A jaguar escaped from it’s cage at the zoo recently (New Orleans) and killed six or nine animals it could get at. No reason. Just killed ’em. It simply exercised it’s power. Out here, mink will get into a chicken coop and kill all the chickens. They don’t eat ’em; just kill ’em. Power. Opportunity. Thrill. It’s instinct, I guess. Basic instinct.
We like to think that animals don’t kill except for survival but that is simply not true. And, of course, that savagery is true for humans, too. We are animals first. We have basic instincts too but, like the Disney movie, we like to think we are a bit more evolved. We have morals. We have ethics. We are better.
If the current state of affairs in our world is anything to go by, that is naive. Power corrupts and every kind of power corrupts every time. In everyone, it seems.
You probably knew that. I did not.
The first estate is/was the church. The second is/was the nobility (now read: government and .01%-ers) and the third estate is the hoi polloi, the commoner, Joe Average. The fourth estate is the MSM (main stream media) the ‘news’, institutional journalism, the New York Times, the Washington Post. And the fifth estate is the NON-mainstream media, the out-there critics, the Mother Jones, Slate and, dare I say it….? FOX? If not Fox, then Brietbart and Alex Jones. The fifth estate is anti-MSM.
At one time or another, they each had or has power. And each was/is morally corrupted by it.
But you knew that. What you may NOT have known is that there is now a Sixth Estate. The sixth estate is social media. It is, in effect, Everyman, Jack and Jill Commoner, Joe average, all with their OWN media! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are the portals to the sixth estate.
“So? Who cares? What’s it to you, Dave?”
Well, in one way, I applaud the little voices having a chance to squeak and tweet. But, in another, I am a bit taken aback. The much awaited power of the people is being realized in a new sixth way and, sadly, that power is already corrupt. It is first being exploited by Russian trolls and QAnon and hackers and others with their own base motives – usually money-getting, power getting, bullying, titillation.. ‘The people’ are, so far, not being noble with their power. They are being coarse, crude, evil and destructive to appeal to the madding crowd and their dollars. Greed and crude seems to rule. Then perversion. Certainly NOT higher moral standards.
Originally, only the elite had power. Religion and Royalty. The common people had only numbers but, after rioting and rebellion got tedious for everyone, they reverted to the fourth estate to keep the elite bastards accountable, in check. The journalists became our fighting heroes. They were the check and balance on power. There was no power to the people.
But . . . they (the fourth estate) sold out. They were corrupted. They went the way of the corporation. They got shareholders and traded journalistic ethics for infotainment and cash flow. Like our police, like our armies, the heroes sold out for a pension and a bonus. I am not so sure that is permanent but it is what happened.
And so ENTER the fifth estate, the voice of criticism, the counter to the mainstream media, the corporate swamp-creatures who now make up the propaganda machine. No longer did we believe the Walter Kronkites and the Dan Rathers. Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner owned them. We wanted the REAL voice of the people. Like Michael Moore. Like Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee.
But they had to make a buck…..
And then . . . well . . . then we-all got a Twitter account (I got a blog – same idea). NOW WE REALLY HAD A VOICE! PEOPLE POWER! Finally! NOW we were gonna tell the truth! And hear the truth. In the common people, we had trust. You go, girl!
Everyone had a stage, everyone had an opinion and, YIKES! Quel surprise! It turns out that unleashing that power was not unleashing higher standards. They, too, are corrupted! They lie. They sell. They cheat. It’s NOT working! It seems NOT everyone is truth-telling and truth-seeking but, rather, speaking out and ‘getting’ for themselves!
What did the sixth estate do when it came into power?
Well, I think they went nuts. We got porn. We got trolls. We got drugs. We got hacked! We got the dark net! We got lies. We also got an erosion of the basic Judaeo – Christian ethic and respect for institutions. And, oddly, we got huge erosion of Christian principles by none other than mainstream Christians. How does that happen?
But then again, I am one of them. A bit too close to the fire, maybe? And I just don’t know why – without pressure – we chose the low road, the jungle. Why did we choose to kill the chickens and not just leave them be?
“Dave! What is the point?”
When we had the single and dual, all-powerful ‘DIVINE’ and ‘ROYAL’ estate, all was a big lie and all of it was about control and much of it was corrupt and chaos reigned. But it was kinda simple. It was kinda clear. And it WAS kinda controlled. The beast was caged.
When some kind of accountability in the form of media manifested, religion lost a lot of power and so did royalty and the common man gained some. The pendulum swung. Public opinion started to mean something. The beast had some room to move. As the centuries marched on, more and more power has trickled down to the people. Public opinion took the form of consumer choice/buying power but it is still much the same thing. Little guy casting his vote, voice, dollars added up to influence. We commoners are now more free to make a few choices.
(Theoretically, anyway. You have few REAL choices when you are enslaved by real slave-owners (18th and 19th centuries) or by more modern and subtle companies (slave-drivers) and mortgage holders. Hard to be a free-jaguar when you’re always in debt. In a perverse kind of way, the beast was in chains. Still controlled. Freer but still caged. Maybe. like the N’orleans jaguar, all that savagery just got pent up……)
Still, the freer we got the more disruption to the status quo ensued. And that is the point. The beast now runs amok. Now we have a lot of different voices and a helluva lot more information and, surprise, a helluva lot more lies. Who knew that lies would multiply? I didn’t. I honestly thought that more eyes on the issues and more minds on the challenges would result in more honesty and more truth.
I was a fool.
Well, maybe not a complete fool. The potential for progress is still there. And FACTFULNESS (Rosling) suggests that some of that potential is being realized. But, in the meantime, the trolls and the liars, the deplorables and the swamp-creatures, the jaguar and mink are fighting over the new medium. That is NOT good.
And the people who now have access to standing up and being counted are shutting up or selling porn and drugs to make a buck.