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Are Americans a Broken People?

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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:02 PM
Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression

Interesting if longish article about the psycholgical and social malaise that is preventing people from demanding "change" (more effective change than a weak, innefective Chief Executive surrounded by Citigroup and Goldman Sach advisors, that is). I don't agree 100% with their conclusions but it I think it bears thought.

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not “set them free” but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States?

Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?...

Yes. It is called the “abuse syndrome.” How do abusive pimps, spouses, bosses, corporations, and governments stay in control? They shove lies, emotional and physical abuses, and injustices in their victims’ faces, and when victims are afraid to exit from these relationships, they get weaker. So the abuser then makes their victims eat even more lies, abuses, and injustices, resulting in victims even weaker as they remain in these relationships.

Does knowing the truth of their abuse set people free when they are deep in these abuse syndromes?

No. For victims of the abuse syndrome, the truth of their passive submission to humiliating oppression is more than embarrassing; it can feel shameful — and there is nothing more painful than shame. When one already feels beaten down and demoralized, the likely response to the pain of shame is not constructive action, but more attempts to shut down or divert oneself from this pain. It is not likely that the truth of one’s humiliating oppression is going to energize one to constructive actions.

Has such a demoralization happened in the U.S.?...

When people become broken, they cannot act on truths of injustice. Furthermore, when people have become broken, more truths about how they have been victimized can lead to shame about how they have allowed it. And shame, like fear, is one more way we become even more psychologically broken.

U.S. citizens do not actively protest obvious injustices for the same reasons that people cannot leave their abusive spouses: They feel helpless to effect change. The more we don’t act, the weaker we get. And ultimately to deal with the painful humiliation over inaction in the face of an oppressor, we move to shut-down mode and use escape strategies such as depression, substance abuse, and other diversions, which further keep us from acting. This is the vicious cycle of all abuse syndromes.[

More at source:

[edit on 12/16/09 by silent thunder]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:40 PM
I wouldn't say we as Americans are a broken people. We have a large portion of the populace that are uniformed, as well as ignorant. We have another large portion that either are afraid of being labeled one thing, even if they aren't by a biased media and professional victacrats. Then we have people who just are able to keep themselves and families afloat, without left over time to accomplish anything. Between the media, I don't just mean the news, but rather MTV, TMZ etc, that glorify a certain lifestyle that has no meaning, nor well as the dumbing down of our youth through programs that don't work, is it any wonder there is so much apathy?

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:00 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

Are Americans a Broken People?

Broken? No, probably not but... lost in a wilderness? Yes, undoubtedly.

I think it began with the fall of the former Soviet Union. All of a sudden, it became clear that having this big, bad menace was something like a glue that held us all together. Once it was gone, we needed an adversary; an enemy, if you will and our politicians turned us inward to look for another.

This is when the red/blue potty wars began as partisan recruiters help us decide what 'kind' of Americans we were. Never mind that we would have gladly forgotten partisan politics and rejoiced in this new age where we might have done away with nukes and hatred and poverty... because they had other plans and we were happy to oblige them.

Since then and with every electoral incarnation, our country has become more polarized. And of course, while we are busy acting like adolescent siblings in a toy store, the crooks in Washington can do as they plaese. I mean, what could be better for them?

It continues to this day with partisan gladiators gladly shouting slogans before charging into some perceived breach in the division's walls. And to this day, we are still far too busy fighting ourselves to take note of how our laws and our land are being owned by corporate special interests who are just as happy as the politikals to see us busy playing with ourselves.

So again, broken we are not but we sure are a ton and a half stupid.

Cheers... I think

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:08 PM
People are so ensconced in the rudimentary truths and realities of their own survival they scarcely notice the larger world around them. If they do, they don't seem to make the correlation of distant atrocities having an effect on them.

The old saying "complacency is the hobgoblin of little minds", even if the complacency is forced onto one, is a philosophy most live by. If people are noticing we are "broken", they feel too distant from the source to orchestrate change, except in their own little worlds. Even then, they would rather adapt to adversity then expend the energy to TRY, unless it is creating an alarming level of discomfort or crisis.

This is a tacit indication of learned helplessness.

Most people have learned the lesson well.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:18 PM
reply to post by redoubt

Ouch. This egregious summation rings true. Americans, as a whole have grown so shallow, so egocentric that we are gridlocked, and what will change that? Better yet....does anyone want to change it, and does anyone really care anymore?

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:24 PM
I would say that 20% want a change and 80% doesn't want to rock the boat, with that being said that most Americans as long as it does not change their life styles they are happy with their lives. Being cooked slowly doesn't bother them as long as they get what they want. Being honest most of them cannot see the forest for the trees and they do not want to!


posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:41 PM
Wow, very good thread! I think your really on to something here. Eventually though I do believe that there will be a mass uprising putting real change in to action. We are all just waiting for true leaders to come forth, men and women of integrity and character. Then the change that will be evident will be change that is something of real value.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:47 PM
Very interesting and inspirational article, food for thought, thank you for linking to it.
I believe it does not apply only to America but to all the Westernised world.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:58 PM

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting

People are so ensconced in the rudimentary truths and realities of their own survival they scarcely notice the larger world around them. If they do, they don't seem to make the correlation of distant atrocities having an effect on them.

Any idea how that came about? I mean, I have my own ideas but I'm sick of repeating it around here.

I think this is starts to penetrate into the matter:

Consumerism breaks people by devaluing human connectedness, socializing self-absorption, obliterating self-reliance, alienating people from normal human emotional reactions, and by selling the idea that purchased products -- not themselves and their community -- are their salvation.

Now, sure, everyone is esconsed and immersed and whatever term of entraptedness you like but it is a rather powerful amplification of self-absorption leveraged by technology. Machines make it oh so more dangerous to all than it would be otherwise. Isolated tribes could come and go but advancements have provided the fuel to affect everyone. The perceived entrapment and insecurity make people feel compelled to feed it at any cost, if they perceive a cost at all. Could they do this en masse if in fact distant suffering really mattered to them?

No, I'm not a Luddite but making an observation about the underperceived increase in power of the individual to have large unseen effects, even if proportionally small compared to the total energy of the system, which is arranged to hide the consequences of actions, placing them in some far-off land or abstracting them to the point a mind possibly cannot relate to them as real enough to keep it awake at night.

A worldwide bout of deep depression would be a great gift to humanity. Hopefully we're on our way already. At least the suffering will be felt in common rather than considered as belonging to another.

Now it occurs to me that's what the movie The Box might be getting at. I haven't seen it but someone posted a summation on ATS. Hmmm.

[edit on 12/16/2009 by EnlightenUp]

[edit on 12/16/2009 by EnlightenUp]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 07:32 PM
Fifty years of water flouridation will do that to a people. I would not go so far as to say they are broken ;if the powers behind all this went on TV and openly voiced their contempt for Americans they would regret it. Still most Americans are not what God created them to be. There growth has been successfully retarded. Many people who should be geniuses are only mediocre and many people who should be of average intelligence are dull.

[edit on 16-12-2009 by eradown]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:02 PM
reply to post by EnlightenUp

Excellent post. I'm thinking consumerism = shallowness, brought about by our lust for pleasures and comfort, and capitalism always there and ready to meet and create our demands.

"A powerful amplication of self absorption leveraged by technology".
I think you said it better. Very concise.

"Underperceived increase in the power of the individual".

That would be nice. At this point I am not perceiving an increase in the power of the individual on a large scale. Maybe peeping on the peripheral.

"A worldwide bout of deep depression would be a great gift to humanity".

Economic, or emotional? I think I see what you're saying. After the one's with blind greed and self pity have jumped off the bridge, the others can get to work. Honest work.

I think much of the seeming indifference is also due, not only to distractions and the quest for pleasure and comforts, but also due to personal desperation. Personal struggle. Demoralization.

There's no time to worry about political and global troubles when one has dependents and mouths to feed. Every waking moment is spent trying to fulfill those needs. Self potentiation and actualization are way on the back burner when you can't meet basic human needs.

It's a great challenge to many, to even get through a day, fed, rested, and safe.

I will have to check into "The Box". Haven't heard about it.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:17 PM

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by EnlightenUp

Excellent post.

Thank you.

I'm thinking consumerism = shallowness, brought about by our lust for pleasures and comfort, and capitalism always there and ready to meet and create our demands.

Is it our lust? I mean, is it OUR lust? Or is it severing of communal ties to create dependency on the machine? What I think factors in is the need for families to maintain their status as they could not compete with many in the general population on a level playing field. They know it and they know the time is up. Why else prop up such a system?

Yeah, if any are any of those beasties reading this. I'm just giving fair warning that some know what is going on. Back off now rather than later and when you fail, which is your destiny, we may feel like lending some support out of compassion. Don't use up all our good graces!

"Underperceived increase in the power of the individual".

That would be nice. At this point I am not perceiving an increase in the power of the individual on a large scale. Maybe peeping on the peripheral.

As as example, consider how much waste someone might produce with assistance of technical means. While proportionally small to the total current outflux from all individuals, it is many times what the "cave man" would have made in an equal period. If they cut that in half, the periodic savings from one individual could conceivably amount to more than a whole village would produce in the same period in more primitive times.

I hope that clarified what I meant if there was confusion.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:22 PM

Originally posted by EnlightenUp

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting

Consumerism breaks people by devaluing human connectedness, socializing self-absorption, obliterating self-reliance, alienating people from normal human emotional reactions, and by selling the idea that purchased products -- not themselves and their community -- are their salvation.

I had a teacher who once said that consumerism requires instilling a deep insecurity into the masses.

[edit on 16-12-2009 by DChenO]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 08:57 PM
Times change, but people do not. Americans are not broken... they just haven't been pushed far enough. 70% of the colonists did not want to rebel against England in 1775. ManySoutherners and their native southern states did not want to seceed from th Union in 1860-61. So now, many Americans likewise are not YET ready to rebel or revolt against their government, even if they feel th US is moving towards socialism-communism-marxism. However, realize that the vocal Tea Partiers represent the thoughts and fears of a majority of Americans. That fire yet to be is smoldering and smoking, awaiting a spark yhat will spread like wild fire...what that spark is has yet to be seen. Since Obama was elected, enough guns have been sold in the US to arm the armies of China and India combined. This doesn't include those already in the hands of Americans. What will be the catalyst?

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:16 PM
I had to laugh at myself, as I recognized an initial knee-jerk response to the OP question. I had to focus on the actual question of the OP within context of the article, instead of just defending a possibly lost ideal of America.

I don't think Americans are broken, but I do believe they are bent. I think most Americans feel an additional pressure, and perhaps even articulte it among themselves to put a name to it.

I think that the majority of American citizens distrust their goverment, even more than before this time. I think that effect has been a wave perpetrated through various politicians up to this point.

United States citizens will have to tighten their belts, even more than they have already. The entire globe will have to also, and entire peoples that are already on the edge will die. America will have to balance -- perhaps more than ever before in her history -- between domestic dollars and international. It's a damn shame it had to come to this.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:51 PM
Thanks for the replies, people.

One point for hope...Americans still seem willing to criticize themselves and their government...if you read ATS and hundreds of other political boards, you will see so much complaining (albeit in different directions) by Americans about America. Foreigners accuse us of being arrogant and complacent, and there is a lot of that, too, but there is also plenty of rancor and dissatisfaction...even if its mostly only via keyboard. In fact, I would venture to say I rarely see people of other nations complain about their government and societies as much as Americans do, and with such rancor (although I might not be reading the wrong boards...)

The trick will be translating all of this frustration out of the written world into meaninful (and hopefully not too distruptive or painful) action.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:14 PM
Conditioning at such a level of enslavement that if you were given true freedom you would reject it and see it as enslavement.

4/5ths of the American populace are almost to this point.

The Spooky part is 4/5ths of the populace look and behave as if America is working for them and they are no where close to broken.
Group Think(tribal modalities) and mellinia of this conditioning most of us really never had a chance.

Successful people we like to say seem to know what they are talking about with their finances, scholastic accomplishments, career accomplishments, what organization they belong to, what they contribute etc to the collective. They even seem to be intelligent half the time and command great power in knowledge, reasoning, scientific methodology,wisdom and spirituality.

They give you taxes and elections as one avenue of feeling a part of something larger than yourselves. But it runs much deeper than this and it is for you to find just what that is.

"They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it".

~George Carlin

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:57 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

i don't believe that they have broken anyone yet ,it seems that they have keep us so far out of the loop and uniformed that we the people are now starting to sit back and reflect on just what in the hell they have been doing to us and our children and this our world.
NOT THEIRS as they seem to think it is.
we have put up with their lies and their lying newspapers who continue to spout off their rhetorical lies to us -welcome to our nightmare-
latest news flash on cnn the children of the universities have taken to the streets once again -this time due to the 30% raise in their education costs- this is a reminiscent of the 60s when the long haired drug crazed hippie killing satanist freaks took to the streets as the dissidents that they are .
CORRECTION; we asked for change and stop the war.ops they conveniently left this part out.also that they shot us on the university grounds .
they waste our tax dollars bailing out companies that should have failed -how many times -they spend it on millitarys to control us all and to send us out to kill or be killed and where are they and their families -REMF`S. the funny thing is that all this money they spend does not exist at all -FUNNY MONEY or FORGERY.if this was me i`d be in jail and i would never see the light of day.
banks that break all of the rules and laws by putting their own people in power or their lackeys who in turn helped to bring the economies to a halt all most to the point of total meltdown and where are our elected officials.oh they are handing out more of my money to these bankers so that they can all get their bonuses for bringing down the banking system ;this is the same bankers that are helping us oh so much by not lending out money ,and keeping the interest rate so low that they are doing their best to help. HOGWASH- these are the same &%%#%^*& THAT JACKED ALL INTEREST RATES ON ALL CREDIT CARDS BY 5% TO 6% MORE IN THE MORNINIG,MEANING 60% MORE PAYBACK INTEREST FOR THEIR POCKETS. that same afternoon they announced that we were in a recession -op`s it`s a depression as 25 % of the worlds work force is now out of work - and now we the people are stuck with their bills -sorry it is not mine !is it yours?and who says so ,them -ha ha ha .
sooner or later the PEOPLE WILL GET PISSED -god help them that day as there is going to be a revolution world wide that day -let us hope and pray that the millitary and police know their place they are there to serve and protect the people not those who are anti the they are in fact paid for by us the people not the governments and their fools.

posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 12:01 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

The American people aren't broken and fear no oppressing forces

The vast majority aren't aware there are any problems, I mean its the
good ole USA, how could there be?

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