The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad
February 11, 2019
We say we want change. So every few years, we elect new officials, and they continue to churn out more of the same policies, legislation, and rhetoric. The rich continue to get richer. The poor slide deeper into poverty. Corporations and the wealthy see pet projects and sweet deals passed through Congress. The People receive yet another bitter slap in the face.
This is because the foundation of our populace is poisoned. The soil from which our people, elected officials, and politicians grow is toxic. Every generation is fed the same destructive falsehoods. By the time human beings become politicians they are massively propagandized to believe the purpose of public office is to make deals for big businesses … and from top to bottom we all continue to repeat the false slogan: what’s good for business is good for the nation.
The wealthy and the corporations own the media, the entertainment industry, educational and cultural institutions, think tanks, research facilities, and, in short, every vehicle that defines our thoughts, beliefs, culture, perspectives and worldviews. They churn out mass propaganda that reinforces their power and control. And we ingest it, absorb it, and ultimately believe it.
Through this totalitarian control, the sicknesses that ail our country – lack of compassion, the valuing of profit and wealth above all else, justified cruelty, hatred and oppression – creep into the crevasses of our beliefs and worldviews and take up toxic residence in our marrow. Layered and complex, this is the poisonous legacy of centuries of violence, conquest, bigotry, greed, supremacy and domination. Many of us spew this garbage out of our words, thoughts, and actions … unless we consciously rebel against such mental indoctrination.
The path toward cultural and mental liberation is three-fold. We must first disconnect from the propaganda. We must unplug from corporate media: television, movies, books, entertainment, news, and magazines that are owned by the wealthy and promote -in subtle or blatant ways – the agendas of the wealthy. We must deny them access to our minds and fast from the programming that is otherwise pounded into our skulls on a daily basis.
Secondly, we must clear out the programming as it resurfaces in our minds. We must become aware of our thoughts and beliefs. We must learn to question them, critique them, dissect and analyze where they came from and whom they serve. Every craving for material goods must be examined to see if it originates in advertisements. Every inclination toward hatred, discrimination or fear must be interrogated to see if it serves the desire of the wealthy to use us to oppress others, or to wage wars for their profits. Every thought that lauds the wealthy should be questioned deeply. We have absorbed their propaganda from fairy tales to rags-to-riches stories all the way up through economic theories in business schools. Everything we think we know must be critiqued if wish to free our minds, and if we hope to see real change in our world.
Thirdly, we must rebuild the framework of our worldviews and perspectives. To truly rebel against the programming and propaganda of an oppressor is not merely to kick out their agenda, but to replace it with principles, beliefs, and understandings of our own.
However, if it is true liberation we seek, then a word of caution must be spoken here. Fleeing one form of mental slavery into dogmatic subservience to another is still enslaving your mind. Liberation is about freedom. It entails exploration, examination, reflection, openness, adaptability, and flexibility. The most truly radical and revolutionary people are the ones who dance through the tangled webs of perspectives and beliefs, engaging with ideas, but not clinging to them. These are the kinds of people that all tyrants fear. They are uncontrollable by others, yet responsible to their compassion and the demands of accountability set in place by the heart.
When such free thinkers become not lone individuals, but thousands and millions of citizens, empires tremble in their boots. Tyrants and bullies know their days are numbered. Pedagogues and warmongers fail to gain traction for their domination games.
If we wish to see deep, profound change in our politics, society, and culture, this is the mental liberation we must cultivate in our selves and our communities. Only then will our elected officials have the necessary freedom of thought to throw off the yoke of indoctrination. Only then will we ourselves have the capacity to form and shape our society in a way that cares for and nurtures everyone, not just a privileged few. Only then will we become truly free human beings, the kind of people we were always meant to be.
Author/Actress Rivera Sun syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and the sequel, The Roots of Resistance, Rise and Resist – Essays on Love, Courage, Politics and Resistance, and other books, including a study guide to making change with nonviolent action. Website: http://www.riverasun.com
The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection and the sequel, The Roots of Resistance. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today”, when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution. This article is one of a series written by The Man From the North, which are not included in the novel, but can be read here.
from the archives:
Chris Hedges and Matt Taibbi: The Deep Rot That Infects American Journalism
Michael Parenti: The Culture Struggle
Ending Capitalism Is Not Enough by Eric Schechter
The United States of Greed and Bullies
Your Corporate Overlords Are Delighted To Exploit You
Chris Hedges: Manufacturing Culture or Consent
It Starts with the Lie that We’re Free by Shawn S. Grandstaff
Abby Martin and Mark Crispin Miller: Propaganda and the Engineering of Consent
Revolt Against The Shallow Deadliness Of Our Corn Syrup Nation
Chris Hedges: The Power of Propaganda
Pingback: Chris Hedges and Matt Taibbi: The Deep Rot That Infects American Journalism, Part 2 – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Chris Hedges and Matt Taibbi: The Deep Rot That Infects American Journalism – Dandelion Salad
Pingback: The Sabotage of Division – Dandelion Salad
I love the reminder to examine our internal drives to see if they spring from authentic needs or external indoctrination. Beautifully written. However, my wry practical side, weary of years of community “organizing” meetings where trying to get principled people to agree on a path is like herding cats — this side of me sees the joyous description of liberated people (ending with “They are uncontrollable by others, yet responsible to their compassion and the demands of accountability set in place by the heart.”) and thinks…woah…with a bunch of them in the room…that’s going to be a long meeting….
Haha! Thanks for your comment, Singingway.
Not to forget the pecking order, which has to be established first, and all hidden tensions, aggressions, and animosities which will come to light if territorial animals like we are confined to a room for some time.
Pingback: Throw Off the Yoke of Indoctrination! by Dandelion Salad – The World Turned Upside Down
Thanks for reblogging, Eddie.
For a superb book advocating the jettisoning of the so-called Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) here it is:
CJWT: Logic of Deceit, by Rev Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
Thanks, Tim, however, your comment would make more sense on this post: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/david-swanson-and-john-dear-on-catholic-church-rejecting-just-war-theory/
Although I understand your comment may be an example of propaganda used by the Church over the years.
Am interesting perspective, which I completely share. This text would also fit into my blog. Is it free to use?
It’s all in our minds, clearly. In other words: Change yourself to change the world. Or: One has to live the vision by oneself first — which is often hard to do after the heavy burden of miseducation, peer pressure (sociall pressure), indoctrination, and propaganda is heaped onto one.
One dilema, with which I was contronted all my life:
Shall I reteat and seclude myself to focus on my personal development and to gather strength for the upcoming battles, or shall I respond and fight against looming dangers with just the imperfect mental means that I can master at the moment? There are always urgencies, there is always instant action needed, so one never has a chance to improve oneself. Are we able to gain wisdom umder pressure? Will we grow with the challenge?
One has of course to choose the battles wisely and avoid encounters wich are lopsided and only will result in certain defeat.
I better read the four noble truth of Buddhism once again.
Thanks, mato48. I’ll email you a response to your first question.