Caitlin Johnstone: ‘Successful’ people are misery superspreaders in a world that values conquest and power over growth and healing
Thanks to society’s insane view of ‘success’ as nothing more than the amassing of influence, the most powerful people in the world are also the most miserable, dysfunctional and traumatized. Just look at the White House.
The term “super-spreader” has been popping up a lot in mainstream news media and Democrat-aligned partisan rhetoric in reference to President Trump and his habit of hosting of events without social distancing precautions which led to a spike in positive Covid-19 tests throughout the White House.
It’s an interesting phrase, because it highlights not just the way America’s plutocrat president conducts himself in the midst of a novel coronavirus, but the way he and his ilk live their lives generally as well.
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In our society, those who are uplifted, rewarded and applauded are those who make it their sole focus in life to obtain as much influence over as many lives as possible. That’s basically how our insane society defines “success”: having a whole lot of employees, a whole lot of subservients, a whole lot of consumers, a whole lot of fans, a whole lot of people who listen to you and think you’re important. The more lives you affect, the more successful you are considered to be.
What this means is that those who wind up having the most influence over the most people are the ones who made doing so their highest priority in life. Not to become a better person, a good parent, a good spouse, a good friend, a good caregiver, a good listener, but to getting promoted, growing the business, crushing competitors, becoming famous, becoming influential, becoming powerful, becoming president.
That’s what the most influential human beings in our world have poured their life’s energy into, generally speaking. Not into personal maturity and healing, but into conquest and power. Everything in our society encourages this, from the esteemed universities that wealthy go-getters attend to the movies and shows we all watch as we are trained in what to value.
Which causes a lot of problems, because what our society really needs above all else is healing and maturity. Being a small human in our world is a highly traumatic experience; we’re surrounded by confused giants who move in scary, unpredictable ways and unwittingly pass on to their children a lot of the trauma they picked up from their own childhoods, and it leaves us with a lot of unconscious mental habits which govern the way we relate to the world in an unconscious and unhelpful way.
Everyone carries trauma and delusion with them. Nobody gets to skip past this reality. We would live in a much healthier society if people prioritized becoming a healthy human being: healing their past trauma, becoming conscious of their inner processes, emotionally maturing, learning to love themselves, and learning to see life with clear eyes.
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But our society does not value this. Someone who prioritizes their own movement into psychological health instead of chasing what our society defines as “success” will very often be regarded as a nobody, a disappointment, a loser, a slacker, a black sheep, especially if they come from a family that has built a strong identity around “success”. The pressure to join in the race toward conquest and domination instead of healing and lucidity is very high.
Which of course results in the most unconscious, unhealthy people having the highest degree of influence over everyone else. It results in a kakistocracy, where we are as Terence McKenna said “led by the least among us”. Where the world’s most miserable and dysfunctional people are elevated to positions which enable them to spread their misery and dysfunction to as many people as possible. Where miserable people are made into super-spreaders of misery.
And so you wind up with the most powerful government in the world being led by a man who Gabor Maté once described as “the clearest example of a traumatized politician one could ever see.” A profoundly traumatized and traumatizing man who because of where he placed his emphasis in life has been elevated to the optimal position for spreading trauma throughout the entire world.
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In a healthy society it would be the exact opposite. We would be encouraged to prioritize the journey into health, consciousness and compassion, and our institutions would provide an abundance of support in that journey. People who are unhappy and dysfunctional would not be looked to as leaders but encouraged to become psychologically healthy, and those who are looked to for leadership (if a healthy society had any leadership at all) would be those who have made the journey into a harmonious way of functioning in our world.
Here’s hoping we find a way to collectively move out of super-spreader kakistocracy and into health.
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