I'm going to digress for a bit. Could be that I end up using the whole blog post for this. We'll see.
Our country, through its mandatory public "education" system, deeply conditions, trains and programs its participants (students) to accept and receive, without personal examination, copious amounts of pre-evaluated data. The student is expected to then memorize the data being input so that it can later be regurgitated on exams for grading. The more closely the regurgitated data matches up to the data that was input into the student, the better the student's grade will be. Typically, a student's grade is the primary index of how educated (conditioned, trained, programmed) the student is and how successful the institution was at obtaining its valuable final product. Understanding the data input or knowing when and how to efficaciously apply the data in life are not emphasized or rewarded by the system. Good memorization and passive obedience are.
The students in this country's public "education" system are trained to passively wait for data to be delivered to them by way of a recognized and acknowledged authority figure e.g., teacher, professor, minister, priest, parent or boss and so on. The student is programmed to accept the data as it is given. In other words, the student is inhibited from contemplating, pondering, questioning or examining the data for themselves. The student is conditioned to believe that all answers are to be found outside of themselves. This conditioning, training, programming that occurs throughout the public "education" system, as well as in the universities, is the intentional instillation of a belief system. The belief system (an artificial construct of thinking) makes for, generally speaking, a passive, compliant populace that not only waits to be told what to do, but seems to inherently (the inherent is, of course, false) need and desire to be told what to do. If the lion's share of the populace has been instilled with this belief system this is a populace that can be easily controlled.
This country's mandatory public indoctrination system was designed by individuals who believed and believe that they are superior to anybody and everybody. And they truly believe that everyone else exist to fulfill the purpose of serving them. It's the old erroneous master/slave belief system that manifests in myriad guises (some that even seem benevolent). Also, in their belief of superiority, everyone else is expendable but them. However, as superior as they believe they are, they live in a constant state of fear that they will lose their control over others, therefore, they do all they can do to ensure that does not happen e.g., design a mandatory public indoctrination system that, at its best eradicates and at its least inhibits, original thought, critical thinking and nonconformity in the general population.
To really give the system some force over the individual, the idea of dire consequences for being noncompliant, is tightly woven into the fabric of the belief system. This part of the belief system is demonstrated, in many ways, again and again to those being indoctrinated with the system. This is the fear part of the system and it is what gives the power of control to the controllers. In other words, fear of consequences is what defends and maintains the integrity of the system and it gives the controllers all manner of levers, push buttons, pulleys and ropes with which to control those indoctrinated in the system.
So, all the above noted, I will say it again....I am not an authority on anything I write about. I'm just a guy that, by way of posting blogs on The City Wire, is sharing his perspectives and perhaps far-fetched and questionable theories with anyone who happens to read them. Regardless of how adamantly I believe something to be true, it is only true for me. The instant I extend my truth outside of myself it carries no more weight than being my interpretation of what I perceive. Because, outside of myself, that's all it can be. Through my explanations of my perspectives and theories, I am not trying to convince the reader that what I'm putting forth is viable or factual. Any meaning or lack of meaning that my statements might appear to have or not have can only be assigned by the reader.
If I have a goal in any of this that goal would be to see the reader stop waiting for me to deliver something to them, stop being passive, stop expecting anything from me and start asking their self the questions that are important to them and expect to receive the answers.
Once a person stops looking outside their self for answers and starts asking their self the questions they want answers to...they activate the teacher within. In my experience, I have found no better teacher.
The fort mentality, which is what I see as being the dominant and prevailing mindset of the city of Fort Smith, is a mentality of fear.
Fear has many faces and some of those faces seem beneficial because they present themselves as being reason. One can find numerous quotes where very intelligent people have commented on the reasonable and beneficial aspects of fear. Any semblance of reason, though, that fear might seem to present, is not real but only a facade as fear and reason are irreconcilable. Therefore, one cannot be in both simultaneously. One is either completely in one or completely in the other.
Fear, regardless of what face it may be putting forth, is always about loss perceived as a highly probable, if not a certain, outcome in the future. It does not matter if the future is in the next nanosecond, the next day, the next week, month, year and so on. Fear regards future probabilities i.e., a person feels fear in the present but the fear is not about the present it's about what is to come.
A fort's primary purpose is to hold something in place, to keep something from going away, in other words, to keep from losing something. What is Fort Smith so desperately trying not to lose? By the way, that's not a rhetorical question.
Fear is fragmented and it fragments everything it comes into contact with. Obviously, it is an empirical fact that fear is not a unifying force. Fear is, though, constantly separating things out from one another, dividing and subdividing again and again an again. Fear loves reducing things down to specifics because through specifics it can further divide. And where there is division there is likely to be conflict.
Fear, at its best is suspicious and at its worst is vicious. There is no trust in fear. And if there is no trust there is suspicion. Do you trust the city of Fort Smith to behave in your best interests? Can Fort Smith trust you to behave in its best interests? Has the city ever betrayed your trust in it? Have you ever betrayed the city's trust in you? Again, not rhetorical questions. That noted, I'm not asking you to make your answers public.
Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins. ~ Charles Stanley
“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. ~ Yann Martel
Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. ~ Frank Herbert