Is this too cynical?

April 28, 2012

I’m proud to be regarded as a cynic. George Bernard Shaw once wrote: “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”

Is it too cynical to assume that mass media (newspapers, Hollywood, TV), the internet jungle (YouTube), pop music (delivered as constant background music), video/computer games, celebrity culture (tabloids), and technical gadgets (iPods, iPhones, iPads) are used to distract, confuse, misinform, indoctrinate, brainwash, condition us, and prevent us from seeing the blatant corruption, injustice, and inequality?

Is it too cynical to view the terms religion, ideology, superstition as synonyms, practically meaning the same thing, and the terms common sense, logic, scientific methodology as their antonyms?

Is it too cynical to regard philosophical and political discussion as entertaining and sometimes amusing, but nevertheless futile and vapid word games?

Is it too hopeful to believe that a not distracted, not confused, not misinformed, not indoctrinated, not brainwashed, not conditioned population would realize the dishonesty, the deception, the hypocrisy, and the double standards of the ruling class, resulting in dissent, disobedience, unrest, and open rebellion?

Is it too cynical to suggest that the ruling elites would shut down the internet very fast or at least strictly censor all content if they would not have an interest to: 1. give the commoners a channel to let off steam, 2. be informed about the popular mood, 3. track and identify dissidents?

Is it too cynical to assume that education is privatized (with charter schools and corporate funding of colleges and universities) to prevent, that independent teachers are educating children to become critical, open minded, and informed citizens?

Is it too cynical to classify the privatization of basic commodities (land, water, food, minerals) or vital public services as theft, if not robbery, and the buyers as well as the politicians who cut the deals, as criminals?

Is it too cynical to view the stock market, hedge funds, investment funds, venture capital funds, equity firms as criminal rackets or as casinos for the super-rich?

Is it too cynical to consider institutions and businesses like banks, casinos, insurance companies, payday loan lenders, the Russian mafia, drug cartels, and other organized crime syndicates as belonging into the same category of economic entities?

Is it too cynical to regard philanthropy as a ploy to create dependencies and facilitate the scrapping of public services?

Is it too cynical to label student loans, mortgages, and any lending for profit as modern day slavery?

Is it too cynical to view the Western economies or any other economic systems that are based on permanent growth, as a pyramid scheme?

Is it too cynical to assume that the rich and powerful now grab as much as they can as fast as they can, because they know that it cannot go on like this for much longer and because they are “running for the exit” and preparing for a life after the big crash in one of the few unpolluted, fenced off, fortified retreats for the super rich?

Is it too cynical to assume, that the militarization of US police forces (paramilitary police units, SWAT teams, assault weapons, grenade launchers, armored personnel carriers, tanks, drones) the increased surveillance (eavesdropping, data mining of all communications, nationwide biometric databases, CCTV, X-Ray scanners and strip searches), and the curbing of civil liberties (Patriot Act, NDAA, CISPA, right-to-work laws and other anti-union laws) are preparations for an anticipated uprising of the impoverished US population against Wall Street and the political elite in Washington?

Is it too cynical to assume that the military leaders push for an automatization of warfare with drones and combat robots because soldiers may not be reliable is some situations and refuse to kill civilians or rebellious fellow citizens in their homeland?

Is it too cynical to suggest that the worlds leaders promote globalization and free trade to play off the workers all around the world against each other and cut their wages?

Is it unjust to defame the development aid of industrialized countries as measures to destroy traditional ways of live and local businesses and pave they way for big corporations to conquer and dominate the markets?

Is it too cynical to assume that most humanitarian aid efforts and NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) are used for reconnaissance and for organizing, coordinating, and supplying insurgents and saboteurs?

Is it too cynical to view international laws and treaties as meaningless and the ICC (International Criminal Court) and UN tribunals as disgusting hypocritical charades, because the powerful nations bend and change the rules at will and use international institutions only to discredit and prosecute their adversaries?

Is it too cynical to assume that the political elites promote costly, unreliable, and dangerous nuclear power plants because they want to keep the infrastructure for the production of nuclear warheads in tact and because they fear, that an abandoning of “peaceful nuclear energy” could influence the popular perception of nuclear technology and subsequently lead to a broad movement against the insanity of nuclear weapons arsenals?

Is it too cynical to suspect that the rich and powerful see the destruction of nature as another promising business opportunity to create an artificial habitat (with GM crops) and to sell all the goods of nature that formerly were free (drinking water, fruits and vegetables from gardens, crops from small subsistence farming) with big profits?

Is it too cynical to claim that the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry work hand in hand, because industrial produced food causes the sicknesses that guarantee high demand of medical drugs?

Is it too cynical to suggest that the worlds leaders ignore the issue of overpopulation and discourage contraception because they 1. want to have a big pool of young, unemployed men which they can send to war, 2. want to have a big pool of workers which they can employ for the lowest possible wages 3. want to have a big pool of young girls from which they can select the prettiest ones as their mistresses?

Is it too cynical to give the weapons industry and the chemical industry credit for working hard to solve the problem of human overpopulation?

Is it too cynical to say that the ruling elites have no interest in peaceful conflict resolution and no interest in preventing war because they see war as an attractive business opportunity?

Is it too cynical to assume, that the rich and powerful elites of the world don’t do anything against global warming because they take it for granted, that a regional nuclear war (between Pakistan and India for instance) with about 100 exploding nuclear bombs will cause a “nuclear winter” which will by far offset the warming effect of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses?

I’m proud to be regarded as a cynic. From Wikipedia:

Cynicism in its original form refers to the beliefs of ancient Greek philosophers known as the Cynics. The Cynics believed that the purpose of life was to live in agreement with nature, to reject all conventional desires for wealth, power, and fame, and to live a simple life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans. The Cynics believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which permeated society.


  1. This is an amazing post, Mato! Cynical but so true. The question I have is, how do we live with this knowledge? Where do we put our energies? Resistance? Or simply making the best of the time we have, as your cats would do?


  2. First reply: Yes!

    Second reply: Thank you for the encouraging (as always) comment! Judging from your own blog posts it appears to me that you know the answer well. We both know the answer to your questions and many people know it, it is only a matter of discipline and devotedly (doggedly) following the chosen path and making the best choices possible.

    It is only a matter of systematic information gathering and research, a careful planned and steadfastly executed lifestyle change in both the mental and material sphere, and the building of multilayered networks (for example: 8 close friends, 64 friends, 256 members of an activist group).

    Third reply: The question is, how do we gather the energy that enables us to live in this world and face the various challenges? I wrote down my personal answers in various blog posts, the most recent was “Priority List”. Everybody has of course to find her or his individual answers, fine-tuned to her or his personality and personal situation.

    My individual answer is: meditation, music, as much contact with nature (and my cat friends) as possible, simplifying my life.


    Encouraging each other to continue in this direction is an invaluable help and you are doing a great job, thank you! I think it’s my turn now again.


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