See also: • I blame the parents • Education or Indoctrination • God won't save stupid people • Cascading Oppression • Pyramid Economy • UAS • ODD
Cracking Culture
It's a cracking culture here in Britain.  It's a cracking culture across the Western World.  In fact why stop there.  The world is cracking up!
Across the world there is an increasing number of "mentally ill" people.  In fact it seems the rate of increase is rising too.  That is, more people are getting more mad more frequently.
It was predicted by the World Health Organisation that by 2010, depression would be the leading cause of disability worldwide, not cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS.  That is now the case.
Some facts and figures...
1 in 5 people in Britain have mental health problems.
WHO estimate 450,000,000 with mental health problems worldwide.
World population (2008) 6,700,000,000 = 6.7 %
British population (2008) 60,000,000 with 12,000,000 mental health problems = 20%
Apparently the mental health problem in America is running at 26% of the population in 2010.
So what is going on?  We have all the issues of global warming, finite oil reserves, financial decline (see: Economic Wargames), ideological warfare and that is on top of the issues of earthquakes, failed harvests, tsunamis, over population, disease, poverty and more.
Some think that things are just becoming too much to cope with and humanity is failing.  But it is not quite as simple as that.  It is humanity that is causing the most amount of damage and grief.  So why would they do that?  Essentially it is a lack of understanding.  Anthropological observations indicate that between four and six thousand years ago, as the Sahara Desert began to form, human populations migrated and came into competition with other human groups.  It seems that the behaviour of these people began to change fundamentally.  The "successful" way to survive was to overpower and control others.  Seems understandable.  But the problem is that we are still living with that mindset.
One of the things that happened was that the understandable observation that overpowering another group was successful became a way of life.  In order to be committed and strong and to even attack your "enemy" before they get the chance to attack you was a functional way to survive.  Groups required that there were people with those skills leading their group.  As leaders with a way of doing things they necessarily applied the same paradigms to maintaining their position within the group.  This was the beginnings of cultural oppression.  The concept of the "benign oppressor" was formed.
In the developed world culture today there is a paradigm, a mindset, a way of interpreting the world which is paradoxical and limited in its usefulness.  It is the hierarchical control mechanism.  We are intelligent beings and we can work out that if we are on a ship we need someone to be in charge.  We need a boss.  We can also work out that a dictatorial boss who works for their own ends at the expense of the population is neither desirable nor, ultimately, very successful.
There is no doubt that a lot of people work hard to try to increase the rational and fair characteristics of human behaviour.  Democracy is a very successful attempt to do this.  But it is within a cultural paradigm of the benign oppressor.  It's a little like trying to introduce democracy in schools.  The danger seems to be that the children would vote the teachers out of office and then where would we be?  So democracy is tempered by its antithesis.  We don't really believe in democracy we just wish we did.
There is a huge wealth of literature going back thousands of years basically promoting the ideas of fairness, respect, democracy, liberation, freedom etc.  But why then are we seemingly trapped in a world of humanity which counters those objectives?  If they were so desirable why does generation after generation continue to behave as if oppression and control were the "good" stuff and wishy woshy liberal democracy were just fantasy and not really very productive?
It's simple.  Oppression.  The thing about oppression is that by creating a threatening environment to control people it works.  Take the pillar box ladies for example.  In Arabian countries many Muslim cultures have their women wear burqas.  There is a lot of controversy worldwide about this issue but the issue of concern is with the women who wear burqas and promote their use.  They say that it is freedom and they chose to wear them.  They really believe that.  They are not men disguised as women in burqas just saying it to convince others that the women agree (but how would we know?).  But perhaps the women who agree do not realise that they are seeing the wearing of burqas as a good thing within the context of an oppressive culture.  They are just thinking that they survive better if they agree.  So it makes sense to them.  These women could not avoid passing this oppression on to their children.  They would threaten their children if they did not agree.  We've all heard this kind of logic before.  You have to teach your children how to live in the "real world".  Of course it is not really the real world but it is the current state of reality.  Oppression works because it prohibits free and open observation of reality.  Oppression works because it projects "a" view of the world and enforces it.  The view is that the oppression is benign.  Or rather that the "real" world is far more cruel than the oppression.
Examples of paradigms limiting the understanding of things are all over the place.  A common one is the "cause and effect" paradigm.  By viewing the world with that template in which to put things we see the common dumbledore or bumble bee as being the agent of procreation for the flower.  We see ourselves as cultivating wheat for our survival.  We see eggs as the reproductive mechanism for chickens.  But who is to say that the flowers are not the cause rather than the reason for the survival of bees.  There is a view that grass, and wheat in particular, has utilised humanity for its own survival.  In fact it is arguable that we are virtually enslaved by this manipulative flora.  Picture the millions of capable strong fit men walking backwards and forwards burning expensive petroleum resources every Saturday mowing the lawn.  Mowing the lawns ensures that no tree like competitor has a chance to develop and usurp the grass.  Millions of acres of "grass" are tended by humans for no other reason than to have the grass there.  Pure slavery by stealth.  And as Samuel Butler put it "The hen is only an eggs way of making another egg." (see the Quotes page);
Oppression causes the oppressed to perceive the world with a particular mindset.  As a result they perpetuate the oppression.  It is not simply a desirable objective to reduce oppression it is vital for the survival of humanity and perhaps life itself.  The trouble with oppressive paradigms is that they are very clever.  They appear to make sense.  There is a lot of short chain logical rationalisation that supports the behaviour.  What I mean by "short chain" is a sequence of connected rational thoughts which fit together and make a consistent sequence of conclusions.  These short chains of thought continue to fog our brains and we are left incapable of seeing the bigger picture because the short chains are basically blocking our minds.
Examples of short chains are all over the place.  On the subject of schools there is a lot of rationalisation about the "discipline" in schools being necessary to maintain the well being and "freedom" of the children.  In warfare there is a lot of rationalisation of why violence is necessary to prevent violence.  We have a very complicated culture and we have ideas and concepts about ownership and theft.  Of course if you pop over to someone else's tent and take the beautiful beaded bracelet that they have taken days to make it is theft.  But if you walk over to a tree and take an apple and eat it you have stolen it from nobody.  But what of the three apples in someone else's tent that they had the sense to collect so that they don't have to go out in the rain tomorrow.  Is taking one of them theft?  It might be.  But we have so defined "ownership" with so many rules and definitions that we think it all makes sense.  It doesn't address the situation where all the land is designated as "belonging" to someone and all the sheep and resources to the point that new people turning up on the planet have nowhere to live and no sheep or resources to survive.  The reference to sheep is because we used to hang people for stealing sheep.  But what if they have no food for their children?  But because we work with such a short chain of rationalisation we can only see that someone stole the sheep.  In order to maintain order in our society that it not acceptable and ultimately we have to stop it.  Conclusion: hang them.
We live in a musical chairs kind of culture.  Whilst competing with others for the available chairs if we have a chair we tend to agree with the game.  Only when you are left without a chair do you feel the full impact of the game.  Only then do you get the chance to think it through and slowly you begin to realise that the bosses are making sure we are one or two chairs short to keep the game going.  The real world is not one or two chairs short.  But the people who perpetuate the oppressive culture think they are being benign making "some" chairs available and the people on the chairs continue to believe them too.  Why would you get off your chair to complain?
As this culture marches relentlessly forward the paradoxes, the contradictions and the inevitable non-sustainable nature of the way we "interpret" the world becomes more apparent.  More and more brilliant, beautiful and benign humans are growing up not being able to make sense of the bizarre and evidently erroneous paradigms that abound.  One defining characteristic of "mental illness" is the inability to function successfully in the environment.  Assuming that the world is as it is this makes a lot of people "mad".  But something is not being seen clearly.  All these mentally ill people are perfectly equipped to survive in the world.  What has happened is that they are trying to survive in a culture and that culture is self contradictory.  They cannot make sense of it.  They lose their ability to function successfully in the culture.  But that is the musical chairs nature of the culture.  It is inevitable that more and more people will not be able to survive because this oppressive culture is designed to do evil to do good (see Good and Evil).  It cannot survive in the long run and so it will not.  The rising mental illness is just the beginnings of the failure of the culture.  The cultural paradigms have to shift.  We have to start seeing things more accurately than we do.  Then there will be success.  But unless we change and move with the times the real reality will not wait and there will be catastrophe, war, revolution and starvation until the remaining few begin to see things a little more accurately.
The rising tide of mental illness is humanity's way of responding to a mad culture.  The irony of mad people is that the ones who are "diagnosed" as mentally ill too often have conspired with the culture to get help with the understanding that they accept they are mentally ill.  They weren't until they changed sides.  One of the most common things I hear from mad people is justification for the oppressive authorities.  Mad people seem to think that there is something wrong with themselves and that the health service, the psychiatric nurses, the social services are all trying to "help" them.  They are in collusion with the insane paradigms.  So the irony of mad people is that they are mad.
A typical issue with mentally ill people is to defend their parents.  "They were only trying to do the best for me."  "They were basically kind people and it wasn't their fault."  The problem is that this stops them from seeing clearly that their parents hurt them.  It stops them seeing the damage.  The issue seems to be that to "blame" the parents is tantamount to an accusation of guilt and in our culture the corollary of that is that they should be "punished".  The child loves their parents (or depends on them) and doesn't want to see them hurt.  They deny the bad stuff to protect their parents from the blame culture.  Well I blame the parents because there is no need to be punitive about it.  There is no requirement to try to "fix" the past by condemning the parents to pain and suffering.  In fact we all make mistakes but the very worst thing is not being able to learn by the act of pretending we are not wrong.  That way we cannot improve.  My parents have damaged me and they did it because their parents damaged them.  That's not a problem.  I have certainly damaged my offspring but I hope less so than the cascading oppression would have it if I couldn't see what was going on.  If I have done something to hurt my children I support and applaud their ability to see that and to act on it.  I have no fear that they will rise up and attack me and anyway so what if they do.  Do I care about them or me?
Our culture is cracking up.  The sooner the better because until it does we are on the road to annihilation.  The best way to move forward is to treat the issue of changing our cultural paradigms as urgent.  There is a lot of good work going on in the world today to that end but the emphasis needs increasing because we don't have much time.
One point of focus is the difference between not doing anything wrong and actually doing something right.  Because we live in a blame culture we grow up protecting ourselves from the oppressive threats.  We learn to pay attention to not being able to be interpreted as being "wrong".  By the time we are adults we think that "not doing anything wrong" is the equivalent to "doing stuff right".  But it isn't.  Not doing anything wrong is a kind of nothing.  It just serves the controllers well because one complies with the rules.  Doing something right is a positive contribution to reality (see Julian Assange).  But it is not simple and it is not guaranteed.  So by its very nature it is a bit "risky" in a controlling culture.  This simply has to change for the survival and well being of humanity.  People have to start doing good things.  They have to wake up from their somnambulistic conformity.  People have to start respecting the little people, the children, and helping them to be human (see Educating Children).  We have to stop this nonsensical idea that we have to inculcate or "enforce" a world view on the children.  We have to do what the bible and many other "good" books actually suggest and treat children as God's creation and to treat them with respect and love.  We have to actually trust this God or whatever you happen to believe in and get on with letting it run the show whilst we act in the world to do good things.  But the oppressive paradigms have hijacked the good books and are using them to beat children over the head with moralistic, judgemental, controlling oppression born of fear.
STOP DIAGNOSING CHILDREN AS MENTALLY ILL.  If they cannot function successfully in the schools and institutions then change the schools and institutions to accommodate the reality that is the new children.  Actually they are cleverer than the last generation.  It is so clearly a madness to take a whole bunch of children and to suggest there is something wrong with them because they don't go through the sausage machine without squeaking.
We are living in a cracking culture and we can evolve or fall apart.  I happen to believe in evolution so let's evolve whilst we still have the chance.

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