11 Ways to Enslave People

by Charles Eisenstein

Be it drugs, alcohol, porn, overeating or whatever your personal addiction, put an abuser in a playground and see what happens.

You’ve probably heard about those addiction studies with caged lab rats, in which the rats compulsively press the heroin dispensing lever again and again, even to the point of choosing it over food and starving themselves to death. These studies seemed to imply some pretty disheartening things about human nature. Our basic biology is not to be trusted; the seeking of pleasure leads to disaster; one must therefore overcome biological desires through reason, education, and the inculcation of morals; those whose willpower or morals are weak must be controlled and corrected.

The rat addiction studies also seem to validate the main features of the War on Drugs. First is interdiction: prevent the rats from getting a taste of drugs to begin with. Second is “education” – conditioning the rats into not pressing the lever in the first place. Third is punishment: make the consequences of taking drugs so scary and unpleasant that the rats will overcome their desire to press the lever. You see, some rats just have a stronger moral fiber than others. For those with a strong moral fiber, education suffices. The weak ones need to be deterred with punishments.

All of these features of the drug war are forms of control, and therefore sit comfortably within the broader narrative of technological civilization: the domination of nature, the rising above the primitive state, conquering animal desire with the mind and the base impulses with morality, and so forth. That is, perhaps, why Bruce Alexander’s devastating challenge to the caged rat experiments was ignored and suppressed for so many years. It wasn’t only the drug war that his studies called into question, but also deeper paradigms about human nature and our relationship to the world.

Alexander found that when you take rats out of tiny separate cages and put them in a spacious “rat park” with ample exercise, food, and social interaction, they no longer choose drugs; indeed, already-addicted rats will wean themselves off drugs after they are transferred from cages to the rat park.

The implication is that drug addiction is not a moral failing or physiological malfunction, but an adaptive response to circumstances. It would be the height of cruelty to put rats in cages and then, when they start using drugs, to punish them for it. That would be like suppressing the symptoms of a disease while maintaining the necessary conditions for the disease itself. Alexander’s studies, if not a contributing factor in the drug war’s slow unraveling, are certainly aligned with it in metaphor.

Are we like rats in cages? Are we putting human beings into intolerable conditions and then punishing them for their efforts to alleviate the anguish? If so, then the War on Drugs is based on false premises and can never succeed. And if we are like caged rats, then what is the nature of these cages, and what would a society look like that was a “rat park” for human beings?

Here are some ways to put a human being in a cage:

  • Remove as much as possible all opportunities for meaningful self-expression and service. Instead, coerce people into dead-end labor just to pay the bills and service the debts. Seduce others into living off such labor of others.
  • Cut people off from nature and from place. At most let nature be a spectacle or venue for recreation, but remove any real intimacy with the land. Source food and medicine from thousands of miles away.
  • Move life – especially children’s lives – indoors. Let as many sounds as possible be manufactured sounds, and as many sights be virtual sights.
  • Destroy community bonds by casting people into a society of strangers, in which you don’t rely on and needn’t even know by name the people living around you.
  • Create constant survival anxiety by making survival depend on money, and then making money artificially scarce. Administer a money system in which there is always more debt than there is money.
  • Divide the world up into property, and confine people to spaces that they own or pay to occupy.
  • Replace the infinite variety of the natural and artisanal world, where every object is unique, with the sameness of commodity goods.
  • Reduce the intimate realm of social interaction to the nuclear family and put that family in a box. Destroy the tribe, the village, the clan, and the extended family as a functioning social unit.
  • Make children stay indoors in age-segregated classrooms in a competitive environment where they are conditioned to perform tasks that they don’t really care about or want to do, for the sake of external rewards.
  • Destroy the local stories and relationships that build identity, and replace them with celebrity news, sports team identification, brand identification, and world views imposed by authority.
  • Delegitimize or illegalize folk knowledge of how to heal and care for one another, and replace it with the paradigm of the “patient” dependent on medical authorities for health.

It is no wonder that people in our society compulsively press the lever, be it the drug lever or the consumerism lever or the pornography lever or the gambling lever or the overeating lever. We respond with a million palliatives to circumstances in which real human needs for intimacy, connection, community, beauty, fulfillment, and meaning go mostly unmet. Granted, these cages depend in large part on our own individual acquiescence, but this doesn’t mean that a single moment of illumination or a lifetime of effort can liberate us fully. The habits of confinement are deeply programmed. Nor can we escape by destroying our jailers: unlike in the rat experiments, and contrary to conspiracy theories, our elites are just as much prisoner as the rest of us. Empty and addictive compensations for their unmet needs seduce them into doing their part to maintain the status quo…





What’s Killing 5500 Aussies Each Year?



Alcohol is killing 15 Australians a day and sending another 430 to hospital, according to a shocking new report that has prompted calls for tough health warning labels on alcohol.

The VicHealth and Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) report found the number of deaths caused by alcohol had increased 62 per cent in a decade.

Alcohol companies should be forced to warn consumers on their labels that alcohol causes cancer and heart disease in the same way cigarette packets do, the Foundation’s chief Michael Thorn says.

“The alcohol industry, like the tobacco industry before it, has long shown itself unwilling to acknowledge the extent of the harms it causes,” he said.

Cancer Council chief Ian Olver has argued there is a strong case for text warnings on alcohol products “ so people can make an informed choice about that extra drink”.

“Any potentially harmful product should carry a warning for the consumer. A box of matches does,” he says.


The report, conducted by Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre says alcohol use is involved as a causal or component factor in more than 200 diseases.

In 2007 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found sufficient evidence for a causal link between alcohol consumption and cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast cancer in females.

Earlier this month a study found regular drinkers had a 17 per cent increased risk of developing polyps in the colon, a precursor to bowel cancer when compared to non drinkers.




13 Weird Psychological Reasons Someone Might Fall In Love With You

There’s no shortage of advice on where to meet the right person, how to make people like you, and how to build a successful relationship.

Sometimes, though, people are attracted to each other for seemingly arbitrary reasons, such as what color you wear or whether you have a pet.

What might influence someone to fall for you? We pored through research on the psychology of attraction and found some fascinating reasons why people fall in love.

If you do something thrilling together.


In 1974, Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron wanted to test the connection between sexual attraction and anxiety. In their study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they placed men under two conditions. The first walked across a high, shaky bridge. The other was on a low, sturdy bridge. Afterward, they met a female experimenter who asked them a series of questions and gave the men her phone number “just in case.”

The men who met the woman after walking on the high bridge were more likely to call her than the men who met her on the low bridge. Psychologists call this phenomenon the “misattribution of arousal.” The high bridge created a sense of arousal from the anxiety, but men mistakenly thought it was from the attraction to the woman.

This is why many people like to do exciting things on first dates, such as visiting amusement parks, skydiving, or riding motorcycles.

If you prime them to feel more attracted to you.

Vanessa p. / Flickr

Priming is an implicit memory effect, which means that the stimuli you are exposed to can influence your response to later stimuli. For example, if people take a multiple choice test with words that have to do with “oldness” like “Florida,” “gray,” and “weak,” they tend to walk slower afterward.

Yale psychologist John Bargh performed an experimentin which participants held warm or cold beverages and had to rate whether someone’s personality was warm or cold. Participants who held warm beverages judged the person to have a warm personality, because their minds were already primed to think that way.

If you take someone on a coffee date instead of an ice cream date, they may feel more warmly toward you.

If you live close to them.

Matt Radick / Flickr

It’s not only important to be close to someone emotionally — you should also strive to be close physically. According to an experiment at MIT, the proximity of students’ dorm rooms increased how close they felt to one another.

This is because they had more passive interactions, like brief meetings as they passed one another in the hallway, which made them feel more intimate.

It’s known as the mere exposure effect, which states that familiarity plays a huge role in attraction.

If you live in a beautiful home.


We’ve all heard that women are attracted to men with nice cars. But men also appear more attractive if they are photographed in a luxury apartment. In a Cardiff Metropolitan University study, a man was photographed with a casual posture in a “high-status” luxury apartment and a “neutral-status” standard apartment context.

The men with the luxury apartments were rated significantly higher for attractiveness when presented to the female subjects. Researchers determined that the illusion of status-linked property ownership had a high impact on attraction, and that context can make all the difference.

If you own a dog.

Flickr via msakr

In a University of Michigan experiment, women read vignettes about men. Whenever the story featured a person who owned a dog, women rated them with higher long-term attractiveness. This is because pet ownership signals nurturance and a tendency toward relationship commitment. It also makes you appear more relaxed, approachable, and happy.

Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by Dognition, 82% of people feel more confident approaching an attractive person if they have their dog with them. It argues that “having a dog with you is more important for first impressions than what you wear.”

Psychologists Nicolas Guéguen and Serge Ciccotti tried this out for themselves. In their research study, they had men with and without a dog ask for women’s numbers on the street. When the men had the dog with them, their success rate jumped from 1 in 10 to 1 in 3…

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/weird-reasons-fall-in-love-2014-7?op=1#ixzz394OxSoQj



Drought Watch: One Of Brazil’s Biggest Cities Only Has 100 Days Of Water Supply Left

A worker steps over the cracked ground of Jaguary dam in Braganca Paulista, 100 km from São Paulo in January 2014. January was the hottest on record in parts of Brazil, and the heat plus a severe drought fanned fears of water shortages, crop damage and higher electricity bills. Reuters

São Paulo, one of Brazil’s largest cities, has only 100 days of water remaining and government officials cautioned the city needs to begin rationing or face a major crisis.

Bloomberg News reported Brazilian federal prosecutors have given the city fathers and its water utility, Sabesp, 10 days to implement crisis measures or face legal action to compel it.

The news agency reported the utility disagrees with the assessment and told Bloomberg, “That measure would penalize customers and may have the opposite effect.” The utility has already succeeded in getting customers to cut water consumption by what it said were policies having the equivalent effect of a rationing plan that would allow water use for 36 hours, followed by a ban on use for the following 72 hours.

According to the report Sabesp in April began offering 20 percent discounts for customers who cut their consumption by at least 20 percent from their 12-month average.

Brazil has been suffering through its worst drought in 40 years and it’s affecting the nation’s economy in several ways. For instance, the price of Arabica coffee is up more than 70 percent since the end of 2013. Brazil produces 35 percent of the global crop, which has been plagued by bad weather and disease.

Droughts in December and January have raised fears of low crop yields this year, which has brought up prices. Plus, a type of fungus called coffee rust has damaged more than 20 percent of the global supply, the Costa Rican Coffee Institute reports.

“The drought in Brazil is pushing some food prices up, and some argue that weather effects have been behind the recent increase of 2014 inflation expectations to 6.11 percent from 6.01 previously,” analysts from Merrill Lynch Global Research wrote in a note to clients earlier this year. The drought has also caused problems for the folks charged with keeping up the nation’s hydroelectric plants as it has forced up the price of natural gas needed to replace generating capacity.

According to Platt Energy Economist, a publication of the energy news provider Platt’s:

“Brazil has been hit by severe drought and has been scrambling to find additional supplies of gas to compensate for the lack of hydropower. Imports of LNG [liquefied natural gas] to Brazil reached a record in March at 692,051 million tons, up 75 percent from the previous 12-month moving average. The country has also signed a short-term deal to increase pipeline supplies from Bolivia.”





10 Cities Running Out of Water

Irrigation pipe is seen on a farm near Cantua Creek

by Thomas C. Frohlich

After multiple unusually dry years across the western, southern and central United States, more than 80% of California is now in a state of extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. An average of nearly 90% of Bakersfield, Calif., has been in a state of exceptional drought over the first seven months of 2014, more than any other large urban area.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration between academic and government organizations, 24/7 Wall St. identified large U.S. urban areas that have been under persistent, serious drought over the first seven months of this year. The Drought Monitor measures drought by five levels of intensity: from D0, described as abnormally dry, to D4, described as exceptional drought. For the first time in the Drought Monitor’s history, 100% of California is under at least severe drought conditions, or D2. It was also the first time exceptional drought of any kind — the highest level — has been recorded in the state…

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), explained that nearly all of the state’s rain falls “from late autumn into the spring, so once you get past April, California is pretty much locked in with drought.” While drought in the state tends to be seasonal, the situation this year is far from normal…

While the level of drought this year is alarming, it has not come as a surprise. Atmospheric pressure over the Northeastern Pacific Ocean has remained persistently high the past several years, preventing winter storms from reaching California. The infamous “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” — a pressure region in the Pacific Ocean — has acted as an “invisible dome that just doesn’t let moisture come into California,” Svoboda said. This has led to “two consecutive winters of very low snowpack, higher temperatures, and early melts.”…

At any rate, such extreme drought conditions have had ripple effects on the state’s environment and local economies. California has a dry season and a fire season, Svoboda noted. With the drought, however, the state is dealing with a “year-round fire season instead of a seasonal fire season,” which obviously puts an enormous strain on not just water supplies, but everything else that goes into fire-fighting operations…

Rippey added that agriculture is just one of several industries affected by the drought. The tourism and recreational industries, as well as any business relying on hydroelectric power, are also under considerable strain.

As a result of the severely dry conditions, nearly all urban areas in California have made considerable water conservation efforts. These measures usually include mandatory limitations on water consumption, rationing, reallocations of water to the most essential crops, and distribution of guidelines for everyday water use, for example.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 urban areas with populations of 75,000 or more where the highest percentages of the area was under “exceptional” drought conditions in the first seven months of 2014. All data are as of the week ending July 15.

These are the cities running out of water.

10. Fresno, Calif.
> Exceptional drought coverage (2014): 75.1%
> Extreme drought coverage (2014): 100%
> Population: 654,628

Over the first seven months of this year, around 75% of Fresno was engulfed in exceptional drought, the 10th highest proportion among large urban areas. Such a drought can cause water emergencies brought on by shortages in reservoirs, streams and wells, as well as widespread agricultural failures. The remaining one-quarter of Fresno that was not in exceptional drought did not fare much better, as 100% of the city was in a state of extreme drought. Extreme drought also often results in crop failures, water shortages and restrictions on usage. Starting August 1, Fresno residents will be permitted to water their lawns just twice a week. Like much of the Central Valley, Fresno relies heavily on its agricultural industry, which is particularly vulnerable to drought. According to a recent news report, Fresno County is no longer California’s leading agricultural producer, with overall crop values falling by more than 2% last year. Fresno has also been the site of numerous wildfires in recent months.

9. Visalia, Calif.
> Exceptional drought coverage (2014): 75.3%
> Extreme drought coverage (2014): 100%
> Population: 219,454

Visalia is the county seat of centrally located Tulare County, a national leader in agricultural production. Tulare County officials declared a state of emergency at the beginning of the year due to the severe drought conditions. Local officials cited damaged fruit trees and a range of economic impacts, particularly on businesses linked to agriculture. As Rippey explained, California’s Central Valley, which includes Visalia and Tulare County, is a unique source of specialty crops such as fruits, nuts and vegetables. Like Fresno, 100% of Visalia is engulfed in extreme drought, and more than 75% of the region has been in a state of exceptional drought since the beginning of the year.

8. Madera, Calif.
> Exceptional drought coverage (2014): 76.1%
> Extreme drought coverage (2014): 100%
> Population: 78,413

Madera is among the smaller urban areas reviewed, with just over 78,000 residents. Like the rest of the state, the city is undergoing unprecedented drought conditions. Madera County implemented the fourth stage of its water conservation measures at the end of May. Residents are now prohibited from all outdoor water use, and pools must be filled from water originating outside the service area. The Madera region is a top producer of grapes, almonds and other nuts, all of which require extensive irrigation even under normal weather conditions. While the agricultural industry is the most vulnerable to drought, municipalities are also affected. Madera County recently proposed an increase to water and sewer rate in several districts, likely due to the growing scarcity of fresh water throughout the area…


– See more at: http://survivalbackpack.us/10-cities-running-water/#sthash.QgL9QMuL.dpuf



Are you Ready for Nuclear War?

By David North and Alex Lantier

Are you ready for war—including possibly nuclear war—between the United States, Europe, and Russia?

That is the question that everyone should be asking him- or herself in light of the developments since the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

The crisis provoked by American and European charges of Russian responsibility for the shooting down of flight MH17 has brought the world the closest it has been to global war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. But the situation today may be even more dangerous. A half century ago, the Kennedy administration—haunted by fears that miscalculations on either side could precipitate a nuclear exchange—sought to keep the lines of communications open and avoid the demonization of Soviet leaders.

Today, on the other hand, the CIA is directing an incendiary propaganda campaign against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, a campaign that seems intent on provoking a direct military confrontation with the country with the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world. There is no question that the CIA is mobilizing all the resources and assets it commands—within governments, the media, and among academics—in a carefully orchestrated campaign aimed at polluting public opinion with anti-Russian hysteria.

As of now, there is nothing approaching a definitive explanation of the chain of events that led to the destruction of MH17. Despite all the massive surveillance technology at its disposal, upon which it lavishes tens of billions of dollars annually, the US intelligence agencies have not produced a shred of hard evidence to back up the accusations of Russian responsibility.

But while the physical circumstances surrounding MH17’s destruction remain unknown, the political purposes to which this tragedy is being put to use have become all too clear.

Since the beginning of the week, the three most influential mass circulation newsmagazines of the United States, Britain, and Germany—Time, The Economist, and Der Spiegel—have published cover stories that combine wild accusations against Vladimir Putin with demands for a showdown with Russia.

The most striking and obvious characteristic of these cover stories is that they are virtually identical. The CIA has scripted them all. The stories employ the same insults and the same fabrications. They denounce Putin’s “web of lies.” The Russian president is portrayed as a “depraved” mass murderer.

What is the Russian president to make of the use of this sort of language in the most influential newsmagazines? He is on the receiving end of the same campaign of vilification that was previously directed against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Putin certainly knows the outcome of these propaganda campaigns. Serbia was bombed into political submission and Milosevic was carted off to The Hague, where he died, mysteriously, in prison. Iraq was invaded and Hussein executed. Libya was also invaded, and Gaddafi —much to the amusement of Hillary Clinton—was savagely tortured and lynched. As for Assad, the United States has directed a bloody insurgency that has resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Syrians.

Given this record, Putin could hardly be accused of paranoia were he to conclude that the United States and its European allies want him dead. Therefore, one must ask, what impact might this well-grounded suspicion have on his own course of action as the confrontation escalates?

In all three cover stories, the governments of Western Europe and the United States are taken to task for failing to move against Putin and Russia. The three magazines adopt a tone of angry impatience with what they perceive to be insufficient aggressiveness. They all argue that the time for talk is over. Der Spiegel declares “The wreckage of MH17 is also the wreckage of diplomacy.”

How should this statement be interpreted? If diplomacy has failed, it can only mean that war is imminent.

In its article “In Russia, Crime without Punishment,” Time attacks Obama for asking Putin to assist in the investigation of the crash rather than immediately threatening Russia with war. It writes, “This was the crisis in a nutshell: the least Putin could do was the most Obama could ask for. The American President announced no deadlines, drew no red lines and made no threats.”

The invocation of “deadlines,” “redlines,” and “threats” is the language of war. How else should these words be read?

Time attacks Italy and France and even the Obama administration and the American people for not backing aggression against Russia: “Putin doesn’t have a lot to worry about when he looks at the forces aligned against him. Obama, as the leader of a war-weary nation, has ruled out all military options, including the provision of weapons to Ukraine.” Clearly, Time wants to place military options on the table.

In its lead editorial, entitled “A web of lies,” The Economist follows the same script, accusing the West of vacillation. “The Germans and Italians claim to want to keep diplomatic avenues open, partly because sanctions would undermine their commercial interests. Britain calls for sanctions, but it is reluctant to harm the City of London’s profitable Russian business. America is talking tough but has done nothing new.”

The coordinated media campaign is already producing the desired effect. On Tuesday the Obama administration and the European Union announced that they had agreed on a new set of tougher sanctions. These measures are being interpreted as a transitional measure toward what Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau describes as “The Atom Bomb of Financial War.” Munchau’s piece has been published not only in the Financial Times but also in Der Spiegel...





I’m afraid the bitter truth is Iraq and Libya were better off under the tyrants toppled by an arrogant and naive West

by Stephen Glover

The tragic events in Gaza and Ukraine may be dominating the news, but even more terrible things are happening in Libya and Iraq. In both cases a naive and stupendously ill-conceived Western foreign policy is almost entirely to blame.

Many western embassies in Tripoli, including America’s, have closed, with diplomats deserting the city as fast as their legs will carry them, leaving the Libyans to their fate. Britain retains only a reduced embassy staff.

Meanwhile, in the north of Iraq — a country allegedly delivered into freedom from Saddam Hussein in 2003 — a psychopathic organisation called Islamic State (previously known as ISIS) is executing thousands of Shia Muslims and Christians as the central government in Baghdad looks on, powerless to intervene.

The largely untold story of the persecuted Iraqi Christian minority is especially shaming for those avowedly Christian leaders, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, who were responsible for the invasion of Iraq.

The largely untold story of the persecuted Iraqi Christian minority is especially shaming for those avowedly Christian leaders, George W. Bush (right) and Tony Blair (left), who were responsible for the invasion of Iraq

The largely untold story of the persecuted Iraqi Christian minority is especially shaming for those avowedly Christian leaders, George W. Bush (right) and Tony Blair (left), who were responsible for the invasion of Iraq

For however revolting Saddam Hussein may have been, he did at least tolerate Iraq’s Christian community, which at one time was almost 1.5 million-strong. In the years following the invasion, the number of Christians dwindled to 300,000.

Then, last month, Islamic State captured Mosul, Iraq’s second biggest city, which still had a sizeable Christian minority. Islamic State issued them with an ultimatum: if they did not convert to Islam by noon on July 19, they would pay a fine or be executed.

A vast exodus has taken place so that, according to Canon Andrew White, a brave Anglican priest resident in Baghdad: ‘It looks as though the end [of Christianity in Iraq] could be very near.’

This is a Christian community that was one of the oldest in the world. The earliest church building to have been discovered is at Dura-Europos in Syria on the Euphrates, close to the border with Iraq. Its murals were painted between 232 AD and 256 AD, three-quarters of a century before the Roman emperor, Constantine, recognised Christianity.

I dwell on the Christians in Iraq obviously not because their lives are more precious than those of the no-less-terrorised Shia Muslims, but because one might have expected Christian leaders to have spared a thought for them before they set about tearing apart the country’s social fabric.

If Saddam Hussein were still in power, Islamic State would not be on the rampage in northern Iraq and the lives of thousands of Christians and Shias would not have been lost.

If Saddam Hussein were still in power, Islamic State would not be on the rampage in northern Iraq and the lives of thousands of Christians and Shias would not have been lost.

And it is also certain that the number of people who have died since the invasion — as many as 500,000, according to reputable studies — far exceeds the number of victims of Saddam Hussein during his much longer period in power. No doubt thousands more innocent people are doomed to be killed…

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2711464/STEPHEN-GLOVER-I-m-afraid-bitter-truth-Iraq-Libya-better-tyrants-toppled-arrogant-naive-West.html#ixzz394AGgqY4