24th October 2014
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
We are all confused, but if we step away from the ardency it becomes easy to begin to elevate from confusion. The most confused people are those who believe, ardently, they are not confused.
In the United States, confusion is an effective and oft-used tactic of the institutional status quo, which limits social thinking and, in turn, inhibits true social progress. And the worst confusion today can be summed up as an intentionally distorted perspective on the differentiation between the rights of individuals and institutions. It seems we’ve forgotten who is working for who.
Long ago, in primal times, it may have served us to be confrontational and to see the world in opposition, but today these tendencies just provide leverage for institutions. All around the world, we face the left/right wing dynamic which divides societies and hinders them from reaching mutual and progressive solutions. This of course functions to benefit the oligarchs who, lacking direction except increasing their monies, create fear and discord with misinformation and then offer short sighted, extremely profitable “solutions” to the “market” – in place of the genuine, inclusive progress we all know is needed.
Most people openly identify themselves as Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, right wing or left wing. But this identification just lends more power to those at the top of the piles (Republican or Democrat) who are visibly money and power at our collective expense, and hiding under a thin veil of divisive party “philosophies”. And yet this institutionalized notion of right and left wing is still supported by the public majority, who are somehow convinced that an institutional body whose job it is explicitly to gain and maintain power and influence in competition with others has our society’s individual and collective best interests in mind.
The difference between Republicans and Democrats begins with rifts so great it might seem they could never have parallel direction, and yet they end up doing exactly the same things and support/are supported by the same elements of the status quo. For instance, in the U.S.A. Republicans generally state that individuals alone or in personal groupings can best empower us all, while Democrats essentially state that the collective of individuals can best help empower us all. Well, they are both right, but both wind up being horribly wrong in their implementation and as a result, neither approach is encouraged.
The dividing line of the right and left wing is not as smooth as the spine line of an eagle or any bird, it is more like a zig zag zipper line, but they still fit neatly together, limiting public debate to the narrowest field of difference while creating the illusion of genuine deliberation. Ultimately though, they’re still two cheeks around the same bunghole. The Republicans riding the right wing and Democrats riding the left wing, both end up setting up institutions firstly instead of directly uplifting and empowering individuals to freedom and happiness, as they claim is their pursuit. And institutions inevitably go oligarchical, serving those at the top at the expense of all others.
The Polarity of Healthcare
In the U.S.A. individual healthcare has recently become a political issue that is perfectly demonstrative of the right wing/left wing dynamic, and how it benefits controlling institutions over real human beings.
The Democrat approach to individual healthcare was to build up a health insurance mandate instead of just building up individual healthcare systems that provide services to individuals, like open hospital care without insurance institutionalization combined with free medical education – just like, say, Cuba and Germany offer. The insurance mandate was implemented as a medium because the Republican perspective insists we should all fend for ourselves and allow the market to decide – which is to say, if you’re sick and poor then you have failed to adequately present yourself to market and may therefore be left to die.
The left and right wings settled on and built up what is an institutionalization hole. Their healthcare industry formula conveniently ignores the ‘square root’ of institutionalized corruption – the notion that immorality is justified by legality. At its core, the ins-and-outs of many day-to-day functions represent the straight-out gouging of sick and desperate people. But instead of overhaul, there was simply more institutionalization – the opposite of what both left and right first claimed to represent.
Does this pattern sound familiar?
Perhaps the Republican perspective to proceed without interference or assistance would be sensible if Republican and Democrat “industrialists” had not operated without interference for the last couple of hundred years, polluting every drop of water and every breath of air from here to Kingdom Come, so that we all need more healthcare, more often. Or maybe it would work if the nation’s medical institutions were not all so heavily corrupted by pharmaceutical profiteering. Perhaps it would make sense if our grandchildren and their grandchildren were not destined to be born into a world contaminated by toxins generated by this century’s institutional and industrial failings.
In the broader context, the “compromise” seems less sensible and more a corruption of intent.
Throughout recorded time, the right wing/left wing dynamic has degraded and distracted us. But we forget that both ‘wings’ operate via the same brain, and are part of the same duality. In our dualistic reality, opposing positions can both be true, as we understand via the matrix of four forms of critical thought:
Is it so? Is it not so? Is it neither? Is it both?
But the left/right paradigm draws our attention only to a limited scope of thinking: “Is it so? Or is it not so?”. The “both” (the compromise) and the “neither” (the infinite other possibilities) positions are never considered or explored. Rather, such possibilities are typically marginalized, as are their messengers.
Since the existence of the right wing/left wing dynamic seems a near constant in human history, and since our history has led humanity up to this point in time – which politically speaking is a mess – I declare myself independent. Independent of such polarizing identifications, and independent of the narrow, divisive mindset those identifications engender, to the benefit of greedy strangers. I declare myself not a Democrat or Republican, or Green or Libertarian, or Anarchist, or Majority of Love parties or a pagan esoteric sun worshipper. I declare my independence from the Left/Right Paradigm.
The Final Word
Look where this system of competition over cooperation has gotten us – a world at war, a corrupted food supply, massive economic and social inequality, and a life permanently on the precipice of further petrolithic or radiological ecological disaster. We have been betrayed by our own systems of governance, and all to benefit some greedy strangers.
Our society’s post-modern institutional focus has steered us to a point where we live to work, instead of working to live – and most of us accept it as normal. As individuals, we work to build up institutions and their power, not individuals and their empowerment. We are each dispensable to institutions, which are increasingly being granted the rights of living breathing beings, and far more protections. The authorities that once operated by the spirit of the law now operate by the word of law; words that are progressively being twisted and changed by, and for the benefit of, self-regulating institutional powers. Our so-called protectors enforce their ‘laws’ as harshly as only a lifeless uncaring mechanization can, stomping over land, locals and liberty, and all the while spouting institutional rhetoric like “I’m just following orders” or “… because it’s the law”.
To move forward, opposing ideals must be balanced. The role of our social leaders is not to eliminate and invalidate opposing views through a process of competitive jousting, but to try to integrate both and all views into unified – and unifying – solutions. I beg you to support the rights of the independent individual, and to think beyond the limited, institutional left/right polarity that led us here.
I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you add the tendency or certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
~ Lord Acton’s Dictum, John Acton, English Historian
Previous articles by Ethan Indigo Smith:
- Individuality and Spirituality in the Age of Institutional Rule (w/Andy Whiteley)
- The Matrix of Four Forms of Meditative Breath
- The Great Unsaid: What 1984 Can Teach Us About 2014
- Institutional Thinking – The Matrix, 1984 and The Allegory of The Cave
- A Little Green Revolution: the Rainbow Warriors will Heal the Earth Mother
- Saá¹ƒsÄra and Nirvana – the Ultimate Duality
- We Have Sustainable Energy Technology – the Problem is the Oligarchy
- Why Governments Promote Deadly Nuclear Energy and Ban Beneficial Hemp
- The 5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation: 108 Movements to a Meditative Mind State
- Hate: The Ultimate Social Control Mechanism
About Ethan Indigo Smith:
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.
The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics. His more recent publications include:
- Tibetan Fusion a book of simple meditative practices and movements that can help you access and balance your energy
- The Little Green Book of Revolution an inspirational book based on ideas of peaceful revolution, historical activism and caring for the Earth like Native Americans
- The Matrix of Four, The Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity on the subject of the development of individual consciousness
- 108 Steps to Be in The Zone a set of 108 meditative practices and steps toward self discovery and individual betterment, including techniques to develop balance, transmute sexual energy and better the self
- and the controversial book, Terra-ist Letters, a work that humorously contrasts the very serious issues of global nuclear experimentation promotion and global marijuana prohibition