Liberty or Enslavement?

posted in: Dada's posts | 8

New York City is a labyrinth — above and below ground — of wounded, jaded but surprisingly nice people. Like the tap water, which makes for surprisingly good drinking.

This country is full of contradictions like that. Recently I visited the Statue of Liberty, more out of a sense of obligation than anything else, I don’t know why. But while battling my way on and off boats, through security checks and around the island amidst hoards of tourists, it struck me that one of the greatest ironies of the United States of America is that the statue is an icon of liberty in a land which has been systematically and comprehensively enslaving its inhabitants, through the psycho-economic exploitation of corporate capitalism, pretty much since its inception.

The people used to be oblivious to their enslavement, and many still are. These days, however, I think a lot of them can see through the deception. But it’s like they don’t care any more. Or are too tired, too cynical, too jaded to care. Resigned to their fate, even if it is driving them into the ground.

I am talking about the 99% here, where every day their standard of living is eroded away by the ever-increasing wealth gap. But the disparity in wealth not only causes suffering for the vast majority. It also means the 1% suffer, because this kind of unbridled greed is a mental disease. These people are sick. When the owners of Walmart, the richest family in the world, do not pay their workers even a living wage, not to mention a decent one, that’s an illness that’s hurting them just as much as it’s hurting everyone else. Everything is connected in this world and everyone’s actions have karmic consequences. You reap what you sow. We will all experience the consequences of our actions, one day or another; this life or the next; it’s just a matter of time. Meanwhile, these people must in their heart of hearts suffer knowing they could be doing more for their fellow human beings.

What liberty in America has really come to mean is freedom for the rich to get richer while the poor get poorer, spelling out the suffering of all. On the other hand, the goal of Prout (Progressive Utilization Theory) is the happiness and wellbeing of all.


8 Responses

  1. Mike

    I think people enslave themselves with their own ignorance, laziness and lack of initiative. People are like snowballs that start rolling when they are young. If you roll in negativity and ignorance you will become a big ball of crap. The USA is freedom. Problem is most people can’t handle freedom.. No doubt there are a lot of problems. Big pharma, medical, dental. No one here can afford a dentist or a doctor’s visit. Alcohol and food are problems. Give me liberty or give me death. People enslave themselves.

  2. gunamuktananda

    I don’t know if I agree with you brother. The system is to blame, not the people. Take a look at this video from my friend and colleague Dada Veda:

    It is the obligation of society to provide people with a socio-economic system which nurtures human potential, rather than exploiting it. People can not be blamed because human weaknesses are inherent within the human condition. We must sublimate our weaknesses in our journey from humanity to divinity and we need a system which facilitates that.

    That is why I referred to Prout.

  3. Adriana

    I fear PROUT structure can be too easily transformed into a dictatorship. Even if created with good intentions, it can be quickly turned to the dark side. And then, too easily we have a global dictatorship.

  4. gunamuktananda

    The most important thing is the benevolence of whoever is in power. One, there must be collective leadership of a board of truly well-meaning people. And two, each one of those people must be spiritually developed enough to consider the welfare of all (people, animals and plants) on this planet as at least as important as their own welfare.

  5. Zaryn

    Thank you for the introduction to PROUT. As a social worker studying systems of oppression, this comes timely as I have sought to be able to articulate both the problem and the possibilities. Next…. what do PROUT advocates propose for strategies to gain wide support of the oppressed, given the internalized beliefs and ignorance in general?

  6. Ricardo Amorim

    Namaste. Love this response, it’s on point. 🙏 Have a great day

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