Capitalism and religious fundamentalism, a love story.

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ballroom-dance-party-38Is it a coincidence that as peoples’ trust in capitalism wavers we see a surge in religious fundamentalism?  I don’t think so, and I think the people running this world… well, they don’t just know this is not a coincidence, they are pulling the right strings and pushing the right buttons to foster more of it.  What that ol’ saying, ah yes capitalism makes strange bed fellows.
Capitalism has failed us all.  It could have maybe evolved along side us, but it didn’t.  We trusted our leaders and didn’t heed the warning signs.  Ultimately though I’ve convinced myself that even if the alarm rang out and the people took a stand demanding reforms to the economic system, they would have been temporarily pacified and the men behind the curtain would have continued down this path of destruction fully aware of where they were leading us.  Back in the years when we could have stopped this train wreck we were too gullible and too distracted, we didn’t realize just how organized they were… and I don’t think most of us get it now either.  I guess this was sorta their plan all along hoard as much as possible so when the crash comes they can ride out the storm.  A selfish plan but when all they know how to do is be selfish and self-righteous should we expect anything else from them, nah of course not.  Meanwhile the rest of us continue on and we start to see that the world is beginning to change, a change for the better possibly… hopefully.  This change is happening regardless of if we have the courage to unite and steer our future or not, this status quo of comfort we cling to now won’t be here much longer.   If this monumental period of change thrusts us back a step or gives birth to a more aggressive capitalism well, that would be humanity’s suicide.  We will just be another civilization to rise and fall and to have future historians and archeologists pine over our books and bones filing in the puzzle pieces.  I imagine though, that in the face of real chaos and undeniable doom, when the bodies start to pile up in the rich nations we will see a solid effort to try and save ourselves.  The complete abandonment of capitalism will be part of that solution but until then capitalism is definitely going down swinging.  People are becoming more aware of the capitalism’s failure daily and not just the activists and the open minded who have the ability to dream of a something better, but the business analysts, bank managers, investment brokers, and the like, they are waking up to this fact as well.  To be successful in their line of work they need to stay ahead of the trends, the report > there is wavering trust in capitalism as a whole beginning to bubble up.  Their solution, reform and evolved the system now… they have started to debate how this could be done.  Is it even possible, I don’t know.  I think it will be too little to late.   If they agree on something with a lot of flexibility it could help easy the pain of transitioning to a new system, that might be a more realistic goal… meh, time will tell.
This change I’ve been rambling about isn’t going to affect us like the invention of the wheel, the steam engine, or the telegraph.  This is will be our day to day lives and the world as a whole reshaping into something very, very different.  These changes are being driven by: huge demographic shifts, huge leaps in scientific and technological advancements as well as the merging of technology and science, huge social shifts (everything from how we communicate around the planet to the dissolving nuclear family), a global financial crisis that will need to be dealt with, the health crisis of the planet and  the mass extinction of the species that reside here, and lastly the collective consciousness of humans.  Now before any of you roll your eyes and stop reading.  Let me state for the record, NO I will not be preaching any new age guru babble on you.  I will however, need to lay the basis of how scientifically speaking the collective consciousness works because it helps build my point.

neuroscience 101:
“The human brain is a network of approximately 100 billion neurons.  Depending on which neurons are getting stimulated (used) certain connections will become stronger and more efficient while others will become weaker.  This is called neuroplasticity and it means that any talent or skill can be created through training.   Whatever you are doing at any given time you are physically modifying your brain to become better at it.  Since this is such a fundamental mechanism of the brain being self-aware can greatly enrich your overall life experience.
Our beliefs have a profound impact on our body chemistry.  Specific neurons and neurotransmitters trigger a defensive state when we feel our thoughts need to be protected from the influence of others.  Once we are in this defensive state, if we are confronted with differences of opinion the chemicals that are released in the brain are the SAME as the ones that are released to try and insure our survival in dangerous situations.   The limbic system then knocks out our short term memory and allows the primitive part of the brain take over, making it impossible to think rationally.  This physically causes ‘narrow mindedness’ … this is used in the politics of fear.   On the neural level the brain can’t not process rationally when we feel threatened, even if that threat comes from harmless opinions or facts that we would otherwise find helpful or could rationally agree with.   Social validation on the other hand increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin released in the brain.  The basic human need to fit it is called the normative social influence.  Our moral and ethical compass is almost entirely forged by our environment so our actions are often a result of the validation we receive from society.  Our experiences are constantly changing our neural connections and physically altering the parallel system that is our consciousness.
Recent neurological research has confirmed the existence of empathetic mirror neurons.  When we experience an emotion or perform an action specific neurons fire BUT when we observe somebody else performing an action or even just imagine it many of the same neurons will fire again, as if we were performing the action ourselves.  These empathy neurons connect us to other people.  Allowing us to feel what other feel and since the neurons respond to our imagination we can experience emotional feedback from them as if they came from someone else. The mirror neuron doesn’t know the difference between it and others.  It is the reason we are dependent on social validation, and it is also the system that allows us to self reflect.   When we use our mirror neurons to look at ourselves we may can construct the idea of identity… but when we observe this with our scientific understandings we something completely different.  The neural synergies that produce our oscillating consciousness go FAR beyond our own neurons.  We are equally the results of our cerebral hemispheres interacting electro-chemically as we are of the senses connecting our neurons to other neurons in our environment, nothing is external.  This is the basic property of mirror neurons and it allow us to understand ourselves through others.  Seeing this neural activity as your own and excluding your environment would be a misconception.  Human characteristics are perceived through the false paradigm of identity, instead of through the scientific version of what we are.  We are a momentary expression of an ever changing unity of simultaneously firing neurons with no center.   We are a global network of neurochemical reactions and the self amplifying cycle of acceptance and acknowledgment sustained by the daily choices in our interactions.  *This is the chain reaction that will ultimately define our collective ability to overcome our imagined differences.”
With this knowledge it is possible to understand how emotions transfer virally through society, or what some referred to as the collective human consciousness.   If we were to survey the population and ask what is the most common emotion they feel is, the overwhelming majority would answer anxiety and/ or fear.  No one wants to live with anxiety or in a state of fear.   So what is causing it?  It’s mostly due to financial instability, utter poverty, lack of human rights, lack of justice, and war.  At a glance they appear to be different causes but at the root they are simply, capitalism and religious fundamentalism.
These two destructive forces have a lot in common, so much so that they’ve developed a truly mutualistic relationship.  The religious fundamentalist need poverty, fear, and political hate, the capitalist creates it ~ capitalist needs war for control and to fuel the war economy, the fundamentalist will create it by believing that a nation can have god on it’s side, or by accepting that its ok to send there children off to fight in a war they don’t understand, or by instigating political instability, or by providing a perceived threat for the propaganda machine to run with.
….Anyway, just to be clear I’m calling out all of the big three: Christian, Jewish, and Islamic fundamentalist.   Whether or not you believe it was a divine well spring of knowledge that inspired a given religious scripture to me is irrelevant when talking about fundamentalist thought.  The text themselves are the products of human hands.  A person who believes in a their literal translation and then uses those beliefs to proclaim they are a chosen one, one who has access to “the truth”… well that’s one thing(sigh), I’m not so much referring to those fundamentalists.  When a person proceeds to step it up and declare that others who do not accept their “truth” doctrine are somehow subhuman and deserving targets of their aggression, this is who I’m referring to… the ones who cross the line into more of the zealous and fanatical fundamentalist category (uuuh, not 100% sure actually, they might be one in the same).  Especially given the fact most of that aggression and frustration if not all of it, is derived from within their own brain.  It is electro-chemically created when you hold two contradictory ideas, it’s called cognitive dissonance.  As we process our day to day experiences, both the good and bad times, we are sometimes confronted with a situation where our preconceived beliefs about reality  and our observable reality can’t be reconciled.  When this happens we feel a sense of frustration.  It’s purpose is to give us the will to redefine and adjust our preconceived beliefs.  If we can not reconcile our thoughts and we choose to deny reality we actually remain in that state of cognitive dissonance.  We won’t continually feel the chemically charged emotions because we are constantly in a state of change (hunger, etc.) but if we return to the thoughts that created it, it will be triggered instantly.
Herein lies the trap, children are raised by the good intentions of their parents who hold the eternal salvation of their offspring’s souls in their hands.  They teach them to believe in whatever religion happens to be the most popular in the land they were born on or whatever religion runs in their family tradition.  Along comes financial disparity and or war, they start to recognized the multitude of injustices around them and across the world, they begin to cling to their faith, they start to experience cognitive dissonance, there is a real or perceived threat of war and death around every corner (thanks capitalism), and they become fearful.  Both real and imagined fears (thanks to our mirroring neurons) will shut down the limbic system effectively creating a physical state of narrow mindedness (neat).  In comes someone who recognizes this vulnerability and feeds them a manipulated version of their religion based on hate (and fear).  It is often easier to hide behind blind certainty and accept a position of defense than it is to try and search out your own understanding of the complexities that this world dishes out.  Add to that the fact that they are chemically being provided with the comfort they crave (dopamine and serotonin) with the social validation the receive from the group.
I tried to keep that explanation general, I hope you can see my point.  Life can be hard enough as it is and in it’s own way choosing to subscribe to a fundamentalist view of the world is just easier for some people.  They are recruited to join someone else’s  crusade and convinced it is their own, in actuality they are just helping to advance the personal agenda of someone else.  A quest to accumulate money and power.  The longer a leader can keep up the facade the more they can accumulate.  These groups need people or society in general in a state of desperation and instability in order to thrive and grow their power.
These are the same reasons people defend capitalism, they deny their slavery because it is easier.  These are also the same conditions that the capitalist class need society to be in, desperation and instability.  This is when they grow their power… it’s the same.   So even though in order for one side to gain power the other must give up power, which neither side wants to do.  They are still benefit each other by there very existence, if you watch from a distance keeping this perspective you can see it’s like a choreographed dance.
There are slightly different versions of capitalism around the world but essentially the whole world is subscribing to the capitalist philosophy of: money/celebrity worship, profit motivation, and class division (the capitalists and the workers).  At a glance, capitalism isn’t a hard sell, there is that luxurious allure of capitalism… the gold rush, the american dream so to speak.  On a closer inspection you see: the destruction of the planet, mass extinction, 80+% of humans living in desperate poverty, the dollar is a joke, and there is a general sociopathic nature to it’s philosophy in practice.  These things alone are definitely enough reason to abandon this system.  However, there is more reveled when you ask things like ~ Who is profiting?   When you follow the money trail, right away you notice, every successful politician and their friends and families are profiting… coincidence? …or corruption?  It’s NO coincidence.  The justice systems should be there to put a stop to this.  There are laws against things like conflict of interest but because of democracy is also a corrupted system, the judiciary doesn’t really have the power to rule against the ruling class and well.. actually, that’s not really true… sometimes they do, but still it doesn’t have the power to enforce it’s judgement.   Sure, they might make an example out of someone once in awhile, but no big fish get caught.  Concentrated cash in the pockets of politicians alone is not proof of corruption.  Personally adjusting policies/ laws and then championing their advancement to reap in financial benefit , via campaign donations and a bump up in their own stock portfolios however is (which is common).   Another strange aspect to capitalism is the fact that fortunes tend to increase when things go bad.  A health pandemic, and the drug companies make huge profits.  An oil spill, or any disruption in oil supplies and profits skyrocket.  A storm or drought, and food prices balloon on speculation = profit.  Supply and demand you say… well yes, essentially.  But the point remains, the point being that the Military Industrial Complex feeds off of war.  War is huge business and therefore there is a huge economic incentive to keep countries unstable, to keep everyone fighting, AND worst of all when the politicians themselves have investments in this Military Industrial Complex we being to see them pushing forward policies to trigger wars.   How are we supposed to move forward into a free and peaceful world with this amount of systemic corruption, answer > we can’t.
I figure this is why the capitalist class must truly love all the religious fundamentalist out there who are doing their part to spread hate and fear.  It’s great for the capitalist’s public relations campaign, takes the heat off their back room deals, everything can be chalked up to secret intelligence and national security.  The population remains anxiety ridden, can’t think… and so continues to leave all that hard thinking up to our trustworthy politicians.
It’s a fact that when it’s convenient the elite will cooperate with a lot of shady groups to meet their end goals…. hell, who’s kidding who the elite are the shadiest group around of course they’ll work with there cohorts.   So is it maybe possible to that when they assassinate a sovereign nations leader, throw crippling sanctions on civilians, and ya know all around infiltrate and throw counties into chaos.  Is this their way of saying, I love you to the young aspiring militias and rebel groups who are just learning how to play the game.  I should give a special shout out to American here too for drone bombing the hell out of innocent civilians, and oh, oh, wait.. lets not forget > keeping Guantonamo Bay open. Is this their secret code way of saying I love you to the Islamic fundamentalists because I’m sure when they recruit it’s part of the “come fight on our side” shpeal.  Speaking of America, is it possible that this backsliding of women’s rights and the fact that there is a debate over whether or not to teach creationism in their public education system the governments way of saying we love you to the Christian fundamentalists within their boarders, and subliminally asking them to keep raising the god fearing patriots so they will enlist to fight for the country that loves them so much.  Is it possible that when the super powers’ turn a blind eye to the war crimes committed against Palestine, and allow Israel to hypocritically hold stock piles of nuclear weapons unchecked.. is their way of saying we love you to the Jewish fundamentalists, and letting them know they have secret admirers.
…. the fact that we can even consider those statements to be a real possibility does speak volumes to the global situation.   Is it possible that this is a love affair? …I’d say so.
There was a knock at the door, Capitalism got up to answer it.  As she pulled the door back a rusty creek from the old door hinge slowly filled the silence.  Their eyes met, it felt like it wasn’t the first time.  “Capitalism?”, said the dangerous looking man with the black hat. “Yes.”, she answered.  “I’m afraid I have some bad news…” he replied.  She grabbed his arm, “Please, come inside”…as he entered her empty cold mansion, he began to tell her about the freedom virus that had gotten into the water supply.  “Folks like us, we don’t have long to live, the doctor says we’ll be dead by morning”.  Shocked at first she started to tremble, she looked at the man, he had a crazy twinkle in his eye, her shock gave way to relief.  Suddenly she knew it didn’t matter, nothing mattered… but the comfort she found in his arms.  She looked into his eyes one more time and spoke softly as if somebody might be listening “If this is our last night on earth we shall treat it as such, lets dance our last night away together, baby let’s dance until dawn” …The words were like music to his ears and the dance begun.  <> yup, just like that ;)

Resistance TransmissionsCapitalism and religious fundamentalism, a love story.

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