Mobsters, drug lords, pimps, distillers, tobacco companies, and oil barons have one thing in common: They know that the secret to amassing vast wealth is to pander to people’s addictions.
Addicts will do anything to get money to pay for their habits… be it alcohol or gambling or sex or drugs or cigarettes. If you can pander to those addictions, you can make a LOT of money.
Oil is an addiction of society, which lifts profit and pandering to a new level.
Addiction is any relationship to a substance or an activity that makes life continually worse, yet the addict continues regardless. That precisely defines America’s relationship with oil. We ravage the environment, attack other countries, and deny the damage we cause in our quest or more-more-more oil.
To overcome that addiction, maybe we can learn a few things from the 12-Step program, which has the greatest track record in the world for recovery among addicts and alcoholics. If it works for addicted individuals, maybe it could work for an addicted society.
Let’s borrow of few of the program’s time-proven principles, which have restored sanity and peace to the lives of countless individuals, and adjust them for society.
Admit that, as a nation, we’re powerless over our oil addiction and our politics has become unmanageable.
To overcome America’s addiction to oil, the first step is admitting we’re out of control… obsessed with getting more and more of the dirty, dwindling resource by any destructive, unethical or illegal means…
- from fracking… injecting high-pressure toxins deep underground to fracture the Earth into releasing the last, dwindling, small, trapped pockets of gas and oil here in the States.
- to attacking… bombing Baghdad to launch an unprovoked, 11-year (and counting) Mideast war to confiscate that region’s oil.
- paying “fixers” enormous sums to “do whatever it takes to get us those international oil rights.”
- vehemently denying the sick, severe consequences of our substance abuse, especially global warming and climate change… but also our growing reputation as a world bully and criminal who breaks international laws and defies UN resolutions.
By any reasonable measure, the US today is out of control in its addiction to oil.
Come to believe that a power greater than America can restore us to sanity.
The most natural way for an alcoholic or drug addict to get his problems into perspective is to accept God as a source for a solution. But for the sake of agnostics and atheists, the 12-step program allows the concept of God to be adjusted to “a power greater than oneself”… which could be nature or other people or the recovery group or conscience or group conscience or….
Whatever the case, an acceptance of a power greater than oneself is a big part of overcoming an addiction.
For a nation like America, which is essentially secular or nonspiritual in its politics, that higher power would most naturally be the United Nations. Or it could alternatively be Planet Earth or allies or fellow members of international treaties or….
Make a decision to turn over the country’s political will to that higher power.
Whatever it is, the higher power that could restore America to sanity has to be something greater than America. To turn their will over to that higher power, Americans would have to temper their flag-waving, love-it-or-leave-it attitude, which is a key component of their oil addiction.
The US would have to release the weight of its political will to the higher power, which will include neutralizing any powerful political or economic antagonists in society that fight against overcoming the oil addiction… especially the multibillionaire oil interests who will do whatever it takes to sustain a carbon-based economy. “Neutralizing” those harmful forces would mean adjusting the political environment so that wealthy interests no longer influence political decisions… a huge but necessary change for America.
Government policies would be built around not just what’s best for America, but also what’s best for the international community and the planet. In fact, regional and global interests would take a priority over national interests.
After all, in the nested structure of human life (cells within organs within human individuals within families within communities within nations within the world…), that is the underlying principle of cohesion, stability, and peace at every level: Each unit provides a healthy, reliable link between its inner systems and the systems of which it is part… especially by adopting and integrating the standards and values of the higher-level systems.
- for the sake of peace and integrity in the family, each family member embraces family values;
- for the sake of peace in the community, each family obeys neighborhood covenants and city ordinances;
- for the sake of peace and integrity in a nation, each city and state and province adopts and enforces laws of the nation;
- for the sake of world peace, each nation obeys international treaties and adopts UN resolutions.
That’s a simple key to peace and stability within the nested chain of carnal life.
So, those are the first three steps to overcoming our oil addiction, and certainly the most essential. There are nine additional steps, which I may or may not write about in future articles, as they don’t really help until the first three steps are taken… and it’s unlikely that America will take those first three steps in my lifetime, locked up as it is in conservative, sectarian, egotistical values that mock the idea of world peace and unity.
Other articles in the Fixing America series:
Northern Europe Does it Right
1 The Problems
2 Basic Income, One Solution
3 More Thoughts on Basic Income
4 Wrap-Up on Basic Income and Wealth Tax
5 Basic Income and the Fertility Rate
6 Restoring a Good Reputation
7 Contending with Savage Forces
8 Being a Noble Force
9. A Comprehensive Solution
10. Marching Toward the End Time
11. The Destructive 1 Percent
12. Overcoming America’s Oil Addiction
That’s an important posting, Mark….because….it is true….like all of your writings.
We are addicted to oil at the behest and controlling influence of a variety of greed based entities and greedy people who run these entities.
Your link to the 12 Step program is an excellent one and I encourage everyone to become very familiar with thinking about one’s own personal addictions in the context of this spiritually based format, which has been with us since about 1939.
The first 3 steps for healing the United States and the world would do it. However, the enormity of the propaganda in the post WWII period has created a seemingly unstoppable Frankenstein process. The creature got up off of the lab table a long time ago, and is now freely roaming about the world and is terrorizing all social structures either militarily and/or economically.
Unfortunately, in our ruthless quest for this perverse petro energy substrate, America has turned the world into its own military barracks and has billeted its young people all over the globe to carry out its militaristic agendas. This is actually a very un-American activity. The 0.01% who promote and profit financially from such need to be rounded up and put into mandatory 12 Step programs for life.
I commend this writing and your treatment of the solution. Where do the 0.01% reach rock bottom, however?
You and I are thinking on parallel paths. I just posted a writing on our universal addiction, which one can see here: http://haelanlifestream.com/journal/minding-mind/.
Of one mind, as usual. 🙂
Many thanks for your contemplative comments on these two blogs!
I’ll now go to your haelenlifestream site an enjoy some more Sunday morning readings……..
Just another comment for the contemplation of the readers….
The 4th step, in my opinion is the most important one that all of our nation has to face before we can even begin to climb out of this hole we have allowed to be dug.
The 4th step is that we “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Once we do that…everyone of us…then we can become the change that we wish to see in the world.
About digging holes…Will Rogers once opined that “The First Rule of Holes is to stop digging.”
The First Rule of Holes is the addict’s dilemma. They must stop digging, then do Step #1 and admit powerlessness. Some Higher Power must pull them out of the hole if it is dug so deeply that they cannot get out by their own volition. Steps #2 & 3 must be allowed to take over so that the addict can be extricated from the hole they have dug.
Is it not true that we are all addicts? Are we not addicted to our own thoughts? Are our thoughts not obsessive, repetitive, self-referential, self-judgmental, and opinionated? Witness your own thoughts, and I believe that those who read this trail would probably be the first to agree.
Are not these thought words that I am writing at this very moment not that which I tried to describe in the preceding sentences? I freely admit that I am addicted to my own thoughts…and here they are for you!
I do not know what Will Rogers’ Second Rule of Holes is, but it would have to align with some of these ideas to be of any worth to the addict. Maybe it has to do with throwing away the shovel so that you can’t dig with anything but your fingernails.
America has lost its moral compass. We are an addicted, distracted, dismissive, consumerist culture. It is sickening to simply sit back and witness this crud that most dumbed down people think is real news. We are being manipulated with the news of mass illusions simply to keep us distracted and placated…just like an addict.
It’s junk like The Celebrity Stuff, as one small example. The real news would revolt most Americans, if they really knew about it. The real news is being hidden away from us, and we are fed meaningless manipulations for our shallow psyches to get entrained to. You have to search alternative news sites for meaningful information. Then you will see how bad the hole is that we have allowed to be dug.
Many of us are hanging on with a good moral compass, but we are bewildered and deeply disturbed by the daily escalating chaos. This chaos is in its infancy at present. May it not become another freely roaming Frankenstein like the MIC and other shadowy covert entities who fulfill the world usurpations; one of which is described in this post.
Can America embrace Step 4 and take the moral inventory which would allow us to see that what we are thinking and doing to ourselves is bringing the world great harm?
One can only hope.
Mark, and readers, the 12 Step Program is an ideal reality ladder for our society to set up so that we can climb out of this hole. The 12 Step program works for every type of imaginable addiction. Everyone should embrace it.