Is This Progress?

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
C. S. Lewis

Bugzy emailed me with the following suggestion for a topic on "progress." He wrote:

"Are we progressing..... towards what?

What about the freedoms before technology? When used to talk to folk face to face. Or even telephone them.

Life is lived through a hand held screen for many. Counting likes, could be a random like generator. Would that work equally well?

Social skills reduced to some new lol text message.

Folks dragging themselves to work in some cubicle to generate revenue for some unknowable entity with person status, selling something that nobody would even think of buying 100 years ago. To take the pay check to pay the bank the interest on the money created via your own signature to pay for your house which no one lives in all day as everyone is in their cubicle, to come home to their cubicle condo (holding cell) and plug in - sleep and rinse and repeat. And all the time God looks on and shakes his head at the sheer stupidity of it all.

Maybe we are just meant to have fun and experience awe of everything?

Is progress always good?"

This is a great question. I think it would be easy to just respond and say "Oooh, things are so awful now!" but I'm going to attempt to look at both sides of things. Maybe there's a silver lining somewhere.

I am a Generation Xer, probably the last generation to grow up without a constant barrage of electronic media in our faces. I remember the massive cultural shift that took place between the 80s and 90s. The 90s was the decade that things really started going downhill culturally. That was the decade of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich. The explosion of cable and the Internet gave us more choices - but instead of choosing quality programming, Americans turned to trash.

Originally, the "A&E" network was about "Arts & Entertainment.* The History Channel actually had shows about history, instead of ancient aliens. (Don't get me wrong, I might find ancient aliens interesting, but not on the History Channel!) Heck, HBO used to be the more "family" oriented movie channel - it was Showtime that focused on the R-rated stuff. Now HBO produces television shows that might as well give up any pretense of plot and go full on porn.

Little did I know, when I tuned into the first reality show, "The Real World" on MTV, to watch my peers, that we would be bringing in a massive tidal wave of television stupidity that has now culminated in the once great Discovery Channel pandering with their Blue Lagoon island series, "Naked and Alone" - except, the "naked" consists of the flabby butts of dehydrated city dwellers. Nothing too sexy about that! Too bad they don't have young Brooke Shields to send there nude - instead they have pale, tattooed hipsters.

I seriously do miss the sense of innocence that permeated the 80s. Our culture has gotten downright mean and decadent since then. Heck, I checked out an episode of an 80s nostalgia show called "The Goldbergs" (yes, I'll admit I was sucked in by their Star Wars promo), and it totally got the 80s wrong. The kids in the show were talking in these ridiculous snarky voices with the perpetual snappy comebacks. The adults were generally mean and selfish. The teenage daughter was embarrassed to be seen in line waiting for Return of the Jedi.

I'm sorry, but this is not how the 80s was at all. Heck, we kids got excited over that schlocky show The Greatest American Hero! Every new blockbuster movie that came out in the 80s, from Indiana Jones, to Star Wars, to Back to the Future, was not met with tired cynicism or snark, but excitement. (OK, so maybe some of the Star Trek movies were seen as being too geeky for the average teen. But that was partly due to Star Trek III just being plain bad.)

I feel bad for today's teenagers, who are raised in such a culture of sewage masquerading as sophistication, that they cannot experience any wonder or excitement anymore. And then we can't figure out why they are turning to drugs in droves.

Certainly, I think a good portion of our culture has degraded to the point of stupidity, and I hope we start seeing some trends to reverse the idiocy. It is possible.

One of the perpetual memes that people don't actually stop to think through or question is this idea that culture inevitably marches "forward" towards some (false) utopian ideal, or that once a culture starts going in one direction, it will inevitably continue on that course.

Sorry, folks, but that is not backed up by history whatsoever. Wasn't the Roman Empire permissive to the point of an emperor marrying his horse? Weren't orgies the order of the day? What happened? The Roman Empire collapsed under the weight of its own decadence, and Western culture became more serious and conservative as a result.

Communist China has done its damnedest to silence and destroy Christianity, and what is the result? The fastest growing population of Christians in the world is in China.

Speaking of Christianity, I encourage you to read some of the great C.S. Lewis's writings on the subject of "progress." (Check out the following articles: "A Cancer in the Universe," "C.S. Lewis on Threats to Freedom in Modern Society," and "CS Lewis and Progress.") This is not meant to proselytize. Yet, even back when Lewis was alive (during his peak years in the 1940s), the inevitable march of "progress" was a big rallying cry. Lewis took great exception to the idea that just because something was "modern" that meant it was better. He felt that a lot of wisdom from the past was being overwritten simply because it was "old" and not because any rational thought went into it.

He also warned of the dangers of science being put on too much of a pedestal:

"Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim of knowledge. . . . This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists. . . . Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about science. But government involves questions about the good of man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man's opinion no added value. . . . On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in'. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science."

Lewis was very prescient, I believe, as we see "science" and "progress" being used to justify all sorts of tyrannies today, from NSA spying to drones flying over our cities. Without a solid base of morality behind government, Lewis might argue, such scientific "progress" will lead to our downfall.

Lest we only look at the negatives of all our new technology, I do believe the Internet has had tremendous positive effects. The one huge thing the Internet has done - in the midst of all this media consolidation - is give average people more of a voice. It is the Gutenberg Press of the 21st Century.

The little guy and gal can now start a blog and generate an audience that rivals that of mainstream news audiences. This breaks the monopoly on truth of the old school media. And what a blessing this is!

If it were not for the Internet, I might still be a sheeple and voting straight ticket without really researching candidates. I might not be aware of what's really going on. OK, maybe I might be a little more cozy in my ignorance, but I was never the type of personality that preferred comfort to truth.

While we do need to be vigilant against attempts at censoring the Internet, there are many signs that the elite is starting to run scared. (And of course, this is why they are trying to damper Internet freedom.)

For a good example of this, read Tina Brown's pathetic, whiny article blaming Matt Drudge and Monica Lewinsky for ruining the media. She also speciously tries to blame Drudge for the loss of privacy - what a joke coming from a woman who made her name being a gossip tabloid queen.

Politico (which I am not a fan of) actually did an excellent piece on the rise and fall of Tina Brown. There were a couple of things I got from that piece - 1) Tina Brown truly is a talent-less hack who just happened to be at the right place at the right time when she was younger and b) big money still has the ability to fund failing mainstream news sources way past their expiration date.

The media, which clearly has taken a major role in the degradation of our culture, may possibly be the vehicle through which we might be able to salvage things. But that takes citizen media supported by the grassroots.

Otherwise, we are most certainly headed down the path of imperial Rome - our decadence will lead to a massive collapse and the withdrawal of the American and Western hegemonies - and a new Dark Ages will be born.

But at least, if that happens, people will be too busy trying to feed and clothe themselves to be wrapped up in stupidity. I guess that will be one blessing of a potential collapse - no more "reality" shows. We'll be too busy living it. 

Stephanie blogs sporadically at a number of websites, including Freeople and Free Thinking Christianity.

139 Comments

Mr. Fix's picture

Progress report:

In an age where things that used to last, are now disposable, (far more things than most people are aware of),

people are being drained of their wealth simply because no one knows how to fix anything anymore.

Also because most things have a self-destruct built into them, (called planned obsolescence), so that we just have to buy new stuff all the time.

Of course, this is not progress, but I seem to be uniquely situated in a position, with a skill set from an  era gone by.    There simply isn't progress anymore, because everything now is  engineered towards a societal collapse.

Progress is going to have to entail turning back the clock, actually talking to people again, actually living within one's means, actually knowing how things work, and actually being able to repair them when they don't.

Progress for me is a 60s era car that has no computer that can fail inspection. A wood-burning stove instead of a high-efficiency oil burner. Staying up late with my daughter to make sure she comprehends the lessons that need to be learned, the things that are not taught in school.

If I don't pass this knowledge on, she doesn't have a chance, because what they teach at school is designed to be absolutely useless.

Progress for me is looking up old friends, and taking the time to talk to them.

Stephanie, I enjoyed your article, it made me think of how society is doing the exact opposite of progress.

The sooner people realize that they can and must take control of their own lives,

society as a whole will progress. What we really need to do in so many ways is turn back the clock.

(The clock being turned back is inevitable, doing it by choice, will leave you well prepared for what is unfolding.) 

In the meantime, it's going to get much worse, and most of society will never know what hit them when what passes these days for progress turns out to be a highway to hell.

My advice for anyone interested in progress, is to seek out some one who is self sufficient,

and learn how to do what they do, it might be the only  lesson worth learning.

These are the things that are essential in  being properly prepared. It is also a decent way to live.

Are you prepared? 

Have a nice weekend everyone, and a very happy Mother's Day, make the best of it.smiley

PS,

There is no such thing as bad Star Trek! devil

silver66's picture

second!!!!

In on a Friday night and nothing to do but call second.

Oh Well :-)

Silver66

erewenguy's picture

Ted Butler GAO article

Not sure if this Butler info has been posted yet - Read the whole thing

http://www.silverseek.com/commentary/real-surprise-13168

A Real Surprise

Theodore Butler

|May 8, 2014 - 10:06am

"First, here’s some background. Two years ago this month, a subscriber (Dr. Jeff Lewis – www.silver-coin-investor.com) had a chance social encounter with an employee of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and as a result suggested that I contact the agency about the silver manipulation and the CFTC’s role in it. Having taken an oath to myself never to pass up any opportunity to help expose and terminate the silver manipulation, I promptly wrote to the GAO on its Fraud Net complaint hotline and just as promptly forgot about it. I admit to having grown weary of waiting for a regulatory remedy in silver.

Seven months later, in December 2012, I received a phone call from the GAO and that led to me providing documentation about the silver manipulation and the CFTC that led to a number of conference calls with the GAO....

....

What’s next? I can’t know for sure, except that the GAO prides itself on thorough, fair and impartial investigations. That’s a dream come true for me as it is all that I have ever asked the CFTC to do. Based upon the GAO’s letters to elected officials, I don’t find it unreasonable that this special agency just might get to the bottom of this sordid affair. A complete and impartial review by the GAO of how the CFTC has conducted itself in matters related to silver should be welcomed by silver investors everywhere.

After more than 25 years, I know better than to place all hope for ending the silver manipulation on any one government agency. Besides, I know the coming silver shortage will accomplish that in time anyway. Still, the apparent interest on the part of the GAO should not be minimized in its potential importance. It’s not every day such a pleasant surprise comes along. In a special note to subscribers, I feel an obligation to make this article public, as so many non-subscribers did write to their elected representatives as a result of the public article last year and I don’t know of any other practical means of letting them know their efforts may have had an impact."

sierra skier's picture

Progress can be a Good Thing

When used in the right context. Excellent post Stephanie.

Just last night my son was bemoaning that he has little companionship with his peers. He is 26, working in one of the menial jobs available in todays world in his marketing field. He learned in college and shortly after that drinking and partying left him depressed for a day or two after. He just doesn't wish to drink anymore and that leaves him on the outside with many of his peers. That is what the younger folks do while they are staring at the screens on their phones and texting back and forth. Most don't understand his not desiring to alter his consciousness and feel poorly tomorrow.

Companionship and first hand social interaction is becoming rare these days because of the instant gratification available through progress. He loves to fish, hike, shoot, ski and hunt but finds few who will spend the real time to join into these activities,,, they are too busy staring at the screen.

By taking first hand interaction out of the picture they have broken the fabric of society and no good will come of it.

Cleburne61's picture

One of the most brilliant quotes...

From one of the most brilliant men of the 20th century! 

Thanks Stephanie!

Dr Jerome's picture

good material for our weekend discussion

Thanks Stephanie.

I better get out to the garden and make some progress or I may be hungry later this year.

SteveW's picture

Planned obsolescence circumvents everlasting materials

Mr Fix: Your comment reminded me of "The Man in the White Suit" a wonderful 1951 satire with Alec Guiness before he became an international star.

cliff 567's picture

Great read

Excellent Stephani

​And yours to Mr. Fix

Cleburne61's picture

Huge data point no one's mentioning

But, I believe the Sprott PSLV premium to NAV is as important for silver, as GOFO rates are to its yellow cousin.

Today, the premium above spot is 3.31%!  That's the highest premium that Sprott's product has had in many months.  Silver is truly tight here.

How long before Eric does another offering?  Can and will he do it when the premium hits say, 5 to 6%?

It was Eric who lit the fuse for silver in 2010.  It seems the stars may be aligning here for a similar broadside to be fired into the bankster NWO.

oneagleswings's picture

to seirra skier

Your son should find some folks with like interests.  My dad fed seven kids as a machinist and he worked side jobs doing a bit of everything keeping a roof over our head.  My buddies didn't like to hunt when I was in high school and dad was too busy so I hunted with a couple of my buddies dads.  One of them also turned me on to fly fishing and more specifically small stream trout fishing as well.  I was like an adopted son for thier hobbies.  A couple men from my church also took me pheasant hunting.  I had an eighth grade teacher who I took to a couple prime pheasant spots my dad had lined up for us.  I would just encourage him to pursue his passions.  My dad will be 89 Lord willing in November.  His last deer hunt was three years ago.  He can no longer handle the hiking and the cold.  I wrote a two page essay titled "Why I Hunt"  and submitted it to three major hunting magazines as a tribute to dad.  If I don't get published I will give him a copy for Fathers Day.  We all have to take a kid hunting or shooting or fishing.  Spread our passion for the outdoors to the kids.  I read somewhere that the age of the average American hunter is 45 years old.  That is so sad.  Well good luck to your son.  Happy Mothers Day to all moms here if there are any.

NW VIEW's picture

THIS IS NOT NEW TERRITORY!

The garden of Eden had it's problems and has a  well known outcome.  The Roman Empire did not last forever!  Israel was taken into captivity for 70 years with much suffering.  Germany and Japan had their times to manifest much heartache for millions.  America has been the policeman for many decades, a so-called "light to the rest of the world" but has also delivered the occult, witchcraft, and porn throughout the nations.

The past is over and whenever the citizens degenerated to the lowest of levels, they just moved onward or rebuilt a new nation, a new culture, a new city.   Lot and his daughters walked out of Sodom/Gomorrah, never looked back, and moved into a new era.  That is where we are headed and soon.

There is not a place of safety upon the planet as my grandparents found.  We have gone to far into the pit and judgment has set in.  It is amazing that many are quite happy with the results and one may wonder what their lives are built upon. 

Progress?  This  current progress is a great loss to mankind and the next era will develop into great separations of peoples and beliefs.  

It may be a good time to just move onward, do that bug out thing.  Unplug from the net and fire up the wood stove, cook a pot of beans.  We are thinking about traveling throughout Australia for a year.  Live in Sidney or Townsville, rent a house, find a good area to enjoy a boomers life.  (If you live there, P.M. me as to a good area).

This nation is beyond repair and now a price will be paid.  jmo

Dyna mo hum's picture

yes we cannot....

10273502_441009799368985_263097198070508

admin's picture

Hat tip to Blythesshrink who

Hat tip to Blythesshrink who posted this on the other thread. John McCain on the Dan Patrick Show says Americans should "accept" that their private communications are being monitored.

http://www.infowars.com/mccain-americans-should-accept-that-their-private-conversations-are-being-monitored/

sierra skier's picture

oneagleswings

I started him fishing at 3 or 4 and shooting at 5-7 years old. We fly fish together on a regular basis. I got him set-up a dozen years ago with fly equipment and he didn't take until two years ago when he hit it hard. He does have a couple of buddies he fishes and shoots with. We float tube and stream fish. He has goals of large trout from each species including back country golden trout on his fly gear. Last week he got his biggest fly fishing rainbow @ 23+ inches. He took plenty of ducks and several geese last winter and a 3x3 buck. We butchered it at home together after he brought it in. I did a back country trip last fall with him on the deer opener. I packed in on horse and he wanted to hike but I carried his rifle and some of the extra weight on the mule, we were back there for 5 nights 6 days. Of course it snowed as well, and I did over 25 miles hunting with him,,, he did an extra 5-10 while back there. We did get skunked but he scored a couple of weeks later.

He kept asking about what else he could do and I told him to add new skills to his quiver. He just started training with our local search and rescue a couple of weeks ago. I think his biggest issue is with women, he just doesn't have the nack to hooking up with girls besides just friendship.

I constant encourage him to follow his passions and I share as much time with him as I can. My hunting background is not that huge, but my fishing passion is solid. We take turns out fishing each other. He will probably pick up a grouse tag (lottery) this summer if he is lucky and he has dove and quail hunted a bit. This spring and late winter he was out find shed antlers and observing deer behavior.

We watch the bald eagles take fish and get firewood together. He is well grounded overall, he is just young and uncertain in todays liberal world. He just needs to find a girl with some of his interests to really get him confused. Thanks for the thoughts.

waxybilldupp's picture

oneagle ...

Your post struck a chord with me.  My dad started me duck hunting when I was about 10.  Just sat in the boat and watched for a couple of years, but didn't care.  I got to hang with my dad and his hunting buddy, listening to their BS and watching them shoot ducks.  Got to use my grandfather's 20 gauge when I was 12.  I still remember (56 years later) the first teal I shot.  I learned everything I ever needed to know about hunting duck from my father.  I finally quit ducks about 20 years ago because it was too easy.  Not too easy in terms of preparation.  Setting a string of about 80 decoys alone is WORK.  Too easy because I had great places to hunt and because of the lessons learned, my daily hunts were over very quickly when another limit was in the bag.

My dad never got to see those days.  He died when I was 20.  I turned to deer hunting.  He would have loved it and would have been a master in no time.  The last few years, now in my 60's, I find it is a hell of a lot more work to drag a deer out of the woods than it used to be, but it is still do'able.  The beauty of deer hunting is that deer are way smarter than ducks.  After 40+ years, I still see something new every year.  Those forest rats don't miss much.

Here's the best part.  I have found a nearby deer hunting spot farmed by a couple with 2 sons who love to hunt.  Dad is so busy working, he hasn't been deer hunting in over 10 years.  The boys are now 13 and 15.  I started teaching them 2 years ago.  15 YO got his first deer last fall.  He listened to what I taught him, chose the correct stand for the wind direction and tipped over a nice 6-pointer.  I had to run out to the farm after a frantic and very excited call, and show him how to field dress it.  Another part of his education.

They still have trouble getting out of bed in a "timely manner" in the morning, so  I have mornings to myself.  Evenings, I sit in a double stand with one or the other.  Older lad will probably be in his own deer stand this coming fall.  Younger lad needs more work.   He will be my hunting partner for at least 2 more years.  It has been an extremely rewarding experience.  They are both sponges when it comes to learning about deer hunting.

Just bought a new boat a month ago.  The lads will be joining me on local lakes this summer.  Dad still very busy, but mom tries to get them out fishing when she can.  She does what she can but doesn't know squat about catching fish.  She's a real sweetheart, but I think I can do better.  I've been putting fish in the boat since I quit wearing diapers.  If I can stay vertical and taking nourishment long enough,  I'll have them flyfishing by next summer.  Great kids; great parents.  Glad I can help.

wax off

chrtoo's picture

Garden

Thanks to Stephanie and Mr Fix and others. We will all have lots to think about, as we tend the garden.

Give Mom (or her memory) a kiss and enjoy Spring, now that it actually arrived.

CHR.

Bugzy's picture

Everything and nothing

I remember as a young teenager: We would often put our jackets down on the local field to make goal posts, we would play football (soccer) from morning until it was too dark to see the ball; even then we would often keep going. Every Sunday there was the top 40 (45 rpm singles sales for the week), they would play them down from 40 to #1 on BBC radio 2. One would sit diligently with finger poised over the "pause" button in an attempt to edit out the DJ. Great pains were taken to get the very best FM reception. 

Saturday night was movie night on the TV, the whole family would crowed into the living room to see and hear the big lion at the beginning as excitement mounted for new unexplored places and peoples and dramas.

It was a 40 minute walk to the local library and one would never think of spending ones meager pocket money on the bus. The library was full of book treasures and knowledge that beckoned seductively.

Thing were not immediate in those days. We had to wait and look forward to these pleasures; and by doing, they were a delight.

Fast forward to today: I see very few kids playing football; and adult seems always present, teams have strips (uniforms) and it is all so... non spontaneous?

I can dial up any movie I want, watch it anytime I want; on my 52" LCD.

I can access any music from anywhere in the world; storing 10,000 or so tracks in perfect non hissy quality, on a tiny device.

All the books are now available anytime and the are unlimited via the WWW.

Yet my stash of CD's remain untouched for years, the VHS tapes are long gone, there is no more salivating over a new encyclopedia.

We no longer have cable - yes, Discovery channel used to blow my mind, not anymore. Knowledge Network is more about Dwarf tossing than anything of note; History channel and on.... rubbish!

Because of all this glut and immediacy, many things have simply lost their appeal. That ice cold beer after a 20 mile hike in the lakes on a hot summer day was something else - the first pint would just take the fur off the tongue, and then the second...

It is only through lack that we really appreciate anything. And now, we seem to have everything at our fingertips and like any relationship, we take it all for granted. 

Then I think of Maslow and his triangle; hierarchy of needs. One cannot move up to the next level if there is lack and fear at the current level. Food, shelter etc.... Well, I wonder, with this realization of  external wants and needs satisfied. Which in my opinion, "frees" one by the realization that there is nothing really lacking in the external world; which having; actually "fixes" anything - we only thought, and were taught it would. Are we not, upon this realization, closer to self actualization?

Perhaps, the consumer age is burnt out, not just financially, but spiritually also. It failed to deliver... but only after holding it in the hand does one see the dust slip through the fingers!

So maybe we are progressing! We just needed to hold the coveted jewels to realize that we have been duped. A dawning of a more spiritual awakening, of deeper connections, of community and openness.

And the ability to put my thoughts down like this, to have folk around the world read them, to be able to have folk comment straight back, to help us all awaken to new ideas.... Now that is progress!!

Thanks all.

Bugzy. 

Maryann's picture

Great thread...

Another terrific post, Stephanie.  Love C.S. Lewis.  Beyond The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, my kiddo loved the BBC movies when he was little.  The Silver Chair was his favorite.  And I remember reading him The Dawn Treader while we were driving through Colorado on vacation. 

Now he is about to begin high school summer reading.  Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)  is on his list.  Today I started rereading that, as I read it years ago when I was in high school.  Wow, talk about prophetic!  Progress, not so much.

Love the hunting and fishing stories, guys!  Those boys are blessed to have ya'll. smiley  Thanks for the mom's day wishes, oneagleswing!

metalsbyamile's picture

Coming to a American bank account near you.

Here is progress, government progress. Bastards!

Taxman has power to raid your bank accounts

Commons Treasury committee raises concerns about powers of HMRC to remove cash from bank accounts without a court order

By James Kirkup, Political Editor

12:01AM BST 09 May 2014

Innocent people face having money taken straight out of their bank accounts under draconian powers to be used by the taxman, MPs warn on Friday.

A Treasury plan to allow HM Revenue and Customs to remove cash from bank accounts without a court order is “very concerning” because of its history of mistakes, a Commons committee said.

In a consultation document this week, HMRC said the "direct recovery" powers could be used to take money from joint accounts.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/10818323/Taxman-has-power-to-raid-your-bank-accounts.html

metalsbyamile's picture

David Cameron: Taxes will rise unless we can raid t

Here is the justification to the above article i posted. Pr^ck

We know tax authorities and their governments never get it wrong.Sure.

David Cameron: Taxes will rise unless we can raid bank accounts

David Cameron claims he will "have to put up taxes" unless tax officials are given draconian powers to raid people's bank accounts

Taxes will have to rise unless officials are given new powers to raid people's bank accounts, David Cameron has said.

The Treasury select committee warned that allowing HM Revenue and Customs to remove cash from bank accounts without court orders is "very concerning" because of its history of mistakes.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/10819885/David-Cameron-Taxes-will-rise-unless-we-can-raid-bank-accounts.html

HappyNow's picture

There is a lot of fuss about

There is a lot of fuss about Big Brother monitoring.  On the other hand not much fuss about private monitoring.  Everybody with a cell phone or similar recording device can be capturing situations and conversations you consider private.  And when they publish it do we cry foul?   Why not?  Is their purpose any more or less noble than a government? 

Heck sometimes we celebrate and reward it.  I'd say "wake up people" but that won't reach many.

Like it or not, like him or not McCain unfortunately is correct that we need to consider that anything can be monitored and is being monitored....he just has too narrow a scope by limiting it to government sponsored agencies or persons.

metalsbyamile's picture

Monitoring it all

clip_image001

TF Metals fan's picture

Great article!

Thank you for a great article. It gives me hope as well. Because these signals are becoming more frequent. So this might be a new new change. A change we need. Below a youtube video circulating on social medial you may like. I did at least.

TF Metals fan's picture

Great article!

Thank you for a great article. It gives me hope as well. Because these signals are becoming more frequent. So this might be a new new change. A change we need. Below a youtube video circulating on social medial you may like. I did at least.

Fred Hayek's picture

De-centralize, de-centralize, de-centralize!

There are some great posts here. 

In regard to progress, I think that, in most cases, Aldous Huxley had it right in Brave New World Revisited.  It's his non-fiction follow up to his fictional epic, Brave New World.  First of all, I recommend the latter without reservation to anyone who hasn't read it.  But, a decade after writing his fictional magnum opus, Huxley turned his thoughts to what should be done to avoid falling into the world of that book and so he wrote Revisited. 

One of Huxley's repeated prescriptions is to de-centralize.  He was writing in the late 1950's but even without having any idea how technology would grow he correctly saw that the forces who either by intention or unwittingly create the basis for an authoritarian state always centralize things.  Always.  They always oppose any institution that gets in the way of centralizing decision making, be it lesser jurisdictions of government, family, church, clubs or any other form of association.  Everything has to be centralized.  Everything.  Decisions must always be made by a central authority.  Someone else knows better.  You can't be trusted.  This is for your own safety.  There's always a reason but the reason is just an excuse to get to centralization.  I'm convinced that there's some sort of unacknowledged psychological issue involved much of the time where the party desperately pushing the centralizing of decision making has a deep seated dislike of the people involved be they a particular geographic or cultural subset of the population or perhaps the entire populace.  H.L. Mencken once famously said "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."  He was so right.  And it's much easier to rule with centralized decision making authority.

When a decision maker is distant from you in some Manhattan or District of Corruption enclave, it's easier for them to see you as just a number, just a concept not an actual person.  It's easy to treat numbers or statistics as less than human, as simply means to your grand ends.  It's difficult for all but the most perverse authoritarians to casually treat a person actually standing there in front of you as anything less than an end in him or herself.  From some cushy urban sinecure, a stroke of the pen or click of the mouse can do so with ease. 

This does not mean that having that locus of decision making closer to you will always produce a better decision than the decision being made from further away.  The classic example is the jim crow south having its racism tamed by federal intervention.  Unfortunately, the federal intervention continues and now is the upholder of decisions based on race.  But stopping that foolishness is extremely difficult because power was brought to the absolute center of the state.

A mistake made at the periphery can be fixed.  A mistake made at the center of power often can't be fixed and can't be escaped by moving to another town, city or state.  This is particularly vexing when it involves an issue that is paramount to a person.  

Science and the expert are always cited to support every move toward centralization even when the protestations of scientific backing are laughable.  Be extremely wary of calls to follow experts.   For decades the government and the health care establishment pushed the dogma that saturated fats were bad for you.  But now word has gotten out that this is wrong and that the alternatives pushed by centralized authority were quite harmful.  Just because millions of people died or had their quality of life drastically reduced, that doesn't mean you should stop trusting centralized authority, does it?

Way back in 1988 government scientist Jim Hansen spoke in front of congress predicting catastrophic global warming by now if we didn't all submit our entire lives to a centralized authority and re-order it to eliminate carbon dioxide.  His predictions did not come to pass.  Neither did other horror stories put out by "climate scientists".  One of their number, a certain Michael Mann produced a famous "hockey stick" graph indicating how global temperatures could be expected to suddenly swing upward.  Under a bit of questioning from canadian mining engineer Stephen McIntyre, it turned out that Mann's work was a fraud in both its data and the processing of it.  Then there were leaks of data from East Anglia University in England, a center of climate science study.  With a view behind the scenes, the general public was able to see the writings of "climate scientists" nearly in tears that the earth was not warming as they'd predicted.  The general public could read of their gossipy machinations to prevent anyone of a differing point of view from getting their work published.    They were also seen happily working to line up grants from oil companies even as they accused anyone skeptical of their pronouncements of being in the pocket of . . oil companies.  They falsified data and tortured it as necessary to produce meanings diametrically opposite the import of it.  In the end we've arrived at a situation where satellite data comes out showing that there has been no global warming over the last 18 years, a result that cannot be accounted for by their theories.  And yet just a day or two later the White House comes out with a pronouncement that the science is settled and the most hysterical theories of anthropogenic global warming are unquestionable.  We should submit to centralized authority and re-order our lives to fight it.

Wearily, we see that centralization proceeds apace in these forcibly united states.  The state pushes up against every barrier, the shell of every sort of association to test it, to see if it can be dissolved.  Private clubs.  The boy scouts.  Lower jurisdictions of government even families.  We're shocked when we see some of these forays and can't imagine how the state's tribunes don't realize how insanely they're behaving.  The Pelletier family in Massachusetts has their daughter taken away when they simply followed the advice of one doctor to see another about what ails her.  Somehow a hospital decided that they're in the wrong and a danger to her.   But more amazingly state employees utterly casually decide that they can tear asunder any bonds between parents and their daughter.  We're shocked but it's the logical conclusion of the state's attitudes.  Its tribunes seem genuinely surprised at everyone's reaction.  "What?  But we've . . . always acted on . . this basis . . . why are you upset?  Who are you to question us?" 

Just about the only way in which our society has de-centralized is that the internet has liberated us from the absurd situation where there were just 3 indistinguishable tv networks with their indistinguishable news departments all doling out the same pap.  Watch how some media figures yearn wistfully for the days when you had no way around them, when you had no options but to turn to them or one of the other two nearly identical spewers of pap.  They hate the internet.  They yearn for the authority of the populace not knowing better.   

They don't want you to be self-sufficient.  They want to force you to be connected to the electrical grid.  They want to force you to rely upon them for sewer, water, food etc.   You should have all your books and movies in the cloud.  You shouldn't own any of these things.  They should all be centrally held.  

Resist this.  Take as a default presumption that centralizing power in any way is always the last option.  It is not progress no matter how many false "experts" are trotted out to say that it is.

metalsbyamile's picture

Superb.12 Year Old Canadian Exposes Banking Cartel

This may have been posted in the past but it is well worth another view. If a 12 year old can articulate what is going on to a large audience  why do the sheeple have such disbelief.

agNau's picture

Thanks to admin on McCain....

Read this earlier and thought at the time.....this is proof for those that believe they still have choice at the voting booth.
*Romney would probably state the same...or worse.
Welcome to the new world order.....where we must all be equal. No one group can have rights and privileges that all don't have. Best to take from the few, than give to the many.

silver66's picture

metalsbyamile-- 12 yr old

This went viral about 2 years ago in Canada. I remember watching it and forwarding  on to some friends and clients to show to their children, under the premise that it was great to see such a confident young woman. I was hoping that the parents would watch it. What was really interesting was the "official response"

Here is the link to the Financial Post article where "they" trotted out someone to try and do damage control as this video was gainng traction 

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/05/16/william-watson-no-victoria-there-is-no-money-monster/

I clipped this article, showed my kids the video and then asked them why a National News Paper would give 1/3 of a page to a rebuttal.

"Me thinks thou does protest to much"

Silver66

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