Every nation in history that collapsed from anything other than direct and immediate invasion, was a victim of its own internal failures. Rome fell, the Chinese dynasties collapsed, and even the great tsardom of Russia eventually deteriorated from the interior out. Intellect fell by the wayside, and power was usurped by individuals who were strong but not necessarily intellectual – powerful, but not intuitive. Greed and intimidation became the new gods. Intellect, compassion, and logic were driven out by the wolves in the pack, and only domination and deceit remained.
What made America unique for so long, was that we refused to allow the wolves to rule. We set standards of morality for the nation, and created failsafe devices in our Constitution so that this couldn’t happen to us. But that was before political correctness – a deceptive, manipulative organism that allows certain groups of people to develop control while shouting down the concept of certain groups being in control.
Almost every coup requires the elements of a perfect storm – timing and unrest, either real or created, and most importantly, a conceptual change in what we see as valuable and important. When we distil this down to the lowest common denominator, we find violence and power equals control. Pack mentality is really all about the contradicting forces of intimidation and admiration. We admire the strongest amongst us, because paradoxically, we fear them the most. This extends back to the very beginning of man, actually well before man came onto the scene. The strongest wolf ran the pack – the most intimidating lion ruled the pride.
However, the disturbing part is, a distorted form of pack mentality is on the rise again in our country. For all the fortunes we have thrown at it, we have failed at bringing education, character, and social balance to a large portion of the ethnic venues in this nation. But in some sort of strange social alchemy we have lowered the standards of the nation to meet the stratums we were unable to rise up. We adopted their jargon and music, and we were gradually suffused with their social temperament, rather than the other way around.
But most significantly we reversed the nation’s climb towards sophistication and accomplishment, and we began, slowly at first, then with a more cascading effect, to return to pack mentality – where education, social graces, honor, and integrity take a back seat to collusion and raw power. I suppose one of the greatest examples I can offer is our worship of sports figures and our incredible connection to violent sports. We’re a nation that holds little or no admiration for doctors, pilots, scientists, astronauts, researchers, or inventors. Their accomplishments get a four-inch section in the daily newspaper, or two minutes on the local news. But football players, Neanderthal boxers, and basketball players who can barely sign their own names on their astronomical checks, are worshiped like gods.
For so long, we struggled to instill quality in all Americans, and in our adamant attempt to show equality existed in this country we focused almost entirely on raising ethnic groups to power. What we couldn’t have foreseen, is the phenomenon of pack mentality – that a whole new generation would be more enamored by, or perhaps intimidated by, particular stratums of our society to such a degree that social survival in our schools and workplaces would ultimately forge an entirely new hierarchy. Pack mentality – the loudest and the strongest rules.
When something like this takes place – the most vocal and the most violent are given the majority of the attention, society morphs into a group mentality coerced by power, and unrest becomes the order of the day. If we had read our history, (if our children had cared about reading their history), we would have realized that for an individual segment of society to rise above all the rest, they don’t have to be the most brilliant or compassionate, they simply have to be the most vocal and feared.
Paradoxically, what we have failed to take into consideration in this huge social experiment, is that strength is not the only thing that provides security in a modern day society like ours. There must be equal amounts of intelligence, knowledge, and compassion. Otherwise, we have done nothing more but come full circle – back to our ancestors.
Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist. Be sure to check out his latest best seller, Somewhere on the Road to Key West. You can see more of Michael’s work and a short biography at Amazon.com.
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