What civilization is, is 7 billion people trying to make themselves happy by standing on each other’s shoulders and kicking each other’s teeth in. It’s not a pleasant situation. And yet, you can stand back and look at this planet and see that we have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love, and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us: the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons. Culture is not your friend. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. The culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines; meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue and Hollywood.
– Terence McKenna