            The states with leaders cutting higher education budgets are where these big sports are popping up. Granted, there are case by case situations. However, this is a pattern I have begun to see in higher education. So, let me paint a picture for you. You are a President of a big college and the state budgets are slashing things from their budget like a butcher. You have worked too long and too hard to get into the big chair. The federal government is telling you that there is no more money, but everyone knows that the military industrial complex lobbies to are draining the system dry with wasteful spending at the pentagon. This is forcing state governments to beg for every penny, and they are telling you to find the money somewhere. You tried raising tuition, but the student body are already drowning in student loan debt (1.2 trillion in my generation). A memory of last year student protests flashes in your memory. That's the last thing you want. The numbers come in about how much money sports are bringing in. A championship would double those numbers. What would you do?
           Begging for bigger budgets from the state house might work from time to time, but thousands of screaming fans are guaranteed income for the College year after year. A winning team allows building to be built and grad students to get research done. The dangerous side of this is not in the logic that led to the result. The dangerous side is the fact that I see a pattern of universities picking their source of income (sports programs) over their mission statement of education in the name of education. I do not mind if the football team follows the logic above in helping build buildings, but I fear that the source of income is taking on a life of its own. Our government cares little about education (regardless of what they say). The children of government leaders go to private schools, which makes the slashing of budgets far less personal and much easier for them. The colleges have been told to make up the difference in their budgets, and this is how they are doing it. These college presidents are caught between a government that pays lip service to education (did I mention their kids go to private colleges?) and a student body that cannot take on anymore debt. My generation is already drowning in 1.2 trillion of student loan debt, and this is the solution they have come up with.