Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The inequality expressed in Egyptian art between pharaoh and citizen persists in society today. Note that the relationship is one of parent to child.

The unstable political situation in the United States today is not new. A classic battle for control of the American Empire (yes, without doubt, we are an empire) is well underway among competing male factions. The empire is in fact being looted of the wealth gained in the previous 250 years, especially that which was produced during the post WWII era. This power struggle-cycle is the foundation of human societies and has been since the *Stone Age, and likely, long before. The arrangement is simple: a male hierarchy ruthlessly dominates everyone else using fear, religion, deception and violence.

In the beginning of civilization (the migration of humans into cities due to the development of agriculture) human resources were conscripted to aggrandize a single Top Male: call him Pharaoh, King of Kings, Master of the Universe – God. The male hierarchy of ministers, priests, bureaucrats and soldiers was dedicated to the immortality of one male. In the eastern Mediterranean region, not only the pharaohs achieved this (imaginary) immortality, but males in general conferred power on themselves in the immortal status of a monotheistic God. The quest to achieve ultimate power on this scale has been the goal of every Top Male since. The quality of the lives of women, children, lesser males and foreigners has been dictated by this system, which persists in modern societies, both in out-and-out dictatorships, in monarchy, or cloaked by the ideals of representative government.
( * Stone Age as used in this essay refers to social, not material culture)

The current battle among Top Males for control of the wealth, military power, and destiny of the United States has exposed the true structure of American politics and government; the American public is beginning to see that the trappings of democracy can no longer disguise a Top Male power structure in chaos. This leaderless situation has sparked legitimate anger across the country and the public is confused: the emotions that are erupting are natural, but the stigma against strong emotion remains.
We are taught that only bad people become angry. The media, which are the contemporary equivalent of the priesthood, constantly reinforce the idea that independent thought and feeling are pathological while reserving infantile behavior for its own members: anyone who disagrees with the mood of the day is given airplay, but savagely ridiculed. Legitimate ideas are lumped together with crackpot opinions. This devaluation and marginalization of thought is a favorite means of the male hierarchy to get rid of its most ambitious or troublesome rule-breakers. (Not you or me. We don’t count. These are political executions.) Being targeted as a homosexual or as an adulterer is an efficient way to destroy the career of a rival in the male hierarchy. Religious beliefs are cynically manipulated so that it appears to be ‘the public’ that pulls the trigger.
Where does this leave the American citizen? We must be aware that the Top Male system does not have to result in outright despotism. The character of a Top Male can modify the policies of a government, religion, or corporation, but his actions also depend on the culture of the governed. The pope is The Pope precisely because he is the successor of the Roman Emperors, but his particular personality drives the application of an ancient (and now worldwide) religious empire. He is the specific point of power through which change does, or doesn’t occur. Likewise, many African nations, although having established a modern constitutional government on paper, are tribal domains, with a despotic Top Male at the head, who through military action, and access to the worldwide flood of weapons, commits genocide against traditional tribal foes.