Socialism is the Best Medicine

Socialism is the Best Medicine

The Infinite Potential of the Human Mind

November 4, 2007

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The human brain is a social organ that connects people, and the human mind develops as a result of that connection. Infants subjected to extreme isolation or sensory deprivation do not develop human abilities.

in just a few thousand years, the human species has undergone an amazing cultural evolution. While our brains have not changed, how we use them has changed so much that even a person from the 15th century would be totally lost in the modern world.

Capitalism blocks human creativity in every area that does not enhance profit-making. While knowledge continues to accumulate, it is not shared. Some people are moved forward and many more are hurtled backward.

The central problem for the capitalist class is how to create profit, not develop human potential. On the contrary, the more people develop their abilities, the more threatening they become to the ruling class.

To preserve their rule, the capitalist class deny the majority any real control over their lives. An ocean of misery results: anger, anxiety, inter-personal conflict, and despair. What a waste!

The human mind has infinite potential. I do mean infinite. There is no limit to the number of ways that we could organize our lives and society.

The average human brain contains approximately 100 billion nerve cells or neurons. Each neuron has about 10,000 connections with its neighbors. Each of these connections can be turned on or off, so that the number of possible firing patterns is greater than the number of known particles in the universe. When you add the different ways that each human mind could connect with the other seven billion minds on the planet...you get the picture.

The capitalist class have stuck humanity in a giant historical rut and bamboozled us into thinking that this is the best we can do. Not so!

Humanity is a relatively recent species, and we have barely begun to explore our potential. If the capitalist class have their way, we never will.

The future is straining to be born.

DI SUSAN ROSENTHAL

Scelto e tradotto per ALCENERO

Volete sapere un segreto? Una mente umana sana è incompatibile con il capitalismo. Lasciatemi spiegare.

La scienza ci dice che la mente non può essere ridotta ad una semplice attività del cervello. La mente viene creata e sostenuta da una complessa danza tra gli esseri umani. Tagliata fuori dalle relazioni sociali la mente perde la sua capacità di funzionare. La prova di ciò viene dai bambini sottratti alle relazioni sociali e dagli adulti mantenuti in isolamento o soggetti a privazione sensoriale.

Per più del 95% della storia umana la gente ha vissuto in piccole e cooperative società. In queste ultime migliaia di anni la nostra specie ha subito una stupefacente evoluzione culturale. I nostri cervelli non sono biologicamente cambiati ma è cambiato il modo in cui li usiamo.

Mentre la gente raggruppava le proprie esperienze e accumulava il sapere da una generazione all'altra le loro menti evolvevano. Con l'evoluzione delle loro menti essi crearono nuovi accordi sociali che venissero incontro ai loro mutati bisogni.

Il capitalismo blocca questo processo creativo. Mentre il sapere continua ad accumularsi esso non viene condiviso. E mentre alcune persone evolvono molte altre vengono ricacciate indietro. Il problema centrale per il capitalismo è come creare profitto, non come sviluppare il potenziale umano. Per massimizzare il profitto il capitalismo deve distruggere le relazioni umane e soffocare il potenziale umano.

Più veniamo divisi e isolati e maggiore è la ricchezza che può essere generata per coloro che sono al vertice. Qualunque forma di collettivismo è una minaccia al sistema, dall'organizzazione dei sindacati alle richieste di servizi sociali finanziati dal governo.

Invece di usare le nostre menti per risolvere i problemi comuni, le usiamo solo per decidere quale frazione dell'elite ci dominerà. Invece di lavorare insieme per migliorare i nostri standard di vita, fatichiamo per arricchire l'elite. Invece di proteggere noi stessi e di proteggerci gli uni con gli altri, combattiamo le loro barbare guerre per il profitto.

La mente umana crolla sotto tali condizioni. Epidemie di rabbia, ansia, conflitto interpersonale e profondo scoraggiamento creano un oceano di miseria umana. Aggiungendo oltre al danno anche la beffa questi segni di malattia sociale sono anche etichettati come "problemi personali" e "malattie mentali".

Per preservare se stesso il capitalismo deve bloccare l'infinito potenziale della mente umana. E intendo davvero infinito. Non c'è limite al numero di modi in cui potremmo organizzare le nostre vite e la società.

Un cervello umano medio contiene circa 100 miliardi di cellule nervose, o neuroni. Ogni neurone ha circa 10.000 connessioni con i suoi vicini. Se considerate che ciascuna di queste connessioni può essere accesa o spenta, il numero di possibili schemi di emissione del segnale [firing patterns] risulta maggiore del numero di particelle note nell'universo. Se poi aggiungete i differenti modi in cui ogni mente umana può connettersi con gli altri 6 miliardi di menti umane sul pianeta... beh, credo abbiate capito.

Il capitalismo ha bloccato l'umanità in una gigantesca routine storica e ci ha ingannati sino a farci pensare che questo sia il meglio che possiamo fare, che abbiamo raggiunto la fine della nostra storia. Non è affatto così! Abbiamo a malapena iniziato ad esplorare il nostro potenziale. Eppure, se lasciamo fare al capitalismo non completeremo mai questo compito.

Non possiamo permettere che ciò accada. Abbiamo creato il capitalismo, ma possiamo cambiare e sostituirlo con qualcosa di molto migliore.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. November 4/07

    Excellent blog.
    I was searching for points I especially wanted to applaud, but I couldn’t agree more with each one.
    Kudos.

    Reply
  2. November 7/07

    Dear Ms. Rosenthal,

    I very much enjoyed reading your essay and taking in its insightful arguments. Thank you.

    That the stylus continues to ride, again and again, over the ‘capitalism scratch’ has always troubled me. Today it troubles me even more as technology in its many forms has shown a light on the workings of capitalism in places like Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, Somalia, New Orleans, America (U.S.)…and countless other places on the globe. It is time for a new, more civilized, more human socio-economic paradigm to replace this ‘capitalism.’

    There are a wealth of articles and essays to read on the web these days, but few as straight forward and as insightful as the ones I’ve read on your site.

    K Heartsong

    Reply
  3. November 11/07

    Excellent.

    But what about Lewis Mumford’s Stanley Diamond’s, Barbara Mor’s and more recently, Derrick Jensen’s assertions that civilization itself, which “begins with conquest abroad and repression at home,” according to Diamond, is the real problem?

    As you point out, Civilization is but a brief period, a 6-8,000 year “illness” in the 100,000-plus years of human cultural development. All Civilizations have been hierarchical, patriarchal, ethnocentric, classist, violent, etc., and all have fallen to ruin (“look on my works, ye mighty, and despair”).

    The “natural,” sustainable order of humanity, as evidenced by the “American” Indians – who lived and prospered for at least 20,000 years, developing complex cultures, fully integrated with their natural environs, along the way – seems to be small, tribal, “socialist” communities. Capitalism is but the latest, though certainly most deadly, “virus” in the relatively short history of the Civilization Disease.

    Reply
  4. November 11/2007

    Adam, I disagree. The root cause of our problems today is not civilization, but class divisions. And while I agree that we must eliminate class divisions, it is neither necessary nor desirable to jettison 10,000 years of human development.

    Small is not always best. Over the past 10,000 years, humanity has discovered and invented much that is useful, including global communications systems.

    Capitalism is an international system, and it will take a globally-coordinated effort by the world’s majority to replace it. Once we have build that coordination, we will be able to solve problems like pollution and global warming that small groups could never manage.

    Global integration should be welcomed, not feared. A globally-integrated society would be much richer in resources and opportunities for sharing than would be possible in small, tribal communities. The challenge is to ensure that integration meets human needs (including the need for a healthful environment).

    Reply
  5. November 11/07

    As I mentioned to you before Susan, it’s all about happiness.

    You are correct about the captivity and capacity of the human spirit.

    We are the victims of a cruel trick. We’ve been fooled into thinking that toys are a reflection of progress: what kind of car you drive, the house you own, the clothes you wear, the house you live in, the money you have in your bank account, etc.

    Frank Capra said in the film “Meet John Doe” that the things you own, own you.

    It is a self-perpetuating trap. Working to acquire all of these toys, living to maintain them, as well playing with these toys distracts a person from the most important questions: “Who am I? Why am I here? What does it all mean?”

    In my opinion they are the only questions worth asking. And it is interesting how few people can actually answer those questions.

    You could get a more detailed answer about why a person bought a particular car than the particulars about their very existence.

    The irony is, if people asked the the hard questions, they would realize that this reality is intolerable. And that they would have to do something about it.

    In the short-term, it is easier to suppress those nagging questions with distractions. It’s like taking prescription drugs. They mask they symptoms; they do not treat the underlying cause.

    Most people work to acquire things. But imagine a world where people work to find out who they really are.

    In my world people don’t work only for basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing and medical care. And they don’t slave away for toys.

    That does not mean that my world is no fun. There is plenty of time for fun in my world. There is plenty of time for family in my world. And there is plenty of time for asking and acting on important questions.

    You see I agree with the commercials– life is short. And I believe that the only true currency that we possess is time. And it should be used to its fullest effect.

    Reply
  6. November 7/2007

    spot on essay, susan. …good luck with your books.
    It’s very encouraging to see that individuals within the medical establishment are speaking out on this dire issue. It is imperative that we as a nation understand the scope of this problem, its history, its direct effects on the present, and implications for our future.

    I recommend J.T. Gatto’s book, “Underground History of American Education.” http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

    Gatto, a retired teacher; chronicles the institutionalized assault on empathy/reason gleaned from his experiences within the NY public school system.

    Gatto is working on a film documentary. You may wish to approach him, as I feel it can only strengthen the warning we must broadcast to “we the people”. The clock is ticking.

    Reply
  7. November 12/2008

    Dear Susan et al, I concur entirely, an extremely good article – there seem to be too few people willing to stand up and just speak that simple truth – the root of our problems today is that we have let this god called capitalism take over our society, and be ruled by its various high priests. It is a very, very bad path we are on, and if we don’t get off it soon, there’s not going to be much left of either human society or the planet.

    I just finished a book in which I talk more about this called ‘They’re Building a Box – and You’re In It’ – which can be found at
    http://www.rudemacedon.ca/dlp/box/box-intro.html should anyone be interested.

    Reply

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