This incisive and carefully researched article was first published by Global Research on October 24, 2020
It’s hard to talk about the myriad issues piled in our society in a cohesive way, and when we try, we often get the same response: “What is your solution?” People get frustrated and demand an instant solution to the structural problem they are very much a part of. The very insistence on a single, cure-for-all-answer betrays their unwillingness to see the structural and systematic nature of the problem. Meanwhile they allow themselves “solutions” which are concocted by those who have created the problems.
Those “solutions” are bound to be strictly incremental and reformist, otherwise the self-serving nature of the overall trajectory becomes blatantly obvious. Confrontation with the flaws of the “solutions” triggers an emotional response: A clear indication that the criticism points to the obvious flaws of the system itself, which in turn resonates as a criticism against the self. The emotional burst and the denial to recognize the system for what it is are indications of pathological adhesion to abusive power. This is the condition that forces many American people to prop up the capitalist hierarchy and continue to prove their allegiance to it.
The real solution must involve a structural change. The feudal hierarchy which structurally imposes extortion schemes of money and violence on people by domesticating their humanity, to be harvested over and over within the capitalist framework, is inhumane and destructive to our species. Such an idea must not be brushed aside as untenable idealism if we are to live harmoniously with one another and with our environment.
In the vastness of space and unimaginable span of geological time, our presence is small: smaller than a spec of dust on a whole planet. As conscious beings, we have created narratives and theories to explain what it means to be in this mysterious sea of matter and time. Such ideas are central to our social organization as well as how we relate ourselves to it. They very much affect how we perceive things as individuals and as collectives. Those ideas can take the shape of religion, history, ideology, tradition, myth and so on, constituting parts of the individual psyche as well as the collective psyche.
Those ideas are supposed to be promoted and perpetuated by the community members because they serve them by validating the given social order which serves their best interests. They are supposed to give us ways to reconcile with the unknown in collective manners, by which we find ways to accept the mystery of life with reverence and awe.
But do they?
As we are born into the social order, where those ideas are reinforced and physically manifest as social framework, we internalize those ideas, we become a part of the social mechanism and the ideas become “reality”.
But strictly speaking this “reality” is somewhat different from what is inherently real in a material sense. What we perceive as “reality” is our interpretation of matter which has been shaped by the imperatives of the social order.
For example, in a capitalist society, a fact can deviate from material reality because an institution which specializes in the fact is influenced by the interests of the ruling class. For example, industrial waste material can be dumped as a harmless substance. The effect of the lie increases progressively against the oppressed people since the profits are made with the expense of those who are exploited and subjugated by the lie. People suffer from the erroneous information but to different degrees. Those who suffer the most are subjected to the most strict measures, while those who exploit and subjugate can change the measures according to their needs while being well equipped to face material hardships.
Social institutions under capitalism always have the risk of failing since experts’ opinions are necessary to understand a complicated fact. People with bigger platforms can simply dominate the fact because people don’t have the time and resources to examine the fact. A louder opinion can simply get its way. The economic hierarchy ensures that those who have dire interests in getting the fact right can not get it right.