CULTURAL ADDICTIONS & GENUINE NEEDS

We could define addiction as a situation of dependence upon something as though for survival, even though the thing contains seeds of one’s eventual undoing. 

As with drug addiction, addiction to the six pathways need not be lethal in each specific case, but overall the extremities of the addiction are death: by overdose, by unprepared withdrawal, and especially by side-effects or by-products of the addictive situation. 

In addition to increased chances at death, an addictive condition is one where the essential nature of the person is distorted. 

Because the addictive substance is considered by the body to be an actual part of the self, the natural self distorts to create room for the thing, then centers itself around the task of securing a steady supply. 

The hazards of building a culture on the six pathways are not just that it will kill us as a people and a planet in the long run. The immediate drawback is that the daily life process is increasingly distorted, more and more removed from a truly human life. 

Does this need to be illustrated? 

When was the last time you drank from a spring or looked at the stars? 

Is your life something sandwiched between paperwork and driving? Is the high point in your social and family life, the TV? 

Did you postpone your life until after work, this weekend, next year, after retirement; only to find out when you got there, all there was left was frustration and disappointment? 

Would you do what you do, even if you didn’t get paid? 

It is not my function to convince you with elaborate detail that the six pathways are lethal. It is rather my interest to call those who are already convinced. 

There are many written works with information presented with intent to convince: and of even these, we cannot be sure of the truth in every stated fact. 

But, the overview, the Big Picture that is a planet headed for death is ringing true in me, and is bringing about emotion that can propel me towards a substantive change. You as well. 

Maybe some of the details in those works are exaggerated. Maybe we are missing some huge data that we don’t even know exists, making things even worse than we already now can believe. 

But this much is clear: resisting the belief that the planet is dying is not at all the same as eliminating the possibility in the actual world. If we face it, it can’t sneak up on us. 

The behaviors we can conceive of to respond healingly to the worst case scenario will make room for all manner of lesser evils, as well, to dislodge and be expelled. 

The six addictions: 

Gasoline 

Our cars, plus constant doses of gas, constitute an explicit example of an addictive condition built into our personal and collective lives. 

Because American settlement has been built presupposing the existence of cars, we need cars for access to goods, foods, companions, fun, nightlife and for privacy. We have grown to need them to fulfill a role in the human society. 

It is killing the Earth. Wastes from gasoline combustion and from crude oil transport are the by-products that pollute. It kills us personally. Auto wrecks account for as many deaths each year as all American death in the Vietnam war. It threatens to kill us collectively: control over oil is a key motivation for war. 

Government 

To announce that government is part of the problem and not the source of solution is not anti-American. I am an American, and feel grateful to be so. America is more than a government. America is the God-child of all nations. The best and worst of all nations have come here, to flourish and take themselves to the logical extremes. 

It is not American government in particular that is an addictive condition. It is any government that involves people attempting to control other people that is addiction. 

Government pretends to supply guidance, safety, justice, freedom, truth, peace and a human sharing system. It in fact provides only symbols of these. 

The distortion of the addiction is the separation of the self from the consequences of personal choices. We hand our governors a paycheck and some guns, command them to tell us how to behave, and when we don’t do it right, we conveniently have someone to blame. 

Government, when appropriate is over goods and not people. Making one person lord over another is competing with God and the results are necessarily bad. 

The eventuality of death is the preparation for nuclear war. For, while governments cannot offer us real solutions, they can offer us a final out: suicide in global war. 

The Arms race is a coalition of service, governments to their peoples, providing the cyanide pill in the hollow tooth: a ready and immediate death if things get so desperate the we want to give up. 

Of course it would be presented as though there were some issue at stake. Would it really fool you? 

Novelties 

Novelty is a name for any manufactured object that is designed to be trash within, say, one hundred years. 

We need goods, we need tools. What do we get? Lots of garbage. 

Objects that are predestined to break (planned obsolescence) after they have insinuated themselves as staples are addictive substances. The by-products are industrial wastes. 

Public Utility Energy 

Luxuries were renamed conveniences, then renamed necessities. One way of measuring a standard of living is to measure the distance between a person and the elements of nature. The rich never have to touch dirt, or feel seasonal changes in temperature. 

That kind of distance from nature takes a lot of energy to maintain. This is the cultural distortion of the energy addiction. 

The by-products that kill are the poisons in the air, water, and soil from the burning of oil and coal. There is destruction of life in the process of obtaining fossil fuels and transporting them. 

What is it we genuinely need? Domestic systems, shelter, comforts, and fun. 

Maybe people buy nuclear power plants just in case we achieve disarmament: to make sure that mass suicide will always be readily available, nonetheless. 

Foods (from malignant sources) 

The purchase of foods grown with pesticides, herbicides, and experimental enhancers is the purchase of the destruction of the food chain. Is that suicide, or what? 

We buy these foods with the intent of sustaining life. We do get life, for the most part. But we also get death. We discover that the food products we purchase, and our habits in consuming them are insuring the success of a myriad of diseases. 

Production of beef is the destruction of the rainforest and the fragile ozone layer. Factory farms overwhelm the watershed with superconcentrated amounts of waste. 

It is so difficult to change how we eat. Are we addicted to those things that are harming us? 

Interest, Insurance, Investment Companies 

If you purchase stock in one of the industries listed above, you are investing in addictive substances. You are the dealer. 

If you buy mortgage contracts or insurance policies, you don’t get to rake in profits from the sale of addictive substances, you just enable somebody else to do so. 

Insurance companies and banks are the financial foundations of the preceding industries. 

Helping each other through times of need by pooling energy is the advertised premise of these financial arrangements. That is fine. But there is another something that has attached itself to that premise like piggyback legislation. 

Banks and insurance companies are agents that invest. This investment is shaping the face of the world. Turning money over to these agents is transferring your votes, just as surely as electing a delegate. 

Did you check your insurance company’s investment record before you handed over your votes? Do you think an insurance policy will compensate for the effects of global warming? 

Are stacks of dollars going to make up for the radiation that pours in through a splayed outer atmosphere? 

There is one criteria and one criteria alone that determines which endeavor these investors support. It is financial return. 

The investors choose an enterprise that exploits a need in such a way that they may take a little more than they give. This is called making a profit. 

With a world full of agents pursuing this end, simple math lets us know that there will never be enough of anything, ever, except inflation. 

As long a BIG is defined by “how much can I take” instead of by asking “how much can I give?” scarcity will be the norm. 

Pursuit of money is the addictive substitute for the creation of wealth. In a state of true wealth, a person is in a position to give much much more than they take. 

Thus, the world becomes wealthy, when the strong give in every exchange a bit more than they take. Why do this? Why do trees give out fruit? We shall see. 

Why do we buy Insurance? We are hoping for health. We are hoping for trust that the future will be good for us. We are hoping for safety. 

In mortgage contracts, we seek shelter, and a guarantee of a place on this Earth that we can call Entitlement. 

So. here is a list of some genuine human needs we attempts to satisfy when we play Dollarocracy. 
 
 

access a role tools
goods safety domestic systems
foods justice shelter
companions truth comforts
fun sharing system health
nightlife guidance trust
privacy freedom entitlement
peace

and there are more. We attempt to gain a sense of identity. We need to distinguish ourselves as a unique identity. 

This is part of what contributes to the purchase of unlimited varieties of novelties; we identify ourselves in this world by what we own. 

In addition to the need to identify ourselves as individuals within the group, there is a need to feel ourselves an accepted part of the group. We genuinely need community. 

It is entirely possible that most of the players involved in Dollarocracy would prefer not to commit suicide, but the need to belong in a self-approving culture brings us in the game because it is the only apparent game around. 

The task at hand for the dedicated cultural engineer is designing a culture, another game, that goes straight to satisfying the genuine needs, sidestepping the six addictive pathways. Government will not do it. The mechanics of culture is not legislation, it is consensus. Consensus is the soil from which governments spring. 

To stop playing Dollarocracy mid-game, right out on the playing field, is like giving up on football while you are holding the ball. You could very well get trampled. A dissident, a revolutionary, an oddball makes themselves an outsider, and is naturally ejected from the group. 

Stepping away from Dollarocracy is a hazardous adventure: people might be mad at you. 

If you think drug dealers are dangerous when their position in the chain of commerce is threatened, just wait till you see how the six pathway pushers behave when you stop paying for fixes. The right to do violence is right there in the contract (at least on their copy) written in the fine print. 

Refusing to play Dollarocracy is a dangerous thing: the results are unknown. But to keep on playing is Death with a capital D: we are taking the whole planet with us. 

There is another game, and that is the substance of this technical manual.