Friday, May 17, 2019

Is Our Entire Political System Designed To Be A Psychological Distraction? An Old African Myth Sheds Some Light On Human Nature

One of my favorite books is the Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. In this PBS clip, Campbell discusses a myth that I believe characterizes human psychology very well, especially as it relates to politics. In Ep. 6: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘Masks of Eternity’ , Bill Moyers asks Joseph Campbell to comment on an African myth:

There’s a wonderful story in some African tradition of the god who’s walking down the road, and the god has on a hat that is colored red on one side and blue on the other side. So when the people, the farmers in the field go into the village in the evening, they said, “Did you see that fellow, that god with the blue hat?” And the others said, “No, no, he had a red hat on,” and they get into a fight.

They go on to discuss what the myth means both then and now.



To me, it illustrates one of mankind's primary weaknesses -- we are easily distracted.

"The people" have witnessed god, but are too busy worrying about what color hat he was wearing and eventually a fight breaks out.

Moral: Humans have an innate ability to focus on the wrong problem.

  • Democrat Vs. Republican
  • Progressive Vs. Conservative
  • Trump Vs. Bernie

These are all red had/blue hat distractions; these are old tricks used by the new gods of media and production; these are French Revolution prevention strategies.

What can we do to focus in on the real problem?

It's not ideal, but we live in a corporate state. To narrow in on the problem even more, it's not the corporation that's bad, it's the power we give them as corporate entities. Their only directive is one of profit as stated in the corporate bylaws. The good news is that corporations are very efficient organizations where profits are concerned. If you dangle the right candy, they can make change happen over night. I think it's time to start using corporations to our advantage.

The real way we "the people" can bring change is through spending. Rather, we need a way to focus our collective buying power. We need a way to boycott with a demand. In its grandest sense, bitcoin is a boycott of the central banking system. Our demand is to form a government that works for the people -- no sides are needed (red or blue). Our demand is medicare for all, free school (college included), a universal basic income paid for by a robot (automation) tax. Our demand is no more debt, no more war, an increase in bitcoin usage and a change in corporate bylaws to favor community and labor over profits. These are the demands we should be focusing on.