46-EMPOWERMENT

Hopefully, my blog has so far succeeded in convincing some readers that we live in the best of all possible worlds, that there will never be another world war, and that the final obstacle to globalization, the oil patch unrest, will soon become a figment of our collective memory. We have Mayer Amschel, the greatest man who ever lived, and that I call Big Brother, to thank for that. Yes, we are in safe hands and free to enjoy a great quality of life like at no other time in human history. This is true in spite of the fact that the Gorgon Sisters brandish the crop more than ever, in wanting to make us believe just the opposite in order to keep us in line. But if we believe that our world is financially controlled by Mayer’s dynasty in the City, we can be sure that it is the prime defender of its great creation, and consequently, leading stressful lives doesn’t make sense.

I’d like to suggest that if we lead stressful lives it’s because we’re overwhelmed by societal empowerment. Big Brother, a great family man, who was born in a ghetto in Frankfurt, in 1744, where he lived all his life in complete anonymity, most certainly didn’t foresee this outcome. One thing is certain, if we believed in the existence and achievements of that great man, we would know that his descendants in the City are hell bent on protecting the great world he created, and that knowledge would dissipate our stress.

Regardless, whether we believe in Big Brother or not, we can’t deny that in the last 100 years, humans have been seriously empowered as a specie. Democracy, or the world of credit as I call it, is the greatest gift mankind ever received, and it has proven to be the ultimate political system, particularly since the turn of the 20th century when it really got going. In making credit available to the lowest rungs of society, Mayer and his banking dynasty in the City have given mankind the means to know freedom, security, prosperity and leisure, beyond belief.

But democracy has turned out to be a double-edged sword. In the last hundred years, the fantastic societal empowerment that it provided mankind has almost completely supplanted personal empowerment. We have stopped appreciating our fundamental values by disconnecting from the natural world. We have become intoxicated with societal empowerment to the point where we ignore our true nature. We want a bigger salary, a bigger house, bigger car, and more of everything instead of wanting what makes us happy. Our disposition to want to show we’re important, young, rich, and beautiful has taken over our lives.

The world of credit as we know it today was created in 1810, in the City, but as far as we mere mortals are concerned, it only got going at the start of the 20th century. At that time, individual empowerment was still at a high. ‘Little house on the prairie’, ‘The Walton’s’, and other television series portrayed that successful family way of life. Bringing in a crop, raising healthy farm animals, feeding the family, and building a homestead for sheltering a family and welcoming friends and neighbours were fulfilling activities. Our ancestors worried at times, but it never constituted stress, that is, the permanent nebulous state of anxiety many of us experience today.

Societal empowerment started in 325 CE when the newly entrenched and official Roman state religion, the Christian religion, gained political control of the Western Roman Empire and invaded it like a hermit crab. Gradually, Rome’s anointed absolute kings of divine right ruled over Europe, forcing the Nicene Creed down everybody’s throat and committing mindboggling atrocities in the process. In spite of all that, common man was valorized and empowered for the first time. Christians were told they were created in the image of God and went to heaven if they obeyed the 10 Commandments. If they didn’t, they ended up in burning hell for eternity. It was up to them. Unfortunately, or more exactly, fortunately, because the Holy See and its Kings of Divine Right were so exclusive and cruel, they made two deadly enemies, the Jews and the Huguenots (French Protestants).

These two persecuted groups managed to join forces in Amsterdam in 1602 before moving to the City, in London, in 1688, where they established the world’s first democracy. At first, only merchants and privileged citizens voted and benefitted from the system, but in time, universal suffrage allowed everybody to participate. Today, in all the democracies of the world, the citizens elect representatives to vote in the laws, and if they obey those laws, they get a job and receive a salary, if not, they face unemployment or jail. Most people earn a salary, and that is what societal empowerment is all about. Everybody is empowered more or less in that way, from the President, the Queen and the Pope on down

Christianity and Democracy have always been romanticized, and most of us are unaware of the real forces that created them in 325 CE and 1689 CE respectively. That’s perhaps because many of us entertain a vague feeling of having been lied to, and we don’t trust history books. Or maybe it’s because we are constantly fed convoluted information that fails to address the money trail of history, and we have more important things to do anyway, like thumbing our smartphones.

No matter, if we accept the fact that intelligence is a consequence of our breaking the time barrier, and that the more we are able to connect past events with future ones, the more intelligent we are, we must conclude that we are going backwards. Letting our minds be overtaken by historical amnesia and forever demanding to be fed more misinformation junk by the Gorgon Sisters via our smartphones, instead of trying to understand how Christianity and Democracy were created, explains the stress we are presently experiencing.

Personal empowerment has to do with basic human values, whereas societal empowerment has to do with doing as the group does. While basic human values are those of all living things and are fulfilling, societal values are moral in nature and are simply meant to make the group function. The solution is to learn to live with the smartphone while giving top priority to our basic human values. However, since we’re not genetically programmed for a world of comfort and leisure, our archaic survival instincts of ‘fight or flight’ and ‘feed or breed’ still have a hold on us, and they can only be processed efficiently by our brain if we are aware of them and will them into submission.

When we were little burrowing animals, around 65 million years ago, we were constantly wary of the dangers in and around our burrow, and in the sky above it. We grabbed any food at hand, and reproduced using the wham-bam thank you ma’am method. We were constantly on the alert and permanently stressed. Today, we feel threatened by the real or perceived threats of the whole world, we grab junk food and fast food on the go, and we use the wham-bam thank you ma’am approach to sex more than ever. Are we going backwards?

All living beings on earth are beautiful and fulfilled when they are in a nurturing or creative mode, so that’s what we should strive for if we want to free ourselves of stress. Creating a lasting family group, and finding what we love to do and doing it for a living, should definitely be our main aspirations. In the last 100 years, Big Brother has created an environment that allows us to easily do just that, yet our primal instincts make us do the exact opposite, the too many divorces that produce hordes of emotionally crippled children and the ongoing battle for high-paying stressful jobs being sufficient proof.

All living beings on earth are beautiful and fulfilled when they are in a nurturing or creative mode, so that’s what we should strive for if we want to free ourselves of stress. Creating a lasting family group and finding what we love to do and doing it for a living, should definitely be our main aspirations. In the last 100 years, Big Brother has created an environment that allows us to easily do just that, yet our primal instincts make us do the exact opposite, the too many divorces that produce hordes of emotionally crippled children and the ongoing battle for high-paying stressful jobs being sufficient proof.

The 20th century has afforded us great freedoms and comforts, but that’s turned out not to be such a good thing because we are not genetically programmed for a world of leisure. Women are the most disadvantaged in the current context, and though they did carry out a sexual revolution in the latter part of the 20th century, it was far from being a real victory. No matter, male or female, if we learn to differentiate between self-empowerment exemplified by a Charles Ingalls and societal empowerment typified by a Donald Trump, and if we make the right life choice, all is not lost.

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