Sunday, November 09, 2008

Competition = Life

If all people are competitors; competition is just business; business is equal to livelihood; then competition must equal livelihood which equals life. Life or death, the most basic of animal instincts. When cornered, an animals will do anything to live.

This is the ultimate form of control. The system that has prevailed for centuries has done everything to reduce humans to their lowest common denominator: "look out for number 1". (Divide and conquer) In doing so, everything becomes a competition which has been reinforced through the teaching in schools, the daily work ethic and mainstream media, as a good and valuable asset to the way things work. Don't question it, just accept it.

Competition is good, it drives forward innovation (define innovation, it should not mean the next great cup-holder) and provides incentive. Incentive for what though? It seems to me it is solely to make money. Therefore I would digress if I did not conclude that

LIFE = MONEY

When something as horrific as the above statement is generally accepted through propaganda, media and schooling, it essentially becomes an unspeakable truth. To speak it brings denouncement as "over-simplifying" things and backed up with statements such as: "One cannot live without money", "we all have to work", "you have to do your share", "you gotta eat" and “there are no free rides”. All of these and others, have been spoken over and over and over during conversations with ignorant, educated and uneducated persons throughout the years. An education level does not matter in seeing the truth, nor in spouting programmed responses therefore one can be highly educated but ignorant. I even tried to explain that responses are the same, word for word, across the board; programmed to which came such memorable response as "well then, it must be true if everyone else says it".
My favorite though is still “And in your Utopian world, who's going to dive in the shit?” - these I just don't bother with anymore as they will defend 'their' system to the death.

This separation of the self from the collective frame of mind, society and nature itself has led to where we are today and what we have become. This blind acceptance of our circumstances and that "capitalism must prevail" is a collective mind that is being controlled be another collective mind. The wishes of the few are carried out by the many. The few by the way control the MONEY therefore they control the LIFE.

Through fear and intimidation the few enact laws and protections for the "property" that they have amassed and all at the bequest of the many. "this could happen to you" "he seemed like such a nice man, bit of a loner" "lock your doors" "put valuables in the trunk"; all designed to protect 'you'. NOT!! It is designed to protect property. And while amassing property we all go crazy. One can insure property against theft. Let that sink in. I want to pay someone MONEY every month just in case someone else wants to steal it. Or better yet I want to insure (MONEY) my property against the likelihood that the company that manufactured it screwed up and it breaks prematurely.

Now let that sink in and let's take a ride to the early 1900's in a Ford. Now Henry liked the idea of making money by having people buy his stuff so much, that he came up with the concept of "planned obsolescence"
. How to have your shit break so that the customer will have to buy a new one. With this also comes the parts shortages due to change and factory upgrades, yadda yadda. There is a cycle though for buying of goods and that has been shorted over the years, especially with gadgets – the “i-universe”.

Now if we do some calculations, let's say that the average person pulls in $40000 a year (yeah right). That person has 3 weeks off (again) and works 40 hours a week Monday to Friday (oh boy). That works out to about $21 per hour. That means that $21 = 1 hour of your life. If life expectancy is 72 and one applies that to every hour of life a human life = $13,245,120. Last I heard in an old GM memo it was $200,000. Hmmmmm.

That means that $1500 MacBook that you just purchased is worth roughly 71.5 hours or 3 days of your life. If someone steals your MacBook, how much time should they spend in jail?
There is said to be 20 million people doing time in the U.S. And increasing at 1000 per week. How many did crimes against property? And will they ever change their ways? I read news articles on people that get released after serving 25-30 years in jail. Are they rehabilitated? Probably, will they survive in this new world? Maybe not, but the public at large loves to demonize them and hold their past forever over them. Good luck.

Where does this mean streak of competitiveness come from? Why must people always try to make themselves look better than others? Is it that they have no control over their own lives therefore need to control something else, even as indirectly as holding a grudge? Is it that the fear of life and possessions that has increased over the years is causing rational thought to be consumed?

Why within all the advancements that we have made in our own humanity and our environment (and I don't mean nature so get off the green thing for this) can we not reach for commonality and humanity rather than the self? Have the few really devolved the many to the point where they are mere animals surviving and desperately trying to protect what little they have accumulated in order to feel fulfilled as a life force?

What are the answers? I wish I had them. There are those that say that if you don't know how to fix it, then shut up. To them I have no time for. In order to find solutions, problems must first be identified. And in order to find the correct solution, the root problem needs to be identified. The competition does not end at the one, for there are many in groups that have the same agenda yet compete against each other.

Do we all come together and live in a 'communal' community (with visions of fear with reminders of Koresh or just nuts)? Do we prepare a covert revolution (with visions of activists and terrorists)? Or do we simply accept and carry on? Which label shall we be able to live with? How do we mobilize? What do we need? How do we escape the insanity?

2 comments:

Irena said...

The number game, that you started in your blog entry was very enlightening: it finally gave me the answer to the question what life is worth. I am still wondering when we actually began to equate life to money? Was there not a time not too long ago, where work was work, and there was still some life to live? What has happened to us, that now everything appears to revolve around money, although by numbers we are probably 'better off' but still feeling impoverished?

We all have seen the almost archetypical well off person, who wears old, mended clothes, and fears losing her 'riches'? Who feels like a beggar, although she is swimming in hay? And is unhappy? What happened to us that we believe that life not only equals money but also equals happiness? Putting a price tag on everything, even on things that by nature cannot have a price tag, as you mentioned, life itself, is a travesty. It doesn't create wealth, on the contrary, it creates poverty mentality. In this life, everything is accounted for. Our life becomes a budget spreadsheet, and all is taken care off. The poverty mentality cannot be cured with money, it can only be cured by learning to relate to the present moment, this fleeting thing that people resist to relate to.

I can see a relationship between the acceleration of our perception of life that is cranked up by new media, with the loss of touch to nowness. And in this media, we are being fed the all pervasive message that life equates to money, and money to happiness. And in this process, we have forgotten what life is all about, to relate to what is, and now we relate to what we would like to see. It is a gigantic dream machine that feeds us other peoples dreams. We have lost our authenticity in this medialized life and eat everything the media feeds us. Our minds are so vulnerable, and so imaginative that we buy it and believe this is exactly what we wanted from life. We have lost ourselves in the pursuit of money. We have been terribly mistaken.

Irena said...

I received a lesson this morning from my co-worker who is teaching me the essentials of money=life for dummies. I have to admit that I played dumb, and put on my Euro-background puppy eyes to enter the holy grail of everyday life’s capitalism as we know it, more to protect myself not to laughing out loud hysterically about the story that she dished out for me fresh from the mind-control press:
I asked her about the reason why she is already planning to sell her condo that she has not even paid the first mortgage for, and hasn’t moved in. This was a clear case that I am pretty stupid to ask this question in the first place, but this is what I got. “Because owning something turns you into a business woman, you don’t want to create a home you want to create ‘value’, so you can sell this condo at a higher price a few years from now.” I mused, sort of like buying a pair of sneakers, sweat into them, put on new laces, and selling them for a higher price later, and get the fun out of it at the same time, i.e. using them. Getting the best of two worlds, using material, and even gaining by doing so! Wow.

And then she went into full swing. “I am buying a condo, because I can’t afford a full fledged home today. I want to live in a big house.” – “But why, is the condo not nice enough? Big enough?” She replied, “No, because I need a goal to follow. And my dream is to have a big house.” - “Where does this dream come from” I insist further. – “I was brought up that way”, she answered without hesitation. “Don’t you remember, that when you went to high school there was a guidance councellor? – Exactly to help you carve out your career moves, so you can make a lot of money. And you need a goal! Because you have to move up, because not moving is stagnation, and stagnation is nothing!” I am not making this up. And then she gives me a crash course, in creating value by upgrading your house, put in an extra shower, so you can sell it to a divorced couple after. You know, when the kid comes to visit.

And then in the final crescendo, she told me with her nice lip gloss on her lips, pushing up the sleeves of a quarter-sleeve jacket, pushing her bum a bit nervous into the office chair: “We visited our condo this weekend, we delivered the microwave to be installed, and the sales person told us that our condo already gained 20,000 Dollars in value.” I am baffled by the miracle of growth and value increase. The condo gained value just by being. Wow. How about putting this in your equation of life to money!