Monday, March 19, 2012

Everyone Is Becoming the Same

Everybody is "conditioned." What everybody and their uncle is becoming is what some Buddhist scholars call "conditioned." We get incoming info----every moment of the day (less so at night). But do we truly see it? This information is in the form of sights, sounds, etc. What we get is processed according to our social experience, or our long lived in social conditions.
     Alternatively we might suggest that there could be a more dispassionate appreciation of the world. This would be "as it is" instead of "conditioned." Americans in particular are conditioned. How? By what? First of all by a nice society. So that's why I say that everyone is conditioned: they don't see it as it is, but they do see it in terms of all of the social ties that exist under their particular society. They have a lived experience in that society. That means they have ideas, they have ideas of a society they live in since they are conditioned by the experiences. They certainly filter and select their experiences. So, they see a nice, friendly world. This is the social world American capitalism built. They fail to understand that there is another, darker side.
     I know the middle-class. They are my people, where I am coming from. Well, OK, it's been a while. But I tend to have accurate insights into those persons. I know them fantastically well, even if I have moved on and I no longer directly believe in it!
     But it is true that we believe in things and we believe in a society because we live in one and our capitalistic experience is, for at least some of us, and particularly in the middle-class, social. Americans think in terms of a society. That is what they live in. They are conditioned by the social life. They are going around seeing a beautiful green world. They live in a society. This fact appears to have been repressed in the public literature, repressed in a culture which says we should believe only in a "self."
     Humans always live in social systems. A particular soc. system may have been ongoing. For how long? Well, in our case, we could draw the line at around 1800, I suppose, or better, around 1815. We could understand such a soc. system as stretching back, at any rate, for, Well----about two centuries, I guess. In terms of modernity we could say we have one system now and that it has been ongoing for centuries (well, OK -- almost two of them, I suppose).
     For lack of a better word, call it capitalism.

     For them, for the Americans, it looks like a nice world---a beautiful world. It's a beautiful, green world.
     But capitalism (ideally) gives us the opportunity to choose.

     There can be contending opinions. There can be outsiders. There can, finally, be persons who are outside the market altogether. They, too, are important.

     The U. S. is not run by the Taliban. No one rams any one opinion down everyone's throat.

     All of this is part of this system of choice, which is, today, alas, endangered, even though everyone today goes around thinking it is a nice, friendly world. There are insiders and outsiders within it, producers and consumers. And: choice. There are also workers and employers. Sometimes choice is difficult and you need to fight for unions. But for all of that time, there was always choice. But choice is being lost. And that is why I think the capitalist system is endangered, with everyone becoming the same.

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