Victims of Systems Beyond Our Control

What systems are beyond our control? That something Alexander Hellene doesn’t quite define in this post (see https://amatopia.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/millennials-we-are-a-symptom-not-the-problem/). However, as we read this post and Hellene’s posts, the nature of the “systems” become apparent.

What is Hellene’s concern? What happened when Gen X came along? Lots of Baby Boomers accepted the priorities of the world over the priorities presented by Christianity. Why? We did not learn — were not taught — the wisdom provided by the Bible. We did not even learn that the best wisdom our society still offers came from the Bible.

Why didn’t Baby Boomers learn about the Bible? Two things happened.
1. We the People allowed politicians to take over the education of our children.
2. We the People put the mass media in charge of babysitting our children.

We put politicians and the executives of big corporations in charge of educating, pouring the ideas and beliefs they thought appropriate, into the minds of our children. Why did we do that? Who trusts politicians? Anyone? What about the executives of big corporations? Aren’t they just successful sales people? When they are just trying to sell us stuff we don’t need, why would we trust them?

Consider what resulted.
1. The politicians benefited. Since politicians started running America’s schools each successive generation of Americans has allowed the government to grow in size. It has now grown far beyond anything the founders of this nation ever envisioned. In fact, they would be horrified.
2. The corporate execs benefited. Many corporations are huge, and the people who own them are fabulously wealthy.

What is the problem with allowing a big government and big corporations so much control over what we learn? What is the problem with allowing government and corporations to grow so big and powerful? Can you imagine trying to live with a thousand pound house cat? An ordinary cat eats mice and is a menace to birds. A really big cat, like saber-toothed tiger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilodon), thinks you are a mouse. That’s our government right now. It is too big for us too control. Want proof? All we have to do is look at what is going on. Similarly, big corporations, labor unions, huge organizations of any kind, can weld power that beyond the our ability to withstand. When we allow the elites of our society to control what we and our children know and believe, we allow them to control us.

Amatopia

I hate playing the victim card, but many of us are victims of systems beyond our control. In light of this, how can the system and expectations of how it will work not have deeply affected the generations of America?

I suppose one of the biggest dividing lines between the generations, particularly mine and the ones before and after, is Gen X’s deep and abiding cynicism. I honestly can’t see how one, once they understand how the world works, can’t be a cynic.

This is also why I have more sympathy than many for so-called “conspiracy theories.” We’ve been lied to about so much for so long that the idea of a sinister, shadowy cabal comprised of power-mad oligarchs controlling everything for their own ends is the only view that really makes any sense.

Another difference is expectations. Boomers grew up in an era where the systems worked…

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27 thoughts on “Victims of Systems Beyond Our Control

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  1. There was a time when news was just that: news.
    There was always some spin and a lack of objectivity…that’s just human, but the point of the news was to actually report information. The father of a friend recently passed. He was a “newsman”, not a journalist…and he insisted on being called a newsman. He worked for a newspaper most of his life, and took a great deal of pride in it. That time has long passed….it hasn’t really passed due to some conspiracy, it has passed because the metric has changed entirely with the internet.
    With success as a measure of clicks/likes/shares, objectivity and facts are irrelevancies.
    Emotion is the goal…the more the better.
    And in a representative republic that votes based on what is being presented and the way it is presented…
    well, we get a very very dysfunctional government as an inherent product of the system.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just to add, there have been a few times I’ve felt strongly enough to respond to an article in a major online publication. I’ve found it’s impossible to do so without logging on to Facebook (or twitter, which I don’t use). So my choices are to either say nothing, or make my facebook account a de facto political platform. Since I refuse to get political on my FB page, I just say nothing.
      But I must say, I don’t think this is an accident and it does seem very Orwellian.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. A fair commentary, Liz. Not being aware of your generational membership, I have been around for quite sometime and have witnessed the changing demographic in how the news is presented. In the early days of the 50’s & early 60’s before the trend changed, broadcast news.. even in radio days.. was not considered a broadcast profit center but rather it fulfilled the FCC requirement of a station, radio or TV, including in their broadcast so-many hours devoted to commercial-free “public service”. To make money the accepted process was only that a station/network sold advertising commercial time that would run when the greatest number of people were listening/watching and that was considered during actual entertainment programming. Typically the general Sunday morning religious programming being the traditional commercial-free public service “dumping ground” because Sunday days were not usually of public interest, news was in that same vein. In those very early days, radio and then early TV only had a typical top-of-the-hour news brief of about 5 minutes.. maybe 15 if you included a sports update.

      I think Vietnam changed a lot of that when the public became more interested in the war news and politics in general. It was about that time the the three networks would have a half-hour evening news around dinner time… then local news was from 10:30/11:30 for 15 minutes. By that time news contained commercials and networks and soon local news stations could afford news staffs and their own reporters.

      With the growth of cable we now have news analysis and “pundtits” to lend commentary… and those talking heads everywhere. The problem now is that not a lot of the viewing/listening public can critical think enough to filter… separate… commentary/analysis out from factual reporting because it’s presented so close together as to blur objectivity and provide an image of fake and/or biased reporting.

      I think what hasn’t changed much at all as a medium… print news. It’s still a basic presentation of some traditional objectivity that can be separated from commentary. But as a society a lot of us simply don’t want to devote time to reading a newspaper.. easier to absorb on the run. On top of that, print news is delayed given you have to write the story, print the story.. then distribute the paper to the public. These days, by that time there could be three different changes to the original news story.

      All this history stuff aside… it is in fact all about making a profit because reporting the news makes money… as does the commentary. The check for accuracy… the credibility of a news media source is supposed to be the check & balance inside the profit-making. If a network wants to blow it all showing some bias rather than objectivity, then their base audience will reflect that persona… which then may or may not affect their profit money.

      You are correct.. government dysfunctionality rests with the voter. I just did a post on a couple ways to solve the shutdown and attempt to correct that dysfunctionality…

      https://findingpoliticalsanity.com/the-shutdown-heres-my-solution/

      Like

    3. @Liz

      There is something to that theory about emotion, but I think a news agency is still more profitable if it has a reputation for getting the facts right. So I don’t think the Internet is the problem.

      What is the problem? Why are so many news organizations publishing fake news? Being careless with the truth? What follows is my theory.

      Not too many years ago the FCC’s control of the airwaves equated to control over the licenses of TV and radio stations. That effectively meant that the news reported over the air had to be “respectful” of incumbent politicians. As a result the news appeared uniformly objective because it all sounded the same.

      Then technology changed. Cable and the Internet appeared. The FCC lacked the ability to regulate these information channels. Cable allowed CNN and FOX to report what they wished. The Internet further “complicated” matters because it lowered the cost of entry to get into the news business.

      Now news organizations no longer pretend to be nonpartisan. Instead, many have established market niches, and they sometimes try too hard to tell their customers what they want to hear.

      I believe the way our news organizations currently operate is closer to the norm than it was when the FCC had so much control. As I mentioned in my post, I just think we still have serious issues. The government and the CEO’s of those big companies are often more interested in propagandizing us than they are in us knowing the truth.

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      1. Well.. some of that might be valid, Tom. The FCC is by nature regulatory and responds to complaints… and numbers of complaints. What you are likely referring to is the very open-ended concept that a station conform to the current morals of the community in which it serves. I am not aware of ANY regulation of specific conduct like “be good to politicians”. If you are referring to issues like the Smothers Brothers being cancelled back in the 60’s because of their outspokenness to the war and the President.. that was a network decision (spawned likely from White House pressure).. not FCC (in fact they sued CBS and won).

        I do have a question though.. with all these alleged networks being biased as hell and broadcasting fake news to us unsuspecting lemmings just longing for that march to the abyss… how would you, or anyone else on the Right, find out what IS the truth if no one is privy to it? Please share what that source is… because I am sure we all thirst for that which you and your ilk seem to have found somewhere that is your compendium of truth . (*cough* Fox).

        Like

        1. @Doug

          Remember the scandals with IRS going after the nonprofit status of Tea Party and Conservative organizations. The DOJ and FBI clearly abused the law going after Trump. The example you gave concerning the Smothers brothers may have been related to the FCC. Hard to tell. I will readily admit I am guessing about this, but the sudden change in behavior is interesting.

          I mostly read newspapers. I hear you recommend them. I don’t subscribe to cable or anything of the sort. Generally, the only time I watch FOX or CNN is when I am at the gym. Never seen much value in paying for cable.

          So how do I figure out the truth? I don have an easy way of discerning the truth. That is part of the problem.

          When a news story cites unnamed sources, I don’t bother with it. How many times does the news media have to report such nonsense before we stop believing them?

          When news stories give names I compare multiple news sources to make certain they are not leaving stuff out. I try to read both Liberal and Conservative newspapers. When a politician makes a speech I need to know about, I try to listen to it. I don’t depend on a biased news media when I don’t have to.

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          1. So.. you determine untruth, fake news, and conspiracies from your preferred sampling? I mean, not that my “sampling” of sources is any better or worse, but I don’t sit around and reach conclusions of what’s untrue. The fact that you intentionally seek out liberal and conservative sources implies that indeed you do consult bias sources.. but allegedly to reach your own personal unbiased conclusion, which seems to me more about which side is more convincing to you than factual.

            My point, Tom, is a matter of trust and confidence that a news source is credible. I watch CNN largely because I feel they are credible, as I would the three major network news sources. They have a vested interest in getting the reporting of a story as correct as possible. I don’t select a liberal bias and conservative bias then make my own decision. My quest is for accuracy as as close to the facts as possible from a single source. I firmly believe this idea of a “liberal media” is simply sour grapes when the media reports the “not good” about a politician as having greater news value than the positive side the politician prefers. It’s the old “I may be a jerk but look at all the good I’ve done.” argument.. when in fact, how you accomplished your good deed is just as important, if not more, than the deed itself. Hitler built the Autobahn that was recognized as great transportation concept for commercial and national defense purposes to the point that Eisenhower brought the concept to America for our interstate system. This didn’t make Hitler a nice guy for doing it.

            We all have our comfort ways and thought processes of seeking out the truth in the media. But it’s amazing what some folks take away as truth.

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          2. @Doug

            My point, Tom, is a matter of trust and confidence that a news source is credible. I watch CNN largely because I feel they are credible, as I would the three major network news sources.

            Feel? How about relying on facts?

            We are all biased. That obviously includes CNN.

            Journalists usually slant news stories by highlighting the parts of a story that favors their bias and leaving out the stuff that doesn’t. So we need to check news sources with different biases so we can get something that approximates the complete story. Since I can’t read everything, I sample.

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  2. Apparently, Tom, you, like this Amatopia author, do tend to side with vast conspiracies. First off… us Baby Boomers were hardly without the Bible or our various religions. We.. you, me, your bro, most your readership and followers, are Boomers… and certainly most, if not all, have a basis in the Bible in their respective pasts. This last June I took a road trip back to Chicago and visited the old neighborhood and I was shocked to find my former Lutheran church was for sale for about 1.5 million. Apparently this once-anchor of the community failed to maintain a congregation over the years. Yet back in the 50′ and 60’s this place was humming along; had dual services on Sundays.. an adult and a junior choir… I went to Sunday school there, confirmation classes, first communion, sex ed (from an outside vendor associated with the Chicago Public Schools), umpteen family and friend funerals, and the same pastor through all my years there and all those personal milestones officiated at my marriage. Us Boomers were a huge swath in society and I saw no evidence anywhere that the Bible was not being taught. The hippie movement itself with the peace & love was a variant of Biblical influence (remember “Jesus Christ Superstar”?)

    Now.. the Millennials.. even my own kids.. that’s a far different story. But it makes no sense to presume the decades and generations of corporate leaders, politicians, labor unions.. were all in some lockstep conspiracy to make bigger government simply for its own sake is pure nonsense. Were there cyclical influences from all around? Of course. When I was active in public education in for about ten years in the 80’s there was an obvious non-interest by business to partner with education.

    And who are these elites you are talking about? How is it you think their agenda is dominant (assuming they have some strong consensus on a single goal)?
    You feeling badly about loosing old white America?

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    1. @Doug

      I never used the word conspiracy. I did not say their is a conspiracy. Are their special interests who like the status quo? Yes. Are there people who would dread the idea parents choosing where they send their children to school? Yes, but that is not a conspiracy. That is stupid.

      Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as [a]frontals [b]on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

      It takes effort to learn what is in the Bible. Gaining wisdom takes work. Teaching wisdom takes work, the work of someone who cares.

      The Book of Proverbs makes it quite clear that instruction in wisdom is a parental responsibility. We cannot just hand our children over to strangers, cross our fingers, and hope for the best, but that is what lots of people have done. Then, when that does not work, they blame everyone except themselves.

      Do the parents have to be the sole instructors? No, but many Christians refuse to send their children to public schools because those schools undermine what the children learn at home and at church. There is no reason parents should be pressured with so-called free publics schools to put up with that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess it depends what “undermine” means, Tom. No question some areas of the country tend to teach a bit ‘off target’ to represent some local preferences.. but then one deals with that through their school district. Not sure what you mean.

        Like

        1. @Doug

          If parents doesn’t like what is being taught in school, why can’t they pick another school without paying twice? Special interests screw up everything else the government does. You don’t think they influence the school curriculum? This is a freedom of religion issue.

          Like

      1. Doug,

        Thanks for you comment. I really don’t expect you will ever comprehend my reasoning, but that’s okay.

        One problem today is both parents have to work and when they get home, they are tired and have limited quality time with their kids anymore. That is not an excuse, just reality.

        By the way, I think something is wrong with your site. I tried a few more time making comments but they never show up.

        I wonder if it is because when I enter my name, etc, it shows up in Capital lettering and there is no way to change it to small lettering.

        Regards and good will blogging.

        Like

        1. There can be no other instruction about life.. and spirituality.. more important to teach your child than a parent’s sense of morality. I understand your reasoning there but just to a point. It’s a parent’s responsibility to do this kind of education or enroll your child in a religious-based school… pricey as it might be. Teaching morality is NOT just a another school subject like reading ‘riting’ and ‘rithmatic.

          I’ve not heard from anyone else about the posting difficulty to determine a common issue at play. This does not mean in the least that it doesn’t happen and no one can get to me to tell me. If you are “following” me there should not be any trouble. If you are posting anonymously.. which I think you do, that might keep showing up as a new guest each time which I would then have to moderate each time. Keep me tuned in on that, Rudy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Doug, you commented

            “Teaching morality is NOT just a another school subject like reading ‘riting’ and ‘rithmatic.”

            I agree the subjects differ. However, every teacher knows

            “Repetition is essential to secure the new learning as long-term memories.”

            According to King Solomon’s proverb,
            Train up a child in the way he should go;
            even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

            In other words, if you forget and rule and make a grimmer error, the consequences are not as consequential in life as a moral error that may effect your entire life.

            When a child is in school every day for eight hours and is exposed to moral teaching and values, compared to a working parents quality time, there is no comparison that a private religious school teaching will have a more repetitive effect and hopefully a better moral effect on a child.

            Regards and good will blogging.

            https://ebtn.org.uk/repetition/

            https://sbcvoices.com/train-up-a-child-what-does-proverbs-226-actually-mean/

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @Doug

            Our public schools are not just secular. They are secularized. People aren’t just upset that they cost too much and deliver too little. They are becoming disgusted with the values they promote. Some of the instructors are opponents of religion.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Tom,
            From what I read about liberal Democrats views, not only are many of their views bigoted, they are also hypo critics.

            Sad,

            Someone is making a lot of money feeding propaganda to liberals, in my opinion.

            Regards and good will blogging.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @Doug

            Belief in God. Respect for commonsense truths like the simple fact that which genital organs we have determine our sex, not what we say is our preference.

            The jihad part? Christians spread the Gospel nonviolently. Many Liberal Democrats and obviously some Muslims are more than willing to use force when they can get away with it.

            You want say Liberal Democrats are peaceful souls? 😅 The incessant name calling, the constant stream of unsubstantiated accusations, double standards of justice, rampant tax and spending, ….. Well, there is a difference. The jihad has better manners.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. @scatterwisdom

      Read your post. Excellent! Highly recommend it. Here is a another passage from Proverbs that makes the point about parental influence.

      Proverbs 4:1-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      A Father’s Instruction
      4 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
      And give attention that you may [a]gain understanding,
      2 For I give you [b]sound teaching;
      Do not abandon my [c]instruction.
      3 When I was a son to my father,
      Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
      4 Then he taught me and said to me,
      “Let your heart hold fast my words;
      Keep my commandments and live;
      5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
      Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
      6 “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
      Love her, and she will watch over you.
      7 “The [d]beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
      And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
      8 “Prize her, and she will exalt you;
      She will honor you if you embrace her.
      9 “She will place on your head a garland of grace;
      She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

      A good father teaches his sons to pursue wisdom as he would a beautiful woman. I suspect the reason for that is implied in Proverbs 31:10-31. Without a wise woman, perhaps a man is too easily lost. I suspect Adam knows about that. Eve did grow wise, however.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My interpretation of the she in these verses is the she is Solomon’s personificatipn of wisdom to be the Goddess of wisdkm

        Lots of Goddesses in ancient wisdom.

        I treat my wife as a goddess because she is wiser than me.

        Regards and goodwill blogging

        Liked by 1 person

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