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John Hallmann Headshot

The Deceptions Of Prevailing Opinion

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For too long, the powerful in this country have done what they can to undermine others and make the greatest possible profit for themselves employing as Adam Smith said, "the vile maxim of mankind, all for ourselves and none for other people." The wealthy make their money and scamper off with their hoarded wealth and provide no service to the society that gave them the power to make a difference.

Can a person morally live a extravagant wealthy lifestyle in a society with severe inequities? I believe not.

As the nation stews in its current state, it is a perfect time to take a step back and reevaluate the manner in which power is employed in this country. What is that power used for and is it used for the long term good of society?

The powerful and elites in this country forget that they are a part of society. While they are rewarded for their efforts, it is in their interests to behave in a manner which will benefit society in the long term.

American leaders in most fields do not seem to care about the long haul. Quick profits are to be had at any price and everybody else gets short changed. Only now are we beginning to really see the extent of our collective disintegration.

Here are a few of the sectors in which America is not working to benefit the whole of society and why I believe that to be the case.

The government does not currently represent the interests of the people. Special interests dictate the agenda of our government. Although lobbyists have the money to buy and sell our politicians the people need to hold the government accountable. As Thomas Jeffrerson said, "A nation that expects to be ignorant and free expects what never was and never will be."

The media sets the tone and parameters of national debate in this country. Viewpoints that stray far from the deceptions of prevailing opinion are ignored. The media should have a long term goal of educating the population of fraud and malfeasance by our governing powers. Yet we have a media that wants to make money, and will scare, shock, and stupefy people to the extent that they can get away with it.

The population should be furious at what marketing has done to it. The American consumer has been misled and lied to by the dark arts of marketing but as long as their favorite sports and movie stars deliver the kick in the ass they're alright with it. The pertinent information about products is superfluous. It's all about image. If America wants to make a meaningful change, they need to demand better. The basic qualities of the things they buy should be what is prominently displayed. The same can be applied to the politicians they elect. The American public needs to demand a stop to being systematically misled.

As we can see by the disintegration of America's auto industry, America has been led astray by its leadership in it's ability to create things of value. American corporations worked to make as much profit as they could in as short a time as possible instead of taking a sustained approach as if they meant to be in it for the long haul. A prime example would be the car companies' efforts to sell SUV's when the future of automobiles was headed elsewhere and the needs of the consumer was somewhere else entirely. The failure of this sector went hand in hand with the three I have listed above. Eugene O'Neil once said the United States is a moral failure because its "main idea is that everlasting game of trying to possess your own soul by the possession of something outside it, thereby losing your own soul and the thing outside of it, too."

America doesn't build things to last. When corporations construct buildings they give their contracts to the lowest bidders. They don't care how it's done, they just want to pay as little as possible. It is an ignorant shortsighted way to go about business. Little things like using copper wiring that is a little bit thicker could reduce energy costs tremendously over the long haul, and superior construction materials would again be looking towards a long term benefit. It would improve environmental problems, and the health of our society. Things such as these have not in the past influenced the decision makers of our society.

Again, entertainment companies have a problem of appealing to the worst aspects of humanity to sell their movies. Just because we know that appealing to humanity's worse aspects can sell doesn't mean that we should. Not that television needs to necessarily get racier, but look at our values: we watch violent acts performed on television without batting an eye, but a nipple, a nipple is unacceptable. When human beings are comfortable watching people depicted in graphic violence yet find the naked body crude and objectionable, you know that there's something