We are trapped in an Overton window of our own making. We have allowed the acceptable discourse among society to be artificially limited and for those limitations to be decided by profit-motivated media and public figures. Essentially, we have allowed our consent to be manufactured to a range of debate which purposefully excludes the radical solutions we engage in political debate to find.
These ideological limitations are imposed to corral the minds of the people. Those in power don’t want people to even contemplate the idea’s which could ameliorate our communal suffering. They cannot win on the merits of the issue so they use the Overton window to set the rules of debate in such a way as to exclude critiques. These are mental chains placed upon us by those who benefit from engineering our society in this way. We must cast them off, they do not serve us. In fact, they prevent us from fully exploring the myriad of solutions that are actually available to us.
Ideology is a form of ego; it is what we can only believe to be true. Beliefs are individually determined things, not universal truths. The Overton window imposed upon us reflects the ego of the rich who control all the levers of power in our system. Capitalism is their belief system and they have endeavored to limit people’s discourse to subvert any challenge to it.
Belief systems, however, cannot be proven. They require faith in the authority of whoever expressed the ideology, and they require consent/covenant. We are at a point in history where faith in Capitalism is quickly eroding, despite decades of efforts by the benefactors to shore it up. As people begin to abandon the belief system of the rich they will start withdrawing their consent, and that dear reader is the death knell of Capitalism as a system. Click To Tweet
Consent is the key here; it is the only way to negate the trespasses of an imposed reality. Consent gives legitimacy to an idea or system while dissent takes it away, this is why manufacturing our consent to these systems is so devious and yet so successful. It precludes dissent because consent is already implied. It also sells people a replacement for their own self-determination in the form of an illusionary choice between options predetermined by those in power. In actual application, this process delivers a concentrated and legalized trespass highway that runs through the living room of every house in this nation.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
When faced with this “consented to” trespass highway people often short circuit; they can neither admit it’s all a scam, nor confront the exploitation of their own system because they appear to be willingly participating, or even benefiting from it. The ego won’t easily allow the breaking down of the belief systems it has embraced, because that requires admitting to oneself that you have been duped, tricked, and are thus complicit.
Many people respond to this internal conflict by throwing on their willful blindness glasses and continuing on as they are, without ever questioning whether their consent was manufactured or if they are actually willingly and knowingly consenting to the contracts which create these conditions. Admitting the truth is too big a proposition for them. The solutions and sacrifices that must be made to rectify our problems are too intimidating, and the breadth of change they would have to invite into their lives is too overwhelming. They take the path of least resistance all the while pretending not to see that it ends in a cliff.
This tactic will only lead humanity further into the maze of self-delusion and self-destruction. What we need at this moment is courage. What we need is the strength to continue to pull back the veil of illusions and the integrity to shatter our own ego’s when they stand in the way of justice. What we need is the fortitude to follow the intellectual breadcrumbs out of the dark, no matter how blinding the truth may be.
We must carve out the space to talk about the many ways in which we can organize our governance, our economy, and our society. And, it must be a space of logic and respect. We can no longer afford to get angry at the mention of words like socialism, communism, libertarian, Green party, 3rd party, anarchy, worker co-op, redistribution of wealth, regulation, or any other concept which the Overton window tells us to turn our noses up at.
We must think for ourselves, and make knowledgeable decisions. The only way we can do that is to dismiss the assumptions planted in our minds by media, school, our parents, and our politicians. We must analyze every idea with an open mind and a willingness to be wrong, and we must be willing to grow and change as new information reveals itself.
We will not lose our way without an Overton window, that has never been what guides humanity. Our compass is morality, and it resides within each of us. Some call it God, some call it intuition, or spirit, or soul but no one can ever take it away from us, and it is this shared understanding of right and wrong which truly unites us.
So, let us not turn away from the work that needs to be done. Let us boldly challenge the egos of the rich. Let us shatter the barriers of “acceptable debate” which have been handed down from on high. Let us eradicate the limitations which have been imposed upon us, and get down to the business of creating our own futures. Let us, set ourselves towards turning their Overton window into a doorway… one which will set us on the path towards salvation.
“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.” ― Eugene V. Debs
Feature Photo Credit: Chris Devers © 2010