The Academediamilitacorporabanktocracy

“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride.  Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison:  it was through Pride that the devil became the devil:  Pride leads to every other vice:  it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”  – C.S. Lewis

A most harmful consequence of pride is thinking we are conscious of our motivations, when in reality most of the time we are not.  In fact, we are not even aware of many of our own very perceptions.  We take for granted that we “know” what’s coming through our senses, but this is to over-estimate the power of the conscious mind. In fact, most of what we perceive in our virtual worlds is nonsense.  This insight is not new to theologians and philosophers, and now it is well-established scientifically, making its way into brain research literature and textbooks.

“Our behavior can be guided by perceptions of which we have no conscious awareness.”  -Physiology of Behavior, 11th Edition, Neil R. Carlson.

Because we are not conscious of many of our motivations, and furthermore blinded by pride, we must be rigorously disciplined in making observations and deducing, rather than purely speculating, what is actually driving us.

To be humble is to acknowledge the power of all the activity that is under the level of conscious thought.  If we don’t, then we make the mistake of thinking we know why we’re doing something when in reality we do not.  People who work in the marketing industry are well aware of this fact, and they are highly skilled at manipulating the public to choose their products without us noticing.

 Whenever we are not vigilantly aware, we are vulnerable to being controlled by someone or something else.  Furthermore, as we become more dependent on the technologies that have enabled the accelerating move toward virtual living, and as we become too busy with virtual concerns, we observe and notice less of what comes through our senses, less of what is actually occurring in the physically real world of sensation.  This is making us easier to control, since non-violent abstract directives can now be used effectively in place of physical force. 

Marketers are doing their job, and are only at the tip of the iceberg.  As we conform to a world that is increasingly more manmade, virtual, and scripted for sameness; our real lives, what we are actually doing as opposed to what we think we are doing, are being controlled by forces – a parasitic power – of which we generally unaware.   As long as we fail to practice conscious free will in the pursuit of our rational interests, we are vulnerable to externally programmed control.

Think about it. How many times have you driven home from work while talking on the phone or listening to the radio, and suddenly you are at home, not remembering the actual drive at all?  Or, you got up to go into the other room, while you were thinking of something else, only to arrive in the other room completely forgetting why you went there?  Maybe it was to get your phone charger.  No harm is done, just strange.  Now imagine it wasn’t your phone charger, it was a tool you needed to repair your roof as storm clouds were rushing in.  Certainly you would be less likely to forget.  In fact, in the more real world of the past, on a regular basis you would need to be more in touch with your sensory environment and would need to be acting more consciously.

We can see many examples of how this type of power arrangement operates.

First Example:  Dicrocelium dendriticum (Lancet Fluke)

The Lancet Fluke is a parasite that has acquired the ability to find its way into an ant’s brain and direct the ant to climb to the top of grass blades where it can be most easily eaten by a sheep or cow.  It turns out that this particular parasite can reproduce only inside the stomach of a sheep or cow, so this is how it benefits from the ant’s self-destructive behavior.

Second Example:  Toxoplasma Gondii

Like the Lancet Fluke, T.Gondii is a parasite that is capable of changing the behavior of its host.  T. Gondii’s adaptation is that it can hijack the nervous system of a mouse to make it behave fearlessly out in the open, where it becomes an easy meal for cats.  It makes sense, because this parasite reproduces only inside the stomach of felines.

Third Example:  Organized Religion

In this example, organized religion is the parasite and humans are the host.  Like in the examples above, the parasite has acquired the adaptation of being able to control the behavior of its host for its own reproductive benefit.  However, instead of propagating genes by sexual reproduction spanning generations, this parasite evolves through the deployment of seductive memes (packets of information transmitted between people by language, symbols, gestures, imitation, and customs) that are activated immediately and that direct the host’s behavior whenever the host is vulnerable.  The memes that have the best fitness are those that successfully persuade human host that it will benefit, and that these benefits are worth a degree of self-sacrifice.  In these cases, it is common for the host (human) to engage in missions, traveling near and far, risking one’s own life, to spread the memes of a particular religion. In extreme cases, the parasite (the religion) succeeds in persuading the host to commit suicide while murdering members of the parasite’s competitors, thus greatly increasing the parasite’s reproductive success.

If this is new to you, it may take a while for this to sink in.  How can we compare organized religion, which is an abstraction, to a parasite like T.Gondi or the Lancet Fluke, which are real organisms that can be sensed?  Actually, that’s the point.  Humans have the unique ability to change their behavior, or to have their behavior controlled, by memes that arise from beliefs, which are abstractions, not sensed.  So a system like organized religion (or even our entire culture, as I argue in the fourth example) is evolving in the same way that a real, tangible species evolves, following the same rules as normal Darwinian evolution.  The organism that has undergone a change in its genes that makes it more fit to survive and reproduce will flourish and pass these new genes on to the next generation.  Likewise, the virtual system (organized religion, in this example) that has undergone a change in its memes that makes it more marketable/attractive will transmit those memes from person to person, thus flourishing, growing, and continuing to evolve to its benefit, as the long as the host survives long enough for the parasite to reproduce.  So a parasitic system of concepts, like a real biological parasite, is a natural phenomenon.  It’s how nature works.  (It would take conscious acts of free will to counter the natural self-destructive actions of a human host when it is infected with a fundamentally self-interested, non-human, short-sighted, and non-conscious parasite).

The examples above are courtesy of still-living philosopher Daniel Dennett.  For further elaboration, please refer to his books and many lectures.

Fourth example:  Our Culture as a Parasite – The Academediamilitacorporabanktocracy

Again, any rational examination starts with observations followed by identifying patterns in the data.  When we do this, it is my assertion that a fourth example is suggested:  Our (Western) culture as a parasite, with humans as the host.  Imagine this metaphor:  Each of us is a cell, and together we comprise a single, giant, living human.  We are all cells connected to each other and dependent on each other to a large extent for survival.

“We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow man” – Herman Melville.

We also have boundaries (membranes), the integrity of which is also critical for our health and survival.  Through these boundaries, we are in constant, dynamic exchange with each other, which is how we are fed, educated, socialized, and conditioned.  The health of this collective metaphorical human depends on the integrity and health of the cells and vice versa.  Now imagine that this human is infected by a parasite that is interested only in its own strength and fitness, even if it means sucking the life and liberty out of its host organism (us).  The parasite in this rather limited metaphor is what I call the Academediamilitacorporabanktocracy (Academics-Media-Military-Corporations-Banks-Government), or Atocracy for short, and the weakness in our collective immune system is pride and pride’s effect of augmenting our already exaggerated notions of separateness, thus our willingness to virtual fight-or-flight.  Like organized religion, this parasite uses memes, which we transmit to each other throughout our entire collective body.  The most successful memes are those that feed pride and promise short-term pleasure, but that direct our behavior to promote the Atocracy’s agenda in opposition to the health and fitness of the cells.  Some cells have died already and most are getting sicker; but in the interests of feeding the Atocracy, the overall number of the cells continues to increase.  This parasite gets stronger as the host fights itself, most notably the left side of the body versus the right side.  Infused with Yang’s dominance over Yin, it thrives in a pool of imbalance.


Below are the Atocracy’s features (with location in parentheses).  Each of these deserves an entire shelf full of books, arguments, essays.  These are only very brief summaries of some observations, each with famous cherry-picked quotes:

Academics (Brain):  These are the cells of education, which when healthy, thrive on masculine rationality, feminine intuition, wisdom, the widest reasonable diversity of ideas, and an intense drive for truth.  Today, these cells are infected with conformity to a training model that defines success as getting a degree and maximizing production and consumption capacities.  Diversity of ideas is given lip-service while a commitment to ideological indoctrination dominates most schools.  “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.”  – H.L. Mencken

Higher level institutions and the research they conduct is paid for and controlled by corporations and government. Ego, agenda, and greed have corrupted scientific pursuit and reporting of results by universities.

“But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.” – Richard Horton, Chief Editor of The Lancet

Media (Mouth).  The original intention of a free press was to educate and inform its readers so that citizens could make good decisions about matters that affected their lives.  Now, the dissemination of information is based exclusively on profitability – how much attention it gets – and it is therefore controlled by the advertisers and media owners.  As long as we continue to pay attention to what fits their agendas; there will be no safeguards in place to prevent bias and manipulation.  Even outright lies.  Some of our most popular media spokespeople have been caught red-handed – Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Mitch Albom, just to name a few – and it is astonishing how few citizens seem to notice or care.  Nobody has to tell these reporters to lie.  They do it anyway because they believe that their cause is more important – that the ends justify the means.  “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth.  They have the power to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power, because they control the minds of the masses.” – Malcom X

Meanwhile, emotionally provocative headlines that rile us up – that most effectively incite virtual fight-or-flight responses – are the best sellers, keeping us in conflict with each other over shallow, irrelevant, entertaining sensationalism; distracting us from what is controlling our real behavior.  The media feeds us the candy we crave, and we just keep clicking, getting fatter and weaker with conformity, entertainment, soma, sleep, suicide.

Military (Muscle):  Our proclivity to fight each other, and to not understand in depth the reasons for the rule of law being a founding principle in the first place have facilitated the misuse of muscle – a few using the power of the state and/or international corporations in opposition to the interests of the many.  Dwight Eisenhower said, “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience….We recognize the imperative need for this development.  Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications….In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought of unsought, by the military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” The military-industrial complex (and even the entire economy) usually benefits when a nation goes to war and wins, but of course this is not helpful to the people who were killed.  Once again, the parasite benefits, as real human life is sacrificed.  This action is not new.  To make matters worse the USA is increasingly imperialistic, using its military might to assassinate the leaders of sovereign nations that never attacked the US, throwing these nations into violent chaos, allegedly for the protection of economic interests of US-based corporations, or for imposing so-called Democracy on people who did not request it, or for establishing a heretofore unexplained utopian global unity, or for so-called humanitarian reasons.  Hundreds of thousands of innocent people are murdered, ostensibly to protect them against human rights violations of their leaders.  It’s for “their own good”.  The memes are propagated, and real lives are taken for the violent promotion of abstract ideologies.  The American taxpayer does not examine in depth whether the leaders of the military industrial complex are justified, as long as war does not come to American soil, which it never does, at least for now.

Corporations (Right Side Body):  Usually defended by Republicans, who view Gov’t as the abusing power, when in fact the corporations lobby (bribe) the lawmakers to ensure that they remain triplets, partners with the Government and banks at the top of the power hierarchy.   “Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow.” -Abraham Lincoln.  The government has the biggest guns, the corporations control the government, and the corporations are greedy by design.  Big business defenders say we can hold the corporations accountable – just sell your stock – but how many shareholders actually do this based on virtue?  None!  Especially if part of a mutual fund.  Practically nobody sells their stock if they think it’s increasing in value, regardless of the corruption or damage done by a corporation.  Also, can we really say that human beings benefit when a business multiplies its profits by replacing workers with computers and robots? A future of leisure in which technology does all our work for us may seem attractive; but so far, we can observe that the lives of the unemployed tend to be characterized by despair, disempowerment, and depression. It may not be wise to hand over yet more power to businesses.  A corporation conducts operations without conscience, accountability, or morality.  This is not to say that corporations are inherently evil, only that we men have allowed our pride to increase beyond our conscious control and to combine in these collectives called corporations.

Banks (Heart):  Banks pump the money, the blood, through the system.  But it’s not even real money today, it’s virtual.  Back when money was invented, we exchanged metal coins, then paper money backed by metal, then paper not even backed by metal, and now we are phasing out the paper, toward pure virtual electronic money backed by nothing real.  Then the banks, which are corporations, control the “Federal Reserve” to simply make money out of thin air whenever the banks can justify it, and the people get taxed.  The majority us do not notice or care, or we say it’s necessary for the benefit of the “economy”, which is another abstraction, nonsense.  Yet it’s a notion usually propagated in subtle ways, but sometimes asserted aggressively through memes such as “It’s the economy stupid” or “What’s good for the economy is good for all of us.”  All the while, most citizens remain unaware of the potentially disastrous outcomes of monetary policy that has resulted in approximately $20 Trillion of debt and $100 Trillion of unfunded liabilities, numbers that are growing exponentially, despite already being too high to fully comprehend.  “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currencies, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their prosperity until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” – Thomas Jefferson.

Tocracy (Left Side of Body):  the government for, by, and of, the virtual people, not the real people.  It is often defended by Democrats, who see it as a legitimate power that can solve the problems created by the large corporations and ignorant citizens.  Today’s liberal in effect has the state, backed by science, serving the same omnipotent paternal function as the theocracies of the middle ages.   This sentiment, sold through the media as compassion (or some other virtuous-sounding meme) and backed by military/police muscle, keeps the Atocracy well-nourished while the taxed cells struggle to pay student loans, auto loans, credit cards, bills, mortgages, etc.  The memes that divide us and keep us depending on the State, and looking to the State for solutions, will always benefit the parasite.

The most common mistake is to perceive the large corporations and government as two separate agents, one being better than the other, when in fact they are just two aspects of the same thing.  The word “corporatocracy” has been coined and widely used by critics of this extremely corrupt political/economic arrangement that is supported by the banks, the mainstream media, and academics – while we citizens fight each other as self-identified Republicans or Democrats.  “They have the same point of view.  The two parties are two factions of the business party.  Most of the population doesn’t even bother voting because it looks meaningless.  They’re marginalized and properly distracted.  At least that’s the goal.”  – Noam Chomsky

The infected condition of academics, media, military, corporations, banks, and government are different aspects of the same power structure, of our culture, the Atocracy.  The mistaken perception that these are six separate agents comes from our propensity to see separateness where none exist except in name, and then to amplify this perception with virtual fight or flight. We label each other as belonging to one group or another, as advocates for the wrong side, and then as an enemy to be opposed; when in reality we are connected like cells in a body.

Not a “conspiracy”.

None of this need be conscious, nor a conspiracy, nor in dictatorial fashion like the theocracies of the Middle Ages, which imposed rule top-down vertically by elite individuals in the power hierarchy.  We no longer need kings, priests, bankers, the so-called top 1%, the Rothschilds, Bilderbergs, etc. to do the dirty work; because we do it for them, and certain envied individuals get richer as a side-effect, which obscures the fundamental cause all the more.  Instead, we keep each other in check. We fight horizontally over virtual concerns.  We also police ourselves horizontally, employing virulent seductive memes in the form of peer pressure, status, “keeping up with the Joneses”, political correctness, admiration, respect, vanity…..all products of pride, ultimately.  Nearly all of this control occurs beneath consciousness.  Just like with Darwinian evolution, as long as it works, the memes are propagated, and the corresponding behaviors are repeated. No top-down “intelligent designer” is necessary.  Every time a meme replicates and is able to effectively modify the behaviors of the host in ways that benefit the parasite, the overall process of memes-as-information-packets-that-change-behavior is reinforced, regardless of who or what is authoring the meme, and regardless of whether it is for a so called “good” or “bad” purpose with respect to the host.  Like the genosphere, the memosphere is morally neutral, so it is up to the host to attempt to make conscious moral choices if morality is indeed important to the host.   This further stresses the need for a foundational set of values, morals, and virtues on which we can agree; so that we can engage consciously in right behaviors that cultivate a good conscience, and that in turn reinforce good behavior.  But, more importantly, it also means that we must have awareness of sensory data and not allow our nervous systems to be commandeered by non-sense.  In other words, we must employ free will in our vigilance about directing our attention toward what is actually coming through our senses.  “It may be that we are puppets – puppets controlled by the strings of society.  But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness.  And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.” – Stanley Milgram.  This is not easy, and not rewarded, in today’s virtual environment.

The Atocracy is a greedy, gluttonous, faceless, virtual parasite that thrives on social pressure that enables increasing force and taxation, whenever we transmit the memes that keep the people obsessed with so-called education (the corrupt version that promotes conformity instead of enlightenment), media diversions, sports, entertainment, production, and consumption.  No morality is involved, and behaviors tend to become standardized, predictable, and scripted.

These observations are not new.  Ancient thinkers, enlightenment philosophers, theologians, right up to modern times as well, have shared them.  They have been elucidated commonly and recently in a genre of science fiction that extrapolates into the future the consequences of this trend toward centralized control, scripted obedience, and sameness and away from conscious living, individuality, and creativity – for example, Brave New World, 1984, the Matrix, The Machine Stops, Fahrenheit 451, even children’s books like The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time.

“Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures.  A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant world of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.”  -Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited p268

It is my contention that the rigorously-collected empirical evidence, the pattern of observations, reveals that by “those who would manipulate and control” our society Aldous Huxley was referring to a phenomenon that has become the Atocracy and its agents (we who conform, who are not “on the spot”); and that we’ve already relinquished to it a great deal of control of our lives.

In the book A Wrinkle in Time, the massive controlling agent was called “IT”.  “IT” is nearly perfectly analogous to what I am saying is the “Atocracy”.  I urge you to read the short book and think about this phenomenon.

My grave concern is that we American men are not only forfeiting control of our lives; but we are doing so as soldiers for a parasite that will continue to suck the life out of us, as long as the members of this society “spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now in the calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant world of sport and soap opera…”

If we do not heed the warnings of our ancestors, if we continue to be bloated with pride and complacent about preserving our rights to life and liberty, we are jeopardizing our survival.  We might very well be suicide bombers on behalf or “IT”, the Atocracy.


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