If I had to boil the world’s political struggles down and throw them in one pot, it would be the fight of individualism versus collectivism. Anarchy versus communism.
Starting with Aeschylus, Zeno and Socrates, some of the world’s greatest philosophic thinkers have favored individual freedom over intrusive government rule. American philosopher Henry David Thoreau is well known for the sentiment “That government is best which governs least.” The right to individual freedom is the premise upon which a republic is based—as opposed to a democracy, which is all about majority rule.
The roots of communism can be found in Plato’s Republic, where the rulers of the city state (referred to as the guardians) owned no property and lived a communal life—a design intended to remove the temptations for ownership and control, leaving the guardians unbiased advocates for the good. It seems a long way from that ideal to single party rule, where the state controls all property, regulates all aspects of life and thought, and tolerates no opposition or public dissent.
But that’s where the seminal ideas of Plato, washed through the thoughts and writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, eventually brought us.
It’s been decades since I studied any of the above-mentioned men’s writings in college. (No, I’m not admitting how many!) And I’m not going to get into a sociopolitical discussion for which I am clearly unqualified. Thing is—I don’t need to get lost in endless philosophic details to make my point. (Thank God!) Which is this:
The whole conversation boils down to one thing: Our perspective on human nature.
Selfish sinner or child of God?
Human beings don’t think very well of themselves. Which is not surprising considering the massive amount of negative programming we’ve had thrust upon us for the last several thousand years.
In my recent essay “A Society Built Upon a Lie Is Destined to Fail,” https://cmontana.substack.com/p/a-society-built-upon-a-lie-is-destined I talked about the heinous theological concept of original sin—an idea which flowed to modern times out of the whispered conversations Mani, the Prophet of Babylon (216 AD), had with his “other self,” the invisible spirit of questionable origin and intent that gave Mani his insight.
Mani’s belief that man and woman are inherently corrupt, selfish, greedy, and violent was picked up by Augustine of Hippo who then helped enshrine this ghastly judgment as truth in Christian theology.
Karl Marx rejected Christian theology, but arrived at a similar view of human nature. He believed that socio-economic status—where you belonged on the social totem pole as a “have” or a “have not” —was the fundamental driver of human nature, pitting us against one another, making us competitive and selfish, aggressive and easily corrupted. Eliminate capitalism and political parties, both of which foster division and competition, and embrace communism as “the foundation of all human sociability” and there you will find the answer to all humanity’s ills.
Both views embrace the view of human nature as less than savory.
As well, America’s current rush to embrace socialism exposes a fundamental mistrust of human capacities. The basic picture, incessantly delivered via mainstream media, is that people are dysfunctional and incapable of self-care and self-governance. Therefore, we need more rules and regulations. More handouts. More guidance. More protection from our fearsome foibles and foolishness.
Which is … hmmmm … how do I say this politely?
We need more truth, not more rules
Human beings are spirit. For lack of a better way of putting it, we are children of God. Our nature is nature: Infinite, creative, loving, expansive. We are LIFE ITSELF expressing.
But what are we currently expressing? We are currently expressing what we’ve been taught. We are currently expressing the lies that have been hammered into us.
And as we believe, so we become. As we think so is it done.
There is no individualism versus collectivism. There is no anarchy versus communism. The individual, given the freedom to live up to his/her truest nature, is inherently kind, inherently thoughtful and naturally takes others into consideration. The unfettered, unmolested, un-tormented, unprogrammed individual is innately a social creature who attains joy by being useful in society.
Maybe I’ve lived an incredibly sheltered life, but personally I haven’t met anybody who wanted to hurt others, or who wanted to control and own the world. I’ve traveled from England through Europe into Russia and Turkey. I’ve spent months in the Amazon jungles of Peru and Ecuador in South America, lived for years in Central America and briefly hung out in South Africa and India. And ALL the people in all the places I lived were decent and kind.
Everywhere in the world—even in LA, London and New York—everybody I’ve ever met pretty much wants the same thing: To be left alone to do what makes them happy, find a mate, raise their kids to be healthy and happy, contribute to their community as much as they can and feel fulfilled by living a loving, productive life.
Sure, there are assholes you meet along the way. And I’m not saying there aren’t criminals and horrifyingly bad and cruel people in the world. But it’s shocking how disproportionate the impact these few “bad apples” have in the world. It only takes one power-mad sociopath to influence and destroy the lives, livelihoods and ecosystems of entire nations. Which is, I think, a testimony to the genuine gentleness of humanity as a whole.
So, if all this is true—or even a little bit true—how have we come to have such a low opinion of ourselves? How have we come to the point of terrifying spiritual impoverishment and psychological implosion? How have we arrived at the place of social disintegration, exponentially increasing conflict, confusion and despair?
Explaining that is what my whole book Cracking the Matrix is about. But here’s my answer in a nutshell: It’s been a deliberate psy-ops campaign against humanity designed by inhuman intelligences that have been implemented by a relative handful of well-heeled individuals of evil intent who hold to the long game. Arrogant, sociopathic individuals who believe their own propaganda about human nature while at the same time believing themselves “above it all” —which belief gives them (in their own minds) the divine right to rule the world.
Yes, yes, I know. I’ve officially revealed myself as a “conspiracy theorist.” Oh well.
Thing is, people’s incredulousness over the possibility is nothing more than further testimony to its truth. “Normal” human beings don’t plot to own the world. Normal humans can’t fathom cruelty and grotesque manipulation. They don’t “get” the need for self-aggrandizement, absolute power and control. Normal people aren’t capable of thinking this way. Which is yet further proof of our overall goodness and innocence. A goodness and an innocence that has been used against us.
As Marcellus points out in Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” It doesn’t take a genius to see that something is, indeed, rotten about the current state of our world. Given human nature—genuine human nature—loving, helpful, kind, relational human nature—the situation we’re facing is obviously not one of our making.
Yes, in our hypnotized, programmed state we are complicit. We have bought the rotten apple, eaten it, and are busy spreading the illness it contains. But it is not too late to stop the spread of foul contagion in its tracks.
We are beings of pure love.
If we stand up and start to act from our true nature, there will be no need to fight against the corruption that surrounds us. By Being Who We Really Are, we can unite, stand and simply walk away.
Simplistic? Yes. But as Steve Jobs once put it, “You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.”