Why You Should Care About The “Soul” of America
Or, how to take down America in one easy step, and surprise, it’s already happening.
There are countless voices in the media and now your ‘friends’ on Facebook all talking about how America is in decline. Some see it as Donald J Trump’s fault and give their list of examples. Others see it as the rise of the liberal elite in places of moderate (State and City) power only to decry that if the liberal elite have their way and assume full Presidential power this ‘great country of America’ will be lost forever.
Ironically, both sides, while referencing different events and nearly opposite ideals, claim to be fighting for the “soul of America.” It’s a nice term and Joe Biden has coined it now in his advertising pitches.
But it is subjective as “hell.”
That’s why both sides can claim it. There’s no truth there. The “soul” of America is whatever we want it to be.
Well, I’m done with the subjective gobbledygook (I think that might also be a Biden term) — and I’ll bet you are too.
I’m going to tell you how you take down America, and its “soul,” in one easy step. It’s not political, it’s far easier and far more damaging, than politics. It’s also far more objective.
Just create a society that is more REACTIVE than PROACTIVE.
The Success or Failure of America, INC.
For a moment I’d like you to imagine America universal as a corporation. We’ll call our 300-million-person operation “America, Inc.” For this scenario, we will say that America, Inc.’s sole commercial product is the nation’s profitable future.
Now, strictly from a strategic business perspective, how would we go about making America, Inc. a success? If we followed the standard corporate formula, we would look to others who have made their corporations successful. Luckily, when it comes to effective business tactics, there are countless resources to help our corporation become profitable and lucrative. Millions of individually-inspired techniques produce different levels of success. Just search Amazon under: “Business Success.” Thankfully, there are a few universal truths. Nearly every book on strategic business profitability agrees on a single principle:
For a business to be powerful and effective it must be proactive, not reactive.
A reactive corporation utilizes all its power and time to rectify issues, fix problems, and alleviate stresses. It has little or no opportunity to improve its current situation.
Because the one commodity a corporation cannot increase is TIME.
It is a fixed asset or a serious liability. There are ways to improve time efficiency, but it is impossible to physically extend it. If a company utilizes all of its resources reactively it cannot propel forward. All of its potential time to grow is being sucked up by reactive issues. The best it can do is to return to the condition it was in before the breakdown.
More importantly, consider the following two prefixes:
Pro: to continue forward; i.e. “propel,” “propigate,” “procede”
Corporate examples: Apple, Facebook, Tesla, Space-X, Netflix, etc.
Re: to move backward: i.e. “retreat,” “recede,” “remove”
Corporate examples: Sears, Compaq, Walmart, Blackberry, etc.
A proactive corporation is consistently propelling forward, whereas a reactive corporation is not only underachieving, it also is receding. What causes a company to be either “proactive” or “reactive?” The methodology relegated down from its leadership. How do we define methodology? Let’s go to the dictionary:
“Methodology”– Etymology: New Latin methodologia, from Latin methodus + -logia –logy 1: a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline: a particular procedure or set of procedures
(Miriam Webster Online Dictionary, 10th Edition).
The rules, postulates, and procedures delineated down from the corporation’s leadership become the basis to which all employees of the company must adhere. The more effective at analyzing and isolating potential breakdowns its leadership has been, the more “proactive” the corporation, and its employees, can become. The less effective at analyzing and isolating potential breakdowns the leadership has been, the more they will be forced to devote their time, attention, and (then) financial resources to rectifying breakdowns after they occur or, they are “putting out fires instead of planting trees.”
Proactive corporations see problems before they happen. Reactive corporations suffer under breakdowns and must then devote attention away from success and growth — and toward alleviation.
In the article, “If You Could See a Real Matrix…” I talked about how our lives are not connected to others through our selves but through our ACTIONS. Our actions produce consequences. And in many cases, those consequences are the only objective truths on our planet anymore. I don’t care about “Johnny the Player’s” personal position on sexual freedom, if Johnny contracts an STD with one too many partners, he didn’t get it because of his worldview, or his humanistic predisposition, he got it because the STD and the way it transfers is objective. Argue about it all day long Johnny; you will still have to go to the clinic two times a week to check for its advancement in your body.
With that said, there are certain actions that appear to come attached with some pretty debilitating consequences. Taken from my “Is God of Fiction?” article:
Crystal meth and other recreational narcotics were created for the intended purpose of euphoria, but their objective outcome includes serious brain defects and the loss of crucial brain chemicals, the deterioration of the body, the loss of sleep, and food intake. Not to mention near-instantaneous biological addiction.
The intended purpose of promiscuous sex is physical and psychological elation, but the objective outcome can be venereal diseases, cervical cancer, AIDS, depression, and infertility. (And in the case of cheating on your partner, it might just get you killed).
The intended purpose of alcohol is physiologic stimulation, but its objective outcome can include depression, addiction, internal organ damage and if driving is added, incarceration for DUI or worse: manslaughter.
The (somewhat) intended purpose of gambling is having a good time and potentially winning big, but the objective outcome can be bankruptcy, poverty, the loss of job or family, depression, and anxiety.
The intended purpose of pornography is sexual stimulation, but the objective outcome can be erectile dysfunction, divorce, depression, and possibly even incarceration if underage children are involved.
We might call these and many other similar events, “costly pleasures.” Though they begin pleasurably, they seem to end with damaging consequences. Moreover, many of these costly pleasures can lead to addiction, which creates a whole host of new problems, for the addict and those in the addict’s surrounding relational and societal environment.
Now, here’s the objective point.
The more a society gives way to or sanctions these “costly pleasures,” the more exposed to the outcomes of biological, psychological, social damage it suffers, and the more reactive the individuals in that society must be to address that damage. And what do we use to address these reactive issues?
Time and Money.
A society that gives in to “costly pleasures” increases the wealth of those that either reactively alleviate the bondage or attempt to anesthetize its painful realities.
Let me say it a little differently:
The more a culture sanctions the actions of costly pleasures, the more it makes rich those that deal with its outcomes: the lawyers, doctors, psychologists, pharmaceutical companies, entertainment moguls, alcoholic beverage corporations, casinos, etc.
For the sake of brevity, let’s quickly look at one of those ‘costly pleasures’ in more detail: pornography.
On the subjective societal surface, pornography appears to be somewhat benign. Although it is a very lucrative business, the average user, with even the remotest amount of ingenuity, can usually view anything he or she desires at relatively no financial cost. The real cost comes into account quickly when porn does what porn is often intended to do: ensnare and divide. Consider the following, from a May 2011 blog on HuffingtonPost.com:
“At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers noted that the Internet was playing an increasing role in marital splits, with excessive online porn watching contributing to more than half of the divorces. According to Richard Barry, president of the association, ‘Pornography had an almost nonexistent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago.’”
Who becomes rich after porn’s “tragic outcomes” occur? First the lawyers: the average divorce costs around $15,000 but costs go up quickly when the separation gets messy. If the family is successful or one of the spouses is an entrepreneur, more time, and therefore, more money must be expended. Then there is the potential psychological damage on the spouses and/or children. The Huffington Post, in an unrelated article, also stated that: Children of divorced parents are seven times more likely to suffer from depression.(1) We can assume that a good counselor is going to be about $75-$125 per hour and a therapist can be even higher. That doesn’t take into account the money shelled out on the pharmaceuticals necessary for psychologically coping with the breakup. Then there are the potential medical conditions that arise after divorce: overeating, drug usage, and abuse, suicidal proclivities, anxiety, etc. Should any of those cause additional physiological complications (addiction, heart disease, organ failure, etc.) it requires huge amounts of additional revenue. That says nothing about the costly “rebound effect.”
This also affects the success of the surrounding community because usually after divorce, the lifestyle of the former couple drops dramatically. That can mean the loss of a sale of a new car at the Lexus dealership that one party can no longer afford on a single salary. It can be as practical as hindering the success of Starbucks when one or both parties can no longer budget in a daily $7 latte habit. This says nothing about the educative and future success of the children. Although no fault of their own, when the children’s grades suffer, future opportunities both in the education and the corporate marketplace can suffer as well.
I could go on and on, and that’s just for something as supposedly benign as pornography, from divorce statistics more than a decade and a half old.
By its very logic, the more reactive the society, the more it must adopt reactive measures and dole its money out to those who can address the damage. But this in itself is a short-sighted strategy, because as the society perpetuates “reactively” it is imploding from the inside. For those running these reactively-alleviating companies have children, friends, parents, etc., that are most likely suffering from the very things they are attempting to alleviate. Just because you are a doctor, lawyer, or psychologist doesn’t mean your family and friends are exempt from the reactive strategies of costly pleasure’s outcomes.
The corporation or society eventually self-eradicates once all its resources have been used to “react” to breakdowns.
Since it can’t acquire more time, it must produce more money. And once it runs out of money, what can it do but borrow?
Now For Some Good News!
But a proactive society, when it understands and adopts a methodology that circumvents breakdowns, immediately becomes immeasurably more powerful and profitable than a reactive society! Because it can capitalize on the resources that had been stolen from “reactive” damage control.
Prosperity shifts from the reactive to the proactive; and once again it is bestowed to those that are focused on GROWING society because they no longer are shelling out most of their hard-earned dollars to reactive agencies. The growth and prosperity of the society are exponential because man is free to grow technologies and ideas without expending its resources on the aftermath of “costly pleasures.”
Now comes the hard part. Back to this statement at the beginning of the article:
“Proactive corporations see problems before they happen. Reactive corporations suffer under breakdowns and must then devote attention away from success and growth — and toward alleviation.”
Disengaging from practicing and sanctioning “untimely pleasures” doesn’t take money; it takes a changed heart and an illuminated mind. It requires us to think before we act, and then act differently. Most of our money going to the top one percent is given to those dealing with these reactive issues.
It’s time to get it back.
Sadly, We Must Think Strategically.
Now, if you do want to take down America, you would ENCOURAGE the creation of a reactive society by focusing on hyping up the pleasure of certain actions and downplaying its consequence. You would use media channels and other outlets to anesthetize the culture into thinking it was all benign. And you would attack those stating otherwise as moral lunatics, or not up with the times or (could we say?) “progressive” enough. This isn’t a political conversation, nor will I ever take any political side, but by its very nature, look at the definition of the term, “progressive.” Is it being used correctly?
Progressive (adjective): Characterized by such progress, OR BY CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT.
Eventually, over time, the society would implode (consider Greece or Rome), but all the financial resources left would already be in YOUR pockets. Damn the rest of the culture. At least you fortified your compound walls with the hard-earned dollars of the reactive masses.
The wholesale promotion and sanctioning of costly pleasures becomes the catalyst toward building a reactive society. But an empathetic exposure of its consequences can be the catalyst to rebuilding a proactive society. I can tell you where and how the standards for building a proactive society can be found, but for that, I encourage you to reach out to me directly or read some of my other articles.
The bottom line? We have built and are propagating a reactive society and it is only eroding further. Would we be on the moon if we hadn’t given authority over to so many costly pleasures? I don’t know. But I do know that for those that are looking for how to shift the balance of financial power, it’s not hard. It just takes a rethink of most everything we’ve been taught in the last half-century.
I’d rather do that than watch America lose its “truly” objective soul.