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Credit: Vicky Behringer

“One of the most dangerous features of the techno-industrial system is precisely its power to make people comfortable under circumstances in which they should NOT be comfortable, e.g., circumstances that are offensive to human dignity, or destructive of the life that evolved on Earth over hundreds of millions of years, or that may lead to disaster at some future time.”

Ted J. Kaczynski a.k.a “The Unabomber”

Decades after his arrest, Ted Kaczynski remains a fascinating figure. Why did this brilliant mathematician turn into a homicidal recluse? …

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“What [50 Cent] had, and what most really powerful people have in life is a sense that they are unique, that there is something very different about them. And to the extent that you bring out your uniqueness in life, that you become more of an individual, that you bring more of your individuality into play, the more [powerful and influential you will become.]”

Robert Greene

We should never overlook the might and resiliency of the human spirit. Even after years more challenging than 2020, we humans have emerged as stronger, more capable versions of ourselves. We are the ones who decide our fate. …

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“Some of the biggest problems facing the world―war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation―are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.”

Donella H. Meadows

The most pressing issues afflicting humanity today are multivariate. They require a great deal of effort to grasp thoroughly. Analyzing them can be disturbing and reveal errors in our worldview, so downplaying their severity can, at times, be comforting.

Environmental depredations, the potential dangers of A.I, warfare over resources and ideologies…..who cares? …

A Reaction as Old as Humanity

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The Western world is secular. No longer does the church reign supreme over the state. People can worship as they please and aren’t besieged with religious dogma 24/7.

However, to think there’s zero benefit to having a religion such as Buddhism or Christianity serve as a societal bedrock is naive. Controversial sections aside, there are verses in the Bible nations would benefit from idealizing. Passages that preach gratitude, altruism, and diligence. Passages that remind us, no matter our race or gender, we all deal with various sorts of injustices and misfortunes.

Maintaining a daily awareness of these truths is easy when times are prosperous. But in present-day America, where real wages for the bottom 60% of Americans have been slightly down since 1980, record numbers of prime working-age males have ceased looking for work, and 70,000+ Americans fatally overdosed last year, hopelessness and enmity are widespread. And considering religious practice has been steadily declining for decades, the massive void in parts of the populace is glaring. …

By avoiding reductive media narratives and acknowledging nuance, we can thrive in the face of complexity.

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“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who constitute this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”

Edward Bernays

I find most of American political content to be nauseating. Politicians are seen as either saviors or devil incarnates. Conservatives naively believe that all members of the ownership class amassed their wealth and influence virtuously. …

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David Foster Wallace was one of the most critically acclaimed writers of his generation. His eye for detail and command of the English language were unparalleled. Some of his passages are so finely crafted that you want to put down the book and mutter, “I’ll never write anything this good in my life.”

That he never forced his worldview onto the reader was admirable. He simply conveyed his findings about the bizarre, profound human experience. He looked at the world with an objective lens and examined the pathologies, triumphs, recurring themes, and tragedies of those around him.

He committed suicide in 2008. Because of his brilliance, it’s hard for me to accept that he killed himself simply because “he was depressed.” This isn’t to dismiss those with depression and mental illness. But from what has come out about DFW since his death, it’s not all that clear he was a victim. What if he simply crumbled under the weight of life, weight that we all have to deal with and figure out a way to handle? Is it out of line to think DFW threw in the towel too early? …

All empires fall. The American one is already well into its terminal phase.

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America has its flaws. Countless books examine them, but they often conclude their grim analyses with a chapter on “how to make things better.” Rarely is the feasibility of these proposed solutions considered.

What if the flaws in our principal institutions, from Capitol Hill to the National Security apparatus to the Federal Reserve, are unfixable? What if they exacerbate one another, resulting in an unsolvable nightmare? Is the reality that America has already begun its irreversible decline, after only 250 years, staring us in the face?

All empires fall, after all. …


Reginald Dieudonne

Craftsman. Truthseeker.

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