“The Internet is the greatest disinfectant.”
– adapted from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
According to Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” With the help of the Internet, what we have instead come to realize is that: “We have met the enemy and he is like us.”
Add to that the fact that our real enemies are the rich and powerful
in each of our countries who may be emperors with (very fine) clothes,
but who don’t give a damn about the rest of us. And given the Academy
Award for Best Documentary going to Inside Job, their not giving a damn may be coming around to damn them.
How is it that such dictators and tyrants and arrogant financial
people are able to seize and hold onto control for so long, especially
when soon after they seize or gain power the conditions for the common people
and the attention to human rights deteriorate?
I think it is a matter of the mass hypnotic trance they are able to
put their people under. How does that trance occur? What would cause
you and I to succumb to such a trance?
Imagine your state of mind being filled with fear, confusion, doubt,
and indecisiveness. If that were the case, you would be hard pressed to
be able to move. Now imagine a person who comes along who is fearless,
clear, confident and decisive and compelling and convincing. If that
were the case, you would be hard pressed to resist being in thrall to
I am reminded of the well known experiment in 1873 by D.A. Spalding and then more popularly redone in 1937 by Konrad Lorenz where they showed that newborn chicks would imprint upon and follow the first objects that moved.
Is it possible that when we are rendered vulnerable, raw, and mindless
by a state of fear, confusion, doubt, and indecisiveness that like those
chicks we too will imprint and follow the first moving object, a.k.a.
self-appointed leader, who embodies fearlessness, clarity, confidence,
How is it that up until recently, the vast majority of people have
viewed their leaders as “having clothes” and caring deeply about their
people and denied or ignored the fact that these leaders seemed to get
wealthier whilst their people became poorer?
Perhaps it has been due to the massive imprinting people have had on
perceived-as-powerful-and-caring leaders when people felt most fearful,
confused, doubtful, and indecisive. However with the advent of mass
communication and especially the Internet that has the power to get
through to people everywhere (whereas printed and broadcast
communication could be controlled), we are all seeing the enemy is much
more like us in caring about their families and just trying to survive
and our leaders are much more different than us.
Because of this, leaders and tyrants beware, we are all onto you.
Next on the list are the greedy, entitled, and rich among us who were
like foxes in the henhouse since President Reagan de-regulated the
economy. President Reagan preached “trickle down economics”
but naively did not reckon on the fact that the wealthy would only care
about getting more for themselves instead of caring about helping those
with less. And now despite a massive setback in 2008-2009, the foxes
are back in the henhouse. Except now the masses are much worse off.
These greedy haves may not be the tyrants of totalitarian regimes, but the eyes of the Internet will next be on you.
And this is what they see and are talking to each other about:
It’s the Inequality, Stupid
Eleven charts that explain everything that’s wrong with America.
How Rich Are the Superrich?
A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years
has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an
average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom
90 % of us? $31,244.
Note: The 2007 data (the most current) doesn’t reflect the impact of the housing market crash. In 2007, the bottom 60% of Americans had
65% of their net worth tied up in their homes. The top 1%, in contrast,
had just 10%. The housing crisis has no doubt further swelled the
share of total net worth held by the superrich.