The only way to avoid culpability for your rulers' or leaders' criminal acts is to actively engage in progressive awareness, which involves:

  • Increasing understanding: peeling away our personal illusions, at whatever level we happen to be

  • Critical thinking: forming one's personal beliefs by basing them on evidence

  • Self-awareness: developing an autonomous self that is able to think and act on its own initiative

  • Critical consciousness: going beyond merely personal development to a genuine concern for human welfare in general; learning to perceive social, political, and economic injustice and learning to take action against the oppressive elements of reality

  • Enlightened discernment: casting light on social challenges and philosophical themes and developing social infrastructures which allow for greater freedom and creativity

  • Progressive activities: working in whatever ways possible to expose tyranny and develop concepts and structures allowing people to join in forming a commonwealth community in which the good of all is the goal

      Progressive awareness can only be developed if we apply its principles and practice to develop the mental and behavioral skills associated with it. So progressive awareness is not just theorizing or thinking--it also involves acting on and assimilating its principles. Progressive awareness, that is, must lead to progressive living: the application of individual understanding and wisdom to the development of a larger unity--a primary aim of human evolution.

"The American media condemns itself. Dominated by a handful of vast conglomerates, the leading newspapers and television networks have become largely a repository of lies, stupidity and reaction.

"To spend any time these days in the company of Fox News, CNN or MSNBC is to participate in something filthy and brutal. One looks at those ranting, ignorant faces with a certain degree of astonishment. These individuals can only be the product of a protracted process of social and intellectual decay, bound up with the narrowing prospects of American capitalism. No social system with a future would call on such human garbage, with their appeals to the basest, most depraved sentiments and conceptions: anticommunism, chauvinism, militarism and social misanthropy in general."

David Walsh, "We believe in the power of historically progressive ideas," 24 April 2003, wsws.org

      It may be that during your lifetime you will not be formally judged as to your culpability or lack of culpability for the acts of your leaders. But in relation to Natural Law, you will be guilty or not, depending on what you do.

      If you refuse to inform yourself as to what your leaders are doing, if you unthinkingly accept the propaganda and lies of the capitalist cabal, then you will be guilty of the crimes of your rulers.

      You cannot legitimately excuse yourself with catch-phrases such as:

  • "My country right or wrong"

  • "I'm only following orders"

  • "I don't make the laws, I merely carry them out"

  • "I'm only agreeing with the ideas of our leaders"

  • "If I'm critical of my country's leaders, I'm a traitor"


"In Totalitaria, the citizen no longer knows the real core of his mind. He no longer feels himself an 'I', an ego, a person. He is only the object of official barrage and mental coercion. Having no personality of his own, he has no individual conscience, no personal morality, no capacity to think clearly and honestly. He learns by rote, he learns thousands of indoctrinated facts and inhales dogma and slogans with every breath he draws. He becomes an obedient pedant, and pedantry makes people into something resembling pots filled with information instead of individuals with free, growing personalities.

"Becoming wiser and freer implies selective forgetting and changes of mind. This we accept, this we leave behind. Alert adjustment requires a change of patterns, the capacity to be de-conditioned, to undo and unlearn in order to become ripe for new patterns. The citizen of Totalitaria has no chance for such learning through unlearning, for growth through individual experience. Official oversimplifications induce the captive audience into acceptance and indoctrination. Mass ecstasy and mass fanaticism are substituted for quiet individual thought and consideration."

Joost Meerlo, The Rape of the Mind