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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/13/15

What Are the Biggest Lies and Delusions That Keep People Voting Against Their Own Best Interests?

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This world is being handed over to a few hundred billionaires and transnational predatory corporations gorging themselves in an economic bloodfeast that leaves hundreds of millions billions dead or damaged. Yet many of those people-- people who go bankrupt because of health care expenses, people who will live their lives burdened by student debt, who face no realistic hopes for a decent job, whose children face even bleaker futures, who are living shallow, meaningless lives focused on consumption of crass, worthless things with brand names, who are eating foods that are beyond unhealthy, to the extent that they reduce lifespan, increase risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and inability to resist infections-- continue to vote for corporatist politicians in both major parties in the US, or abroad who vote against their best interests.

The question is "why?"
I believe it's because people are living in a story narrative that has them convinced that it's the best thing for them and their families. So my question is, "What are the lies, the deceptions and illusions that keep these billions of people complacent, accepting this unjust situation, even supporting and advocating for it."
I'll throw out a couple of guesses, but I'm hoping that the best answers will be in the comments from Becker, Pear, Schwartz, Kaiser, Hall, Ramani, Penisten, Arnold, Walker, Tremlett, intotheabyss, Wight, Roll, Tell, E. J. N., Geery, Sanchez, Repstock, Baker, Butler, Vierotchka, Stryker, cruz, Schreiner, Herendeen, Reichel, Palsimon, Collins, Duveen, Quandy, Srodes, farris, BFalcon, MacDonald, to name a few, and even from Bill Johnson, Braverman and Doc McCoy and anyone else.
So, here are some of my guesses on the lies and delusions that keep billionaires, psychopaths and predatory capitalism in power:
1-"Individualism is an American value." Ok, so, we do have a history of people like Daniel Boone make that Davey Crockett (thanks Chucky Jesus for the correction)-- rugged individuals-- but Boone sacrificed his life for a bigger picture. It is noble to be an individual, yet stand up for and fight for the rights of others and for the community. The individualism we see celebrated today is the selfish, narcissistic kind that Ayn Rand-- a disgusting person who preached the worst values-- encouraged. Individual expression and independence can be great. I pride myself on not being a part of the mindless crowd. But it is possible, no, essential that individualism not come at the price of justice and fairness for the people and the commons. Individualism must be alloyed with kindness, empathy and a keen desire for justice.
2- "Consumption and increasing production are essential to a healthy future." This is a malignant, cancerous idea that afflicts the minds of most economists and far too many consumers. As I've grown older, and I think wiser, I've found that I need less and less things to be happy. Before I turned 50 I used to love to peruse catalogues and products. What a waste. Yet so many include acquisition as one of the their primary values.
3- "Bigger is better." That's mostly true for the biggest, but not the rest of us, as I've explored in my article series Small is Better than Big.
4- "Protecting the Wealthy protects my possible future." Supporting legislators who pass bills that protect billionaires because you think you will become wealthy is one of the worst fantasy/delusions. Take the elimination of the estate tax, for example. Currently, the estate tax exempts the first five or ten million for a family. That means it covers probably 98% of the population, yet a huge percentage, particularly of people who have estates under $100,000, will vote for legislators giving welfare to millionaires and billionaires.
Easter Island, They wiped out the trees
Easter Island, They wiped out the trees
(Image by Arian Zwegers)
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5- "Regulations are bad, against freedom." There is a price for freedom. That price includes rules, laws, regulations and responsibilities. Freedom that fails to consider the needs of the people, of the ecosystem is self-centered, likely predatory and not deserving. It is also likely to be very short-lived. The inhabitants of Easter Island used up all the trees on the island because they could-- and then the culture died. Nature exists because of "regulations," like pH (acidity) and many different biological balances. it is wise to learn from mother nature. People and corporations who/which resist regulations are really thieves in disguise, hoping to evade responsibilities and externality costs that they want others to pay. When you see a company or politician decrying regulations, you see a thief or someone who advocates for a thief.
6- "The system can't be changed." So many people have become victims of oppression, living with authoritarian mindsets that keep them cowed and thoroughly dominated by an oppressive system that is concentrating power into fewer and fewer hands of wealthier and more powerful people and corporations. The system can be changed. it is ripe for change. People must wake up, come together via grass-roots, bottom-up movements, values and risings of consciousness, through education and empowerment, and they will replace the current rotten, corrupt system, as powerful as it seems, with something healthier, more just and fair. It has been done before. It is inevitable. When we change the system, it will bring about all kinds of changes that we've been wanting. But it takes waking people up.
System Change Not Climate Change
System Change Not Climate Change
(Image by Eoghan OLionnain)
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That's a start. What do you think? What are some of the lies and delusion you see as keeping people voting against their own best interests?

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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