The only problems people have that cannot be resolved are those that rise repeatedly from defects of human nature itself, especially under conditions of fear and ignorance. Such unsettling problems menace humanity like the heads of Hydra. It would seem that they can be bested only by a mythical Hercules. People are not always conscious of the full extent of their emotional states relating to the insecurity of fear and the uncertainty of ignorance. It seems that the most natural state of feeling among people who have not experienced enough love, acceptance, praise and friendship in their lives is a vaguely half-conscious anxiety, a fear of not being quite worthy or adequate. Often this is joined with resentment of others’ happy confidence. To offset this deeply nagging apprehension they must shore themselves up by merging with a group or institution, perhaps taking up a cause that strengthens social identity and elevates their self-images. Joining to serve large values or principles lets them feel solidly established and more important or nobler than some others. Others belong only to less honorable groups engaged in dubious practices, groups at which these self-fortifiers scornfully sneer.
A key to gaining such ‘righteous’ distinction, often largely imaginary, lies in conceptual bifurcation or polarization. For instance, right-wingers split individualism away from collectivism. For them, Individualism is good and the source of all good in life whereas all Collectivism is bad and the source of ultimate evil in human affairs. Seeming never to notice the collective aspects of the society they flourish in and upon, they support this polarizing split by selectively looking backward at history. They will discern only how the two must inevitably be incompatible, but never how individuality and collectivity are complementary and necessary to each other. This is what seems wrong with the conclusions drawn in G. Edward Griffin’s book, The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, 5th edition, 2010, even though his conclusions remain somewhat tentative.
The book is a mine of good information with a large bibliography but it becomes a dark tunnel with doubtful light at the end. It distinguishes a better (people-serving) from a worse (power-serving) form of final collectivism but maintains that powerfully dark forces are in motion against a good outcome for world government. Griffin sees the United Nations as tainted and riddled with proponents of heavily socialized globalism (channeled via the Council on Foreign Relations!) which threatens national sovereignty and personal liberty with forms of coercive collectivity, taxation, redistribution and usurpation of our military, all in the name of abstract justice favoring poor lands at the expense of rich ones, which rich ones will be deliberately crippled and impoverished by manipulation to level everyone. It is not easy to distinguish his scenario from conspiracy theory itself serving this bleak, virtually Orwellian scenario called The New World Order. Alas, we do not see the IMF/World Bank working much to benefit poor, under-developed countries. Rather, it robs them like Robin Hood in reverse, delivering their resources meanly and its labor at survival wages to international corporations that see no value beyond bottom lines well served by big PR.
There is considerable mystery as to why Right-wing Americans subscribe to a politics that strives to bring this condition upon the U. S. workforce and make our country into another “banana republic” with no bananas and only symbolic democracy. Do they see themselves as belonging to the ultra-rich, subscribing in fact to false identities or mirages of self-image? The really wealthy movers-and-shakers are very few, the rest are hopeful hangers-on or self-deluded imitators, imitators by family custom even if in this generation they have no visible estate. Many on the right-wing cling to discredited theories or to propositions regarded as ‘principles’ which unfortunately reduce to statements which can be neither verified nor disproven without recourse to extensive scientific scrutiny. Such ‘principles’ may conceal value judgments which can only be accepted or rejected according to how well or poorly they square with one’s experience of the world. For instance, people who have operated businesses tend to feel they have it over everyone else in the matter of understanding responsibility. Everyone has or has had obligations. These are not mysterious, but need to feel superior is expectable.
If public mentality does not improve, the nation will remain mired in shallow swamps of opinion. A mind must come to grips with itself before it can sieze upon reality. So long as conceptual fragmentation continues, the populace will remain divided. Once enough people learn to think in unitive ways from an integral premise, the great problems will vanish into their solutions. Those who profit from chaos fear this. They themselves are the agents of all the disorders they make persistent uproar against: War. Drugs. Unbridled capitalism. Repressive socialism. Rampant consumerism. Rapacious resource extraction. Unfeeling oppression of peoples. Legal travesties of law. It is enough to discourage Pollyanna. Worse, we no longer have our own space program. Bees and bats are in dire trouble but we have plenty of bugs in our heads that make us communicate poorly or prevent wise discourse entirely.