“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Overton Window shows our conversations, words, and even thoughts are limited by what our culture and media signals to as ok and what is taboo.
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” ― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good
“Those who do not move do not feel their chains.” is another old saying that comes to mind.
It as if we are at a carnival, but if you try and leave there are armed guards blocking your exit. The tables are tilted in one very specific direction.
Consumerism is ultimately a false freedom. Finding purpose through doing work others command you to do for the sake of acquiring money, is a false freedom. Yet our culture is based around these values. There is a lot of fun and adventures to be had within them, no doubt. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so enticing. But if you try and find your values in things that don’t cost money or don’t generate profit for someone who wants to own your labor, that’s shunned. Our corporate-owned media culture has no room for that.
“Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.”
But this is too negative if taken alone and is missing the other half of the picture. We can be free, in our minds. Once that is accomplished, the social world would fix itself automatically, because society is made of the behavior of individuals. Do you own your mind? Or are you just operating on ideologies designed by others to fulfill their own goals? How can we even tell the difference if the latter is all we’ve ever known? This can take a lifetime of reflection and self-awareness.
We’ve just forgotten what we really want, because we’re lost in this Overton Window world. We just have to let go of the limits to discussion that our education, media, and culture have imparted on us. Only when we let go of unnecessary mental, verbal, and emotional baggage can we discover our natural behavior again. Then we have the natural curiosity of a child, but with the knowledge of an adult. What could be wiser?
Goodbye Overton Window, the boundaries of taboo are slowly dissolving, and the mainstream culture means less and less to me. We know the tricks, they’re boring and useless now. How else can we ever see the full truth unless we go beyond what is “allowed” to us by a culture designed by billionaires and think-tanks? How else can we shed the chains? How else can we be free?