"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself." -- Albert Einstein
Over the last few days I watched the two-part Oprah Winfrey interviews with Lance Armstrong. I’m sure the OWN network will replay both nights either online or on their channel or on Youtube if anyone is interested. I would encourage those interested to watch. Not necessarily because of the content but because of the nature of the interviews and their relevance to the social values and dynamics created by the corporate state.
After watching the interview, I want to repost a link to the piece I wrote on modern society collapse and the glorification of hyper-competitiveness and aggression by fundamentalist capitalist cultures. I want to repost it because everything in the Winfrey-Armstrong interview was highlighted in that post. And, using that as a segue, below I am posting part II on this topic. Armstrong rationalized his value system and behavior using the same principles as written verbatim in that post.
The reality is Lance Armstrong is just another nameless face. His situation is repeated time and time and time again in our dying corporate culture. He is typical of the hyper-competitive, exploitative and outright aggressive (destructive) personality types glorified by corporate capitalism and our beholden patriarchal political system. As noted on here in numerous posts on aggressive (destructive) personality types, these people use and take from others in failed attempts to ameliorate their inner demons. To self-medicate through using and taking from others. Armstrong’s situation is no different than the 2008 collapse of the U.S. financial system. The personality types involved in the exploitative, abusive, predatory, hyper-aggressive, patriarchal Wall Street culture are exactly the same. The outcomes of these values glorified by corporate capitalism and the corporate state are exactly the same; exploitation and destruction left in the wake.
Armstrong admitted to bullying (another predatory dynamic embraced by the corporate state that has been discussed on here.) , exploitation, force and hyper-aggression to destroy anyone who opposed him. It didn’t matter what the consequences were or whether his actions were just and true. Or whether he was destroying innocent people. He was bent on maintaining his socially-gained power and destroying anyone who opposed him. This exploitive, predatory, narcissistic behavior is typical of aggressive personality types glorified in the corporate war state and on Wall Street.
In the corporate state we are expected to become someone who conforms to the system of corporate capitalism and accepted social norms. Social norms substantially determined by corporate capitalism. Let’s be frank. American culture and its values are dominated by and determined by corporate capitalism. We are assimilated into the Borg and in the process expected to lose our own identity, our culture and our individuality. The reality is democracy or democratic government plays a very insignificant role in our daily existence. Individual human expression, a manifestation of our mind’s higher power or inner divinity, is subsumed to the sameness, roteness and meaningless goals of our corporate masters and their accepted social values. Social values that oftentimes are diametrically-opposed to timeless human values of equality, dignity, empathy, kindness, love and acceptance. Values derived from our higher power or that which makes us human. So, rather than glorifying individual human expression such as our connection to nature, art, literature, science, discovery, knowledge, music, our children, community, friendships, relationships and other expressions of our inner divinity, the corporate state encourage us to set goals that often make it difficult to actually connect to our humanity and our natural expression. The corporate state robs us of our humanity. It encourages and oftentimes even forces us to give away some piece of our human authenticity to conform to the system. And, mind you, this can happen to anyone. The self can rationalize anything in any situation and most often does as we see in our collapsing corporate culture.
Instead of granting every individual their own higher power, the proletariat corporate state glorifies corporate work and capitalism, a form of indentured servitude involving outsourcing our higher power to bureaucrats, as the ultimate manifestation of human expression. Corporations, by their very nature in the glorification of service and work are inherently proletariat.
With work comes the corporate state’s rewards of career (serving our masters), money, power, advancement (authority), and the perception of greater control (destructive behavior) often manifested through the acquisition of more and more physical “wealth” and power. These are the riches granted by the corporate state; power, control and money. And to achieve those riches, the corporate state glorifies the violent social values of hyper-competitiveness, comparative advantage over our brothers and sisters, greed, vainglory, envy, selfishness and covetousness. Selfishness is a right of passage. Greed is good. War and violence are better.
Maybe more aptly described by Orwell in his vision of the future, “In our world, there will be no emotions, except fear, rage, triumph and self-abasement. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty to the party. But always there will be the intoxication of power. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory. The sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”. What better describes Lance Armstrong’s win-at-all-cost, power-driven, selfish megalomania? It should be of no surprise these are the values glorified by our corporate masters and Wall Street predators. Armstrong, as anyone who embraces the corporate state’s social value system, stomped on the face of countless innocent victims who he characterized as jealous, losers, liars, enemies and the like. And, it should be of no surprise all of those people were innocent. This is clearly indicative of the values embraced by our corporate masters and the corporate war state. This is corporate capitalism. And, it should be of no surprise that corporate capitalism embraced Armstrong and corporate advertising (propaganda) made him in their image.
As sentient beings, our higher power is granted by the human mind’s ability to connect to a place that exists only in the human mind. A place that is able to consciously experience selflessness, empathy, dignity, acceptance and love. A place that allows us to grant ourselves and others unconditional worthiness just as we are. A place that allows us to be still in the moment and grant ourselves grace. To desire or covet nothing. To simply just be. A place that allows us, through the ability of compassion, acceptance and vulnerability, to connect to another sentient, living being with willful intent and conscious awareness. To consciously and with intent chose to be kind. Through some ability clearly not understood by science, to literally become one with the living world around us and share profoundly otherworldly experiences of unconditional selflessness, empathy and love. It is our higher power that grants us divine human expression. Yet, it is the unstable manifested self and all of its foibles and outright ability for evil that are exalted in modern fundamentalist capitalist society. It is indeed an unstable perception of self that seeks hyper-competitiveness, comparative advantage over our brothers and sisters, greed, selfishness, vainglory, envy, selfishness and covetousness. These are the values embraced by the Godless corporate state.
This isn’t some new age concept. This is a reality that can be measured by science. People who are disconnected from their higher power actually have different brain scans. Because their mind isn’t functioning to its full conscious ability. They are literally disconnected from a capability to be human that exists within our mind. In most instances this detachment or dissociation is simply a reflection of an individual consumed by the manifested self. This disconnection makes it difficult or impossible for these people to literally see beyond the self. That part of their mind literally is not being engaged. And, that means they are truly unable to connect with another living, sentient being that exists beyond the perceptions of self. Or unable to connect to the world around us. These people are often detached and seemingly aloof. Disconnected from the terror and disaster they leave in their wake.
Disconnection and dissociation are all around us. Not only with the predatory behavior glorified by the corporate state but also within its victims. These predators are not just in positions of power, which their disease is drawn to like a moth to a flame. They may secretly seek to gain power but feel they have none in their lives. That is, because they are disconnected from their mind’s higher power and unable to grant themselves their own divinity or worthiness. So, they seek it through power, exploitation and victimization over others. They seek externally that which can only be found within. This may simply be an abusive parent or boss. Or someone who abuses their pets. It doesn’t need to be a Wall Street CEO or a politician. Regardless, their condition could easily be classified as addicts. As Armstrong admitted, they are addicted to control over the world around them. Control that they believe will help ameliorate their inner demons or their disconnection to their own divinity. They are addicted to power just like a heroine addict is addicted to opiates. And, the predation, victimization and exploitation we see today is simply a manifestation of them acting out. Getting their addictive fix.
These are the users, takers, me-first, aggressive personality types, predators, exploiters, selfish, narcissists, psychopaths and people who use and take from others to achieve their own selfish needs and goals. Goals meant to ameliorate their inner demons. Corporations and politics are almost always run by autocratic leaders who possess these traits. Any hierarchical organization is filled with these aggressive personality types. Why? Because a corporation or a political office or any institution of the manifested self or institutions of control. Senior executives, politicians, hierarchical religious orthodoxy and the like are nothing more than bureaucrats. Unthinking keepers of the status quo. And being drawn to power and control, they use and take from others, often treating people as nothing more than chattel, to achieve their self-centered goals. (Mind you, one of the long-time theses on here is that we are going to see systemic failures in institutions of control or of the manifested self; governments, junk science, industrial food monopolies, universities, bureaucracy, the war state, debt, money, corporations, contracts, etc, etc, etc, around the world. Who knows. Maybe even the Vatican will fail. At least as it has always been. Regardless, that call continues to work out very handsomely.)
Those who are disconnected from their higher power make the best capitalists glorified by the corporate state. They may learn social norms like marriage and having children or friendships. They learn this through the manifested self’s innate ability of mimicry rather than through our higher power’s loving intent. They are truly unable to empathize or experience what love and selflessness really are. To many of these predators, having children or a spouse or a friend is like taking out the trash. It’s a social norm they learn through mimicry that allows them to achieve greater power over the world around them. They may even experience tears but they are often tears of self-pity, even when talking of their family or others. Self-pity and a lack of personal responsibility are hallmark traits of predators. Think Wall Street. Think politicians who have sold out our democracy or our economic determinism for benefit of the self. Think the endless history of pedophilia and victimization inherent in the Vatican hierarchy for the last 1600 years.
Love is not physical attraction. Love is not that je ne sais quoi that we experience with certain people. Those are all perceptions of the manifested self that are easily explained by the sum of our experiences. Experiences that determine our mind’s perceptions of the physical world around us and our perceptions of who we are in that world. Love is an unconditional state of mind derived from our higher power. It is a recognition of every living being’s worthiness to exist with dignity and respect. It is a state of mind that recognizes the literal connection we all share through our ability to access a place within our mind where the universe resides. A state of mind that expects nothing from anyone yet gives openly and selflessly without condition. It is a state of mind that those disconnected from their higher power can truly never experience either for themselves or anyone else. They cannot experience their own divinity because they are detached from it. Literally. They are consumed by the manifested self. And, those people are glorified by the Godless corporate state.
If we are connected to our higher power or our own divinity, how can we consciously, and with intent, harm ourselves or anyone else? Belittle anyone? Use anyone? Take from anyone? How can we hate anyone? Find anyone unworthy? How can we use and take from others to accomplish selfish social, economic or glorified corporate capitalist goals? How can we wage war? How can we have conscious intent to murder another human being? Even if they have committed a crime? No. These are actions of those disconnected from that which make us human; our own divinity. These are people consumed by the manifested self or the ego. Yet these are the values glorified by the Godless corporate state. For without people like this the corporate state simply could not exist. The lunatics running the corporate state have created an asylum. And, they have placed all of us in it. All to ameliorate their own addictions, disconnections and instabilities.
Modern capitalist society is collapsing because its values reflect absolutely no modicum of timeless truth. It doesn’t reflect the divine values that uniquely make us human. Modern capitalist society has abandoned human values, connectedness and community declared in our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” Instead, it rewards those who are the most disconnected from their humanity. The most selfish. Those most unstable. Those most willing to throw their fellow man under the bus for benefit of the self. Those who buy into the “me” culture that became so socially-accepted under the complete deregulation of private, for-profit aka predatory capital undertaken by Clinton/Gore and their like-minded Republican cronies. Those who would take and take and take to ameliorate their disconnected state of mind. To use and take to self-medicate their inner demons.
And so it is in the Godless corporate state.
So, as it pertains to Lance Armstrong, has this crisis in his perceptions of self and his megalomaniac belief systems started the process of him (re)connecting to his higher power or his humanity? Or is he completely disconnected from his higher power? Is he the worst kind of disconnected predator; a sociopath - as the still defiant Wall Street predators are. Armstrong was a very heavy user and taker of others. And, showed absolutely no remorse for trying to destroy countless innocent people. People who did nothing wrong other than be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is, within his crosshairs of violence, predation and exploitation. No one knows. That is, except Lance Armstrong. But one thing is still very telling. In the interview he remarks that he still wants to compete. Frankly, that he still needs to compete to feed his addiction. He still needs that power he gains at the expense of someone else. He’s still addicted to power that manifests itself through his hyper-competitiveness and aggression. The external validation, the winning, the fame, the adoration and the stomping on the face of his enemy glorified by the corporate state. It’s one thing to challenge oneself for fun. To discover what we are capable of accomplishing through dedication and excellence. It’s quite another to be addicted to it. Lance Armstrong has a long journey back to humanity. Personally, I hope he makes it.
For society to develop some modicum of sustainability, and we most certainly need to develop sustainable social dynamics before we can start thinking about sustainable economics, we must re-embrace timeless human values. We must replace the corporate state with a culture void of state-endorsed violence, predation and victimization. We must create a culture that allows emotionally-wounded and disconnected people an environment to heal themselves. To be responsible for themselves. Not an environment where wounded and disconnected people are rewarded with positions of authority in our economy and our government. Modern capitalist fundamentalist society encourages the wounded self to act out or self-medicate by endlessly exploiting, using and taking from others. That dynamic even includes war, torture and state-sponsored murder. Wars on drugs, illiteracy, poverty, terrorism and other corporate-state sponsored acts of social violence have been perpetrated on our citizens and democracy rather than on behalf of freeing our citizens from the ills of a degenerate ruling class.
We all suffer from the human condition - We all suffer from the manifestations of the self and its foibles and demons. We all can rationalize anything given the right circumstances. We should seek to create a culture and a society where rationalization and selfishness are replaced by values requiring connection to our higher power; human dignity, selflessness, personal responsibility and compassion. One where government seeks to protect and encourage the emotional growth and emotional freedom of its people rather than exploiting them for the instabilities often created by or enabled by the state itself. One where we are encouraged to (re)connect with our humanity. One where we are encouraged to take back our own divine power rather than granting it to a political or corporate predator. In other words, freedom is first a state of mind. Until that happens, modern capitalist fundamentalist society will continue its degeneracy of victimization and exploitation under the authority of self-consumed, irresponsible, rationalizing self-medicating predators, takers, users and addicts.
There most certainly is one basic fact that has been lost on the corporate state and all of its adherents and apologists. That is, democracy is more than lip service mouthed by predators and users; it is an expression of human dignity, equality and decency. We are all worthy. And, that means no human being should ever ne able to take power or be granted power over another human being. Only just, transparent, reasoned democratic law granted by natural law or our creator. And those laws need to be applied to our economic system as well. Including an economic constitution granting every American inalienable economic rights and human dignity. A living-wage job or a living wage contribution to democracy and global justice for every American willing to be personally responsible.
An impossibility? The small handful of self-appointed power mongers in our nation only exists through your consent. You create your own reality. If you aren’t able to grant yourself the dignity and decency you deserve, how will you grant it to your fellow man? The takers and users aren’t going to stop taking and using; the penetrating acts of self-discovery, personal responsibility and enlightenment are coming whether you are ready or not. Because, as I cited with Martin Niemoller’s remarks, they are coming for you. For your Social Security, your democratic social uplift programs, your property and your human dignity. And, they’ll get all of it if you let them. I seriously doubt anyone is going to be spared enlightenment or taking personal responsibility during the coming years of this crisis. The political puppets so many outsource their higher power to aren’t here to save democracy or human decency. If you want a better world, you are going to be literally forced to make it. You are going to be forced to stand to account. To grant yourself the worthiness you and your fellow man deserve or to continue to allow others to continue to stomp on the face of humanity.