An Uneducated Electorate

Many of us are aware that the elitists currently pouring millions into this election cycle anonymously care little about education. Indeed, these elitists prefer ignorance and misinformation as the best tactic to maintain power and control. As such, the poor state of our elections and electorate is to be expected.

The charade called the 2010 Election brings to an end any honest discussion about the quality of information and education we the people receive through the corporate-controlled media. The litany of ridiculous ideas a substantial minority of our electorate holds deserves mention only for the absurdity of the positions. President Obama is Muslim, born in Africa. Global warming is a hoax. Science can’t be trusted, or is trumped by religion. Tax cuts for the rich create jobs. Wars are required for our national security. What’s good for Wall Street is good for Main Street. We require a Federal Reserve Bank for ‘federal reserves’. The litany is endless.

Propaganda, the dissemination of falsehoods for special interest gains, has been with us for centuries. Even the Revolutionary War had to be ‘sold’ to a reluctant populace. Wealthy landowners who wanted to reduce their tax burden to England were the instigators. The peasants had little interest, knowing their lot changed little regardless of who held power.

In the 1930s propaganda become “public relations”, and the mislabeling of bad ideas and misleading the populace became common place [see Edward Bernays]. And while the tactics became more sophisticated, the goal didn’t change. The elitists of the day believed benevolent control by elites was far superior to a democracy of the uneducated – all the while contributing to that lack of education. [Herman and Chomsky’s book, Manufacturing Consent, was taken from Edward Bernays who famously said “the engineering of consent” is the very “essence of the democratic process.”]

Things got much worse in the 1970s as conservatives and moneyed interests organized. Conservative think tanks, right-wing radio, fundamentalist preachers and lots of cash began to create a political machine that has dominated honest efforts at democracy ever since. In 1970, there were 135 lobbyists. By the time Reagan was elected in 1980, there were over 1500. Today, there are hundreds of lobbyists for each member of congress, an industry worth 3.2 billion dollars.

A 1991 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) uncovered just how porous was the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946. The GAO found that about 10,000 of the 13,500 individuals and organizations listed as key influence peddlers on Capitol Hill in a book entitled Directory of Washington Representatives were not registered as lobbyists. No wonder real wages have been stagnant for forty years.

With this backdrop, it should be no surprise when Tea Party candidates win primaries for the job of senator or congress person. We have been encouraged to vote against our best interests for generations. We have been goaded by ‘hot button issues’ like gay marriage instead of following the money. We’ve been discouraged, deluded and disillusioned by corporate media, losing our center and sense of power as we’re told what is ‘real’ and ‘possible’ by agenda-driven pundits. The anonymous pockets behind right-wing fundamentalism are deep.

This election cycle does offer something new, if not positive. The United States Supreme Court earlier this year determined that corporations cannot be limited in their contributions to preferred candidates. And that they can hide their contributions through third-party groups. This means customers and clients don’t know the politics of companies they support, not to mention the massive sums involved. Can there be any question that this decision undermines what crumbs of democracy that remain in these United States?

The Tea Party slate of candidates throws another twist into this cycle. We have rarely seen such extreme positions for high office. In a curiosity, this Tea Party radicalism may be the saving grace for a weak democratic party in this election cycle.  There’s a high level of disgust for both parties, with record levels of dissatisfaction among the citizenry, and elitists have figured out how to leverage that dissatisfaction for their own gain. They use their money to misinform, to confuse and confound, to attack, to lie and deny – to buy our wounded democracy.

Another oddity. Much of the Tea Party funding comes from non-local sources. Carl Rove has raised  millions through his 527 group ‘American Crossroads,’ over 90% from just three billionaire donors. We don’t yet know how national dollars will impact local races.

This malaise would not be upon us if the Democratic Party were the champions of common sense and the common good. But here again nothing changes. No, they act as the quasi-sane yet horribly ineffective party because that is their role in this charade. Obama’s health care reform was a pathetic effort in light of his campaign promise. The ‘health care’ corporations remain in charge without even a public option.The same is true for the financial reform bill and every other piece of legislation. Corporate control is maintained. There is no integrity.

We have an uneducated electorate because of broad-spectrum corruption across the whole political and economic system. This core issue is reflected in everything from our educational system to the 24 hour news channels. It would be ugly enough if it were just greed, but there’s a certain malevolence in encouraging ignorance for personal gain at the expense of the common good.

We can see and feel the poverty and degradation that has been slowly overtaking our communities for years. This is because our government caters to huge corporations, giving them our tax money. This because our government values corporate interests over citizen interests. This because, as we follow the money, the elites, the owners of corporations, have nearly all of it.

We obviously don’t know yet how this election cycle plays out, especially with well-funded Tea Party enthusiasm, fortified by a purported news network (Fox News). But we do know of unprecedented involvement by special interest groups, and their goal is obvious.

All this foolishness can be understood because of our lack or awareness about the nature of things. We don’t understand reality. Religion tells us God, or Awareness, is the ultimate force. Science tells us the whole universe is energy. Common sense dictates the conclusion that awareness and energy are the two great fundamentals of reality. And that this co-mingling can happen only Now.

From the World 5.0 perspective, this totality of our present reality is based on the intermingling of Awareness and Energy, or stillness and motion. Opposing forces creating together. The Great Tao. These two fundamental forces do not exist, and cannot touch, outside of Now. Compare this to our common notion about living in time, dividing reality into past, present, future. But such a notion is dead wrong. We cannot live in past or future. Indeed, we cannot leave This Moment.

Once we understand the totality of This Moment, we appreciate that of prime concern is our intent — how we fill this moment. We have but two options, fear or Love, and we live in one or the other to varying degrees. Fear continues the patterns of greed and hate we’re so familiar with in the media and politics. Love recognizes our commonality and equality, resetting our priorities and experience of This Moment.

This is the awareness that allows for true learning, nurturing, and real education. We are so culturally lost the obvious truth of reality seems ridiculous, incomprehensible. So we have a steep climb. But at least we now have the path of World 5.0.

Returning more to topic, how do we combat this onslaught of elitist cash? Education, knowledge and awareness. We fight for transparency at every turn. We educate ourselves and those close to us. We [calmly] refute hate-mongerers who would distract us. And we leverage the one small crumb allowed us as citizens still; we vote.

We can’t fix this mess alone. We can only do it together. We can only find real freedom with awareness of This Moment and in spending Now without fear. We can only fix the system by replacing corruption with integrity. By living Here in Peace and Love. This is what World 5.0 is all about.

Jim Prues is the founder of World 5.0 and the principal of Panoptic Media. He writes, plays music and golf and loves life, family and community. He can be reached at Read other articles by Jim, or visit Jim's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 29th, 2010 at 1:45am #

    I think that the evolution of blogging has offered a useful insight into the intellectual and moral decline of Western societies. Perusing the blogs in the mainstream media in Australia, which means the Rupert Moloch bedlam, reveals that there are legions of moronic, ignorant and vicious homunculi out there, and they are in a funk.
    The anthropogenic climate denialist crusade illustrates this intellectual and moral decline wonderfully well. The comments and opinions expressed are imbecilic in many cases, and, as ever with the knuckle-dragging Right, paranoia is rife. To be a diehard denialist one only need believe that all the academies of science, 95% plus of relevant scientists and the UN and global governments are engaged in a massive Communist conspiracy to destroy capitalism. Easy, really. Of course here one sees one of ‘democracy’s’ great failings, particularly in a market capitalist plutocracy ruled by corrupt businessmen and their paid political stooges. Everyone, no matter how stupid, ignorant, ill-informed or personally vicious, gets a vote, and you get not ‘democracy’ but ‘moronocracy’.
    Dunning and Kruger have identified a phenomenon where the stupidest people, being so thick that they lack the intellectual ability even to comprehend how dumb they really are, habitually overestimate their intelligence and knowledge. A brief perusal of comments on climate change shows this type in riotous abundance, and the comic potential is limitless, if the reality of a species heading straight over the cliff to extinction, driven by a rabble of cretins was not so very, very, sobering.
    The marshalling of this army of imbeciles, its incitement by relentless, lying, unprincipled propagandists in the employ of truly evil creatures like Rupert Moloch, has all been to the Right’s, short-term, advantage. All pursuit of human solidarity, social justice, ecological sustainability, equality and fraternity has been outlawed, and proponents of these paths relentlessly vilified. The ‘divide and rule’ tactics have produced propaganda campaigns against most of humanity, whether workers, trade unionists in particular, environmentalists, Moslems, indigenous, the Chinese, Arabs, Palestinians, ‘do-gooders’, ‘latte-sippers’, ‘chardonnay quaffers’, gays, feminists, teachers, even those of different generations depending on the hate campaign at hand. But always hatred, always a Manichean division into Good and Evil. And certain groups are, mysteriously, spared even the mildest criticism-Jews (except the ‘self-hating’ type who see non-Jews as their equal as human beings), Israelis (except of the despised Left), the US ruling elites, business-men and the semi-divine ‘entrepreneurs’.
    I think that the deliberate fomenting of hatred and rage has been the Right’s greatest moral evil, but also its greatest mistake.No matter how great the advantages that accrue to them of a society convulsed by hatred and the violence that must flow from their hate and fear mongering(currently conveniently diverted onto the unfortunate Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis etc) one day either the lynch-mobs will turn on their rich controllers, or the untermenschen will begin to defend themselves. That’s why the Right detest Hezbollah and Hamas so much, let alone Iran. Refusal to submit, the will to resist and, in Hezbollah’s case, to kick the arse of the Masters, fills the Right with dread. What we need are more Hezbollahs, more resistance, not because it will deter the monsters of the Right (they can only, ever, become more vicious-this is a one-way street, morally and spiritually) but because our one slim hope is in defeating them, and ensuring that evil psychopaths never dominate the planet again. Fail, and humanity has decades left, years that will be filled with horror and suffering.

  2. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 11:36am #

    Coffee or tea

  3. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 11:43am #

    Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems. George Monbiot

    Thank you George saved that so as not to forget.

  4. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 12:50pm #

    Oh Glenn Beck of Fox New’s I have one blackboard found it at a garage sale and I started a list. So far have Charles and David Koch then under there names wrote spooky dudes. Oh at the top of my blackboard put Tea Party. Then have (Astro)Turf Wars, Americans for Prosperity, CNBC, Fox New’s, Cato Institute, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the Reason Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Then I have this Glenn.

    Most of these bodies call themselves “free market thinktanks”, but their trick, as (Astro)Turf Wars points out, is to conflate crony capitalism with free enterprise, and free enterprise with personal liberty. Between them they have constructed the philosophy which informs the Tea Party movement: its members mobilise for freedom, unaware that the freedom they demand is freedom for corporations to trample them into the dirt. The thinktanks the Kochs have funded devise the game and the rules by which it is played; Americans for Prosperity coaches and motivates the team.

    “It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud – and they’re our candidates!” Another observed that the Kochs are smart. “This right-wing, redneck stuff works for them. They see this as a way to get things done without getting dirty themselves.” Monbiot

    And sure there is more to come oh and so far this last.

    Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems. To trample them into the dirt and let me say didn’t hear any of this at your rally. Any new book’s out Glenn?

  5. Don Hawkins said on November 1st, 2010 at 12:04pm #

    In thirty years sorry just might want to rethink those figures. Seems to have already started if the truth be known but so far the truth is not known it’s almost like an Uneducated Electorate billions of dollars to do just that keep us uneducated well I remember what Dickens wrote once War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength great writer Dickens anyway going to finish watching Nancy Grace then Oprah and later wheel of fortune to round out the day. Fool me once, shame on you… fool me twice, shame on me fool me three time’s we just might have a pattern here.

  6. Don Hawkins said on November 3rd, 2010 at 3:21am #

    It strikes me that governments are determined to protect not the marvels of our world, but the world-eating system to which they are being sacrificed; not life, but the ephemeral junk with which it is being replaced. They fight viciously and at the highest level for the right to turn rainforests into pulp, or marine ecosystems into fishmeal. Then they send a middle-ranking civil servant to approve a meaningless (and so far unwritten) promise to protect the natural world.

    It suits governments to let us trash the planet. It’s not just that big business gains more than it loses from converting natural wealth into money. A continued expansion into the biosphere permits states to avoid addressing issues of distribution and social justice: the promise of perpetual growth dulls our anger about widening inequality. By trampling over nature we avoid treading on the toes of the powerful.

    But I also recognise this: that if governments had met in Japan to try to save the banks, or the airline companies, or the plastic injection moulding industry, they would have sent more senior representatives, their task would have seemed more urgent, and every dot and comma of their agreement would have been checked by hungry journalists. When they meet to consider the gradual collapse of the natural world, they send their office cleaners and defer the hard choices for another ten years, while the media doesn’t even notice that they have failed to produce a written agreement. So, much as I’m revolted by the way in which nature is being squeezed into a column of figures in an accountant’s ledger, I am forced to agree that it may be necessary. What else will induce the blinkered, frightened people who hold power today to take the issue seriously? George Monbiot

    The promise of perpetual growth dulls our anger about widening inequality. Thank you George dull is a very good word.

    dull [d?l]

    1. slow to think or understand; stupid
    2. lacking in interest
    3. lacking in perception or the ability to respond; insensitive
    4. lacking sharpness; blunt
    5. not acute, intense, or piercing
    6. (Earth Sciences / Physical Geography) (of weather) not bright or clear; cloudy
    7. not active, busy, or brisk
    8. lacking in spirit or animation; listless
    9. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours) (of colour) lacking brilliance or brightness; sombre
    10. not loud or clear; muffled