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Culture in Decline | Episode #4 'War On Nature' by Peter Joseph

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Oh hello, sorry. War! We love it, right? Blowing stuff up, watching people suffer and die, it's exciting! Violence, domination, retribution and other attributes of this competitive warring fascination clearly dominates our media with films, television and other expressions constantly glorifying and reinforcing this gesture of conflict. In fact, it has been found that by the time an average kid reaches the age of 14 in the West, he or she has visually witnessed over 8,000 depicted acts of murder. Given all of this, it might make you wonder: Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? Likewise, isn't it interesting how most of us in America sleep quite well at night while our military forces routinely invade, slaughter and steal from other nations at will; as, of course, all global empires have done historically, with, this time, a global civilian death toll well over 1 million in the past decade alone, many of them women and children. Yet, the same American culture shudders in horror and confusion when some dude stumbles into an American schoolyard and randomly wipes out a couple dozen or so kids. I ask you, by what measure do we differentiate importance when it comes to the death of different groups of people? What makes us so special? While history is certainly full of xenophobic, racist, religious and nationalist conceits which have served as convenient justifications for external dehumanization, subjugation and imperial power abuse, a rather unnoticed yet profound scientific truth has also emerged: Today, every person on Earth can trace his or her lineage back to a single common female ancestor who lived about 200,000 years ago. 'Mitochondrial Eve', she is now called, proving indeed that we are truly one family. Likewise, the planet Earth, the habitat this family shares, it knows no division. It is a unified, synergistic system at every turn, fully connected. It has no idea what a nation, a politician or a racist is. It has no notion of any such human conceit, for that matter; for division simply doesn't exist in the order of nature by which we're all invariably subject. Mark Twain once wrote "Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for 'the universal brotherhood of man'- with his mouth." While we all love to give lip service to the idea of peace and collaboration, holding up icons such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. something underneath the surface is clearly holding us back. Yes, we know for a fact that if we took the total war budgets of all the nations on Earth (tens of trillions of dollars over the past quarter century alone) and applied that energy-producing capital towards creating an advanced, intelligent, efficient system of Earth/Human management, not only would poverty and most deprivation be removed from our lives on the global scale our progressive capacity to create, build and improve rather than pillage, seek and destroy could catapult the human family into an age of prosperity never before seen. Just imagine. If we took America's Pentagon or Britain's Northwood along with all the world's advanced military centers, kicked all the army freaks out... OK, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be harsh. I guess we have to do something with them. Maybe we can just take them all and place them in the Grand Canyon and just let them beat the piss out of each other, and hopefully they'll get it out of their systems and move on. I don't know, we'll figure that out later. But we, as the intelligent, mature human family now interested in improving the lives of all, we use that incredible technology to help assist true developmental progress. Imagine if the Manhattan Project, which harnessed about 130,000 people, mostly scientists and technicians, was dedicated not to building a bomb that could destroy on a scale never before seen; but rather, utilizing that collaborative drive to solve true global problems, perhaps those very problems which are causing the interest in war to begin with. Today, the hyper-glorified, romanticized obsession with competition, advantage and conflict has made it into almost every facet of our lives. Not only do we declare war against virtually everything that annoys us: 'the war on drugs', 'the war on poverty', 'the war on crime', 'the war on terrorism', 'the war on cancer', you name it; we also, apart from the near constant nationalist wars, live in a perpetual state of common war or 'class war' where we battle each other on a daily basis for unnecessary economic survival and delusions of status. The fact is, something has been set in motion that keeps us all on a multilevel war path. Something in our psychology and, hence, sociology is constantly pushing us into justifications of these patterns, and as this episode will argue that something appears to reside at the very foundation of the socioeconomic condition itself: a foundation which has given rise to an ever-expanding destructive neurosis a neurosis clearly characteristic of a culture in decline. From the creator of the Zeitgeist film trilogy comes the worst reality show of all time the real one GMP Films presents Culture In Decline with your guide, Peter Joseph. Breaking news This just in: The President has finished an emergency session at the White House where he announced that the security focus of his administration will be moving away from the global war on terror, instead, focusing all available resources against something the administration has deemed a larger threat to US and international security than anything recognized before: Nature itself. That's right, Dodge, the newly declared war against Nature will be usurping funds from the Department of Homeland Security effectively replacing it with a new department, the Department of... I think I'm reading this right: "Fuck The Earth And The Science It Rode In On." That's correct, Summer, the administration has already appointed a head to this new department, the CEO of Monsanto Corporation, Satan himself. When questioned regarding concerns about a possible conflict of interest of the new appointee, the Obama administration responded: "Monsanto's reputation of challenging the vast power of this intolerant, bullying force that goes by the terrorist name 'Natural Science' holds great potential for our victory. We feel if anyone can take down these insurgent laws which restrict our God-given freedom, it is the professional experience of our true lord and master: the Prince of Darkness. We've just been informed that a press conference is now underway with the Pentagon's spokesperson answering questions. We now go live to the White House. As the President said earlier, the greatest barrier to US interests has been a constant state of offensive interference by this rogue network. Nature has been forcing its will against our freedom for long enough. Our economy, our values, the American way of life, it's not negotiable. Either Nature concedes to our interests and stops terrorizing us with its hatred of our liberty, or we will be forced to destroy it. Next question. Hi. Joe, from L.A. Times: Don't you feel it could be a bad idea to move against a force which has historically never been overcome or even phased by human action? Also, I understand Nature has given a set of demands which, if met, would cease many of its counterattacks. Has the administration considered just meeting these demands? Listen Joe, we don't negotiate with terrorists, and I've seen Nature's demands, full of queer Communist propaganda such a balance and sustainability. It even demands that we shut down our infinite growth consumption economy to make way for something where we are to be slaves to some oppressive natural regeneration respect. Listen, I didn't spend 35 years defending this country to have some metaphysical terrorist group with science on its side ruin what has made this nation great. No further questions. (P. Joseph) When we think of war, we usually think about gun-wielding soldiers, tanks, flame throwers, fancy metal honors and other theatrics. Yet, when we step outside the theater, digging deeper in our examination of the world around us we find that war is actually a state of mind, a reaction, driven by some type of competitive condition. If we had to classify the different levels of large scale competition, we might end up with two broad categories: imperial war and class war. Imperial war, otherwise known as national war, is when an aggressor nation decides to invade some other nation, justified by some form of perceived threat. Back in the day, this threat often appeared as purely ideological with religious groups battling it out to make sure they were in good with God, while in a mildly more literate scientific world today, the threat is, more often than not, pitched as direct to each of us. Such as, a rogue nation getting a nuclear weapon to blow up your grandmother's bingo tournament or perhaps a crazed state-funded hijacker crashing a plane into your favorite taco stand (bastards!). Regardless, in virtually every historical case, the justification for war put forward for public digestion has always been far from the truth. You see, there is indeed always a true threat, but that threat has little to do with the vast majority of the population. Instead, it is a threat that bothers only the highest echelons of social hierarchy, an elitist upper class self-preservation based around a loss of broad power and control. When was the last time the citizenry actually cried out for war? It doesn't happen, only the politicians go for it. Since the establishment would be hard-pressed to explain to their citizens that they are going to invade some nation for its natural resources, maintain currency domination, enable freedom for transnational corporations, along with other generally economic concerns to secure the interests of the upper 1%, various superficial, psychological ploys are used instead. The most common today is the moral crusade: We must not tolerate this regime using military force against its own people. (P. Joseph) coupled with some basic yet irrational threat of attack. Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the US, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies. (P. Joseph) In the words of famed sociologist Thorstein Veblen, writing from 1917: "Any warlike enterprise that is hopeful to be entered on must have the moral sanction of the community. It consequently becomes the first concern of the warlike statesman to put this moral force in train for the adventure on which he is bent." You see, a large part of the imperial war is the psychological war against the domestic citizenry itself. The US government spends billions of dollars every year on public relations and recruitment alone, producing signs like this one: "For our nation, for us all." Is it me, or does that sound like Orwellian doublespeak? If it's 'for our nation', then it clearly isn't 'for us all', as the human species is the closest thing we have to 'all'. If it's referring to all of us in the nation that would be hideously redundant, right? I think what they mean to say in this warm, loving community slogan is: "For our nation, screw the rest." Cooking with Pepé Hello! Welcome to the show! My name is Pepé. Today, I've got something very special for you, a true international delicacy: War! To prepare for war is a very delicate matter. The first thing we need to do is create some spicy tension to put fire in your belly. The first ingredient we need is a well-tempered provocation. Provocations are, of course, seasonal and subject to personal taste. So may I suggest something along the lines [of] a marinated Gulf of Tonkin, a robust Pearl Harbor, and if you're feeling bored, a bustling 9/11. Then, we let that cook for a bit and prepare our second ingredient, a special sauté to give life to our fiery dish: the mainstream media. Can you just smell the propaganda and delectable ignorance? After we get a nice sizzle going, we now add our final, most important ingredient: the delicious soldiers. The most ripe soldiers tend to grow in the more poor, rural areas of the world, often with limited literacy. You want to pick them around 18, 19, because their brains are very immature and quite yummy, perfect for participation in our war meal. We mix it all together. Perhaps add a few, some preservatives like patriotism (not too much) jingoism, and, of course, our very special secret sauce. OK! And we are ready! The moment you have all been waiting for. I present to you the greatest international delicacy of all time: War. Bon appétit. (P. Joseph) Perhaps one of the most amusing aspects of national war is the circus-like pageantry and ceremonialism. Cute costumes, little hats, shiny pieces of metal, various parades and official posturing and all adornments and theatrics that give this air of honor and authority. Of course, this is not to dismiss the true sacrifice of those who have given their lives in war, as there are always two sides. This true honor comes from a position of working to help others, not exploit them. Just as we hold the bravery of a firefighter who enters a burning building to save a child in high regard, the intention to help society through military service is indeed a noble gesture. Even though, sadly enough, 99% of those who enter the military with such noble intentions are more often than not being exploited for the criminal purposes of the corporate state. Still, you have to be impressed by the skill to give credence to an idea merely because of the nature of its presentation. In fact, whether it's academia, the news media, government itself the military or anything else in society, our culture tends to believe and respect people merely because of their presentation, confidence and rhetoric, not the actual meaning or reasoning of the communication itself. Did you know that the first television sets of the 1950s were actually supposed to be used as prosthetic replacement heads to give new hope for those who had been tragically decapitated? But, technology, weight and cord length being what they were at the time, it failed. Luckily, they could play other things besides the faces of the deceased and TV sets sold nationwide, and it's all true! You know why? Because you heard it from some guy in a tie. In the end, once the traditional, propagandized illusions in defense of the act of organized human murder and resource theft have been overridden, dismissing such shallow justifications as paternalism, honor and protectionism, we realize that war today is actually an inherent characteristic of the propertied, scarcity-driven business system. Major General Smedley D. Butler, one of the most notable and decorated officers in US history stated the following with respect to the business of war in 1935: "I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of a half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902 -1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." -Major General Smedley D. Butler Given all of this, it's unique how the general public tends to separate the day-to-day competitive business acumen from the severe form of competitive violent warfare, when there is very good evidence to show that they are deeply intermeshed. To gain some perspective on this, we now welcome back our resident guru, Louie the Logic Gremlin. Ah! Before we get into the questions, I do have a letter here that I would like to read to you and get your opinion on. It reads: "Dear Peter, I really enjoy the new show. I think it is helping get these important messages across. However, I am disappointed with the crude Louie the Logic Gremlin character, as it is just irritating and hideously stupid. Also, would you please stop eating when you are speaking in the show. It's really disgusting and annoying. Rock on. Joe." I'm sorry, Joe. Louie, what do you think about that? Aesthetic orientation is largely a cultural phenomenon. Your decision to directly agitate your audience is odd, but not without its communicative merit. Toats! [Totally] Sorry, Joe, shit stays. All right, so what's the skinny on war, man? Aren't we just crazy animals that have to be in endless conflict with each other due to our biology or something? While the conflict reaction is predictable in our evolutionary psychology, the assumption of inevitably is absurdly false. Human nature exists as a propensity of interaction with conditions. If you reward competition and produce scarcity as we do today, you will perpetuate a conflict propensity. If you work to ease stress and reward balance, you will generate a collaborative propensity. - OK, I see what you're saying. You're saying that war is actually a system consequence? Correct. The real underlying conflict is the war against social balance itself. National war is really a form of class war. Just as we have an economic hierarchy from lower to upper classes in America, the world is stratified in the same way, for the same reasons. In this case with terms such as "super-powers", "sub-powers" and "vassal states". - Interesting. So, how do we resolve this war tendency then? Remove the social reinforcements of it. If society shifts to rewarding balance, abundance and collaboration, then your species may have a chance. Otherwise, you people are likely fucked, as you are too immature right now to handle your own technological power. - Gotcha Well, thank you for your time, Louie. To gain some public consensus on the issue, we now turn live to our east coast 'Culture in Decline' correspondent, Big Scottie D, who's live in New York City to talk with people about what they think of war. Well, thank you, Peter. I am here in New York City on a beautiful cold day and I'm going to try to find some people to maybe talk to. Excuse me, excuse me, Ma'am, would you like to... Excuse me, Sir... Sir, would you like to talk about the war? - What? - Would you like to talk about the war, Sir? - No. - Would you like to talk about the war today? War? No? Sir, would you like to talk about the war? - God bless. - No? The war? Please? The war? Anyone who would like to talk about the war? I am just sick of this, Peter. You're sending me on these assignments. It's freaking freezing out here! I'd rather be in a bar getting drunk and then maybe I can do this, all right? I think there's a bar up here. Let me just grab my shit. You know, I'm just sick of this. Goddammit! I said I am done, man! I am done! Get some other monkey, OK? There's trash and shit all over the place! What does Peter wants to know about? He wants to know about the war! Well, I am sick of it, man! I've got to calm down. I just need a drink. - Any of you are Occupy Wall Street types? [Praise. Applause] ♪ Oooh it's not about money, except when you can't eat ♫ ♪ and it's not about foreclosures except when you've got nowhere to sleep ♫ ♪ It's not about elections except when they can be bought ♫ ♪ and it's not about the wars except when they're fought. ♫ ♪ It's not about the environment except if we're running out of time ♫ ♪ It's not about my choices, except when they're not mine ♫ ♪ It's not the lack of justice, except when you can't fight back ♫ ♪ and it's not about the police, unless, umm, your black! ♫ ♪ Fuck this shit! Fuck this shit! ♫ ♪ Come on, you want to say it, fuck this shit! Everybody ♫ ♪ fuck this shit! fuck this shit! ♫ ♪ Don't worry, none of these people are going to be at work tomorrow ♫ ♪ Fuck this shit, oooh ♫ We're so totally ruled by the 1%, which is basically all the corporations. wanting to sell us shit, influence us, influence our culture, so that we can't even think for ourselves and we're... our sense of self is altered and even our sense of health. I don't even fucking smoke! I don't know where this comes from? Jesus! Peter Joseph has asked us to stand out here in the freezing cold and talk about the difference of classes here, but he is sitting in his LA loft, relaxing with his big flat screen TV. New video message! - Yeah, fuck him! - Fuck Peter Joseph! The only thing that we don't have a war on, is a war on war, and I think that, as peace activists,we don't want to fight; so, we are going to end up loosing, due to irony! Final thoughts: How do we think about resolution of something as detrimental as national war, when, on the micro level, we in society actually praise, reward and reinforce the same basic underlying competitive drive? Generally, when faced with such a question, people tend to play the morality card, as though a matter of degree is what's relevant not the philosophical basis itself. Usually this vague distinction is gestured to the effect that competition is good, but we should never go too far and be violent in any way. Then, of course, the question becomes "What constitutes violence?" What if, instead of physically attacking you directly, I put you into a subtle yet deeply toxic condition, where your life is shorten by decades via heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and other such consequences. Would that be considered violent? And what if such intentions were not even directly malicious, such as a lower class, desperate single mother forced to work three jobs to keep up, who fails one night to provide proper supervision for her child, resulting in the death of her child? I ask you "What is the true origin of the resulting death, and does that qualify as violent?" To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi "Poverty is the worst form of violence." You see, the real war going on is not as obvious as many think. The real war exists in the very structure of our society itself, something public health officials have now termed 'Structural Violence': a war, in fact, against public health and balance itself, constantly producing casualty after casualty in its hidden oppression; and this form of violence today kills more people than every type of direct behavioral violence put together. Its origin? A social system literally built upon competition and exploitation itself So, for all you noble activists out there, for all of you who pile into protest zones each time a new national war emerges and yell at the top of your lungs, keep in mind, that you are only targeting a symptom of a larger sociological problem and until the activist community realizes this, I am sorry to say: your protests have no long-term consequence, as they do not address the root problem. But, on the bright side, it's still great entertainment, right? so let's keep watching this bizarre human experiment, certainly the greatest, yet worst reality show of all time, for sure. I am Peter Joseph, and yes I, like you, am an agent and victim of a culture in decline. Where is the credit scene? What? What do you mean "Bob didn't get hurt"? I'm sorry, Bob. It's the format of the show. "Neither the great political and financial power structures of the world, nor the specialization-blinded professionals nor the population in general realizes that... it is now highly feasible to take care of everyone on earth at a higher standard of living than they have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival. War is obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller Written and edited by Peter Joseph while severely constipated Culture in Decline What if what I'm about to tell you makes you question 'what is what'? What if I propose a 'what if' scenario? What if I were to take up precious time in your busy life just spinning you on a soul-dulling spiral with meaningless double-talk? But at the same time, what if I kept you distracted with flashy graphics? Would you notice? Or for that matter, would you care? Naah. You're too busy, listening to some guy in a tie. And sleep. (Snap!)

Video Details

Duration: 29 minutes and 23 seconds
Year: 2013
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: GMP Films
Director: Peter Joseph
Views: 1,668
Posted by: tzmofficial on Mar 2, 2013

In this episode, Peter investigates the nature of War and human conflict.
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