April 30

A Capital Idea Part 67: If Only They Could Hear

While I was on a long drive Thursday to a popular fishing and vacation spot in Southern California, Big Bear Lake -- the main road there was washed out in torrential rains in December -- I found to my surprise that I was able to listen to the radio almost all the way there, although the area is very mountainous and remote from radio stations. Eventually I had a profound sense of wonder, a familiar sense that I have when I think of the nature of reality. How is it that all of these signals are travelling through the air, yet we would never even know that were it not for radio transceivers? What else is there in our midst of which we are unaware? The Shakespeare quote "there are more things in heaven and earth than we could even dream of" came to my mind.

Furthermore, when I think of our senses, I have to marvel. How is it that vibrations of air molecules become sound, or photons of light become vision, for example? At the same time, these marvelous senses are very limited. There is so much out there, and all around us, of which we are unaware. Perhaps angels are speaking to us but we cannot hear them.

Then, I thought of the human-constructed world of culture, the one about which I have been writing in terms of economics and politics. Is it really so different from the fact that our senses can only detect certain signals? I think not, except that we have the ability to detect different signals if we only learn to think differently, whereas, detecting signals which our senses are unequipped for either requires a fortunate mutation, or the invention of equipment capable of transceiving such signals. In terms of economics, and money, we have constructed such a forceful world that it traps us, puts us into imaginary thought boxes which most of us cannot find our way out of. It deafens us to the signals around us. The messages are all there if only they could hear them, but most people remain unable to. Opening up people's minds so that they can hear the messages our world is sending us about the nature of economics, is on its most fundamental level, what this series of posts is about. If only people could hear what nature is telling us, they would no longer carry on with the system as they do -- no, not even the wealthy among us -- for it is a system of intractable limitations which is coming to an abrupt and nasty end -- on a histortical time frame -- if we don't do anything about it, and a quieter, kinder, gentler transition if we do, a transition which will serve humanity well in its cultural evolution.

Let us open our minds to the fact that the economy is like an ecology at its core, so should be constructed like one, and should be built to work with our earth's actual ecosystem.

Let us open our minds to the fact that the economy should serve the people, and not the other way around, and thus, the economy should have a moral basis, not an endless profit basis.

Let us open our minds to the fact that true freedom for the people, individually and collectively, requires education, equality and democracy. When we are not treated equally in the eyes of the law, we do not have true democracy. The corrupting power of money to create a privileged class at the expense of the rest is antidemocratic, anti-equality, anti-education, and anti-freedom. They are all connected, for as one of my favorite authors, John Muir wrote, "When we try to pick out any one thing, we find it is connected to everything else in the Universe."

What we are really talking about here is a paradigm shift in terms of our economic and political thinking, one that is essential to our future wellbeing, perhaps even our survival as a species. Shifting our personal economic beliefs to accomodate this new paradigm will allow us to hear the messages that are already being screamed at us by nature. This process has already begun as millions upon millions of future oriented, ordinary people have begun to consider our economic future and the changes we must make in order for us -- and because of that the economy, not vice versa -- to continue to grow and thrive as a people. Here's to the future!


nimblecivet 8 years 20 weeks ago

Hey NL! I didn't know this was you until I clicked on the title!

My only car accident was one where I was trying to find a radio station while driving through the mountains. When I first started hiking and camping I would experience some anxiety to get back, but after I while I deconditioned myself from needing the inputs I was conditioned to. I like to get out and walk around in the city too. Seeing the world in its physical dimensions outside of the parameters one is used to is a great way to open up the mind.

I'm not sure what to say about your use of the word "econimics". I am going to bet that you agree that social science is the more fundamental science. Do you have any entries on the transformation/evolution of human society? Traced through historical developments or a timeline? I was thinking that might be the next topic that I am going to tackle.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 8 years 20 weeks ago

Did I use the word "econimics?" I meant economics. Seriously, economics is something which is a science, but the science is not taken seriously by the people who set economic policy. That is largely where the problem lies. Economics has been perverted by ideology, which gives me an idea for another post about the need to utilize the science of economics instead of treating it as a matter of who can produce the most appealing sound bites.

Do I have any entries about the transformation/evolution of human society? This entire series is about that topic in a broad, relatively vague sense, but specifically, I did write a series of posts about the transformation/evolution of human society. That was more than a year ago, before this current version of the Hartmann site was in place. They are all archived on my computer and my blog site though. I never did any timelines, although that would be interesting. I did trace certain things through historical developments, I think, including the history of money in this series, but mostly it is future-oriented.

My only car accident was while driving to school around sundown when a person who was probably blinded by the sun turned into my path. I don't need the radio in order to drive so it would have been fine if i couldn't pick anything up, but it's interesting to check what is coming through. I just think the whole process is amazing. We cannot sense any of the signals whatsoever, and there are so many of them.

I haven't been putting an ampersand with my blog titles lately, but I figure you can look up my blog posts on my profile.

Zenzoe 8 years 20 weeks ago

Lovely post.

Econimics must be a cross between ecology and inimical, meaning the science or study of human systems harmful to the natural world.

San Diego is surrounded by an invisible Berlin Wall of radio censorship. We're only allowed an occasional tease of progressive talk to filter in via KPFK out of L.A. But as soon as the signal seems strong and reliable, it is attacked by Mexican pirate radio, or a conglomeration of staticky signals. If the First Amendment's promise of free speech meant to include the right to HEAR speech, that right goes missing here, for progressives. The First Amendment to the Constitution belongs to Republicans in San Diego.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 8 years 20 weeks ago

Zenzoe wrote: "Econimics must be a cross between ecology and inimical, meaning the science or study of human systems harmful to the natural world." Excellent suggestion. There could be another post in that idea in fact. I am having lots of ideas today. I had another one while dressed in my Little Lord Fauntleroy suit (not really, but I like to say that) in church today, but I forgot it, hopefully to be remembered when not so distracted. (My wife likes to dress me up, but it's all done in a very nice, loving way.)

Unfortunately, San Diego county is one of those Limbaugh Land areas, even though populous and in California. I agree that the right to free speech includes the right to hear speech, not just to make speech. Of course, controlling what people hear is the first rule of propaganda.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

Come Cruise with Thom Hartmann in July 2020

Join me for an exciting Bermuda getaway aboard Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary and destination-focused cruise line. Set sail on the reimagined Insignia for 7 nights beginning July 25th 2020. Take advantage of Oceania Cruises’ OLife Choice promotion, where you can choose shore excursions, a beverage package, or onboard credit – Oceania Cruises also includes Wifi! You'll also receive complimentary gratuities, a $50 onboard credit and two exclusive cocktail parties. Did I mention we are planning special onboard events with yours truly? Prices start at $1199.

Reserve your stateroom today by contacting Keene Luxury Travel, and mention the Thom Hartmann Group 800.856.1155

or go to https://www.keeneluxurytravel.com/th-bermuda/default.asp

GM Shows Why We Need Medicare for All

Thom plus logo General Motors just pulled healthcare for 50,000 workers. There are some Democratic candidates suggesting that people love their health insurance companies, but this calculated move by a giant corporation that you and I helped bail out proves that employer sponsored healthcare is just another tool to control workers.