Thrusting The GreatnessShakespeare wrote “Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” (Twelfth Night, Act II Scene V)

But what if those who receive the thrust of greatness are soulless sociopaths or complete morons? Or even (god forbid)both?

These days one needs a scorecard to keep track of who’s in charge (and why). There’s too much politicking in politics and not enough governing in government, but that’s nothing new. Our government— like any large managerial body comprised of elected or appointed officials— harbors many useless douchebags who are secretly terrified that the voting public will catch wind of their shenanigans and toss them out of office. It behooves such scions of liberty to proactively defend their tax-fueled salaries and pensions by keeping the citizenry passively ignorant of what’s really going on. Again— no surprise there. Anyone who’s ever read a history book knows that’s how politics has worked for the whole of recorded human history; and the recent ascendancy of mass media communications has lately enabled political and corporate power players to fudge the facts on a massive scale unimaginable by past generations. Though admittedly the political and celebrity elite have to pay for their new digital power-tools with an occasional anal-probing or cyber-lynching by the overzealous media machine.

Anyone with a smidge of civic responsibility or corporate loyalty knows that if we want to avoid anarchy (and hopefully dodge any potential zombie-apocalypse) we must all obey “the rules.” But who really wants to? The buck of civic responsibility gets endlessly passed up the line as the working class seeks to evade the rules because they presume only those who can better afford to obey the rules should do so. The middle class seeks loopholes in the rules because they are the consumer base that keeps the system in place, and therefore “deserve a break.” And the wealthy classes are supposedly charged with maintaining the rules and keeping them sacred… except they don’t. Because THEY believe the rules are really only roadblocks to keep suckers from advancing in life, and shouldn’t necessarily apply to anyone with enough money or good sense to avert them.

Everyone takes comfort in knowing that the rules exist and wants them enforced over everyone else, for the good of the many. EXCEPT when it’s their turn to suck it up and pay the speeding ticket.

In business, corporate Boards of Directors offer the same Bread & Circuses as did Roman senators of old, promising anything to their shareholders lest they be sacked by the true owners of any large organization: the mob. Whether the mob is civic taxpayers or corporate stock-owners, they must be appeased at all costs lest there be a revolution. Any who would remain in charge must keep the masses placid by giving them bread to eat and circuses to distract and entertain them… while keeping them ignorant about what’s really going on. Nor is that a new concept: the famed Taoist manifesto The Tao Te Ching (circa 600 BC) specifically equates civic ignorance with happiness, encouraging all enlightened leaders to keep those they govern poor and ignorant, and therefore (presumably) happy. The same principles are still in force today and appear whenever the wealthy few would rule the impoverished many.

I guess that makes sense. Don’t let the poor learn about wealth or privilege, because they’ll be less happy if they know how bad their lives suck in comparison. Gee… ya think?