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Why Are Americans So Easily Conned?

Our blind optimism allows us to live in comfort zones, but it turns vast spaces of the world into death zones.
 
 
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The technologies that inflicted upon the world the ongoing tragedies in both the Gulf of Mexico and Japan serve a dangerous addiction, an addiction to blind optimism, a habituation of mind that allows us to dwell within provisional comfort zones but renders vast spaces of the world into death realms.

After each catastrophe, there ensues a scramble to contain the damage leveled, as, concurrently, the apologists of the present system explain the anomalous nature of the event.

Yet, this much should be obvious: Attempting to clean up the mess after it occurs, as opposed to altering the way of life that caused the damage, is analogous to an addict believing a few days in detox will serve as a solution to his addiction.

In the same way drug dealers rely on an addict's unwillingness to reflect on the carnage created in his life, as well as the havoc reaped in the lives of those near him, engendered by his addiction, the small group of hyper-wealthy elites who benefit from the current system rely on collective cognitive dissonance (or, as it has been termed, the fear of fear itself) to dissuade the public from peering deeply into the pernicious situation.

One of an addict's biggest obstacles is his optimism i.e., he is convinced he can figure out somehow, someway to use his drug of choice in a less destructive way … and, by reflex, rebels against the deepening sorrow that he must change.

When large, powerful corporations create messes beyond their ability to control the damage wrought by their institutional cupidity, those in charge spare no expense aggressively confronting the problem … that is, of course, by means of public relations blitzes aimed at the general public, while tsunami-sized waves of campaign contributions flood the coffers of elected officials.

Apropos, a school of thought has developed in which framing the perception of a catastrophe supersedes all other considerations. An after-the-fact casuistry, possessed of crackpot optimism similar to the following, is affected: Dated technologies were at fault in that particular mishap, but, not to worry, in the near future, new innovations will safeguard against similar calamities.

Sure thing: The future will be bathed in the benign light of new technological wonders; our dread will be washed away by sparkling clean coal. Magical technological innovations will soon render nuclear power so safe that the only danger to the general public will be posed by the risk of being smothered by its profoundly huggable properties.

Such are the free market capitalist's versions of End Time belief systems, a variation of the type of magical thinking that induces an individual to scan the empty sky, waiting for Jesus to float earthward and redeem the ceaseless folly perpetrated by mankind.

If we are willing to accept being lulled back into our comfort zones by such fantasies (that are as craven as they are preposterous), we might as well wait around for hazmat crews of leprechauns atop flying unicorns to arrive on the scene and clean up the messes that corporate capitalist greed-heads inflict on our increasingly besieged planet.

In a manner similar to how the indefatigable salesmen of the consumer state sell optimism, but, in reality, deliver anomie, the propagandists of the neo-liberal paradigm promise peace and prosperity -- yet their shock troops, comprised of the political and media elite, instead level class warfare at home and perpetual war abroad that renders landscapes blighted and mindscapes shell-shocked.

Among their most pernicious contrivances has been to convince the passengers seated aboard the runaway train of the corporate state that the blur of landscape out the train's windows is caused by their own poor vision and the impending crash will be due to their negative thoughts.

 
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