Control Freak Societies
We see it everywhere. Everyone is trying to control everyone else. Especially here in the United States of America. Where does it come from? Just as achievement is the hallmark of fast growing societies, control is the hallmark of empire societies. Empire societies are relatively static, low growth societies, with many social problems. Control comes from the militarism of such a society. Control is the essence of the military culture, where following orders is the main thing you do. Too much individuality and you lose your place in the system. Followers are wanted, not people who might take your place if you give them a chance. As a friend of mine said about academics, improve things 2% and you are admired, improve things 3% or more and you are crazy. Know your place, know your rank, and don’t get too uppity. Judge people by who they are and where they are at, don’t listen to them if they are beneath your rank. Lots of people have risen to their level of incompetence according to the Peter principle and they are determined to lord it over you and abuse their authority.
This has shown up in my personal experience living in a fast growing West Coast state for almost twenty years and returning to a slow growing Midwest state for over the last twenty years. Living on the West Coast I could walk into the offices of important people around the town of Eugene, Oregon and talk to them easily. Here in the Midwest I have trouble getting past the gatekeepers to reach the people I need to talk to. A friend from the same doctoral cohort is hard to get hold of, so I drop into his office and catch him moving around while the secretary in the background fumes. I see the community college president in a meeting and one of his aides suggests I talk to the provost. Then I try to do so, and I hit a brick wall. No wonder mayor Paul Soglin of Madison says we are the #9 city in snobbery. San Francisco, by the way, is #1 in snobbery. In Eugene, I just walked into the office of the school superintendent and talked to her one day, and just walked into the office of the vice president for research of the University of Oregon and talked to him another day. Here in Madison, people recommend I talk to certain people about presenting my work and I am treated rudely. At national and local conferences of various sorts I often present, and even when I just drop in at the last moment, I often steal the show from the sidelines. But you can see the resentment on certain faces, even though people are amazed in the restrooms or walking around after my presentations or questions. In Eugene they kept asking me back for TV interviews, in Madison, a radio control freak changed the nature of the program I was using to air my thoughts to once a month rather than once a week. They also limited questions on their call in shows to once a week just because a very knowledgeable friend of mine called in his excellent questions frequently. And this is supposed to be a community radio station.
I saw the death of investigative journalism in the Reagan years in Eugene. I attended the local forums of labor, democrats, moderate republicans, and hard line republicans in the early eighties. One radio station regularly covered these forums in the early eighties but was not to be seen after a few years. I called in regularly on C-SPAN in the eighties. Wisconsin public radio took my calls for many years in the nineties, but now, since a Voice of America guy took over the broadcast, access is more narrowly limited. It is harder than ever to get the truth out in empire America as the decades go by. Even Jimmy Carter decries the death of real democracy in America. Just look at how open Al Jazeera America is compared to FOX, CNN, and even MSNBC.
More on control, militarism, and the social decay of empires:
Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute
best contact to ask Bob to speak to your group: firstname.lastname@example.org
to leave message: 608-230-6640
for more info: http://www.realeconomy.com
(Real Economy and/or Peace Economics free pdf on request by members of the press)
An archive of this yearlong press release campaign can be found at: https://bobreuschlein.wordpress.com/