What do I see as the greatest danger to any hope for the future?
Is it war? Actually, it isn't. Wars come and go with great regularity in human history.
Is it pollution? Not in the long run. War and stupidity will get to us first.
What will doom us to a future full of suffering and eventual societal ruin is conformity.
You see it all around you these days. Kids wear the same kind of sneakers, the same kind of clothes in order to "stand out" through conforming with the ever coalescing crowd. They imitate the words and the stances full of drama that mere celebrities choreograph for the mindless mimics among their meek fans. They wear T-Shirts that proclaim their worship of brands and bands. They grow up to become "consumers' and "employees" who disappear into the giant maw of normalcy.
Americans are fed opinions throughout their lives by voices they never see. Individuals whose only assets are physical beauty and an ability to memorize words written for them use their meager talents to speak the beliefs and opinions of the wizards behind the curtains. These wizards are, themselves, mere fronts for those who control the viewpoints that are aired. It is like the onion, with each layer only fronting for the one behind.
This entire machine serves only the singular purpose of manipulating the thoughts and finances and political beliefs of those who prefer not to learn or to contemplate or to be responsible for the formation of a personal view of their world. Through pictures and songs and images they are led slowly down the path towards the desired conformity of spirit and character. The people are told what to buy, what to drive, what to ridicule and who to hate.
Do you want the people to believe that the water that they require for their very existence should be a commodity and should cost hundreds of times what the price of opening a tap and drinking from it once was? Make it appear that there is a difference between the various bottled waters and that the truly fit athletes and beautiful people gather together to enjoy and benefit from yours.
Do you want to distract the people from the very real pain and suffering that your economic policies are causing? Raise a fuss about how your pieces of tribal cloth should be treated or loudly pretend to make changes in the policies when all you do is make headlines, not improvements.
Have you started a war with a very clear objective that, though your incompetence and utter stupidity, you completely fail to achieve? Simply create another straw man to demonize but this time make certain that you can easily defeat this new "Hitler".
What should you do when anyone points out your lies and the moral bankruptcy of everything you stand for? You simply declare that anyone who is not with you is the enemy. You state that any debate of the issues plays into the hands of the "enemy". You proclaim your effort is the only patriotic path to the future and that all who stand in your way are anti-American and "unpatriotic".
In as much as the America people are far along the road to complete obedience to the voices and the images that march across their television screens and to their daily exposure to the radio and news overflowing with hate filled propaganda, this demand for national conformity has little resistance in the main. In fact, often the people are ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating the directions that they must travel if they hope to stay uniform with the crowd and, thus, not be seen as "different" or one who is seen as an "other". To get the masses marching in the right direction is seldom difficult since the masses crave acceptance and to blend in with no desire to stand up for what is right if it isn't also popular.
It became just another chant since last September that "America will never be the same again". I totally disagree. Americans are just as willfully stupid and uninformed and just as resistant to absorbing any information that makes them uncomfortable or would, by the very nature of the information, force them to alter their deeply held biases and bigotries. The people still ask for little more from their "leaders" than pointless mantras and painless "sacrifices".
Nothing has changed. The American people still bleat and snort as they mindlessly tail along behind whatever celebrity or insipid moron that catches their fancy through lights and smoke and mirrors but never through addressing their concerns or opening their minds. In fact, the most deeply held tenet of this nation is that anyone who asks the people to think, to understand, and to step away from the herd will be attacked and belittled or, more often, completely ignored by the very media that shapes the opinion and warps the morals of the majority. Conformity will be the ruin of this nation but it will have one saving grace; everyone will be equally to blame for the eventual devastation that will naturally ensue.
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