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Is There Hope For Hope Anymore?

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posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:29 PM
Hello again ATS!

As many of you know I have been around these parts for a pretty long time. Over the years I have witnessed all sorts of mayhem, hysteria, political and theological bickering that I am half-certain would have ended in gunfire ( or at least a good knife fight ) if such things were possible over the Internet. I have watched good people go bad, bad people turn good and middle of the road people morph into fanatics about any given number of subjects.

For my own part, I have landed the label of "liberal moderator". I am positive that those I argue with probably add more colorful words into that phrase than I can type out here - and get away with. But whatever I am called, I accept it and wear it all as a badge of honor. Agree with me, disagree with me - at least I ( and you dear reader ) are part of the dialogue. And dialogue is, in my humble opinion, the most precious and powerful weapon that we have against those who would seek to subjugate or take advantage of us. For the record, the reality or precision of any labels applied to me ( or to any of you for that matter ) do have one downfall that I become rather annoyed with:

They create division. They separate us. They rob us of the common ground we might actually share if we were not so busy rushing for judgement and the stars and flags that, sadly, such behaviors tend to garner. Like our cultured ancestors, it seems, we have an abiding love for the sight of gladatorial battle and the spectacle of blood it leads to.

It is division that I want to address tonight, as I ponder and write words, freely flowing and unedited. I prefer this style to the more prudent methods of creating drafts and revising. To me "off the cuff" is far more honest - even if it is also more prone to lighting matches far too close to powder kegs. It is manufactured and emotional division that is eating at my heart right now and it needs to be addressed.

These labels we get stuck with, or use to identify ourselves. What purpose do they really serve? What purpose should they serve? Obviously they are important - as we all embrace them or react to them with violent spasms of rage - given a particular situation. These labels help categorize our feelings, our anscestry, our views, our politics and our passions. And these are, in my opinion, very positive things. We all should be aware of who we are and how we feel. We should feel that our voice, and what we wish to say with it is worth being heard. The Framers knew this and, to their great credit, they recognized it enough to make it America's First Amendment - the base upon which all others are built. They knew that the freedom to speak our minds, without fear, was integral to a free society.

They also knew, I believe, that this freedom is a double edged sword and that one of the great dangers we face, as a nation and as a people ( I speak of the entire world here ) is that it is possible for too few of us to gain a much louder voice than others have. That their messages and beliefs could become poison in the minds of others. The argument over just where the line for freedom of speech lay is one that is ongoing, even today. In fact today it matters more than ever.

You see, with the technological revolution came a quandary - the over amplification of a handful of people, capable of not only drowning out the masses - but actually capable of leading others into a sort of blind obidience to those voices. Toss in the fact that our current media and news is propagandized for maximum hate and intolerance of whatever group that media outlet dislikes and you end up with what we see all around us, every single day - particularly on the Internet, where distance and anonymity serve to turn off any filters we would use in a more personal social setting.

From this combination of things, zealotry arises. Dangerously polarized and absolute stances that provide for no give... No compromise or mediation. We find ourselves in this bizarre "all or nothing" society where common ground is eroded away, instantly by hate, passion, or just plain trollery for trollery's sake. In this we lose all hope for progress ( yes, I know, dirty filthy commie word, progress. Freaky how a good word went full on Orwellian isn't it. It is also an example of exactly what I am venting about right now. )

What has become of us that we have somehow lost our compassion and ability ( or desire ) to simply entertain the ideas of others? Has empathy been cut out of us all by the rhetoric? Not too many years ago, even here on ATS, one would often see a post saying "I disagree with you, but respect that you have a right to state how you feel". Now? Now such kindnesses have been replaced by ominous threats of coming Civil Wars and how one group will destroy another once that day arrives. Now our nation of "zero tolerance" policies has created a people with, surprise, zero tolerance for anything that even threatens to threaten ones paradigms.

Have we forgotten the wise words of a great man who said "A house divided against itself cannot stand"? For the record, the man who spoke those words was Abraham Lincoln - a President who had to suffer the pains of a Civil War and who saw that there is no glory or honor in brother slaying brother.

I offer you a challenge ATS. No matter what labels you have been stuck with, or claim with pride... The next time you find yourself posting from a position of indignation, rage, and absolute dismissal of your opponents views. Take a minute to see if that long forgotten spot within you, that used to house your empathy, has anything left in the tank. Try to walk a mile in another's shoes. Try to understand why they might have an opinion different from yours. None of us is perfect and we can all learn from one another - even from those we disagree with.

I ask this for a very simple and obvious reason. For all the fear this community has of "TPTB" it seems to me like we are all very good at doing their job for them. We, as a people, are cutting our own collective throats through absolutist thought - through thinking that only we might be right on any given topic.

In short, we are feeding the hate machine we all universally espouse distrust and hatred of. We have become the very thing we claim to fear. Each of us in our own way.

Think about it ATS. We gravitated here, largely, because we wanted answers and have strong enough minds to handle the truth. Well, the first truth we need to address is that we are being played against each other and we are buying into it without so much as an afterthought.

Oh, and nb4 "but guns".

Thanks for reading ATS. Please, let me see a little hope! Show me that we do have common ground and that our labels, while meaningful, are not the absolutes we seem to have been led to believe.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:34 PM
I didn't even have to read your post. There's no hope anymore, you're screwed, we're all screwed.

We're on a list, bound for extermination or incarceration, in the face of those who run the world we're not even specks of dust. We're useless eaters, airbreathers and wastes of space. Extraordinarily gullible and still feeding off of the system that oppresses us.

TPTB and the image they perpetuate is a huge distraction meant to keep people looking at the wrong people and blaming them, instead of the ones who truly control things.

We're not enlightened, we're not informed. We're not waking up, we're eating from the same spoon we've always eaten from and it's poison, rot and corruption.

Hope is dead the only refuge is your mind.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:41 PM
I absolutely disbelieve in absolutes.
There is a probability that I am going to crack a beer and go fire a shotgun in the air to scare away the coyotes.
I try to mind my manners, but sometimes I fail.
I don't let the poor manners of others bother me much. Water off a duck's back.
If you can't laugh about it, what kind of a mess are you in?

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:43 PM
The world as it currently stands, is only workable for highly intelligent people who can accept the vast majority of stupid people as serfs. Compassionate, empathetic, intelligent people are doomed.... (the world offers even less to those who are compassionate and empathetic, but lack the raw intelligence.)

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:47 PM
a reply to: TycoonBarnaby

By your opinion I'm doomed. And I agree.

We're all doomed.

Things are alright because the stars are there, as they were yesterday, 1,000 years ago and will be tomorrow.

But at the same time things are very wrong. It's divide and conquer, live for money, fame, material wealth. We've turned our backs on nature, traditional cultures, etc. I won't say the world was better 500 years ago because it wasn't. But what we've advanced in, we've also lost tons.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:57 PM
a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme

I am with you in that whole, grand scheme of things idea (or ideal?) When I said that group was doomed, I meant in this current age/iteration. I didn't mean it to be taken as a defeatist attitude, or a divine proclamation (not that you claimed I did either,) but rather I see my intelligent friends (and self) falling into one of two camps. So there is your divide and conquer.

Personally, I chose to share my intelligence with the world at large as opposed to making a large amount of money. I am sure most on this site realize that money, in its current form, is essentially nothing other than a metric of one using the systems put in place before any of us were born to become "better" than someone else.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:59 PM
a reply to: TycoonBarnaby

I think a lot of people on here realize it's a sham too.

Problem is we're reliant on the system. We're not our great grandparents who could keep a fire going all night or knew how to make vinegar. We're the current generation who relies on Bics and iPhones. When TSHTF, we'll wish we were in The Grapes of Wrath.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:02 AM
Nicely done.

As long as ther is a human able to draw breath I will have hope in hope. The spirit of some is hard to kill and it is those people who will always keep the hope to hope alive.

There have been negative Nancies, and Debbie Downers since the beginning of time and there have always been people who feel they need a label to live since the dawn of time as well. Some see labels as a necessary evil because it's all they've ever known and it's what they are comfortable with. You can't really blame them. It's been hard wired into most of us.

In these cases we need to "Rise Above Our Raising" and see that it isn't working out well for us. Some of will have no problem doing that, others will go to their graves failing miserably to do it.

We each need to start with ourselves and refuse to put a label on what we believe and how we believe, then we can start with others and realize that they too, do not need to fit in a box to have valid viewpoints and arguments.

I feel like this will be a constant struggle, but if people would at least attempt to do what you suggest, the outcomes would be highly visible and pleasing IMO. More binds us than separates us and when we can realize that, there will be no stopping what we can change or what we can do.

Empathy is also (I strongly feel) highly under rated. We may not always agree with how other folks see things, but if we take a minute to figure out why they see them the way they do... we can still disagree but we can understand more why they believe the way they do. We can see that it doesn't always make them a cold hearted, cruel, evil, idiotic, stupid, callous, (add your own here) person. They are we... Just with different life experiences and expectations.
edit on 11/4/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:02 AM
As a labeled "people like you" and other insults, I don't see much hope. The divisions are to deep. At one time I appreciated and respected my opponents in the political mud pit where there was a spirit of competition coupled with camaraderie. Those days are long gone.

Now It's just ugly, mean spirited BS; win at any cost by any means necessary and it's not gonna change. Egos and emotionalism has replaced Deny Ignorance. But what can you expect when the true ATS intelligentsia has either been banned or just left in frustration.
edit on 4-11-2014 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:06 AM
a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme

Funny you mention Steinbeck. My grandfather left Oklahoma during the dust bowl / depression years and headed to California - just like the Grapes of Wrath. The tales I have heard about how he handled himself during that period ( my father was an infant then, but his older siblings kept me informed before they passed ) played a huge part in who I am today. For example, no matter how bad it got, my grandfather never let a hungry person go unfed, no matter how limited his own supplies where.

People today would call that idiotic. Yet not only did he and his family survive - they ended up prospering. My grandfather got to California and started a walnut orchard. Now my youngest Uncle is fairly rich from that orchard.

There is hope and I disagree that we are doomed. I think our society ( America in particular ) cannot sustain it's current form for much longer - but I do shelter faith that, when the changes come, they will be for the better. We might go Mad Max - or we might just wake up and realize that our most valuable assets are human thought and ingenuity and not material goods.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:13 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

The key is organization. With the public there's too many differences and ideas about how things should be handled. It's chaos. With TPTB, everything's provided for. When the time comes for them to pull the plug it'll be a long time before we get a handle on things by ourselves (provided they'll let us go solo and I don't think they will).

The reason for TPTB was originally to provide a stabilizing force in the world. Without them we'd be much different and less advanced. However they become greedy and super-manipulative. If this was intentional I have no idea but they were the architects of organization so to speak.

People like your grandpa are good examples of the ones I mentioned in my other post, although I said great grandparents. People during the Great Depression pulled through and managed to help others but the mindset and skills were completely different. We can be generous and helpful today but we lack the skills to survive without the system. It's sad and negative when you first think about it, but ultimately you accept it because truly, there isn't anything we can do. We can be at peace within ourselves, or small groups but the ball's not in our court.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:18 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

The reason I said compassionate, empathetic, intelligent people are doomed, crosses far beyond the short-sightedness of USA borders. This is one of the main issues I have with most posts on this site. US-centric beliefs are vastly outdated, yet, the majority of US citizens (still living in the homeland) hold strong and tight to them.

The vastness of the world and cultures eludes too many born, raised, and stayed-in "Americans".

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:32 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

Great post. It's incredibly difficult to keep from falling into these tribal style battles. I may be one of the most guilty despite being the exact opposite in real life. I love debate and love playing Devil's advocate. Sadly I fall into the trap. Battling ignorance with more ignorance rarely helps but I hope to get better at debating without resorting to attacks. In other words I'm a work in progress as are we all, at least I hope.

More importantly hope is never dead unless you kill it yourself and it can be revived anytime you are willing. To those that say there is no hope, then why bother saying anything? If you truly believe there is no hope then why continue? Hope is the best motivator there is. I suggest you reevaluate your view so we every person who gives into despair is one less warrior in the fight for a bright future. Be strong, not weak. We need every warrior we can find in the fight for our future

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 12:58 AM
a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme

Then bow down man.. Just submit into the mass of parrot drones.

I guess they're winning.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 01:01 AM
Great post and wise words.
I have disagreed with a few of your past posts but find you absolutely correct on everything you said here.

I myself fall into the very thing you spoke of.

I will try to remember your wise words more in the future.

I am only human and share the same bad habits as everybody else.

Thank you for the enlightening words.

It should give anyone who reads this post something to think about.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 01:03 AM
An important part of conflict resolution is for each side to understand the position of the other side. While there is a lack of diplomacy on these boards at times, there is a variety of views expressed. So in terms of providing some insight to the problems and issues it is a start.

One hang up that tends to cause frustration with some debates is how people fail to persuade those they debate with. From this they fail to connect to all the people that read the debates but do not get involved. Being aware that the repercussions of these discussions do go further than those directly communicating is an issue. Not being aware of our repercussions in general is a problem.

Another issue is the subject matter, more so when first getting exposed to it. It is common and standard to have some sort of emotional reaction to the messed up stuff going on in the world. With time, experience and understanding better quality discussions do happen.

Then there is the general tone and discourse of discussions. The terms, conditions and moderators have a large part to play in the culture and acceptable language of the site. It can be tough and contentious to define acceptable from unacceptable language. Overall I have no complaints.

While hope may seam like is has gone and camped out on the dark side of the moon at times, it is still around somewhere.
edit on 4-11-2014 by kwakakev because: spelling 'communicating'

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:05 AM

Of course there's always Hope ! Why would the the infamous " PTB " devote so much much energy to influence and "control" the mass's to begin with ?! Why....because humans are by nature empathetic and wired to cooperate with each other. Unfortunately these qualities also make humans vulnerable to manipulation and capable of doing some really horrible things.

While social media can breed narcissism, mis-information and bullying , the benefits and potential to educate are profoundly powerful ! ATS is a really good example of what good social media is all about, even FB, love it or hate it, brings about a lot of awareness of the many challenges we all face on this beautiful planet.....

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 06:25 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

Of course there is hope for hope. By definition, hope is what carries us through those dark moments when nothing much more can even be seen or grasped at. Hope is that one last shred of belief in humanity for humanity's sake.

On a massive world scale I can see where you might question that. Our hope resides in knowing that there is goodness in the world somewhere still. It resides in the heart of a child. All of our children. We become so jaded by the world that we forget to step back and view each other through the eyes of the innocent. We forget to not judge each other by own own standards, when we all possess different standards to begin with.

We need to remember to address our hearts, minds and spirits before we attend to the latest distraction. Our hope lies in our ability to see the goodness that exists in us all. If we can view each other as through the eyes of children, then no problem, issue or frustration is too great for us to work out sensibly or respectfully. We might even have some fun figuring things out. It's when we allow hate to enter the picture that destruction of hope takes place. I see a lot of at destruction in the world today. The tough part is remembering that there are more inherently good people in the world than there are the people who are consumed with hate. It's also tough sometimes to take a step back when our passion for something consumes us to the point of escalation. Right now we seem to be stuck in the pattern of passionate escalation when more and more people are finding that passion. It's good and it's bad just like anything. It's good to find a cause to feel so strongly about, but it can be bad when we step over the line of being civilized and respectful to each other.

Life is about balance, healthy balance. The atrocities of the world disgust me to the point of tears and or nausea more often than I would like. So that's when I turn them off and walk away from them to paint a picture or read a book with my kids, or go be outside in nature. I suppose I have an odd perspective though, I have to seek out the world to find out what's going on.

It's almost 3:30 am, the boys have been puking tonight, and my eyes are finally drooping again. I think I will try and find sleep again tonight. Forgive me if this is rambling nonsense, it's just actually quiet enough to hear myself think. Thank you for the thought provoking post! And Heff, it's good to see you back around here! I know I'm incredibly belated saying so, but I truly mean it. ☺

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 08:19 AM
Heff - I will always have hope! I believe in the spirit of human beings. I believe we can find similarities and common interests if we try. I can find a soft spot in my heart for the people who disagree with me.

The labels are a way of making sense of the world around us. We explain things by saying, "oh, well, he's a liberal. That explains his thinking." Or, "She's a Christian. That's why she has that opinion." Labels CAN be a means of separation, but if we try hard enough, we can open our minds and hearts and overcome that separation, by accepting those who are different from us.

Too many people think disagreement means "enemy". It's a real challenge for me to overcome that and instead, consider people who hold opposite opinions as friends or fellow Americans. I'm talking to you, NavyDoc, beezzer, FlyersFan, semperfortis, et al. I consider you all valuable "mirrors" into who I really am. And I really appreciate your contributions here.

It overwhelms me to consider what we could do if we, the people, came together with all our different opinions and worked to make this country a better place... And yes, I still have hope for that.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 08:46 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

I've used this analogy before, and I'll use it again.

People are like multi-faceted gems. What we display here may be just one side. You don't judge a jewel based on one facet, however.

I'm just as guilty of focusing on one facet and display just one facet to the world sometimes, ergo, I get judged by my one facet.

Is there hope? Of course. But while we can talk about it here, our true hope lies within our homes, our communities, our cities and towns. We may talk the big talk here, but unless we actually act on it, then we'll be the victims everyone else wants us to be.

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