PREAMBLE TO PART 2
Before I say anything else, let us establish a baseline of expectation. Think critically. Do not passively accept any information from any source without vetting it yourself. Next I will say to you what no Politician would ever dare say: "Do not believe anything I tell you". Do not believe anything i tell you until you can vet it for yourself with your trusted sources and/or upon research in books, libraries and the internet. Do not believe anything i tell you until you know it well enough so you can explain and defend it to someone who would challenge you on that issue. Question everything.
Before we go further, it may be useful for you to review the information from TEA Party - Planning the Enlightenment (Part 1 of 3)
Next, please try to open your mind to a new perspective of the world around you. Your perception of reality has been distorted and colored by indoctrination, Propaganda, Censorship, Duplicity, misdirection, distraction and Lying, Smiling Faces. Ultimately, i will suggest to you that if you begin viewing the world around you from the perspective of Natural Law. A lot of the confusion you have will disappear and the Ruling Class will no longer be able to manipulate you if abandon perspective of the world you now have a replace with a perception of reality based on fully informed Natural Law. For now, I will just suggest to you that the powers that be have used their authority to manipulate your perception of reality in a manner that enables them to retain their power.
Further, this portion of the article series is written with inherent trust in my fellow average American citizens and common people from around the world. This portion of the article is not intended to be the final authority, but rather a place to begin contemplating what the future condition of mankind will be. Shall WE THE PEOPLE be masters of our own destinies or Slaves deluded into a perception of freedom by propaganda and censorship while in reality we are managed and enslaved by a tyrannical ruling class that consider themselves to be intellectual elites? I specifically would ask that this be a debate amongst the common people, the general public and not anybody in any position of authority.
I suggest this because persons in authority, and/or who benefit from the current status quo, have hidden and/or not so hidden agendas (ulterior motives) of retaining their power and the status quo. This includes academic elitist that have sold their souls and abandoned their commitment to the concept of Natural Law in exchange for creature comforts, grants and other funding.
Modern academics have turned there backs on Natural law; the very Natural Law which was created at great risk and sacrifice by the "Men of Letters", other authoritative figures of the original Enlightenment like Kant, Voltaire and Rousseau and still others who preceded them like Copernicus and Galileo. Intellectuals were authoritative figures of the 1st Enlightenment who were part of and aligned with the General Public. The Intellectuals of the 1st Enlightenment guided the dialogue, shaped the discussion and were its foundation and shepherds. Their present day counterparts are lost to us. Present day Intellectuals abandoned the General Public to become academic elitists allied to the very tyrants who necessitate a second Enlightenment.
Please pardon the amount of time it has taken to craft this part of this article. It far harder to make sense of all the "Noise" we each hear everyday than I ever expected. The difficulty increases astronomically when one attempts to avoid describing the issues in terms of the currently prevailing political and conceptional paradigms. It is only upon long reflection that I have found the words to make sense of the noise. I had to stop looking at the individual trees and start looking at the forest as a whole to start making sense of all of it.
The burden of the task decreased greatly when I decided to be less rather than more exhaustive in defining the parallels of this 2nd Enlightenment to the 1st Enlightenment. In so doing, it is my intent to leave topics untouched lest the debate regarding them be prejudiced by my comments. I this do so that other persons might set their minds and abilities to defining topics and issues that they are personally passionate about. Such was the nature of the 1st Enlightenment. Such should be the nature of the 2nd Enlightenment.
It is my hope that the common people, the General Public of the United State of America and the world would engage in passionate debate about Natural Law, the nature of the human condition and the status of the Great American Experiment. Such was the manner in which the first Enlightenment progressed over the course of 150 years (more or less). Given our advantage of not having to discover and Define the concept of Natural Law and our connectivity via the internet and other electronic means, i would hope this 2nd Enlightenment could take place over the course of a decade or less.
I put my trust in my fellow common American citizens who are willing to cast off the physical, economic and intellectual shackles they have been encumbered with by the powers that be. i further trust them to cast off the compromises they have made to their own ethics and integrity by "going along to get along" or worse. I trust my fellow citizens to re-commit themselves to the high Principles of Natural Law. And for those that doubt the wisdom in my trusting in my fellow common American citizens, I merely reply; "Will they do any worse than our current leaders?"
I stand in awe of how difficult this task would be without the concepts and constructs of Natural Law and Natural Rights discovered, pondered, postulated, revised and set to paper by the common yet authoritative leaders of the 1st Enlightenment. They have so brilliantly conceptualized a rational framework that puts order to the nature of mankind and the relationships of people that it makes the task at hand a very much easier undertaking. I think i would have been too overwhelmed to take on this intellectual foray without the structure of Natural Law as a point of reference.
SUMMARY OF THE RELEVANT POINTS FROM PART 1
We discussed in Part 1 how, during the 1st Enlightenment, thoughts, values and principles which were considered radical departures from the then status quo were developed. Among these then radical thoughts were "Natural Law" , "Uncircumscribed Rational Thought", "Consent of the Governed", "Equality of Citizens and Sovereigns", "Self-Determination", "Public Sphere (Opinion)", "Property Rights" and "Absolute Truth"
We also discussed how the ruling class and those who benefited from the status quo resisted change; and how due to this resistance to change, violent revolution was often the result. We also indicated that America's Declaration of independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights incorporated many of the then radical philosophies and much of the reasoning of The Enlightenment.
The ability to identify the parallels between the conditions of The Enlightenment and Present Day America become easier when we identify the larger themes and components of the 1st Enlightenment. The most salient points of The 1st Enlightenment to consider are:
1. It was preceded by rational thinking circumscribed by the Dogma of of the "Sacred Circle" (King, church, bible);
2. Literacy rates increased dramatically and Methods of Communication Improved and became faster and more efficient;
3. Rapid Technological, Scientific, Intellectual and Philosophical Advances altered the fabric of Society;
5. The Identification, Definition and Application of various principles of Natural Law such as Individual Self-Determination & Free Will and the Right to own Property;
6. Retaliation and Punishment for those who challenged the status quo's beliefs and power structure" as a means by the powers that be to attempt to maintain the status quo.
7. The expectation by the masses that all Governments must abide by natural law and grant their citizens the freedom to exercise their Natural Law Rights and Liberties as all men were endowed by their creator with these inalienable rights;.
8. Replacement of the concept of the "Divine Right of Kings" with "Consent of the Governed"
PARALLELS TO THE CONDITIONS IN PRESENT DAY AMERICA
OVERVIEW OF PARALLELS
The 1st enlightenment was a massive paradigm shift, especially in relation to the perspective of reality from which the individual viewed themselves. It is a miracle that persons held in such low regard by their governments, the ruling class and clergy could overcome all the obstacles before them and persevere in their pursuit of their Natural Rights.
It is relatively easy to summarize the parallels of the conditions of present day America (and the World) to the conditions preceding and during the 1st Enlightenment. Fortunately, we don't have the one burden that was already addressed by the 1st Enlightenment. That burden being discovering, identifying, creating, developing, codifying and communicating the fundamental principals of Natural Law. We don't have to "reinvent the wheel". We have the advantage of being able to use Natural Law as extrapolated and codified by the 1st Enlightenment as a reference point. And with this reference point, we are able able to simply state that our government (and most governments of the world) have worked to erode the average citizens Natural Rights since the 1st Enlightenment.
Much of the impetus for a 2nd enlightenment results from the adaptation of the ruling class to the philosophical and intellectual changes created during the enlightenment. They have adapted their means and methods of maintaining their control and power to the new and different society. A society driven by reason and experience as opposed to the former society controlled by a ruling class through dogma, superstition, tradition, religion and humankind's instinctive pain avoidance. In making these adaptations to retain power they have again infringed on the common persons Natural Rights and undermined and violated the Principles of Natural Law.
That dull headache, sense of confusion and "something is wrong but you don't quite know what" feeling you are experiencing is caused by the slow, deliberately incremental erosion of your Natural Rights. Unlike the General Public of the 1st Enlightenment, your inability to identify and communicate that "something is wrong" results because the study and application of Natural Law has fallen into disuse and your perception of reality has been distorted by indoctrination, propaganda and censorship. The study and meaning of Natural Law has been virtually abandoned, especially in America's Public Schools. It could argued that the ruling class has done this by design, so that they might delay your awareness of their trespasses of your Natural Rights until they have consolidated their power and it is too late to resist.
Simply, the Tyrants of the World have been trying to reassert the scope and scale of their power lost during the 1st Enlightenment. The failure of Governments to honor Natural Law and the Natural Rights of Citizens is the dominant parallel of present day America to the conditions that gave rise to the 1st Enlightenment.
The next parallel between this would be 2nd Enlightenment and the 1st Enlightenment has to do with literary and methods of communication. ,USA and world Literacy rates have increased dramatically since 1800AD. Scientific advancements since 1975 AD have exponentially increased access to information and ideas by the general public and the rate by which information and ideas are transmitted. This parallels the development and availability of economical books, universal libraries and debate clubs of the original Enlightenment.
Another parallel in present day America is Scientific Advancement. The period of 1800 AD to the present has seen great scientific, intellectual and philosophical advancements. Some of these scientific, intellectual and philosophical advancements parallel the monumental changes of the 1st Enlightenment in that they challenge once commonly accepted fundamental beliefs on a scale comparable to some of those fundamental beliefs dispelled during the 1st Enlightenment. And some of those scientific advances have caused cultural changes and social upheaval which the present ruling class resists as threats to their efforts to retain and expand their power. Natural Rights and Liberty are a zero sum game... What ever power Government gains results in a directly corresponding loss of Natural rights and Liberty to Individuals. And these shifting paradigms are yet another parallel to the 1st Enlightenment.
The background moral and intellectual tapestry influencing individuals to conform to the structure of society allows/enables the ruling class to retain their hold on power. In the present day America, the dogma of the Pre-Enlightenment Sacred Circle has morphed from superstition and religion to "Conditional Secular Political Correctness", a moral standard of "Plausible Deniability", and "materialism induced debt slavery" dispensed and enhanced through the major media with Propaganda, Censorship and duplicity. Once again, free rational thought has been circumscribed by a dogma outside the individual. And this parallels the conditions of the 1st Enlightenment.
In short, the current ruling class has invoked a new dogma predicated on Political Correctness, Plausible Deniability, Debt Slavery. In the 1st Enlightenment, the dogma of the Sacred Circle told people what they should believe regardless of the facts, expereince and ideas they experienced. In our current condition, our ruling class allows us to believe we have made a decision based on rational thought, while in reality they have fed us the information and ideas that led us to reach the conclusion they desired.
They accomplished this through propaganda, censorship and duplicity. Until recently, Publishing required a huge financial investment. The weight of this investment made it easy to control who owned and controlled the printing presses, radio and TV. And further, the risk of losing their investment causes Traditional Publishers to be sensitive to the concerns, advice and warnings of those who purchases their advertising, the primary source of the Revenue.
But the Internet, has changed all of that. Anybody can be a publisher with little regard for who they offend or what paradigm they might shift or status quo they might topple. The internet has allowed all of us to compare notes and confirm what we all have suspected, "Our Government is hugely corrupt" But our Elected officials and Bureaucrats continue to act as though the internet does not exist, though they hear our unified voices in various ways saying, "Stop being Corrupt". And so you have a change in ability to communicate resulting in the General Public's outcry against the wrong-doings of Government. Another Parallel to the 1st Enlightenment.
Our Government is resisting the General Public's call for a return to the Principles of Natural Law. Cultural upheaval and political revolution occur when the ruling class have the desire and means to resist non-violent societal changes which inevitably occur with the passage of time. The desire of the ruling class to resist changes and subvert Natural law arises from selfish motivations to retain power by maintaining the current status quo. This is yet another way in which present day conditions in America parallel the original enlightenment.
Before we move on, Please note this article is written from a America-centric point of view because that is the culture I best understand. I would not presume to try to articulate relevant perspectives on a 2nd Enlightenment in other cultures; preferring to encourage the intellectually honest General Public of those other cultures to develop their own road maps for their own enlightenment.
And before i say anymore, be it plainly heard that this is not a call to violent revolution nor violence of any kind. We shall seek reinstatement of our Natural Rights and respect for Natural law through civil political discourse unless and until it is determined that restoration of the respect for the Principles of Natural Law and our Natural Rights cannot be achieved through said non-violent Political discourse. May I suggest the dates of November 6, 2010; July 4, 2011; November 10, 2012 and July 4, 2013 as dates upon which we assess and reassess the viability of achieving restoration of our Natural Rights and the respect for Natural Law via civil political discourse.
During this civil political discourse i beg, plead and admonish those whom respect my perspective of reality and thought process to think critically and within the context of Natural Law and Natural Rights. Please be prepared to set aside your pre-conceived perception of reality. Please do not consider any aspect of the task at hand from the perspective of political partisanship. (More on this in Part 3).
EXAMINATION AND COMPARISON OF SOME OF THE CULTURAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC PARADIGM SHIFTS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN SINCE 1800 AD TO THE FIRST ENLIGHTENMENT
We begin by grouping major developments in the USA and the world into themes or categories that parallel those of the 1st Enlightenment:
Parallel 1. Rational thinking circumscribed by control of the flow Information to the masses by the ruling class;
Parallel 2. Literacy rates increased dramatically, improving access by the masses to knowledge and ideas, The speed and geographic reach of the transmission of knowledge and ideas among the General Public around the world increased exponentially;
Parallel 3. Rapid Technological, Intellectual and Philosophical advances often resulted in unforeseen impacts on culture and society;
Parallel 4. Paradigm Shifts - Changes in Perception of Reality and Public Opinion by large demographic groups of the General Public and other Paradigm Shifts;
Parallel 5. Ruling Class adaptation to "Consent of the Governed" and "Uncircumscribed Reasoned Thought" resulting in subversion of the principles of Natural Law. This allowed the standard of "Consent of the Governed" to be replaced by Government co-opted by a tyrannical ruling class composed of the Uber-Wealthy and Corporate and Special interests. In effect, Tyranny by Proxy with the appearance of "Consent of the Governed" maintained through propaganda, censorship and duplicity.
Parallel 6. Retaliation and punishment of those who identify and publicize the loss of Natural Rights and liberty caused by the Government's subversion of Natural Law;
Parallel 7. Renewed interest, understanding of, and adherence to the Principals of Natural Law by the General Public;
Parallel 8. The expectation by the masses that all Governments must abide by Natural Law and grant their citizens the freedom to exercise their Natural Rights and Liberties as all people are endowed with these inalienable Natural Rights.
Parallel 1) Rational thinking circumscribed by control of the flow Information to the masses by the ruling class;
You will recall that preceding the 1st Enlightenment, rational thinking was circumscribed by the Dogma of the Sacred Circle (Kings, Clergy and Religious texts) The 1st Enlightenment broke that dogma and allowed people to reach their own conclusions based on information and experience. The Ruling class, and the other powers that be, were overwhelmed by the public opinion of the masses, and so reluctantly yeilded or were forced to yeild.
However, those that would be tyrants resented their loss of power. They studied the new paradigm of Governance under "Consent of the Governed" and "Uncircumscribed Rational Thought" in a world of free thinking men who no longer could be controlled because of common persons fevered aspiration for self-determination and demand for the right to own property.
No longer able to dictate how men should think through tradition, superstition, religion and "might makes right", the would-be tyrants discovered that they could control men of rational thought by controlling what information they received. Within the Computer world there is an expression regarding Computers and data, "Garbage in, Garbage out" Such is the Nature of Rational Thought, "Garbage in, Garbage out"
And as time progressed the ruling class determined to control the flow of information and ideas to the general public. In their next attempt at Circumscribing thought, the ruling class determined they would control the flow of information and ideas to the General Public in such a way that the General Public would achieve the perspective of reality (opinion) the ruling class wanted, without realizing they had been guided to perspective of reality the ruling class wanted them to have.
The ruling class finely honed this "control of the flow of information" through funding, patronizing, coercing, cajoling, seducing, bribing and extorting the free press into a lop-sided symbiotic relationship. This lopsided symbiotic relationship with the major is best summarized as:
"Print the news we, the powers that be, want printed and we and our friends will continue to place ads with your media organization; Print news that we don't want printed and we and our friends shall as quickly stop placing ads with your media firm."
Now, I am going to try to avoid disenfranchising those readers still intellectually laboring under the indoctrination or sense of loyalty to either major political party(drinking the KoolAid). I am going to use examples from the past that hopefully defy affiliation to any current American major political party.
i) The COINTELPRO operations of the FBI against Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our Government had a covert strategy in place to demonize and discredit MLK and other political dissident groups. They used the resources of our intelligence community to gather and make up information about MLK and then distributed that information to the major media. Does it trouble you that persons and groups are deliberately and falsely demonized and discredited by the ruling class to distort your perception of reality? Does it bother you that the ruling class will destroy anybody's life merely so they can remain in power or protect economic advantages they recieve under the current status quo?
ii) No Bank Bailout Accounting - "Where'd the U.S. bank bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret" - Japan Today Does it trouble you to know we have no accounting of where this money went or is going? Does it trouble you that i get this information from something called "Japan Today"? $1.5 trillion and no accounting. would it surprise you to know that a lot of these banks that recieved bailout money made huge white and black money quid pro quo campaign contributions and other payments to the Politicians that voted for the bailout? $700B Tarp, $200B Talf and $600B to Bailout Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac et.al. Or is it $8.5T? Did the Failure of our Major Media to publish this information alter your perception of reality? Still don't get it? Let me put it this way, Is it apparent now that more than half of your elected Senators and Representatives don't want you to have an accounting of where your taxpayer dollars went? If they did, they have the power to vote to require it, don't they? Do you see now how controlling the flow of information insulates elected officials from adverse public opinion by altering your perception of reality and maintains their power and the current status quo?
Perhaps this will drive the point home. Does the first example make you wonder how many good folks they long ago destroyed by discrediting and demonizing them for simply trying to alert the rest of us to the approaching disaster we now find ourselves in? Does it make you angry that the ruling class conspired to decieve you on a grand scale so they could retain their power? Did the ruling classes propaganda and censorship alter your perception of reality in such a way that you have made choices in your life not in your own best interest? Have you voted for someone that you would not have had you known your perception of reality had been tampered with through propaganda and censorship?
Or is it more persuasive to have you hear this from one of the ruling class elites' own cohorts - Edward Bernays.
An interesting developement occurred during World War I. During the first half of the war, the United States President ran on a "stay out of the War" platform which reflected the sentiments of the General Public of the USA at the time.
This same president came up for relection before World War I was any where near over. This president campaigned for reelection again on the "stay out of the War" promise. Within 2 months of beginning his second term, this president decided he wanted the USA to be in the War.
This president formed a group whose specific intent was to change the attitude of the American Public to be in favor of entering World War I. (i have specifically left out a lot of detail because I want you to research and form your own opinion.) After this president and his gang of propagandists succeded in changing American Public Opinion, they became full of themselves. They boasted how easy it was to change the opinion of the American General Public.
in other words the American Ruling class believes they are entitled to lie to and mislead the American Public to acheive any goal the government desires. And they have only increased their level of sophistication in the 90+ years since.
"Defining the values that underlie and unite progressives became an urgent question in the early 21st Century.... came to recognize that, to a great degree, our political choices emerge from our sense of cultural identity and our emotional responses to stories and images, not from ‘rational’ cost-benefit analyses." [ http://www.commonwealinstitute.org/category/tags/role-government
Please also note the difference from what you were taught during your adolescent education. We were all taught that we elected "Public Servants" to represent the will of WE THE PEOPLE. From the sentiments expressed by Edward Bernays, I submit to you that our elected officials no longer "represent the will of the people" but rather they are now managing us like cattle. WE THE PEOPLE aka the General Public have become simply "human resources" that our leaders use to acheive what they want. This parallels the attitude of the kings and aristocrats just before and during the first enlightenment operating under the principle of "The Divine Right of Kings. Our elected officials are managing the rest of us according to their personal agenda's, not as public servants representing the will of the people. And this is the reason I refer to them as the ruling class.
Parallel 2) Increased Literacy rates, improved access by the masses to knowledge and ideas, Increased speed of the Transmission of knowledge and ideas among the General Public;
Literacy and the Rate of Transmission of Information and Ideas rose dramatically during the 1st Enlightenment. Yet, even though literacy increased greatly during the 1st Enlightenment, since 1800 AD literacy rates have improved from less the less than 50% during the enlightenment to the point where illiteracy is now more the rare exception than the rule in present day USA.
USA Founding Father Ben Franklin ensured that public libraries would be common in our Country. Free Public Education also was also a standard of the New American Representative Republic.
As indicated in the previous parallel, from 1800 to about 2006, the American Ruling Class managed to once again circumscribe rational thought by controlling the information that the General Public received. Because major media required extensive investment, the ruling class was able to co-opt the Publishers through various methods such has funding, patronizing, coercing, cajoling, seducing, bribing and extorting compliance. As major media remained the only real economically viable and available source of news and information, the ruling class was able to control the General Public's perception of reality through propaganda, censorship and duplicity until.....
From the time line of Scientific advancements outlined in Parallel 3, In the 1900's Electricity and the land-line telephones available to the masses greatly accelerated the speed at which the masses could communicate ideas and knowledge. And the methods of communicating knowledge and ideas have immensely improved and continue improving with dizzying acceleration with the advent of economical micro computers in the very late 1970's and early 1980's [ http://digg.com/d31ZCxL?t ]and ease of access to the internet [ http://digg.com/d31ZCzL?t ] and cell phone technology beginning at about the turn of the last millennium.
And then came the Internet. Cell phones and the internet do not require huge investments by the Publisher. They have no large, media devoted investment to protect. Publisher no longer have to be wealthy to broadcast their information. And still further, they are free to point out the inequities and violation of Natural Law in the prevailing "status quo" generally without fear of retaliation (at least in the USA)
The Internet has allowed the transmission of information and ideas to millions of people at the same time over huge geographic area. Political lies and duplicity easily buried only decades ago are now routinely uncovered and publicized. Even old controversial issues and incidents long ago considered dead and successfully buried are being exposed. And so it is common knowledge amongst the common people and general public that the ruling classes monopoly on the flow of information has been broken.
So again, the most important paradigm shift caused by the internet channel of transmitting information broke the ruling classes' virtual monopoly on the flow of information and ideas. Newspaper, radio and television require huge amounts of investment. The investor in such major media dare not cross the ruling class or risk losing their investments. A single citizen on the internet can say things that no large major media dare say for fear of financial ruin.
Yet American Politicians continue to operate as though the major media is the only source of ideas and information available to the General Public. When confronted on issues with facts and ideas uncovered via the internet, American Politicians and Bureaucrats continue to spout the same old denials and excuses. And when constituent's persist.... (See Parallel 6, Retaliation and Punishment)
Parallel 3) Rapid Technological, Intellectual and Philosophical advances often resulting in unforeseen impacts on culture and society;
Scientific advancements since 1800 AD parallel the monumental changes in what were once commonly accepted beliefs which were dispelled during the original enlightenment.. such as "the world is flat", "the earth is the center of the Universe", "the Divine Right of Kings [ http://digg.com/d31ZCkR?t ]" and "Only the King could own Property, the General Public were Subjects and/or Property of the Government and Privileges (as opposed to rights) arise from Kings [ http://digg.com/d31ZCsf?t ]"
Examples of some of these types of advances since 1800 include:
Widespread adoption of the 1200AD Invention of Western Concept of Romantic Love as the primary basis for Marriage as opposed to marriages arranged by others (usually fathers or parents) for economic, political, hereditary or contractual reasons - 1933
Nuclear Energy 1945- present
Title IX -No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance... —United States Code Section 20 - 1972
Business Philosophy - Customer Sheopleization - Replaced "Customer is always Right". Increases Profit by decreasing expense by making Customer service a "Privilege" extended to Customers by businesses rather than a "Right". Counter intuitive to Natural Law - Customers reduced to "Subject" Status 2000's
If you have other significant Scientific, intellectual or philosophical Advancements that i have not listed, please so advise.
And that as far as i have progressed for now.
Please return for the details of the Parallels 4 through 8 in the near future.
Those were my thoughts.