Fear and Loathing: is it natural or conditioned?

john perkinsJohn Perkins has an interesting approach to activism and spirituality. He refuses to either pretend corruption doesn’t exist or get angry about it. Instead, he encourages his readers and listeners to embrace a Life Economy versus the prevailing Death Economy. His approach is in stark contrast to that of Alex Jones, whose rants about corruption in high places reach a crescendo about 10 minutes into a segment. As his voice raises and face reddens, you begin to fear he’s going to have a heart attack before your eyes.

Perkins’ book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, was a bestseller after its release in 2004 and he remains a popular media personality, but not on the scale of Alex Jones, whose radio broadcasts alone are listened to by an estimated 2 million people a week. Infowars.com gets 8 million new visitors and a whopping 37 million page views per month, according to Alexa.

Both Perkins and Jones have similar messages. John Perkins’ website puts it this way:

John challenges us to soar to new heights, away from predatory capitalism and into an era more transformative than the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. His writings detail specific steps each of us can take to create a sustainable, just, and peaceful world.

This is how Alex Jones puts it:

What a bunch of garbage, liberal, Democratic, conservative, Republican, it’s all there to control you, two sides of the same coin! Two management teams, bidding for control of the CEO job of Slavery Incorporated!

alex jonesBoth Perkins and Jones are dismissed as conspiracy theorists on the mainstream media and even Wikipedia, but that’s par for the course. Anyone with a brain can see things aren’t as they are presented on CNN, NBC or Fox News. Between Ebola, the Russian “threat”, ISIS (IS/ISIL), global warming, fracking and countless other crises, we have a lot to worry about. Fear influences and fear sells. That’s a powerful combination and is no doubt the reason calmer voices can’t be heard.

Fear and Loathing in the United States

Fear has been used as a control tool for centuries, but it became an art form when behaviourism came into favour. As I mentioned in a previous post, ISIS and the Psychology of Fear, John B. Watson, one of the founders of behaviourist psychology infamously declared: “The driving force in society is not love, but fear.” While there is some truth to the statement, it overlooks the fact that fear needn’t be the driving force in society. The fact that it is speaks volumes about how the control system works.

Fearmongering went into overdrive after 9/11 and has been the driving force in moulding America’s collective consciousness ever since. Americans have been told who to fear and why, but left in the dark about the greatest threat that faces them — namely the corporatocracy that has replaced any semblance of democracy the country ever had. At the moment, they’re supposed to be afraid of:

  • Ebola
  • Russia
  • Global warming
  • China
  • Muslims in general

Alex Jones and Republicans would add Obama, open borders and a host of other things to the list. Democrats aren’t off the hook, either. They seem to buy or overlook details like the lies the government and media spread about the Assad government’s use of sarin gas and Russia’s “aggression” in the Ukraine. They turn a blind eye to Obama’s support for NSA spying, the corporate takeover of the United States, the whittling away of civil liberties, the militarisation of the police and the mind-boggling gap between rich and poor.

The two party system works brilliantly to divide Americans yet keep them united in their support for increased domination. Alternative media does a reasonably good job of exposing many corporate/government scams, but fails to offer solutions other than to tell the populace to “wake up.” Unfortunately, the only action 99% of those of us who do wake up take is to post on Facebook and Twitter.

Peace and Cooperation on Earth

I like John Perkins’ approach because he recommends a shift in the collective consciousness towards a more cooperative, compassionate society. It’s not that hard, really. First, you have to realise it can happen. We’ve been conditioned to believe fear is in our nature. It is, but it needn’t be our primary “driving force”.

I highly recommend almost any video on filmsforaction.org, but have embedded the one below because it dispels the primary myth that impedes our ability to switch from a fearful, angry and competitive society to a self-sustaining, compassionate and cooperative one in just a minute and a half. For a more detailed explanation, watch this one. It will only take a half hour of your time, but can potentially change your entire outlook on life.

It’s pretty clear that society has been going in the wrong direction for centuries. The United States seems to be the worst offender at the moment, but that’s because it is the most powerful empire in history so far. For the same reason, the potential for a global shift in consciousness exists primarily within the United States. In my opinion, people like John Perkins are showing the way forward more than people like Alex Jones. It’s time to beat our swords into plowshares and work together for the common good. Our survival depends on it. Besides, it just plain feels better.