I have several talents I choose not to exploit for profit. I’m a pretty good drummer. I’m a natural motivational speaker and I can breathe life into anyone’s inspirations. My knack for law enables me to beat cops and government authorities in the courtroom constantly. When people I know learn of these talents their first comment is (respectively), why don’t I record with a band? Why don’t I become an inspirational speaker? Why don’t you practice law? However, I am actually doing these things already. Anytime I record a video of me playing drums to Jill Scott, Rhianna or Ella Mai, I am recording with their bands. When I inspire someone to view his or her negative situation positively, I am being a motivational speaker. When I embarrass a cop in a courtroom or have parking tickets thrown out in Appeals Court, I am practicing law. So what are people suggesting when they ask me to take these talents to a new level? They are asking me to exploit these talents for profit. They see something I have of value and wonder why I’m not leveraging it for a larger stake in the American dream. The universal goal in America to exploit one’s talents to the point of being able to amass enough money to be safe from the Western social and economic system consuming you. When having debates with White Supremacists about Africa’s so-called failures, the first thing they bring up is the low level of exploitation throughout the continent when we first encountered Europeans. A famous quote they mistakenly attributed to renowned scientist, Charles Darwin is;
“Since the dawn of history the Negro has owned the Continent of Africa—rich beyond the dream of poet’s fancy, crunching acres of diamonds beneath his bare black feet. Yet he never picked one up from the dust until a white man showed to him its glittering light. His land swarmed with powerful and docile animals, yet he never dreamed a harness, cart, or sled. A hunter by necessity, he never made an axe, spear, or arrow-head worth preserving beyond the moment of its use. He lived as an ox, content to graze for an hour. In a land of stone and timber he never sawed a foot of lumber, carved a block, or built a house save of broken sticks and mud. With league on league of ocean strand and miles of inland seas, for four thousand years he watched their surface ripple under the wind, heard the thunder of the surf on his beach, the howl of the storm over his head, gazed on the dim blue horizon calling him to worlds that lie beyond, and yet he never dreamed a sail! He lives as his fathers lived—stole his food, worked his wife, sold his children, ate his brother, content to drink, sing, dance, and sport as the ape.”
I have a question along with the answer that White Supremacists beg to differ from while continually deferring to vague and superficial alternatives. My question is this; what one word embodies Western Culture? While White Supremacists say “freedom,” “Glory,” “Power” and “strength” each of these vague notions can be easily contested. Are we really free when we citizens spend 10 years of our labor to buy a house we can build ourselves in two? How Glorious is a nation that tortures and murders its own citizens then blames them for causing their own agony and death? How much power could a nation that can’t beat a rogue group in Afghanistan truly possess? How strong is a nation that can be goaded into near-civil war by a fake theory called “race?” Each of those words is more to cope with insufficiency and failure than encompass the ethos of our nation. However, there is a word that fits Western culture perfectly;
Exploitation lies behind every single action in Westerners’ lives. We exploit information, energy, spirituality, and even physics, where we destabilize the atom then exploit its state of destabilization. Hell! Europeans exploited the fact of disease by deliberately giving smallpox infected blankets to Native Americans. From the first humans in Africa who planted seeds in a convenient place for collection of the resulting fruit, humans have been a species far removed from all others in our propensity to exploit. However, Western culture took exploitation to unprecedented pernicious levels. They exploited language, love, family and many other essentials. Nothing was off the table and many attribute it to “their nature.” This is a cop-out mindset that avoids properly exploring the matter; it’s also a means of exploiting the notion of race. In truth, environment caused early Europeans to transcend morality and do what it was necessary for individual survival.
Europe is a poor landscape, lacking the consistent production of resources necessary to sustain any substantial human population. The world’s number one staple crop is corn, number two is rice and number three is barley. Europe’s lacks the fertile land and conditions necessary to grow any of the first two in any substantial amount. The third, barley is Europe’s strongest grown crop and I’d doubt if it grows enough to sustain its population. Additionally, when I go to Europe, I observe everyone drinking coffee, drinking tea, eating chocolate and smoking cigarettes. Europe grows NONE of these products, yet many European countries have fixed their cultures and economies to them (Think Belgian, Swiss and Swedish chocolate and English Tea). Europe controls the market on most of these products despite not being able to produce any of it. There’s a reason the Dover Strait, Europe’s import channel, is the most travelled shipping route in the world. The reason for this overview is to emphasize that Europe is a scarce continent and this scarcity caused its culture to develop with desperation at its core. The human dysfunction we consider normal today, such as our propensity to exploit every single thing we can get our hands on, is the result of a human group that never experienced plenty during its development. Although Western education would have you think so, mankind has not always been at war and humans aren’t naturally bad creatures (whatever “bad” means). Humans are hardwired to continue the species and naturally work together to do so. Scarcity causes us to deviate from our cooperative tendencies, exploit one another and seek individual preservation. This is the story of Europe.
While exploitation is a natural factor of human life, empathy is too. To forego empathy in order to gain from others via exploitation is a unique ability. In Africa this would be considered a character flaw. In fact there’s an ancient proverb from Zaire that says “your neighbor’s tools will not do the work for you.” Actually there are plenty of African proverbs from all over the continent with the theme that one must work for what they want and need. Western society has placed its morality bar so low that citizens seek to avoid labor. We work the day’s hours with the evening in mind. We work the weeks with the weekend in mind. We work the months with vacation in mind and work our whole careers with retirement in mind. Clearly the goal of working is to amass enough resources to not work. This quest to accrue large amounts of money leads to greed. We refuse to define “greed” and let it remain vague enough as to never fully encompass an exploiter’s actions and thereby guide offenders away from greedy practices. People will surely call others greedy when their pursuit of the Western ideal has hurt an inordinate amount of people. But the fact that hurting any amount of people is permissible speaks volumes of this social model. By the time one reaches the point of discernable greed, a trail of wrongful yet permissible human exploitation has already taken its toll.
When asked what Europeans did for Africa, white men always reply that they taught them how to trade their resources with the world, or, exploit their resources for gain. This contention presupposes that all cultural groups including Africans had similar trade needs. No one needed alcohol or guns. They could have also done without the trinkets that excited Africans’ curiosity, like jewelry, beads, toys and cowry shells. Westerners consider causing expanded trade in Africa a virtue because Europeans never knew a lifestyle where they didn’t depend on it for survival. In other places, it was more of a complimentary activity, secondary to the collective effort to provide for everyone. The majority of European Traders based in Africa wrote journals with themes about what they could gain by exploiting. Perhaps this is how the word “important,” which derives from the word “import,” gained its meaning. In lands of plenty, the word might have been “exportant.”
Every time a Dave Chappelle comedy special comes out, the LGBTQ community makes a big fuss. This last time I realized they were more exploiting a legitimate cause than seeking solutions. I sensed this with other movements before but the thought finally came full-circle with this latest round of Chappelle vs. LGBTQ Community beef. In his special, The Closer, Chappelle made his usual LGBTQ jokes and the LGBTQ Community, as usual, protested. What came next brought my exploitation concept to fruition. The LGBTQ Community, under the name “Trans*Netflix” began exploiting the release of The Closer in attempts to take over Netflix. Amongst their demands were calls to recruit Trans executive staff, including the President and VP, produce equal trans programing as “transphobic,” however that could be defined, and making major investments in trans creators and programming. None of these demands call for removing Dave Chappelle’s special from the platform, which was the original issue. The Trans community was clearly exploiting the fact of transphobic jokes to make overtures on Netflix’s movie business.
AS THEY SHOULD.
I’m not pointing out the LGBTQ Community’s skewed purpose to say their approach is ethically wrong, rather I’m demonstrating that the underlying “exploit everything you can” Western ethos, underlies our mindset and causes us to look beyond the current cause for an opportunity to better our stake in the American dream.
The #metoo Movement
The #metoo movement is another example. Women in the West have lived under an oppressive patriarchy since the West’s inception. Several unaddressed rape case revelations, such as Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein caused America to take a small peek at itself and realize how oppressive our society truly is towards women. America opened its ears to hear the previously ignored claims of the countless women experiencing various degrees of sexual dominance by powerful males. What did they do? They exploited the opportunity.
AS THEY SHOULD.
The claim #metoo became like the Mario Star of power and women began throwing #metoo claims like grenades. Any man who had past sexual relations with a woman not his wife could now have that encounter reassessed in the context of the new #metoo standards. Pressure, physical superiority, intoxication, workplace dynamics and tons more factors all gained higher places on the sexual assault scale. Women could rank these occurrences as they pleased and they could do it unchecked because the men who would normally counterbalance their assessments, could too be determined to be guilty under the new rankings. When the smoke cleared, in typical Western fashion, men began attempting to litigate what “consent” meant. They tried to set hard parameters, like a woman coming to a man’s house, what time of night she came over, what clothing item was removed, and so forth. They attempted to abstract a spiritual and instinctive experience into tangible wieldable tools that could preserve them from legal jeopardy. Women, momentarily having the upper hand, did the same and, understandably, set the parameter for consent to be a sober and candid straight-forward question, “do you consent” and an answer in the affirmative at every step; anything less could be construed as rape. As unrealistic as this is, women used their temporary unchecked power to set this parameter so they could get relief from an oppressive society. We all know that in this patriarchal society where women are not allowed to be outwardly sexual, many sexual relationships begin with the sex “just happening.” In other words, Western society brainwashes women to not have sexual intent with men they are not married to. Very few women, even in 2022, would admit sexual intent unless they are already romantically connected to the man they intend to have sex with. Women setting the parameters to a pause in the moment for asking the candid question, “do you consent?” gives them the power to control the narrative around their sexual encounters and wield it as power over others.
AS THEY SHOULD.
I keep saying, “as they should” because I realize this dysfunctional social model is based on a stasis of opposing forces. Statedly-straight, white males hold the overwhelming majority of the power in America. Minorities, including white women and trans Americans are subject to white male’s will so when they gain a powerful tool, given the circumstances, it is only right that they use it to its fullest extent. Women setting the sexual consent parameters to something many will not likely adhere to places the ball in their court where they have the power to declare a wrongful sexual encounter wrong.
Women setting the candid question standard brings another Western phenomenon to mind, exploitation of language and nuance. Women rejected the men they weren’t interested in and consented to the ones they were long before language systems enabled the abstracted, verbal version that the #metoo movement calls for. Requiring verbal consent is a familiar step in Western dysfunction that comes with any rule or custom experiencing stress. Men decided to encroach on woman’s role as the reproduction decision maker so women are now asking for an external reference, or verbal agreement. It’s only a matter of time before this verbal consent becomes law and from there, many court battles over if verbal consent happened will lead to courts requiring a written contract. Unspoken rules coming under stress and ultimately becoming rigid written laws is how the West developed the idea that written law is mankind’s highest social achievement. It’s not. Written law is a coping mechanism for incessantly dysfunctional social models where members are not on the same page and working together in good faith. Written law forces citizens to not violate one another, just like requiring verbal consent forces men not to violate women when those men should be the biggest force protecting them.
Black people exploit racism, which means there’s racism to exploit. I’ve definitely used the so-called “race card” to my advantage. The term race card means this card actually exists in the deck and since America has developed strategies to contend with it, the infamous “race card” must hold significant value. Bringing up the topic of race makes white people think twice just like the words “I’m calling the police” makes me consider, not if I’m acting lawfully, but rather if my actions can be interpreted as being unlawful. Bringing up race, just like mentioning the police, are social adaptation to a hyper competitive society. I do not bar myself from exploiting race because I understand American society causes its citizens to discount black people. In fact, an article last week demonstrated that banks gave black people less access to historically low interest rates than other groups. Making racism part of the dialogue would surely cause loan officers to make efforts to avoid exposing their banks to the legal liabilities associated with racist practices.
The George Floyd protests shows how exploitation remains at the core of American action. Police murdered him and black people used the blatant disregard of his life to make gains towards social equality. It wasn’t about getting a murderous cop off the streets, rather George Floyd’s death created a pathway to advance ourselves and gain some overall relief from America’s disregard of us. George Floyd wasn’t even a model citizen but his death demonstrated the universal discounting of black life inherent to America and since George Floyd’s death was so well documented, black people weren’t going to let the opportunity to show White America this truth pass. Derek Chauvin, the officer that murdered George Floyd, exploited his authority by using his profession to demonstrate superiority over others and perhaps gain some personal fulfillment. News organizations immediately began highlighting George Floyd’s criminal history but when the American consensus that Derek Chauvin’s actions were wrong even for black criminals became evident, they began speaking in terms seldom heard from news organizations regarding police. They were liberal with the word “killed” and conservative with the usual, “alleged” they religiously attach to the accused officers’ they reported on before. White people looted, exploiting the fact the damages would be blamed on black people. Groups like the Boogaloo Boys inserted operatives to agitate the protests, too, exploiting the fact it would be blamed on black people. Police exploited the fact of plastic bottles being thrown simply by reporting them as “bottles,” which gave the public the impression people were throwing glass at them. This ommission enabled them to subvert protesters’ constitutional right by starting the violence then using the rightful returned violence as a means of declaring the protests unconstitutional. Exploitation was universal because it is at the core of the Western psyche.
Since the Summer 2020 protests, criminals have exploited law enforcement’s decreased ability to abuse black people as much and have since moved their criminality beyond the ‘hood police abuse previously restricted their activities to. Today, there’s talk of a “crime wave” but it’s merely the crime from the ‘hood moving outward. Police and media exploit these crimes by pretending black people’s calls to defund the police made them cut staff but in reality, all budgets got cut because of the pandemic and the unprecedented expenditures the government had to do to keep us afloat during our economic lockdowns. In America exploitation is rampant and everyone from criminals to government are looking beyond the cause to better their position against others.
The Western exploitation mentality is most exemplified in the West’s greatest achievement, America. It makes it permissible and even admirable for citizens to side-step morality in favor of gain. Citizens have a core mentality of seeking to draw value from everything and everyone they encounter. A truly healthy human mindset would seek to build and help others however, an underlying sense of scarcity inherent in Western culture causes citizens to forego health in favor of gain. This is why I call America an “exploitation nation.” Europeans moved to the Americas to exploit the land and people. They kidnapped Africans and exploited religion to get somewhat moral citizens to allow slave holders to steal the lives’ energy of countless human beings. They exploited the fact of written treaties and written law to allow for the stealing of land, breaking of countless deals with truly moral people. None of this would have been possible without a universal mental notion that exploitation is a natural and normal human trait. Europeans had long been in contact with Africa and had encountered societies where citizens lived in good faith and didn’t exploit one another. Mungo Park, one of the first Europeans to travel the inner parts of Africa, tells a story of a King (Damel) of the Jaloffs whose country was under threat by Muslims to convert to their religion. After refusing to convert, the King of Foota Toora sent an army to subdue their country, but the King used the same technique employed by Russia against Napoleon and Germany in WWII. The King withdrew his people and made the resources unavailable until the aggressor’s troops were fatigued and hungry. Then he attacked, seized the Foota Toora’s King and took him prisoner. What came next exemplifies the African mindset. Rather than put the imprisoned King to death, the King of the Jaloffs enslaved him until his leadership was no longer a threat the restored him as King of his country. His reasoning was that executing the failed aggressor wouldn’t restore his kingdom’s burned buildings or the thousands killed on the battlefield (most of which were his enemies). Rather than showcase societies like this, Western academia exploited the fact of wars they created in Africa by exploiting the Divide and Conquer technique and told America that Africa was full of warring, uncivilized barbarous tribes that lacked the ability to create civilization. University of Columbia professor, John W. Burgess taught that “black skin means membership in a race of men which has never of itself succeeded in subjecting passion to reason, has never, therefore, created any civilization of any kind.” When John W. Burgess published this quote Mungo Park’s journals were over 100 years old, the French had long before began burning African transcripts describing African civilizations, writing and societies. He, as a university professor, had access to materials describing African civilizations yet chose to exploit scholarship by teaching that Africans had never created any. Until we put exploitation as a core part of the Western thought process in perspective and learn to only employ it when truly necessary, we will continue to be a terminally dysfunctional culture. It’s just a matter before the East exploits our division and competition to take over us. They are already exploiting the fact of low wages, high rents and record high real estate prices by buying up astronomical amounts of American real estate. Soon they will be America’s landlords, controlling government policy decisions and making America into a subservient vassal state. If America doesn’t get its mind right and adjust its outlook to address the challenge, we are doomed.