I know, some people urge me to "get a life," "my anger does more harm to atheism than good," "why am I so angry?" "present the evidence". I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard these and other such responses. But stop and think about it a minute, what do the 1% want from the 99%?
do as your told?
yield to authority?
division (as in hierarchy)?
discourage critical thinking?
forgive them for they know not what they do?
Do you see a pattern here? Do these words ring with familiarity? Do you see research funded that shows not only correlation but cause? Who benefits by these behaviors? Who pays? Do these behaviors enhance flourishing?
These ingredients maintain and perpetuate the passive lifestyle. Does this sound familiar?
They want MORE!
You beat me to it, Ed.
I won't claim to have any kind of inside knowledge about the 1%, but everything I see in the media shows me an elite class, focused on their own lifestyle and interests and largely disconnected from anything having to do with the middle class which does not involve serving them. Certainly, there are exceptions to this rule, but when I look at Wall Street types whose lifestyle has about as much to do with mine as a fish has to do with a bicycle, my sense is that the disconnect borders on complete.
The history of taxation on the rich over the past half-century is not encouraging either, as it has done nothing but GO DOWN, from a high of 90% around the time I was born to ... what, now, 42%? Add to that the brand of dodges and tax shelters available to them to further mask their income and the causation of the increasing separation of the wealthy from the middle class becomes more than evident.
And now with the Citizens United decision, that money buys POWER, in terms of congressmen's votes, to prevent increases in taxation or other loads on their wealth. Result: the US increasingly becomes a plutocracy rather than a representative democracy.
So what do we as mostly middle class atheists do about this? Is there anything we CAN do about it?
"the US increasingly becomes a plutocracy rather than a representative democracy"
I think the answer would be a complete overhaul through the election of TONS of third, forth, fifth, sixth party candidates... An unlikely outcome given that average Joe American has been easily convinced to vote against his own best interest more often than not.
Edward, I agree! and when you wrote, "average Joe American has been easily convinced to vote against his own best interest more often than not" that is a mystery to me ... well, I was guilty of that and probably unconsciously still am. In any event, when one is conscious of such things, it is possible to stop. So, that is one way we can do some consciousness raising -- my goodness, that is language out of the 1960s.
***BIG SMILE*** Groovy
Loren, I agree completely with all you say. Now, as to what middle class atheists can do about it? One of the basic principles of parenting and difficult child is to withhold that which they desire. They want a bike, do your homework, etc.
As parents we need to teach our children, not obedience, but critical thinking. Stand up to authority with parental support. Teachers need to teach this as well, although with 30+ students per elementary classroom, that creates work for the teacher. But the principle is the same: teach principles, not dates or names. Finding a job can be replaced with how to make a living. Whatever one does, keep religion out of science classrooms. I like finding ways to celebrate milestones: marriage, birthdays, divorces, nature, doing something instead of watching something being done. Understand each is part of an incredible universe or probably more accurate, universes. Cast off dependence, submission, obedience, acquiescence and replace them with cooperation, negotiation, collaboration, etc.
I wish I had it in me to tell people to fuck off -- but it doesn't feel good for me ... well, sometimes it does.
Loren, I bet you can come up with some dandy ideas.
Actually, I think using the "f-word," or one of its relatives, to annoying people of all types just strengthens their conviction that non-believers are crude, rude, and evil. I began using "bleep" decades ago...people either get it or they don't. And I don't really care which way they take it.
The ironic thing in my house is that my JW sister is the one who says "goddammit" over every little thing, like dropping something on the floor in the kitchen... When something like that happens to me, I rarely say anything. Why bother?
I do sometimes use the "f-word," or others, but only around people I trust.
Sounds like a reasonable decision.
A free ride.
YES! Good additions.
My (Atheist) family doesn't even understand why I get so mad and upset about religious bullshit and horrible things on the news. I say THEY should be angry too!!!
Wow ... I would love to know how someone can be an atheist in today's society and be indifferent to what is going on in it.