Exceptionalism – The Mind Killer

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Exceptionalism – The Mind Killer

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Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

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It is so deeply embedded, so seamlessly rooted and integrated into what we think of as ‘our self’, that when expressed oftentimes it is (intentionally) mistaken for something else entirely. Our indoctrination begins at birth in tiny little ways, mostly personal in nature, with our parents and care givers the initial delivery system. From day one out of the womb we are conditioned via adoring smiles and Coochie Coochie Coo’s that we are exceptional, one of a kind and King of the house. A few minutes of screaming has everyone running to stem the tears and change the pee pants. And it is all downhill from here.

When we enter a mostly government controlled (aka elite controlled) education system, it is then that our cultural conditioning is hijacked and diverted towards ‘the greater good’, cleverly morphed into statism, capitalism, populism, consumerism and nationalism, all derivatives and extensions of exceptionalism. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the……….” Regardless of the source of the corruption, ultimately “We the Parents” are solely responsible for what is taught to our children by others.

Unfortunately the vast majority of us never resist the conditioning of our children since we are as deeply conditioned (‘cultured’ sounds so much nicer, don’t you think?) as they will be. After all why resist something that just is, and always has been, as far as we are concerned? Considering how short the lifespan of a human is compared to the longevity of the state and its always replaceable minions, who can blame us for not seeing the body from the naval while gazing.

Exceptionalism is one of the most insidious mind viruses ever created by man simply because it is often hidden within the framework of other more obvious memes and control techniques. And it feeds upon itself once its appetite has been stimulated through our unwitting and self consumed hand. The greatest trick the control system ever pulled was convincing the world’s population on a per person basis that it is in our individual best interest to subvert our own self interests for the benefit of the powerful elite. Talk about divide and conquer techniques.

Often it is presented as a beneficial sacrifice, sometimes small, sometimes very large, but almost always for the greater good. And since the greater good is served by you, and you by definition are part of the greater good, you too will benefit from your adoration of the nebulous and intangible “We the People”. It all sounds too good to be true………and it is. From birth we are taught to believe that what is good for the elite goose is good for the peon gander, beginning within our own family hierarchy and branching out from there to ‘greater’, more powerful, hierarchical elites.

This controlling meme has taken on many forms and flavors over the centuries, millennium if you think about it, with always the same outcome; our own power willingly handed over to those who declare themselves worthy, uniquely qualified, even en-titled to receive it……or to take it from us if we hesitate and don’t quickly comply. Regardless, the ultimate power source of exceptionalism is our own desire to be, or at least to feel, more powerful than we believe we really are. This deep seated need to be ‘exceptional’, this controlling meme conditioned into us from birth, springs from our own decision to concede that which is our very essence, our innate power, to unworthy and extremely destructive recipients.  

The brilliance behind the controlling ‘exceptionalism’ meme is that it works in favor of the controlling elite both on the accent and descent phases of any nation or empire, no matter how large or small it may be, and on the individual level. The citizens of tiny Monaco collectively and individually think no less of themselves than “We the Conditioned” here in the US. I can, and will, always believe myself better, faster, smarter and stronger than the person in front of me on the way up the ladder and the same applies as well while descending all the way to hell.

There is always someone worse off than me, even when I am sleeping in the streets and even when there really isn’t. While the phrase “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet,” is intended to teach humility, often we secretly reject humility in order to ‘feel’ better about our own misery by embracing a sense of superiority over others. When chasing the leaders up the hill I believe myself unlucky or not yet ready to assume their superior position in the dog eat dog race. And when I fall from grace I can nurse my bruised ego by declaring myself ‘victim’ and not suited for this horrible place.

 

No shoes, but still have feet

 

But this self deception also comes into play on a more subtle level as well. How many times have we heard, read, seen or even said the following, “Oh, they would never do that” with ‘they’ almost always referred to as someone or something/entity endowed with ‘authority’ and power. Our preferred belief, that “We the Weak” are ‘better’ than others, be it persons, institutions or nations, allows us to maintain the personal illusion that the undefined ‘they’ not only share our personal world view, but because ‘they’ do, and ‘they’ are so much more powerful than ‘we’, that ‘they’ would struggle mightily to maintain ‘it’ (the status quo superior position) for ‘them’ as well as for ‘us’. In other words, their superiority will trickle down to ‘us’ both collectively and individually. Sadly we regularly indulge in the fantasy of the trickle down pee-on theory.

This of course is precisely what the powerful elite are doing, maintaining the status quo, which is their power and control over “We the People”. But because ‘we’ are conditioned to maintain a sense of distorted and corrupted exceptionalism on all levels of our existence we willingly, even enthusiastically, go with the flow in order to maintain our own personal self deception.

In essence this is a form of self censorship, of externally induced self control that we embrace because it feeds the need to be perceived internally and externally as exceptional, which itself is artificially created and reinforced by our lifelong conditioning. This is how a few tens of thousands control (a softer, more egoically acceptable phrase might be ‘greatly influence’) seven billion. And for the most part the control is exquisitely executed.

We dearly wish to self identify with our protective tormentors in order to endear ourselves to them so that we may believe we will be placed under their protective wing. This induces us to enable, and endure, all kinds of abusive behavior by ‘them’ in the name of our personal protection, which in turn helps maintain our illusion of exceptionalism. Actually this point of view perfectly demonstrates the slave mentality, of which the Stockholm syndrome is a major part of, all of which works hand in hand with the overall meme of exceptionalism.

Even “We the Slaves” have our own hierarchy, so while misery loves company if I had my druthers I would much prefer you to be more miserable than me. Since I am creating and measuring the misery index, and you have no say in the matter, I can believe whatever I want. And what I want is to feel better (more gruel please?) about myself and my servitude/slavery. From a psychological point of view, there is very little difference between the King’s monarchy of old and the present day wage slave nation. In fact I would say it is worse today because in the days of King Arthur “We the Commoners” knew our place in the hierarchal order and had no fantastical aspirations of upward mobility because none was possible.

Essentially ‘exceptionalism’ (which in the modern era is carefully hidden within ‘nationalism’) plays off our hugely distorted and inflamed ego at every level, from the lone individual playing (and occasionally winning) online poker against faceless opponents to nations engaged in international sport or warring contests. A perfect example of the group or collective ego at play in a relatively benign environment is the national fanaticism expressed by all nations involved in the World Cup or the Olympics.

When considering armed conflict “We the War Mongersalways see our ‘selves’ as righteous and superior over those we wish to suppress. In essence we are desperate to be exceptional and will do just about anything to perceive ourselves as we wish, of course always with the expressed permission from an external authority so that we may keep our own hands clean. And if that means I must hold you back or under water, or kill you, in order to feel exceptional (or better yet, get the newly conditioned young adults to do the dirty work for you)……well, that’s just the natural order of things……right?

If I can’t be happy, you sure as hell won’t be either. How else can we internally rationalize and justify the killing and maiming of other humans beings, aside from the fact that most of “We the People” aren’t actually pulling the trigger or dropping the bombs? And the elite play us like dumb placid puppets, using our conditioned fears and inadequacies against ‘us’ and others. Divide and conquer, it works because we work it.

 

We the Puppets

 

The politically correct approach to paper over the raw exceptionalism “We the Puppetsall embody to some extent or another is to affirm the joining of many nations in peaceful commerce and play; fun and games really. But the real driving force and money behind the scenes is in the exploitation by the controlling elite of the collective ego against other collective egos, all fueled by the individual ego. The various media outlets help us to avoid confronting our own raw emotional investment by promoting feel good stories in various forms and functions.

Just look at the excitement when Jamaica fields a Bobsled team in the winter Olympics, an incredible accomplishment considering Jamaica is snowless year round. This warm and fuzzy moment shared by all helps mask the fierce nationalism fueled by exceptionalism at play throughout the athletic contest. In war “We the Pious” are extremely careful to seek positive affirmation we are doing ‘right’ from those in ‘authority’, thus receiving our certificate of goodness from the very same entity that is promoting the bloody destruction. How screwed up is that?  

To give the concept of exceptionalism serious and critical thought, one must begin to question the very idea of ‘human nature’, or more accurately what we often ascribe to human nature, thus writing our ‘normal and natural’ behavior off as nearly impossible to change or stop. Ask yourself honestly; what is the difference between deeply engrained generational conditioning spanning hundreds, even thousands of years, and what we describe as ‘human nature’, itself ultimately a phrase that describes something which springs from within ‘naturally’?

Is not ‘human nature’ just the deepest form of conditioning possible, innately derived and generated at the genetic level from eons of survival and cultural lessons learned? Regardless of whether the concept of ‘evolution’ is truly correct or not, few would argue over the notion that to a large extent we are a product of our conditioned environment, both past and present, and in every possible aspect of the word.

Or maybe to soften the egoic blow I should rephrase that last sentence to read “…few would argue over the notion that to a large extent we are a product of our culture…” Except (or course) when it interferes with our beloved belief in the gloriously self deceptive ‘free will’, such as the free will expressed when we are conditioned from first grade to pledge allegiance to the elite state. I love my masters; I really do!

Let us say that I turn left at the end of my driveway 90% of the time. But today, despite wanting to turn right and travel in a different direction, without thinking I do what I normally, or ‘naturally’, do and turn left. Should we ascribe my action as simply the product of ‘human nature’ or to self conditioning? Since most spontaneity and creative thinking is conditioned out of us by the time we graduate from high school, having been perfectly trained to be the corporate cog in the profit wheel, was my inadvertent left turn a product of my ‘self’ conditioning or just a small reflex in the much bigger cultural conditioning? I owe, I owe, so off to work go. And ‘left’ is where I go when I owe.

If our entire culture is deeply embedded within the controlling money meme and nearly everything we interact with on a daily basis is measured by, compared to or embodied within the fiat fantasy, can our overall behavior within the suffocating money meme be described as ‘human nature’ or ‘conditioned reflex’. Some better questions might be…do we even recognize the difference between those two choices and are there more? For the vast majority of “We the People” the answer to the previous questions is a resounding NO we don’t and YES there are. 

I propose that the psychological carrot offered by perceived exceptionalism, along with the stick of wage slavery and a conditioned mind, which the personal and collective ego quickly diminishes in importance by hiding ‘it’ in plain sight in the form of other ‘isms’ so that it may remain safely hidden from self perception and introspection, is the bedrock support for our self imposed slavery.

And as ridiculous as this may sound to the average Jane and Joe, the upper class (notice I did not say ‘controlling elite’) also suffers from their own form of self imposed slavery, though granted they are less concerned with day to day survival and much more with their social status and business connections. But the mechanisms involved remain pretty much the same as the unwashed masses. We are all trickled on pee-ons when you get right down to the nitty gritty. Some just smell and dress better than the others.

 

05-28-2014

Cognitive Dissonance

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