“The American Dream is in ruins and the forgotten working class out of options. Fed up with the mirage, American populism fell for a greased-up hustler from the ivory tower. An Icarus, who after declaring bankruptcy for the sixth time made his way back from irrelevance by way of two words the American working class could understand: You’re fired!” ~Michael Rattray
Trumptastic: The word people use to sarcastically say something is fantastic. Synonym of horrible. ~Urban Dictionary
1.) He showcases how truly outdated the presidency is:
“Time makes ancient good uncouth.” ~James Russell Lowell
Puppet. Scapegoat. Stooge. Tool. Sure, almost every president, except maybe Lincoln and JFK, were these to some degree, but Trump takes it to a whole new level. He wins bigly in these departments.
As such, the presidency has lost what shred of relevance it had with a Trump win. He reveals now, more than ever, how truly outdated and parochial the position of president is. It may not be as antiquated as the queen of England, or the emperor of Japan, or the dictator of North Korea, but that doesn’t get it off the hook for needing to be left on the shit-pile of ill-governed human history.
Trump as president reveals now, more than ever, that we need neither masters nor rulers to look up to. We need only learn self-mastery and self-governance while looking up to authentic leaders and prestigious elders who have done the same thing. Trump is neither an authentic leader nor a prestigious elder. He is, however, a skillful conman and a master persuader. Hence his presidential victory.
2.) He reveals how voting is fundamentally flawed:
“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.” ~George Bernard Shaw
To elect means “to choose or make a decision.” The problem is our choices are limited due to bi-partisan fuckery, and our decisions seem to be “vote” or “not vote.” This idea is perpetuated by state manipulation, cultural conditioning, and entrenched political propaganda with corrupt lobbying that creates divisiveness.
But there is a third option. We can “elect” to think outside the ballot box. We can “elect” to take money out of politics. We can “elect” to have a complete system reboot, to include, especially, the electoral system. We can “elect” to implement a sortition system that lotteries-in leaders from an assembly of authentic leaders and prestigious elders and votes-out bad leaders. We can “elect” to devise a system that uses impeachment more often than it uses aggrandizement.
Indeed. We can “elect” to not elect a president at all, because we don’t need a scapegoat-puppet who is hamstrung by lobbyists, corporations, and bankers for a “leader.” We just need authentic leaders and prestigious elders –plural; chosen randomly from a competitive assembly of other authentic leaders and prestigious elders. That will get the job done just fine, while also preventing scapegoating and the rise of psychopaths.
3.) He exposes how bad leadership can win elections:
“We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice; not in love with publicity but in love with humanity.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
He is making an absolute mockery of leadership. This is way more important than his making a mockery of the presidency. The presidency was already a charade before Trump stepped in. But now the very foundations of leadership itself are being rocked by this unprincipled bully who never really matured into a healthy adult. If this is the example of what leadership looks like now, then we are in big trouble as a species.
Better to just do away with the presidency altogether. Better to focus on sound and disciplined leadership rather than on hustling and power-tripping one-upmanship. Good leaders create better leaders. Good con-men and master persuaders create better con-men and master persuaders. We don’t need a snake oil salesman disguised as a leader. We just need a group of authentic leaders and prestigious elders who keep each other in check, thus preventing the rise of charlatans, con artists and, worst of all, tyrants.
4.) He misleads through persuasive falsehoods rather than hard truths:
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” ~Attributed to Benjamin Franklin
Trump recognizes that human beings are easy to manipulate. All you have to do is speak to their emotional side, and you’ve got them hooked. There’s a reason why the facts espoused from his opposition in the 2016 election didn’t work. It’s because, as Scott Adams explains, “The human mind is a delusion generator, not a window to truth.” And the best way to get the human mind to create a delusion is to sidestep its reasoning powers and strike at its emotional weaknesses. In reality, facts are weaker than fiction. And Trump capitalized on this “fact.” Pun intended.
As Scott Adam’s surmised in his book Win Bigly: persuasion in a world where facts don’t matter, “A good general rule is that people are more influenced by visual persuasion, emotion, repetition, and simplicity than they are by details and facts. If you’re using strong persuasion, you can be wrong on the facts, and even the logic of your argument, and still win.”
Trump’s presidential victory reveals the scary fact that all it takes to be the “leader” of the free world is to be a master persuader, a conman, a liar, and an aggressive manipulator of people’s emotions. All you’ve got to do is “grab them by the pussy.” It points out both the flaws of the electoral system and the flaws of people’s ability to reason.
Once again, the solution is leadership gained through a randomized lottery of established authentic leaders and prestigious elders. No debates needed. No elections needed to manipulate voters. No president needed. Easy.
5.) He reveals how those who crave power tend to be the least capable of holding it:
“It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” ~Douglas Adams
Power is a tricky thing. Nothing tests a person’s character more than power and the pursuit of power. Elections attract power hungry egomaniacs at best and warmongering psychopaths at worst. Those who seek a position of power over others should not be in a position of power. Such power will inevitably become corrupt since the motive was neither authentic leadership nor prestigious influence.
On the other hand, those who seek to empower others through authentic leadership don’t seek power but prestige. They want to share their knowledge and spread their power for the benefit of the whole. What power they gain from such leadership and prestige is checked and balanced by other authentic leaders and prestigious elders. Once again, no need for a president.
Authentic leaders don’t follow power; they learn how to turn the tables on power, even their own, so that power does not corrupt. They understand the frailty of the human condition and how dangerously easy it is to manipulate. As such, they don’t kowtow to authoritarian rule; they seek to dismantle it, despite the “rank and order” that vainly attempts to prop it up. It is for this reason that sortition by lottery from an assembly of authentic leaders and prestigious elders is the most intelligent and power-expiating way to lead.
Governing the precept that humans are fallible, imperfect, and prone to make mistakes, especially when it comes to power, it stands to reason that confiding in a system made up of an individual president wielding exorbitant amounts of power is absurd. As Edward Abbey wisely surmised, “Since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”
6.) He reveals how the presidency can be bought rather than earned:
“We may have democracy, or we may have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” ~Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice
Trump, more than any other president, has revealed how elections have become auctions. The fact that the average person doesn’t realize this is evidence that plutocracy is working. And it’s all working at the expense of “we the people,” at the expense of our environment and precious ecosystems, and at the expense of freedom itself.
In our world, money is power. Money concentrated in the hands of a few means power concentrated in the hands of a few. And since power tends to corrupt if it goes unchecked, the people must be free to check it, lest tyranny prevail. But because of a failed election system, the people are not free to check it.
As it stands, it is impossible to live freely within an oligarchic plutocracy. The plutocrats will simply continue buying up power by creating oppressive laws and “legal” extortion rackets that keep the people without wealth and power in a permanent state of poverty and powerlessness. Add to that the use of lobbyists and a fiat currency based on debt, and you have a nation of hoodwinked debt slaves under the delusion that they live in a free democratic republic.
Eradicating the presidency and advocating for a recycled group of authentic leaders and prestigious elders on a rotating lottery from an ever-evolving esteemed assembly, will go a long way in eliminating the disease of plutocracy and corporatocracy that ails us.
7.) The presidency advocates for unhealthy vertical democracy at the expense of healthy horizontal democracy:
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach,” ~Aldous Huxley
We must be able to admit, especially with a Trump presidency, that plutocracy disguised as vertical democracy simply does not work well as a healthy and progressively sustainable mode of human governance. Something’s got to give. And that something is to eliminate the electoral process altogether and implement a process of sortition. It’s so simple even an ancient Athenian 5th grader could understand it.
The ill-conceived concept of the presidency is an outdated tradition. It’s time we left it behind on the parochial woodpile of all things obsolete, dried-up, and combustible. Burn baby burn! While we’re at it, we can also toss the imperial state crown of England, the imperial throne of Japan, and Kim Jong-un himself into the fire. I’ll bring the marsh mellows. C’est la vie!
UK Queen’s Statues Torn Down Amid Anger Over Mass Graves for Indigenous Children
This year may have had one of the most muted Canada Day celebrations, but this didn’t stop Indigenous protesters from making their anger felt – especially in the wake of the discovery of over 1,000 children’s bodies near the residential schools run by the Canadian state and church authorities.
And with churches being likely targeted by arsonists for the crimes of Catholic clergy, protesters are now attacking the symbols of Anglo colonialism – namely, statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.
Former students have testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad children died from preventable diseases, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”
The discoveries have churned up deep-seated anguish and memories of the suffering visited upon First Nations peoples, with many lashing out at the symbols of colonialism.
At least seven churches, all but one of which were Catholic, have also come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks.
In June, a statue of the late Pope John Paul II at a Catholic church in Edmonton was splattered with red paint and red handprints.
On Thursday, July 1, residents in Canada also held organized protests and pulled down the statues of the top figurehead of British colonialism: Queen Elizabeth II, as well as that of her great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Sky News reports that the toppling of the statues was accompanied by the chant, “No Pride in Genocide!”
In Ottawa, protestors gathered en masse at Parliament Hill chanting ”Cancel Canada Day” and ”shame on Canada,” urging an end to the national holiday over the deaths of Indigenous people.
Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. The event could take place by year’s end, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
However, it remains unlikely that the British crown will offer the same amends to Canada’s Indigenous nations who, like many across the globe, suffered greatly in British Colonialism’s worldwide search for riches and glory.
3 Reasons Why Introverts Are Undervalued in Today’s Society
It’s undeniable that our society favors assertive extroverted personalities with strong communication skills and underestimates the quiet ones. If you are an introvert, you have probably learned it the hard way.
It could be that you felt unseen in the classroom as a child or teen. Or you may have watched your less competent co-workers get a promotion thanks to their social skills.
It feels unfair, but if you think about our society, it makes perfect sense. The consumerist mindset that has become our second nature inevitably affects the way we treat other people. It seems that everything, including our personal qualities and worth as human beings, is translated into some kind of market value.
In other words, to make other people see your worth in personal or professional life, you need to be able to ‘sell yourself’. Yes, this expression alone tells it all.
You need to know how to make a good first impression, say the right things, and be assertive. If you can’t do it, you are perceived as incapable and uninteresting – whether we are talking about a job interview or an informal social gathering.
But it’s not the only reason why introverts are undervalued in our society. Here are a few more:
1. They are less efficient in teamwork
Communication and teamwork skills are required for all kinds of jobs. It seems that without being able to work in a team, it’s impossible to do your job even if your duties don’t involve interaction with clients.
Introverts are much more efficient when they work on their own and are given a certain extent of independence. They thrive in quiet environments with few distractions and interactions. This is when a quiet person gets the chance to unleash their creative self and make good use of their analytical skills.
Most office jobs don’t give employees this opportunity. Office meetings, group projects, phone calls and all the other attributes of a 9-to-5 job make it almost impossible for an introvert to be productive.
2. They don’t like to be in the spotlight
Sometimes it feels like we are living in a society of attention seekers. Today, you are expected to go public about the most personal matters, such as your relationship and family life.
People share their most intimate thoughts and feelings on social media, post updates about the most trivial events, such as what they had for dinner, and upload countless selfies.
Introverts are among those who still value privacy. They are less likely to showcase their lives online or share the details of their personal affairs with the whole world.
At the same time, the quiet ones don’t like to be in the spotlight at social events. An introvert will never interrupt you. They will listen to you and talk only when they have something important to say. This tendency to avoid attention can be mistaken for insecurity and even a lack of intelligence.
3. They prefer to be real than to be ‘nice’
If you want to make a good impression on others, you are expected to be nice. But what does it mean to be ‘nice’ anyway?
In an introvert’s mind, it equals saying things you don’t mean. Quiet personalities will never bombard you with compliments or say meaningless social pleasantries just to win your fondness. But if an introvert said something nice to you, then be sure that they truly meant it.
Small talk is another component of social relationships most introverts struggle with. To them, it embodies utterly dull, uncomfortable, and pointless conversations they can perfectly do without. For this reason, introverts are often mistakenly believed to hate people.
The truth is that they don’t – they just crave stimulating, meaningful conversations and choose their social circle more carefully than extroverts.
In my book, The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, I write about the reasons why so many introverts feel inadequate and alienated from other people in today’s society. It all goes down to social expectations this personality type has to deal with from a very early age.
But the good news is that every introvert can overcome the negative effects of these expectations and find the right path in this loud, extroverted world.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
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