A Forbidden Thought: We Are Not Inadequate


As I’ve noted before, the dominating systems of the West require us to feel weak, afraid, and insufficient; they couldn’t continue if most of us didn’t feel that way. And so, by plan, by instinct, or simply by inertia, the friends and operators of these systems oppose anything that breaks from that mold.

And so, the thought that humans are fundamentally adequate is forbidden. If you’d like to prove that sometime, say a few things like these at a cocktail party:

Western civilization has accomplished so many good things that it’s mind-blowing.

Most people are basically decent and don’t need to be controlled.

I see so much goodness in humanity.

Humanity is ascending toward the gods (or heaven, or whatever).

Or, if you are so bold:

Man is a glorious creature.

The responses you get should be educational.

Why This Thought Is Forbidden

The reason for this was beautifully defined by Buckminster Fuller in an interview he gave in 1981:

There’s a built-in resistance to letting humanity be a success. Each one claims that their system is the best one for coping with inadequacy.

In other words:

The systems running things claim that theirs is the right way to fix human inadequacy.

So, if you claim that humans are adequate, you’re also saying that those systems aren’t necessary.

Ruling systems fight things that call their rule unnecessary. So will people who are emotionally attached to those systems.

Promoting Darkness Is a Big Business

One of the reasons so many people espouse dark views of humanity is that the promotion of darkness is a huge business. As I’ve noted before, news channels are little more than fear delivery systems. Likewise newspapers, most of talk radio, and even most of the internet: Hour after hour, day after day, they report the worst things they can find.

And it’s not just news; advertisers also need you to feel insecure. Pay attention to the ads that are thrust upon you. A high percentage of them will make you feel insecure, inadequate or guilty. These are also part of the darkness-promotion industry. And most Westerners don’t even realize it’s happening to them. It’s all they’ve ever known.

Here’s an interesting comment I ran across. It came from a non-Westerner, back in the 1950s((The Indonesian President Sukarno, in 1956, as noted in The Brothers, by Stephen Kinzer.)). This man, visiting the US for the first time, said,

I find only one fault with Americans. They’re too full of fear. Afraid of B.O. Afraid of bad breath. They’re haunted by the fear that they’ll never get rid of dandruff. This state of mind I cannot understand.

The reason for that state of mind is simply that it’s inculcated in the American psyche every day by myriad advertisers seeking to exploit a human weakness, namely a tendency to obsess upon and overestimate fears.

And if that was the case in 1956, what is it now?

The truth is that nearly the entire Western world is flooded on a daily basis with imaginary fears. This has allowed the things that feed on fear to run riot.

As a result of these manufactured and magnified fears, most people fear other humans and come to the conclusion (understandably, even if wrongly) that humanity is dangerous.

And that’s why we believe we need government to save us, beer to make us happy, and fragrance products if we hope to secure a decent mate.

Fueled By Fear would be an appropriate sticker to place on nearly every corporate logo and political advertisement.

Look Around

The idea that all is dark and threatening – that mankind is inadequate to the world – is dispelled just by looking around.

First of all, look around and settle yourself on the truth of what I said above: that nearly everything we see and hear from organs of political power and commercial advertising are designed to make us fear, in one way or another. Then make a rough estimate of how many negative things you hear in the course of a day and how many positive things you hear. Decide what the percentages are.

I think that would be telling. After all, if you feed only upon negativity, it’s only reasonable that you’d build negative attitudes.

Now take a look at the world and consider things like this:

  • We’ve eradicated diseases, such as smallpox, that tortured humanity for untold centuries.

  • We’ve learned to feed billions of people and feed them well. We can grow far more food than we need.

  • We’ve created machines that move us across the ground tremendous distances safely and reliably.

  • We’ve created machines that fly us around the world and at incredible speeds.

  • We’ve harnessed the information stores of humanity and made them available to anyone, almost for free and almost anywhere.

  • The public cruelty of the ancient era has been almost entirely eliminated.

  • Slavery has been almost entirely eliminated.

I could continue, but I’m confident you get my point. We are improving, unfolding, evolving creatures. Certainly some humans are vile, but they are a small minority. Most of us, to varying degrees, behave reasonably well most of the time. Yes, much improvement remains, but we are moving in just that direction, even if too slowly for many people’s taste. (Including my own.)

And consider this, please: It’s primarily the Darkness Industry that holds us back. The sea of negativity that surrounds us is an anti-evolutionary poison.

I’ll close with another quote (slightly edited) from Bucky Fuller, this one from An Auto-Biographical Monologue/Scenario:

I decided man was operating on a fundamental fallacy: that he was supposed to be a failure. I decided that man was, in fact, designed to be an extraordinary success. His characteristics were magnificent.

We are not inadequate.

* * * * *

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

16 thoughts on “A Forbidden Thought: We Are Not Inadequate”

  1. Yes, “Certainly some humans are vile, but they are a small minority.” And institutional powers act as a vast amplifier, which greatly magnifies the reach and damage of those ambitious narcissistic sociopaths. Chief among such institutions is the state: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RILDjo4EXV8 Anarchism will be imperfect, since men are not angels; the worst humanity could do would be to trust those who seek power, with power.

    1. One of the most vile parts of humans in general and Americans in particular is their belief that their politicians and media people would never tell them anything that wasn’t triply corroborated (like my broadcast announcing teacher taught me), so they go about spouting things that aren’t true as if they were, because they are gullible and ignorant enough to believe them without vetting them themselves.
      Higgs was spot on (as he usually is) that “the state” and society in general “is too dangerous to tolerate.”
      Thank you for another giant recognition of reality, Paul.

  2. Thank you Paul. As always, I enjoyed reading your post. I would like to challenge you on one point, please. You credit humans with the eradication of smallpox. I worry that this statement echoes the group-think that vaccines have saved humanity. I used to think along these lines myself, but back then I was getting all of my news from the corp media. In my research I’ve found that people still do suffer from pox diseases (small pox, monkey pox, horse pox, etc) so did we actually eradicate anything? It may be better to say that we no longer die from such diseases because of things like plumbing, education, public health laws, child labor laws, better farming practices and better nutrition. In my reading, it was these things that helped us move away from the diseases of the past.
    From what I know of the vaccine industry, it capitalizes on fear and inadequacy. The pharma companies use fear of disease to promote their product. They use their money to influence lawmakers to pass laws that benefit them – and now they can’t be sued if they make a faulty product. And they market fear to make us believe that our perfect human bodies are somehow flawed… that we need their product to survive. God and the Universe, it seems, got it wrong. Our immune systems were made inadequate, and now we must rely on pharma vaccines to save us. How we survived without them is a miracle.
    But I believe as you do that we are not inadequate, just misguided and lied to. Suckered again into not seeing or realizing the truth.
    Thanks for listening, and thanks for all of your work.

    1. I would like to see a citation regarding your claim of the non-eradication of smallpox. You’re right of course that better hygiene has a great deal to do with the plummeting number of deaths by diseases of all types, but I’m not ready to write off vaccines altogether. Even Andrew Wakefield, the courageous and unfairly maligned scientist, does not suggest that people forego vaccines entirely, only that they apply them one at a time to children old enough to process them without trouble.

  3. Your point that we’re being hustled into constant, unreasonable fear is absolutely valid. At the same time, it is also true that there is genuine evil in the world, beyond that generated by governments. Finding a way to deal with true criminals (thieves, con artists, etc.) without making matters worse by creating omnipotent, murderous governments, is a challenge that this column doesn’t address.

    1. Can’t cover everything at once, JdL 😉
      I’ve covered it a little in the subscription letter and may cover it in some depth in an upcoming issue.

  4. If humans are not inadequate, wouldn’t that make us gods? I am pretty sure that is the conclusion that Hegel and more recently Neale Donald Walsch came to. Perhaps I have a great deal more indoctrination to get over than I thought, but as far as I can tell now, I am not a complete being. I lack, therefore I do not think I am God. Again, maybe I am looking at it the wrong way, and I certainly think positive thinking can go a long way, but can it take us to full human adequacy? Perhaps, but it is a bridge too far at this point.

    1. Ah, definitions…
      I do not think that “adequate = God,” and honestly, I think when people try to be very specific with “God,” it’s ignorant and even unwittingly arrogant. We’re a long way from properly contemplating that.

      1. Definitions indeed! Your point is well taken and I think I agree. But if we are a long way from properly contemplating that, does that mean that we will someday get to the point where we can properly contemplate the topic? That sounds somewhat Hegelian as well. I am more in the Vico/Strauss and Howe cyclical camp than the constantly progressing toward some sort of sophisticated perfection camp — at this moment (not that I am saying you are in the latter as I do not know). 20th century warfare has been instructive in that respect. Lots of wonderful technology; lots of horrifying destruction. How much have we really advanced?

        1. “we will someday get to the point where we can properly contemplate the topic?”
          I think so. I think we’re built for precisely that.
          As for our advancement… Well… I’m convinced we are advancing, but I’d sure like more velocity. 😉

    2. Not to be snide, but Walsch is as nutty as a fruitcake. I’m amazed anyone takes him seriously.

      1. I actually have not read him yet; my understanding of his position comes from an explanation provided by someone I know. Use Hegel if you require an intellectually sophisticated and accepted source.

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