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A Forbidden Thought: We Are Not Inadequate

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“A Forbidden Thought: We Are Not Inadequate”
by Paul Rosenberg

“As I’ve noted before, the dominating systems of the West require us to feel weak, afraid, and insufficient; they couldn’t continue if most of us didn’t feel that way. And so, by plan, by instinct, or simply by inertia, the friends and operators of these systems oppose anything that breaks from that mold. And so, the thought that humans are fundamentally adequate is forbidden. If you’d like to prove that sometime, say a few things like these at a cocktail party:

• Western civilization has accomplished so many good things that it’s mind-blowing.
• Most people are basically decent and don’t need to be controlled.
• I see so much goodness in humanity.
• Humanity is ascending toward the gods (or heaven, or whatever).

Or, if you are so bold:
• Man is a glorious creature.

The responses you get should be educational.

Why This Thought Is Forbidden: The reason for this was beautifully defined by Buckminster Fuller in an interview he gave in 1981: “There’s a built-in resistance to letting humanity be a success. Each one claims that their system is the best one for coping with inadequacy.” In other words: “The systems running things claim that theirs is the right way to fix human inadequacy. So, if you claim that humans are adequate, you’re also saying that those systems aren’t necessary.”

Ruling systems fight things that call their rule unnecessary. So will people who are emotionally attached to those systems.

Promoting Darkness Is a Big Business: One of the reasons so many people espouse dark views of humanity is that the promotion of darkness is a huge business. As I’ve noted before, news channels are little more than fear delivery systems. Likewise newspapers, most of talk radio, and even most of the internet: Hour after hour, day after day, they report the worst things they can find. And it’s not just news; advertisers also need you to feel insecure. Pay attention to the ads that are thrust upon you. A high percentage of them will make you feel insecure, inadequate or guilty. These are also part of the darkness-promotion industry. And most Westerners don’t even realize it’s happening to them. It’s all they’ve ever known.

Here’s an interesting comment I ran across. It came from a non-Westerner, back in the 1950s[1]. This man, visiting the US for the first time, said, “I find only one fault with Americans. They’re too full of fear. Afraid of B.O. Afraid of bad breath. They’re haunted by the fear that they’ll never get rid of dandruff. This state of mind I cannot understand.”

The reason for that state of mind is simply that it’s inculcated in the American psyche every day by myriad advertisers seeking to exploit a human weakness, namely a tendency to obsess upon and overestimate fears. And if that was the case in 1956, what is it now?

The truth is that nearly the entire Western world is flooded on a daily basis with imaginary fears. This has allowed the things that feed on fear to run riot. As a result of these manufactured and magnified fears, most people fear other humans and come to the conclusion (understandably, even if wrongly) that humanity is dangerous. And that’s why we believe we need government to save us, beer to make us happy, and fragrance products if we hope to secure a decent mate. Fueled By Fear would be an appropriate sticker to place on nearly every corporate logo and political advertisement.

Look Around: The idea that all is dark and threatening – that mankind is inadequate to the world – is dispelled just by looking around. First of all, look around and settle yourself on the truth of what I said above: that nearly everything we see and hear from organs of political power and commercial advertising are designed to make us fear, in one way or another. Then make a rough estimate of how many negative things you hear in the course of a day and how many positive things you hear. Decide what the percentages are.

I think that would be telling. After all, if you feed only upon negativity, it’s only reasonable that you’d build negative attitudes. Now take a look at the world and consider things like this:

• We’ve eradicated diseases, such as smallpox, that tortured humanity for untold centuries.
• We’ve learned to feed billions of people and feed them well. We can grow far more food than we need.
• We’ve created machines that move us across the ground tremendous distances safely and reliably.
• We’ve created machines that fly us around the world and at incredible speeds.
• We’ve harnessed the information stores of humanity and made them available to anyone, almost for free and almost anywhere.
• The public cruelty of the ancient era has been almost entirely eliminated.
Slavery has been almost entirely eliminated.

I could continue, but I’m confident you get my point. We are improving, unfolding, evolving creatures. Certainly some humans are vile, but they are a small minority. Most of us, to varying degrees, behave reasonably well most of the time. Yes, much improvement remains, but we are moving in just that direction, even if too slowly for many people’s taste. (Including my own.)

And consider this, please: It’s primarily the Darkness Industry that holds us back. The sea of negativity that surrounds us is an anti-evolutionary poison.

I’ll close with another quote (slightly edited) from Bucky Fuller, this one from “An Auto-Biographical Monologue/Scenario“: I decided man was operating on a fundamental fallacy: that he was supposed to be a failure. I decided that man was, in fact, designed to be an extraordinary success. His characteristics were magnificent. We are not inadequate.

[1] The Indonesian President Sukarno, in 1956, as noted in “The Brothers”, 
by Stephen Kinzer.


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