I recently watched a video on the perception people have about wealth distribution in this country. Essentially they believe the richest 20 percent has more than their share of the wealth which they find acceptable.
In reality, according to the video, the richest 1 percent actually have the majority of the wealth. Ninety percent of Americans are not aware of that.
I don’t consider myself much of a class warrior. I accept the fact that America is a Capitalist system that is very much tilted towards the rich. And as CEO salaries rise exponentially and the dwindling middle class continues to lose wages, I’ve given up trying to explain to people that the system is rigged against them.
My focus is mainly on what the video deems is reality and the perception that people have. I’ve always said that reality doesn’t really exist. This is because no matter how much you relate to someone else, everything that we feel, touch, taste, smell or hear in this world is processed by our brain, ergo perception. Regardless of how much research scientists do on brain function we are not wired together. Even if we have evolved such that our survival depends on us banding together, when it comes to interpreting our senses, we are utterly alone. We all have our own reality.
There’s collective reality, whereby people share their perceptions and agree that said perceptions match up. But in the end that is all they are, shared perceptions. So collective reality is really collective perceptions. So much of our life rides on that. Juries have to agree to the facts of a case. Doctors have to agree on the results of medical research. Survival, justice, life and all action is based on comparing each other’s perceptions and moving forward.
It’s scary to think that we cannot truly know what’s really going on around us. We never know what to believe. We have to rely on our own perceptions, because it is all we have. Descartes would say that we know we exist because we know that we think. My assumption is that we can’t know anything beyond that because that thinking and personal beliefs is confined to the individual. We don’t share the same neurons.
The only thing we know with certainty is our perceptions.
Politicians, business folk and the media rely on it. Their professions are based on preying upon people’s ideology and developed perceptions. People should be aware of that but they are not. Too many of us, I believe, are on autopilot and that seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling is what’s actually going on. The senses can deceive and we need to learn to think deeper about how we perceive our environments in order to fully understand them rather than accept them at face value.
At least that’s what I think.