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An American Awakening

May 6, 2017
It’s tempting, when confronted by political malfeasance, to become so absorbed with its symptom that we give too little attention to treating its cause. In fact, behind every dangerous political phenomenon lies the ideology that produced it. Everything that happens in the material world is created first on the level of thought.

Political propaganda seeks to affect the way people perceive the world in order to affect the way they behave. Political propaganda is the biggest tool in the extremist’s arsenal. It’s at an all-time high today in terms of sophistication and effectiveness, as Madison Avenue public relations acumen has been insidiously and nefariously applied to the political sphere. Our problem is not just that some politicians flat out lie; our bigger problem is the power of their propaganda to dismantle the ability within many people’s minds to even realize they’re being lied to. People are vulnerable to extremism not because they like extremism, but because in too many cases today extremism is hugely successful at posing as something else.

No external force is as threatening to our democracy today as is the political propaganda war being currently waged against it. Our freedom is being attacked from within, but instead of fighting this tide in many ways our country is flowing with it. Why? In large part, because of the Big Lies that fuel the propaganda machine and generate its power. Identifying the Big Lies of corporate fascism is an essential part of resisting it.

Whether or not a Big Lie has been proven to be false seems to have minimal bearing on whether or not it is believed. It is the conviction and consistency with which the Big Lie is stated, not the proven accuracy or inaccuracy of its claim, that determines its effect on voters’ minds and thus the way that they vote.

The first Big Lie being used against the American people today is the idea that the business sector is our primary “job creator.”

Successful businesses create jobs; that is true. But the notion that if we cut taxes enough for the very rich and for already hugely profitable businesses, then all that money will trickle down to everyone else in the form of job creation is simply false. Yet it is a lie that has been used in the United States for propaganda purposes for decades, despite all economic evidence to the contrary. Tax breaks and other financial breaks that favor the wealthiest among us do not create greater prosperity for all; they simply siphon off more and more money to those who already have it, and more and more money away from those who do not. They do not promote wealth-creation opportunities that benefit all; they simply redistribute wealth from those who do not have to those who already do. If we give a huge amount of money to the rich, we simply don’t have enough money left over to help those who are not.

Business is important, and successful businesses are essential to a healthy economy. But the business sector is no more important or more essential to our economic good than is education, health care or any other avenue by which people are aided in their ability to self-actualize.

Who and what then create jobs, if not the business sector? The answer is often hidden from plain sight for two reasons: one, because so many within its ranks are women, and two, because it doesn’t have the funds to create a huge public relations machinery to lay out its case. Education, not big business, is the biggest job-creating sector. The greatest job-creator in America is not the businessperson but the educator — not simply someone who can give you a job, but someone who can prepare you for a job; someone who can provide you with the internal and external tools to do it well. It is not just overseas outsourcing that has taken our jobs away; it is in equal measure our failure as a society to provide for the preparation of our citizens, from the earliest age, for the challenges of living in the 21st Century.

Tax revenue currently proposed to help the top .001% should be used to create the largest matrix of technical colleges and free institutions of higher learning in the world. The fact that it is not is a travesty of economic justice, and a legacy of ancient serfdom. We have acquiesced to an aristocratic economic system, forced there not by the tyranny of kings but rather lured there by political propaganda designed to convince the abused that the abuser is their friend.

Millions in America today – hard-working people who should have every right to feel securely ensconced in the middle class — are only a few unfortunate steps (a health crisis here, a lay off there) away from the ranks of the poor, and they know it. Their anger and despair are totally valid, yet often they are looking to the actual source of the problem to solve it.

The huge matrix of corporate power in America is not a huge job-creating machine; it is a huge wealth-destroying machine for anyone but itself. Our current economic power structure – led by banks, huge multi-national corporate entities and the politicians they can afford to buy — is a system of economic abuse. It is a system that creates huge amounts of economic stress, and then presents itself as the job-creating machine that will relieve the stress. It’s like a thief who steals from you, then changes clothes and arrives at your door thirty minutes later dressed as Santa Claus.

And when it comes to wealth creation opportunity, the average American isn’t even asking for Santa Claus; he or she is asking for simple fairness and decency and respect. The values of brotherhood and justice that form the framework of any right relationship form the framework of a healthy society. And that applies to the economy too. Treat every person with the respect they deserve as a child of God from the time they’re born, and watch what they will create for themselves.

Every person has within us the deep desire to create the good, the true and the beautiful. Walk into any pre-school or kindergarten and you will see that this is true. If every human being is truly a precious creation of God, then there is no amount of money too much to spend on education, cultural enrichment, and any and all opportunities to provide for their ability to create success for themselves.

Traditionally, America has known this.

After World War II, the United States Congress created the G.I. Bill for our returning veterans. This allowed millions of returning soldiers to attend college and enter the workforce at a higher level than they would have otherwise. A nation devastated by World War II then realized that our biggest opportunity for economic re-greening lay in educating the American population and rebuilding our infrastructure. This civic wisdom led to an explosion of economic prosperity among us and the creation of America’s great middle class.

Abraham Lincoln, who our current president has referred to as “low energy Abe,” in fact released the energy of a thousand suns when he articulated for the ages the highest aspiration of the American people: that ours would be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” What a travesty we are making of our own national creed, as we acquiesce to the takeover of the United States government by forces who, however much they rant and rave their support for “the American people,” are dedicated to placing the reins of our government in the hands of those with nothing but contempt for the notion of a government “for the people.” These “economic royalists,” as Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to them, have done extraordinary damage to our history and are doing extraordinary damage now. But whenever they appear, they are an aberration and not an inevitability. We have stopped them before and we will stop them again.

The second Big Lie at the heart of the extremist propaganda machine is that the poor are those who simply will not and do not help themselves. The demonizing of America’s poor has been one of the great successes of the corporate extremists, insidiously turning those being systematically pushed into the ranks of the poor into the greatest proponents of the system that is doing the pushing. If I don’t like you, I’m less likely to stand up for you; if I don’t stand up for you, then I’m not going to know to stand up for myself when those same forces are coming after me.

So the strategy of the propaganda war is obvious: stereotype the faceless minions of corporate extremism as your economic savior, even when they’re not; and the most disadvantaged among you as your enemy, even when they’re not. That way you won’t rebel against your abuser, and you won’t side with those held down by the same forces that will get around to you if you allow them to. It’s a brilliant strategy and at the moment it’s working. But it will not work forever, because while the American people can be fooled and fooled too easily, that doesn’t mean that we’re fools. Even the smartest people have been taken in by frauds, whether fraudulent lovers who made us think they cared or salesmen who made us believe in their fraudulent products. It happens to the best of us. But once you know what’s being done to you, something changes. You’re no longer asleep and you will no longer be held down. You are awake to your rights and no longer blinded by those who would deny them.

What we need now is an American Awakening. Political propaganda has no real power in the face of an awakened citizenry. Sometimes Americans are kind of slow to realize what’s going on, but historically we slam it like nobody’s business once we do. And we will have learned from all this. We will have learned the dangers of going to sleep at the wheel of American democracy. We will have learned that democracy cannot be taken for granted. And we will have learned that citizenship is a serious responsibility.

The question isn’t, “But what can we do?” The question is, “What will YOU do?” The midterm elections are November 6, 2018. Write that day in your calendar and etch it on your heart; prepare for that day in every way you can. Do not be distracted and do not lose courage.

It is the day when we can turn all this around.

  • Karin Clark

    Love this. THANK YOU!

  • Diane

    Thanks Marianne for that thoughtful, brilliant analysis which is right on target.

    As you describe, we need to demystify the Big Lie.

    You reminded me of a chapter Intensive Family Therapy that impressed me in 1975. In “Mystification, Confusion and Conflict,” R.D. Laing describes the process of mystification as studied in schizophrenigenic families. Referring to Karl Marx, he defines mystification as a “plausible misrepresentation of what is going on (process) or what is being done (praxis) in the service of the interests of one socioeconomic class (the exploiters) over or against another class (the exploited). By representing forms of exploitation as forms of benevolence, the exploiters bemuse the exploited into feeling at one with their exploiters, or into feeling gratitude for what (unrealized by them) is their exploitation, and, not least, into feeling bad or mad eve to think of rebellion.” …. “Implicit in Marx’s formulation is that before enlightened action can be taken, the issues have to be demystified.”

    One group especially vulnerable to mystification are those not well educated, on the other side of the digital divide, who have not had the amazing fortune of a four years or more of a privileged college life, learning to analyze, read, write, be mentored, travel, party, and become worldly. A poll by PRRI/The Atlantic revealed that a higher percent of likely Trump voters lived in or near the town where they grew up, less geographically mobile. They may be intelligent, may have high IQs, some ADD.

    My brother is one of them. Trump makes them feel good. They may understandably envy the “elites” and feel inferior. By binding their identity with America being great they feel better about themselves. There concerns are not only about losing jobs, they feel insulted, because they are. As I say, “It’s the humiliation, stupid.”

    We need to find respectful ways to communicate. In working to turn things around in 2018, which we must do as long as we are still in the destructive, dualistic two- party system, we must be careful not to reenact the humiliation. After all, it can’t be about right against left, rich against poor, class against class, which is part of the false construction, Big Lie. What is good for us is good for them, though many have been mystified to believe it is a win/lose.

    We are in a paradox of needing to work for victory of one party while simultaneously holding an independent, transcendent vision. Perhaps a “declaration of independents.”

    Thanks Marianne for Sister Giant and all your contributions to what is needed now.

  • Reenie Carmack

    BRILLANT! And right on!! Thank you for articulating this so well.

  • Pat Hawks

    Thank you for such an insightful, historically and economically accurate article. Your discussion of propaganda alone should be read by anyone who is concerned about where our country is headed, or moreso, by those who have become too complacent within the incredulousness of every day news which seems to have “normalized” what are very real threats to our democracy. Clearly we have not learned the lessons of 20th century history (the President has absolutely no concept of history at all) which allowed Nazi Germany to become the monster it became through the wielding of power by a tyrant and through the insidious use of propaganda in all areas of German society. I was reminded of that when the President signed yet another executive order last week (the wielding of power by a tyrant) last week which eases restrictions on what religious institutions can put forth on political opinions/candidates. The churches in Nazi Germany, especially in rural areas, used the pulpit to disseminate National Socialist racism and hatred. And sadly, it worked. We are headed down a very scary road and you are absolutely right that each of us has a responsibility to remain aware and to act in whatever many ways we can as citizens. I too have grown weary of reading and listening to the news as each day there seems to be yet one more thing that absolutely astounds me. Complacency is partially how we got here and I can not allow myself the arrogance to turn it all off and not pay attention. History requires my humility and I bow before each person who has been a victim to its viciousness. Thank you, always, Marianne, for all you give and how you encourage our honesty and our courage. It will take that – and much more – if we are to survive.

  • amylouise donnelly

    Marianne – this is why I have been listening to your livestream lectures every week since January. You have this blessed mix unflinching, make no excuses spirituality based on the most forgiving book ever published, with the wits and the will to speak clear minded truth to power. On a regular basis. Something of your dad has survived in you, and it is a good thing.

    There are several quotable sections in this essay that I will be sending to friends and spiritual companions over the next several weeks.

    Primary in them – the reality that the most powerful job creating engine in the economy is the educational system, and the reason it doesn’t attract the respect of this particular administration (can’t be said about the previous one) is that MOST OF THE PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR ARE WOMEN.

    *That* – Marianne – is a profound insight. I don’t know if it’s a collective one or a personal one born in your own thinking, but I thank you for it, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Diane

    Your brilliant analysis which is right on target. As you describe, we need to demystify the Big Lie.

    It reminds me of a chapter that impressed me in 1975. In “Mystification, Confusion and Conflict,” R.D. Laing describes the process of mystification as studied in schizophrenigenic families. He defines mystification as a “plausible misrepresentation” of what is going on. “By representing forms of exploitation as forms of benevolence, the exploiters bemuse the exploited into feeling at one with their exploiters, or into feeling gratitude for what (unrealized by them) is their exploitation, and, not least, into feeling bad or mad eve to think of rebellion.” …. “Implicit in Marx’s formulation is that before enlightened action can be taken, the issues have to be demystified.” So our task is to demystify.

    One group especially vulnerable to mystification are those not well educated, on the other side of the digital divide, who have not had the amazing fortune of four years of a privileged college life, learning to analyze, read, write, be mentored, travel, party, and become worldly. A poll by PRRI/The Atlantic revealed that a higher percent of likely Trump voters live in or near the town where they grew up, less geographically mobile, less worldly – not stupid.

    My brother is one of them. Trump makes them feel good. They may understandably envy the “elites” and feel inferior. By binding their identity with America being great they feel better about themselves. Their concerns are not only about jobs. They feel insulted, because they are. I say, “It’s the humiliation, stupid.”

    We need to find respectful ways to communicate. In working to turn things around in 2018, as long as we are still in the destructive, dualistic two- party system, we must be careful not to reenact the humiliation. After all, it can’t be about right against left, rich against poor, class against class, which is part of the false construction, “plausible misrepresentation” of reality, the Big Lie. It will be challenging for people to recognize how they are being manipulated, while finding healthy sources of respect and dignity. What is good for us is good for them, though many have been mystified to believe it is a win/lose.

    We are in a paradox of needing to work for victory of one party while simultaneously holding an independent, transcendent vision. Perhaps a “declaration of independents.”

    Thanks Marianne for Sister Giant and all your contributions to what is needed now.

  • Chris Trammell

    Marianne, some people have blogs that entertain at the superficial level of daily living. Other blogs go deeper into a topic that touches our personal concerns. And then there’s you(r blog post) which is the most articulate and comprehensive summary of our current state of our union, to the point that it could be the introduction for a master’s thesis, PhD dissertation or university curriculum on examining U.S. politics and business and their affect on our nation.

    You are brilliant, attractive and shine the the love of Christ onto humanity in the most passionate, loving and authentic ways. You meet the broken hearted with compassion and a light on the path to healing, and then in the next moment engage the intellect with powerful insights that are being overlooked these days as we defend ourselves from the barrage of news( Aka noise) and the emotional roller coaster our current administration and national conversation gives us every day.
    Keep shining and sharing Marianne, you arm us with Peace for the soul, and insights for our chosen commitments.
    Thank you,
    A fellow student.

  • Ruby Dosen

    Marianne my Love, you have taught me well…So here goes .

    As I get the Course tells me none of what you speak of ever happened.
    That’s what The Curse tells me , and so then what is the issue ?

    IF we are always living in the Now, Now Now and Now…and Creating , Creating, Creating form Now where is the problem or any past ..Where is it then ? I get that it can or might take humanity 900 years or more to get that concept, that it’s all an illusion , nothing is happening , never did happen .
    It’s not about Denying what IS, it’s about Forgiving it so that it Can Disappear . It is about shining our light in all those dark nooks and crannys, no words necessary.
    True forgiveness does that …Maybe I need to study the course more closely , perhaps I am mistaken .

    If We all just did The Work of Lesson 121 Today, what a difference that Energetic Vote would make in the world Yes !

    My 2Cs,:
    As Long as Humanity Lives , Walks and Breathes the ” US or Them ” “You or I “model of living life on plate earth , Nothing will even change. WE must ” ALL Unite in Love ” and stop making each other wrong, really Forgive ourselves and others , I mean TRULY forgive …. We must look for the light in those we make wrong no matter what it takes, get a magnifying mirror if we must , looking is what calls …that is OUR JOB as Awakened ones as Light Workers on this planet…We must LOOK for the GOOD in whomever we blame or see less than Perfect .
    Talk is cheap, it’s just hot air, the Work begins with Me and You , US , WE .. there is nothing out there that is wrong, as a matter fact there is nothing wrong at all, blaming and wrong making IS no the solution anymore , Living , Walking , Building Anything in the New Realm, New World cannot be born with same told ways people .
    Takes something New and never before of all of us to step up to .

    Polishing My Mirror and keeping it clean is my daily work .
    God made All of US equally , We are ALL Related and it IS GOOD . Yes, 🙂
    Love and Light to All.

  • Janice Giampaoli

    Marianne, your blog is awesome, and you hit the nail on the head. As scary as it is, it is the truth, it is reality currently. As a liberal democrat, and and an educated woman, witnessing what is going on in our government is mind boggling and surreal. Has the American government ever hated the people as much as it does now? It is so “in your face.” I get totally exasperated an frustrated, to put it mildly, when I see so many American’s continue to support a government that is out to destroy it’s own. I have remain calm and composed to keep from losing my mind! I will continue to fight for democracy and our freedoms, and I will never give up. We could so desperately use the energies and “inner fight” that was so prominent in the ’60’s, but like you said in several of your books (all of which I own), those days were silenced by violence against those who promoted love and peace. Shameful!!! I pray we can overcome this potential national catastrophe, and forge ahead to enlightenment and continued freedom and democracy for the people, and by the people. However, it is up to the people to fight for this continued way of life for without it we may be doomed as would the ecosystem as a whole! Let’s hope, pray and fight to shed light on our current national darkness! I love your works and have been an admirer of yours for many years!!! Thank you Marianne from my heart! http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fead8f4d74f76899a1dfa15cc311b02ddced2f74d0db6a3305013057f23571bc.jpg

  • Janice Giampaoli

    Agree with you wholeheartedly!

  • Janice Giampaoli

    Love this Diane! I loved the writings of R.D. Laing. Excellent analogy to our current administration! Demystifying the issues is Key!

  • Diane

    Thanks for responding, Janice. Good to know someone out there appreciated it. Laing’s piece on Mystification made a big impression on me and I have referred to it many times over the decades.

  • Michio Abe

    Dear Marianne,

    Happy Memorial Day. Thank you very much for all you do.

    Sincerely,

    Memorial Day 29, 2017

    From Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    Mitch Abe

  • Karl Gary

    We could also view capitalism as the main problem. Capitalism dictates our human behavior. It’s a competitive structure that causes humans to fight over money. Bankers win and become extremely wealthy, and as they win more humans move into poverty and may become a criminal to fight for money. Or choose to live in a tent and find scraps to eat because they do not like to harm others.

    Technology and automation can eliminate poverty by using technical advancements correctly. Eventually, it would eliminate money. This would also change human behavior. Example: How does a human stick a gun in your back to rob you of money? He can’t, money has been eliminated from the environment so the human behavior disappears too. If automation is supplying food and housing for the masses at abundant levels that Earth can handle due to properly managed resources, there is no reason to fight over anything. Human behavior completely changes. And we stop living stupid systems.

    The application of automation is love. We can literally build compassion for the first time in human history. We can automate all food and water supplies to produce massive amounts of plant food, which would also help to clean the air. There really is no other way to feed 7.5 billion humans and growing. We must apply technonlgy. Love as a thought cannot do it. But love as an action can.

  • Mark Goldstein

    Nail on the head, as usual, Marianne! In addition, the leaders of so many different departments in this administration come from the corporate world, with agendas antithetical to protection of our citizenry. For those of you who have not seen Michael Moore’s documentary, “Where to Invade Next”, please make a point to view it as it shows how many other countries have enacted enlightened social programs, including health and education.

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