I have been thinking a lot lately about the mechanisms of empire seen through the lens of abuser; this has resulted in some really rapid transformations within both my body and my mind. Here’s some of what I have been observing.
One of the mechanisms of an abuser is the whammy concept of the abused being responsible, in an ever shifting variety of reasons, for their abuse. On the micro level of direct, personal abuse this is experienced as a message that embodied as a possibility of hope: if there is some fundamental reason based on our behaviours or way of being that the abuse is happening then we have the possibility of doing something about it. We can try different ways of being, being different selves completely, using different words, explaining things in a myriad of ways, moving ourselves around the space in every possible permutation because we have been told by our abuser- either overtly or covertly- that we are totally responsible for what is happening for us.
When this inevitably fails- which it does not because of our own actions but because the premise on which it is based- that we are responsible for our abuse- is an utter lie- we are told that it is because we haven’t found the ‘right’ combination, we haven’t achieved the correct state in which the abuse will stop. We haven’t said or done the ‘right’ things, we have once again offended or failed in some way; the abuse continues with increasing effect while our efforts become more concentrated and desperate. We are fighting a battle against the idea that somehow, in ways we cannot begin to comprehend, we are wrong, that there is a gap between those that have good things happen to them and us, that whatever elements are necessary between the ok and the not ok we are part of the latter group, no matter how hard we strive or what we might do to transform that.
Now take this template, lay it across the planetary culture and observe the current reality through this frame: we have exactly the same abuser tactics- that one is responsible for one’s experience and abuse- being played out on a macro scale. Individuals are left to rot, to die, to starve, to waste away at the manned entrances to other countries, to wither in the hopeless wasteland of ‘not good enough’ while the new propaganda of ‘you COULD have it all, you’re just not trying hard enough’ is pushed from every direction by the voices of the new agents for the same old empire. In the times of colonisation it was that one was on the wrong side of the race line, which meant being on the wrong side of the dominating force; one’s choices were limited to aligning with the new dominators, struggling against them in a desperate bid for freedom, taking flight and hoping to find somewhere the dominators were not yet inhabiting or burying oneself in the new paradigm in the hopes that the dominators wouldn’t be interested in you.
The game that the dominators play is the same game that abusers have always played- the game of ‘if you can guess what it is that I want, which isn’t going to be anything I TELL you that I want, then this misery will end and you can go free’. The dominators played this game with the iron and bloody fist of their perverted religions, bewildering new landscapes of foreign and insane ‘rules’, transgressions of which permitted the abusers all kinds of ‘punishments’ (fairly doled out of course, in courts speaking languages that the accused had no hope whatsoever of comprehending), of social and cultural mysteries that made the uninitiated fair game for whatever brutality amused the abusers in the moment.
In the game of global abuse, nothing has changed: while it is the abusers who call the shots, who set monetary and economic ‘policies’ that plunge entire countries into starvation and desperation while others experience gluts that leave them obese and bloated on every level, abusers who decide which governments stand and fall, which group it is this decade that shall be the universal enemy and thus deserving of being bombed into oblivion, abusers who manipulate the cultural mind with media and advertising propaganda aimed at destroying the spirit of the individual- while it is the abusers that control the landscape it is the abused that take on the responsibility for what is happening to them because, like all victims of psychopathic, sadistic and brutalising abusers, they have been inculcated with the belief that this is happening to them because on some level they deserve it.
Two of the current, powerful mechanisms for this are new age re-workings of older religious concepts and abuse via global economics, both creations originally of empire. Religion of every brand declared that, for some reason or another, being in a physical form was a sign of the ‘sinful’ or imperfect nature of the individual and required a life long attitude of apology, repentance and servitude in order to have some hope of remedy. Naturally, this servitude would come in the shape of obedience to ‘the church’ in whatever current form this appeared and the individual was forced, through a variety of means, to comply with the consensus reality and experience; refusal to comply meant risking brutal and often deadly force upon one’s own head, if not one’s family and entire community.
This possibility of extended disapproval from empire gave the consensus reality great force; the individuals within each community became the police of everyone else, which is why we see the same tool used repeatedly in a variety of historical settings. Empire knows that using programmed individuals to do their work for them is far more effective than having an occupying force to rally together and push against; far better to fear one’s own neighbours and community and to vent one’s frustration at individuals who had little to no chance of being able to defend themselves.
Fast forward to today and that group has now, amongst others, become the global issue of refugees who, in the culturally indoctrinated minds of the many, MUST have done something to warrant their situation, the ‘something’ of which ranges from laziness- they want something for nothing- to economic- they’re not really refugees, they’re just trying to buy their way out of poverty and into a better life- to religious- if whatever god of choice approved of them they wouldn’t be in this situation- to race, sex and gender arguments that wrap neatly around the central, black goo core of the tried and true ‘blame the victim’ mechanism. It’s not empire’s fault that terrible things are happening to these individuals, it’s whatever judgement can be made that will neatly fit the bill.
Some who like to consider themselves as more enlightened take a higher level approach: it’s a matter of developing the right policies, of proper government initiatives, of economic reform and redistribution, or new age mantras of love, light and utter compliance, while conveniently leaving out of the discussion the fact that empire both created and controls these and other platforms. Unsurprisingly, this deflecting language has been effectively used for millennia- any serious student of history can point to any number of historical records that speak of precisely these efforts of cultural reform, to the same inevitable effect- a temporary fluffing of the pillows and then back to business as usual with perhaps some external makeovers to assure the masses that Things Have Indeed Changed.
I’ve written in other essays about my rejection of the word ‘change’ when it comes to the global situation (http://songsfortheotherkind.com/blog/it-isnt-adaptation-we-want-its-evolution is one such essay) – because at its core change is nothing more than a rearrangement of the elements concerned. The word I’m actually interested in is transformation, because when something transforms- caterpillar to butterfly- there is little in the new to connect to the old. (This distinction is crucial when looking at the actions and mechanisms of empire for what is really going on: if an individual or group can be fooled into thinking change is the same as transformation, then a simple rearranging of deck chairs can give the impression that we’re on an entirely new ship. It’s still the Titanic.) The global population has, as a result, consistently demonstrated that it is ridiculously easy to fool, primarily because at the core of everything the global population is trying desperately to avoid being abused.
The fundamentalist religion of Economics functions precisely the same way: there is a ‘heaven’ (resource/financial abundance) that one can attain if one properly executes the ‘right’ moves, actions and behaviours while repeating the sanctioned dogmas and rhetoric. The propaganda is that these moves and actions will ALWAYS RESULT in the abundance- if one does not experience the abundance, one is not doing the moves and actions right and therefore the fault-surprise!- is in the individual and not in the propaganda. There is never the possibility that, like every other gambling enterprise, the entire game is rigged; the agents of the economic nirvana are adamant that if one is poor it’s because of one’s own laziness, unworthiness, wrong attitude (including poverty mentality, self sabotaging beliefs etc, and there are plenty of individual willing, for a suitable fee, to help you get over these issues and into your own flow of endless abundance)- always, always it is the fault of the individual, group or nation, never the issue of the rigged table, the global game that is being played by a very few individuals for a purpose and intention that is never revealed.
Here we see the mechanisms of the individual abuser- victim blaming and holding out the myth of the possibility of the abuse ending if the abused can just find the right magic key- being played out on a grand scale. What is absolute to me is that the myriads of issues that the abusive system creates- poverty, sickness, homelessness, despair, death, spiritual emptiness, war, ecological destruction, suffering on a monumental scale of beings of all kinds- can be distilled down to one point- the abusive empire itself. The reality is that these wide ranging and seemingly never ending issues would vanish on the macro scale if empire stopped playing its global game- what would then be left is the issue of empire within each individual, which is what the Eneris platform is about- and that all the actions that individuals are taking to address whatever issue they’re looking at is achieving nothing while the issue of the global abusers is being ignored.
While we agree to systematic abuse being called ‘policy’, ‘law’, ‘cultural practice’, ‘gender norms’, ‘how things are’ or any other such disingenuous label we are covertly covering over the actions of the abuser, just like any co-dependent actively works- inadvertently or not- to enable and support their abuser. Refusing to strongly name and call out abuse is co-dependence- we are convinced that we NEED empire to survive in the world, we NEED empire’s approval because without it we will starve, we will be thrown to the wolves, we will be without support, without the mark of acceptability that allows us as individuals to move through the occupied territory of the planet without being harassed or molested.
It is is complete fiction, this belief that with the right actions and moves we can deflect empire- millions across the planet now suffering were, just a few years ago, living in relative prosperity and peace until empire decided it wanted something from them that they weren’t willing to give up; now they are the dispossessed, the discarded, the refugees that move desperately from one space to another finding every door to them closed, faces turned away because THAT group doesn’t want empire’s attention. They are infected with the disapproval of empire and nobody else wants to catch that disease.
The reality of it is, the planetary culture already has that disease: empire’s toxic mind programs, born from the Wetiko virus that is part of empire’s heart, has been endemic on this planet for millennia due to the systematic and focused actions of empire’s propaganda and control mechanisms. In prior centuries this was achieved primarily through religious and local dominating forces such as royalty or warlords; today it is achieved through the illusion of ‘law’, media bombardment, consensus realities and the inherited effects of unrelenting trauma. Empire absolutely relies on our unwillingness to call it out, our fear of naming what is truly going on, our fear, our fear, our fear- and while we fear, we are helpless, and we are hooked into both the system and the deeply infected culture around us in part via the homogenisation that empire enforces. We are not individuals, we are a group, a race, a type, a collective, a category, which allows the individual to be wiped out from the picture, replaced by whatever empire generated meme suits its intention of the moment.
The remedy to this situation isn’t in appealing to the better nature of our abusers; those who have experienced abuse directed at them specifically are aware that no amount of appeal, pleading, attempts to appease, compliance- or any of the other desperate measures individuals take on in the empty quest to stop the abuse- actually work. Sometimes we’re given a glimmer of possibility, which serves to raise our energy momentarily and which is intentional on the part of the abuser; it gives extra kick to whatever it is they are getting out of the situation; the hope is never actually based on anything real because there is no better nature in our abusers to appeal to. They don’t at all wish to end the abuse.
This is why the Jews in Germany lined up to be ‘registered’, to comply; like all abused they needed to believe that compliance would save them from further abuse, that surely now it would be good and things would even out, that the attention would turn from them and onto someone or something else. Their compliance demonstrated their good will, their lack of threat, their essential obedience which, they had long been told, would surely bring them safety from the monsters; but who will keep you safe from the monsters when it is the monsters that rule? They registered, they obediently wore their yellow stars, they submitted to each demand of compliance and submission, wanting to believe that the increasing abuse would end while refusing to call what they were experiencing by its real, true name. They made excuses for the humiliations, the hostilities and restrictions, the open discrimination and venting of cultural charge by those that they had once absolutely believed to be community, close friends and even family.
It is the same scenario played out differently generation after generation; every generation has their ‘never again!’, their Daesh, their Syria, their Rwanda, their Kurdistan, their Vietnam killing fields, their Idi Amin, their Armenia, their Native American holocaust, their genocides and massacres- and each time the cloud passes those who are not being targeted in the moment breathe a collective sigh of relief that it isn’t them. To support this they create a raft of rationalisations and evil-eye warding slogans designed to ensure the wrath of the global god will pass over them, or their family, their community, either by directly joining in the vilification of the other or indirectly supporting empire’s propaganda through the consensus reality memes- economic fictions, political fictions, religious superiority, the propaganda that individuals as a whole must be policed or else nothing but chaos and destruction will ensue. They share these memes, reinforcing daily what empire tells them is real, is true, is absolute about the world and its inhabitants and enforcing it on others.
All this, while the ACTUAL empire driven chaos, mayhem, murder and destruction run unchecked on the planet: don’t tell me it’s ‘getting better’ because with those words you demonstrate your palpable ignorance of what is actually going on; you demonstrate your blindness, your temporary privilege and your willingness to perpetuate the same memes that empire uses to further its agendas. It might be better for you but one has only to look at the millions of refugees on the planet to see that things are not better. Better is an illusion that a privileged few can indulge in; better is one of the ways that individuals are co-opted into being agents of empire- better to be an agent than a victim.
The remedy to empire that individuals desperately seek do not and can never lie within the poisoned construct of empire and its hydra-headed functions- religion, politics, science, education, economics, industry, psychology. Instead, the remedy begins in the very first moment of recognising that we are being intentionally and wilfully abused; without this nothing further is possible. We need to stop naming abuse in the pseudo-speak language of empire: government policy, religious ‘truth’, law, cultural practice, social lubrication, psychological rationalisations, excuses; whatever it may be that is allowing the abuse of the individual or group to happen, the permission that the heteronomy of the moment is being given, needs to be clearly named. Abuser. Enabler. Agent. Dominator. Stop negotiating with our abusers. Stop pimping their interests, their desires. Stop agreeing to your own abuse, in whatever way you have been agreeing to it; your obedience has not and will never deflect the abuse, it simply creates a complaint victim. Every individual who has ever broken free from their own abuse experience can attest that the first step is to take action away from the abuser; when it is the cultures, the world’s organisations, the religious platforms, the agencies of politics, economic mythologies, the educational institutions that serve as indoctrination spaces and the other mechanisms that allows and supports systemic abuse, the process is the same: name it for what it is. Once this is done, the path of uncoupling our experience of Self from the constructs of our abusers can begin, founded on the principle of Eneris and true free will.
Any other way simply leads back to the enfolding arms of empire.