Why the System is Toothless (And what this means for YOU)

McLibel pair successfully screwing the system

You against the world! Scary stuff, huh? Have you ever had a dream of doing something out of the ordinary? Have you ever wanted to change something for the better?

What would be the typical response from the people around you if you voiced these plans? What would they say if you set out on a mission to screw the system?  

  • The world just doesn't work that way.
  • It's only the very talented and lucky few that get to do anything really exciting.
  • One person can't make a difference.

For most, this is enough to make them stop in their tracks. We all have dreams but they usually bounce off what we believe is a very real barrier when it comes to putting them into action - the system. That invisible net of beliefs and opinions, concerning what can and can't be done and what is and isn't acceptable, does more to trap us in our present lives than any real obstacle could ever do. You see the system can threaten us with some pretty scary consequences. Financial ruin, social exclusion and living life with the knowledge that you are a failure, are just some of the fallouts of challenging its authority. So with the odds stacked against you, why bother?

However, before you shelve that plan to quit your job and make your millions, hear me out. I want to let you in on a little secret. Now I can only whisper this because it's so revolutionary that to speak it any louder would cause mass liberation and positive upheaval. Here it is: 

The system is powerless.     

There, I said it! That huge monster we believe shapes our lives and sets the boundaries of our existence is completely toothless. Sure, it may look terrifying but inside its high powered rifles, trained on us ready to fire as soon as we cross the 'freedom threshold', are blanks. Nothing there. Completely impotent. It possesess no real power because it isn't real. In fact, it exists only in our minds, and any influence it appears to possess only exists because we believe in it. If you are determined enough, willing to explore every possibility and won't give up until you achieve your objective, then the system can do nothing to stop you.

Don't believe me? The following example might change your mind.


Back in 1986, a postman and a gardener took on the might of McDonalds and won. Standing outside their local McDonalds', they distributed a pamphlet entitled, What's wrong with McDonalds': Everything they don't want you to know. This 6 page document contained information on how the corporation was complicit in third world starvation, rainforest deforestation, the exploitation of children through advertising and workers through banning unions. Nothing we don't know now, but back then it caused a stir. So much so in fact, that McDonalds' took out a lawsuit against the two and sued them for defamation of reputation.

Little did any of the parties know, but the case would still be running 10 years later. At the time, McDonalds' offered to drop the charges if the pair would issue a public apology. Many close to them advised them to take this option. McDonalds' were too big they said. They have too much money. You can't even afford lawyers. They've won similar cases before. This could ruin you. All of the outcomes that go hand in hand with challenging the system were thrown at them creating a smokescreen of fear designed to keep them in their place. Were the scared? Of course, but there was one thing they couldn't stomach doing - apologising to McDonalds' for speaking the truth.

So the case proceeded and the 'McLibel pair' discovered something that few people ever realise - the system has no real power when faced with a righteous cause. In 1997, the British High Court ruled that half of the claims the pair made against McDonalds' were not libellous and represented the truth. The other half of the claims, (although true), were fought on technicalities and the pair were found guilty of libel. 

A victory for McDonalds'? Not at all. The real damage was done to their repuation. The 10 year trial tarnished their image in a way that a few leaflets distributed outside a McDonalds' franchise could never do. Ironically, Maccy d's never even collected the £40,000 they were awarded in damages.

What this means for YOU

To say that the system is toothless is too simplistic. I feel there is a caveat that I must include. To escape from the invisible net that traps so many in a world of fear and impossibility, your own personal cause must ignite a fire in you that can't be put out. It's only when you reach this level that you'll develop a protective barrier against the system's threats. Push beyond, and you'll discover that this is all it relies on to keep people in their place. There is nothing more. The system cannot exert true power over us because we are the ones that created it.  

This concept maybe hard to grasp upon first reading, so I'm going to leave you with something you can ponder. In a 1995 interview, Steve Jobs made the following statement about life and man's capacity to create. Read (and watch) it and try to understand that you were born with the ability to shape the world in whatever way you desire, 

"The minute you understand that you can poke life and something will pop out the other side, that you can change and mold it, that's probably the most important thing. It's to shake off the erroneous notion that life is there and you're just gonna live in it versus embrace it, change it and make your mark upon it. Once you learn that . . . you'll never be the same again."



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