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Category Archives: American ideals

Waking the Sleeping Tiger

The term’s been trotted out by sound bite trained military commanders trying to come up with a fitting image for describing the enemy. Like the Japanese admiral who reflected after Pearl Harbor, “Perhaps we’ve just awakened a sleeping tiger.”

It’s always used to point to a condition of potential that waits, dozing in the wings, for its hour upon the stage. But in today’s desperate world, we need the sleeping tiger to get its butt into gear.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Waking the Sleeping Tiger.

This program, I hope, will be a clarion call to all who have a spark still burning in the embers of their idealism. As there was for me when I read Norberto Keppe‘s seminal book for idealists the world over, Liberation of the People: the Pathology of Power. This book was a beacon for me because of its scientific analysis of our inverted social structure which has led us so far from anything remotely resembling a just situation. This book is a searing critique that manages to give us hope even while it’s pointing out the sickness and destruction that has come at our hands. Because Keppe’s book speaks to a deeper level in us than just revolutionary fervor like that “off with their heads” blood lust that perverted ideals behind the French Revolution. Keppe speaks to universal values like tolerance and dignity while shining an unwavering critical eye on the causes of our current desperate impasse, while continuing to suggest reasonable and rational solutions to our dilemma which we could put into practice immediately to great effect.

He also has some extremely important things to say about the pathology of power, and how power is controlled by the sickest individuals on the planet – something that’s never been understood well because of our admiration for the rich and famous that stems from our Inversion and envy, which he outlines in this book, and because the powerful manipulate everything in secret so that everything goes to their favor and not the favor of the vast majority of human beings. We quite simply don’t get the full story in our media and halls of education and so remain ignorant of this nefarious situation. This, of course, is what I’m trying to address through this program. And what Norberto Keppe has been trying to address for decades through his books and TV and radio programs.

Our program today will be a wake up call – we hope – for any of you with dreams for a just society still burning, however dimly, beneath your breast. Keppe’s science of Analytical Trilogy offers real hope for a way back from the abyss.

And I’d like to make Keppe’s monumental book, Liberation of the People, available to you free of charge. I’ll only ask you to help with mailing costs. We’ll foot the rest. I think if enough people can get up to speed with Keppe’s ideas in this book, really start to resonate with them, we’re not too late to effect real change on this planet. Email me if you’d like a free copy of Liberation of the People.

And one other thing … our psychosocial forum May 13 – 15, 2010 here in São Paulo will be another good thing for you to know about. Check out the site.

Today, psychosocial therapist, Gilbert Gambucci, joins me to try to wake up the sleeping tiger.

Click here to listen to this episode.

 

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Obama: Hope and Virtue

We’ve heard the spin. The rhetoric-loaded speeches that gave us goosebumps. The hand-on-the-heart pledges that promised to lead us out of the darkness. 

The words from the speechwriters are scarily simple to speak. But after we’re all softened up, after we’re primed for change, we usually get … more of the same.

Will it really be different this time? Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Obama: Hope and Virtue.

Well, this is a topic I’m more than a little interested in. Hey, I’m a product of the ’60s. I’ve still got a little of that revolutionary flame burning in me. The same flame that burned bright for a decade or so before it dimmed in the face of assassinations and Watergate and too many strange chemicals in our bloodstreams.

And, of course, the “greed-is-good” mantra intoned in stock market boardrooms that carried the promises of easy money and double-digit returns on investment to any where were quick enough to jump on the bandwagon.

And now that has played itself out and revealed itself to be nothing more than what we should have known it was from the beginning – and empty promise.

Empty, why? Because it was based on an inverted philosophy: that it was good – even possible – to get something for nothing.

You know, the scientific discoveries that I base this program on have a powerful finality: they allow us to analyze what’s going on in us and our world through a clarifying lens, and that lens is a profound understanding of the human psyche and our society, which is, after all, just a reflection of what is going on inside of us. And through this science we can conclude that life, it turns out, is not a confounding conundrum or unsolvable riddle at all. Some conclusions have been reached about us and the universe we inhabit, and those conclusions have arrived through the work of an extraordinary scientist, Brazilian psychoanalyst and social scientist, Dr. Norberto Keppe.

I’ve been exploring this on these podcast for the past year and a half, and I’ll be expanding my discussions of Keppe’s synthesizing work of Analytical Trilogy – a bringing together of science with philosophy and theology – in a new Internet radio show that I’ll be launching in mid-March, 2009 with Dr. Claudia Pacheco. This’ll be a live call-in show where we’ll address specific problems and questions brought by callers and those who write to us. This will give you a first-hand look at how Keppe’s Analytical Trilogy sees the human condition and the society we live in. Get on the mailing list to be kept informed of that: rich@richjonesvoice.com

Keppe’s perspective on our problems is refreshing and clarifying, as you’ll know if you’ve been listening regularly to this program. And one of the things he noted right away when he moved to New York in the early ’80s was the incredible decadence the country had fallen into. Every area was in decline, and this was being hidden by the appearances of prosperity that were being given off by the enticing profits on Wall St. A lustre we now know to have been polished by considerable deception and smoke and mirrors.

Keppe warned us of this at the time – warned us that moving away from ethics and goondess and beauty would continue to bring disaster. And now we’re smack in the middle of the crisis he predicted.

And Obama seems to be hip to that, admitting that we need to be more responsible, more ethical, get back to work. We need to “put aside childish things,” as he put it. I’m joined by a couple of American today, and together we’ll look at Obama’s promise of hope and virtue through the lens of Analytical Trilogy.

Click here to listen to this program.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2009 in American ideals

 

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Behind the Economic Crisis II

It’s still hitting us hard. Markets are down, foreclosures are up. Shanty towns are springing up in southern California. We’re officially in recession, it appears. And what got us here varies depending on which side of the political argument you listen to. The only problem with that is … it’s a little difficult to get at the real root causes.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, let’s try to understand it a little better in the second in our series of what’s going on Behind the Economic Crisis.

Depending on how long you’ve been listening to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, you may or may not know that our work here is based on the extraordinary discoveries of Brazilian psychoanalyst and social scientist, Norberto Keppe. In a profound series of books he wrote in the 1980s, he essentially created a new branch of social science called “social pathology.” This was the application of his psychological assessment, analysis and treatment of the human psyche to the greater society in which we live.

Our society, he determined, is a reflection of the unrecognized parts of our individual psychological reality. “The cycle is centuries old,” he wrote. “Man creates an increasingly sick society as he is increasingly sickened by it.” This awareness occurred shortly after he moved to New York at the request of a number of professors and academics to introduce his work there. He went expecting American ingenuity and “can-do” attitude to take his work,and spread it worldwide, as they did with everything else – from Breton Woods economic policies to pop music.

But he encountered a country in trouble. “America has stopped working,” he noted. America was not producing anymore and was instead content to sit back and let the 3rd world do the work while they applied themselves to making money with money; that the U.S. was exploiting the globalization of the desire for a piece of the American Dream they’d so artfully perpetrated, stimulated and fed to chain everyone else to pulling the sled while they rode along behind, sucking up the profits.

Keppe saw psychological Inversion in the creation of an economic system that rewarded a company with increased stock prices for lowering costs by farming out production to Asian sweatshops. He saw a psychological condition in the hunger for power and money and consumer goods that was causing us to destroy the planet in our insatiable desire for more, more, more.

The three books I mentioned earlier were, and continue to be, extraordinarily astute and prophetic – Decay of the American People (and the U.S.), which we discussed in our last episode of Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Liberation of the People: the Pathology of Power, and Work and Capital. These books discussed, analyzed and clarified the psychopathology of the human being that was manifesting in the social structures we had created. This was something remarkable for the time, and remains so even today. You’ll find those books totally relevant in today’s situation. Like they were written yesterday. Write me for more information: rich@richjonesvoice.com

What Keppe noticed was the break in our social structures had made from our essential nature. From philosophy, Keppe knew that the essence of life was goodness, truth and beauty. At the same time, being successful in society often meant going against those values. We can’t suggest, for example, that the richest and most powerful among us got that way by acting like Mother Theresa or Albert Schweitzer.

And we the people have bought into it all big time. We all want to throw our money into the stock market and see it double or triple or at least bring in 10 or 15% returns. And for doing what, exactly? As Warren Buffett has noted, we’re not a nation of investors anymore, we’re a nation of traders. Which conjurs up images of men and women staring for hours into laptop computer screens to squeeze dollars out of the differenc ein exchange rates between the Yen and the Euro. Surely this is not lost on us. We’ve given up our previous values of what it meant to live in a civilized society. Our leaders lie about whatever they need to to convince us we need a massive, unwillable, horrendously expensive war. They encourage huge speculative financial systems that slosh trillions of dollars around daily like giant cassinos. They throw billions of taxpayer’s dollars into shoring up totally collapsing economic models that they’ve promoted. And then, as it’s crashing down around their ears, they admonish us that “we’re all in this together,” lumping in the vast majority of the world’s population with the small minority who are actually playing the gaem.

It’s time to wake up. As Keppe writes in Liberation of the People, “Most people believe that the powerful are needed to maintain ‘order’ among the populace and in the markets, rather than that it is precisely these powerful who cause all the social conflict and disturbance with the dishonest laws and systems they create.”

That’s where I’d like to step out from today – that this economic and social crisis has not just happened. It’s come to us as a product of our thinking and philosophy of life, if you will. Gilbert Gambucci, fresh from discussing this at our World Conference of Analytical Trilogy a couple of weeks ago, joins me today.

Click here to listen to this episode.

 

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A Critique of America

Their constitution stands as a model of what a nation should strive to be. Their economy dominates the economic agenda around the world. Their cultural output is vastly influential – whether you’re watching Baywatch re-runs from a hut in Burkina Faso, or subscribing to a new season at the Met.

America. What’s gone so wrong?

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, a critique of America. And maybe I can cut off the groans or even outright indignation of those who repel from more “America Bashing” by stating our intent right off the bat: to help. Like my guest today, I, too, have a great admiration for the principles of America laid down by their Founding Fathers, who were influenced directly by the ideals of French Illuminish. But it’s important to say that these ideals are actually not American. They’re universal. That’s what made Martin Luther King so powerful as an orator – he was speaking a universal truth – one that’s always been true, is true today, and always will be true.

But I think what makes America special is that they came closest to realizing it. I’m not blind to the incompleteness of their putting into practice their own Constitution – particularly in their treatment of African Americans – but that was still some potent society they created, back aways. Well today, it’s nothing like what it was. Those transcendent words in that glorious document are now dusted off and used cynically by aggressive, arrogant, paranoid politicians to inspire Americans to all sorts of nefarious ends.

Not quite what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

But our purpose today is to try to analyze what’s gone wrong in America through our psychological eyes. To try to help Americans understand where things have gone off the rails – for gone off the rails they certainly have.

Gilbert Gambucci is a proud American in the sense of loving the foundational beliefs of the country. He’s also lived outside the U.S. for 22 years, giving him an objective perspective on his own country.

Click here to listen to this episode.

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Posted by on November 2, 2007 in American ideals, psycho-socio-pathology

 

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The Loss of American Ideals

It’s been the dominant force in the world for the past 70 years or so. It’s impact has been enormous in every area – from economics to culture. But it’s not the country it once was. And now, it’s even become dangerous to itself … and to the rest of us.

Where have things gone so wrong in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, for the 4th of July, 2007, let’s take a look at the lost values of the United States.

American musician, Gilbert Gambucci joins me today to talk about the lost values of America, based on Norberto Keppe’s discoveries on the pathology of power.

Click here to listen to this episode.

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