The Invasions of Earth
Copyright 2013, John Manimas Medeiros
1) Invasion by monsters from space.
2) Invasion by Europeans
3) Invasion of Abundance and Denial
4) Invasion of Communication
5) Invasion of Suicide
Invasion by monsters from space
This is what happened, during the twentieth century. I am watching a movie, 1953, Invaders from Mars. The invaders from Mars are robots without emotion, who just want to control people or kill people. Not long after, I watch a movie version of War of the Worlds, then monster-from-space films seem to appear monthly, if not weekly. Dinosaurs, blobs, diseases, heartless ugly humanoids, reptiles, ants, even a violent Id are coming to get us. Although I was a child, it was not lost on me that all of these monsters were depictions of a strange danger coming to us from far away. The monster that ate us or captured us was always the “other,” not ourselves. Then, in 1956 the famous Invasion of the Body Snatchers raised this genre to a new level. The invaders wanted our souls, and they wanted our bodies without souls. The Body Snatchers would steal your body but it would then be just a husk, no emotions, no soul, no higher purpose. This genre would thrive and evolve over time, leading to concepts of parasitic monsters who laid their eggs in human bodies (Alien) and who killed everything in sight “without remorse.” This was supposed to be the ideal weapon of war, a kind of monster-soldier that just killed and killed, stalked and killed, and had no other concerns, no thoughts about love or family or a vacation. But, the real invasion had already occurred, and it was part of the real invasion of Earth. The real invasion was World War I and World War II, which many historians recognize as a single ongoing war, blended into World War III also, if one considers the “Cold” war to be World War III, but with all three of these “World Wars” being actually one ongoing process of the Europeans invading the world. The real monsters were not from outer space, they were from central Europe. They were ordinary Europeans who persuaded themselves that they would be superior and earn the right to rule the world if they created the most cold, heartless and efficient war machine, if they organized themselves to give everyone in the world a simple choice, just like the choice that was offered by the fictional Invaders from Mars: either submit to our control or be killed by mechanical and chemical violence. What the war machine did, the war machine comprised of invading Europeans, was more cold and violent, heartless and horrible, than what could be done by the robots and pea pods sent to us by the movies. The real invasion was worse than an imagined invasion, and the real invasion was not in the future. It had recently occurred, and its impact was still with us.
Invasion by Europeans
What happened? The answer is the Europeans invaded the world. They used high technology weapons, propaganda, advanced communications, terror, theft and overwhelming power. Every deal they made with the surprised and confused tribes of the world was a deal that favored the invaders. We will let you live, but you must give us your land and your resources. We will show you how to be like us, how to control the world with weapons and money and banking and the technological wonders of the industrial revolution. Labor will be mechanized and powered by hydrocarbon fuels, and everyone will have an easier life. Many historians recognize this invasion of the world as the central event of the period from 1500 through 2000, five hundred years of the same process, with the United States becoming an extension of the original Europe. The Americans have always thought they are different, more benevolent, devoted to human freedom, but there are questions that arise repeatedly, signs suggesting that the United States of America supports freedom so long as the deal continues to favor them and their insatiable appetites. They first took territory for about 150 years but after the World War II of the battlefield they began to accept the kind of control that accompanies a military and economic empire. The United States still appears to be benevolent, but there are problems, very serious problems, that arise from the ongoing process of the Invasion of Earth by Europeans. It becomes, upon closer examination, the invasion of an attitude and a viewpoint. The major elements are that nations – the modern industrialized nation state – are better than tribes; private capital being in control of the economy is better than subsistence economies and tribal economies or local economies; religion teaches altruism but the dominant action of those claiming to be religious is to take all that they can and then receive great praise and recognition for giving back a small fraction of what was earned by slaves or captive, oppressed laborers. A scientific examination of how the capitalist industrial nation works, having a nobility that controls the wealth produced by the labor of the masses, is rejected as being “atheistic” oddly, as though revelations of how the material economy works are contradictory of high moral standards, especially the healing, teaching and radical social equality practiced by Jesus Christ, the alleged religion of the capitalists who insist that their control over land, buildings and machines will benefit everyone. The moral claims of the invaders climb so high that they proclaim “self-determination of nations” and “make the world safe for democracy” and everyone acts as though these are the highest possible moral aspirations. But what about “make the world safe for tribal societies” and “stop taking our land and stop destroying our culture”? A primary tool of the invaders is to continuously proclaim that the nation and the materialist economy makes life better for everyone. It actually looks like they have some good ideas much of the time, except that they have some sacred doctrines that no one is allowed to question. And then the real problem comes out during the second half of the twentieth century: abundance is a problem in itself, and overpopulation, and chemical technology that kills living things and poisons the natural environment. There is reason to believe, according to some scientists, that we have overlooked something that was thought to be trivial, but that turns out to the whole story, the main story, the frightening story: unintended consequences. While we were exploiting the land and the people, we overlooked the fact that we were changing the environment in ways that are so complex and so thorough we do not know how to measure it, or how to prevent the cosmically destructive outcomes that begin to come into our view.
Invasion of Abundance and Denial
The central economic event of the twentieth century, which is both encouraging and deeply disturbing at the same time, is that the industrial revolution is over and we won. Abundance is not only possible, it is here, but we are startled and confused by how difficult it is to manage, and how difficult it is to share the abundance that we thought would be so easy to share. Our first surprise, which is no surprise to the critics of capitalism, is that even when there is abundance, even when it is clear that the economy of the nation can produce enough of what people need, many still do not get what they need. In other words, abundance is far from automatic economic justice. Just because there are a million people and a million pizzas does not result in each one getting one pizza. We still have the same problem we had when there was famine and wild scarcity and minimal control over food production: some people have far more than they need, and some have less than enough. Well-meaning people, economists, politicians, business people, scholars, continuously examine the mechanisms and social forces that drive our economy, and they continuously come up with the same old tired doctrines. Some are so simple and backward in understanding the social and political economy that they still think the problem is the cost of labor. People who look at our economy from many different viewpoints still miss the dominant event of recent history: machines replace people in an industrial economy. The abundance comes from the persistent and expansive power of industrialists to reduce or eliminate human labor, which means eliminate jobs, by mechanizing more and more of the production and harvest process. One of the most interesting areas where the outcome of this process is clearly revealed is in the harvesting of fruits, nuts and vegetables. This kind of harvesting does not lend itself to mechanization as do many common industrial processes. Most fruits and vegetables have to be handled carefully, are easily damaged, and must get from the field to the market, or processor, quickly. Harvesting is the last of the major production processes to be mechanized, and the machines that are replacing hand harvesting are a wonder to behold. But they continue the invasion of Earth by Abundance and Denial. The Denial is in two parts. First, we deny that we have abundance, because some people don’t seem to be sharing in it. We deny that the abundance itself is a problem, but it is. It is a big problem because we have the same difficulties with abundance that gorillas or lions or wolves or infants have. We create a social hierarchy and we have religious doctrines that tell us some people are bad and must be punished. Our contrived and sub-consciously designed (or consciously designed) social and economic hierarchy confirms our religious doctrines: some people are bad and that is why they are poor. They are being punished for being lazy and probably stupid or at least ineffectual. Thus, we continuously confirm that the causes of poverty cannot be our own action or our own social design. Poverty occurs naturally, like an act of God, and it is not caused by how we handle abundance. How we really handle abundance is by using it to kill ourselves, usually slowly. We have enormous addiction problems: addiction of controlled drugs, to prescribed drugs, to foods adulterated with sugar and salt and other chemicals which are either addictive or harmful. We have problems with what to do. We have people of all ages uncertain of what they want to do for work or with their lives. We have an enormous problem of boredom, of people who have nothing to do but write short irrelevant messages to one another on cell phones. We act like a people who do not really want to have relationships. The essential quality of using a cell phone or a computer is that the operator is in control, and there is no need to respond to another person. One can wait for responses, or check for responses, and then reply. But the process of electronic communication removes the other person. It is limited to words. The communication operators are moving in the direction of the invaders from Mars, or from Europe: there is no need to engage emotions, respond to emotional cues or social conditions. We communicate entirely with symbols on a screen. A “friend” is a name on a list, from whom one supposedly received a text message. Could that text message have been sent by a machine? If one lived alone in a room and had a hundred screen “friends,” how would they know if the friends were real? It is not necessary to know. It is just necessary to keep busy pressing the buttons. There is no work for us. There is no work needed. There is no job for me, even if I have education and training. Human productivity is not needed anymore. The people are an imposition.
The second Great Denial is the denial that the way that the development of medical technology and medicines together with an abundance of food has increased human population and human destruction of the environment. Some scientists warn us that we are warming the planet and everything can change dramatically, and rather suddenly, as a result. Ice is melting and the seas will rise. Thousands of species in the seas and on the land could become extinct. There are toxic chemicals from our industrial revolution everywhere, including in our bloodstream, in our liver, fat and bones. For me, one of the comical cracks in human thinking is the act of surprise that we are heating the atmosphere by adding carbon dioxide. This of course we are doing. But it is rather strangely funny that few humans acknowledge that we heat the atmosphere with our infinite number of fires. Fires? What fires? Well, if you thought for a minute to take a look, you would have noticed every house has a fire, especially in the highly populated temperate zones, so that people can live indoors and sleep without getting worn out and sick from the cold. Every factory has a fire for heat and energy. Every power plant produces heat. Every automobile is a fire that is so hot it heats a large, heavy block of steel to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Every plane, train and ship has a power plant or engine that produces enormous quantities of heat. Human technology, up until the present, is based on fire. Everything we do requires a fire for energy and much of what we do requires a fire for process. How much fire and heat is produced by a metal processing plant? The point is we don’t need to produce carbon dioxide in order to heat the planet. Everything we do produces heat. Humans are in such ridiculous denial many would be surprised to hear that refrigerators and freezers produce heat. In the 1960’s we started to hear the warnings: toxins intended to kill insects will kill lots of other things. Our chemicals can kill everything and anything upon which the ecological house of nature depends: nematodes, fungi, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, bacteria, mosses, algae, coral, fish, mollusks, whales, birds, trees. But after 60 years of knowing this, and after 60 years of continuous evidence confirming that we are destroying the natural environment with our industrial and chemical revolutions, the voters still vote for representatives who promise to do nothing to protect the life-supporting environment. I am watching my country die. I am watching my species die.
Invasion of Communication
To consolidate the industrial and chemical revolutions, to keep control in the hands of a few revolutionaries who are dedicated to destroying Earth and then claiming it was an accident, we have the communications revolution. The communications revolution is a backward revolution, it is a reaction, and should be called a reactolution. The Communications Invasion is simple. It came about in reaction to the bad news that our industries are destroying life on Earth. The people in charge, the capitalists who manage our society so that profit for the few is the higher purpose, do not want people getting alarmed by an inconvenient truth. So, we need a process whereby the ability of people to communicate regarding the reality of what is happening, and to prevent suggestions for change from taking effect, we need to limit communications to those few who abide by the required doctrines. That has already happened, and continues with astounding consistency of purpose. Before 1960 it was understood by all that in a democracy newspapers and media of communication should not be controlled by a small group of people. There were laws that prevented a corporation from owning more than a restricted number of newspapers, or of newpapers and broadcasting stations. But during the second half of the twentieth century that changed. A corporation can buy all the newspapers and radio and television stations, and film production companies, that they want. The media does not need to be free. The press does not need to be free. Actually, someone does not want the press to be free. The signs are visible to anyone who has studied political science or government or social science. The “public discourse” is inane. People are herded toward a meaningless dilemma like turkeys to the slaughterhouse. What about abortion? Do humans in a persistent vegetative state have a right to die, or must they be kept alive to please somebody else? Should every person have equal rights before the law? We still debate equal rights even though our national Constitution and our laws clearly repeat that principle in numerous statutes. What is a marriage? Is it one’s right to own a gun? We debate possession of firearms even though there is no question that people have a right to do so, AND there is an enormous body of law that tells us the government has both a right and a duty to protect the public health and require a person to register something that they own, such as a motor vehicle or a house. All these questions have similar characteristics: they are either personal moral dilemmas or personal moral standards for which we DO NOT HIRE GOVERNMENT TO RESOLVE FOR US. In other words, the media in the United States today are obviously designed and organized to prevent the people from discussing important and relevant PROBLEMS THAT OUGHT TO BE RESOLVED BY GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS. Especially during elections, the people are consistently lead away from the important issues, issues that we hire government to address, and toward personal seventh-grade or infantile issues over which government is not intended to exercise control.
Invasion of Suicide
We are killing ourselves. Our society is suicidal. We drug ourselves; we drug our environment. Individuals go to some location where people are gathered and start shooting at everyone. This is strange behavior. This is not found in old or ancient history. The invaders are not from Mars; they are from Main Street, from Elm Street, from West Homeland Park. Our collective history is full of problems. On November 22, 1963 hundreds of people saw President Kennedy fired upon from two or three locations. This assassination was followed by the greatest effort in human history to conceal the truth of what had occurred, and who was motivated to support the assassination, including the death of twenty-two witnesses under suspicious circumstance. Nearly forty years later, on September 11, 2001, the Executive Branch of the United States allowed two planes to crash into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. A seven story government building nearby that was not struck fell by an act of deliberate demolition. The greatest air force in the world could not locate and stop the planes even though it was known that they were in the hands of hijackers who had a destructive purpose in mind. Intelligence reporters advised the Executive beforehand that this was being planned. It does not matter that there are explanations offered. The debris that was estimated to take a year or two to clean up was removed and destroyed or dropped into the sea within three months. All evidence was removed. Any videotapes, and some sound recordings, were confiscated by the FBI or CIA. Once again, as occurred in November 1963, what is clear to an objective observer is that great effort is invested in concealing what actually occurred, not informing the public of the truth. It is said that the truth will make us free. Does it follow logically that disinformation inherently deprives us of freedom? Most political scientists would argue that without access to information democracy is impossible. While the ice melts in Greenland and flows into the North Atlantic, threatening to change the thermohaline circulation and possibly change the direction of the Gulf Stream, and then change the climate of Europe, our corporate controllers provide all kinds of continuous entertainment to keep us occupied, or pre-occupied. Why is the world dying? We already know the answers that will come from the corporations and the government that they pay for: “I didn’t know. I don’t recall. That would not have been my decision.” No one in power is accountable. The rich know nothing and talk like they believe in magic. They talk like nothing that happens had a human cause. Corporate America is Oz. We want teachers to be held responsible for what disturbed children learn, and we want the poor to join the military service and defend the interests of the nation. But the corporate chief executives who eliminate employment and rake in enormous compensation, sometimes thousands of times what an average person receives, they don’t know, don’t recall and are not responsible. We have been invaded, and we are not resisting the invasions. We are so doped with the overwhelming power of the invaders we can watch a movie about the end of the world and be entertained. We live with a well-established pattern of depicting the problems and then going back to sleep. The nation that describes itself as the greatest democracy on Earth excels – at war and entertainment, but is unable to distribute the abundance that is described as the planned successful outcome of that alleged democracy. Then come more books and films about our being invaded by reality. Many depict our world devastated by climate change, collapse of the global ecology, famine and disorder that descends into the cruelty and terror of civil war, social chaos, or a surveillance police state. Freedom declines to nil, and we become the monsters more tragic and more painful than any of the nightmares of our earlier imagination. People will ask why this happened. The answer is because the most privileged people and elected officers of our society devoted their energies to concealing what they did and why they did it. These are the monsters who invaded and killed us. They came from Earth, not far away.
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