A reader submission by Ethan
This is a short essay with a quatrain inspired by the design of The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy is a series of alternating poetry and philosophical dialogue between Boethius as a prisoner and Lady of Fortune as the personification of philosophy. It was at one time the most well read book in the world. The topic is the greatest dilemma of our time and arguably human history, the individuation of institutions and contrastingly the institutionalization of individuals. First my poem:
First they wanted me to bowout
Training not to question what it was all about
It must have started with Santa Claus
When I was trained not to ask, that it’s just because
Then they wanted me to sellout
Again it was implied not to question what I doubt
Take as much as you can, get that cash money
I was led to believe that’s the game of democracy
Then they made everybody else a copout
If you cross a certain line you get taken out
They made the biggest industry one to lock me
A prisoner in a police state, the copout country
That’s why I consciously chose to be a dropout
Knowing the inside, I’d rather be locked out
Dropping out is the only option to me based on morality
That’s why I’m with the 99% and not Wall Street
The Consolation of Philosophy is just as applicable today as it was centuries ago. The most valuable truths are like that, eternally applicable. Questioning, seeking truth, is like that too. And so is ceasing cooperation with systems, which on questioning, prove to be wrongful. The philosophy of dropping out of systems which prove to be wrongful is the eternally applicable and valuable philosophy of the peaceful rebel and the moral lawbreaker. Dropouts are responsible for art and culture, historically dropouts can be attributed to spurring societal change and consciousness development of the individual and the collective. Boethius dropped out, as did Socrates, Jesus, Gandhi as did a wide spectrum of other prophets and heroes.
Human history can be summed up as a story of the interaction between individuals and institutions. Through observation of the history one can reach a better understanding of current events and interactions. The language changes, the specifics shift, but basically individuals and institutions are the same now as they were throughout history. Actually some of the same institutions that existed then still exist today and certainly the interactions are mostly the same. Individuals create institutions to influence and control others. Many times institutions are benevolent, more frequently they are as malevolent as people will tolerate.
Institutions are formed to control people, some, your very thoughts. The very word government, arguably the oldest and most powerful type of institution, means rule the mind. Institutions seek to control. And most institutions do so through as little as omission of information, of certain truths. While governments do that and more. The overt functions of government design situations through promotion and prohibition. Governments promote and prohibit and whatever they promote or prohibit forms the collective.
Institutions seek to control, the same then as now. The very old idea of the blood right of kings is rooted in oligarchic, dare I say parasitic tendency to seek control. But it’s the same type of oligarchic, parasitic behavior representative of the modern day Supreme Court decision to give First Amendment rights to corporate institutions. Corporations without heart were given the rights of living breathing individuals by the institution known as the Supreme Court of the United States. Mitt Romney summed up the belief in his disgusting inhuman slip of the tongue when he said, “Corporations are people to my friend.” No they are not. And no friend of mine or yours would believe that.
The greatest problem today, as it was hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years ago, the root of all the world’s ills, is the institutionalization of individuals and the polar accompaniment of the individuation of institutions. The individuation of institutions, like the blood right of kings and like the Supreme Court decision are made to make it easier to institutionalize individuals, like the etymological origins of the word government.
Institutions are not individuals. Individuals need fresh air, clean water, good food and friendship. Individuals are mortal. Institutions have no mortal requirements. Institutions are not alive and yet they might exist for thousands of years. And influence and even rule the minds of generations.
Institutions, government especially, promote and prohibit. As the old saying goes, ‘The right hand halts and the left hand beckons.’ Governments halt and beckon. Governments rule the mind through as little as distribution of information and as much as outright promotion and prohibition.
All government institutions operate in nearly the same way and many today are practically the same. As different as governments of the world are most promote and prohibit similarly. Nearly all governments of the world promote war and nuclear experimentation with the deadliest materials imaginable which kill and deform all life. At the same time nearly all governments prohibit production of hemp and consumption of marijuana which provide a narcotic equivalent to kava juice, or valerian root and an industrial powerhouse for food, clothing, shelter, medicine, etc. Nearly all the governments of the world promote the most dangerous materials imaginable, equitable only to legend’s like Pandora’s Box and prohibit the most harmless narcotic and possibly most beneficial plants.
The contrast of which not only depicts the individuation of institutions, but also the institutionalization of individuals. Nuclear experimentation industry was given exceptions and special rights, while individuals were incarcerated or threatened with incarceration because of marijuana. In the United States the Price Anderson Act promoted nuclear experimentation, stating that any major nuclear experimentation catastrophes will be covered by the U.S.A. government. Otherwise no insurance company would talk with nuclear experimentation institutions that wanted to build and operate multiple nuclear water boilers next to each other, often in populated neighborhoods. The Price Anderson Act promoted oligarchical institutions, literally at the cost of the environment.
The prohibition of marijuana has imprisoned generations and built up a police state. Since its implementation literally generations have been institutionalized because of an unaltered plant. While nuclear power plants and nuclear experimentation permanently have altered entirety. Today the vast majority of systems promote the individuation of institutions and the institutionalization of individuals, none so harshly as the promotion of nuclear experimentation and the prohibition of hemp and marijuana cultivation.
I am a dropout because I can’t, in good conscience, after questioning and seeking truth, support such oligarchies which promote nuclear experimentation and prohibit hemp and marijuana cultivation. I am a dropout because of the promotion of the nuclear experimentation and because of the prohibition of hemp and marijuana industry. Nuclear experimentation is the most harmful and costly promotion any government could ever possibly enact, while in contrast prohibition of marijuana and hemp is perhaps most harmful and costly prohibition enacted by any government. That’s why I dropped out and learned something. That’s why I’m with the 99%. Because institutions predominantly promote and prohibit systems any conscious individual would stand up against. Institutions are not individuals my friend. They never have been and never will be.
Thank you to Ethan for this powerful article.
We also had an excellent musical piece submitted by YellowCayke which immediately sounded really catchy – kind of a Lightning seeds meets Stone Roses with a freedom infusion – thanks guys!