Making Masculinity Great Again, Part 1

             Hanging over President Trump’s rise to the oval office on a wave of populism in November 2016, was ethe shadow of a “corporatocracy” under which, as foreseen by 20th Century social thinkers like Peter Drucker and John Kenneth Galbraith, large corporations exercise substantial control over our federal government and the pulse of beliefs and values in our society.          

            This powerful corporatocracy imperils the very foundations of our democracy. Big business directs our federal government’s domestic and foreign policies; controls the national television and electronic media; enjoys unprecedented income tax benefits not made available to the individual taxpayer; and annually receives trillions of dollars in outlays from the federal government. In the last several years, government regulation of corporations has curtailed substantially and now, with President Trump leading the way, these corporations will have an even greater license to rape and pillage the environment for their financial gain.  Under the shadow of these forces, individual civil rights are being are being slowly eroded, xenophobia and racial prejudice are on the rise, and our country is divided as never before. Commentators and political observers in Western Europe and Asia are speaking of the United States as a “failed society”.

            As government agencies such as the FDA and the FTC, with substantial, financial ties to big business, continue to permit misinformation and disinformation to be broadcast to the consumer, corrupt corporate executives continue to falsify corporate books and records and steal from corporate retirement funds, financially devastating the very the corporations they direct.           

            Notwithstanding the fact that large corporations are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in consulting services to create so–called “inclusive management strategies”; to establish innovative motivation techniques; to develop better working conditions for their employees; and to modernize corporate culture, almost 70% of the workforce in the United States today experiences varying degrees of dissatisfaction with their employment, and one–third of those don’t even want to go to work in the morning.

            Trust in corporate America is in shambles. More than seven in 10 Americans say they distrust CEOs of large corporations. Nearly eight in 10 believe that top executives of large companies will take “improper actions” to help themselves at the expense of their companies. A USA Today poll reported that Americans trust CEOs even less than they trust lawyers!         

            Even among corporate managers and executives, trust is lacking. A recent survey of 450 executives of 30 companies from around the world concluded that roughly half of all managers don’t trust their leaders. Results from a recent Harris survey in the United States are similarly bleak, reporting that 69% of the respondents agreed with the statement, “I just don’t know who to trust anymore.”

            The big corporation, without soul or moral conscience, has created the societal context for multiple, socially debilitating forces to constellate as a collective regression of consciousness in our society. While Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, and Oprah Winfrey, continue to assure us that we are collectively moving towards a transcendent consciousness that will transform our world into one of care and compassion, it is corporate America, through television and multiple other forms of advertising media, that maintains unyielding control of the minds of the American populous and dictates to it how to think about drugs, medicine, insurance, sexuality, news, political persuasion, violence, fear, birth, death, and war. America today is afloat in a dreamlike culture of consumerism, violence, fear, competition, and religious fundamentalism.  

            What is most significant about these conditions and cultural forces is that they are the direct, incontrovertible consequences of hundreds of years of leadership of males thinking and acting in the way of the patriarch. Deeply embedded in the patrilineal tradition are the energies of competitiveness, power, domination, control–over, righteousness, distrust, greed, shame, anger, lust, fear of men, and last but by no means least, fear of its psychic counterpart, the matrilineal or the feminine, with its inherent energies of compassion, cooperation, unity, nurturance, trust, generosity, and generativity.

            To truly appreciate the causes of the conditions that are today the dominant regressive forces in our culture—and we must appreciate them at depth to respond to them authentically—we must take responsibility for those conditions and the extreme challenges they pose for us today. If we don’t, those conditions will continue to not only perpetuate, but to compound and eventually destroy our republican form of government. We can’t step forward and take that responsibility unless we understand the nature of patriarchy, which comes down to understanding the manhood and the driving forces that have given rise to the dysfunctional social construct called manhood.