THE BLOG
01/07/2015 02:48 pm ET Updated Mar 09, 2015

Civil Dissonance

I've been thinking a lot about the world we've created. And I've come to the conclusion that it makes absolutely no sense. None. Not even a little. We have created a society based on a system of dichotomies and fallacies. And that is truly absurd. And there really wasn't a name for what I was thinking. I needed a new phrase. And then it came to me -- "civil dissonance."

What is civil dissonance? It is the concept that we have allowed a system of government that is not beneficial to most humans, their welfare or life itself, and this dichotomous system has replaced the system we started with, you know, the one that allowed for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Similar to cognitive dissonance, which, according to Merriam-Webster is the "...psychological conflict resulting from simultaneously held incongruous beliefs and attitudes (as a fondness for smoking and a belief that it is harmful)," civil dissonance is the societal conflict resulting from simultaneously held incongruous beliefs and attitudes, such as a belief in improving the standard of living for all but refusing to increase the minimum wage and lift millions out of poverty, or the inability to provide health care for all because that is too expensive while providing billions in tax welfare to the already rich and corporations.

Civil dissonance is the recognition that we are no longer acting in our own best interest. It is acknowledging we've allowed a system of entitlement for those who don't need it, while those who do need it are demonized or ignored.

Civil dissonance is the conflict that results from creating a government and laws that work against our very survival and self-interest. It is allowing a wage that creates poverty while saying poverty is bad. It is creating a need for more social welfare programs, which create higher taxes while people continue to vote for "small government less taxes" and at the same time refuse to increase wages and therefore reduce social welfare programs which reduces taxes. It is electing people who don't believe in government to run our government. It is taking our public funds, which once created good-paying middle-class jobs and allowing outsourcing and privatization to convert them into low-wage jobs that create a need for higher taxes by creating poverty and a need for social welfare.

Why is a dollar spent on social programs bad, but that same dollar given to private enterprise somehow good? People say that it is competition that lowers prices, but the profit motive isn't about lowering prices, it is about making money. It has always been the public sector, not the private, that has been most concerned with keeping costs low because of the fiduciary duty to taxpayers.

We've been convinced that regulation is bad and government worse. It makes no sense. Our society is actually based on the regulation and creation of capital and self-governance -- you know, that whole government for, by and of the people. Capitalism isn't the absence of regulation and Democracy isn't the absence of government.

Civil dissonance is related to cognitive dissonance, but while one is a private and personal issue, the other is a very public and societal issue, and it is ruining our world.

There is a solution to this conflict. We can stop electing people who want to dismantle our government and defund education, social welfare and environmental protections. We can insist on income equality and social justice for all. We can create a world that provides for the care and security of us all. You know, not only the whole love your neighbor, care for the weak, sick and elderly, but provide for our national security and preservation of our way of life.

Also known as being a patriot.

The first step is to increase the minimum wage. In a truly free market economy no one would work for less than basic subsistence required. A wage that creates poverty is not acceptable, it is not patriotic and it is certainly not good for our economy. A wage that creates poverty also creates human suffering as well as creating a need for higher taxes, that is not patriotic, that is not sustainable, that is not beneficial to our society. That is civil dissonance.