THE MIASMA OF DELUSION, EXCLUSION & CONFUSION... AND FINALLY, SOME CLARITY
If we look at the western world since the end of World War Two we can see a swirling scene of changing beliefs, identities and movements.
Certain groupings were identified by some as negative, others as positive, emotions were aroused, myriad fears emerged, anxiety rose in general and power, both of the elites and of the mass movements ultimately metamorphosed toward the present day.
I will argue that we have lived within a miasma where no one grouping had the truth about any other and that as these years have passed the stances have in fact shifted radically in the West, bringing it into an unenviable position. Meanwhile, the East has not gone through this crisis of the mind, has essentially retained its traditional mind sets and generally held on to its cultures, rooted in a steadier, more stable set of reasonably constant values.
If we take the eastern value system (as far as it can be generalized) to be conservative in nature then I believe this will ultimately bring a significant degree of clarity to how things stand now within the liberal confusion that is the West.
After World War Two the western world in general went through sweeping changes. It left the USA as by far the most dominant and dominating force. After initial very hard times in Europe, by the 1950s there were significant improvements in well being, lifestyles and life chances to be seen. These benefits percolated slowly through the 1950s to a wider and wider degree. Then, in the 1960s a general and broad feeling of well being began to take hold. It was then, in the mid to late 1960s that the miasma of beliefs and movements began to swirl. A significant proportion of the young began to rebel against the values of their parents.
Much of the rebellion seen in the late 1960s was very well motivated. The U.S. war in Vietnam was protested vigorously. In France an attempt was made to overturn the staid, established methodologies in education and to broaden the revolt to areas of industry by incorporating workers within the protest movement. The hippie and anarchist communities grew from the mid-Sixties onward with the belief held firmly that the old world had to be overturned and a new one created.
It was at this time in my opinion that the first major mirage of belief took hold. What the hippies and anarchists were fighting was largely the conservative majority who they believed had let all humanity down and who were bringing the world inexorably toward ever-greater disaster.
I was one of those who believed this and who believed that taking an alternative path to those traditionally taken was the answer. To abandon the stultifying ways of the past, to reject the dead hand of tradition and create a new world of better, more creative and anti-war values that would reject and eject all the ‘straight’ men and women who ran things and always expected to run things.
The traditional, the conservative, the war-supporting, suit-wearing, straights were the problem. We were the solution.
In the saying of the times, if you were not part of the solution you were part of the problem.
It all seemed so clear, so obvious and we believed in it absolutely.
Our parents could teach us nothing. Everything had to be overthrown and made new, exciting, open and free. We could no longer be bound by the things we were ‘supposed’ to think or the way we were ‘supposed’ to be.
Basically we could see no good at all in what had gone before.
But we were, in another well-known saying, throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Our parents had come through a world war. They knew the benefits of certain traditions, of being a solid citizen, learning a trade, working hard, building a family and being a law-abiding person within a society of individuals doing the same.
We had misidentified our target. We lacked insight into who and what we ought to be targeting as “the enemy”. That enemy was not in truth our parents or the traditions that had served them well. It was not the conservatism we found limiting and that we found most convenient to rebel against. These however were easy and obvious targets. The real targets were largely out of sight and out of reach.
Those who were starting wars, engendering a blind insistence on consumption, marketing and economic growth to the detriment of many, were and are now, a tiny proportion of the world’s population. However, growing affluence in the West made it possible for a great many of us to act out our desires for ‘something else’, something other than what had gone before and that which we reacted against that we perceived as all around us, inhibiting and oppressing us.
Those days made for simplistic thinking. Right and wrong as clearly defined values, appearance and behavior. We identified ourselves as an exclusive army of 'the other’, the awakened, the hip, full of the belief that we were better, more aware and much wiser than those ‘over there’. However, as much as this self-belief brought many of us pleasure and many exciting moments were had, adventures of the mind and body engaged in together... ultimately nothing changed significantly. The elites who had run things before we rose as a force ostensibly against them, continued to do so. Gradually the majority of us realized that we were not going to create an alternative world and rejoined the majority of the human race, got a job, married and only displayed our ‘freak flag’ on ever more rare occasions and mostly, privately.
We had perceived on a shallow, emotional level. We had completely negated the values of our parents, grandparents and those who came before. Loosed to be irresponsible by the new affluence of the 1960s we had merely indulged in a hedonism of mind, body, behavior and soul that previously we would have known was completely impossible, other than by the very few.
By the mid 1970s the damage being done by misdirected protest was being seen to greatly outweigh the benefits gained. The turmoil began to affect the life chances of more and more of the population, especially so in Britain and this brought to power those misidentified by conservatives and traditionalists as their saviors. In fact these were the same elites who had instigated the wars and perpetuated the unsustainable policies of consumer materialism that threatened the world.
The swirling miasma of confusion that was to be the continuing fate of the West was metamorphosing into yet another phase. The rebellious movements of the 1960s became a distant memory as consumerism took hold and a shallow, entertainments industry, along with an industry of news fakery emerged. The miasma of thought and belief in the West reached new levels of confusion rendering clarity almost impossible except for the few who managed to look deeper by questioning whether they were truly seeing what was really there.
Beliefs came in unlimited systems dependent only on which particular theory attracted you best. Most theories swirled around in the new miasma of social media. Hard facts were no longer required. Only a certain paranoia leading to the grasping of some “answer” which somehow validated the soul and provided motivation.
Meanwhile, the same elites did the same as their predecessors did in the West, acted as world dictators selfishly preserving and expanding their own influence, instigating overt and covert destabilization, demonizing and molding opinion through their fellow elites in mass media.
We don’t have a problem regarding targets except in seeing them clearly, identifying them precisely and in knowing exactly what to do about eliminating them. But these problems have been insurmountable until now in the West and, in my opinion remain so.
In the USA and UK two main parties now mirror each other in war-mongering rhetoric. Each party reflects the belief in elitism, in consumerism and economic growth at all costs and in the subversion and domination of the rising nations of the East, Russia and China. There are no longer powerful opposition parties in the West. All the protest of the Sixties and Seventies failed to deliver any change at the top. The failure was total. The belief that we would create a new world left us with the same old world there had ever been in the West, the one that abused its power and invited its populations to enjoy the accruing benefits of that power.
To return to the point of clarity in this confusing miasma of strident beliefs and low achievement, the people of the East, not blessed by the sudden affluence experienced in the West and having much more solidly-based lives based on hard realities and tradition, continued to follow the long-held ways of their parents and forebears. The “madness” that afflicted so many in the West had passed them by.
So it is that today the above remains largely true.
While in the West the “blessings” of affluence continue to engender a particular form of madness where myriad forms of self-awarded license, movements of (apparent) great change and a roiling discontent with almost every aspect of society continues. And all this without touching any aspect of the power system that continues to mold and manipulate from above, instigating war and subverting others as it has always done out of total self-interest.
It begs the question... is the miasma of confusion, continual quest for change, paranoid tendencies, delusional beliefs and so-called individualism a net benefit and asset to those who are so very rarely targeted and who carry on from one generation to the next in the West with their goal of world hegemony untouched?
If you seek clarity I would therefore advise looking East. Well beyond the swirling miasma of the West.