Ethan Indigo Smith, Contributor
“Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed…War and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings… We should all be horrified… but we are too confused.” (source)
Power, Profit, Propaganda and Imperialism
With all the wisdom and knowledge we have access to, I simply cannot believe that the governments of the world are once again positioning our armed forces in a war stance. I cannot believe that individuals are allowing it, and even pushing for it, and volunteering to take part in its violent uselessness. It’s as if there has been a breakout of some terrible disease that wrings out moral essences, removes our impetus for self-preservation and instills a self-destructive hatred of one’s fellow man. There is no sound logic to war, unless there is something more we are not being told…
The fog of war makes obtaining the facts stupendously difficult. Although most prefer to believe government propaganda is a thing of the past, history shows us that it is an inherent part of any wartime society, obscuring facts and motivations in favor of those who initiate — and benefit from — war. Known euphemistically as ‘public relations’, it is the manufacturing of consent to suit a particular agenda, and along with its ‘proper’ use comes the ability to control the thinking of masses (both their focus and beliefs) and mold the collective mind.
However, the more we know about history and the causes and effects of wars in the past, the less we need to know about the wars of the present. Indeed the more we know of the nature of war, the more likely we are to reach accurate conclusions of our current situation, making contextual hypotheses based on what we do know, without having to filter through what we’re (nonsensically) being told.
“Now, according to U.S. foreign policy in Syria, we want to fight ISIS while also fighting Assad in Syria… even though ISIS is fighting against Assad in Syria, and the Russians are helping Syria fight ISIS… so we may have to fight Russia to stop them from fighting with Syria against ISIS. If that sounds insane to you, that’s because it is.” ~ Investigative Journalist Ben Swann
So what’s the rationale?
War is a Racket
US Marine Corps Major General, Smedley Butler, eventually concluded that “war is a racket” in which individuals are used like fodder for institutions. Dear Smedley died the most decorated US Marine in history, and one might merely read his concise 4-chapter book, “War Is A Racket”, to understand the reality of war: it’s an act of institutions against individuals.
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives… It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes… In World War 1, a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict… [and] at least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made.” ~ Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket
Written from an insider perspective, it reads like it might have been written five years ago rather than fifty. We are living in a world today that is very much like the world of Smedley Butler, in that not much has changed, not much has been learned, and we’re still doing the same thing — and, inexplicably, expecting a different outcome.
War does not bring peace. As the saying goes, “Fighting for peace is like f**king for virginity. ”War never serves any individual or group, except a powerful elite few — the oligarchs who perpetuate and manipulate tribal, feudal, nationalistic and fascist war-mongering the world over, generating trillion dollar profits from death and destruction, while touting their own patriotism, and encouraging your support.
One of the best ways to gain and maintain power and support for war is to keep the people in constant fear — in fear of wars, of outsiders, and more recently, of “terrorism”. Maintaining a culture of war-minded fear keeps a society in a prolonged stress-response, the kind biologically linked to the threat of death in the wild, enabling those at the top of the oligarchical pile to easily direct the thinking of – and therefore to shape – the society they control. As a result, we consent to a bulk of our taxes being spent on funding the endless military-industrial-complex, instead of creating Nirvana for ourselves. Believing we are under constant threat of the unseen, we have become willing and dedicated contributors to the financial and political objectives of the monstrous war industry, marketed to us under the guise of our own security and protection.
This motive becomes clearer when we consider that the United States Of America is actually a foreign corporation operating out of Washington DC.
The facts are, the United States has been at war for 222 years out of the last 239 years. (That’s 93% of the time!) Since the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, the U.S. has actually been at peace (albeit planning for further wars) for a total of only 21 years. [source] Not one U.S. president actually qualifies as a solely peacetime president, and the only time the United States lasted five years without going to war was between 1935 and 1940, during the period of the Great Depression — from which economic recovery was led by the war-industry.
More recently, if we look objectively at the history of the Presidents of the United States since the end of the Second World War, we see that each administration — Truman, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Dubya, and now Obama — created a presidential Doctrine directly pertaining to war, either directly inciting conflict or inviting US involvement in it. Since U.S. involvement in World War II began in 1940, most of the world’s military operations have been initiated by the U.S., [source] and U.S. Military spending today exceeds the rest of the world’s military spending combined, [source] making the US war machine the single most profitable industry in the world. For the period 2010-14, the United States was the world’s biggest exporter of major arms, accounting for 31 percent of global shares, delivering weapons to at least 94 different recipients — many we are told are “hostile to US interests.” [source] In the fiscal year 2015, US military spending is projected to account for 54 percent of all discretionary federal spending — over $598 billion — exceeding the combined budgets for science, environment, housing, health, veterans affairs, education and transportation. [source] The U.S. defense industry employs a staggering 3.5 million Americans — or 1 in every 45 people employed in American [source] — while the private companies supporting the military generate in excess of $300 billion in revenue per year. [source]
The U.S. economy is now so dependent on war, there is no incentive for the U.S. Government to strive for peace — it just isn’t profitable.
With the U.S. economy and military operations so intrinsically linked, the American people have over time come to accept its war culture as normal, believing the increasingly ludicrous propaganda that tells us the U.S. is subject to threats from far weaker military nations and is nobly “fighting for peace” — an oxymoron of the highest order. As a result, the U.S. government has never been compelled by its People to create peace. The very notion of peace — and I don’t mean winning wars, I mean real peace — is so foreign to the people of the United States because we, as a nation, have never really experienced peace, nor have our leaders (despite their rhetoric) ever envisioned peace, much less planned for it or made it the focus of Presidential Doctrine.
The culture of war we live in today is no accident but the result of implicit cultural design — the very definition of conspiracy.
Conspiracy (noun): a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
Patriotism or Imperialism?
War is built on a narrative of “us” versus “them”, creating the perception of threat and inhumanity in those we are told are our enemies. With governments, corporate military machines and media working together, achieving that perception in any population is the easy part — quelling those who are opposed to war is more difficult.
To achieve this, the very idea of patriotism has been confounded and confused with elitism, imperialism and oligarchical collectivism. By definition, true patriots question information to educate themselves and share it with others, in order that we might progress beyond the status quo. Patriots are forward thinking, they observe and question actuality, and prioritize what is right over personal concerns. They are able to embrace change, including ceasing participation, and are willing to implement beneficial change through their actions. But they do not drive change for its own sake, or their own selfish ends, only when change is necessary to make a right or cancel a wrong. In this way, the true patriot poses a distinct threat to the status quo. They do not fear repercussions of their speech; they are unafraid to speak the truth so that others may benefit.
So, within and without their own ranks, institutions seek to isolate and disempower true patriotism by distorting and confusing its meaning, and eliminating the notion altogether by instilling nationalistic ‘you’re either for us or against us’ thinking – which is simply elitism dressed up in patriots clothing. As a result, the true patriot is absent from our mainstream narrative. Government and media institutions have attempted to delete the notion of true patriots and transform our understanding of ‘patriotism’ into flag-waving idiocy, war-minded zealotry, and hyper-nationlistic elitist imperialism. And they have done this so completely, in fact, that people identify materialistic oligarchs like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as patriots. In actuality, most politicians around the world are oligarchical collectivists, steering their societies toward imperialist goals — such as war, environmental desecration for corporate benefit and diminished individual freedoms, benefitting only those at the top of the social pyramid, not the society on the whole.
So, before serving your country, first learn who your government is serving.
What is oligarchical collectivism? The term was coined by George Orwell in his seminal book 1984. More precisely, the term is from ‘the book within the book’, entitled “The Theory and Practice to Oligarchical Collectivism”, which is heavily referenced through the narrative of 1984. Some researchers have suggested the only reason Orwell wrote 1984 at all was to enable writing the book within the book.
In it, the fictional world of 1984 is described and it is very much like the actual world of today, where endless war is waged not as a matter of winning, but as a matter of maintaining a steady war economy — a war society through which profits are garnered from the institutions of war and controls over individuals justified. It depicts a world where the states are eternally shifting sides, and eternally at war, and where citizens are constantly under threat of terrorist attack, by nobody knows who, much like we have today with the War On “Terror” — an abstract emotional response against which war can never be won.
Beyond that aspect, the fictional society of 1984 is very much like the reality of today in that everyone is watched and monitored, and pertinent information is restricted, controlled and manipulated to prop up the system.
1984 provides a stark view of a burgeoning culture of totalitarianism that is as important as a work of fiction as it is as a reflection of modern fact. Each aspect of the Five Freedoms of The First Amendment were infringed and removed. Freedom of speech was so restricted that not only was there one source of news – operated by the official governing body – there was also a whole arm of government dedicated to slowly and steadily eliminating and altering language deemed detrimental to the state. Today sharing information on institutional activity that harms individuals is already punishable, whistleblowers are treated as treasonists not patriots, and the sharing of ideas that challenge the status quo is becoming more heavily censored. Japan’s censorship of globally critical information relating to Fukushima, the United States’ constant surveillance of its own people, and the UK’s attempt to prohibit ‘esoteric’ information are all prime examples.
The Conspiracy Of War
The inference of 1984, the underlying lesson in Butler’s War Is A Racket, and the lessons we can learn from reality (both today and in history) is that wars are a matter of instituting control.War is waged on “them” to control “us”. And it is enacted as an unwritten policy, shrouded in secrecy, where the methods and true motives of government are routinely concealed from the People.
“The conscious intelligent manipulation of the organized opinions and habits of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.” ~ Edward Bernays, considered “the Father of Propaganda”.
Several elements of the war-machine State work in unison. Government priorities change from regulating industry and protecting individuals, to regulating individuals and protecting industry. The release of technology to the public is limited. The society is set up (through economic and other mechanisms) to literally keep people busy securing resources rather than considering the system they are living in, and the impact of that system on the planet, ourselves and each other. The media works to instill and reinforce the ideals, beliefs and official narrative of government. The monetary system is privately owned. The education system prepares children to join the ranks of the working class. Other cultures and ways of thinking are demonized. And the passing on of ancient knowledge and wisdom, history and spirituality, is suppressed.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken.” ~ Carl Sagan
What 1984 Can Teach Us About 2015
In the fictional world of 1984, oligarchies war against each other as a matter of routine. It is a world of shifting sides, of terrorism enacted by shadowy entities and populations under mass restriction of information, freedom, movement, natural resources and, importantly, technology — technology that would remove the need to fight over resources. It all sounds very familiar.
Whenever there is a surge of change and awakening in a society, those who profit the most from the status quo institute war and the threat of war, as a tried and tested way to maintain control. And today, the endless (unwinnable) War On Terror and numerous false flag attacks have proven to be effective (albeit transparent) ways to drive both corporate profits and tighter legislative controls, literally taking control of the collective consciousness of humanity.
One of the main ways that those in power control the consciousness of the people, and absorb patriotic opposition to war into the background of public awareness, is to create thought systems that appropriate war. An example offered by George Orwell in 1984 was the use of ‘Big Brother’ by the controlling Inner Party, the human image of “news” presented to the masses via the widely viewed Telescreen. Big Brother does not reflect the patriotic spirit of brotherhood, nor the potential or even the reality of the world, rather it provides an ‘official’ narrative for the actions of the controlling Party which appropriates and misrepresents the concept of brotherhood into a ‘brand name’ of the Telescreen — a psychology of collectivism, not brotherhood, which is a big difference indeed. Today, via the wonder of Television, institutions transfer and confuse words and ideas in the same manner, deliberately confusing themselves, their policies and their products with patriotic ideas, words and ideals. The‘Patriot Act’ is the perfect example of the modern era.
“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” ~ George Orwell
One of the biggest lessons of 1984, and part of every war that has been — and sometimes the main inducing factor — is the creation of a certain bond within the nation that enables the oligarchical collectivism to continue. The “us” and “them” atmosphere of war creates an nationalistic togetherness within the “us”, bonding a society to its controllers and their goals, and causing that society not only to accept a war as “necessary” but to accept a constant state of hindered development, where resources are diverted to war, and just keeping our nostrils above water takes up most of our energy, time and concentration.
But more than a warning, 1984 and ‘the book within the book’ are an instruction manual for individuals bonded by the oligarchy. It shows us in detail that war is a function of individuals versus institutions, and that no matter what the beginning philosophy — be it capitalism or communism, or most any other structure — war ultimately ends up leading to oligarchical collectivism. War is more than simply influencing political ideas and seeking nationalistic gains, or whatever the stated reason, it is designed to further the goals of elitists, entrenching the corporate-military-industrial complex at the top, where they are, harvesting profit and power off of the rest of us.
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ~ George Orwell, 1984
The war world we are seeing today is the result of text book oligarchical collectivism; the same formulation of authority used by empires and emperors for millennia before us, playing out in a rapidly degrading economic, political and environmental setting. It bears little difference to those societies that have risen and duly fallen before us. The only difference now is that there are “new and improved” modes and destructive war, resources and media/propaganda technologies being used to enforce the rule of the oligarchy. There are new tools and new names, the ‘order’ is packaged in a new sleek design with new bells and whistles, but at its core, it is the same system that sacrifices the lives and livelihoods of individuals to benefit those the system is biased toward.
Those institutions at the top of the pyramid and the “authorities” behind them claim act for the betterment of mankind, and yet, they always seem to get the better of mankind. In a community that is led by the wealthy for the wealthy, this continuation of the status quo comes at the direct cost of individuals and their basic rights to freedom, peace, and unimpeded access to the planet’s natural resources – all of which are treated as commodities. We are led to believe our personal freedoms and livelihood depend on adhering to the status quo, without which the rights and richness of our natural world cannot be accessed. In truth, the opposite is true.
“All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that… just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing.” ~ 1984
It is true: the war-minded imperialists of today know what they are doing, and arguably do it more effectively than most other empires in history. But in working to break their instilled culture of perpetual war, our strength lies in the lessons of history. Exploitative institutional mechanics can be dismantled and bettered, and individuals can ascend institutional walls. Just as people are capable of creating institutions, people are capable of halting institutions as well. Institutions after all, no matter how powerful or exploitative, are only human structures — a social machinery that relies on our consent and agreement. And as history has proven, when controlling empires push a population too far, they will inevitably fall.
If we educate ourselves and others of the inner workings of our society and, as C.G. Jung put it, “make the darkness conscious”, we can rise above the restraints of misinformation and disinformation, lies, deceit, and propaganda that creates benefit for some, and create a world of mutually agreed peace, which values living breathing beings over life-less institutions. In a world where war is the design of powerful conspirators, peace is the coming revolution.
About the Author
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher, Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.
Ethan’s publications include:
- The Geometry of Energy: How to Meditate, explores meditation and meditative energies through the four dimensions of geometry.
- The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics.
- Tibetan Fusion a book of simple meditative practices and movements that can help you access and balance your energy.
- The Little Green Book of Revolution an inspirational book based on ideas of peaceful revolution, historical activism and caring for the Earth like Native Americans.
- The Matrix of Four, The Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity on the subject of the development of individual consciousness.
- 108 Steps to Be in The Zone a set of 108 meditative practices and steps toward self discovery and individual betterment, including techniques to develop balance, transmute sexual energy and better the self.
- Terra-ist Letters, a controversial work that humorously contrasts the very serious issues of global nuclear experimentation promotion and global marijuana prohibition.
For more information, visit Ethan on Facebook.
**This article was originally featured at Wake Up World and re-posted here with permission.**
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