That the public bought into the ruse is all to be expected. What was not expected (at least by me), was the reaction of the so-called truth community to this transparently contrived media spectacle.
It's amazing how a charismatic celebrity on a national (or international) dinosaur media platform can get people to buy into an agenda that they would otherwise see straight through.
Case in point: Three weeks ago Russell Brand, a heroin addict turned B-list actor/comedian who is best known for marrying and divorcing Katy Perry in less time than it takes to read this sentence, appeared on the BBC to argue politics with Jeremy Paxman, the veteran British broadcaster who is known for his abrasive interviews with big name British politicians.
For the three people in the English speaking world who haven't seen the interview yet, it was a conversation ostensibly held to discuss Russell Brand's guest editorship of British political periodical New Statesman, but was really just a vehicle for the type of “explosive” and “confrontational” political debate that gets headlines.
The sneer quotes in that last sentence are fully intentional. This “debate,” like everything else in make-believe tell-lie-vision land, was not what it appeared. One of the main points of “contention” in the interview was Brand's assertion that voting is meaningless in the rigged political farce of our modern-day system and Paxman's faux-shock at the idea. As Paxman has admitted in recent days, however, he, too, has made the conscious decision not to vote in previous elections, meaning one of the central points of “conflict” in the interview was completely contrived. Regardless, the intended effect was achieved: the conversation went viral online and so far millions of people have watched the interview on YouTube.
The insidious part, of course, is not that Brand pointed out the transparent charade of the modern-day voting booth. This is a point so basic and so readily apparent to the general public that they have had to invent a whole new technology for counting the votes (the infamous electronic voting machines) in order to continue manipulating the numbers and making it look like the public still cares about the political Punch and Judy sideshow that comes along once every few years. The insidious part is the disastrous non-solution “solutions” that Brand advocates in the interview, from the use of state-sponsored violence to forcibly violate personal property (a “mass redistribution of wealth” which he imagines will be overseen by some command-and-control government dictatorship which he would call “admin bods” so as to make the public feel better about its actions) to the typical vague talk of making the concept of “profit” into an evil. Oh, look: another millionaire celebrity advocating a violent socialist revolution in the name of fighting carbon dioxide and ending world hunger...or something like that.
That the public bought into the ruse is all to be expected. What was not expected (at least by me), was the reaction of the so-called truth community to this transparently contrived media spectacle. Even a fair number of users at The Daily Paul, surely the most libertarian of the libertarian on the American political scene, were seen to stick up for Brand and his socialist “solutions.” So what gives?
The fact is that it is time for a revolution. Everyone understands this, whether consciously or as a gut instinct. The revolutionary sentiment has been building up for years now, and like a head of steam building up deep underground it has vented its way to the surface here and there in recent years. In the US it manifested as the Tea Party and the Occupy movements. Europe had its own Occupy movement and violent clashes between police and protesters continue to break out on occasion in the Eurozone hotspots. China and India have seen people buying and hoarding gold in record numbers. The Arab world has had the Arab Spring. There is a revolution taking place in global geopolitics, but like all revolutions it will be more apparent in hindsight than it is for those living through it.
This is to be expected. In fact, it was predicted by William Strauss and Neil Howe's seminal 1997 work, The Fourth Turning, where they posited a generational vision of history that imagines history as a series of repeating 20 year cycles, or “turnings.” The First Turning represents a cultural high, the Second Turning a cultural awakening, the Third Turning an unraveling and the Fourth Turning a crisis. Charting the beginning of the most recent cycle as the dawn of the baby boom generation (1943), the theory posits that the “Superpower America” generation of the postwar years (a cultural high), gave way to the “Consciousness Revolution” of the 1961-1981 period (a cultural awakening), which itself gave way to the Culture Wars and Postmodernism period of 1982-2004 (a cultural unraveling) and we have now entered the crisis period of 2005-2020s where global financial crises, the war on terror and other major problems will lead to a breakdown of previously stable institutions and authorities. Given that this theory was articulated in 1997 and predicted the onset of the current age of crisis, it is at least worth considering, and it equally maps onto previous eras of American history with eerie precision. Indeed, American history shows 80 year cycles separating one crisis (the American revolutionary era) from the next (the Civil War) and the next (the Great Depression and World War II) and the next (9/11 and the global financial crisis).
Regardless of why this might be the case, the point is taken that we are living through yet another revolutionary era, one marked by political, economic and cultural crises and the crumbling of long-revered institutions. For this precise reason, people are particularly prone to revolutionary messages at this point in time. Regardless of where these messages are coming from, and often even regardless of their content, the very idea of charismatic figures promising to overturn the current order resonates deep in the psyche of a generation born into this Fourth Turning.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. No one can deny that our current paradigm of out-of-control government and disintegrating social cohesiveness is desirable, or something we should be striving to protect. But are we doomed to yet another turning of the great wheel of history? Yet another reset of the four turn cycle?
Perhaps not. Rather than a reset or a rebuilding of the institutions of the past, as usually follows the era of crisis in this Fourth Turning saga, perhaps a different type of revolution is possible. A revolution of consciousness. No, this is not a New Age crystals and chanting type idea, nor some vaguely-defined feel-good rhetorical exercise. A revolution in consciousness is possible, and its results have real world ramifications.
This is the concept I was gesturing toward in my examination of the market psychology with Dr. Stan on Radio Liberty this past week. The markets are driven by perception: if the economy is perceived to be doing well, people act and invest accordingly and, whether it's merited or not, the economy ends up actually doing well. As soon as someone heads for the exit, though, the spell can be broken and a trickle can turn into an avalanche as major market panics take hold and the bottom falls out of the economy. The purveyors of the status quo—the banksters at the Fed and their toadies in government and their cohorts in international finance capital—are masters at getting people to buy into their illusions, be it funny money Federal Reserve Notes or utterly worthless mortgage-backed securities or collapsing Eurozone institutions. As such, they are able to keep the current paradigm going—the one that serves the interests of those very banksters and their compatriots—long past its expiry date.
But this means that all it will take is for a brave few to head for the exits in order to start the avalanche of this next revolution. And if it is done where it counts, by challenging people's perceptions and understandings of these illusions, then a real change is possible, one that eschews the era of institution-building and cultural reset predicted in the Fourth Turning hypothesis. This is the meaning of a revolution in consciousness, and it is taking place every day as more and more people learn the truth about the machinations and manipulations of the Federal Reserve and the ECB and the BoE and the BoJ and all their central bankster counterparts around the globe. It happens every day when people learn the truth about false flag terrorism or the panoptic on spy grid or the global warming con or all the other ways that we are indoctrinated and manipulated by lies. And it is leading us toward a system of independence and self-sustainability that is anathema to the banksters of the status quo.
Of course, the powers-that-shouldn't-be know all of this. That's exactly why false prophets and phony messiahs are dangled before us to get us to buy into all of the old delusions again. The delusion of command-and-control economies administered by selfless angels and run by consensus. The same illusions that have led us time and again through the cycle of history, building up institutions and practices only to discover, again and again, that they are fundamentally corrupt.
So we as a society are left with a choice: to follow the Russell Brands of the world, the Peter Josephs and Jacque Frescos and other would-be saviors of humanity in their everything-for-nothing delusions that seek to create the institutions of the next turning, or to take the harder course. The one that requires us to work toward independence and self-reliance. The one in which people help their neighbors and others through charity rather than deferring the problems of their community onto some governmental agency. The one where people stop relying on institutions to tell them how to live their life or how to interact with others.
Not being a messiah myself, I don't pretend to have the fully realized roadmap of how to get from here to that free society we all want to see. I can't tell anyone how to live their life or what to do. But I do know one thing: if we ever want to achieve true freedom, it will only come when we turn off the TV and start thinking for ourselves.