“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom… You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough ” Blake, 1790-93/1906.
One of the most intense and virulent of addictions is greed, (which I will discuss at further length later in this volume), which is considered to be the “norm,” the lingua franca in Western societies. To some greater or lesser extent, it is assumed that everyone will form an identity incorporating it. This is then fed by and feeds into, two closely related phenomena: the concept of enough and the productivity illusion.
In some sense, it does not matter how much of anything one has―it will never be enough, as one is seeking to fill a deep, empty void within, with all manner of thoughts, feelings, expressions, substances, et cetera, from without. It is generated by the delusional belief that we are separate from one another in the grand cosmic scheme; and that each of us must constantly struggle and compete for scarce resources (no matter whether land, or oil, or love). There will never be enough as long as one feels unfulfilled internally; as long as one feels the aching terrible need of emptiness and deficit.
Belief and “Reality”
This belief system has been promoted by governments and media (both owned by Big Business in its many tentaclular forms), driven by the profit motive. We have been purposely misled, manipulated, lied to―for centuries, perhaps millennia. The muscular forces of commerce have always driven so called human progress to some extent, and there have always (it seems) been oligarchs and plutocrats of some sort.
The greed and avarice are more nakedly displayed these days, and the populace is far more easily cowed into believing in and accepting their fate. It has generally (so far at least) not yet gotten to the point where individuals are arrested or slaughtered on the street for speaking against the government. It started slowly in Nazi Germany, and in Czarist Russia before the totalitarian state of the old Soviet Union. There is a growing fascism in the USA, intimately related to the usurpation of Constitutional guarantees and the abrogation of the Bill of Rights.
It is impossible to read even the most abridged versions of history without being aware of the great military campaigns waged by the lionized heroes of antiquity, many of whom were historically recorded as brutal and violent, especially toward conquered peoples. And there is a thread that runs through them into contemporary times, though the brutal conquerors of these so called modern times wear $5000 grey pin-striped suits instead of armor, and wield Meisterstück Mont Blanc pens instead of swords.
One of the biggest lies we have been sold is that we “have to work for a living.” It has been promoted along with the myth that net worth equals self-worth promulgated by those who own and control all of the major corporations and governments―in effect forcing the workers, the real producers, to live on the crumbs from their gold-plated tables. There is an almost endless list of people who have been murdered, or so totally marginalized as to be non-existent, for having the audacity to speak out against, or oppose, such blatant fascism that contradicts every decent principle of an equalitarian humanity. Part of what feeds this titanic arrogance is the belief that those in power have somehow been granted the God-given right to rule over others and treat the bulk of humanity as their servants or slaves. This parades under the banner of Social Darwinism, the topic of my next post.