It seems, at least according to the show, this is no longer possible. The question to me is.. can you last the distance to make a difference? Is the urgent moment relentlesly pressing down on us where, the common condition will be that you could even be born rich and die poor without having made some disastrous business decision? Or will it be where savage tribalism and unbridled opportunism takes the nation into a squabbling free for all of getting as much as you can before it all dissappears?
In the 1960s there was an activist named Jerry Rubin. He was a firebrand orator and campaigner for counter cultural causes. In a way, he epitomizes the increasingly dark and selfish path down which America's social order is progressing..consider the 'before' and 'after' perspectives on Rubin. His life journey is most instructive to the careful observer.
Rubin was born in Cincinnati, the son of a bread delivery man and union representative.
Rubin's parents died within 10 months of each other, leaving Rubin the only person to take care of his younger brother, Gil, who was 13 at the time. Jerry wanted to teach Gil about the world and planned to take him to India. When relatives threatened to sue to obtain custody of Gil, Jerry decided to take his brother to Israel instead, settling in Tel Aviv. There, Rubin worked in a Kibbutz and studied sociology while his brother, who had learned Hebrew, decided to stay in Israel and moved permanently into a kibbutz. Before returning to social and political activism, Rubin made a visit to Havana, to learn first-hand about the Cuban revolution
Jerry Rubin's anti-establishment beliefs were put down in writing in his book, DO IT!: Scenarios of the Revolution (1970), with an introduction by Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver. In 1971, his journal, written while incarcerated , was published under the title We are Everywhere. The book includes an inside view of the trial of the Chicago Seven, but otherwise focuses on the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, LSD, womens liberation and his view of a coming revolution. (wiki)
Rubin held an post-election party at his place in New York in January of 1973, attended by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, after McGovern lost to Nixon. Soon, Rubin retired from politics entirely, and became an entrepreneur and businesman. He was an early investor in Apple Computer and by the end of the 1970s became a multimillionaire.
Quite a stark contrast from the "let's help the poor.. let's have a revolution.. get rid of the establishment scum" firebrand of younger days.
In the 1980s, he embarked on a debating tour with Abbie Hoffman titled " Yippie versus "Yuppie." Rubin's argument in the debates was that activism was hard work and that the abuse of drugs, sex, and private property had made the counterculture "a scary society in itself." He maintained that "wealth creation is the real American revolution. (wiki)
Can you even believe this bloke ? What I can't believe is how gullible middle Americans were to follow such political social chameleons! I mean.. he was misguided at the beginning, deluded at the middle, and while he started out with a white hat (in his mind) he ends up championing the black hats (capitalists) At this point, you could, if you want to discover how this psychological process happens from an earlier era, you could read Voltaire's Candide.. the very last line.. in the context of the whole book.. has whammo impact if you think about it.. 'We must each tend our own garden" is where Rubin ended up. But what about YOU ? Ferals like Rubin and Hoffman and Leary and others have become satanic spawn and stuffed the country, stultified the minds of it's people..and brought you to an approaching starvation.
BEFORE/AFTER......WHAT? This is the crucial question because Rubin's life is in many ways like a parable or analogy for the broad direction of America...he is an 'epitomy' who had an epiphany so to speak.
Rubin was ready to be a Martyr for his various anti war anti establishment anti capitalist causes.. his own words. But then.....he attended a 'seminar' called "Erhard Seminar Training". This period is described in Adam Curtis documentary "The Century of the Self" in episode 3 of 4.
This seminar represents one of the very HYPER important aspects of the change in American mindset from the 50s to now. In fact..I embarrass myself at times when I tell people that "If I knew I was going to die in the next few minutes, there are 3 things I would want you to know....
i) Jesus Christ died for your sin.. believe in Him and you will...be saved!
ii) View the documentary "The Century of the Self". *
iii) View the documentary "The history of political Correctness"
I know.. I know.. sounds a bit bizarre. freaky.. strange. But life is not limitless, and I am not here to muck around like a kid poking a stick at some animal corpse to see what happens.. I am here to inform and enable.
Back to Rubin. These Erhard seminsars were based on a destructive/reconstructive method of resocializing people..(and making a truckload of money for Erhard of course) His purpose was to strip peoples psyche down to the very last level, where 'nothing' is left.. total existentialism plus one as he says.. please take a moment to view this. (It's Erhard)
This is the 'training' Rubin did. In the Century of the Self, Rubin is shown describing how it changed him into a person who was not so outraged anymore about injustice and suffering..(ie..the things which drove him during his earlier years).
This change opens our own minds as to how Rubin could suddenly become a Multimillionaire entrepreneur .. all that the old Rubin had despised.
TIME and CHANCE... In November, 1994, Rubin was hit by a car while jaywalking in Hollywood. He died 14 days later in a UCLA hospital bed.
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
THE POINT...THE LESSON FOR TODAY.
The reason I'm drawing together these bits of information, is to show that America has changed and 'how' it has changed in terms of character,- and the method used and why you should be very skeptical and cynical about people who stand up preaching about "We must help the poor.. minorities..blacks...hispanics..workers" because it seems to me that those 'leaders' are in fact no different from Rubin and are part of the same problem of increasing selfishness. i.e..they are using those social issues...for themselves, their own garden, their own advancement.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? The next important question is... how about you ? Do you believe "Big Mike" about how 'workers' need to have a better deal, while 'Big Mike' is being paid well for saying what he knows 'workers' will like to hear.. like Rubin said in the 60s to the 'activists'. "How the Middle Class got Screwed" is the title of "Big Mike's" video. But the message has as much relationship with serious economics as a grass hopper does with rocket science. Mike is playing on your feelings of being disenfranchised as IF....all you need to do is vote this way or that, join protest etc.. exactly like Rubin did. At the end of the day (because of the flawed economics) the only bloke doing well ..will be.... big Mike! (and his cronies)
WHAT TO DO ? My solution to all this mess.. is personal renewal. In a sense I'm advocating the opposite of what Erhard did.. where he destroyed the socialization of so many Americans. Not just he..but this mob... who claim to have reached 80% of the American population during the 60s and 70s. You would need to closely follow the Century of the Self doco to see how this dodgy group began..and see how they are based on the dangerous psychoanalysis of Wilhelm Reich, who was not only a hard core communist, he was a damn lunatic. But.. stranger things have happened were very queer people have had an impact far in excess of the decency of their ideas. (Marx ?) You should pay close attention to Reich's childhood in Germany and how this might have impacted his views on social moral values. There is a direct line between Reich, Esalen, Erhard, the Human Potential movement and the broader American public of the 60s 70s and counter culture.
For me.. the answer is not political per se. Let me illustrate. The Yippie movement leaders (in the Century of the Self interviews) declared that when the faced the power of 'The State' they retreated into "We are outgunned...if we can't change the system/state..then lets change ourselves..if we change enough of 'us'...the system will follow". Many of the leaders of this movement were rich white kids who shared a particular ethnicity... amazing how this particular theme crops up time and again in various socio political movements. (think about that one..look at the names of the Yippie leaders)
While the Yippies, Erhard, Esalen all stripped America of it's social soul and offered nothing in it's place other than some surreal "Drug fuelled self actualization BS".. and was utterly destructive... I can only offer something that not only 'works for me'..but has worked for 2 millenia and will continue to work until a future when history is wrapped up into finality. That 'thing' is.. a turn around in each heart to the One who said "I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly".... "I am the light of the world".. "I am the resurrection and the life"... but He also said some challenging confronting things like: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
The great tragedy is...that due to the messed up minds of many Americans today, due to the 60s/70s .. such a statement might be interpreted by the reader as some kind of 'reincarnation' thing. Not at all. Rather than me 'preach' to you, I recommend you have a read of one of the Gospels about Christ and try to get to know Him yourself. One of his sayings I love is.."If a blind man follows a blind man, will they not both fall into a pit?"... oh how true that is! Please don't follow the blindness of Rubin, Hoffman, Erhard, Esalen...Reich...don't allow these people to be pulling the strings of your mind by remote control.. don't allow their hypocritical destructive activism to be the determining factor in your life. You have inherited an America largely shaped by these people. It's time for a real revolution in your own life. YOU could change America for good... and you can do it with a 'weapon' that fires no bullets, makes no explosions..takes no lives, that weapon is a twofold thing.. the message of salvation in Christ and the 'tongue' that can deliver it. If you have the slighest doubt about the power of the spoken word, I go to some lengths to illustrate this in this blog.
DO I WALK THE WALK?
Next Tuesday, there will be a huge rally of construction workers in Melbourne (my city) and I will be there to bring this message.. I'll be alone.. there will be thousands of them. I've done this before and it can be dangerous. Once there were 25000 Unionists at Flinders street Station who were trying to blame the Liberal prime minister of the day (John Howard) for all their problems. They were being manipulated by the Rubins, Hoffmans, Erhards of our context... and I stood against them. Yes..I was attacked.. by a pint sized little communist lady who hated my poster.. she had first looked into my face with this "I want to smash your face in"... My message was simple..(poster) "Blame China, tax slavey at Customs". But that aside..many people clearly understood my position, and when I engaged them in conversation...they got it. At another protest more recently, I was alone against around 120 hard core leftists..and was interviewed by Dutch TV and local TV..people began to recognize me at shopping centres... "Hey was that you on TV????"
Please realize.. I am not in this for the fun or profit of it.. I have children and grandchildren and love them dearly. I decided many decades ago.. I would rather change history than have a load of money in the bank. Today I live from month to month and am just making it by...I live in very humble conditions.... I am 64. Winter is tough.. no heating.. summer is stifling.. no cooling...I'm about to get a heater though.. Nothing in life even comes close to seeing a life changed by the power and love of the Cross of Christ. Good politics depends on renewed people...not a new system, though I do have views on that issue.. Any 'system' without selfless people will degenerate into a mad scramble for a bigger slice of the economic cake..no matter how well disguised. You are seeing that scramble now in the USA.. it's happening in my own country Australia. I am memorizing MLK jr "I have a dream" speech the sentiments are most useful and can be adapted to public speaking on many subjects.
I wish you well.
* When viewing material, it is always helpful to know a bit about the author or creator. This link gives information about Adam Curtis who created the documentary. He says of himself:
People often accuse me of being a lefty. That’s complete rubbish. If you look at The Century of the Self, what I’m arguing is something very close to a neo-conservative position because I’m saying that, with the rise of individualism, you tend to get the corrosion of the other idea of social bonds and communal networks, because everyone is on their own. Well, that’s what the neo-conservatives argue, domestically...If you ask me what my politics are, I’m very much a creature of my time. I don’t really have any. I change my mind over different issues, but I am much more fond of a libertarian view. I have a more libertarian tendency