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Selfishness and Human Dependence, Part 3: How Can People Get Together, Other Than at the World Cup?



by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

Now back to the question I posed in Part 1: How can we deal with the fact that we have become terribly dependent? We depend on persons or organizations that we have no actual contact with. We are very atomized. “Almost anything” could be imposed on us by far-away decision makers.

In this article I am looking at the amazing difficulty we have in banding together to accomplish something.  We need ways for the voice of common sense to be heard, and for people to follow it.  Yet we find ourselves, like the people who attend the World Cup match, in close contact with thousands of others but without a way to really unite.

A “Show” Parliament

I would chalk some blame up to the fact that we were taught in school that a democracy solves its problems by having a parliament. The word ‘parliament’ is derived from the French parler, to speak. Supposedly we talk out our problems.

In fact this does not happen. The parliaments of nations – and the European Union has a European Parliament – are places where politicians gather and put on a show of policy-making. As we have learned in recent decades, they only rubber-stamp the decisions made by a higher group that carefully hides its identity.

The existence of a controlling group at the top was biologically predictable. We are a typical mammal species in that we have a male hierarchy. (Some mammal species have strictly female leaders; examples are lion and elephant.) Human males are driven to the alpha role, and it’s reasonable to assume that some have perfected the art.

My topic, in this multi-part essay, is “human dependence on the group.” That is a separate issue from the takeover of the population by a secret group of bosses (‘the cabal’).  Of course the two problems are connected, but at the moment I must concentrate on the dependence problem.

People Look Upward for Help

It would be one thing to live in a society where a few at the top visibly control all the people and all the resources. But we in ‘democracies’ don’t see that. We see something more amorphous and more benign.

Ah, you young generation, you are lucky that some of us who are still ticking can remember a different world. In that world – in my case, the United States – we had actual living, breathing members of Congress who ‘argued the case.’ (Not all did so, but we never need a full house; it suffices to have a handful of smarties.)

We also had – you won’t believe this – a responsible press. At least a modicum of journalists sought the truth, and saw it as their duty to inform people what was going on. They specialized in rooting out corruption.

So, I grew up thinking there were two institutions – Congress and the press – that we should turn to when in trouble. At this stage I am wondering if “someone” deliberately enticed us to think those entities would help – so that one day we would find ourselves up a certain creek, sans paddle.

Hmm. Another helper, so we thought, was the Supreme Court. And to get there you would use a super-helpful group called the American Civil Liberties Union. Boy, could they identify a constitutional issue and see that it got sorted in favor of the little guy.

At present you cannot get help from Congress, the mainstream press, or the courts, or even the ACLU. Indeed all those seem to be “against the people” now. What a situation!

The Ongoing Need for Uppies

My ‘conspiracy’ position is that we didn’t accidentally lose the help of our natural leaders – men and women in Congress, the press, and the judicial system – but that it all got shut down by careful planning. That is, the bosses at the top were well aware of our practice of looking upward for help, so they made sure we no longer have “uppies” that we can turn to.

You may say that social media has replaced previous structures.  I doubt it. It’s nice to be able to communicate with persons we have not met, and to bounce ideas around without having to have them vetted first. But when it comes to decision-making, only persons in ‘official’ roles can make the decisions we need. Your yakking to blogs is a waste of time.

Say everybody was showing concern, on the Internet, about such-and-such a problem. Even a huge groundswell of interest does not automatically result in action. I have seen many issues in which the folks on the Net had it right but that did not move the officials one jot.

My argument here is that the habit of looking to the uppies is probably hard-wired in the human brain. As children we look to parents, and later we look to the scout leader, the office manager, or whoever carries authority. And therefore we had better finds the means to keep on doing this.

I would go so far as to guess that society is like a nervous system with information coming in from many nerves and being sent up to a brain. There, the material can be dealt with. The owner of each individual brain applies experience and knowledge, as well as the basic biology of evaluating and reasoning. Emotions help to push a decision. It works.

The Problem of Trust

Keep in mind that may of the things we do every day are run by our brain in an unconscious way. An example of this is the ease with which we walk down stairs. It takes a great deal of muscular coordination and balance; it takes mental calculation of how deep each stair is. But no one ever gives it a second thought.

Much of our social interaction may be like that. When acting with another person we are taking measurements of them. For one thing, we size up our status compared to theirs. Just like chickens in a pecking order, we unconsciously know who is above us and below us. Granted it’s flexible. Your female boss at work is above you, but if you are prettier than she, you know you are above her in that way.

One of the things we measure all the time vis a vis any person we interact with, is the degree to which they can be trusted. In general, you can’t trust a stranger. You have had no experience with him, and so haven’t marked down in your little mental notebook whether he is a good risk or not.

Social class is a guide. You are likely to know that persons in your social class will play fair with you and others won’t. Who do you consider to be in your social class? Probably those who live on your street, those who speak with your accent, those who share some handicap or some hobby. Perhaps the little boxes on Facebook that announce the person’s favorite movie are meant to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, and trust the wheat.

It is hard to trust a huge group of people. It can be assumed that the group will include some of your type and some strangers. There is an unsettling unpredictability. So, using our inbuilt caution, we’re very reluctant to place trust in any group as a whole. We worry that some clever bastards in there – known in sociobiology as ‘free riders’ – will make chumps of us.


So far it has been noted that: People look upward. People will always need to see someone at the top. Decisions get made as in a nervous system.

As for our interactions with our fellow man (beyond the intimate group), we are always aware of every individual’s status – high or low. It can be judged on sight or on hearing their voice.

We can only interact with people we know and trust. Thus it is hard to deal with a huge group. One does not want to be made a fool of by trusting strangers.

The Predictions of Dr Richard Day

As indicated above, I take our current dearth of leadership to be a well-planned phenomenon. Let me mention just two of the hundred or more “secrets” that Richard Day, MD, shared with his audience of physicians and medical students at a 1969 dinner. He worked for Rockefeller and said that he was allowed to share some knowledge of the future, in order to help the doctors adjust to it when it arrived.

One thing was that emigration to the Sunbelt (southwestern states, such as Arizona) would be encouraged, as people in a new environment are easier to direct. They will have few traditions and will go along with the new cultural items they find there, such as a pre-paid medical insurance system.

Another futuristic scenario Dr Day provided was that people would have big trouble getting housing, and would be encouraged to live in apartments with strangers. The benefit for the person running all of this (the Rockefellers, presumably) was that people living with strangers would never know how much the flat-mates could be trusted!

In general, Dr Day admitted to there being a goal of insecurity for all. Wow. He even said there would be more train accidents and more bridge failures – something I have seen in Yahoo news headlines a lot in the last two years. Clearly he meant they would be made to occur.

In sum, our predicament of living in a dependent way today may have come about partly by happenstance and partly by  wicked design.

Please stay tuned for Part 4 of “Selfishness and Human Dependence.”

— Mary W Maxwell lives in Adelaide. She is an eclectic. Her first four books were on sociobiology. She edited “The Sociobiological Imagination” (State University Press of New York) in 1991. 



  1. From the Pilfering Department comes me, pilfering the Comment that Alex sent to Gumshoe re Dee’s Fracking article, Oct 27 ’15. It fits my “dependence” rant. Here ’tis, in case you mised it:

    The question that all Australians and all people everywhere that this scourge [FRACKING] has intruded, is: Given that some define ‘Freedom’ as the ability to say “NO”, where does this leave us?
    Are we The People of Australia, and especially those who grow our food – farmers like myself, Free Men and Women, or are we slaves to the corporation?
    Where does this leave the government?
    Are they a government of a free country or merely slave drivers for the ‘corporation’ – those that pay their re-election campaign costs? Until We The People of Australia are able to say “NO” we will remain as slaves!
    It is time for all “good persons” to become ‘the one for whom we are all waiting’, to become our own Spartacus, and stand up to the evil that infests our various governments and say “So far and NO further”.
    We The People say NO – all of us!
    The government of this country are putting our food and water security in danger. Food and water security are matters of national security for all. This places the government in a position of threatening our national security in much the same way as any enemy or terrorist. It also places all and any of these political creatures that infest our governments, in a position where they should be removed to a prison for being in “abuse of office”.

    • Let me give a simple example of the ‘Uppies’ problem. In 2007, we saw photos from Abu Ghraib. These were mainly of sexual humiliation of prisoners. I assume that Americans not only felt bad for the victims, they felt bad that somebody was disgracing the reputation of the US.
      But what could they do? How can Americans band together to deal with such a thing?
      The only way to deal (as far as I know) was to send complaints up the line. After a while, two of the naughty soldiers were court-martialed: Charles Graner and Linndy England. No military official got fired, or even demoted.

      Officially it was Congress’s duty to crack down on the military and/or CIA. But it took until late in 2014 for Senator Diane Feinstein (don’t get me started on her) to publish a report saying that war crimes were committed.
      Did that lead to any prosecutions? Nope. Because the Uppies are all controlled, “their hands are tied.” Poor things.

      Is there another way? I am arguing NO. You may say there are rallies, strikes, boycotts, and petitions. None of these work now. Did they ever work? Maybe — but they may have been set up to work, in order to give us false hope.
      In one of Dee McLachlan’s Gumshoe videos (at the Youtube channel named Flipside News — our old name until someone in the UK overlapped with it), we see “30,000 folks in Melbourne marching to protest cuts in the ABC.”
      As I have said before, I recall the huge rally at Adelaide’s North Terrace, in March 2003, to tell Parliament not to join the coalition attacking Iraq. Leaders of the two major parties totally ignored that “instruction” from the persons they REPRESENT.

      Given the paralysis of our Uppies, we may have to make “citizen’s arrest” of traitors. For Seppos there is also the chance of action by the posse comitatus. See my urgings in an article entitled “Want Your Testicles Batoned? If Not, Act Now.” (Link: http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=31703). That doesn’t mean I am urging violence. I am urging legality. And if legality entails violence, well, don’t blame me.

        • Paul, Paul, stop it! That stuff they peddle about the DC corp is — as far as I can see — pure disinformation.
          The US is a nation. Who am I to know? I simply know that ‘nation’ is but a word, and we generally apply that word to some combination of territory, population, and polity.
          Drives me mad when somebody says the Constitution has been obviated by some phrase or another in a court case. No way.
          Eeks! Drives me mad.

          Anyway, what is Australia? Is it the continent? The rather short history of the colonial era? The ancient culture? Is it Julia Gillard and Malcolm? Is it me and thee? Is it the Sydney ballet? Is it our national airline (Emirates)? What the hell is it?

          That is more or less the question of Part 4 of this little study, which Dee is going to pin up in the morn. But please argue against me. Throw me overboard. I am trying to find ways to get us “active” as Alex says above (in Pilfer city). There must be ways to do it.

          Actually I was inspired by today’s excitement at Gumshoe — the Thriller in Manila. We need more of that cut and thrust, eh?

          If I recall correctly from Mandela’s autobiography, he said that as soon as one fellow traveler arrived at the prison island where he had been alone for a long time, the both of them gained far more than just “times two.”
          Maybe we can each multiply each other’s mettle by ten.

          Wait! I think I feel a Ponzi scheme coming on….

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