Are Ordinary People the Problem
or the Solution?
June 28, 2018
If you have found the articles and posts I've been writing* (for more than twenty years now) useful, informative, hope-producing and somehow strangely different from most other anti-establishment writing, I am about to explain what it is about my articles that makes them be this way.
All of the articles and posts I've written have been based on the application of a single key idea to the examination of this or that topic or question. That single key idea is this: ordinary people are the solution, not the problem.
Specifically, it's the idea that the vast majority of ordinary (sometimes I say working class) people (in the United States as well as elsewhere) share the positive values that ought to shape all of society: the values of equality (in the sense of no rich and no poor) and mutual aid (a.k.a. solidarity, having concern for others rather than viewing them as a foe to be competed against.) Yes, there are some ordinary people--a small minority--who are (to use the technical term) assholes. But most ordinary people hate these selfish people.
These positive values shared by most people are applications of the Golden Rule, which is endorsed (in various words) by virtually all major religions because people would reject any religion that didn't endorse it. The egalitarian revolution I advocate is simply the shaping of ALL of society by these positive values, the values by which people today in their everyday lives strive to shape the little corner of the world over which they have any real control, despite the enormous power of ruling elites and all the major institutions of society they control and use to attack these positive values.**
The fact that most people share and try to act upon very positive values is not obvious because it is reflected in the form of acts that we don't think of as "political": everyday acts of kindness and concern for others such as giving one's seat to somebody else who needs it more on public transportation. These are the everyday acts that we hardly take note of and certainly seldom think of as having profound political significance for being contrary to the values of capitalism and its ruling class. But think about it. If everybody shared and acted on the ruling class values of greed and self-interest and screw-the-other-person-to-make-a-buck, instead of resisting those values as best they could, then we would be living in an utter nightmare hell infinitely more horrible than the actual world we live in. This is why the reality of what we see around us everyday demonstrates that ordinary people are indeed an implicitly revolutionary force; they are the solution, not the problem.
What My Articles Do
What I do in my articles, regardless of the specific topic, is this:
1) I identify the positive values that explain the behavior of ordinary people.
[This is why I write about, and make videos like this one and this one, showing, what actual random people say when asked about things such as removing the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. I don't write, as so many other anti-establishment authors do, about what one might guess they would say based on the mass and alternative media as one's source of information! Instead of taking for granted the cynical "standard wisdom" about human nature, I investigated what science can tell us about it here.]
2) I identify the negative values (greed and self-interest, inequality, dominating people, using lies and manipulation to divide-and-rule people, treating people like dirt to make them "know their place") that explain the behavior of those in power.
3) I identify the lies (spread by the ruling class) that many good people unfortunately believe and on the basis of which they support policies that are bad but which they wrongly think help shape society by their positive values.
For example, people who thought Saddam Hussein was murdering babies in incubators and had a suitcase-sized atomic bomb he was going to explode in New York City and that he was complicit in 9/11 supported the U.S. government's invasions and sanctions of Iraq that killed millions of innocent people. If ordinary people really did share the terrible selfish values of the ruling class, then the way the ruling class would have gotten the public to support the invasions of Iraq would have been by saying, "Hey, let's invade Iraq and steal their oil and live in luxury at the expense of those damn Iraqis." The rulers didn't do this because they know ordinary people would have been disgusted by such an appeal.
[Ruling class lies are particularly effective when they are lies designed to foment race war, but are promoted in the name of "anti-racism," as I wrote about here. Once one understands that the ruling class needs to control ordinary people (to prevent them from shaping society by their values of equality) then it opens the door to looking at what the ruling class does and seeing how it is about control of people, as for example the Cold War I wrote about here. There is a huge difference between a) ordinary people believing lies versus b) the ruling class deliberately telling those lies; the values in each case are the opposite.]
4. I identify the way the ruling class creates misleading frameworks for the public debates on "hot button" social issues, frameworks that are designed to ensure that the population will be split into two approximately equal sized camps that have utter contempt for each other. These frameworks a) censor facts which, if known by the public, would result in people in the opposing camps have respect for (if not agreement with) the views of the opposite camp, and b) censor views on the given topic that would be agreed upon by most people in each of the opposing camps.
[My book, Divide and Rule: The 'Left vs. Right' Trap is all about this. For an example of how I approach one specific hot button topic, read this article about same-sex marriage. My book examines almost all of the current 'hot button' social issues this way.]
5. I identify the cause of whatever improvements have been made in our society: the collective efforts of ordinary people by various means of struggle, and NOT the good will of "good" politicians or the ruling billionaire class to which politicians are beholden.
6. I identify the ways that our society can be much better when it is shaped by the positive values of ordinary people instead of the contrary values of the ruling elite and other assholes.
7. I identify the source of hope for a better world: the fact that the vast majority of ordinary people want it, and already are trying in their everyday lives to shape the little corner of the world over which they have any control with the positive values that should shape all of society in this better world.
What Many Anti-Establishment Articles Unfortunately Do
The things listed above are what make my articles different from so many other anti-establishment ones. All too often, anti-establishment articles unfortunately express the view that ordinary people are the problem: they are stupid, they are selfish, they are complicit, they are "sheeple," they are bigots, they are evil (this is stated by referring to the people who carry out the mass-murdering warmongering of the U.S. government as "we" and "us" instead of "they" and "them.")
All too many anti-establishment articles are focused on how people are the problem. Instead of examining the often-times positive values that motivate many good and decent people to support bad policies because they believe a lie the ruling class has told them (e.g., the way people supported the invasions of Iraq because they believed lies about Saddam Hussein), these articles just assume that the reason ordinary people support a bad policy is because they are bad people. The ruling class uses the mass and alternative media that it controls to make us view ordinary people as the problem; when anti-establishment writers go along with this propaganda it is disgraceful and it only helps the rich to remain in power!
The effect of such "ordinary people are the problem" anti-establishment articles is to induce their readers to believe that it is impossible to remove the rich from power because hardly anybody else would support a movement to do that. Such articles promote hopelessness. It is this hopelessness that the ruling class relies on to stay in power. The ruling class knows it cannot persuade people to like it, but it also knows this is not necessary for it to remain in power.
Please Join in the Effort to Spread the Truth: Ordinary People Are the Solution, Not the Problem
You too can help to remove the rich from power. You can do this by thinking about our social problems in a new way, the way I have been doing and have outlined above. It is indeed a new way. It takes practice. It requires thinking a bit differently about things. It means rejecting the ready-made "anti-establishment" themes that the ruling class provides us (for example with memes such as these (which may very well have been produced by the CIA for all I know.)
It means listening to Democracy Now!, for example, to see if it even HINTS that the vast majority of ordinary people would LOVE to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. (I and others formally asked Democracy Now! to interview random people about this and let their listeners know what they said. Democracy Now! refused to do this.) And it means, then, to identify Democracy Now! as a radio station that reports how the rich do bad things, not for the purpose of helping us remove the rich from power, but rather to make us tune into it so we will hear its implicit propaganda message, which is that "ordinary people are the problem" because "unlike you, they don't want to remove the rich from power."
You can reject the "ordinary people are the problem" propaganda by talking to random people you encounter and, instead of just assuming they do NOT want to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor, ASK them explicitly and FIND OUT for sure. (Here's something that will help you do this.) After you do this, tell others what happened. It's easy. But it requires a new way of thinking. I hope you will give it a try.
* My articles are at http://newdemocracyworld.org/recent_posts.html and https://www.pdrboston.org/ where, unless otherwise indicated, I am the author.
** This insight comes from Dave Stratman's book, We CAN Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life; it is readable online here (pdf).
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