I was born and raised in a vast mental asylum. I was a young man before I had any inkling I had somehow become partly sane. We had all learned in the asylum that to speak or even think in any mode other than the collective insane voice of the other asylum residents would mark one as different and dangerous. The onset of this burgeoning new awareness was disturbing to me and some cause for concern. There were consequences for this defection as the guards and the leaders, though insane themselves, were armed.
I received surreptitious written messages that had passed through arcane channels to reach my hands. At that point I became aware that a few partially sane others, who possibly communicated together, existed on the fringes of the society. Although I had no way to communicate with them, knowing of their very existence heartened my own partial sanity.
Those others had various and diverse opinions of what had caused this universal psychosis. They ranged from structural brain disorders to early toilet training and sundry notions in between. Generally overlooked, even by these helpful savants, was the transition over a century of an insidious mind control technique begun modestly enough to help sell soap products and then called, “engineering consent”. This of course was newspeak for “propaganda”, a word in favor at the time by a rival power, and so not to be employed.
Over the decades this term morphed, as the process became more sophisticated and technical into “manufacturing consent”, as the techniques were carefully honed. Thus, a combination of ongoing, relentless propaganda and subliminal perception distortion managed, in time, to prepare most of us for residence in a de facto mental asylum. However the events that preceded and prepared us for this subsequent institutionalization had begun several millennia ago, roughly at the end of the late Bronze Age.
The instigators were nomads; herdsmen and wranglers of animals. Their homes were the deserts and steppes; lonely places with wide horizons and vague boundaries delimited only by looming mountains. They lay each night, under the stars, projecting themselves upon the vast cosmos. The universe reflected back upon its striving acolytes a manic,celestial hubris.
For countless generations these wanderers had roamed with little regard for place or home site. During dry times they left hearth, home and domesticity to follow the grasses with the flocks. They were sovereign. All their charges were held to be less than they: children and women included. The resultant desensitization caused by unchallenged rule over their beasts and their fellow humans was then layered with enormous inflation of self until: a power centered ‘cowboy culture’ entered history.
We have graphic evidence of the impact of these newcomers who descended from the eastern steppes and rose up from the southern deserts upon the nascent civilizations they encountered. They are known as Kurgans if from the vast eastern regions; Semites if from the deserts. They brought their weapons and their gods to smite and to smote, to rapine and to enslave. These warlike hoards brandished metal weapons and in the way of the Kurgans, rode their war ponies into the lives of agrarian homesteads.
Their gods were as they were; fierce, relentless, demanding and chauvinist. The impact of these warlike invaders on the settled others was devastating. Cultures were abandoned, destroyed or starkly modified. Nothing was the same after these visitations and the planet itself exhibits today the manifestations of this chaotic influence.
Humankind never recovered from these violent intrusions into our peaceful and hitherto, successful, existence. In a scant seven or eight thousand years, the more benign behaviors that assured human existence during the passage of incredible amounts of prior time were stripped from the future and left us as we are: murderous, fanatical, patriarchal and delusional.
The survival ability of our ancestors would not have been possible if laden with the baggage of modern behavior modes. Certainly our universal, pervasive sexism; our record of human bondage and oppression and the resultant racism that has produced, together with the possessiveness moderns demonstrate would have gainsaid those hundreds of thousands of successful human years. Most of our known history rings loud with deeds of slaughter, intrigue and power seeking; mostly male, mostly banal. The reasons given are legion; the cause unknown. The rational is, “That is the way it has always been”.
One concept that seems feasible and possibly operative through the ages may have tempered a human propensity for manslaughter. This concept was, simply enough, partnership between the sexes. If this then, is a principal characteristic that insured the success of our ancestors, it is assuredly the one ingredient that we lack universally and have lacked since the late Neolithic era. The behaviors we exhibit today might well have caused extinction of our species long before recorded history.
Only a return to a bucolic, equal partnership between the sexes and a cessation of the fatal imbalance caused by myopic male vision and male rule of the entire planet , our de facto ‘cowboy culture’, can save the day. A return to truth and cessation of mendacity and propaganda as behavior control is also required and must be accomplished.
Inequality between the sexes is woven into the fabric of modern life. Among fundamentalists of the several Abrahamic persuasions and of the Dharmic sects, the weave of life consists of alternate strands of chain mail and barbed wire. Other, less oppressive societal weaves, range from rough sisal blended with soft wool to polyester and long fiber cotton as some groups permit a gentler touch of parity. Equality of the sexes increases ever so slightly with distance from Abrahamism and Dharmism towards Taoism.
The odds of this changing are exceedingly long and without it happening restoration of sanity and subsequent release from asylum is doubtful.
I wish to thank Google and Wikipedia for their generous assistance. They were ready at all hours to help.
Spell check deserves credit for yeoman service and unsparing attention to error.
We would be remiss to fail to acknowledge the unselfish contribution of Microsoft Word for hosting our efforts without complaint or censure.