"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made." ~ Oscar Wilde
[Originally published Wake Up World]
Despite infinite variation in political thinking and being, there are four types of thinkers in our society; idiots, zealots, elitists and patriots. One can observe there are four types of institutions as well; government, religious, corporate and media institutions, of many shades of variation. And there are the four types of lies those institutions use, to corrupt and control our thinking and being.
Government institutions corrupt culture. Religious institutions corrupt spirituality. Corporate institutions corrupt trade. Media institutions corrupt thinking. Today, such institutional corruption is rampant to the point that it has become unspoken normalcy, and speaking up to it is quietly viewed as disruption; dissent.
In a just world where righteousness was the norm, police officers would be peacekeepers upholding just laws, and legality would run its course parallel with morality; government would govern for the people; media would share information accurately and freely, without bias; and religious institutions would promote spiritual individuation. But the level of corruption is essentially relative to the level of comprehension of the population. Corruption cannot flourish in a transparent, well-informed society. The more aware a community is of the functions of their institutions, the more the community demands that legality runs parallel with morality, etc.
Essentially, corrupt institutions, to one extent or another, enslave individuals to those institutions. Institutions first become corrupted by individuals, and over time, these institutions are used to further corrupt the individuals in that society. Our institutions are designed to limit our access to knowledge and therefore, our thinking, and promote zealotry and elitism as the new political ideal -- and as a result, many in our society are unable to comprehend the difference between legal and moral much less why the two have diverged.
There really is no need to conduct extensive research or to formulate a vast "conspiracy theory" as it concerns the matter of corrupt institutions enslaving individuals. It merely requires objective observation of our present reality and a slight understanding of the past. As the Ice T song of the same name says, "everything's corrupt." Whether the slavery is literal or mental imprisonment, or debt servitude, or spiritual co-option, or mass psychological manipulation, the result -- terminology aside -- is slavery. Essentially, corrupt institutions, to one extent or another, enslave individuals to those institutions. Institutions first become corrupted by individuals, and over time, these institutions are used to further corrupt the individuals in that society. Our institutions are designed to limit our access to knowledge and therefore, our thinking, and promote zealotry and elitism as the new political ideal -- and as a result, many in our society are unable to comprehend the difference between legal and moral much less why the two have diverged.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." ~ George Orwell (O'Brien), 1984
Yes, institutions enslave individuals. Rather than point out legitimate observations by contemporary individuals unfettered by the said institutions, perhaps it is wise to take retrospect at exactly what great thinkers of the Western world have said.Lord Acton
John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902) was a writer and politician, and his words are part of a foundational thought pattern wherever people consciously desire to reform our institutions to serve liberty and fairness:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Of course the entire statement is even more revealing than the well-known snippet.
"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it." ~ Lord Acton
Finding truth in corruption is like finding clean water in an industrialized society. We know through evidence that governments and corporations will use everything up to and including science to lie, making it so that distinguishing truth among the presentation of statistics (etymology: state math), and scientific validation requires not only an understanding of mathematics and physics, but of politics and prejudice as well.
The best technique for finding truth amidst corruption is to eliminate preconceptions (as much as possible) and simplify the contemplation of reality (as much as possible). Mostly, the corruption that Lord Acton points out exerts control by distorting the perception and therefore the reality that manifests. Thus it is helpful to lose the preconceptions in order to penetrate the truth, otherwise we will see things as we like to, as we prefer to, or as our preconceptions hold to.