by Ray Jason
Something startled me from sleep. Because solo sailors need to be extremely alert in order to avoid catastrophes, my finely-tuned emergency reflexes immediately kicked in. I lay on my bunk in the darkness listening for unusual sounds and monitoring abnormal movement. But I detected neither. Suddenly, I realized what had unsettled me, and I laughed quietly. I had been awoken by the intense stillness and silence. In a modern world drowning in frenzy and noise, such profound peace and quiet was … disquieting.
Since I live so immersed in Nature, I knew what phase the moon was in, and so I went up on deck to watch its descent behind the jungled mountains. The little bay was so tranquil that there was not a ripple in the water. It had transformed itself into a moon mirror. No fish splashed and no night bird sang out an alert. This was primordial serenity.
Recognizing that the moonset was probably about 90 minutes away, I headed below and made some tea. Then I went topside again with my cup and my clipboard with its little reading light. This was a philosopher’s dream scenario – Solitude, Stillness and Silence.
It was time to make some notes for my next Sea Gypsy Nocturne. For decades I have been enchanted by the small piano pieces that many of the immortal classical music composers created that are known as “nocturnes.” It seemed very likely that a night such as this would have inspired them.
A few months ago I decided to attempt a philosophical nocturne. As I described my goal at that time, it was to compose an essay that was “poetic and evocative and broad in its perspective – illuminating the grand sweep of the human horizon.” On this sublime night a great quotation from Eleanor Roosevelt sprang to mind:
“Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.”
As the clouds sauntered past the moon, I decided to focus on one idea that has had an enormous impact on the Human Project. I would examine the vast evil that has been visited upon the world by those who seek to dominate others.
The Malignant Overlords
The term that I concocted a couple of years ago that I believe most accurately describes the people who rule the world is “The Malignant Overlords.” Although this might seem flippant, it is in fact, deadly serious. Referring to our masters as “the Powers That Be” or “the People in Charge” or “the One Percent” does not heap nearly enough scorn upon these control freaks.
I chose this particular adjective because it includes a second level of evil due to its medical usage. When a tumor becomes malignant, it usually results in agony and death. And the actions of these dominators will likely lead to massive horror and genocide through economic meltdown or nuclear war or environmental collapse. And meanwhile, those responsible for this catastrophe will be hiding in their bunkers or protected in their gated communities, while most of humanity writhes in anguish. Therefore, I do not feel that it is excessive to refer to them as Malignant Overlords.
So how did we get to this global aberration whereby so few can have such control over so many? Most people will just shrug and say, ”It’s just Human Nature.” But they have reached that conclusion because they have been indoctrinated in that belief. That is because those who rule also write the histories. And so, Homo Sapiens has been portrayed as this selfish, brutish, violent species that must be subdued and directed by its supposedly wisest and strongest members.
But this completely ignores the fact that early Humanity flourished for thousands of generations as hunters and gatherers who obviously did not wipe out the other members of their species nor destroy the natural support systems which provided them food, water and shelter. And these band societies did not have tyrannical rulers who imposed their will on the rest of the tribe.
However, this reality has been hidden through the brainwashing of imperialistic anthropology and archaeology. For centuries these “scientists” tried to justify the murder and enslavement of indigenous peoples because they were supposedly inferior and primitive and savage. But if you read the first-hand accounts of the European sailors who first visited Polynesia, you will swiftly change your mind about who was primitive and who was civilized. And if you study the anthropology and archaeology of recent decades - which is not distorted by colonialist agendas - you discover a humanity that may not have been idyllic, but that was certainly more harmonious.
The crucial decision that changed the course of societal evolution occurred about 10,000 years ago. It is glorified as The Dawn of Agriculture. It might alternatively - and more accurately - be described as The Death of Sustainable Living. It was not an overnight decision. Humanity did not switch from hunting and gathering on Monday to sedentary agriculture on Tuesday. That switch from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic took generations.
The seductions of the change are certainly understandable. The notion of having food surpluses as insurance against times when the hunt did not go well and the foraging was insufficient was very appealing. However, as has occurred with almost all major cultural transformations, the downside was either not discussed or simply ignored.
But when the building of cities began, and that is what the word Civilization means, it ushered in disastrous alterations to the basis fabric of human existence. Division of labor and hierarchy, which do not exist in tribal bands, soon led to the horrendous chasm between the many who are ruled and the few who are rulers. Suddenly a class of kings and priests gained control. And what are the personal qualities that distinguish leaders from followers? Do they gain power because they are the most intelligent and benevolent? Or is it because they are the most immoral and ruthless?
I contend that they dominate because they are psychopathic and sociopathic. They are missing the empathy gene. The desire to rule should not be viewed as a virtue, but as a pathological disease. And for those who maintain that rulers are a necessary evil to nudge along the human caravan, it is just the opposite. Societal advancement has always come when people rose up against centers of power. Those in control never surrender their privilege without a bloody battle.
In our own times the dominators have adopted a more subtle approach to their oppression. A quotation from Goethe expresses this with exquisite precision:
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
It is claimed that Democracy has spread across the planet guaranteeing rights and privileges to the Common Man. But this is a fraud. Any objective analysis reveals that our world is ruled by a tiny Oligarchy that use elected officials as their puppets. This charade is further enhanced by a global media that is largely a propaganda ministry for those in power. This explains the mystery of how when one government is voted out of office, the new one essentially behaves in the same way. The puppets change – the puppet-masters do not.
When one looks around the world at the current handiwork of The Malignant Overlords, it is horrifying. A new Clash of Civilizations has erupted as chaos rapidly spreads from region to region. The disparity between the rich and the poor grows wider, thus sowing the seeds of revolution. Juxtaposed against this is the brutal militarization of police forces to combat the possibility of societal meltdown. The Cold War has been reignited with Nuclear Armageddon at stake. And huge swaths of the global population have become digital eunuchs. They are so addicted to the distractions streaming out of their devices, that they cannot see the global catastrophes aligning.
Apparently I dozed off with my back against my little ship’s mast. The moon had now disappeared in the West, my tea was cold and the last two words on my clipboard were “Goethe” and “enslavement.” This reminded me of the essay that I had been shaping and of its heavy subject matter.
I was about to add two more words to the notes that I had made during the night. They were “tragedy” and “sadness.” However, I decided not to - since a new day was arriving. But as I turned to head back down the side-deck, I was greeted not by a sparkling golden dawn, but by huge, gray, ominous clouds.