Category Archives: A Plan for America

We Can’t Afford Widespread Neurosis Anymore

Created November 17, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

It’s pretty obvious that the human race is somewhat out of control.

It could be that, in the past, it was even more out of control than it is now.

But if we look only at the time period since we learned how to make atom bombs, we are now at an “Out-Of-Controllness” level that is at an all-time high within the defined period.

Maybe we were more out of control during the Crusades, but we couldn’t do as much damage then.

Now as compared to prior to 1945, we have done vast destruction to the environment threatening our own survival, have caused innumerable species to go extinct ahead of us, and are still playing party politics and other warped games as if there are no consequences. That’s how much damage we continue to do every day, and we haven’t even started with the atom bomb toy yet.

Enough self-criticism. Now, what are we going to do about it?

The hub of the problem is the way we don’t use our minds.

We don’t use our minds as they were elegantly designed to be used, the way Socrates used his mind, the way Washington and Jefferson and Franklin and Lincoln used their minds… we have many good role models to choose from, as we come back from a race of neurotics.

What is a neurotic? WebMD tells us that “Neurotic means you’re afflicted by neurosis, a word that has been in use since the 1700s to describe mental, emotional, or physical reactions that are drastic and irrational. At its root, a neurotic behavior is an automatic, unconscious effort to manage deep anxiety.”

Acting irrationally is the core of being a neurotic. But don’t we all? Isn’t it irrational to get emotionally overwhelmed by certain situations? The point of the mind is that it has more than just reason as its powers. It has intuition, feelings, perceptions, conditioned motivations, “realized self” motivations, a subconscious, and more. We act based not only on reason but on all of these functions. And that’s the way it should be. However, we ourselves have very little insight into the way we function so it is all kind of a sloppy process. Until we start practicing what Aristotle called “the contemplative life” which modern science calls meta-cognition: the mind inspecting the mind. This is The Way out of neurosis.

The process needed for the entire human race is a cleansing of the spirit, a self-governed “mind wash” available to each individual. Right now, most people don’t even know that they need it. Most people who know they need it don’t want to admit it (they are the ones closest to leaping over the gap if they could transcend denial).

The estimable Norman Hecht sent me a very insightful New Yorker article which makes the point that Trump may be on his way out but that does not remove the appetites of the core that supported him. And what are those appetites? Fear-driven racism and extreme irrational behavior. And what class of behaviors do those fall in the range of?

Right. Those are neuroses. The class of mental/emotional/physical diseases medical science has been tracking since the 1700s.

Eastern psychology noticed those behaviors going back far earlier than writing, based on memes embedded in time-binding songs that can be tracked back to about 10,000 BC thanks to Herotodus, Plato, et al. We have known about these syndromes for a very long time and have never addressed the removal of the problem.

We talk about schemes to save the environment but not to save ourselves from mental emotional self-destructive behavior. Because that is the reason why neurosis is important to remove, because neurosis works against what the individual is motivated to achieve, which is why it is irrational.

If we continue to ignore the primary cause of all of our lethal threat vectors, and try to use outmoded and failed methods to reach reconciliation with China and the others with whom we are now engaging in reptilian combat rehearsal, we are in for a very bad future, as Fareed Zakaria points out in a recent article.

The international conversation as well as the domestic conversation both have to change if we are to show ourselves truly on the road to recovery from mass neurosis. This fictional conversation between the world leaders is closer to the direction we must go than is our present course.

Step one is to come to a clear understanding that there are other, better, ways to use our minds than the general method in use today. Neuroscience calls it the DEFAULT NETWORK. It is a random walk and results in random noise across the corpus callosum. From there we must go to the Observer state, the state of expert meta-cognition. Ram Dass and Daniel Goleman were generous in their comments on my methodology.

My approach is not the only way to free the mind. Psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, psychedelics under supervision with proper setting and mindset, innumerable approaches exist to move out of the default network, what my manual Mind Magic calls EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure). And into a state of relative free will and autonomy, with full insight into your own conditioning which therefore neutralizes the effect of the conditioning.

Yep, you got it right, this is a rather unusual proposition: upgrade the mental/emotional competency of the entire world population. I totally agree, it’s over the top for me to suggest that such a thing is worth putting time into, when the amount of neurosis and its ingrained nature by this point appears insurmountable no matter how many of us want to change the world.

I just don’t like the alternative.

I say let’s give it a go, shall we?

Love to all,



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USA: Nine of the Most Probable Scenarios

Created November 7, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

On the eve of the most important election in at least the last 100 years, three writers have compellingly described a scenario in which the US at the time of the 2024 election goes into a period of guerilla civil war driven by the burning desire by some to forever live in a state of White supremacy. The writers cite history including very recent events around the world linked by a fear of losing White majority. They centrally point out that the playbook was put into the form of a novel called The Turner Diaries written by a neo-Nazi in 1978.

Barbara F. Walter writes:

Pages of The Turner Diaries were found in Timothy McVeigh’s truck after he attacked a federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995. Patrick Crusius, the alleged El Paso Walmart gunman, and John Timothy Earnest, the accused shooter at a synagogue in Poway, California, echoed the book’s ideas in their manifestos. A member of the Proud Boys can be seen on video during the insurrection on 6 January 2021 telling a journalist to read The Turner Diaries.
The US is not yet in a civil war. But a 2012 declassified report by the CIA on insurgencies outlines the signs. According to the report, a country is experiencing an open insurgency when sustained violence by increasingly active extremists has become the norm.
In this early stage of civil war, extremists are trying to force the population to choose sides, in part by demonstrating to citizens that the government cannot keep them safe or provide basic necessities. The goal is to incite a broader civil war by denigrating the state and growing support for violent measures. Voter suppression bills have been introduced in almost every state since 6 January. Election deniers are running for office in 48 of the 50 states and now represent a majority of all Republicans running for Congressional and state offices in the US midterm elections this week.
Civil wars almost never happen in full, healthy, strong democracies. They also seldom happen in full autocracies. Violence almost always breaks out in countries in the middle – those with weak and unstable pseudo-democracies. We are already seeing elements of this in Europe, where rightwing anti-immigrant parties such as the Sweden Democrats, the Brothers of ItalyAlternative für Deutschland in Germany, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the National Rally in France and the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs in Austria have all seen their support increase in recent years.
Regulate social media, and in particular the algorithms that disproportionately push the more incendiary, extreme, threatening and fear-inducing information into people’s feeds. Take away the social media bullhorn and you turn down the volume on bullies, conspiracy theorists, bots, trolls, disinformation machines, hate-mongers and enemies of democracy. The result would be a drop in everyone’s collective anger, distrust and feelings of threat, giving us all time to rebuild.

Stephan Marche writes:

Any failure to recognise electoral outcomes, even in a few states, could result in a contested election in which nobody reaches the threshold of 270 electoral college votes. In that case, the constitution stipulates a “contingent election” – acclimatise yourself to this phrase now – in which each state gets a single vote. That’s right: if no candidate in an American presidential election reaches the threshold of 270 electoral college votes, the state legislatures, overwhelmingly dominated by Republicans, pick the president, with each state having one vote.

Christopher Sebastian Parker writes:

Election-related violence generally takes place when the following four factors are present: a highly competitive election that can shift power; partisan division based on identity; winner-takes-all two-party election systems in which political identities are polarised; and an unwillingness to punish violence on the part of the dominant group. All four are present in America now, and will be more amplified in 2024.

These disturbing notions caused my mind to imagine the various ways this situation might be headed off at the pass. Of course, I agree with Barbara F. Walter that social media must be regulated to permit free speech that is respectful and does not concoct baseless fantasies to stir fear and loathing. This is not too much to ask.

But I do not have the feeling that social media regulation to permit “free fair speech” removing lies and hatemongering is sufficient to move us out of the reap of the whirlwind that these writers portray in their respective articles. More action is needed to curtail the tragic downfall of the USA which to some intelligent observers is near at hand.

What action would that be? My immediate urgent recommendation is that you vote, and do so with these possible scenarios in mind.

What I am also doing here is laying out a few ways this could go.

Scenario A and B: It goes down exactly as these writers describe. The US is taken over by one party, which although a minority, retains power and uses it, leading to an ongoing civil war (Scenario A), or to a pogrom to ethnically cleanse America (Scenario B).

Scenario C: Before the 2024 election, a national referendum is held, leading to a three-tier federated USA. Instead of just States and Federal government, the USA modifies its Constitution to allow a middle federation level consisting of Blue States and Red States. The Supreme Court might be in this level, so that the Blue States have one Supreme Court and the Red States have another. The Federal level would have as its main areas of control the State and Defense Departments, plus the Intelligence agencies. In order to keep all of us safe from outsiders, centralized power would be necessary. The main point of this scenario would be to neuter the need for violence against ourselves.

The Red States might choose, the way South Africa did in the 20th Century, to continue to be a White Supremacist place for as long as possible. In this scenario, three things are predictable: non-White people would move out of Red States and some Whites into them – and some businesses would also move. Global companies would tend to move into Blue states – because operating globally they have to sell to everybody and most of those bodies are not White. Thirdly, the younger generations who are more inclusive in their thinking would lobby within the Red states to eliminate the supremacist tenor, and in time, they would become the leaders, and the bicolor State system would someday be repealed.

In Scenario D, following the midterms and the continuing trend away from peaceful democracy and into violent takeover, most of the people in the country decide to go the other way in 2024, keeping extremists out of power, and the FBI and all other relevant governmental agencies eliminate the domestic terrorists by force.

In Scenario E, Scenario D happens sooner, in the midterms.

In Scenario F, the current situation continues with no clear winners for a long time, but does not totally descend into the depths of hell, just ongoing sporadic violence and we all get used to it and blasé about it, like we adapted to the pandemic, and like we adapted to WWII.

Scenario G is the end of freedom for awhile practically everywhere on Earth, as a small but powerful White minority, skewed toward people with much money and/or addiction to violence, seize a degree of control unprecedented in US history (but highly precedented in all other history) and make life uncomfortable for tens or hundreds of millions of people. In this scenario the situation ends in violent overthrow of the government by a second American Revolution which re-establishes a full American democracy.

Scenario H is just like Scenario G except Americans are not able to do it on their own. Instead, the rest of the non-White world eventually takes over America and any other remaining bastions of White power. In one variation of Scenario H, the entire White race is eliminated. Today there is no faction seeking to eliminate the White race. I can see no significant probability of such a thing ever happening, except if Scenario H White Supremacy Hegemony takes over the world.

There can be other scenarios, these are just a few to choose from when you vote tomorrow.

May God protect us.

Norm Hecht comments helpfully, adding a ninth Scenario I:

“Thank you.

I hope and believe that the major Republican donors will drive the party to more sanity. The Democrats have seemingly no young bench strength, but losses next Tuesday may force sensible change to the middle and youth. We can only pray for the 2024 Presidential election will have younger moderates on both sides. Should the Democrats move to the center the increasingly large number of unaffiliated independents are likely to join the Democrats. Then the Republicans will be forced to move to the center to avoid being a permanent minority party.

Just a few thoughts.”

We’re all in this together. It can come out good for all of us, it just takes creativity and sufficient respect to enable communication.

And your vote as the starting point.

Love to all,


Note: I rearranged certain quoted sentences for flow in this context, and inserted the link on the word “feeds” because I thought the research project I linked to is very relevant to what Barbara F. Walter was saying.


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Take Joy Whenever You Can

Created October 28, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Life today: it would be funny if we were watching it on Saturday Night Live.

We used to say life imitates art. Now we can say life parodies itself. These events today are a satire on who we really are, what we’re really worth.

Mass hysteria creeps up on you like boiling a frog. Who knew we are experiencing mass hysteria right now? It helps to acknowledge it rather than keep mum and look away. The NPR-IBM Watson poll finds that 84% of Americans are angrier today than a generation ago, and 42% are angrier this year than before. The Washington Post just put out an article entitled “On TikTok, Nothing Goes Viral Like Rage”. We the media are feeding the rage when it would be more sensible to calm audiences where feasible. All this scary and angering content coming through the media without solutions being offered is pretty irresponsible.

Irony is that we put fear into people and that leads to suicides, crime, and increased drug and alcohol use. Then the latter things make us, realistically, even more fearful. It’s a self-accelerating equation.

“Fear is the mind-killer.”

–Frank Herbert, Dune

Those of us who can control ourselves need to resolve to not put any more fear into the system. There’s already enough. Adding more is not heading toward solution.

We are acting as if there can never be any negative consequences from pandering to rage and anger. As if it can’t induce revolutions, civil war, pockets of militia takeovers, splits in the police and military, all kinds of negative consequences that will not benefit us.

Thinking merely of money, for those of us in the media business, why do you think advertisers are cutting back on ad spend? Did the rage condition reach a certain level causing forecasters to report upside and downside scenarios with no notion of which will happen? Could rage amplification have had anything to do with that?

What’s a person to do? Rage is fear taking arms. Neither fear nor rage solve whatever problem drove you crazy in the first place. Fear and rage are dangerous signs that the victim is inducing self-harm using time that would be needed to solve whatever the catalyst problem was.

This is similar to not taking a problem seriously enough to actually be forced to think about how the problem could be solved and then to create and execute a plan.

We shall not soon be rid of these troubled times. They will not disappear magically with so many people and so much money polarizing emotionally. Even if the media were to lend a calming hand, some degree of trouble will still lie ahead. We need to prepare ourselves. We need to sober up from the indulgent hysteria.

The same causes as WWII, the same ideologies fighting, inclusive collaboration (Democracy) versus hierarchical meritocracy (today’s rationalization of Authoritarianism). The hierarchical part is the most obvious part of Authoritarianism, the merit part is mostly a matter of who currently has the power, the force, the money. A misleading dichotomy as all dichotomies are. The real answer we will someday realize is to balance them both together, and to do it with respect for all, not just at the end of the game, but with respect to all, at every step along the way there.

If we can sane enough of us in time, we can maybe get away with a cold war with pockets of violence and minimum fallout of all kinds, and a slow process of getting everyone to get with a gung ho program for planet Earth and a let-up of egocentric selfishness. It’s time to take seriously what the body alarms have been trying to wake us up to. The same battle of Good and Evil all over again, except both sides esteem the Good and only subconscious forces keep us apart. If God forced us at gunpoint to have a Huis Clos conversation about it (i.e., locking us up with no other option), we would probably in a matter of time see that rational discourse once it comes on the scene enables win/win scenarios to be concocted. But God is trusting us to make it work, and to make HerHim proud.

So, this is a message for those of us who would be on the side of the adults in the room to take ourselves in hand. To make contingency plans with eyes wide open and courage in our hearts. Before we can approach that we need to purge ourselves of fear and anger. In order to do that we must allocate alone time to contemplate ourselves and meditate, and learn which voices in our heads and impulses truly represent who we are, and which ones are beneath us, dead snake skin to be shorn off. Then we will be ready to lead others during the times of stress. To keep others calm and reasoning toward solutions, rather than helplessly wallowing in problem statement tantrums.

In your self-contemplation you need to first determine all of the things you are afraid of, imagine the scenes that you most do not want to see happen in your real life. Be there, feel it as deeply as you can, as if it were happening to you right now. For each downside scenario, see yourself deal with it. See how you are equal to it. You know what is right and will stand up to the moment should it ever come. Then you can feel that you are prepared and can decide actions you can take to protect your life from that scene ever happening, and then you can take those actions. Those are the sane things to do to solve the problem, do only the sane things from now on.

When you’ve done enough work on your fears to feel the courage in you and be confident of it, also visualize the scenes you would most like to live through. Appreciate those outcomes but don’t be attached to them. Because it is sane to not become attached to outcomes. Being attached to outcomes reduces the probability of experiencing those outcomes. I can’t cite proof for that but my own life has taught it to me and I hope to be able to pass it on to save others pain.

In other words, be stoic. Resigned fatalistically to whatever will come, able to deal with it sanely and constructively, wasting as little time as possible. Why be that way? Because it is pragmatic, it works in the real world, it leads to success, sanity, happiness and joy. It reduces illness and increases immunity. It lets the love out and in.

Crossing a bridge too far for some, sane stoic behavior is in tune with God’s Plan, it helps move the plan forward, whistling while we work.

The processing of fear and anger into solutions and action. The Bible speaks of any given tyrant, “but he hardened his heart” and held on to the rage bringing with it its underlying fear and attachment, and this led to his downfall. The hardening of hearts is out of control nowadays. We are privileged to live in such “interesting” times. We’re living through and collectively inputting into a historic moment – we can act shamefully or the hero/ine in us can emerge. That’s the Big Choice – the meaning of our times. The next octave of WWII, in our laps to handle.

The fear and rage are the ocean we swim in right now. It helps to tune in to your senses and be wherever you are with your environment without admitting the existence of any world beyond your senses and the immediate environment you can see. If you don’t see anything scary or that makes you angry in that scene, credit that. Cut off the thoughts and images and bad feelings associated with stuff that is not there with you right now. Only let in what is there right now. Works even better in nature. This is like an emergency switch for when you start worrying about politics and family safety. If it isn’t Here Now, stop focusing on it except when you have to prepare yourself for something specific.

Take joy at every moment when conditions permit. Choose joy. Fill your minutes and days with Joy as much as you can. Hold darkness at bay. You will be a joy lantern to others, who will like catching it.

Love to all,



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Why Does the World Seem to Be Moving Away from Democracy?

Created October 21, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

In my regular MediaVillage column the other day I advised the political parties to use imagery rather than just words in their midterm political ads. This was based on a finding that only 38% of Democrats and only about 20% of Republicans and Independents consider democracy to make it into the top two vote-deciding issues of the day. The greater concern is with money, meaning the declining portfolio values of investors and the cost of living going up. Voters clearly want those pain points to be made to go away by some form of governmental action. In the face of those felt pains on a daily basis, the idea of protecting democracy seems abstract and maybe even farfetched. My MediaVillage column implied showing, in ads, how life would be like if America became like Russia and China, people ratting each other out, getting conscripted and sent to war, not able to say what is really in their hearts and minds, and so on. This would be the way to get past abstractions and make the importance of democracy felt.

I was thinking of the great spot of the little girl smelling the flowers and then an A-bomb goes off behind her, which spot ended the presidential aspirations of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Images not words. I was picturing midterm political ads in the next couple of weeks with Americans having a loving dinner until political police kick in the door, 16-year-old girls in peaceful protests beaten to death, and so many other kinds of scenes like that which go on every day in most of the world, who live in authoritarian states rather than in democracies, ads showing those same sorts of things happening right here in America. That would be sure to cause a rise in the perceived importance of protecting our democracy in polls.

Americans are so sure of themselves however. We feel that it can “never happen here.” Which makes “protect our democracy” seem like mere political manipulation language, and we have all hardened ourselves against being manipulated.

I’m no longer so sure about the “It can’t ever happen here” thesis.

One of my former partners, a Chinese patriot in a long family line of Chinese patriots, told me sadly one day that he couldn’t stand to live in China because people were forced to rat each other out, so that you could never trust your neighbors to know anything beyond the superficial about you and your family’s doings. This was in 1983 when I visited China with him and found its ambiance very friendly, except for the airports and the soldiers inhibiting taking of some photographs. He said I didn’t know the half of it. Before he passed away he told me it’s much worse now.

Could it happen here, people ratting each other out to the government? Well, yes, in some States that are now attempting to pass or actually passing legislation paying bounties for reporting women seeking or having abortions, that’s a big step toward one of the many distressing things about living in an autocracy. One such law could move us a long way away from the kind of free-thinking freedom we’ve been used to for hundreds of years. And into the growing camp of countries who choose strong men to rule by force so as to allow individuals who play the game right to grow wealthy and powerful themselves, and the hell with everyone else.

Why is this happening now? Why didn’t it happen before? Newton’s Third Law: there is always an equal and opposite reaction. For more than a half century, civil rights, feminism, coming out of the closet, Hispanic immigration all made great strides in America, making it even better than it had always been. Then a line was crossed when Obama was elected. The shining moment. Not seen that way by everyone. Some white folks really disquieted. Pendulum starts to swing, metaphorically obeying Newton, we get Trump, Trump cozy with autocrats, acts like one, millions of Americans emulate him and let it all hang out.

Neil Postman said that television would eventually take us to a place where we all acted like we were on TV all the time. So did Aldous Huxley in his own way. We are here, living proof they were both right. Living as if in a dream world that pays very little attention to truth, facts, reality, where the average person plays back whatever they hear persuasively put, by people they are biased to believe in, in the expanded media, whether it’s backed by facts or not. Those of us lucky enough to go to college learned to think for ourselves but apparently many of us quickly forgot about that stuff under the endless media barrage. And Acceleritis. Let’s never forget that the human mind has limits and we are being pushed beyond those limits and have been for many decades by the media onslaught embedding our subconscious program of giving up trying to think for ourselves because it is all just too complex and everchanging. A great breeding ground for autocracy. Grand scale knuckling under to bullies.

That’s why it’s happening now, and why it’s already happening here. “It can never happen here” is obsolete. We are already about 40% of the way into autocracy. Fortunately, Millennials and Gen Z are thinking for themselves more than most of us. But we saw how 60s idealists were largely in finance by the 80s, so we can’t count on the purity of youth to save us. It’s an internal fight each of us has to win against our own tendencies toward autocracy, having bad feelings about some other people, unable to transcend that level of thinking and emerge into the daylight of solutions thinking, uniting rather than arguing. The essence of American democracy from the beginning. Rational discourse and civility, the genuine effort to find the win/win solution or get as close to it as possible. A uniquely American idea which echoes the importance placed upon balance by the eminent Greek philosophers.

When the question is asked in a poll after the kind of acerbic and heated media conversation that has been going on about democracy, the average person probably looks at this as a Democratic Party issue not as a really universal one. And answers accordingly, with the subconscious belief that “it can’t happen here”, that democracy is not the big issue of the day. Despite the first violent insurrection breaching the capitol in history. Insurrections are not democratic events, they are the signature of the start of most autocracies. Anyone who would use violence in those ways based on such skimpy evidence and self-delusional thinking would not hesitate to create laws to keep people from having abortions, from voting, for incentivizing tattling on others and taking vigilante actions, for gaming elections with districting, from stalling progress via filibustering, for arresting people on suspicion without habeas corpus, for allowing the state to cause individuals to disappear when considered desirable for the common good, for allowing people to be publicly humiliated in social media within purposely-impotent restrictions, for allowing legislators to goof off on the job for political gain ignoring the needs of the people, for allowing people to tell lies in the media with zero accountability… and all of the other tricks of the trade of the ever-dominant political form on the planet.

Here we are living it large and spoiled into thinking nothing can change that, all we need to do is pay less for gas and stabilize the stock market and go back to sleep. Too bad it isn’t that way, but it isn’t. Thousands of smart and calculating people have decided, long ago, to impose their will and take over control of the USA despite being a minority, and they have almost completed the operation. Millions of us have taken their word for things. Stuff happens in the world that Biden & co had no control over, yet the voters are told that that crew caused it all, and millions of people accept that without a second thought. They caused inflation, they caused the economy to go down, kick them out and put us in. Anyone running on that sort of ticket will not get my vote. I want to see solution plans, not irrelevant blame allocation. The best people in both parties can do a better job of forming their ideas and communicating them effectively, because right now the tailwind is going to people who are themselves internal autocrats, probably brought up by harsh parents, and who have the money, power, and will to win. That minority must not be allowed to take over the brightest hope of humanity. Elect Democrats or Republicans not based on their party but based on who they are and what solutions they are proposing. Are they putting down their competitors? Do they exude anger? Are they citing verifiable facts you can look up on Urban Legend and see are true, or are they telling what’s true to them?

The stakes are not just gas and stock prices. The stakes are slavery for ourselves and God knows how many generations of our progeny, if we stay asleep at the switch and let the strongest democracy ever to exist on Earth, backslide all the way centuries back into autocracy by simply voting the party and going back to whatever we were doing.

Please: Think. Feel. Vote.

Love to all,



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