Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Permanent Dehumanizing of Humanity?

by Dr. Judith H. Young

On the day after Thanksgiving, 2008, a holiday season employee died from asphyxiation when he was trampled by some 2,000 bargain hunters smashing through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart store on what is traditionally, and in this case quite appropriately, called Black Friday. A 34-year-old, 6-foot-5, 270-pound giant, Jdimytai Damour had been sent to the vestibule as a crowd control measure because of his size. The throngs, who had had been standing outside or waiting in their cars for the 5 AM opening, and who were in competition with each other to get to the bargains, crumpled a metal portion of the door frame like an accordion as they fought their way into the store. Wal-mart employees scurried atop vending machines to avoid the masses, but Damour was knocked down and trampled while he was trying to shield a pregnant shopper.

Other employees were knocked down as they tried to rescue Damour. Nassau police and paramedics trying to save Damour were also jostled and pushed to the ground. Police and witnesses said shoppers continued to surge inside, simply stepped over Damour, and kept shopping even as the store announced it was closing because of the death. Witness Kimberly Cribbs said "all those people who got in went right on shopping after the worker was run over and was seen gasping for air." Four shoppers, including a woman eight months pregnant, were injured and treated at hospitals.

In the ensuing debate regarding whether Damour's death was a prosecutable crime, experts were divided. “In order to prosecute a homicide, you have to establish that someone caused a death," said one lawyer. "If I stepped on his arm, or chest, or leg, even if you have that on video, how are you going to establish that I caused his death?" [1]

Our moral sense finds this legal argument repugnant, and insists on calling a spade a spade: a man was unnecessarily killed as a result of obsessive consumerism in which human beings acted less than human.

Damour's death is horrific enough in itself as an example of the potential consequences of the manipulation of human nature into what film maker Adam Curtis terms "the all-consuming self.” [2] But a mind-boggling video interview with a customer after the incident raises the hypothesis of our deterioration into a subhuman species. A transcript follows, but Footnote 3 gives the link to the You Tube video, which is even more chilling to watch.

Yeah, I was here on Black Friday. Let me tell you about that guy that died. About two thousand of us [were] outside in a...nasty, cold...parking lot -- compressed into a small space....That is not a humane way to treat 2,000 people; they should have set up something like a tent for us to sit in and possibly eat pancakes....That is terrible thing to do to people....And on the inside there was a lot of good deals....He didn't get out of the way. He opened the door and he stood there. This was the one obstacle we had between us and the deal of a lifetime....They said “y'all got to leave.” Most of us said, "unh, unh” [the man gives the finger at this point]. This is Wal-Mart. I can do what I want here. Always. You seen the sign outside? It says I can do what I want here. Actually, I think it says "Low Prices Always," but I equate low prices to freedom. Eagles. Bald ones. Everywhere.... On this particular day, the most holiest of days, Black Friday, [a Wal-Mart employee is meant to help people] buy things much cheaper than normal. And he kept getting in the way....Serves him right, that's all I have to say. I bought a whole set of silverware for eight...for $7.00. If that guy hadn't been standing in my way, I could have gotten it much faster....I bought a bunch of presents for my children...[including] a Barbie...and for Susie...just... a bunch of flannel shirts; I'm pretty sure Susie is going to end up being a lesbian. She's always doing weird things; she's always sawing wood up out in the yard....For my wife I got a shotgun in the hunting section and a tent; she might also be a lesbian, I don't know -- all the girls in my family are fucked up. If that guy wasn't there I could have very easily gotten in and gotten out a little quicker.” [3]

How did we get to this point? To a juncture in which humans are not only capable of mindless killing in their all-consuming narcissism but are also exhibiting an apparent descent of their very species? In 2008 I addressed this tragic anomaly in a two-part essay presenting a threefold model of the types of power used by the ruling class to gain ascendancy -- brute force, the power to hurt, and psychological manipulation [; ].The essay emphasized the prospects for solutions that derive from a keen understanding of the problem – from a forensic dissection of the three forms of power and their potency. In this dissection we need to examine how mind controllers have preyed upon humanity’s lowest common denominators in an effort to literally change the substratum of human nature itself. The group killing cited at the beginning of this article is a pivotal example.

As a social scientist I am repelled by the idea that the inherent architecture of human nature, which includes myriad positive traits, can be permanently or fundamentally altered for the worst. I accordingly find hope in the following expert testimonial:

The pathological authorities are convinced that the appropriate pedagogical, indoctrinational, propaganda, and terrorist means can teach a person with a normal instinctive substratum, range of feelings and basic intelligence to think and feel according to their own [agenda]. This conviction is only slightly less unrealistic than the belief that people able to see colors normally can be broken of this habit [author’s emphasis]…. Normal people will never stop feeling and perceiving psychological and sociomoral phenomena in much the same way as their ancestors; [they] cannot get rid of the characteristics with which the Homo sapiens species was endowed by its phylogenetic past [its evolutionary history]....Any attempt to [thus degrade the human spirit] is fated for failure regardless of how many generations it might last. [4]

These profoundly life-affirming words are from Andrew M. Lobaczewski’s Political Ponerology: A Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, a special grace that has not received the attention it merits. They are not the words of a mindless optimist, but rather of a Pole who lived the brutal repression of both Nazis and Stalinists, who studied their psychopathology first hand, and who managed to get the word out despite enormous personal dangers.

Lobaczewski was a clinical psychologist in Poland with extensive field experience with mental disturbance. My interpretation of his overall argument is as follows: the argument is a rejection of the “blank slate” view of human nature in favor of a theory positing inherent human traits ("a normal instinctive substratum"), traits that include positive moral characteristics such as empathy and altruism. It does not matter whether one believes this as a result of a spiritual worldview or an evidentiary psychological theory such as evolutionary psychology or archetypal psychology. What matters is the starting premise that any effort to eradicate positive human traits is as bound to fail as an attempt to induce color blindness.

Despite this optimistic premise -- and as acknowledged by Lobaczewski himself -- a tyrannical agenda to modify human nature can in fact result in profound distortions of human nature:

It does, however, call forth a series of improper psychological results which may give the pathocrats the appearance of success....Such a pedagogical system...produces serious negative results, especially in those generations unfamiliar with any other conditions of life. Personality development is impoverished....We observe the characteristic lack of respect for one's own organism and [for] the voice of nature and instinct, accompanied by brutali- zation of feelings and customs. [5]

Note that in the above quote Lobaczewski is discussing human degradation in extreme cases of tyranny, such as Nazi concentration camps or North Vietnamese prison camps. Yet we can also see, in our own populace, evidence of psychological impoverishment, diminished self-regard, a brutalization of feelings and customs, and an absence of vital instincts. The ruling class has been working calculatingly and patiently over a very long period to restructure human nature to its liking, and has succeeded alarmingly in reducing our capacity even to notice this agenda.

This lack of noticing, so opposed to our inherent animal instinct to remain alert to danger on all sides, is due in large part to psychopathogy's greatest survival mechanism and greatest asset in achieving dominance: the inability of good-hearted humans to conceive of evil on that scale. In Lobaczewski's words, "the pathocratic world, the world of pathological egotism and terror, is so difficult to understand for people raised outside [its] scope that they often manifest childlike naiveté, even if they have studied psychopathology and are psychologists by profession.” [6] To his caveat “even if they are psychologists” I would add “even if they are ideologues in the left-right paradigm” and “even if they are New Agers who tend to underestimate the power of the forces of darkness.”

Our shared danger is that the engineered diminishments we are witnessing in the nature of humanity are more than the temporary and superficial distortions of Lobaczewski's paradigm: that in the absence of effective countermeasures, these distortions could in fact reach a point of no return.


1. "No Crowd Control?," Fox News Videos, December 3, 2008.; "Was Wal-Mart Trampling a Crime?," newser, December 2, 2008 (Source: Newsday).; "Trampled Worker's Family Sues Wal-Mart," newser, December 3, 2008 (Source: AP).; Oren Yaniv, Nicole Bode and Dave Goldiner, "Autopsy confirms Wal-Mart worker was 'trampled to death,' says Nassau's top cop," Daily News, December 1, 2008; "Report: Line-Cutting Dispute Led to Wal-Mart Trampling Death,", December 4, 2008; "Police Want Answers In Wal-Mart Trampling Death,", December 1, 2008.
2. Curtis, Adam, “The Century of the Self,” BBC Four Documentaries, bbcfour/ documentaries/ features/ century_of_the_self.shtml
3. Wal-Mart Trampling: "He Deserved It" Video, metacafevideo,
4. Lobaczewski, Andrew M., Political Ponerology (Canada: Red Pill Pres, 2006), pp.163-64.
5. Ibid. p.164
6. Ibid. p. 165.

But it is also due to the negative distortions of human nature exemplified by the global elite's hair raising dumbing down mechanisms, rampant consumerism, and its widespread pharmacological control over adults and children. Lob seems not to have anticipated that this agenda is so advanced and DE-humanizing that society’s usual counter reaction of elaborating "pinpointed, well-thought-out self-defense measures" is not kicking in. Huxley Both Hitler and Stalin talked about the coming of "the new man" in the New Order Jordan Maxwell.

I will in this article elaborate on one example of this negative distorting, the narcissism explained so well in Adam Curtis' widely acclaimed 2002 BBC documentary, “The Century of the Self." Part I of the documentary, entitled “Happiness Machines,” addresses the elitist manipulation of human drives so as to create a populace focused on consumption of mass-produced goods. It details the machinations of Sigmund Freud’s American nephew, Edward Bernays, who showed client U.S. corporations for the first time how they could make people want things they didn’t need by making mass-produced goods for their unconscious desires. Out of this would come a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying people’s inner selfish desires one makes them happy and thus docile. It was start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate our world today. Bernays used focus groups and other techniques to demonstrate how business could profit from creating an "emotional connect" to a product or service, so that irrelevant objects, such as cigarettes or cars, could become powerful emotional symbols of how one wanted to be seen by others and from thereby overcoming the public's previous practice of basing purchases on genuine need, functionality, durability, and other practical virtues. Thanks to Bernays and other PR specialists, "the corporations realized they had to change how masses thought about products—from a need to a desire approach; people must be trained to desire new things, even before they needed them or did not even need them."

Bernays was also employed by President Woodrow Wilson in promoting Wilson’s position, both at home and abroad, that the U.S. had entered the fighting not to restore the old Austro-Hungarian Empire but rather to bring democracy to all of Europe. He and other propagandists promoted Wilson as a liberator of the people who sought to make the world safe for democracy. When he accompanied Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference, he was astounded at Wilson's reception by the populace, motivating him to explore whether similar mass persuasion of the masses could be achieved in peacetime. Bernays later wrote a series of books arguing that he had developed techniques called for by political analyst Walter Lippmann for elitist management of the “bewildered herd,” through psychological techniques: by creating desires and then sating them with consumer products, he was creating a new way to manage the irrational force of the masses, which he called the “engineering of consent.” In the view of Public Relations historian Stuart Ewen, both Bernays’ and Lippmann’s concept of managing the masses turns the concept of democracy into a palliative; a feel good medication that will respond to an immediate pain or yearning but will not alter objective circumstances whatsoever; continuing to stimulate the psychological lives of the public, its irrational self, would allow the leadership to go on doing what it wants to do. Indeed, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels cited the writings of Edward Bernays as a source of inspiration.

As a central advisor to the NY World’s Fair in 1939, Bernays promoted the link between democracy and American business as the central theme, the idea that real democracy was possible only in a only capitalist society and that an American consumerist utopia would result if free market capitalism were unleashed. The vision portrayed by the world’s Fair was of a new form of consumerist democracy in which business and the free market, guided solely by the people's will and not by ideology or political power or raw greed, would read and fulfill people’s innermost desires in a way politicians could never do. But this form of democracy depended on people seen not as an active citizenry with rational decision making power but rather as passive consumers driven by instinctual needs and desires, which if triggered would permit social control. And in reality, this was an elaborate piece of propaganda on behalf of huge corporations by a man who believed that it is too dangerous to let the masses to have control over their own lives. Indeed, later during the Cold War, Bernays went on to become a powerful PR agent for both Presidents and business, including United Fruit -- for which he backed a secret coup and cold blooded manipulation of public opinion to maintain the corporation's control over its "Banana Republic" Guatemala,

Consumerism thus became a way of giving people the illusion of control while allowing elite to continue managing society, and to manage it in great part through using ruthless techniques hidden from the public view. Social critics rightly attacked it reduction of humans solely to puppets to keep mass prod lines running. Capitalism was perceived as manipulatively creating desires for ever new brands and models while ignoring social costs, ravaging of the planet through systems such as of planned obsolescence, and impoverishing human nature through its focus on consumption, competition and material riches.

The interview with the Wal-Mart shopper given earlier is chilling testimony to the success of the global elite's effort in instilling the false notion that consumer freedom equates to political liberty, indeed to instill consumption as a prevalent addiction characterized, like all addictions by obsession, compulsion and a loss of values, is found in the interview with the Wal-Mart shopper, an interview that is so disturbing I "This is Wal-Mart. I can do what I want here. Always....I equate freedom to low prices. Eagles. Bald ones. Everywhere [author's emphasis].” an interview that is so disturbing I thought it must, surely it must, be a caricature. NOT ONLY IS CONSUMER FREEDOM DISTINCT FROM POLITICAL LIBERTY, BUT IT HAS BEEN USED AS A KEY MECHANISM FOR POLITICAL ENSLAVEMENT. The criminal elite has advanced its agenda in great part through the creation of consumerism as a form of widespread mind control, viz., a predictable addiction characterized, like all addictions by obsession, compulsion and a loss of moral values, and more generally by a distracted, mindless and self-absorbed caricature of human nature.

In discussing the inherent weaknesses of psychoanalysis following Marilyn Monroe's suicide, Arthur Miller astutely observed that it assumes that emotional suffering is a mistake, a sign of weakness or even illness. Instead, emotional pain such as grief and loss are inherent to life experience and can be used as grist for the mill of psychological maturation, including some of the greatest truths we have come to know as a species. What a sharp contrast to the assumption that one should avoid being other than lobotomized happiness machines. But a solution orientation also requires examining the underlying susceptibilities in human beings that render us receptive to elitist machinations in the first place


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