So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, October 6, 2013
I was goofing off the other day, doing some light and humorous reading on the Internet. Sometimes I turn to Cracked.com for a few laughs. This time, however, it really put things in perspective for me. This article: 5 Seemingly Harmless Groups That Wield Terrifying Power, got me thinking.
Reading though the different examples, I came across something I didn't know before. There was a powerful “Ice Lobby,” that set back refrigeration and air conditioning for 60 years. In the days before refrigeration, ice was cut from northern lakes and shipped all around the country. That's how food and drink was kept cold back in the day. What I did not realize was that for 60 years, refrigeration technology existed. Only the vested interests of a powerful lobby from the ice industry kept it from being developed and widely used.
Suddenly many of todays problems came into focus. The world is a pretty screwed up place, but that's because there are powerful interests keeping it screwed up.
Here's just a few big ones:
Take the whole fossil fuel industry. Much of it can be replaced with renewables using off the shelf technology. Never mind all the alternative energy develops the industry bought the rights to and have suppressed. *yes, that's a real thing. They've used their considerable clout to keep us tied to a system that no longer makes sense.
The medical industry is a mess. To fix it would require a revamp from the ground up. Intuitively we know there has to be something wrong with a system that charges $20 for a couple aspirins. There's a lot of money being made with the current set up. Health care is not the focus. Making money is.
Money itself is a mess. There is something wrong with a system that concentrates so much wealth in the hands of so few who produce so little of value.
The whole “justice system.” The prison industrial complex is a powerful lobby. There's a lot of money being made locking people up. No wonder so many people in the US are in jail. It pays.
President Eisenhower warned about the Military Industrial Complex. It hasn't gotten any weaker since his day. Huge sums of money are being spent on things that do a lot more for company bottom line security than National security.
The whole homeland security gig has become another vested interest. The more fear, the more money security companies make.
Big agriculture is another one. I don't think we evolved to live on GMO grain, high fructose corn syrup, and chemically altered meat. Doesn't matter, as that's where the money is at.
These are all powerful forces, and they are holding us back. Just like the Ice Lobby, it's going to take years for these outdated systems to get replaced.
. . . or maybe it won't.
Every time someone puts a few solar panels, plants a garden, takes care of their own health, provides their own security, takes part in “unofficial” economic activities, and forms their own networks, they strike blows against the empire.
Maybe this time it's different. Good ideas can spread rapidly, without being mediated and controlled by the powers that be. Imagine if during the years of the Ice Lobby people had something like the Internet. People would be building AC units in their garage, improving the designs, and sharing their improvements. Southern Redneck engineering was up to the task. Just the promise of cool place to have a cold beer would have been motivation enough.
For me, freedom is my motivation. All those big vested interests do not have my freedom in mind, just the opposite. That's why I'm cutting them out of my life every chance I get.
And to think I was looking for a little light entertainment.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.