Samasiam's Blog

Musings from a guy who's problem is he sees too much…


LA'ish, California,
June 01
"All change has to start with someone, somewhere, doing something differently and others observing the results and choosing to follow suit. What influence anything may ultimately have, is not predictable, but what is predictable, is that acting on the intention to do so, will always be a cause which initiates every change that will ever occur, no matter how large and immutable the existing paradigm and the attitudes which support it may appear to be. Everything is a choice."


Samasiam's Links
AUGUST 9, 2011 12:30AM

To Someone Else, You are “One of Them…”

Rate: 4 Flag

Right to Lifer? To someone else, you are bigoted, ignorant, a fanatic religious fundamentalist, a red-neck Neanderthal who is capable of violence.

Abortion rights advocate? To someone else, you are a baby-killer, a promoter of promiscuity, the worst result of Secular Humanism and evidence of the complete decline of morality.

Gay? To someone else, you choose to be a perverted, sick, twisted, depraved sinner, not only in their eyes, but their God’s as well and you could change if you just pray hard enough.

Atheist? To someone else, you are a bitter, jealous angry person who just doesn’t want to let God into your heart because any authority reminds you of the parent you hate.

Christian? To someone else, you believe in a child’s fairy tale of religion which is just a rip-off of a dozen other fairy tales and you are probably a hypocrite.

Jewish? To someone else, you belong to a cult of conspirators who are behind all the world’s troubles and secretly have controlled it’s wealth and manipulated it’s governments for millennium.

Muslim? To someone else, you are a follower of hate and not to be trusted, different from any other religion and a threat to civilization.  

Buddhist? To someone else, you must be high – or you just don’t really believe in anything but want to be able to say you do.

Asian? To someone else, you think you’re better than everyone else and all your overachieving is about is trying to prove it.

Red Stater? To someone else, you are an illiterate bigot who gets all your news from Fox and would rather gratuitously kill an animal than anything else you can think of doing with it.

Blue Stater? To someone else, you are a Commie but you call yourself a “Liberal” and you wouldn’t know how to survive on your own if you got locked inside Disneyland overnight.

Tea Party Member? To someone else, you are a racist, homophobic group of terrorist fools who are manipulated by billionaire brothers and too dumb to know what your own interests are. Member? To someone else, you are pathetically naive and controlled by
a billionaire conspirator who wants to destroy America.

Progressive Democrat? To someone else, you are a deluded do-gooder and too blind to see that big government is the problem, not the answer, nevertheless, you want other people’s money to pay for it all.

Reagan Republican? To someone else, you are a cruel, despicable, self-centered social troglodyte who wants to throw the indigent out on the street to starve, so you’ll be able to pay less tax and afford a bigger SUV.

Obama Supporter? Uh… forget that one. I’m pretty sure it’s irrelevant now…

The list could go on forever.

No matter who you are – You are the problem to someone else.

Admit it, as you read this, you felt the rush of agreement and the pain of derision, even though that’s the only point of the essay - objectifying someone makes us feel powerful and being objectified… hurts. And both the objectify-er and the objectified now have little chance of discovering their mutual interests and working for them.

Believe me, the class of powerful sociopaths that suffers least from all of this objectification doesn’t have to cope with these conflicts, which would divide their resources and ability to act in their individual and collective self-interest.

But they sure are glad we do.

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You were doin’ it sooooo right! I was nodding my nead and thinking, “Yup. Yup. That’s exactly what I’ve tried so often to get across.”

And then.......?
Well, shit Samsie, and then you went and did the same thing with your last two paragraphs.........

@skypixie0 - Perhaps a reading of my prior posts would give you the context to frame that. You see, I divide the world between those people who believe differently, yet honestly wish to achieve the best for others and sociopaths (whom I acknowledge, encompass a scale of behaviors). And I believe that a lot of the world we live in is run by people who have those behaviors. Sometimes they get a lot further up the food chain and sometimes they get to the very top.

It's not that you can't be successful and not be that, but the character depiction seems to describe a hell of a lot of the people who have huge resources and control, both of which have consolidated rapidly in the last three decades, and not to the benefit of most people. When your most powerful motivator is accumulating power, and the thrill of manipulating others and there's no sense of empathy to inhibit you, you can be very effective (assuming you don't go far enough to get put away for it, but hey, see anyone that's been convicted by the government they bought and paid for, in prison for our recent financial scams?).

So yes, there is an "us" and a "them" for me. I don't mistake the people who simply have another paradigm of what makes the world work best for everyone, with those whose paradigm is what makes it best for them, without giving a shit about what that does to others.

It's that "them" that we need to identify and put the systems in place to mitigate. As long as factionalism keeps everyone spinning along blind to that reality, we're screwed. Unfortunately, it's just another thing the sociopaths are very, very good at exploiting and the current climate is demonstrating that.
I have already made a note to spend some time on your page here at OS so as to catch up with your writings.

I’d like to do an “aside” here, with your permission...

Early in the spring I read an article about “square tomatoes.” Yup, it seems that someone had the idea that square tomatoes would fill tomato boxes with less waste space, and, pound for pound be more economical to ship, store, and stack on the produce shelves.

To make the tomatoes square, they put small boxy little walls around them while they were growing. It worked very well. The tomatoes did indeed grow into a square shape.

The reason I mention this is that you seem to hold an opinion that I have held for most of my lifetime, but which I’m in the process of re-thinking. That opinion is the one that says that there is a “them” who are wealthy and who have such hate for the rest of humanity that they will use their wealth/power to do harm to all humans not of their circle.

Worse, I’ve always held that these people must be innately evil and that it is this evil nature which they have which causes them to do this.

Recently I began to wonder why it is that these relatively few evil manipulators of our society are able to do so with such apparent ease in the face of the majority - the vast majority - of us who think differently.

I find myself wondering if that small group, who own and control so much, are somewhat like those tomatoes. They get born into a certain place and surrounding them is a social “box” which requires of them that they adopt certain attitudes and practices and opinions. Many of which are no different than those held by you or me, but some of which are very, very different than any we might ever hold.

My next thought was that those people, even if raised in that socio-economic “box”, have eyes to see and a mind to learn with, so they ought to have learned that the delightful life of comfort that they lead has a serious down side to it. That being that it takes the fruit of the labour of so many “regular citizens” to support their lavish life-style, that those same labourers end up getting too small a portion of the rewards created by their labours for them to live in a decent manner.

(To keep this of manageable length, I’ll skip over a lot of stuff that you surely already know.)

What we have is indeed, as you pointed out, two different points of view; the position of the elite and the position of the regular citizen.

As we look at the results of the two different ways of thought we see that the way that elite lives is a pretty doggone good life-style!

We also see that the life-style of the rest of us is not so doggone good at all, in an over-all sense.

Yet we, the great unwashed masses, accept that we too ought to try to “climb the ladder of success” to reach the very spot that those hated elite occupy! Most of us spend the greater portion of our lifetime seeking to “get ahead”; to amass enough wealth so as to provide our kids with the means to “do well” and to be "better off” than we were; i.e. nearer to the position of the elite.

On the other hand, one does not see the elite going to any great effort to occupy our position. Yeah. I know. I wouldn’t either if I were in their shoes. In fact they will go to great lengths to keep their position and to enhance it and make it more secure in this dog-eat-dog system we live all in.

And Sam, y’know what? I understand that. I have fought for, and will continue to fight for, the modest life that affords me some security and contentment in my old age.

I am certain that when one of the elite looks around at how life treats him and then at how it treats you or how it treats a person living on the streets, he cannot help but compare these different situations. Is it any wonder that the way of living of him and those in his elite circle, has convinced them that their way of thinking is “right”? Their very success is proof of that correctness, to them!

I guess that what I want to say is that “tomatoes" grown in certain circumstances will be shaped and their thinking determined by those circumstances. Just as we are conditioned by our circumstances so are the elite. They find it very easy to think of us as “evil” when they hear us demanding that they give up what they have. We find it very easy to do that when we see that they have everything, usually without working for it, as we understand “work.”

May I suggest that your thinking in the first part of your blog was excellent and inspired. Why adopt a different understanding and attitude toward the one thing it would be most valuable in dealing with.... “Them Others”!!!!

@ skypixie0 (again) In consideration of the fact that I can be obtuse when I think I'm being obvious, I've added three words to be even clearer. Yes, we are all shaped by those elements which are the environment we are contained within, however many of the people I'm referring to weren't. Actually, when it comes to this sort of behavior, as they used to say in EST (let's not open that can of worms) "understanding is the booby prize".

While in a clinical and historical sense I might curiously explore those reasons, in practical terms these people are so damaging and dangerous that becomes a very secondary consideration. And they KNOW what they are doing to others. They really don't care, they can't.

There used to be a psychiatrist (Carla Perez) who did a talk show on KGO radio in S.F. She felt it imperative to regularly remind her listeners that sociopaths are found in all walks of life, frequently in very influential positions with impressive credentials. She'd remind people that if they realized that's what they were dealing with, there was only one option: Get away from them. Period.

Think “The Terminator”: Their biggest advantage is that they look like real people (who can't think of them for what they are) because “real people” have empathy for others. Sociopaths don't, and their actions are entirely destructive to those around them if that's what suits their needs. In fact, their need is frequently just that, to have power over others.

Unfortunately, you can't get away from them when they are the people (IMHO) who are running much of the business, financial and governmental sectors of our society. You have to GET RID OF THEM.
Something that I'm always coming back to in my classes -- the world and any creature in it cannot be viewed in black and white. We can only truly understand if we're willing to keep in mind that we don't fall on a binary scale but on a 3D spectrum.