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  • Frederic Lowen

The Energetics of Independence Day

In 2016, the security we Americans enjoy seems more illusory with each passing year. The United States of America continues to be the wealthiest country in the world with the most robust economy and military. It is home to the largest corporations and the most billionaires, as well as the most people in prison and random mass shootings and killings. I am proud to be an American…the USA is an experiment in social order that has provided a mix of freedom, opportunity, and security unparalleled in human history. Energetically, the USA was the most vibrant and vital economy of the 20th Century, raising the living standard of more than 100 million citizens in the first 50 years by capitalizing and sharing the technological miracles of electricity, refrigeration, communication, transportation, medicine, computers, and mass-production….many are American innovations.

Energetically, the second fifty years have been less benign, and the first 15 years of the 21st Century are worrisome indeed! Characterized by increasing fear, beginning with fears of communism, nuclear holocaust, falling behind in the arms race, the space race, and the rat race, America increasingly traded away its’ vitality and vibrancy for security, as forewarned by our great President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1960 farewell address. From the 1950s onward, the American economic powerhouse that sprang into effective action to assist victory in the Second World War (from a state of nearly complete un-preparedness), eliminating much of the global threat of fascism, became increasingly concerned with its’ own survival and hegemony.



The Energetics of Independence Day by Frederic Lowen

Fearful of Americans’ own vitality, competition, legislation and regulation, taxation, changing consumer tastes, and even the disruptive technologies that had propelled the USA into the greatest economy and country in history, the rich and powerful increasingly solicited the government of the people, to become the government of the corporations. Eisenhower’s warning to beware the military industrial complex seemed to be a roadmap for the millionaires of the day to become the billionaires of today. We now have firmly entrenched industrial complexes in every aspect of not only business, but life. Americans now suffer with a government that has partnered with and enabled industrial complexes in traditional businesses, defense, energy, transportation, finance, housing, agriculture, etc., but also in education, health, justice, and incarceration. Speaking bluntly, the US government and American-based global corporations are partners in the exploitation of both the population and the environment to ensure their economic dominance. It is not the capitalist free-market economic system of the jargon and rhetoric. It is very plainly a system where profits are privatized while risks and costs are socialized, expensed to the population. It is an economic system where maintaining the Status Quo is the primary objective; the only change tolerated is much more of the same. Resulting in a social order that is incapable of responding to real social challenges, the status quo seeks to force social and economic issues into abstract ideologies that have been shown over and over to be devoid of social good.

Trapped in these mental constructs of how life should be, without regard to how life is, it is the essence of a socioeconomic political structure that has rigidified, with most energy going into the maintenance of a structure that does not make sense and is not sustainable in nature. It is something psychotherapists see every day in individuals, and it is heartbreaking to see our once great vibrant and vital American culture devolve into neurosis and insanity, all due to an irrational Fear of Life. The energetic progression: youth and vitality, maturity and structure, fear and rigidity, illusion and denial of reality, and neurosis and breakdown are energetic processes not acknowledged in political ‘science,’…..but it is what is happening. Please join me on American’s favorite holiday celebrating freedom and independence…..but please consider that we have traded much freedom and independence for false security. We certainly have more security, perhaps too much, but I believe we have less freedom, opportunity and independence, and more stress and depression than in the past. In 2016, this is not only an American phenomena but a global one. Illogical and emotional votes for Donald Trump, or Brexit in the UK, and other political disruptions are evidence of this! Enjoy the festivities and fireworks and a Happy American 4th of July!!


"The person who lives in a modern city apartment, heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, and goes to work in a similar kind of office building is like an animal in a zoo or a fish in an aquarium. His survival is assured and his comforts are provided, but the excitement and pleasure of the open field, the stimulation of the changing seasons, and the freedom of unlimited space are denied him. It is a poor fish that would exchange the freedom and the dangers of the sea and river for the security of the aquarium. In gaining power over nature, man has become subject to the very controls he has imposed upon his environment." -- from Pleasure: A Creative Approach to Life by Alexander Lowen, M.D.

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