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  • Frederic Lowen

Love Thy Neighbor, Know Your Enemy

Updated: Feb 16

Valentine’s Day is not just for celebrating romantic love. Especially in 2022 we all need a lot more love all around. The insanity we witness is driven by fear that only love can alleviate. Right-left, male-female, black-white, Republican-Democrat, rich-poor, whatever sides we inhabit, we all want the same thing: Security and opportunity to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life with freedom without fear.


In 2022, for too many people, fear trumps love. Perhaps ‘all we need is love,’ but we live instead with fears of ‘the other’ that blind us into paralysis and hostility. We all have insecurities and fears that we are not conscious of. This causes us to fear things we need not fear, like the other and the other side. The ‘Scapegoat du Jour’ is not our existential threat, it is often no threat at all. Rather, our fears of victimization by a scapegoat are fabrications. Politically cultivated to control and manipulate our thinking and behavior, fake news and false fears focus our anger and rage on ourselves!.....shielding the true victimizer.


While we fear what we need not fear, we don’t fear what is truly dangerous. The exploitation of our world: our environment and population, for the illusion of ‘economic stability’ is the truly dangerous existential threat we ignore at our peril. Feeling powerless and helpless in the face of division, conflict, and senseless violence caused by self-serving manipulations of the powerful, we flee, fight, or freeze….well-known responses to fear.


Fleeing from ‘politics’: being overwhelmed, not paying attention and not protesting the self-serving manipulations, incompetency, and intense polarization is part of the playbook and design. If one prefers to fight, fighting amongst the population (amongst ourselves) is also encouraged, directed towards scapegoats and fake demons.

We, the citizens are not however the enemy or the problem. Our conflicts are driven by unreal fears that are only false ideas and ideologies. Like individual psychotherapy clients, the population scares itself with its own ideas and thoughts! Of course it is not by chance! It is cultivated and interjected by our mutual and true enemy: government and corporate leaders in symbiotic relationship for mutual self-enrichment and power enhancement.


What most citizens share is a distrust and cynicism for governments that is well-deserved. Especially in America distrust in government is at historic lows, and it should be what unites the population. Since corporate leaders are the true constituents of the politicians, together they control, manipulate, and socially engineer our socio-economic environment. With new digital tools, they clearly utilize dis-information to control thinking and behavior quite effectively.


It is said that people get the best government they deserve, and the worst they will tolerate. If so, we apparently deserve very little as we tolerate a cesspool of governance;


On this Valentine’s Day, perhaps reflect on how little love we have for ourselves. Many berate themselves much worse than they would ever berate another. In the same way, our conflicts with our neighbors is as unhelpful as self-hatred and anger with ourselves. We all want many of the same things: an opportunity to pursue happiness, some security, freedom, dignity and respect.

As I reflect, other than the thoughts and ideas in their heads, I see little real conflict between citizens.


Unfortunately, these thoughts and ideas are enough to render the population complacent, conflicted, confused, and paralyzed. This is not happenstance, or the result of an ‘honest mistake.’ For God’s sake, follow the money! It is not rocket science!! Please, use your outrage and intelligence to push for accountability. How is it the only social change we are able to make is much more of the same? How is it these people are still in power (at taxpayer expense) and not in jail?


Let’s reflect on love this Valentine’s Day, but let’s not pretend too much.


*Photo by Liz Sanchez-Vegas on Unsplash

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