By Ethan Indigo Smith
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty five percent would rather die than think.” ~ Thomas Edison
To examine the world today, politically and socially, is complex task. There are indeed so many complexities to the postmodern world that it is as if the more you learn, the less sure you become. It’s difficult to define exactly what postmodern even is.
The best way to analyze problems in order to find solutions is to simplify their dynamics. If we were to boil down the problems of the social and political problems of the world today we would find that there are some consistencies in what at first might seem like disconnected concoctions.
One of the main shared qualities is perhaps the tendency to for people act either as exploiters in pursuit of gaining control or, in contrast, are apathetic to exploiters. These behaviors - being exploitative or being apathetic to exploitation - are nearly never spontaneous but have been instituted into our societal systems. Indeed these modes may be so deeply engrained that we mistake them as being ‘natural’, and they go unnoticed. But an honest look at our present – the steering of our perceptions through media and tightening of laws regarding the sharing of information on subjects that might shake apathy - reveals that there exists a tendency among those at the top of our societal pyramid to limit our sensitivity to our own exploitation at the bottom of the pyramid.
It is surely not a natural tendency to be so exploitative, or to be so tolerant of exploitation. But today, there have never before been so many people so apathetic to to the exploitation going on around them, and the evil perpetuated against humanity has never been so extensive. Such unprecedented extremes can only be achieved by inches; by careful manipulation.
The Five Percenters
“There is natural ignorance and there is artificial ignorance. I should say at the present moment the artificial ignorance is at about eighty-five percent.” ~ Ezra Pound
The Nation of Gods and Earths is a community organization that began in New York City. The group, distinct from Nation of Islam, was founded by Clarence 13X, a member of Malcolm X’s N.O.I. congregation, before Clarence and then Malcolm left the N.O.I. The Nation of Gods and Earths, or Five Percenters, numerically theorized the pyramid system in the same manner as Edison and Ezra.
The theory is that 85% of people are lost. The 85% are easily misled and manipulated and die without knowing who they really are. The 10% are the exploiters of the poor and lost, the 85%. The 10% are responsible for and benefit from societal manipulation. And then there are the 5% - those who attempt to do the right thing and free the minds of the 85% from life under the thumb of the 10%.
The relationship between these natural roles within an exploited society can best be understood through the adage of the Wise Monkeys. This set of four is most often seen as a set of three, but there are indeed four parts. The Wise Monkeys are commonly known as Hear No evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil. These are reactions, born out of fear. The fourth monkey is Fear No Evil, and he holds his dantien or lower abdominal region, the area of the body from which all actions root, as the Asian cultures that originally used the monkey allegory believe.
The 85% are described as blind and deaf to evil, and are like the monkeys with hands over eyes and ears. The 10% are referred to as the rich slave makers of the poor, and are like the monkey covering its mouth, holding the secrets of evil. And the rare 5% are known as the poor righteous teachers, or fear no evil, the fourth monkey. Fear No Evil does not take action or reaction in fear. In fact he is depicted in a meditative position. Symbolizing truth, the antithesis of evil, he exists without fear; fear of outsiders, fear of alternative perspective or lifestyles, fear of the truth, fear of what reality may be seen, heard or spoken.
Tricked to Do Evil
Perhaps this approximation of 85-10-5 has always been about constant in pyramidal/oligarchical societies. Perhaps there have always been around 10% who are slave makers, 85% who are oblivious and apathetic to their own bondage, and the 5% who seek to instigate consciousness among the 85% so that the 10% don’t kill us all.
Perhaps the point in time where modern became postmodern is when we developed the ability to kill ourselves via our own unsustainable routine.
The oligarchical pyramid system was and still is the norm in our society, no matter its perforations and peripherals, or how many people yet see it. All the world’s woes can be traced to this same dynamic: the greed and trickery of the 10%, the stark unaware apathy of the 85% and the righteous awareness of the 5%.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. As we start to acknowledge the paradigm of the oligarchical pyramid system we were born into – as seen through the representation of the 85%, 10%, 5% equation – we can understand more clearly the dynamics of individual and societal consciousness, and ultimately change the paradigm of our society for the better, growing the 5% over the revolutionary tipping point.
Will you be like the fourth monkey, the righteous teacher, the rebel who responds to postmodern greed and apathy by raising awareness among the unknowing?
Or will you cover your eyes and ears, and keep working to satiate the greed of those our society is constructed to benefit the most?
“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Simply acknowledging reality is enough to begin to enhance our understanding of it, and contribute to its betterment, just as acknowledging our consciousness is enough to begin its enhancement. In this twisted postmodern time of exploitation and energetic imbalance, a righteous teacher performs a profoundly powerful task, so valued across time and space. Like the fourth monkey, without fear, they act in the name of freedom, exemplifying the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment – those of free speech, press, religion, petition and assembly. Essentially these are the right to question, communicate, speak out, stop, and act. In this manner the First Amendment is not only a description of some of our inherent rights, but a prescription to protect those rights - the right to be a righteous rebel.
“When Government turns against the people, rebellion becomes a responsibility” ~ Unknown
[For more on the First Amendment, check out Ethan's 2010 article for OpEdNews.com entitled Patriotism Defined, First Amendment Explained]
Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism. He has since written The Matrix of Four, The Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity on the subject of the development of individual consciousness, before expanding into the fiction realm with the controversial The Terraist Letters, a work which humorously contrasts the very serious issues of global nuclear experimentation promotion and global marijuana prohibition.Ethan’s latest book The Little Green Book of Revolution (released in May 2013) is based on ideas of peaceful revolution, historical activism and caring for the Earth like Native Americans.