字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント There we go. We got it, Bob! Hi! Sorry, we're running a little bit late. Excuse me a second. Hey Bob, think fast! [Glass breaking] [Shouting] Sorry, man! Welcome to 'Culture in Decline'. My name is Peter Joseph. This show is designed for those that want to be a little bit more skeptical about society, because perhaps, you're like me. As you stumble around this experiment we call global society, you can't help but feel an increasing sense of unease, perhaps even frustration, with respect to how we, the human family, have chosen to organize ourselves on this little planet. The late astronomer and well-known advocate of scientific thought, Carl Sagan, in his famed PBS series 'Cosmos', once invited the question: "If we were visited by a superior species from another part of the galaxy, and we were forced to explain to them our stewardship of our planet, not to mention the state of human affairs today, would we be proud of what we described?" How would we frame our explanation of how almost half of the world, over 3 billion people, are either barely surviving in abject poverty and sickness, or are simply dying off unnecessarily at a rate of about one person every couple of seconds, all occurring in the wake of an advanced technological reality, where we could easily feed, clothe and house every family on Earth in a respectable standard of living? How would we frame the global warfare: 230 million killed by their fellow man in the past 100 years alone based on what, meaningless territoriality, resources, dogmatic, obsolete ideologies? Again, this all occurring in the shadows of a looming scientific recognition, that we are indeed simply one family sharing one household, bound by the exact same laws of nature, and hence the same unifying operational ideology. How about our economic system, the bedrock of what defines our society, not to mention our dominant motivations? How would we explain the reality that, rather than organizing ourselves efficiently as a single system to properly manage this household we share, we childishly divide and compete and exploit each other through an archaic, completely environmentally decoupled game. A game, by the way, which not only appears to perpetuate a vast spectrum of social atrocities, but now seems to be further destabilizing society, decreasing our public health. Sorry to say, as an individual, I really don't care what you believe, nor do I particularly respect it. Why? Because I don't really respect what I believe either. There is no evidence to show that any of the traditional values, establishments, social structures or common practices we have today, will be relevant tomorrow. The only thing that appears to stand the test of time is this very notion of change, the ever-evolving understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit. Perhaps, some might think that that's actually the definition of human intelligence. What do you think about that? Less about what we know, more about how vulnerable we are. So, when you look out your window, ask yourself. Do you see intelligence or do you see dogma? Do you see a culture listening and working to realign itself with the ever-emerging natural orders as they unfold, or do you see desperately stubborn efforts by many, particularly those in positions of power, trying to keep everything the same to the detriment of the entire human experiment? You know, like you, I might be only one member of this family that is now 7 billion strong; and like most families, sometimes it's hard for us to agree, but sometimes, things get so bad we need serious intervention. The following series is that intervention in the hope to salvage what is clearly, a culture in decline. It's an election year in the United States and some may say it's an election year for the whole world. Still the dominant empire, the United States' political system has spent roughly 25 billion dollars in the past decade alone. An amount of money, if averaged and distributed annually, could house and feed every homeless person in America, effectively ending the epidemic. Perhaps, like me, by the end of this program, you'll find that money will be better well-spent. Be that as it may, the 2012 presidential election is gearing up to be one of the most expensive, and ostensibly important elections of all time, given the ongoing debt crisis, the unemployment crisis, and the vast destabilization we see across society. However, I'm not particularly interested in the left or the right, or am I interested in any candidate's political merit. What I'm interested in, is the entire idea of global democracy in the tradition as it exists, and how it is blindly accepted by the vast majority of people on this planet, as being the only option to satisfy their interests and create good well-being, and hence societal management in its optimum state. That's what interests me. (P. Joseph) So, rather than debate about who should be the next president, why don't we step back and consider some broader issues? Such as, I don't know, maybe, why we even have a President to begin with? What is this, medieval feudalism? I thought the days of kings, dictators, and giving one person enormous power was coming to an end. Or, more generally, doesn't it seem a little absurd to claim a participatory democracy, when the public itself actually has zero say, when it comes to the actual decisions made by those elected? It's bad enough that those voted in have literally no legal responsibility to do anything they might have claimed on the campaign trail, but if you examine history, you will find the historical fact that the public good has always been secondary to other interests, mainly, financial and business interests. Of course, this is common knowledge now, right? Why did the US government, completely against all known public interest, allow the private banking system, a system which actually creates nothing, to be bailed out to the tune of 13 trillion dollars? You have a 14-million-dollar ocean front home in Florida. You have a summer vacation home in Sun Valley, Idaho. You and your wife have an art collection filled with million-dollar paintings. (PJ) While the public was left out to dry with overflowing private debt, job losses and a stagnating economy. If we're going to persist with this silly little game we've concocted called the growth economy, where the movement of money defines everything, it might be a good idea to do the math regarding what might actually help this economic system operate at some passable level. Therefore, if you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you're really raising taxes on the job creators, and if the goal is private sector growth, you have to recognize that the best way to create that growth is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job creators. (PJ) If that money spent on the bank bailout was spent on relieving private household debt instead, while letting Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and all of the other technically meaningless, non-producing financial institutions experience the failure and bankruptcy they deserved, simultaneously nationalizing the entire US banking system as a whole, the US economy might have had a chance. Why? Because banks don't actually contribute anything. People with jobs do. [If] you want growth in this type of system, you need jobs. If you want jobs you need demand, and demand requires people having free money to spend. By helping the public debt burden, you would plant the true seeds of economic growth. As obvious as that may seem, many forget one thing: The bailout had nothing to do with helping the US economy, nor does it or will it work to help any hurting sovereign economy in the world. Why? Because we live in a plutocracy, not a democracy, and the only true power is actually behind the curtain, not in front. The financial and business powers not only own and control this country, they own and control the whole planet; and no, it's not a conspiracy. It's a value-system disorder. As long as a dollar sign is associated with every blade of grass, every plot of land, every fleeting thought or invention, not to mention judging the merit of individuals for their right to life through labor, we should expect nothing less. Since the inception of the state itself, coupled with the underlying power of money as the ultimate driver of human decisions, and hence persuasion, the true power has always been financial, and those little people you elect into office every couple of years, they have owners too, and don't you forget it. - Democracy: Is that something you believe in as it exists today in America? - When you say as in 'believe in', does it exist? Like forest fires, God, or the devil? - What is your opinion of the American democratic system as it exists? - It's broken. It's deeply, deeply broken. - Democracy, goes, of course, to Greece and it's the theory that the people own the government. Is it in practice happening, in 2012, in this country? Not close! It's a corporatocracy. (PJ) All of this considered, let's now think a little more accurately about this whole democracy deal. Since the tradition of our democracy has to do with representatives elected to apparently do our thinking for us, a critical question becomes: Where did these people come from? Why are they the ones on your TV and not others? Did you decide that these people are the best choices to compete for such critical leadership, or have you noticed that the most pronounced candidates especially the Presidential, sort of come out of nowhere; and through the media, are given credence merely by repetition of exposure? The term 'democracy' comes from the Greek 'demos' which means people, and 'krates' which means rule. The people of a given society express their opinions through votes, and policy is created by the majority's interest. It appears the process was formalized in ancient Greece and has been adapting ever since. However, it didn't take long for a bit of cynicism to emerge with respect to the process itself, given the fact that the entire basis of the idea assumes that the voting public actually is educated enough to know what they're doing. Franklin D. Roosevelt once acutely stated: Winston Churchill, on the other hand, was a little less forgiving, stating: The infamous Mark Twain jumped to the inevitable punch line, stating: I would like you to ask yourself: If we were in the ruling class, the 'investment ownership class', to paraphrase Thorstein Veblen, and we wanted to preserve our interests against any interference, what would we do? First, we need to take the broadest possible view we can. We need to make sure the voting public is as uninformed as possible, regarding relevant issues that might contradict our establishment's practices. Coupled with that, we also need to eliminate as much independent, logical, causal, scientific thought as possible. So, let us support an extremely underfunded, outdated, and deprived public educational system, a system focused on merely getting a person a job one day, not teach them how to critically and logically think. - The heart of democracy really is the basic assumption that the public is well-educated about critical thought. They know how to think about things and evaluate, and therefore they can make proper decisions, right? What is your opinion on American education and its effect on the democratic process? - I think that we have multiple problems in the education in America. One: I think we are dealing with the dumbing down of America. - Do you feel that this sort of poor educational system actually benefits the establishment? - Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! Keep them stupid, keep them easily entertained. If they're uninformed, they can't fight back! (PJ) However, to further reinforce this, we also need to push and reward belief systems that support passive obedience; belief systems and values that are stubborn, irrational, and promote closed thinking. Religion becomes super helpful in this circumstance. Is it possible that religion is being politicized and that candidates are using it as a tool? I believe that God created the Universe. And we're enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might. Let us not pray that God is on our side in war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side. May God bless the 7th Day Adventist Church. I think the God who loves us, the God who gave us life, who gave us our being... And so to every sailor, soldier, airman and marine who was involved in this mission, let me say, you are doing God's work. (PJ) If people are groomed to be obedient and follow blindly, they are ripe to extend that obedience to others who claim authority. Check. Next, it's critical we recognize a unique, sociological characteristic of the human condition. Something we will call 'herd psychology'. This is the tendency for us humans, when faced with mass appeal, to often behave in extremely thoughtless and malleable ways. In the words of Charles McKay, famed author of: However, this doesn't just apply to a soccer riot. Such mob persuasion can be generated through simply shared cultural events.