Succeeding three prior stages discussed in American Awareness.
The first rank [in Jeet Kune Do] is a Blank circle, which signifies original freedom. The second rank is green and white in the form of the yin yang symbol with two curved arrows around it. The third is purple and white, the fourth is gray and white, the fifth is red and white and the sixth is gold and white. The seventh is red and gold, which is our school's emblem, and the eight rank, which is the highest, is a blank circle, the return to the beginning stage. In other words, all previous rank certificates are useful for cleaning up messes. Bruce LeeA quick review: Stage First is the narrative of American exceptionalism (which applies, with different plug-in terms, to any absolute exceptionalism, be it Anglo-American, western, eastern, northern, southern, sex-based, et cetera). Discarded once one attains the realization that some wars are unnecessary, and some people are taking advantage of others. Stage Second is the American neoliberal narrative, where American exceptionalism, and its wars, repressions and financial theft continues alongside the use of terms like "diversity," "feminism," "humanitarian intervention," "democracy," "pragmatism," et cetera. Discarded once one realizes that death by any other name smells as foul. And theft, and rape, and starvation, and lack of doctor visits--detail ad nauseam as required.
Stage Third, representing (in a traditional western ladder analogy) the highest advancement, perceives nation-states as puppets in the hand of supranational financial elites, who utilize a vast array of social, military and economic controls to maintain parasitic extraction over the rest of the world to their own benefit. This "stage," for the purposes of the already-flogged stage terminology, is currently being reached by many Anglo-Americans who have realized that Barack Obama was a product sold by international finance, not a crusader for hope and change (TM).
Others realized it at different times: when Bill Clinton starved to death a million Iraqi children and scattered Kosovo with depleted uranium; when Harry Truman used his atomic bomb to vaporize Korean and American POWs and lightspring knows how many little Japanese kids; when John Kennedy was shot for shoving Operation Northwoods back up the respective asses of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (if the term rings no bells, do follow the link. That operation is now so on-the-record that it's generally impossible for the average citizen to process in full). (Hell, when the Reagan administration found out that Christian nuns were being gang raped and murdered in El Salvador, and laughingly dismissed them as sluts without consequence, one would've thought that the Christian fundamentalist vote would've abandoned the Republican party--but Americans don't roll that way.)
Stage Third, though, which is well exemplified by Arthur Silber and Chris Floyd, as well as plenty of "Occupy Wall Street" participants and onlookers, has a massive fundamental flaw. Namely, it assumes that the global financial elite are benefited by their actions.
They aren't. Yes, as this one once said, the said elites can afford to "...buy islands, commission thereupon colossal cotton-candy sculptures in the Easter Island style, then light them on fire and pay an astronaut to take pictures of them from space." But, though fun, confectionery historical revision is not worth the price of being a global elite.
Yes, elites have it "better," in the sense that they can ride around in nice cars, take private jets places, meet/influence people, have a reduced chance of being collateral damage in a Terminator strike, see the doctor, sleep in, and eat good food. However, they only have one lifetime in which to do these things. They have to sleep; they pass through infancy; they get old; they spend some portion of life on the toilet; they stub their toes. There is only so much enjoyment that they can pack into the remaining time within that one hundred years, and moreover, the process of hoarding and becoming responsible for protecting a treasure hoard causes escalating levels of anxiety and erratic behavior.
Non-elites, of course, in the struggle to put food on the table and not die or lose their families to the street, end up with stress also, but of a more natural "survive" kind. The insane oversurvival of elites doesn't lead to happiness, but to manic pressure to accumulate more, protect what is already there, and stop anyone else from trying to get just as much. This is why the newly rich often OD, or why established elites spend their lives frantically trying to rape the souls out of the young.
Elites learn to polish their manners in public; they have to, as they always have had to, which is why Victorian nobles were so fanatical about place settings, and why Miss Manners, the wealthy heiress and wife of a well-connected elite ambassador, spends her life wringing "civil" (don't rock my yacht) behavior out of the masses. Smaug's inner madness isn't fun, even if it would be cool (and only fair) to try on a few of his rings.
Allowing elites to accumulate obscene amounts of "wealth" is harmful to everyone (read: opportunity cost; law of diminishing marginal utility; anything Jesus or Buddha purportedly said), but a theory that bases the cause of human ills on wicked elites benefiting themselves is in error.
What the elites are trying to pursue with their massive wealth, helped on consciously or subconsciously by all of us, is eternal death--the bad kind of death, where instead of one shell decaying while the soul returns to the spring, only to be recycled again, the sick ghostlight flickers out forever, eternally bound to an undying frame. Right now, death is openly pursued in a number of ways. Firstly, elites support war and crush new life with, in addition to the aforementioned war, its associates starvation, social segregation and brutal labor. That one (war/financial exploitation) is relatively easy to see, but the second gets a little more advanced. Elites used to use family lines alone, and hereditary titling (whee! patriarchs!) to attempt an immortality of purpose, but they've evolved to the use of imaginary immortal entities, such as business structures, trusts, and charitable foundations. The nuances of these goodies will be (and have been) broken down in the Tax Theft series, but here in brief, the idea behind an undying business, trust or charity, whether justified through economy, family, or "the welfare of others," is:
Despite my obscene wealth, I may someday die. However, the essence of me will not die. It will persist forever on this planet and never change. My own temporal agendas will forever be locked up in the hands of this illusory entity, which future generations will not be permitted to dissemble and renew. Instead, this entity shall carry on my will, parceling out resources to the living in exchange for servitude.
Lightspring loses--life, humanity, and the universe of change lose all the resources that the elite has tied up.
In time, science grows advanced enough to allow elites to literally survive forever. An individual human entity will be able, without conjuring up the social belief in "nobility" or "charitable organizations," to purchase an undying shell in which to reside always. One mind, one soul, its human desires forever trapped in an unbreakable, spent hourglass.
Like the bound family in Natalie Babbit's brilliant Tuck Everlasting, or some sad immortal in an Asimov short, the horror of everdeath will only strike the elites once they're actually there. Falling forever down a hole full of spinning grandfather clocks, never to strike bottom, never to escape. How reassuring it will seem to them, when they load their souls into the indestructible computers, whose power generation will come from the blood of those still truly living--and how empty their eternal desires will be, once they can finally eat ketchup for every meal and realize they just don't want anymore, no matter how much they re-load iwantketchup.exe.
This one's read of one way the story could go in Everwas, but the real version will be much more chilling. Chilling, incidentally, being the adjective that long ago living souls learned to associate with the undead: those who do not die, because they must insist upon passing "themselves" on in the same form, never changing, never again joining the rest of their kind, of life, in the everflowing stream.
In Stage Fourth, or more importantly, in one of an infinite nonset of ways to (*cough* actually) live, pity the elites. Yes, their blighted excesses deserve hearty curses, re-worked "policy," pitchforks and torches, a healthy (yet ironic!) dose of Robespierre, and more than a few trips to Inferno, but they're still our suffering kin. Holding them in thrall as god-kings of brilliant industry, wise investing and hard work, or reviling them as god-tyrants stealing paradise from the rest of us, only spins the hamster wheel. Antilife is the only real "enemy."
Damn the richies; I want a Porsche, too!
They're only playing their own, slightly-better-costumed role in this horror story of cogito ergo sum's by-product of uncontrolled consciousness leads to self-fear leads to desire to separate from changing lifeworld leads to immortal foreverdeath. Live with passion; introduce a little chaos.