Civility, Success, Domination, Money

Susan Boskey, April 2011

Quote of the Month: "Man is more disposed to domination than freedom; and a structure of dominion not only gladdens the eye of the master who rears and protects it, but even its servants are uplifted by the thought that they are members of a whole, which rises high above the life and strength of single generations."

Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt, German Philosopher 1767-1835 

I'd like to believe that in the dog-eat-dog world of getting ahead, civility might be viewed as more than a sign of weakness.


1.  courtesy; politeness.

2.  a polite action or expression: an exchange of civilities.

3.  Archaic. civilization; culture; good breeding.

Benjamin Franklin once said: "Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none." His quote reminds us to be enemy to none. At the end of the day, civility is about being polite and courteous, particularly in public. Given life's range of relationships – from spousal to family to close friends to social friends to work colleagues and the public at large, hopefully civility would be woven-in somewhere among them.

Yet in 2011, contrary to "civility to all", the words F-U better epitomize America's everyday discourse. Civility is practically old-fashioned. Verbal and emotional abuse in relationships of every kind has reached new levels of acceptance thanks to Reality TV, popular music and other media. Even the Disney channel gets in the act as "tweener" shows cast competitive and envious boys and girls who say and do mean things to each other. At least individuals and groups have begun to be singled out for their obvious bad behavior.

Why do we see more bullying? It›s does not take a rocket scientist to know the answer. Success is linked to the ability of a company, industry or individual to have power over others. The media often identifies a company's, an industry's or an individual's success based on their domination of a market, contest etc. Yet the negative impact of domination as a lauded hallmark of success remains unexamined.


1.  to rule over; govern; control. 

2.  to tower above; overlook; overshadow

3.  to predominate, permeate, or characterize

Digging deeper; the global and debt-based financial system, designed centuries ago, set and determined the framework to make domination a critical aspect of the business model. Over time, Central banking, (the father of all Ponzi schemes) functions like the childhood game of Musical Chairs: When the music stops everyone scrambles to get a chair but there is always one less chair than the number of people who need them.

Similarly, debt-based money accumulates up the pyramid to those in the top 1% who typically move it out of circulation and into capital investments. While, in addition, as debt-based money loses value over time, the rest of us scramble to "get ours" leaving more and more out in the cold.

What›s more, domination masquerades as leadership.

Values of personal integrity, reciprocity, adding value, mutual respect and civility matter only if and when they lead to "winning". Otherwise, the end (winning) justifies the means – whatever it takes. We call this «success».

Context generates content. An increase in bullying and public and private rudeness simply reflects the latter-stage rollout of a rigged central-banking system that rewards the "haves" and extracts from the "have nots". Due to fractional-reserve banking that can only survive as a system if debt increases; those with the greatest ability to generate compounding-interest income and leverage the most debt can also monopolize the financial, political and business worlds.

Financial rewards fall to the big "winners" who upon closer scrutiny gain "success" for providing the grossest, most addictive, violent and, least conscionable products and services. The war industry of weapons manufacturers and contractors as well as much of the banking, porno, music, gaming (gambling), TV, video and film industries will do whatever it takes to get and stay on top.

No big news. Yet seldom will anyone speak above hushed tones regarding such cause and effect. Sanctioned in the manufacture and exploitation of fear, many "on top" industries reinforce the belief that "winners" are those with power over others. But because they also employ lots of people; silence prevails.

Skirting this taboo issue, the focus gets put on symptoms not causes and the paradigm of success via domination churns out generations of people who seem to aspire to power over others.

Are these industries guilty of predictive programming?

If there is any truth to the saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", might the increase in bullying be fallout of the industry-wide reinforcement of domination i.e. success? Workplace-abuse-of-power, domestic violence, playground bullies, senseless murders and wars provide ever-growing in-your-face evidence.

Legislate civility? Good luck with that.

As I have said before, there is no money in the truth. Attempts to legislate civility are and will be but band-aid, empty measures in a post-modern world impacted by a nearly worthless currency. Today's economic "Musical Chairs" sadly exposes the ruthless nature of humans when faced with the possibility of lack.

In my opinion, civility can never be legislated; even if in a more equitable financial system. Ultimately civility is a purely personal choice beginning and ending as conscience; a willingness to look in the mirror. At different times in my life, I've certainly had to admit my own deep-down desire to dominate, control and have power over others. By starting with ourselves, pointing the useless finger of blame can be replaced by empathy via a deeper understanding of the human condition.

Susan Boskey

Author and Alternative Financial Consultant
[email protected]