Building Education for the Commons
“She wanted to live, and live fully, and to give life, she who loved life! What was the good of existing, if you couldn’t give yourself?” Emile Zola
One of the ubiquitous challenges in life is maturing from infantile dependence to adult independence. This doesn’t mean our destiny is to become completely autonomous from one another, arising to the apex found in the fantasy of absolute individuality. Becoming adult doesn’t mean we somehow find our lives outside society. We must balance out mature independence with our social responsibilities. Aristotle helps put things into perspective when he famously wrote “Man is by nature a social animal….Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god” (Politics).
A balance must be struck between the two extremes of beastly isolation and childish dependence. Finding this balance is difficult especially because there are many powerful forces in society that actively undermine the ability to mature into a free thinking and yet responsible contributor to the overall good of society.
The actors that control the means of production have no interest in developing a free, democratic and open society. Democratically run societies pose a direct and intractable threat to the few (1%) who control everything from energy resources, financial distributions, and the general economic plans for the future. Structurally this free-market ideology looks like a centralized dictatorship akin to state-communism.
This is to say, the bankers and corporate elites (the owners of the means of production) actually have a vested and sustain interest in preventing citizens from maturing out of a childish dependence and into a socially responsible adult capable of participating in society.
This raises the question about how the manufacturing of dependency is configured as a means of controlling people by retarding the maturity of citizens. And here, it must be clear, there is a psychological warfare build into preserving the power of the 1%. When a parent or guardian, for example actively retards a child’s maturity preventing them from achieving adulthood, this is a form of psychological or emotional abuse. On a social level there is psychological abuse going on when the controllers of the means of production actively prevent citizens from fully participating in the body-politic and social life.
Psychological abuse happens when there is a power imbalance, where the one(s) in power use their resources against the weaker party through many tactics here are just three:
(a) Fear– if you challenge their power you will be crushed even more
(b) Shame-– if you don’t conform to the unjust order of unequal sharing of the world’s resources you are exposed and humiliated
(c) No Respect–for private boundaries (the ISA, Google, etc. surveillance) in which your psychology is profiled
Through these psychologically abusive tactics, the elite keep us from maturing into fully functioning adults who can stand-up for ourselves and our future.
These psychological abuses can, in fact be more dangerous to a healthy society than physical abuse because it can undermine our confidence to stand up for justice and equality and so cripple our maturity (as individuals and as a social organ) because we have learned to conform and be defined by what is false and not what is true or healthy. We are defined by the fantasy of the 1% and not by the joy of life experienced when we are mature and responsible for ourselves and each other.
FEAR is a psychologically abusive tool for social engineering us by the elite bankers and the corporate elites who use the threat (terrorism etc.) to keep us in a state of fear.
What is the opposite? It’s love, and that’s why love is a revolutionary practice. It is the joie de Vivre, the joy of life. To want to live, to celebrate existence, this is a love for life. This is a revolutionary act.
Creston Davis, PhD founded GCAS in August, 2013 after many years of planning. He now serves as GCAS’s Director.