“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” -James Thurber
You know what’s funny?
In all this clamor about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, no one is noticing… and this is going to sound strange… how beautiful it is.
Beautiful? Yes, beautiful.
The beauty of the TPP is that there’s something inside it… at least one thing… that every single sane individual can abhor. And that unprecedented level of disgust is magnificent.
Today and tomorrow, we’ll prove it. We’re going to pull opinions from all bands of the political spectrum and show you why the entire hue cycle disapproves of the TPP.
We’ll also explain why this is good… and how the people can use this as a springboard to fight the power.
[Cue Public Enemy intro.]
It’s all part of this week’s LFT series: “Eight TPP Facts the Whole World Can Get Mad About.”
Or, if you’d like, “Eight TPP Facts to Make Your Blood Boil.”
Either one works.
We’ll get to the facts in a moment.
First, though, let’s talk about how you too can find beauty in the TPP’s wart-faced horrendousness. It’s there.
You just have to dig deep.
If you’ve never heard of Robert Greene, it’s time to get acquainted.
He has written two excellent books — 33 Strategies of War and The 48 Laws of Power. Both of them outline how governments, kings, and tyrants have lorded over people with continuing success for thousands of years.
And, more interestingly, he sprinkles in tidbits on how to fight back.
One strategy Greene outlines in 33 Strategies is “The Guerilla-War-Of-The-Mind Strategy.” The key concept, he says, is simple: “Do not fight the last war.”
“What most often weighs you down and brings you misery is the past, in the form of unnecessary attachments, repetitions of tired formulas, and the memory of old victories and defeats. You must consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods.”
Here’s why his advice is relevant to you today…
We are being tricked and cajoled into fighting old wars and battling old paradigms. One need not look very hard to see how the political sweet-talk has permeated every nook and cranny of our society.
Unfortunately, the red-and-blue bootlickers lay it on thick, rub the people the right way, massage them loose, and know just what to say at just the right moment to get them riled up.
For that reason, we will focus today on the most blatant of all the tattered paradigms…
I’m talking, of course, about our ubiquitous two-party system.
So moored are we with the Janus-faced government formation, most think there’s simply no other way to conduct political affairs. (Ho-ho, not so!)
Alas, the programming is deep.
“From education to the environment, business to banking, housing to health care,” James Corbett says in one thought-provoking Corbett Report video, Divide and Conquer, “it seems that there is no issue in the world that the industrialized western democracies cannot reduce to a simplistic paradigm of “liberal” vs “conservative.”
“In fact, this point has been so hardwired into the modern political system that it has been distilled into a childlike shorthand: political positions are “left” or “right,” “blue” or “red.”
American politics in one picture
“These convenient, color-coded political choices infantilize the political process, making the public little more than spectators at a sporting event, rooting for one team or another without even having to understand the issues being debated.
“This inane lowest-common-denominator reduction of all political thought has taken its toll on the public. Many are now unable to conceive of what a political movement that is not attached to one or the other ends of this so-called “spectrum” would look like.
“Those who have studied history,” Corbett goes on, “should perhaps not find it surprising that the political outrage that is felt so keenly by people on all sides of the political “spectrum” should be controlled by spinning them off into partisan politics.
“Nor should they be surprised to see how effective this technique is.
“After all, the strategy of keeping people pitted against each other instead of against their oppressors is one of the oldest political stratagems known to human civilization.”
And the strategy, Corbett says, is simple: “Divide and conquer.”
Wikipedia adds its two cents:
Elements of this technique involve:
- creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign
- aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
- fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers [or groups]
- encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political [organization or opposition]…
But, of course, the failure of the two-party system is merely a symptom of a larger disease…
“In a society where a government is weak, decentralized, and unable to enact the more radical wishes of any majority group,” Ryan McMaken writes on Mises.org, “a losing side is less likely to regard the winning side as a genuine threat to one’s daily life.
“Winning or losing elections remains important, but is not considered to be determinant of the losing side’s ability to keep one’s property, livelihood, and way of life relatively safe from the winners. On the other hand, if a state is very powerful, and the winning side is able to regulate, tax, and coerce in an ever more heavy-handed fashion, the stakes of each election are very high indeed.
“Now, many keen observers of politics will note,” says McMaken, “that there’s indeed precious little difference, in the big scheme of things, between the political parties. Anyone who’s paying attention can see that party elites get along fine while most of the rancor can be found among the naive rank and file.
“There’s a reason for this.
“Regardless of who wins, virtually nothing will be contemplated that might lead to meaningful reductions in regulation, taxation, or the punitive excesses of the criminal justice system. The larger trend in the growth of the state overwhelms any tiny adjustments that D.C. is willing to make in the present political climate.”
Famed Georgetown historian Carroll Quigley summarized the utility of the two-party system in his 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope:
“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to profound or extreme shifts in policy.”
That’s why, as I mentioned earlier, there’s a hidden beauty to the Janus-faced TPP deal…
It is that, as a result of this false dichotomy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has something that will send everyone off the edge. And, as a result, party politics is beginning to show its true colors.
Which is that your liberty can be bought and sold to the highest bidder — no matter what side of the fence you sit on.
Only problem is, most Americans have no clue what the TPP is and what it’s trying to do.
That’s where you can help (and we’ll show you how in one moment).
People simply need to understand what the TPP is trying to accomplish — and the outrage will naturally take over. Show them and their blood will spontaneously boil.
For six years, you can tell them, our politicians prepared this behind our backs. And if it weren’t for “illegal” leaks, we’d know nothing about it.
Remind them of NAFTA.
“In 1992,” Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge recalls, “Bill Clinton promised that NAFTA would result in an increase in the number of high quality jobs for Americans, and it would reduce illegal immigration.
“Ross Perot warned that the opposite would happen. He warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a ‘giant sucking sound’ as thousands of businesses and millions of jobs left this country.”
Over twenty years later, we see that Perot was right. And history is repeating itself with what’s being called “NAFTA on steroids” — the TPP.
That’s why the blood must boil. It’s why we must spread that steam far enough so that we turn the table. So that the politicos, this time, become the frogs in the boiling pot. And if we do it right, they won’t know the pot has boiled over until it’s much too late.
[Again, I’ll show you one simple action you can take today to fight the power in a moment.]
According to criminologists, psychologists, and sociologists, getting disparate groups together to work toward a common cause is the best way to improve relations among conflict. They call it the “contact hypothesis.”
(The story of one man — Claiborne Paul Ellis — who went from being a president of a chapter of the Durham KKK to becoming a civil rights activist, is the most fascinating example of contact hypothesis.)
For the record, it doesn’t matter much to us what or who you choose to represent. we support your right to believe and represent whoever you’d like.
In fact, we encourage it.
Great societies aren’t built on total agreement. They are built on diversity of thought, debate and reason.
When things become too monolithic, though, a chaotic battlefield is formed. It becomes the Game of Thrones. Everyone fights for access to the Alpha. Which is why our current political landscape is more a Machiavellian Mardi Gras than an actual government.
That said, it’s of little interest of ours if every LFT reader agrees with everything we publish. In fact, if that’s the case, we’re not doing our jobs properly.
We’re not here to make you nod your head “yes” every day.
We’re here to think and, hopefully, make you think… we’re here to challenge “common sense”… we’re here to hear your opinions and interjections (trust us, we’re listening)… and, most of all, we’re here to seek out the truth alongside you.
With that said, it’s time for the American people to unite. To stop treating politics as a boxing match, and to work together.
We ran a bit long today. We’ll get into the “Eight TPP Facts to Make Your Blood Boil” in tomorrow’s episode. Stay tuned…
And if you agree that “we the people” should work together on this issue, please visit our Facebook page and share this article.
It’s a small gesture in the fight against the TPP. But it’s a great start. And if enough “snowflakes” share this information, we could very well hit the tipping point and cause an avalanche.
The information, we’re sure you agree, is worth the few seconds it’ll take to visit our Facebook page and hit the “share” button.
And, again, we’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with part two of our “Eight TPP Facts the Whole Country Can Get Mad About.”
Let’s jump to the mailbag.
“I’m with you on everything you’ve discussed and exposed to us here today,” one reader, Doug K. writes. “Thanks for the enlightening info about TTP.”
[Having worked with Dave Gonigam in the 5 Min. Forecast in the past, I sense a “but” coming…]
“But here’s the thing:”
“I know that psycho-pharmaceutical drugs can be mind altering, and taken in too great a quantity, or without a doctor’s (psychiatrist’s) responsible prescribing and monitoring, they can be dangerous. Sort of like fire is dangerous when used irresponsibly, but necessary and good when it’s used correctly, responsibly.
“But ease up on this a bit.
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. These can also do a great deal of good. Please don’t scare an already risk averse population into rejecting them in the same manner as the politicians and neocons have convinced them that a terror attack is imminent.
“I have taken Xanax and Effexor for more than 25 years (prior to Effexor’s invention, it was Prozac) as prescribed by my Internist and a psychiatrist I see on a regular basis. If it were not for these two drugs in combination, I would suffer the most horrible aching and pain throughout my body — similar to being run over by a Mack truck each day, along with sudden anxiety attacks caused by nothing I could identify. I went to more than a dozen medical doctors about this pervasive pain and not one could diagnose it or even find a cause.
“Why? Because they are not educated in the use of these drugs in medical schools — the result of medieval thinking in my opinion. The brain operates by chemicals just as all the other organs of the body. We would not think twice about using medication to solve diabetes. But the brain? OMG. Heaven forbid
“So I thank the very good diagnostics of my internist for figuring this out. He told me these drugs were designed precisely for this purpose. Yet most are unaware of them. Some of the more stupid in the profession actually won’t prescribe them for fear of the patient becoming addicted. One can become addicted to almost anything. So what about alcohol? Should we bring back the Volstead Act? That worked so well.
“But here’s the thing: When my wife worked for the State Attorney General, several attorneys in the office had one assignment and one responsibility: to get people out of mental institutions anyway they could — usually by a legal document known as a “conditional release.” This was to save the State money. Coincidentally, about the same time the strange phenomenon of “homeless people” erupted on the national scene.
“This was not coincidence, I can assure you.
“All the AG’s conditional releases were conditioned on those being released continuing to take their medication. Well, if you can figure out how to get a schizophrenic, or pathologically delusional person to take medication they don’t believe they need, then it might work.
“But there is no way to assure this, so we have thousands of homeless people and a lot of people who are in fact overdosing on these psycho-pharmaceuticals because they find unscrupulous doctors to prescribe them. Think of Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson as just two who died by the hands of unscrupulous doctors. There is a lot of money in unscrupulous behavior and so it will continue.
“One has cause to wonder if our so-called gun-crazed culture is not the result of our government “saving” money by doing the wrong things. We all know the government spends money for the wrong things all day long.
“The opposite is no different.”
LFT: Thanks, Doug. I appreciate the insight. Good points. You’re right. There is no inherent evil in pharmaceuticals. Many lives have been changed for the better because of innovations in within Big Pharma.
We simply think there should be more transparency and a wider debate about the long- and short-term effects of the drugs.
We’ll talk to you tomorrow, dear LFT reader.
Photo credit: Neil Ballantyne – Flickr