Why it’s delusional to vote in America’s 2016 presidential election

One of the fundamental tenets of American culture is that it has the best political and economic system to ever exist, which is proven by the unparalleled level of freedom and opportunity guaranteed to any citizen, especially those who work the hardest. Everything great about America stems from the Constitution and the electoral system, which gives the people the power to choose who represents them in government.

Americans believe in their election system so deeply they ridicule and shame anyone who chooses not to vote. Ironically, most Americans don’t vote, but they still have faith in the system and criticize anyone who expresses too much distrust in the value of voting.

Every American needs to ask themselves, how much proof would it take to convince you that your vote doesn’t count? How blatantly rigged and corrupt would a presidential election have to become before you conceded voting is merely an exercise in holding onto a delusion? I believe the 2016 presidential election crossed that line and anyone who still has faith in the system is holding onto an optimistic conspiracy theory that has already been thoroughly debunked.

The evidence for this conclusion started piling up long before 2016 in America’s quality of life statistics. Compared to other countries, America isn’t ranked highest for freedom or lowest for corruption. America has the highest prison population in the world, which is mostly due to America’s war on drugs, which every major academic study done on the subject has determined causes more harm than good, yet the government refuses to change its policies on. Depression, suicide and homelessness are epidemic, especially among veterans, the people who should be the proudest of their country. Poverty is epidemic. Most Americans have less than 1 month’s salary in savings, which means most Americans don’t have any retirement savings. Rent and mortgages are unaffordable in most cities. College tuition is so inflated it probably won’t pay off even if you could afford it. You can’t blame America’s poverty on laziness, because wages have failed to keep up with the cost of living. The problem is systemic.

By every major quality of life standard, most Americans are economically and politically oppressed. These problems have persisted and gotten worse through every president and congress in recent history. If America’s electoral system worked as great as Americans say it does, then why has America devolved so badly?

In 2016 it’s practically hypocritical for Americans to defend the sanctity of voting since Congress has an 11% approval rating, and the top two presidential candidates in 2016 have record low approval ratings. It’s delusional to maintain faith in a system that puts/keeps leaders in power who the majority doesn’t want there.

The problem isn’t that democracy is a failed experiment. The only reason voting doesn’t work in America is because of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC).  These two organizations act like staffing agencies for elected government positions. In order to run for any major political office, you have to become a member of one of these two agencies. Once accepted, they provide money and support to help you manage your election campaign.

Theoretically, anyone can run for office as an independent or third party candidate, but the DNC and RNC have passed laws that make it virtually impossible to win a major election without being allied to them, which means there’s no chance of any other political party winning a majority of the seats in Congress.

Ultimately, the DNC and RNC control which politicians the voters get to choose between, but it barely matters who wins, because the DNC and RNC let wealthy businessmen decide which laws elected officials pass in exchange for campaign donations. The DNC and RNC even let corporations write laws, which elected officials then sign into effect. If that doesn’t defeat the purpose of an election, then I don’t know what does.

It also defeats the purpose of picking a leader if the candidates you’re given to pick between are the worst people in the country. The DNC and RNC chose some of the most incompetent, corrupt, divisive politicians to run in the 2016 presidential primaries. Americans had no choice who made the short list, and there’s no chance they would have picked the same group if they had a say in the matter. Being forced to pick between the lesser of evils isn’t freedom of choice.

The “winner” of the RNC presidential primaries was Donald Trump, a racist, xenophobic, megalomaniac psychopath billionaire with a long track record of corruption, indecency and bad ideas. The amount of parallels between Donald Trump’s rhetoric and Adolph Hitler’s is so similar it would be comical if he wasn’t a step away from becoming the leader of the most powerful military in history.

The “winner” of the DNC presidential primaries was Hillary Clinton, a career politician famous for corruption, lying and meanness. Despite her claims that she’s been working for the people her entire career, she’s been a part of the system that has driven America to ruin. Before and during her presidential campaign, she accepted millions of dollars of donations for speaking to the wealthy corporations who have been hoarding the nation’s wealth by exploiting the common worker. She’s able, but unwilling, to release transcripts of these speeches, because she knows she promised to keep the 1%’s profits safe from the deserving hands of the poor.

Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the DNC’s presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders, quickly and temporarily earned a cult following because he spoke against corporate corruption in Washington DC. Bernie Sanders lost, but it’s a documented fact that election fraud took place in key states that helped Hillary win. It’s also documented that the DNC took more secret steps to discredit Bernie Sanders and help Hillary Clinton win the nomination.

Even without that, Hillary Clinton already had an unfair advantage by having superdelegates pledge to vote for her. “Superdelegates” are random powerful people who the DNC allows to cast a super vote in the DNC presidential primary race. A superdelegate’s vote is equal to  about 700,000 regular votes, and the superdelegate can still cast their regular vote. If that sounds confusing, it’s because superdelegates are legalized election-rigging.

Hillary Clinton shouldn’t have even been in the race to begin with, because she was under criminal investigation by the FBI for mishandling top-secret information when she was Secretary of State. The FBI found her guilty of wrongdoing, but cleared her of any criminal wrongdoing, and they were quick to add they wouldn’t treat anyone else who did the exact same thing so leniently.

Guilty or not guilty, anyone actively under investigation by the FBI shouldn’t be allowed to run for president. Not only is Hillary running, but she’s at the front of the race because multiple government agencies bent and broke the law to help her win… despite the fact that most Americans, conservative and liberal alike, despise her. Donald Trump is the only person America reviles more than Hillary Clinton, which is probably the only reason the RNC chose him to run against her.

Even if Trump won the popular vote, like Bernie Sanders probably did, Hillary Clinton will still win, because the popular vote doesn’t determine who wins the presidency. The electoral college makes the final vote, and they’re part of the political machinery that has already proven it’s committed to ramrodding Hillary Clinton into office.

Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States, but she won’t be the leader of a democracy, because she wasn’t chosen by the people. She should be arrested and sentenced to life in prison for treason and all her other acts of corruption, but making an example out of her won’t change anything. The root of the problem is the existence of the DNC and RNC.

It’s time to stop waiting for the DNC and RNC to do a better job. That’s like waiting on a serial killer to stop slitting your childrens’ throats in their sleep. They’re the source of America’s apocalyptic problems. Minor political reform won’t achieve lasting change as long as the root of the problem still exists. The only way for America to become great again is for the DNC and RNC to abdicate. Discussing whether Trump can or should beat Hillary in the 2016 presidential election distracts from the only conversation America should be having right now: How can the DNC and RNC abdicate peacefully?

If there was ever a time in America’s history when you shouldn’t vote, 2016 is the year. The first step the American people need to take to bring about real change is to vote against the two corrupt ruling parties by not voting.

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American cops are delusional if they don’t understand why civilians hate them

Hate is a strong word, but that’s the situation on the streets of America. Don’t shoot the messenger, bro. America has always had a love/hate relationship with its police force, which was morbidly exemplified on July 8th, 2016, when a sniper in Dallas, TX shot 14 police officers, killing 5 in revenge for the hundreds of unarmed civilians police kill every year. In a show of solidarity towards the police and condemnation towards the killer, thousands of people lined the streets along the funeral procession for the slain officers.

Those men deserve sympathy and credit for the good things they did, and they deserve for their deaths not to have been in vain, but they will be if America can’t have an open dialogue about why people hate the police.

The inconvenient truth is police provide the civilian population with an assembly line of reasons to hate them. The animosity they receive is blowback for the unacceptable things they constantly do.

At the top of the list is the aforementioned body count of innocent civilians. To add insult to injury, police regularly deflect ownership of the problem by blaming the victims. One police officer recently summed up their argument in an article, “Following Commands: A Lost Art.”

“I am going to say what no one else is saying.  From the President of the United States to every local news reporter in the country, no one is saying it, ‘Follow the commands of a police officer or risk injury or possibly worse…’ You can debate all day long about what proper police force is, when it should be used and if the entire criminal justice system is racist but there is one thing in common with every so called “excessive force” video you have seen in recent years. The suspect is not following commands… The way I see it, we have two options to stop police use of deadly force. Police stop being police or citizens can do what an officer says to do.”

obey or die

There’s some truth to this argument, but if the author can’t see why civilians would be underwhelmed by his logic, he’s crazy. “Obey or die” isn’t the social contract Americans were promised, and it’s not one they can accept. And if that’s really how police see civilians, as sheep to be controlled with violence, then citizens would have to have  Stockholm Syndrome  to love police unconditionally. The police may not realize that, but the people do, and they resent cops for expecting them to celebrate their subjugation.

It’s hard to look at police as good guys when the the police aren’t even trying to look like good guys anymore. Police cruisers are intentionally designed to appear intimidating. How can the police more clearly brand themselves and communicate their intentions than by painting a big sign on their cars that says, “We don’t want you to feel safe when you see us. We want you to feel intimidated.” By dressing like Nazi Storm Troopers from a dystopian future and acting ones. That’s how.

i was told i was paying you to protect me

nazi storm trooper cops

Anytime a police officer gets caught doing something immoral, the rest are quick to concede there are a few bad apples among them and counter that 99% of the time, all police do is protect people. That argument sounds good on paper, but it fails to sway law-abiding citizens who live in constant fear under the thumb of all law enforcement.

A black comedian, whose name I can’t recall, once said, “I’ve always resented the fact that I don’t feel safe when I see a police car behind me- I feel scared.” He’s not being irrational, and neither is the rest of the civilian population. Everyone feels the same way, and they’re right. A police cruiser behind you is like a shark hunting for prey.

It’s common knowledge the reason police write so many traffic citations isn’t because drivers are that bad or cops are overzealous. It’s all about revenue. Cops are highway robbers shaking down well-meaning people for mostly inconsequential technicalities. And the cost of a superfluous ticket can equal weeks or months of an unskilled worker’s wages. On top of that, police regularly seize civilians’ assets without trial, and getting your stolen property back can cost more money than what was taken.

Heaven help Americans who screw up and commit a legitimate crime in a moment of desperation or incoherence. The cost of paying bond, court fees, legal representation, fines and probation quickly add up to years of wages for minor offenses, let alone big ones. The legal system makes it as hard as possible to pay off these fees by requiring you to take time off work for multiple court appearances and probation meetings, which is almost impossible since American employees get less time off than any other first world country.

This assumes you can even get a job after a conviction since you’re required to divulge your criminal record to potential employers and most landlords. It also assumes you have transportation to get to court, work or your probation meetings. Police regularly confiscate people’s cars and revoke their drivers licenses  for crimes not even related to driving. If you were arrested for having sex with a 17 year old, the law prevents you from living anywhere near anything.

If you can’t pay your fees after the police destroy your career, your fees will increase relentlessly until they bankrupt you, after which, you’ll be sent to debtors’ prison, which was outlawed in 1833. Since jailing people for not paying fines is breaking the law, that means cops are breaking the law, which makes them criminals. Since they’re also government officials who are violating the founding principles of the government, they fit the exact definition of tyrants. That’s not being hyperbolic. This is the exact kind of situation the word “tyranny” was invented to describe.

The total cost of bond, court fees, legal representation and fines for major criminal offenses can add up to decades of a poor person’s future earnings, but less than 1% of a rich person’s savings. Without being hyperbolic, that literally constitutes economic oppression, which makes the police foot soldiers of economic oppression. So when cops say their job is to “serve and protect,” that might be true for rich people but definitely not for poor people. You’ll notice poor people shoot more cops than rich people.

In addition to economic oppression, the police’s job description also includes the regular taking-your-freedoms-away-against-your-will kind of oppression. Again, this isn’t exaggerating. It’s spelled out in black and white letters in America’s law code, which contains thousands, if not millions, of laws against inconsequential victim-less crimes.

I know a man who had a warrant issued for his arrest for not mowing his lawn and then not showing up to court because he didn’t receive the summons. I know another man who walked home from a bar because he was too drunk to drive, and he was arrested for public intoxication. I know a girl who was arrested for drinking a beer one hour before she turned 21. I went to a concert at a major venue, where the law required the bar staff to pour all their drinks out of single-serve bottles into plastic cups that you couldn’t take out of the designated drinking area, resulting in mountains of trash at every event and zero crimes prevented. I went tubing at a river, and the cops were standing in force at the exit point arresting anyone who brought open containers of alcohol out of the river because it’s legal to drink on water, but not on land. In a separate incident, I was ticketed on a river for drinking alcohol when I was 20 years old, which my European friends find hilariously sad. Americans aren’t even free to walk across the road without getting a ticket, and women aren’t allowed to take their shirts off. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are still dumber things you can arrested for in America.

Nobody is protected by any of these laws. The only outcome is control for the sake of control. If you think these laws aren’t a big deal, then you’re implying freedom isn’t a big deal. You’re also ignoring the fact that a threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. Minor losses of liberty set the precedent for bigger ones, and the justice system has already taken advantage of this fact.

Prostitution and recreational drug use are strictly illegal to say nothing about how hard it is to buy life-saving drugs. Sex and drugs are nobody’s business but one’s own, and a government created “of the people, by the people, for the people” has no place regulating them, especially when the majority of people don’t want the government to. That goes double when every study done on them has proven them to cause more harm than good, and triple when other countries have already legalized them and proven in practice that criminalizing them does more harm than good, and legalizing them does more good than harm.

America’s own police force knows better than anyone how futile and damaging the war on sex and drugs is. Yet they go out everyday and keep fighting even though they know that ultimately, all they’re accomplishing is war. And they wonder why people don’t like them. The people are equally baffled by how the police can sleep at night and go to work each day to wage war on their family again.

Lawmakers justify the war on sex and drugs by saying they’re protecting people from themselves, which is confusing, because everyone knows it doesn’t. But the argument is moot for at least two reasons anyway.

First, nobody agreed to pay the government to protect themselves from themselves. When the government tells you that you can’t do something you want to do (that doesn’t hurt anybody), and you don’t have a choice in the matter, that’s the opposite of freedom. It doesn’t matter what a lawmaker’s justification is for doing their job wrong.

Second, sending people to jail for sex and drug related crimes is like shooting them in the head to protect them from shooting themselves in the foot. American prisons are the most inhumane of any first world country. In addition to the lethally low quality of food and hygiene, the frequency of murder, rape, abuse and humiliation that happen inside is the stuff of legend.

So forgive the civilian population for not being excited to see a cop. The smartest advice you can tell a child is never talk to someone who starts the conversation by announcing, “Anything you say  can and will be used against you in a court of law to throw you into pound-me-in-the-ass prison.” That’s not something a friend would ever say or do to you. Cops are the opposite of friends, and it’s regrettably responsible to forewarn your children of this truth.

In an unbelievably more dystopian twist, American prisons have sweat shops that use inmates as slave labor for private corporations, and there are more black men in prison than there were in America before the Emancipation Proclamation. Private corporations even own prisons and sell shares on the stock market, creating a financial incentive to incarcerate as many people as possible and provide the lowest level of care to them as possible.

Compton is the new Slave Coast, and business is booming thanks to the police. America has the highest prison population in the world. By definition, it’s factually inaccurate to call the country with the highest incarceration rate “the land of the free.” The architects of America’s legal system should be held accountable for taking this title away from America, but so should the people with their boots on the ground who are rounding up victimless criminals and sending them to the meat grinder that is America’s prison system. The police who are complicit in this crime against humanity aren’t public servants. They’re corporate mercenaries who enforce slavery, and that’s not something to be proud of.

On top of all this, civilians have to put up with the TSA sexually assaulting them, the NSA spying on them, the CIA pushing drugs in ghettos, and using civilians for science experiments and the FBI covering up corruption. Every member of the American law enforcement system should be ashamed of themselves for more reasons than I have time to list here.

Last but not least of those reasons is how law enforcement behaves when the American people exercise their First Amendment right to protest against the lethal injustices they suffer. Anytime protests get large enough to make a difference, police are sent in with military gear to brutally crush the demonstration with tear gas, tasers, batons and bullets. That’s a guaranteed outcome of a well-organized protest, and it doesn’t matter what age, race or sex the protesters are. There will be blood. At the end of the protest, the government will use it as an excuse to further militarize the police, which will require more money, which will require the police to rob more people, which will require them to come up with more excuses to make criminals out of well-meaning people. This makes law enforcement officials the vanguard of oppression. 

It can’t be said enough, America isn’t the land of the free, and saying it is, is Orwellian doublespeak. Americans are oppressed all to Hell, and the first line of oppression is the police civilians pay to protect them. In that regards, the police force is, by definition, the bad guy.

To be fair, police do some good, but patting them on the back is like patting a Gestapo agent on the back for helping an old woman across the street. If you want to fault me for breaching Godwin’s Law and using too many Hitler references, I would counter that the police have already exonerated me. Police often deflect responsibility for their crimes against humanity by saying things like, “I was just following orders. The law is the law. If I don’t do my job I can’t feed my family. The justice system isn’t perfect, but I have to respect the system.” Using the Nuremberg Defense doesn’t demonstrate integrity or courage. It completes the Nazi comparison.

As intolerable as the actions of the police are, I can’t condone reciprocating the violence they inflict on the civilian population. In addition to being unethical, it would only result in justifying further militarization of the police and erosion of civil liberties as per the status quo. If you want to protest income inequality, government corruption, or excessive force, the most logical place to stage your protest is in front of your local police station. Put their guilt on their front door. If they respond to the protest the way they always do, at least they’ll have to walk past the spot where they beat down little girls every day they come to work. Maybe that will get them thinking enough is enough.

It shouldn’t have to come to that. The people shouldn’t be working up the courage to stand up to the police. The police should have the courage to stand up to the system. The people shouldn’t be organizing to figure out what they’re going to do about their cop problem. The cops should be organizing a gigantic internal meeting and fundamentally reassess their approach to helping people. If the system won’t facilitate an official meeting, the cops need to organize their own. The alternative is to keep digging their own graves, and that doesn’t help anybody.

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A white man explains the context of the Black Lives Matter movement

Black Lives Matter is an activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. BLM regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.” Wikipedia

Like Wikipedia’s definition, most media coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement focuses on the issue of cops killing black men and vice versa, which could mislead foreign observers to conclude police brutality is the crux of the issue. More accurately, it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. Black Lives Matter is a new banner for an old movement, and if you want to understand the movement today, you have to know its historical roots.

The African American community has been justifiably simmering with resentment and anger since the 1600s. Being a second class citizen will do that to you. Even after the emancipation of slavery in 1863, Jim Crow laws continued justifying blacks’ antipathy towards the American government (and the white people who ran/supported it) until those laws were abolished in the 1950s. Then it still took until the 1990s for discrimination to be completely criminalized.

This puts American race relations in an awkward position today. There are white Millennials who never lived during a time when discrimination was legal. Simultaneously, there are elderly blacks who still remember being forced to drink from segregated water fountains.

So to white children, the struggle for equality can look like ancient history, but in the black community, the wounds of the past are still fresh, and new ones are being created every day. Even though we now live in a time when African Americans can become celebrities, billionaires or even the president of the United States (twice), at least 27% of African Americans still live in poverty, more than any other race in America. Blacks are also at least 3 times more likely to go be shot by police and at least 5 times more likely to go to prison than any other race. Obviously, something is still wrong.

The murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, which inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, blew the problem to the forefront of the national dialogue by dumping fuel onto a 400 year old tire fire of resentment and anger that has been a part of African American culture so long, it has become a cornerstone of their cultural identity, which you can see erupting throughout black culture.

Black comedians habitually fill standup routines and movies with derogatory jokes about white people. Black people call each other “nigger” to spite white people by taking ownership of the term, and despite their intolerance of racial slurs, they’ve invented a whole slew of Caucasian ones they use openly. Black Christian preachers still lecture congregations about how evil the white man is. There are black-only magazines, holidays, music labels, television stations, clubs and clothing lines that blacks use to distance themselves from whites. White racism is such a strong force in the African American community, members are often punished for acting too white. To the extent a black man is likely to be hassled by the cops if caught in all-white neighborhood after dark, a white man caught in an all-black neighborhood after dark is likely to be killed.

With so much bad blood bottled up, anyone paying attention to the history and institutionalization of black backlash wouldn’t have been surprised when, on July 8th 2016, a Black Lives Matter protester shot 14 police officers, killing 5, and admitted he was “targeting white people, specifically white officers.” The shooting didn’t come out of nowhere, and realistically, we can expect more of the same until black America’s grievances are settled.

Many white American Millennials are surprised black people have so much animosity towards them, because they’ve spent their entire lives apologizing to them, treating them with respect, giving them special privileges and walking on egg shells around all minorities. They’ve grown up celebrating black celebrities, making black friends, living with black roommates, obeying black bosses and voting for black politicians. Yet, for all their efforts, they’ve been told that no matter what they do or think, it’s impossible for white people to not be racist. So they’ll always be presumed guilty of subconscious racist microaggressions. Furthermore, white guilt is a form of racism, and it’s impossible for black people to be racist.

If the white population is sitting around subconsciously conspiring to oppress black people, then why do least 26.6% of Mexican Americans live in poverty, which is within 1% of African Americans? Other estimates put the percentages of African Americans and Mexican Americans living in poverty at 38% and 35% respectively, but that still means there are more Mexican Americans living in poverty than African Americans.

If nothing else, this indicates blacks aren’t exactly being singled out. It also raises the question, if anyone should care about blacks lives, then isn’t it equally important for blacks to care about Hispanic lives? Even if blacks are slightly more oppressed, ignoring the plight of Hispanics, and calling dibs on the first place in line to get saved, is just as callous as ignoring the suffering of poor Asian Americans, and putting them third in line just because a higher percentage of Mexican Americans live in poverty.

Poverty isn’t just for minorities either. While at least 3.6 million black children live in poverty, so do at least 4.2 million white children, and their pain is as real and important as anyone else’s. The fact that a bunch of other random people just happened to be born with the same skin color as them doesn’t negate their plight.

Most impoverished white children will never recover physically or emotionally enough from the trauma of growing up poor to escape poverty. Like their black counterparts, they’re only theoretically eligible to become president someday, but for all practical purposes, they’re doomed at birth to work like slaves their entire lives for barely enough to survive, living perpetually paycheck to paycheck, in constant fear of their car breaking down and wiping out their entire life savings. Their employers, and the customers they serve, treat them like second class citizens, and all the hard living they endure, inevitably takes its toll on their bodies, killing them prematurely.

If black people feel like nobody is listening to their cries, imagine how ignored poor white people feel. Not only does nobody care, but the whole world is explosively passionate about their indifference, especially blacks, who should care, because it raises the question, how can white people be the source of oppression when whites are being oppressed by the millions?

Black people should be equally concerned with the fact that police kill twice as many whites as blacks. If there’s a conspiracy to shoot black people, what purpose does the enormous pile of white bodies serve? Police killings shouldn’t be a divisive issue, because black and white victims are two sides of the same coin. Black and white Americans should be complaining about their piles together.

As important as it is for Black Lives Matter to raise awareness of how far blacks are from achieving the American Dream, the movement also needs to raise awareness in the black community of the long-ignored truth that white people don’t live in Whitopia. Rich people do. Everyone else, regardless of color, are varying degrees of wage slaves living in varying degrees of ghettos.

Take a long moment and think about this: Almost half the children in America live near the poverty line, and the percentage is always growing, which proves America has a systemic problem, but it’s not race-related. Every poor person in America is under the same boot. Only acknowledging one race’s plight is myopic and can only make solving the systemic problem less likely.

This is almost beating a dead horse, because Black Lives Matters organizers have already acknowledged all lives matter and clarified it’s nevertheless time for America to get off the pot and do something about their complaints.

yes black lives matter

A Redditor summarized the concept eloquently, “Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!”

The analogy would be more accurate if it read, “Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family. Your uncle gives half the people at the table less than half a portion, but he gives you the least. Then, he keeps most of the food for himself. So you say, “I should get my fair share.” When everybody else says, “What about our empty plates?” You say, “Your plates aren’t the issue. Mine is.” Your comment dismissed everyone and didn’t solve the problem that half the people at the table are starving.

If everyone in America owes it to African Americans to acknowledge their suffering, then African Americans owe it to all of America’s races to acknowledge theirs. As it stands, blacks are demanding everyone reach out to them with an open hand while they hold a closed fist and belligerently refuse to reciprocate what they’re asking for.

Ultimately, every race in America has the same problem. The best way to solve it might not be for everyone to get behind one race, but for every race to get behind each other. Instead of singling one race out for rescue, everyone works in tandem as a unified front.

But before the black community can accept that, someone needs to answer the million dollar question you’ve probably been screaming the whole time you’ve been reading this:

Why are African Americans disproportionately screwed by the system, and is it racially motivated?

Obviously, before the Emancipation Proclamation, the American government, in tandem with the white population, intentionally conspired against, and oppressed, blacks. White Americans born between 1863 and the 1960s were guilty of gradually lesser degrees of conspired oppression. Baby Boomers were the last generation to live in a time with discriminatory laws, and a significantly low number of white Boomers’ decedents still believe in racist creeds. Any conspiracy to oppress blacks ended with the Millennial generation.

Part of the reason it looks like blacks are still being singled out is because the target was taken off their backs about 20 years ago. The white archer is gone, but the arrow is still freshly lodged in the victim’s body.

The arrow is a metaphor for the ghetto. That’s what’s responsible for African Americans’ disproportionately high rates of poverty, violent crime, incarceration and police altercations. The simplest way to explain why/how is by looking at how the same thing happened in other racial ghettos.

The Native Americans, the native Hawaiians of Oahu, and the Maori people of New Zealand were all forcibly relocated off their tribal lands to isolated geographical locations. Since they’d naturally settled in the most fertile, convenient places before white men came along, they were sent to more inconvenient, inhospitable areas. They still could have lived off the land as they always had. It would have been tougher, but they could have made a go of it, but they didn’t have a chance, because capitalists (who just happened to be white) came and introduced the concepts of money and ownership.

Suddenly, everything cost as much money as possible, and the only way to make money was to own a business or work for a business. But employers paid as low of wages as they could get away with, and it costs money to start a business. Even if a Native American, Hawaiian or Maori could start their own business, it would be in an isolated economic wasteland where none of their customers had any money because there weren’t enough jobs to go around. Relocating was easier said than done, because that required money they didn’t have, and more importantly, abandoning their family, culture and heritage.

Once all the land around their homesteads were developed into suburbs with no jobs, options became even more scarce. The higher businesses raised prices, the more the ethnic poor became hopelessly chained in place with debt. The bleakness of their circumstance became a perfect recipe for stress, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, resentment, anger, desperation, violence and drug abuse, all of which became epidemic in their communities.

Since businesses didn’t want to move into areas where people were being driven to extremes by economic oppression, jobs never came to their ghettos, which meant they would always be opportunity-less economic wastelands full of drug addicts who gave up hope and desperate young men who figured out crime pays limitlessly more than minimum wage.

That’s the story of every ghetto in the world, and that’s what happened to African Americans the moment they were settled into theirs. Anyone of any color who lives in those geographical locations will experience the same thing, but not because any racist mastermind is actively tinkering with their lives. The concrete does all the work.

This is why attacking police officers and white people won’t change anything. It doesn’t create job opportunities or lower the cost of living. If the Black Lives Matter movement never amounts to anything more than a white witch hunt, its momentum will be wasted lynching scapegoats, and its only long-term impact will be to distract poor Americans from the real source of their problems: America’s predatory financial system and its control of the government. Until that’s addressed, most Americans, particularly anyone living in a ghetto, can expect to live in poverty and suffer all the horrific consequences that come with it… together.

White people aren’t the enemy. CEOs are. They were the ones who owned the cotton plantations and had the capital to ship slaves across the Atlantic ocean. They were the archers who put the target on African Americans backs. Now America has billionaire CEOs of every color, even black ones, oppressing their wage slaves indiscriminately. To modern business owners, everyone is a disposable resource who is worth less than the products they make.

Since Caucasians are the largest group of poor people in America, they’re actually the most logical ally (and most illogical enemy) for the Black Lives Matter movement in its struggle against the financial system.

However, joining forces with white people to organize bigger protests will only result in the corporate-controlled government deploying bigger columns of riot police to brutally shut down the assemblies the same way they did the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was mostly white. If protesters respond to violence with violence, the only result will be the government justifying further militarization of the police force and erosion of everyone’s civil rights.

The American government doesn’t care about protests. All it cares about is money, because money is power, debt is slavery, and debt-slavery yields the highest, most long term profit (ergo power) margins.

If the poor can pool their resources and build self-sufficient communities that provide free food, water and shelter to its members, then the rich will lose their leverage over the poor and thus their control.

If Americans can coerce their government into prioritizing spending taxes on the necessities of life for all citizens instead of a more high tech police state, then everyone will be free from the desperation and indignity of poverty.

There are multiple approaches that could work, but the goal of the Black Lives Matter movement must be systemic financial reform or it’s just hacking at the branches of income inequality.

If you want to hear an articulate and useful explanation of the Black Lives Matter from a black person, listen to this man:

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Plot Breakdown: Back to the Future

This is a breakdown of the plot to Back To The Future. It divides the plot into 38 beats and the time they occur, rounded to the nearest minute. The beats are color-coded to show which quest chain is active at that time, and the beats are broken down into 6 sub-beats. Instances of foreshadowing are mapped to the beat they influence and are color coded according to their purpose.

Note: This diagram incorporates the Save The Cat formula but changes it a little and includes additional labels and notes.

Click the picture below to enlarge the image. Click here to download an Excel spreadsheet of the plot breakdown.

 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting breakdowns of the plot to Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars, as well as a blank template with instructions. Click the “Follow” button on the right to receive E-mail notifications of new posts.

Back to the future Plot Picture

 

 

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Wisdom is asking the most important questions, and it’s a moral imperative.

Knowledge is having the right answer to a question. Wisdom is figuring out the right answer to the right question. The more you know, the wiser you can become, but until you use a piece of knowledge in a question, it’s just inert information in a data set waiting to be queried. You have to ask yourself questions and use the knowledge in your brain as the variables in the equations in order for your knowledge to serve a purpose.

The more important the question, the more valuable it, and the knowledge required to answer it, becomes, but tallying the sum total of your knowledge is futile. The only thing that really matters is you came up with the best answer to the best question to have the most positive affect on your life. If you’re doing that, then you’re moving forward in life and shouldn’t have time to rest on your laurels anyway.

You can appear wise if you happen to know the right answer to a lot of random questions, but if the question is unimportant, then the only people who would praise you for mastering futility are fools. That’s not the definition of genius. That’s the definition of insanity.

Nobody will ever ask you all the most important questions in life. You’re the only one who can do that for you. If you don’t make a habit out of asking yourself, “What is the most important question I can ask?” then you’re a ship lost at sea, not because you can’t sail, but because you don’t.

Wise people appear to be two steps ahead of everyone else because they’ve already asked themselves the most important questions before they came up, and they’re focused and driven because it doesn’t take external motivation to do what’s most important to you. Far from needing a push, you’ll make excuses to justify doing what’s really most important to you. It takes motivation to act against your beliefs. That’s why there are so many backsliding religious people. Religion is hard to do because it requires a lot of cognitive dissonance to believe in something that fails the test of truth.

Since thinkers have already taken it upon themselves to thoroughly question what’s logically most important in life, they’re more likely to be working towards a logical end goal. People who don’t make a habit of asking themselves, “What’s most important in life?” are unlikely to be toiling towards or defending a logical goal. That’s ultimately how you measure the difference between wisdom and foolishness: by the value of the end goal. You can accomplish everything you set out to by being clever as a fox, but if your goals are unimportant, then you’re just the world’s sharpest fool.

So ask yourself, “What’s the most important question I can ask?” Think about that for the rest of your life. While you’re doing it, bear in mind, the only way to answer a question is to ask more questions, and the more skilled you are at asking questions, the better answers you can deduce. So initially, the most important question you can ask yourself is, “How do you ask a question?” Like most questions, there are a lot of answers, and some are more useful than others. If you need a place to start, I wrote a guide which offers one perspective, and there are thousands more  on Amazon.

As you question your way to enlightenment, you’d be wise to question your answers. Our brains trip us up with schemas, biases, logical fallacies, and all sorts of other reasons to be irrational. To make enlightenment more difficult, many of life’s questions have multiple right answers. Some questions have answers that can’t be proven, but have to be asked anyway. And the most important question you can ask right now may not be the same as anyone else. Plus, no matter how much we learn about life, our understanding will always be at least 99.9% incomplete.

We’re all on lost on our own seemingly futile journey customized to our own life, but we’re also all in the same boat. We’re studying the same data set and sharing the stakes. So a lot of our goals/questions will line up. Sometimes corroborating your answers with someone else is proof you’re on the right track. Other times it’s a sign we’re all making the same mistake.

One thing most of us can agree on is, if a lion is charging at you, then the most important question you can ask yourself is, “How do I not get eaten by this lion?” because if you die, then you’re out of the game. So to the extent that life is valuable, it’s important for you to ask yourself, “Am I about to die?” If the answer is “yes,” then the next most important question you can ask is, “How can I prevent that?” If the answer to the first question was “no,” then the next question you need to ask is, “Are other people about to die, and if so, how can I prevent that without getting myself killed in the process?”

You may be a murderous psychopath who views other humans as soulless piles of atoms, or you may be a sociopath who measures the value of others by how you can use them to get what you want. You may be a religious zealot who measures the value of other people by how many of your favorite prophet’s rules they break, or you may be an abused, broken child in an adult’s body, who hates the world for everything it’s done to you. No matter what you think of anyone else, the bigger picture is that we’re all in this together. It takes a collaborative effort to advance humanity. The more people die, the fewer allies we have to accomplish mankind’s long-term goals. We can’t survive, let alone colonize new planets with utopian village theme parks if we don’t work together, but first we have to save each other.

We all need to survive, and right now the sky is looming with apocalyptic threats so obvious you can’t take your eyes off them. The answer to the question, “Is something coming to kill us?” is “Yes.”

I’ll save you some time decoding the matrix of cluster fucks that are strangling the world. The lynchpin of the world’s problems is poverty. Understand that and everything else will fall into perspective. Fix it, and all its satellite problems will fall away.

But what happens after we fix all the world’s problems and establish utopian settlements on Mars? What’s the next most important question we should ask ourselves then? We’ll see when we get there, but one question we should be prepared to ask is, “What’s the greatest threat to the perfect world?”

It would be logical to prepare ahead of time for an asteroid or futuristic Hitler, but the root of all evil is ignorance. If you build a perfect city and fill it with fools, the first thing they’d do is tear it all down with sincerely good intentions. We’ll never live in anything resembling utopia until everyone is wise. That doesn’t mean we all agree on the same answers, just that we’re all talented, self-driven question-askers who are asking ourselves the most important questions.

Before we become wise enough to live in utopia though, we have become wise enough to create it. Plus, if we all became as genius as possible, we wouldn’t even need to solve half the world’s problems, because we’d be smart enough to not do those stupid things in the first place. This means, the most important thing we can do to create and protect utopia is to learn new things and ask new questions today. The better learning resources we have, the faster and further we can improve ourselves.

This means it’s of paramount importance everyone do something to improve education. There are some free online schools, that could use donations, but every nation in the world should be putting money in a single fund to create one online school with the budget of a small country. If your politician isn’t talking about something like that, you should tell them to start or replace them with someone who does.

With or without the perfect education tool, it’s still up to the individual to decide to teach themselves by any means necessary. It’s a moral imperative everyone asks themselves every day, “What’s the most important thing I can teach myself today?” because you won’t grow until you do, and when you don’t grow, the world doesn’t either. The less you grow, the more the world is full of idiots.

scumbag us

It’s worth speculating what would you do if you became an uberman and all the world’s problems were solved. What’s the most important question you can ask when there’s no threat to distract you… or when death is unavoidable? You’re here, and you’re going to die eventually. There’s more to life than just surviving and preparing. If you only live for tomorrow, you put off living indefinitely. There’s value in the moment, and there’s value to who you are independent from what you can do for society.

Whoever you become is who you have to live with. Who you are is how you experience reality right now, and for the rest of the fleeting moments in your life regardless of anything going on anywhere outside your skin. There’s no point training to be the perfect problem solver, student, worker, artist, citizen or parent if you’re not becoming the perfect you. I could be wrong, but sooner or later, the most important question you can ask yourself may be, “How do I become more me?”

What do you do after that? Well, if you can be your favorite you in the present moment, then afterwards, you’ll have the perfect past to look back on.

Everything I’ve said up to this point may feel more like a guilt trip than an inspirational speech. Nobody can just jump up, become an ubermensch and build an intergalactic empire, but I’m not begging or demanding you to carry a burden. I’m pointing out what an opportunity life is. Every question you ask is a step forward, and the more steps you take, the farther you get. Climbing that mountain yields at least three rewards: the experience of the journey, getting to see above the clouds and being able to say you did it. That’s life, and it doesn’t happen on accident.`

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Poverty is the root of the world’s biggest problems, and predatory capitalism is the root of poverty

The world’s problems are your problems. Even if you live in safe, middle class suburb, there are still forces creeping into your house that are slowly killing you and threatening the survival of your descendants. If you’re not teaching yourself about the world’s problems and trying to figure out your own solutions to them, then you’re just waiting to die.

This is serious. There’s a herd of metaphorical bears running straight towards you and your village. Making excuses for why it’s not your responsibility to give your impending demise your full attention is justifying suicide. If you’re not qualified to deal with bears, you need to become qualified, network with someone who is or find a work-around within your abilities.

The world’s problems are so big and complex, it’s dizzying to figure out where to even begin listing them. So I’ll give you some advice that will get you started, save you some steps and put things in perspective. The world’s problems have many seeds, but most of them wouldn’t have grown into towering banyan trees without being thoroughly watered with poverty. If you can fix that, then the other evils it creates and exacerbates will wither away.

The root cause of poverty is predatory capitalism. I say “predatory” capitalism, because “capitalism” in and of itself is just private ownership of business, which isn’t the issue. It has only become problem because our global economy has taken this concept to its most ruthless extreme and operates under the premise that the purpose of businesses is to make as much profit as possible for the owner/s, which is accomplished primarily by paying workers as little, and charging customers as much, as supply and demand will allow. This isn’t just a formula for poverty. It’s the formula for poverty. On paper it looks deceptively simple, but it’s tearing the world apart. Below is a list of apocalyptic problems that can be reduced from mountains to mole hills by fixing the root cause of poverty.

Starvation and obesity

A Disney movie recently asked, “How are there simultaneous epidemics of starvation and obesity?” The answer is poverty. In a predatory economy, farms couldn’t give food away for free if they wanted to because they’d go bankrupt. Most farmers can’t even afford to sell their products at reasonable prices, because everything they have to buy to run their company and take care of their family costs as much as possible. The largest corporations could lower their prices, but they beat their competition and established themselves as market leaders by caring more about profit than human life or happiness to begin with. If they stopped exploiting their customers and workers, they’d lose their market share to a competitor who will.

Corporations solve these problems by growing food in third world countries using slave labor, or they import slaves who are desperate enough to work for the lowest wages. The harvest is then shipped to first world markets where they can charge the highest price. This causes a false food shortage in third world countries, which raises the price higher than the local slaves can afford.

Obesity isn’t an epidemic in first world countries like America because their citizens are living like French aristocracy. Food companies lower operating costs and maximize profits, by mixing their products with preservatives, flavoring, coloring and filler. So instead of consumers getting the best food from around the world at the cheapest price, they get the most unhealthy, processed junk food at the highest price. As a result, Americans who make minimum wage can’t afford healthy, unmolested food. So they grow up eating boxes, bags and cans of chemical mulch saturated in sugar, growth hormones and carcinogens, which sets them up for health problems later in life.  There’s no conspiracy to commit chemical warfare on the civilian population. Businesses are just designed to make the most profit, and you make the most profit by selling the cheapest product at the highest price, regardless of the cost to human life.

The law of supply and demand says the more people need something, the more they’re willing to pay for it, and predatory capitalism says to match your prices to your customer’s desperation level. So going to the hospital to fix the inevitable health problems caused by stress and poison is as expensive as possible because medical schools and medical supply companies charge doctors and hospitals extortionate prices. Doctors then pass the exploitative costs onto their customers while also increasing the final price even higher to further take advantage of their customers’ vulnerability.

To make matters worse, the American government’s solution to unaffordable medical costs is to force everyone to buy unaffordable insurance that doesn’t cover the cost of medical bills. For reasons I discuss later in this essay, Americans blame the problem on socialism, even though forcing people to buy useless insurance isn’t socialism. That’s predatory capitalism taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich in exchange for nothing.

Homelessness

The world has enough resources to house everyone. In America, there are already six times more empty houses than homeless people. The reason working class families can’t afford to buy abandoned property is because the government, in collusion with banks, have inflated the prices of real estate through convoluted mortgage laws.

At the same time, the rich are buying up more land than they need, creating false scarcity that further drives up prices and fuels a never ending cycle of housing bubbles/busts that teeter back and forth between excluding the poor from being able to afford homes and then decimating the equity of those who could.

Since landlords and businesses have to pay the same extortionate mortgages, they pass on the cost of extortion to their renters and customers. That’s why rent is so damn high. This isn’t just “how life is.” This is a predatory business model invented to take money from the poor and give it to the rich in exchange for nothing.

Lack of basic utilities

If everyone who works were guaranteed food, water, shelter, electricity, telecommunication and transportation, then most of the fear and pain in the world would be eliminated. Then everyone could get on with their lives and only have to worry about the most important issues. The reason utilities are scarce isn’t because we lack the resources. It’s because the people who own the world’s resources make them as prohibitively expensive as possible. Even when governments build and operate their own utilities, they have to buy the materials at inflated prices, limiting the services they can provide. But public utilities are becoming a thing of the past anyway since private (and often foreign) companies have been bribing politicians into privatizing those services for decades. The companies taking over utilities claim they can provide a better product at a cheaper price, but the ultimate goal of business is to make profits, which is why you can always expect the cost of utilities to go up, and you’ll keep finding more meaningless fees on your bills.

Stress

The definition of stress is, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

Nothing is more stressful than fearing for your life, and everything you need to survive costs money. So your safety is directly dependent on how much money you have, but almost every business overcharges as much as possible. You’ll even be charged for things you didn’t ask for, don’t want and disagree with. Your entire life will be spent fighting for survival against everyone you have to pay. This is a formula for perpetual stress. The solution isn’t to read more motivational books. Life isn’t stressful because you’re weak. It’s because the economy is designed to keep you trapped in perpetual danger.

Mental Health issues

The human brain can only take so much stress before it cracks. Anyone living in permanent anxiety will experience mental health issues eventually. The more traumatic you childhood is, the quicker you’ll succumb to all the internal and external consequences of poverty, and the poorer you are, the more damaging your childhood will be.

Seeing a cheap mental health expert for one hour costs more than a minimum wage employee makes in an entire day, and that money is already earmarked for food, rent, utilities, transportation, repairs and government fees. So the people most at risk for mental health problems can’t afford treatment.

If you become too mentally broken to work, then you’ll have to live on the streets and beg for food. The size of America’s mentally ill homeless population isn’t a regrettable byproduct of an otherwise great system. The system is designed to create that problem by keeping help as far out of reach as possible and then funneling anyone who can’t function without it onto the streets to beg, steal and die.

Drug abuse

It’s also not an accidental byproduct of an otherwise great system, that at least 87% of Americans have drank alcohol, 10% have smoked marijuana, 16% have smoked cigarettes, and 13% are on antidepressants.  The system is designed to make earning more money, and being able to afford a better life, as hard as possible. For the least academically inclined, it’s virtually impossible.

Paying high prices to consume poison so you can feel better in the moment is irresponsible, because it limits your immediate potential and kills you prematurely. But if you know you’re going to earn slave wages for the rest of your life, and you’ll never be able to afford your dreams anyway, the cost/benefit analysis of ending your miserable existence in a blaze of euphoria starts to add up. America doesn’t have a drug abuse epidemic because so many people are weak. It’s a proportional response to how stressful and hopeless life is in a predatory capitalist economy.

Domestic violence

Financial problems are one of the most common causes of divorce, but worrying and fighting about money is a long, painful process. Normal people are anxious and angry, because the economy turns life into a grueling, unrewarding rat race. It’s only a matter of time before that frustration comes out somewhere, and the people you’re most likely to take it out on are the ones you see most, which is the people you live with. This isn’t a pessimistic theory. It’s the conclusion of multiple independent studies.

You’d think the divorce rate would be higher when everyone is constantly worrying about bankruptcy, compromising on spending, working beyond their physical and mental endurance, suffering from suburban sensory deprivation, and wrestling with the constant source of unfulfillment that comes from not being able to afford your dreams. Actually, the divorce rate would be higher, but poverty often traps dysfunctional couples together because they can’t afford to live on their own.

Violent crimes

America’s violent crime stats are directly proportional to the stress and desperation created by the false scarcity of food, housing and wages. African American ghettos don’t have third-world-level violent crime rates and are prone to riots because African Americans are genetically predisposed to act like wild, desperate animals. Their problem is they live in a third world economy surrounded by first world neighborhoods they can’t afford to move to.

Predatory capitalism traps them in an environment where resources are scarcer than competitors, and when everyone has to fight for resources, it becomes responsible to learn how to fight, and your best chance of surviving is to join a group of fighters. That’s life for anyone who lives in a ghetto, regardless of their skin color. There isn’t a secret conspiracy among white Americans to oppress African Americans. The reason ghettos and violent crime epidemics exist anywhere in the world is because business owners are oppressing everyone while the poor are too busy hating and fighting each other to address the real cause of their problems.

Mainstream ignorance

No matter what country you live in, you’re surrounded by idiots. You know this. They stress you out every day at work, and at night you see them on the news fighting tooth and nail to destroy everything good in your country. If you’re not grabbing your head and screaming, “Why is everyone so stupid!?” then you’re not paying attention.

Why do you have to be surrounded by idiots? Poverty. That’s why. We could have already built the ultimate, free, global online school that could provide unrestricted access to all the world’s knowledge and skills. The internet is slowly providing free online education, but since everything is as expensive as possible, and there’s no profit in charity, humanity can’t afford to create the ultimate education tool let alone build elementary schools in third world countries that are sending their resources to foreign markets.

Even in affluent America, students can’t afford to attend the universities they’ve got because predatory capitalism dictates the more your customer needs your product, the more you should charge. Universities are copying the housing and health care industries and taking this philosophy farther than the market can bear. They’re charging students beyond their means, which is creating an education bubble, which is making college so expensive the cost/benefit analysis of enrolling doesn’t necessarily add up anymore. Predatory capitalism has created as system where it doesn’t pay to get a college education. This is putting a glass ceiling on the intelligence level of the entire world.

Going to school isn’t the only way to learn about the world though. There are media companies in every city producing information for mass consumption, but they can’t give content away for free without selling advertisements, which is a form of misinformation.

The price media outlets can charge advertisers is directly proportional to the size of their audience. In order to attract the widest audience possible, businesses have to deliver the most popular content. Thanks to the oppressive nature of the economy, most people are uneducated, scared, stressed out slaves with cabin fever, who are longing for escape. This sets them up to want to consume media that satisfies their base instinctual desires for excitement, hope, love, popularity, wealth and power.

Even news agencies, that supposedly follow a code of integrity, drown out useful information with content that’s more entertaining than educational. The six most successful media companies have bought out most of the world’s independent news agencies and syndicated the same distracting brain candy to every city.

Since the most sociopathic business practices make the most money, it was only a matter of time before a sociopath built a global news organization that intentionally sells lies, fear and blame to gullible consumers. The more intellectually-vulnerable people are misled, the dumber they act and the more they oppose useful reform, which creates a vicious cycle for perpetuating ignorance.

The reason you’re surrounded by idiots is because 90% of the world population are victims of economic oppression. I doubt there’s secret conspiracy to dumb down the population to make them easier to control. That was just a convenient and inevitable byproduct of every businesses’ single-minded pursuit of money.

Religious extremism

There’s a well-established correlation between poverty and religious belief. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be uneducated and feel stressed, hopeless, alone, unfulfilled and meaningless. Religion offers a solution to all the problems created by poverty. It promises if you believe a story and follow some rules, you’ll be rewarded after death.

Religion is the perfect consumer product. It costs nothing to produce, and your customers will pay you for years without getting anything in return. They’ll do your advertising for you and defend your brand to the death even in the face of overwhelming proof your product is a sham. If your religion teaches hard work and sacrifice are virtuous, and idleness and self-interest are evil, then your followers will make the perfect employees for you or any secular business lucky enough to hire them.

Not everyone who believes in religion becomes a terrorist, but there’s a well-documented correlation between poverty and religious extremism. If you want to start a death cult that will kill people and steal their resources for you, believing they’re serving the greater good, then all you need to do is promise them that joining your organization will solve all the problems in their lives created by predatory capitalism. Then, indoctrinate them with time-tested brainwashing techniques to base their identity and self-worth on their status in your pyramid-shaped organization. Finally, criminalize dissent and make it as hard as possible to leave. This is what ISIS and the U.S. military do, and if you copy their model, you can achieve the same success.

Corruption and systemic political failure

Corruption was inevitable the moment money was created. Since money is power, those with the most money have the most power regardless of who sits on the throne of government. You don’t need to sit on the throne yourself or rely on the judgment of others to pass laws that allow you to exploit your workers and customers to death. Modern democracy has created a streamlined path to corruption. Since politicians have to accept donations to fund their election campaigns, they’re beholden to their investors. When the majority of politician’s careers are funded by the same businesses, lone-wolf politicians can’t stand up to all the corporate representatives. That’s why you can’t expect to see hope and change from young, charismatic politicians: because the investors they represent value profits more than human life.

wonka hope and change

War

Once you have enough representatives to control how a nation’s wealth is used, you can use its tax revenue to bribe foreign politicians into letting you pillage their resources. If they won’t play ball, you can depose them with military force, guaranteeing you won’t have to compete for global market share with worker-friendly politicians or foreign businesses.

Predatory capitalism also guarantees perpetual war simply because war is profitable. The military-industrial complex needs tax payers to buy its weapons in order to remain profitable. So it behooves them to invest in campaign financing so they can lobby politicians to stay in perpetual war.

Even without a secret conspiracy by corporations to manipulate militaries into fighting for them, our economic system is still a recipe for conflict. As a general truth, survival requires resources, and when resources are scarce in a local community, they become as valuable as life itself, and people will kill their neighbors to keep what they’ve got and take from the weak.  When a country’s resources become scarce, it will act the same way, and the goal of predatory capitalism is to consume resources as fast as possible.

Since the world’s wealth is being funneled to a few families instead of being distributed to everyone, the nations with the least infrastructure are left in abject poverty and thus chaos, which creates a power vacuum to be filled by the strongest local warlord, which is convenient for big corporations, because warlords prevent small businesses from growing into global competitors, and warlords are happy to sell their nation’s resources to foreign companies for pennies on the dollar.

Environmental apocalypse

As apocalyptic as all these problems are, the worst consequence of predatory capitalism is the destruction of the very eco-system keeping the entire human species alive. In order for companies to make profits, they need to make as many products as possible as quickly as possible, which means they need to consume raw resources as quickly as possible and spend as little money on health and safety as possible. It would be an understatement to call this a recipe for environmental destruction. Predatory capitalism makes it a moral imperative, which is why big businesses are so desperate to convince the population global warming is a hoax. Saving the planet would negatively affect their profit margin.

yes the planet got destroyed

 

The solution to this problem isn’t to guilt trip consumers into buying eco-friendly products. That’s like forcing people to become cannibals and then convincing them to fight cannibalism by only eating each other’s legs. The problem isn’t the victim. The problem is predatory capitalism’s addiction to economic growth. That’s the herd of bears coming to eat you and your tribe. Solve that problem or you’re effectively committing suicide while being complicit in genocide.

I’m less interested in convincing you to accept my theories than I am in inspiring you to do your own research and come up with your own. If you want to know my theory, the simplest solution is to require governments to spend tax revenue on feeding and sheltering all of its citizens before they’re allowed to spend taxes on anything else. This will solve people’s immediate problems, give them the freedom not to have to work/consume, and eliminate the leverage businesses use to exploit everyone at every corner. If governments won’t do that, citizens need to organize to create private sustainable communities to shelter themselves from poverty.

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Is it lazy to not want to work?

There’s a common attitude in American culture that anyone who doesn’t want to work at least forty hours per week is lazy, spoiled, entitled and weak. Baby Boomers and their parents in particular are famous for vilifying the younger generations for not apathetically accepting a lifetime of toil.

To be fair, when our elders warn us of the importance of work, they speak from experience. Those who lived through the Great Depression had to adapt to a brutal environment. The beliefs and life-skills that helped them survive became staples of their culture, which they passed down to their children. Now, when Baby Boomers see young adults ignoring survival-based customs, they interpret that as being irresponsible. On the surface, these feelings are reasonable, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re disastrously short-sighted.

During the Great Depression, America had enough resources to feed and house every citizen. The only reason everyone didn’t have at least the bare minimum to survive already distributed to them, was because the premise of the economy was to pay the lowest pages and charge the highest prices possible so that the nation’s wealth flows upward, leaving the poorest workers stuck in perpetual wage slavery, and President Hoover’s solutions to these problems only made them worse.

America’s economy has evolved in a lot of ways, but the premise is still the same. Every business in America is still paying and treating its workers as close to slaves as they can get. The wealth still flows up, and the average worker still lives under constant control and fear.

For most Americans, life is pushing a boulder up hill. The situation has been hard and hopeless for Americans for so many generations, we teach our children it’s immature to follow your passion, and real adults suck it up and pick the smallest boulder within reach and get pushing. Coping with poverty has been a part of American culture for so long that we’re so used to it that most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it. We even celebrate it.

The Millennial generation realizes they’re fucked though. They know even if they do everything right, the game is rigged against them. They’ll still spend the best years of their lives working their asses off at jobs that pay and treat them like second class citizens. No matter how much they save, even if they get to live like a first class citizen for a brief time, eventually one of the ever-circling bill collectors is going to rip the last dollar they have out of their hand.

Morbidly, the thing most likely to bankrupt them and take away all hope in their life, is the hospital they’ll eventually have to go visit to stay alive. Life for the Millennials is so fucked, hospitals are an existential riddle, and the government’s latest solution to the unaffordability of healthcare was to force everyone to buy unaffordable health insurance that doesn’t cover the cost of health care. So there’s every reason for Millennials to assume life is only going to get more unfair. Parents, politicians and employers shouldn’t be surprised when Millennials aren’t enthusiastic about their career. Working isn’t an opportunity. It’s government-sanctioned slavery.

Millennials are working. They have to, because they can’t survive if they don’t, but if nothing they do matters, then why should they do more than the bare minimum? Why go the extra mile for an employer who treats them like profits are worth more than their lives? If Millennials should reciprocate the respect their bosses show them, then they shouldn’t show their bosses any respect. It’s insulting and unethical to ask Millennials to be excited about the company they work for, because if they’re excited to be in an abusive relationship then they either have battered person or Stockholm syndrome.

Human beings weren’t put on this Earth to work, especially not at strip malls and office buildings. Spending your life working your ass off in a Polo shirt isn’t “just the way life is.” That’s the way life shouldn’t be. This isn’t the world our ancestors scraped their way out of the mud tooth and nail to create. Philosophically, our economy defeats the purpose of existence. It forces people to devote their lives to surviving, and just because survival is the most immediately important need in life, that doesn’t mean it’s the only need in life. There’s a whole hierarchy of them, leading up to self-actualization at the top.

Our minds are compelled by our DNA to grow to our full potential. When we get stuck at a lower level, our brains act like a nicotine addict urging us to go seek out the thing it’s missing. If we ignore the craving, we get anxious and desperate. Capitalism keeps people stuck at the survival level almost their entire lives. It should be obvious that human aren’t lazy for not wanting to sit in a cubicle for 60 years worrying about bills. They’re monkeys trapped in a cage, raging to get out.

Since immigration laws are so strict, and every country has the same business model anyway, there’s no escaping jobs that pay too little and bills that cost too much. The most common way people cope with living in a Skinner Box is by accepting the apocalyptic nature of their existence and trying to find whatever happiness and motivation they can between shocks.

If you devote your life to surviving, you neglect the rest of your psychological needs. If you don’t fulfill the rest of your potential, then there was no point being here in the first place. Since we’re all going to die eventually anyway, the cost/benefit analysis of risking a slightly earlier death in order to fulfill higher needs in the immediate present adds up.

In America it’s financially irresponsible to work less than forty hours per week, but it’s cosmically irresponsible to be financially responsible. Granted, if you don’t work so you can sit around all day smoking weed and playing video games, then yes, you’re lazy and irresponsible. But if you work part time so you can live your dream, you’re efficient and wise.

If we didn’t live in a financially oppressive economy, we wouldn’t need to philosophize about how responsible it is to work 40 hours per week. If we were living in the kind of world our ancestors hoped humanity would build, everyone’s basic needs would be guaranteed. Everyone still needs to pull their weight, but the world could function if we all worked 10-20 hours per week. Whatever conveniences that costs us would be outweighed by the benefit of getting our lives back.

The debate the world should be having isn’t, is it lazy to not want to work? We should be debating why we still put up with a system that works us so long it deprives us of the meaning of life. And instead of bickering about the pros/cons of capitalism, socialism and communism, we need to look at the ground and ask ourselves what we really need, and what we’re willing to give for it.

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