How do you deal with disagreement? It is an uncomfortable question for anyone who recognizes that no one is perfect, and therefore, everyone is wrong from time to time. The question is made more explicitly uncomfortable when we clarify: how do you deal with disagreement, once you realize you are wrong?
Libraries are filled with history, psychology, philosophy, and religious books attempting to provide tools, guidance, and sometimes even glimpses of wisdom to curious minds struggling with that question. The rabbit hole goes deep! The more we know, the more we realize we don’t actually know much, because there is so much more to be known!! Very frustrating! So we generalize, simplify, and make assumptions that help us manage our day-to-day lives in this chaotic world. We’ll use one such generalization for the sake of this article: we will simplify centuries of thought by agreeing that there are behaviors we generally consider to be “good”, and other behaviors that most of us would consider to be “bad”. Examples of “good” behaviors include: cooperation, compassion, and respect of others. Examples of “bad” behaviors include: assault, theft, and murder of others.
So far, so good. We learn this simple lesson in early childhood at home, at school, or in a church. The so called “golden rule” has been discovered by most cultures throughout history; in fact, we can wonder whether civilization is even possible without it. The Wikipedia entry is well worth a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule. “Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.” – Thales. “Treat your inferior as you would wish your superior to treat you.” – Seneca.
It was the best of times…
Is the golden rule relevant in our modern world? We live in the age of President Trump, social networks, nation-states, and smart phones; in the 21st century, peaceniks get eaten alive in any social debate. Why is that? Why do we so easily betray and condemn what history tells us is so important to our survival and prosperity? The answer is simple: we’ve been mislead and lied to.
At first, the idea that I might be “brainwashed” seemed ridiculous to me. For the best part of my adult life, I honestly believed that I was politically aware, professionally successful, and well educated too! I also do not recall having been kidnapped by government scientists with a nefarious mind-control agenda. Unfortunately, I was wrong. On all counts.
- Count 1: My political awareness amounted mainly to watching “the news” on TV, listening to NPR on my way to work, reading newspapers, and trying to stay up-to-date with a never-ending stream of The Economist magazine.
- Count 2: My professional success was built on working longer hours than everyone else, embracing the corporate vision, and leading teams of people to also work long hours while following a maze of regulatory compliance rules.
- Count 3: My “education” included a very standard public school attendance, followed with a B.Sc. and later on an MBA, all from respected institutions. School in Canada is compulsory until age 16, with a curriculum directed by the government.
Through hard work and chance, I was able to build “the american dream” for myself. The first 40 years of my life could be used as a textbook example of a moderately successful, middle-class, white collared citizen. I followed all the proper steps, I complied with the rules, and I was handsomely rewarded for it. My worldview made sense. What could go wrong?
Truth is stranger than fiction (fnord)
We are constantly bombarded with demands for our attention. We make sense of the world by comparing and organizing new information against the things we already know. But what happens if our basic knowledge is wrong? What happens when we believe a lie that doesn’t seem to fit with the world around us? We continue to look for ways to make the new information fit with our existing worldview, we make justifications for it, and ultimately, if the information doesn’t fit, we often simply discard it (often along with the messenger).
In my day-to-day life, I try to act in ways that are “good” (as loosely defined above). I bet you and I are just the same in that regard. However, what if some of us could be programmed to believe in a different definition of “good”. What if most of us were made to believe that something absolutely “bad”, was in fact “good”? This form of deliberate human programming exists. You’ve been subjected to it your entire life.
The “fake news” battle between mainstream and alternative media is part of a war for the dominant narrative. The worldview painted by CNN, Fox News, the BBC, or NPR is a bubble-gum worldview. It is a large but very thin bubble of lies and misdirections that anyone could pop at any time… but very few dare.
Silence like a cancer grows
American public schools were specifically designed to create a docile class of industrial workers. The American dollar and empire is collapsing (that’s why stock markets are at an all time high). Police departments send thugs and agent provocateurs disguised as “anarchists” to justify violent responses to peaceful protests. The US government is #1 at: international heroin trade, global weapon sales, political prisoners, “secret” torture black sites, and creating/financing/arming terrorist organizations! Saudi Arabia officials were directly involved in the funding, planning, and execution of 9/11. Have you heard of the Disclosure Project?
We don’t all have to believe in the same stories and narratives. We can all explore different areas of the rabbit hole. It also doesn’t really matter how deep you want to go, but what matters is that you jump in with us. Jumping in means a different thing for each of us, but it always requires a healthy rejection of authority, particularly when these “authorities” start telling us what is good from what is bad. For me, this meant no longer being a willing participant in the federal extortion system that funds the complete destruction of entire countries like Yemen. That federal tax return has a lot of innocents’ blood on it. It’s ok though, Madeleine Albright said half a million dead children is a price that was “worth it”. So much for the peaceful Clinton years.
This is monstrous and intolerable behavior. Half a million dead children as a result of US foreign policy is not worth “it”. If that example is too old, we could ask any firefighter in NYC or any family member of the people who died on 9/11 whether they believe the official narrative. If you believe the official story of 9/11, you are simply and absolutely not informed on the subject. That example is still over a decade old, how about something more recent? Why were the “authorities” protecting the shooter (or was it shooters?) in Las Vegas? This wouldn’t be the first time a North American police department is caught inciting the very violence it pretends to prevent. Gotta justify that new Lenco BearCat.
Yet Americans continue to support their troops. Working families continue to pay their taxes. Life goes on as usual, ignoring the rapes, torture, and destruction done in our names. If you do not understand what atrocities I might be talking about, it is only because you have been ensnared in a system that pretends to give you news, but instead feeds you the well staged equivalent of a reality-TV show.
I realize these are very controversial statements. They are only controversial because the silent majority is stuck in the CNN worldview.
Be the change you want to see in the world
I’ve had to make a lot of changes in my life over the last few years. Difficult changes. Changes that hurt the heart, and changes that trigger your worse demons and anxieties. I am making these changes because they allow me to better align my life with what I consider to be good behavior. I do not want to fund American wars in Yemen and around the world, so I am taking steps to ensure that I no longer make financial contributions to this corrupted organization.
What will you do? Petitions and women’s marches do not count. What can be done that would make a real difference?
5 Steps to changing your world
- Re-educate yourself. Turn off mainstream media and turn on alternatives. Left, right, anarchist, conspiracies, anything is almost better than the void of information that comes out of Fox News. I have some recommendations below.
- Donate to independent content producers. Cut the cord and join us in the 21st century! Get some crypto-currencies, watch your smart-money make more money, and donate some of your gains to your favorite alternative podcast or media shows.
- Engage actively with a community. Is your world doom and gloom? Need a different vibe? Go to a crypto/blockchain/bitcoin conference. You’ll learn something new and feel an energy that is difficult to find anywhere else. Come help us replace corruption with smart contracts.
- Break the silence! The reason why you matter, is because every one of us is also like you. We are people, who see a reality that is hidden from most other people…. until you join your voice to ours. Create a podcast, sing a song, organize a festival!
- Liberate your mind. Ok, now I’m just abusing this opportunity to plug a tool that has been incredibly important for me: modern stoicism. It is the only way I can deal with the pain and sadness that is unavoidable when you learn to see the world as we do.
Top-10 sources of awesomeness and real news:
- The School Sucks Podcast. My personal favorite podcast. My connection to so many other wonderful organizations. Check out the series on The Trivium, Presence and Productivity, Stoicism with Bill Bupert, the Renegade History with Thaddeus Russel, the Underground History of American Education, and so much more. That’s what *I* like about SSP, and I don’t even have children. If you have young ones, you *have* to listen to Brett and understand how you can protect your children from the harms of modern-day schools.
- The Mises Institute. Real economic education. If you think economics is boring, you clearly don’t understand economics. 10 minutes per day reading mises.org and you will be a better economist than most within a matter of a few months.
- The Corbett Report. How deep does the rabbit hole goes? If anyone on earth knows, it’s James Corbett. The Corbett Report is an OG outlet, bastion of free information and open investigations. If it is your first time, please take the opportunity to follow James’ many footnotes and references attached to every ones of his shows.
- Free Talk Live. Need a replacement for Rush or NPR? Free Talk Live is the place for you. Actually, the Liberty Radio Network is the place for you, but the headliner show will keep you entertained on the road AND on the couch! Ian Freeman, Mark Edge, and their cohorts are unapologetic to state apologists of all colors! Safe enough for radio, but not always safe for work!
- We Are Change. Amazing outlet with a wild team of independent reporters. Founder Luke Rudkowski is a true maverick journalist. No doorlock can resist his charms; he will bring you the scoop live from the scene, and no billionaire is safe from his microphone.
- NewsBud. If you do not know Sibel Edmonds, please stop here and go purchase her book: Classified Woman. After reading her book, you will want to follow everything produced by her and the team at NewsBud.
- Tom Woods. Your daily serving of liberty education. Tom is a spawn of the Mises Institute (#2 above). Tom brings guests in to discuss the madness of our world from a libertarian perspective. You will also want to check out the sister show: Contra Krugman. You’ll become a better economist than a Nobel laureate economist! I promise!
- Scott Horton. I’m already against the next war. Scott is the most authoritative source of independent information on US foreign policy. Bar none. He should be #1 on this list, but his show is so upsetting, I didn’t dare put it first on this list. If you don’t know how bad it is out there, you’ll find out on the Scott Horton Show. Scott also runs the Libertarian Institute. If you truly think the world deserves peace, then Scott Horton deserves your support.
- Renegade University. Just when you thought it was safe to be a libertarian. Thaddeus Russell will break your rules and get you real mad. That’s almost a promise. He will also make you think like no one else on the internet. Will a proud proponent of post-modernism help you free your mind? He help me with mine!
- CryptoCompare.com. You don’t want to miss the next crypto-currency surge! Those of us who hang out in crypto conferences understand the wave of amazing innovations that are about to be released in 2018 and 2019. Hodl on to your hats!!! CryptoCompare is an amazing site to learn about coins, wallets, exchanges, and everything else “crypto”. Check out their great “guides” in each of their site sections.