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In this culture (called "Western" or "American" or whatever) we have a system whereby the elite control both the hardware (governmental control) and the software (informational programming received by the citzenry, i.e. the media and educational agendas) without the need for religious control. You're right in that this formula is seen in religion-dominated cultures, too. The classic examples would be the Islamic states or feudal Christian states. Again, the elite control the hardware and software (although they lack the high-octane commercial agenda that we have).

It's probably true that America becoming the America of today was inevitable. We have rushed it along with some of the choices we've made along the way, but it's likely we would have gotten here eventually.

My notion is almost certainly utopian, but it's just that a society with a more democratic form of control on the hardware and software sides COULD produce a different outcome, at least in the short-term. But all things end, and the highest probability would be eventual elite control.

On American culture's popularity: this appeal is driven simply by the promise of living a more comfortable life, which as you know is simply a function of energy and resource inputs. And also as you know, with a high enough adoption rate, this does lead to one outcome.

Dave, you can't affect the hardware end of our culture, but you CAN affect the software end for at least a handful of us. I know it's a lot to ask, though. Thanks again.

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