Superficial explanations for today’s social anxiety and political discontent miss the underlying reality: the crisis of late-stage capitalism in its frantic death throes, explains poet Phil Rockstroh.
By Phil Rockstroh
A number of recent press articles, including an over 8,000-word feature piece in The New York Times have asked, to quote the Times’ headline, “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?”
Although the question was proffered, the reporters and editors responsible for the articles remain resolutely obtuse to the obvious: The bughouse crazy environment of late-stage capitalist culture evokes classic fight-or-flight responses attendant to episodes of severe anxiety and panic attacks.
The word panic has its derivation in reference to Pan, the Greek god of wilderness and wildness, of the animal body encoded within human beings and its attendant animalistic imperatives. To wit, deracinate an animal from its natural habitat and it will evince, on an instinctual basis, a fight-or-flight response.
If caged, the unfortunate creature will pace the confines of its imprisonment, chew and tear at its fur and flesh, become irritable, enervated, languish and even die from the deprivation of the environment it was born to inhabit. A caged animal, even if the unfortunate creature endures captivity, is not the entity nature conceived; the living being has been reduced to A Thing That Waits For Lunch.
Human beings, animals that we are, respond in a similar fashion. Experiencing anxiety is among the ways our innate animal spirits react to the capitalist cage. Inundate a teenager with the soul-defying criteria of the corporate/consumer state, with its overbearing, pre-careerist pressures, its paucity of communal eros, its demands, overt and implicit, to conform to a shallow, manic, nebulously defined yet oppressive societal order, and insist that those who cannot adapt, much less excel, are “losers” who are fated to become “basement dwellers” in their parents’ homes or, for those who lack the privilege, be cast into homelessness, then the minds of the young or old alike are apt to be inundated with feelings of angst and dread.
Worse, if teenagers are culturally conditioned to believe said feelings and responses are exclusively experienced by weaklings, parasites, and losers then their suffering might fester to the point of emotional paralysis and suicidal inclinations.
No Real Remedies
What does the capitalist state offer as remedy? Obscenely profitable, corporately manufactured and widely prescribed psychoactive medications. Treatment, which, at best, merely masks symptoms and bestows the illusion of recovery.
As R. D. Laing observed: “What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being.”
In short, it is insanity to be expected to adapt to socially acceptable insanity. Yet we are pressured to adapt to, thus internalize odious, groupthink concepts and tenets. To cite one such groupthink example: homelessness is natural to the human condition and is a communally acceptable situation.
Closer to fact: The problem of homelessness is the result of a societal-wide perception problem — the phenomenon is the very emblem of the scrambling, twisting, dissociating, and displacing of perception that capitalist propagandists specialize in. Homelessness would be considered a relic of a barbaric past if this very simple principle was applied: Having access to permanent shelter is a human right and not a privilege.
What kind of a vile, vicious people would deny that simple proposition? Those conditioned by a lingering Puritan/Calvinist mindset to believe: Punishment for resisting the usurpation of the fleeting hours of one’s finite life must be severe. If the over-class can no longer get away with, as was once common practice in the Puritan/Calvinist tradition, public floggings to whip the labor force into line, then those who will not or cannot comply will be cast onto the cold, unforgiving concrete of a soulless cityscape.
It comes down to this, societies that are ridden with vast wealth inequity, due to the machinations of a rapacious over-class, create the obscenity known as homelessness. Moreover, the situation is only one of the numerous obscenities inherent to state capitalism. Obscenities that include, events that are dominating the present news cycle, e.g., the predations of a lecherous movie mogul, to the sub-cretinous doings and pronouncements of a Chief of State who is a bloated, bloviating, two-legged toxic waste dump.
Trump, No Aberration
How is it then, liberals fail to grasp the fact that the Trump presidency is not an aberration; rather, his ascension to power should be regarded as being among the high probability variables of late-stage capitalism and empire building? The psychopathic, tangerine-tinged clown Trump is the embodiment of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a development that is concomitant to over-expanded empires. Thus he will continue to flounce deeper into the quagmire of crash-engendering, economic legerdemain and perpetual war.
Empires are death cults, and death cults, on a subliminal basis, long for their own demise. Paradoxically, the collective mindset of imperium, even as it thrusts across the expanse of the world, renders itself insular, cut off from culturally enhancing novelty, as all the while, the homeland descends into a psychical swamp of churning madness.
A draining of the swamp of the collective mind cannot come to pass, for the swamp and citizenry are one. Withal, the likes of leaders such as Trump rise from and are made manifest by the morass of the culture itself. In a swamp, the gospel of rebirth and redemption is heard in the song of humus. New life rises from its compost.
In the presence of Trump’s debased mind and tombified carcass, one is privy to arias of rot. While Hillary Clinton’s monotonous tempo was the dirge of a taxidermist — cold, desiccated of heart, and devoid of life’s numinous spark — Trump’s voice carries the depraved cacophony of a Célinean fool’s parade … its trajectory trudging towards the end of empire.
As liberals new BFFL (Best Friend for Life) George W. Bush might ask, “Is our liberals learning.”
In a word, no. For example, the collective psyche of U.S. culture as been enflamed by the revelations that actresses were coerced into sexual encounters with a movie mogul whose power in the industry was only matched, even enhanced, by his sadistic nature. The staff of his company assisted, was complicit in, or remained silent about his lechery, as did the whole of the movie industry and the entertainment press. All as NFL athletes are being threatened with expulsion from the League if they kneel during the national anthem.
The Great Unspoken
Yet the great unspoken remains: The enabling of and submission to the degradation, exploitation and tyranny, and the lack of resistance thereof share a common and singular factor: The careerism of all concerned. The cultural milieu concomitant to capitalism is at the rotten root and noxious blossoming of the situation.
Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 cinematic barnburner “Two or Three Things I Know About Her” should be required viewing for those unaware or in denial of the acuity of the film’s theme i.e., becoming enmeshed within the psychical landscape of dominance, degradation, and submission inherent to and inseparable from capitalist/consumer culture will cause one to become party to societal sanctioned prostitution. When life is negotiated within a collective value system that devalues and deadens the individual’s inner life thus warps every human transaction, anomie descends, the worst among a people ascend to positions of power.
“Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive.” — William S. Burroughs, from Ghost of Chance
When friends visited me in New York, where I lived for decades, I would take them on walking tours through the city. We would cross the Westside Highway and stroll the pedestrian walk along the Hudson River, or cross the East River by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
The effect of these excursions on people was often profound … the combined elements of the elemental beauty of the rivers and vastness of the city’s architecture and scope, clamor, and the dense interweaving of traditional ethnic customs and ad hoc social codes of New Yorkers often would heighten the visitors’ senses and open them to larger, more intricate awareness of themselves and extant reality … the freeways of the contemporary mind (conditioned to be constantly engaged in manic motion, with one’s mind either frenzied by an obsession with performing (ultimately futile) maneuvers directed to saving time — or stalled at a frustration inducing standstill) were replaced by the exigencies of life at street level, i.e., novel situations that had to be apprehended and negotiated.
The possibilities of life seemed greater. The crimped eros of insular suburban thought became loosened before the city’s intricacies and expansiveness. Although: Not all, or even a scant few, New Yorkers can maintain the state of being. Few of us can live by Rilke’s resolve to “make every moment holy.” Life, in the city, becomes grotesquely distorted … High rents, inflicted by hyper-gentrification, in combination with the deification of success and its cult of careerism overwhelm one’s psyche … There is so far to fall.
Angst (the word originally can be traced to the ancient Greek deity Ananke, the immovable by prayer and offering bitch Goddess of Necessity and the root word of anxiety) clamps down one’s sense of awareness. Ananke dominates the lives of the non-privileged citizenry while Narcissus, Trump’s, the Clintons’, et.al. and their financial and cultural elitists’ patron God rules the day. The pantheon of possibility has been decimated, a cultural cleansing has been perpetrated, by the egoist caprice of the beneficiaries of the late capitalist dictatorship of money.
Hence, we arrive at the primal wisdom tacitly conveyed by anxiety-borne states of fight or flight. Due to the reality that capitalism, on both an individual and collective basis, drives individuals into madness, all as the system destroys forest and field, ocean and sea and the soul-scape of all who live under its rapacious dominion, our plight comes down to this: We either struggle and strive, by and any and all means, to end the system — or it will end us.
Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living, now, in Munich, Germany. He may be contacted: [email protected] and at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh
It is communism/socialism that has been completely discredited over the past century.
Rabid collectivism leads to a frozen dishonest disillusioned low opportunity society. Always has and always will, like Monarchies.
The author’s criticisms are not of lassie faire capitalism, instead the corruption of free markets. This is the same face of Medievalism socialism presents, now hidden away.
History also shows only wide economic opportunity for everyone creates prosperity for all. Look at the enduring success of nations like Switzerland and Singapore.
Lassie Faire was the era that left millenia of government dictate behind empowering the modern age.
I would classify Laissez-faire capitalism as more of a Libertarian construct (in the spirit of deregulation of businesses); though, especially since political ideologies aren’t necessarily well-defined, among other things, I suppose there may be room for blame on other concurrent ideologies as well. The truth is, it’s never as straightforward as it sometimes seems.
“When life is negotiated within a collective value system that devalues and deadens the individual’s inner life thus warps every human transaction, ANOMIE DESCENDS, the worst among a people ascend to positions of power.” — Phil Rockstroh
Definition of Anomie in Sociology
The Theories of Émile Durkehim and Robert K. Merton
by Ashley Crossman
February 22, 2017
Anomie is a social condition in which there is a disintegration or disappearance of the norms and values that were previously common to the society. The concept, thought of as “normlessness,” was developed by founding sociologist, Émile Durkheim. He discovered, through research, that anomie occurs during and follows periods of drastic and rapid changes to the social, economic, or political structures of society.
It is, per Durkheim’s view, a transition phase wherein the values and norms common during one period of time are no longer valid, but new ones have not yet evolved to take their place.
People who live during periods of anomie typically feel disconnected from their society because they no longer see the norms and values that they hold dear reflected in society itself. This leads to the feeling that one does not belong and is not meaningfully connected to others. For some, this may mean that the role they play (or played) and/or their identity is no longer valued by society. Because of this, anomie can foster the feeling that one lacks purpose, engender hopelessness, and encourage deviance and crime.
ANOMIE — DONALD TRUMP’s LEGACY will not be #Make America Great Again.
Psychologists have documented that social media creates anxiety and depression. It sets up a dopamine loop and effects the central nervous system.
Social media also encourages conformity which creates the FOMA mentality and the celebrity mentality.
What did I say about social media? Nothing, but yeah, it’s not good for your mental health. Know what isn’t either? Slamming medicine and effective treatments that can help people with conditions, that surprise, surprise predate social media.
And one more thing, dipshit, the biggest reason for long-term homelessness in America is a lack of access to good, consistent mental healthcare, which you do absolutely nothing but shit on in your wildly ignorant piece.
Obviously, it’s HORRIBLE to be homeless, and it’s barbaric that we allow it. But ever wonder if taking care of peoples material needs doesn’t just magically fix them? Maybe mental illness is a real thing and it’s horrible to dismiss it as a moral failing, even if it’s someone else’s?
I guess i shouldnt be surprised. Literally the majority of the human race is alive today because they had access to vacinnes (we all know about the rapacity of big vaccine), and not even those are safe from those with evangelism in their hearts and a very bizzare understanding of human health.
It’s too bad Steve Jobs is dead or he could have written us a wonderful piece on curing cancer instead of this even less well informed piece.
If by shitting on “lack of access to good, consistent mental healthcare”, you’re referring to the “obscenely profitable, corporately manufactured and widely prescribed psychoactive medications”, there are a few things to consider:
1. Most pharmaceutical medications are grossly overpriced – they are priced based on a system of supply and demand, but in a manner that maximizes the profits of pharmaceutical industries. The same thing could be said for many other things. (e.g. Beats headphones, which are of horrendous quality and often sells for $300, actually costs about $6 to make. The company is making a 5,000% profit off a shitty product that has been marketed into a lame status symbol. If you’re going to fork over that amount of money for headphones, go with Bose instead.) Also, if I’m not mistaken, anti-depressants only have a 30% rate of success, which gives the pharmaceutical industry the opportunity to exploit the suffering of the other 70%.
2. In analyzing cause and effect, the author of this piece did at least touch on the primal cause of many of society’s mental illnesses: a deranged, materialist, classist culture that pigeonholes and sandboxes people into different environments, which ultimately leads to massive dissonance among peoples and hoists harmful and often unrealistic expectations upon people, especially those who are disadvantaged. The confidence of many of our youth, who could have otherwise gone on to facilitate history-altering breakthroughs for the benefit of all, has been destroyed, because as a results-oriented society (instead of a process-oriented society), they are judged by what they accomplish (or don’t accomplish), regardless of whether they had the opportunities and resources to accomplish much at all to begin with.
3. Lastly, the predatory influences of careerism is a bigger factor than many even realize. I knew a woman who was making $175,000 a year, but did absolutely nothing to take care of her kids – she had absolutely no work-life balance whatsoever. Those kids may not even go to college now, because of her selfish, and – often times – evil ways. Worse, she initially “bought” her kids’ favor by buying them material things, but does not spend much time with them. They are now turning against her. In another case, I knew a lawyer who was friend of the family, who worked all his life, and is now retired. He is about 65. He was always working – constantly working – and has accumulated a nice little nest egg. He has over $1 million saved up. Yet, in the process, his wife left him, his kids don’t even talk to him, and he is now miserable and alone with his money. What does this all prove? Money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness – often times, it can do the opposite. What money does buy you, definitively, is leverage, which typically gives you greater potential to do good or do harm.
Haha. Well, don’t trouble yourself about the facts, buddy you’re on a roll. Lets screw the homeless so we can protect them from big pharma. Or we could just ask what the doctors think.
And even if 30% of people get relief from a disease that kills many thousands a year, its still sort of like headphones, yeah.
Are they overprescribed? Sure. So are antibiotics. Are we going to pretend they don’t work? There’s a decent chance you’d be dead right now without them.
If you ever have cancer, make sure you don’t get ripped off by big pharma and just drink the same smoothies Steve enjoyed before dying of one of the few forms of pancreatic cancer that are actually treatable.
This is one of the most intellectually dishonest strawman arguments I’ve ever seen in my life. Nothing I’ve said implicitly or explicitly is aimed against the homeless. The issue with homelessness is largely the product of several somewhat different issues, mainly rogue free-market deregulation, corporate greed aimed at finding the cheapest possible labor available, and the increasing unwillingness of government (primarily at the State level) to develop and provide adequate shelter. (Utah launched such a shelter program several years ago, and actually saved a substantial amount of money, that would have otherwise been dedicated to tackling the homeless issue directly on the streets instead.) Also, see outsourcing and the UNICOR-led prison-industrial complex.
You missed my point entirely. My main point was about how corporations charge exorbitant prices and engage in price-gouging to maximize profits, often to the detriment of consumers. Corporations have lobbied Congress in the last 40 years to draft laws that would effectively repeal legislation that placed necessary restraints on corporations, as well as grant them tax breaks (most don’t even pay the “Corporate Tax Rate”), and dissolve consumer protections. The aforementioned is the corollary between corporations spanning different industries, be it a pharmaceutical company or an electronics company. Come on now, don’t be willfully ignorant. You’re making yourself look bad.
This is another strawman argument, though not as insidious as the first. My issue is not with the development of pharmaceutical drugs, per se, but with the price-gouging the pharmaceutical industry engages in. The U.S. charges at least twice as much for pharmaceutical drugs, as many other developed countries in the world – yet, they both show the same effectiveness. On a side note, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), the so-called “man of the people”, recently opposed legislation that would allow Americans to purchase drugs from Canada for cheaper. Not surprisingly, he has direct ties to lobbyists who represent pharmaceutical corporations.
Yeah, ok. Or maybe, we can support the idea of a Medicare-for-all Single-payer system, so that cancer patients don’t have to subject themselves (and their families) to a life of debt slavery to pharmaceutical companies. Yes, cancer drugs are expensive to produce, but nobody deserves to die simply for lack of being able to afford health care. Plus, a single-payer system would only cost 45% of what Obamacare costs, therefore decelerating the rise in national debt, whilst taking much better care of the American people. Cost savings would be largely due to cutting out administrative costs, middlemen, and enforcement of this leviathan of a 2000-page law written in a tortured manner by Jonathan Gruber – a law which was read by nobody at Congress, and passed by the Democratic Party faithful, without so much as a thought. Penalties took the place of taxes in that law (at least, in writing), so that it passed unscathed through the Government Accountability Office.
I’m not just on a roll here. I am on the ball when it comes to important issues, too. I hope the aforementioned is of benefit to you. (No need for vengeance.)
Everyone likes to blame their pet boogeyman for the suffering of the mentally ill. Neolibralism is horrific, so thanks for having a better reason than the scientologists, but don’t ever explain away or minimize the health issues of any human being other than yourself.
I have severe major depression. Does this world make it worse? Yeah, it does, and one thing I can definitely do without is another know-nothing telling me they know what my REAL problem is.
You have no fucking idea what it’s like living through what I’ve lived through. Please tell me about the glory days before capitalism where life was rosy for the utterly mistreated and completely misunderstood mentally ill.
That you would be so cavalier about this sort of pain shows that you know nothing about it. I’ve also been a heavy drinker and now haven’t touched it in years. To suggest I don’t know the difference between drugging myself and treatment insults me as much as it makes you look like a complete fool.
There’s arms makers and oil companies but by all means bash the one industry that has a uncontestible- if uneven- record of helping people. I’m terrified of the future but I wouldn’t live in any past where such treatment didn’t exist.
So say whatever you want: I have the before and after right in front of me and I promise you I’d spend my last dollar on earth for the generic medication that “conceals” my symptoms.
I’d love to cure it instead, but I dont have that option. MAYBE I JUST HAVEN’T READ ENOUGH FUCKING POETRY?
The US has been on a long downhill slide. Just what happened is no mystery. We reversed the agenda that had been in place from FDR to Reagan, which actually took the US to its height of wealth and productivity. Predictably, the overall quality of life in the US went from a rating of #1 when Reagan was first elected, down to #48 by the time Obama was elected.
The US began shutting down/shipping out jobs in the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s. We lost over 6 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. What do you think happens to all those who get phased out of the job market? When people with college degrees are now cashiers at K-Mart what do you think happens to the millions who have no way to pursue degrees? Anxiety is an entirely reasonable reaction to the country’s decline.
The loneliness of these realizations is truly awful. A certain nihilism becomes increasingly seductive. Especially if you carry the marks of this culture on your own body and psyche. One feels the pull from moment to moment of an increasingly mysterious animal joy that is part of our essential being grow more distant and elusive, to be replaced with simple numbness.
A “Modest Proposal”. I view Trump somewhat differently now. Not as the best man for the job or the lesser of two evils. I view him as the best catalyst. This isn’t a veiled advocacy for any particular party or individual on the “möbius strip ” of American political dysfunction. He is the most likely, maybe to bring this all down. I could embrace it fully, if not for the horror that will accompany it. I could embrace it fully if I did not love.
Still, thank you for the essay. First rate.
Good article, very well written and learned, and of course most will agree with the opinions.
The least that should be expected from a poet, bard, philosopher, someone who has decided to ”make a home in being lost” (his words). Presumably it must be a relatively confortable home and he must be able to afford it thanks to his writings and else that some part of the nefarious system pays him for. I mean, light years from being really lost and homeless.
The trouble is that the opinions aren’t very original. Not being a kid anymore, and having a multi decade reading history, I have read who-knows-how-many similar opinions. I have even come to think that they are sort of embedded into the brain of humans, everyone has thought similar thoughts at some stage. But only a few are smart or lucky enough to make a living out of writing about them. The others more or less grow out of such sad thoughts, which leaves the few professionals believing they are an elite of smart folks while the the masses are idiots.
The really interesting thing would be to read ideas about what are we to do about all these problems. But that requires much more than a bard.
A very fine article Mr Rockstroh, and a pleasure to read.
Although I can’t imagine an antidote to our Imperialistic/militaristic ‘culture’ which is continually seeking value and profit at the expense of its citizens, and enhances the benefits of the war machine masquerating as patriotism, we are caught in this cult of killing. Adding more money to the DoD means even more dependency on oil to power their machines which in turn creates more necessity for them to rob other countries resources.
As you wrote about Angst, that ‘many treatments only mask the symptoms and bestows the illusion of recovery’ whereas real recovery would be to change our greed system and the very human interactions we should value above all else. Solving this hate and anger manifesting itself every day is appearing more and more unlikely. When scientists are finding our anti-depressants in the brains of fish in the Great Lakes I would think the overuse is quite obvious.
Your colorful description of our Orangutan POTUS was also a good element of your article. Thank you and thanks to CN for publishing your thoughts.
Well, here in Alabama the cross-race poverty…lack of medical care…pain meds to solve everything…criminalizing the “solution” spiral is a high anxiety process.
It’s not just about rich white kids getting into the right school, et. al. It’s, as the article alludes, endemic.
A certain, crash and burn outcome. Tick, tock. A wholly foreseeable-but-“unforeseen” political/societal outcome (aka revolt).
To agree and to simplify Mr. Rocketry, the banksters usurped sovereign governments when King William of Orange sanctioned the Bank of England, giving them power to monopolize and print fractional reserve money as debt. They have been making all the rules since and their banks rule most every country. The are invested heavily in pharmaceutical, oil military and have absolute control over the media and the intelligence agencies.
They control TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters, continually spinning the narrative of how great wealth is and we should all be wealthy, as if no real work ever has to be done. They are sociopaths living out a fantasy existence of privilege, decadence and opulence, so much so they think it the norm.
One would do well to give credence to to Gnostic belief of dualism, whereas materialism is evil and spiritualism is divine. When one takes in the vastness of the universe ponders the possibilities for a much better, more organic, natural way for humans and all beings to coexist then the earthly parasites in human form appear as desperate, demented and doomed to eventual nothingness.
Take heart all and strive for knowledge and understanding, that is the stuff the universe is receptive to.
Powerful and insightful
Very good reflections, and it’s unfortunate that many people don’t see through the lie. I enjoyed the reference to R.D. Laing’s writing. Laing’s “The Politics of Experience” helped me to see that I was not mad but society was mad when I was in my twenties. There has been a shutting-down of creative thinking for decades now, if you look at what popular music was in the days of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, etc. Triteness, trivia now, don’t think for yourself. We have to regain that creativity individually and collectively, and as Susan said here recently, “We have to regain our humanity”.
Jessica you bring back memories of old conversations from way back when. I recall when I was in my twenties of how on many of an occasion, as then I was single I would invite the band and our friends to my place, and all of us would play guitars and play anything that came to mind til sunrise. There was always that one girl who covered Joni Mitchell material to a tee, and always there was sitting in the corner a lyricist who wrote thoughtful passive poetry, and when that person finally decided to recite their poems they would blow the rest of us away with their well constructed words, and everyone who could strum a guitar wanted to put some musical accompaniment to it.
We starving musicians back then would go deep talking about the next music craze to come. Some thought message music would go further and get bigger, while others though that KC & the Sunshine Band would replace everything including Mozart and the Beatles. Yeah as I recall the conversations had plenty of range, but still again there was the variety to choose from.
I recall a conversation I had with a recording company executive back in 1979 who then told me of how by the following year there would be but only two genres of music profitable enough to record, and those two genres were what that executive referred to as Rhythm & Blues and Country. Today with the music business being so Direct Marketed the vast populace doesn’t hear what the other half is hearing, and that’s a crime. I always, and often still do, go out of my way to,listen to what I have never heard before. To appreciate what all is out there is an oasis to the soul to be enjoyed in a world seemly lost to all that is enjoyable.
Just thought I’d throw that in there. Joe
I’m glad there has been such positive responses to this article. Too often people prefer not to look directly at how bad our society really has become. I am afraid this unwillingness to acknowledge and deeply feel the truth of our tragic predicament will be a major factor in our extinction. Hope becomes hopium when it refuses to look at the unpleasant truth.
I think mike that what we are talking about here, is but one of the reasons our society has people shooting people from the 32nd floor. Joe
As pertaining to the 20th paragraph and 2nd sentence; that is called a kakistocracy: the worst elements of society in charge of the society. The word kakistocracy was banished from the Webster’s Dictionary about a century ago and I suggest looking the word up.
That is the word to describe govern-ment, i.e. govern is to control and ment from the word mentos is mind, = “mind control”. Kakistocracy is the word peoples can look and point to and say “This is what we have”. Even governments, States, that de-privatize land, plants, mines, natural resources et al; are still capitalistic in nature and established to empower and enrich the minority over the majority. And to set up and perpetuate the hierarchical criminal capitalistic Oligarchy.
As to the 25th paragraph and third sentence referring to money; I totally agree in this assessment. “Love of money is the root of all evil” is an excellent quote and description. This is why money/currency was invented by those who ruled, to control the masses and enrich themselves. Every State knows it is false, fakery, and fraudulent; and yet, will never go in any direction other than a currency based and backed system. Ever. And the question is: why not?
One of the best articles I have read in some time. Thanks to Consortium News for publishing the article.
That is a mighty fine word, and one I’d never seen before.
“Kakistocracy” appears in the Oxford English Dictionary, defined as “The government of a state by the worst citizens.”
In a money economy, money is power. Love of money, is love of power, and the drive for morey is nothing less than the drive for power. Power is one of those elusive things such that once one is hooked on it, one can never get enough of it.
Brilliant. That’s all.
We are all living in the toxic garbage of capitalism. Insatiable power addicts have poisoned society with their hate and greed. The vague memory of normalcy is becoming more and more indistinct. The big monsters are turning all of their victims into a writhing sea of little monsters. Like cockroaches in a jar we are eating each other.
And they watch us do so with unimaginable glee. I suspect nothing less from psychopaths.
Capitalism is only practiced now in a few nations, the successful ones. Switzerland Singapore New Zealand Hong Kong
So good to see such a great response to the vapid article in the NYT’s about teen anxiety.
Why Human Anxiety? It is not a side effect of the system but a deliberate result of applied mechanisms of society of control by ruling elites who spew $billion dollar a day propaganda of word and deed encoded in the global information flow consisting of nothing else but raw fear permeating all communication forms.
It is what Deleuze and Guattari called capitalism induced Schizophrenia requiring people to accept sharply conflicting moral and value systems negotiated by money and personal advantage fueled by untamed greed and lust for domination as fundamental attributes of any so-called successful individual, and openly act upon them, becoming their ardent advocates.
Psychopathic, sociopathic behavior, gratuitous cruelty brings you award of silver coins while compassion and humanity will push you across the enemy lines to be abandoned in a apocalyptic wilderness or exterminated in this psychological class war of chaos and exponential uncertainty.
People who reject such a social order and rebel are conscientious objectors to inhumanity, resistance fighters, victors and victims of their own cultural and most of all mental sovereignty and fundamental humanity of egalitarianism they refused to betray in one way or another, and they are insulting the ruling elite simply by living and holding the line in this class war.
Why out of millions and millions of those, abused, exhausted physically and mentally and discarded or rendered unviable, obsolete as human beings by this oligarchic system of cruelty are unwilling or unable to find in themselves courage to shed infatuation with propaganda lies and cut the umbilical cord with this system of death and exploitation and instead resorted to begging to be readmitted into this capitalist Dante’s inferno offering to turn against their own kin, contrived and apologetic, for their own made up sins against rich and opulent masters?
In such horrible reality of capitalist insanity anxiety seems to be only sane response based on rational choice of rejecting violence as a remedy for inhumanity of this loud or silent war between those concerned with collective welfare of humanity and those torn by gently incubated animal spirits of rage and suicidal apocalyptic fear of Thanatos as devastated repudiation of any meaning of their individual lives.
It is this deadly war supported by huge psychological warfare operation, that keeps us disarmed, enslaved, divided and confused is a WMD disease of our “precious” liberalism devoid of basic humanity and its community shattering commercial aesthetics we sucked with our mothers’ milk, fake freedoms that amount to social abandonment and alienation, fake rampant individualism that justifies worshiping of property, capital and money controlled by ruling elite as well as justifies domination and exploitation of one human being by another, fake political freedoms funneled into delusions of democracy, a veneer of propaganda put on an abhorrent tyrannical rule, fake legal/civil rights/laws that cover up true mafia-like elitist social system of inborn privileges and social caste we living under and most of all to falsely justify preservation and continuation of this abhorrent oligarchic regime of slavery and death, under immoral, corrupted rule of law of the wanton blessed with Evil will to power.
The devastated and deadly psychological class-warfare is set to manipulation of our basic aesthetics, general sensibilities and aesthetics of human society and human interrelations imposed by capitalism that revere rampant individualism and hedonistic pursuit of individual happiness, whatever that vague and meaningless euphemism is understood by [liken to hard drug addition lust for accumulation of moneyed capital].
This mental disease is all combined with subjective goal seeking reasoning [profit, advantage over others, domination extended to murder] which is in the core of the state of today’s American society at war easily malleable and strictly, immanently controlled by ruling elites who set fundamental human and social values we are gullible to think are our own.
The anxiety is often a last human response before ultimate dehumanization into social machines of society of control.
Kalen your rant is full of truth, and cuts through our plastic culture like a bloody knife. Well done – you qualify as a poet of our collective despair. Those who would not drink you bitter draught, must be satisfied with society’s sickening bilge.
Well said mike k. Well said.
In one word to respond to your comments: WORD. I absolutely concur with your assessments and those of Deleuze and Guattari. Especially your last sentence and statement: “The anxiety is often a last human response before ultimate dehumanization into social machines of society control”. This is what happens when deranged psychopaths run societies and the world. Perhaps some day people will wake to the fact that currency is bondage and to escape our enslavement we must walk away from currency and all it has encompassed. IMO. A great read Kalen.
To me the real question is, if not the only question is, when will the populations of the Western World finally say that enough is enough?
In Medieval England they had a game called the Ratting Game. In it three hundred rats were released in a cage and then a Bull Mastiff dog was released into the cage. The bet was on how many rats would still be alive after they had killed the dog. At first the dog killed at will and the rats ran from the dog. Until the single moment the rats finally realized that they could not escape from the dog. Then the rats turned en mass and attacked and killed the dog. The winner of the bet was the guy who correctly guess the number of rats who survived.
I truly believe that it is a fitting metaphor for the present state of Wester Society under the jack boot of capitalism. As I said the real question is when will the general population be driven to turn on their masters? if I were say the CEO of Goldman Sachs I would think it an urgent matter to read everything I could get my hands on with regards ” The French Revolution and The Terror”. For him and his peers it could be a matter of life and death.
Excellently said Dan Kuhn. I concur and have never heard this story before and the story, which you point out, is a proximate account of where our society is, mainly Western Societies. But many societies have adopted a close simile of a centralized power structure based on currency/capitalism. I will research more into this Rattling Game. Thanks for sharing the story.
One of the gages I use to measure our country’s fairness is if you own a small business it is a safe bet to assume you are paying a little above 35% in income taxes, whereas on the other hand if you are a mega corporation doing international business you are paying next to nothing, or nothing, or possibly your getting federal subsidies, but for the Rich it is pretty much clear profit.
Right now the IRS is running ad’s asking employees to whistleblow on their employers, if the employee believes the boss is committing tax fraud. Besides the Big Brother Gestapo aspect of it being a cool test balloon for the Shadow Government to gather informers for any reason, it is that this taxpayer IRS commercial is aimed at mostly Small Business. This is sad, because already to much asset and functional power is held in the hands of but a few. Trust me, way before Amazon and Walmart, the old distributor model of warehouse to independent privately owned jobber distributor made a lot of people in way bigger numbers a lot of money. Today this is pretty well gone, unless you are working in the niche.
Just thought I’d throw that in John. Joe
A good example of us Americans watching a slow train wreck in progress, is described in an article today on counterpunch written by Suzanne Gordon – Ian Hoffmann about the privatization effort which is happening right now with the Veterans Administration.
I must admit I haven’t been in a VA Hospital since 1968 after I visited a returning Vietnam Vet friend of mine, and he wanted to see me in my just out of Boot Camp newly issued Navy uniform as this was his request of me to visit him after he had both legs removed as a casualty of that damn awful war. Anything for a friend, right? Before that when I was around thirteen I played drums in my dad’s swing band when we donated our talents to entertain the ailing veterans. Now, I’m reading how Trump, who promised our military veterans the sun and the moon, is going to turn the VA over to the same kind of healthcare system that all of we Americans struggle with from day to day, and replace it with a bigly and beautifully much more massive private healthcare system. Fine if it works, but ask yourself shouldn’t we Americans being going away from the private healthcare insurer? Read the counterpunch article by Gordon & Hoffmann, and you think about it.
Superficial, and unaffordable, is what most Americans see anymore when trying to get by in this land of the free. Heavier, and heavier, police presence is now a common feature in our American cities. Security inspections upon entering venues of any kind, are taken as a way of life when going out on the town. An Americans precious identity is compromised by the very people paid to be in charge of guarding it, with no reprimanding consequences for their lackadaisical guardianship to be found, while the shadowy ever listening Big Brother knows all about you, or at least it’s implied. The double standards practiced between verdicts being handed down to the American populace, is based upon your social status. And that constant drone sound you hear ringing in your ears probably is a drone, since never are Americans to go about their day without their hearing the ever ongoing saber rattling from on high to wage more war.
It’s long over due, and now is never a better time, but to end this madness. For a lot of us calling our congressional representatives, and writing opinionated comments on websites, may help. Although there is then that one guy who snaps, or is it a false flag? No matter, we are never to know the hidden true, so it better to go moving along and mind your own business.
This revolution I speak of will only be fruitful if it’s done peacefully. It may be a rotted out system we currently have, but even if it means us starting at the grass roots level by electing independent minded dog catchers that even this would be at least a start in the right direction, but if nothing else we cannot keep going on like this. Something big will need to start this transformation I talk about, from us going from empire to republic or should I say federation, or whatever is to come next, but it better come soon before the bombs start dropping.
Joe, I found a couple of interesting articles: google Nick Hanauer. He has two articles on Politico: “The pitchforks are coming…for us plutocrats”, and “to my fellow plutocrats; we can cure Trumpism”. He’s a billionaire venture capitalist who sees the wisdom of fellow Patrician FDR (I would guess JFK too). He sees us ending in only two ways if we continue on our current path: bloody destructive revolution, or a crushing Police State…and maybe both. He is understandable and not as “opaque” as Rockstroh (is to me, anyway). I think our only way to success is for the Plutocrats to break ranks like this Nick Hanauer & like-minded fellow billionaires are doing, like FDR did in his day.
Thanks Brad I just finished reading your referenced article, and that yes Nick Hanauer gets it totally. It would be a wonderful event if all of the Hanauer class of elites get the message Nick is promoting. At the rate the U.S. is going somethings got to happen, and I think it coming sooner that later. Joe
I absolutely concur with you assessments. Especially with starting at the basic, nominal “grass – root” levels. Would this in fact be enough to over throw the Centralized Kakistocracy? Debatable for sure. I still believe that to ensure individual independence, we must first ascertain that currency is nothing more, nothing less, than bondage. What would control – minds (governments) do if people around the world immediately stopped recognizing currency as anything factual? Would said governments being able to maintain State power structure, or would the power structure collapse? I think about this a lot and it is my belief it would be so. But how to begin to delete something so profoundly embedded into our consciousness, our psyches? Has a currency based system ever worked for the majority, the masses in the last 2,500 years? I always look to the indigenous peoples from around the world and throughout the ages: which one of those whom prior that had no currency based system, wasn’t consumed and destroyed by it? How many of such societies was in enforced upon? Just makes me wonder, why do we as a planetary society put up with such an uncompromising and destructive system?
I do enjoy your comments Joe Tedesky.
Well John, I enjoyed reading what you just wrote here.
I actually believe that with all this debt America has, and it’s way more than just the publicized 20 trillion, that one day the debt ridden U.S. citizen will need to rise and takeover all of these debt instruments whom brought us here. First the Federal Reserve would need to be Nationalized. Then the MIC & just about all of Wall St. will need to be either taken over, or at least a huge chunk of their Hedge Fund profits will need to be aimed at bringing down the National Debt, if no other way other than through high taxes, but the biggest burden will be on the rich for if they do so desire to escape the positioning bed on the hard working guillotine then they better cough up the dough. Funny thing is though, these same huge mega entities are the same very holders of all this debt of who we the people supposedly owe this debt too. Now I’m dizzy just thinking about it all, but eventually the commons will need to absorb everything with an asset to it up just to shrink the interest rates on the massive debt America has accrued at long last over all of these years of waging war, and making the world a miserable place. I’m personally planning on staying indoors a lot, when that all comes crashing down. Joe
Reverend Wright will look like our times greatest prophet; ‘and the chickens have come home to roost’.
Joe I enjoy your comments. The Federal reserve does not need to be nationalized, just abolished. What the Fed does is demand Americans pay $200 past GO every year. All our goverment needs to do is print the money so the game keeps on going. How will we pay for government services? Transaction tax of one penny per. There are millions of transactions on Wall street each day and most Americsns have 10 to 20 per month.
So the first thing is to get the City of London Rottenchilds evicted from America, Andrew Jackson did and they tried to kill him twice. The Tzar of Russia helped us with his navy (imagine that) against them and his lineage was wiped out by the same bankers who run the Fed. The second thing is to stop starting and fighting wars for Israel so it can rule a stolen land and over its neighbors. Only then America can steer a free course on behalf of its sons and daughters.
WE HAVE THE RIGHT:
LET US INSTITUTE
A NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (From the Declaration of Independence)
Because circumstances and modalities have arisen in our Society which emulate the conditions that gave rise to the original Declaration of Independence, using the original reasoning that gave rise to our struggle for Independence and a New Government for the Colonies, we must now stand and declare that, of right, the time has come to Institute a New Government for these United States of America.
We need not enumerate the multitude of reasons that lead us to engage in the Deliberation and Exercise of this, the Most Fundamental Right of the People; instead we need to come together as One, and by unanimous consent we must formulate a new Government Framework to Administer the Public Affairs of the People and to fulfill the Promises and the Needs of This and Future Generations.
So that we can achieve such Consecrated Principles, we must organize and bring into being the ASSEMBLY OF ONE THOUSAND of the highest recognized INTELLECTS from our several communities, who have displayed, in practice and by all evidence, a high Ethics Quotient (EQ). These “Organic Representatives” will be charged with carrying on sufficient and necessary Deliberations to develop a New Blueprint for a more just and equanimous Form of Government that can better reflect and respond to the Social, Political, and Economic dreams and aspirations of our people, and the people of the world.
A new Government will be based upon and reflect the Structural Economic Models on which freedom, equality and opportunity for all can be fulfilled. Therefore, it is imperative that we also institute the Framework of a new Economic Model on which our Physical Economy can flourish. At the same time that Model must drastically curtail any form of Fictitious, Superfluous and Damaging Financial Activity that, over time, usurps the natural fruits of human physical efforts, intellectual output and creative endeavors.
The new Economic Model must respond without equivocation to the fulfillment of all the Needs of the People. It must disregard and repudiate any and all Fictitious Entities whose existence is a subversion of the Humanistic and Ethical Principles on which our Society is and must be organized for the further ennoblement of the Human Species and its complete Emancipation from physical needs or constrains.
It is left to the discretion of these One Thousand Organic Representatives to develop the Practical Political Vehicle through which the New Institutions can be brought to fruition. Admittedly, this is not an easy task but if this generation fails to stand up and speak and act then what beauteous vision of Posterity can we expect?
The unabashed divulgation of this idea is fundamental to achieve the critical mass necessary for action to ensue. Except that in the end, you are the one called upon to take action as a first step.
So, those among you who can best help spread this idea will be considered the precursors of the great changes we need to undergo if we are to survive at all.
Gaetano that’s great, but while you write how it will be let’s start a list of of what it shouldn’t be. Like a media not functioning as a infotainment propaganda mill, but a media guided by a ‘fairness doctrine’. No financed political parties, funded by rich donors. No global military, but a defensive military only. A common percentage of taxes to be paid equally among every one of the nation’s citizens, no matter their social or financial status. A government which protects, and encourages it’s homegrown businesses to hire a sovereign based work force. No military type police, but a diverse police force which resembles its citizenry, and interacts with the local population. A government with single payer healthcare system. No invading nations under fictitious circumstances.
I’m way out of my league here Gaetano, and I do appreciate what you presented to us for our review, but you will be a sorely much needed person if the rebirth of our nation is to ever come to these shores, so you take care of yourself for you may one day be indispensable for sure. Nice preamble. Joe
What in the heck is anxiety inducing about working 50-60 hour work weeks, living with precarious health care coverage, being paid wages barely above the poverty line, going for years without a week’s vacation, working in an occupational health & safety hell hole, seeing your kids in public school classrooms with leaky roofs and 30 students, living in virtual alienation as community bonds erode, having thousands and thousands of dollars in student loan debt, witnessing the national treasury wasted on militarist-imperialism abroad, living with credit card debt at usurious interest, being one dental nightmare or car repair from the homeless shelter, and each evening watching nightly television news that cares not a whit about any of this and wouldn’t have a vocabulary to even make sense of any of it?
No, none of this at all would help to spur on the two biggest drug crises in decades: the opioid and anti-depressant holocaust that’s going on daily.
None of this at all.
Yeah, what’s so stressful about living under tyranny in an unrepresentative democracy? Where the government won’t protect you from special interests and deceptive men? Where the captains of the exploitative industries are revered, not punished. Where despotism is just the way of the world, right?
Exactly Mr. Hamilton. We just need to bring on more laissez-faire capitalism and everything will be just fine.
I’m currently in recovery from an addiction to opiate painkillers. I’ve been clean a year and a half now. I struggle everyday with severe PTSD and depression as well as chronic health problems. It’s so hard sometimes to live in such a hateful anxiety provoking MESS in a state of poverty and isolation.
But NONE of the doctors I’ve had since have thought ONCE about offering me what I believe is the next or perhaps co-occurring societal addiction to anti depressants
Just as they were willing to throw opiates at me fifteen years ago, anti depressants are the new ‘fix all’, addictive drug.
A therapist I had years ago told me she had MOST of her clients show up to therapy only once or twice a month and only to get their next script. Like opiates one needs to be weaned from antidepressants.
So far, I’ve managed just to try to live with the pain I’m in and the abuse trauma leveled at Americans in captive to their abusers and ‘drug pushers’.
As with any addicts or victim of abuse, there comes a time where the pleasure of denial is no longer available. But not usually before a crisis of life shattering events take place, rocking that person to the core.
As a society, pathological and toxic, the only way we will be free is when a crisis of epic proportions takes place and with psychopaths, this is an inevitable outcome
We have a government elite FULL OF THEM and their policies of human rights abuses and WAR, will undoubtedly stir a crisis. But what I hope for, is that the crisis that looms is not one that ends humanity altogether.
I won’t share what my nightmares entail, but rather my dreams for my children and grandchildren which provide a semblance of HOPE AND HEALING….
Sorry to hear of your hardships. Stay strong!
Someday we’ll jail the big pharma oligopolist manufacturers and drug pushing docs who have done much more than street hustling pushers to perpetuate the societal scourge of opiates and anti [sic] depressants.
Brilliantly said Drew Hunkins. I totally concur with your assessments and statement.
Thanks for the kind words Mr. Watwood.
As a society we’ll eventually no doubt win this struggle against exploitation, militarism, and economic insecurity but it’ll be a long hard slog. The ruling class will fight until their last breath with every fiber of their being to ward off democratic socialism b/c they full well know it’s a justified attack on their ill-gotten gains. They’ve wrapped their entire identities into being exclusive members of the owning class to the point that many will rather die than relinquish their privileges and power.
I read something recently in which Bayard Rustin (one of MLK’s top advisors) said that they were working full throttle towards the end for economic justice knowing that racism would never disappear if struggling people were fighting over scraps.
Rustin was brilliant and oh so prophetic.
We cannot let many more future generations suffer before major amelioration must take place. We cannot have a situation like much of Latin America where generation after generation have lived in squalor and misery amidst grand opulence.
Anti-depressant holocaust? *Untreated* depression is the number one cause of suicide, which kills 30k plus people a year in the US. Don’t spread lies against something that saves lives, you asshole. What kind of irresponsible nonsense is this?
Opiates are in absolutely no way comparable. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Antidepressants have absolutely no recreational value and an overdose is as hard to do as opiods are easy.
Depression is horrible and people kill themselves because it is so unbearable. It is an illness and it has effective treatments. It is not the same thing as being sad or unhappy and in no way makes anyone’s life better.
If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, be very thankful because you don’t have it. Other people do and it does terrible damage to smear the people that can help.
Yes, sometimes people who are starting anti-depressants still kill themselves, but there are far, far more that instead do not. They save many, many lives in contrast to opiods that take many, many lives.
Man, this is a good site but it really brings out the weirdest tin foil hat nutjobs. It’s sad when “capitalism is bad” is as out there as “anti-depresssant holocaust”.
Drew Hunkins… you nailed it and a good indication you are conscious. Everything you said can be backed by volumes of numbers. Face it folks America is being extracted and destroyed. Extracted from above and destroyed from below. The “power of the purse (usury)” from above and “destructive revolution” from below.
How dare you stray from the “White Nationalism” memo!!
Capitalism is certainly irrational.
Agree with your statement “Capitalism is certainly irrational”. I will read the resource you have provided.
I reluctantly clicked on the NYT link at the start of the essay, and what I found there was a waste of my time. The author had no qualifications whatever, and the targeted readership appeared to be wealthy parents who could afford $910 a day “treatment”.
I’d remark on the rest of the essay except for the slight problem that it’s mostly over my head. I don’t know what to say about the author’s venom regarding Trump. It’s true he is a complete and total disaster, but consider his Republican Primary opponents.
I contend that bad as Trump is, he was the “least bad” of that bunch. If the Democrats hadn’t rammed someone as awful as Hillary down our throats, Trump wouldn’t have had a prayer.
All this may validate a theory that Late-Empire corruption produces candidates of this caliber, or it may mean something else entirely. All I know is that I was screwed no matter what happened at the polls last November.
Just think, only about 50% of the population whom could vote did, and Clinton won the majority. The State gave us whom they wished to be their ‘front man/person’, their puppet. One who would perpetuate the existing paradigm of capitalistic criminality. To my knowledge there were three other candidates: Johnson, Stein, and La Rosa. None had a chance. Does anyone believe that their vote means as much as Rockefeller’s vote? If no, than there isn’t a democracy. I’ll take your word on the NYT article and not waste my time.
I might add John that for the elite, there was always that in the back of their heads consideration to the fact that a Hillary presidency would be overwhelmed with investigations. The MSM would have never been able to be cajoled enough to pass it up, and the constant spotlight would have been on to one of Hillary s scandals one after another….I’m not that sure, but I’m throwing that aspect of our culture out there, that the MSM is often the biggest cause of most of our controversial problems, or at least it seems that way.
Among the elite there is a kind of circular firing squad. Plus, if anyone interfered in this last 2016 presidential election it was the MSM who gave Trump 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage. The best part is the MSM is currently trying to blame Hillary’s loss on a few unknown Russians placing about maybe 100k of adbuys for puppies, or some other kind of trivial thing like that, was the hacker & culprit mastermind for taking our very exceptional democracy down….wow, who would have ever though such a low dollar amount would have brought down an empire? Joe
.He appeared to be the least bad during the primary, but he lied a lot. He turned out to be just as bad as the worst of them. He adopted the worst Republican policies once in office. Partly to keep the base in line, but so what. It doesn’t matter why.
I’ve had depression since adolececence. I’ve had people tell me I’m weak, that I’m malingering, that I’m thinking negatively, and even that I’m just not eating right.
I’ve blamed God, the world, but mostly just myself for the pain that are away at my guts for all those years and made every pleasure dull and every task a struggle.
Now, years after getting treatment that ended the most hellish decade of my life, I find out I’m just a strung-out chump. Like all sick people, AMIRITE?
Fuck you and your “amen”, you hateful, ignorant fool.
Let me explain Trump to you in a manner that does not go over your head. I am counting on the hope you have some familiarity with Pan. Trump is Pan and when the people of the American village will not have anything left to pay him for getting rid of the Mexican rats, the Muslim rats, the Russian rats, the Korean rats, the Iranian rats and any rat that can be nanufactured from the addictive projected fear porn of America; he will take all your children on one last death march starting in some far away land and ending in the glow of a bright light here at home.
PS. “Over my head” what does that mean exactly? Everybody should come down to your heads level or should you strain to stand on the tips of your intelectual toes, a little, to reach it with your head. Every fruit requires the effort of peeling it, unless you are a MickyD customer :-)