Slavery Begins with the Mind. An Essay on Propaganda.
A little history of Gurus.
Those gurus, they’re off the charts when it comes to deadly sins, for they will rob you of your most precious thing, and that’s your self possession. – A serf.
Meet Edward Bernays, considered one of the fathers of public relations, ‘public relations’ being a euphemism for ‘propaganda.’
Born in 1891 to Jewish parents, Edward Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, pioneer of psycho-analysis and the important role played by the subconscious in human behaviour. Named by Life Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century, Bernays adopted his uncle’s ideas to develop techniques of persuasion to influence public behaviour, writing in one of his books regarding opinion moulding, or what he called engineering consent, that ‘If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a point and within certain limits.’ E.Bernays. ‘Propaganda.’ (1928.) Brooklyn, N.Y. P47.
Like gurus before him and gurus who came after, Bernays justified his PR activities as the noble, because ‘necessary’ lie, necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society. In the same book, (1928) he stated:
‘The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate the unseen mechanisms of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our county… We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society… in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.’ (1928 ) PP 9-10.
Bernays is presenting here a distorted view of democracy that subverts both its social basis in the free actions of individuals and its governance basis by way of non-arbitrary rule of law for all its citizens. And in the techniques and programs he employed, you can gauge for yourself how far from ‘noble’ were Bernays’ public relations’ practices.
When he started working for American Tobacco Company, Bernays was given the objective of increasing Lucky Strike sales among women, who for the most part had formerly avoided smoking. The first strategy was to persuade women to smoke cigarettes instead of eating. Bernays began using photographers, artists, newspapers, and magazines to promote the special beauty of thin women. Medical authorities were found to promote the choice of cigarettes over sweets. Home-makers were cautioned that keeping cigarettes on hand was a social necessity. The campaign was a success but a taboo remained on women smoking in public. Tying the smoking campaign to the women’s freedom movement Bernays organized a contingent of attractive women to smoke cigarettes, ‘torches of freedom,’ in the 1928 New York Easter Parade. The carefully scripted event was a publicity success and women across the country were soon smoking as planned.
The United Fruit Company hired Bernays in the early 1940s to increase banana sales which he did by linking them with good health and placing them in the hands of celebrities. But then he went further, orchestrating political propaganda in concert with the US government to facilitate the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacabo Guzman, who had begun land reforms including buying back land owned by the United Fruit Company. Under previous governments the U.F.C. had acquired ownership of 42% of the land and was exempt from paying taxes and duties on exports. Bernays’ campaign resulted in having Guzman replaced by someone more acceptable to the United Fruit Company.
So when you wish to make BIG changes you have to be persuasive. Here’s another guru, Plato writing his plans for the utopian Republic he hoped would replace Athenian Democracy, a Republic in which all change would be arrested. The rigid caste system that Plato designed to achieve his static society necessitated his myth or necessary ‘noble lie,’ of the metals in men, gold in an elite class who should lead, and beneath them, tiers of inferior metals with their ordained, unquestioned roles of obedience to the philosopher king. In this hierarchy, only the gold elite get education, but it is an education of received truths not to be questioned, and Plato hopes that in time even the philosopher class will come to believe his noble lie.
More dishonesty. Plato used Socrates as his sock puppet to give respectability to his totalitarian program. Socrates, advocate of the open society and critical debate, no longer around to speak for individual autonomy, becomes the mouthpiece for Plato’s authoritarian doctrines. Here, on justice and rule of law, Plato has Socrates giving a whole new meaning to words like ‘justice’ or ‘freedom’ via convoluted argument … What means justice for each citizen? Why, it’s the right to possess what is his own. And what is this right specifically? Why it’s the right, (within the imposed caste system) to attend to his own business, that is, the right of the labourer to labour, and presumably of the slave to slave. So much for justice.
Then there’s Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, propagandist for the tyrannous Prussian State of Frederic William 3rd. Unlike Plato, Hegel does not teach that the world is in flux towards historical decay but rather, the trend is towards The Idea, the powerful State of ‘now’ is progress and therefore, what prevails is ‘right.’
Hegel promotes his historicist doctrine by a dialectical method that is an assault on logic. While criticism and science proceed on the argument that contradictions are impermissible and attempts must be made to eliminate them, Hegel argues that since science progresses via contradictions, contradictions are to be welcomed and there is no need to eliminate them. What Hegel is doing is omitting part of the argument that contradictions could be said to be welcome only as a means of identifying and eliminating false arguments and theories. By eliminating the italics part of the argument, Hegel focuses on the connotation of welcome as inviting to stay as a welcome guest. By such sophistry, all criticism and argument, important in arguing our freedoms, must cease, as also attacks against Hegel’s own philosophy. And by conflating liberty with control, employing smoke and mirrors language as pseudo demonstration, therefore and therefore and therefore … to undermine human freedoms, Hegel uses a pun on liberty to show that a liberty is the same as a law, from which it follows that the more laws, the more liberty.
Propagandists past and present? There’s moah! Dr Joseph Goebells, propagandist extraordinaire of Hitler’s ‘Blood and Soil’ war machine, master of emotive slogan campaigns and imitator, or so Edward Bernays was told, of the persuasive techniques of Bernays himself. Joseph Goebells used Bernays’ book, ‘Crystallizing Public Opinion,’ as a basis of his propaganda tactics to demonize the Jewish population and carry out a genocide campaign against them. Dr Goebells, epitome of guru Dr Evil.
Today, there’s one, George Soros, who wants to do away with the nation state altogether and run a globalist state governed at a distance by unelected technocrats like himself, and by golly he’s got the money to do it, lots of dollars to fund campaigns to destroy western institutions from within. Soros’ campaigns include education ‘occupy their heads,’ training social justice warriors and a campaign to promote illegal immigrants’ right to vote. Activist bodies and groups are given grants by his ‘Open Society Foundation, ‘Open’ only in reference to untrammelled immigration, much of his funding of violent protest groups like Rise Up Org and Antifa, is more discrete but has definitely been traced to indirect and backdoor payments.
Like those other smoke and mirror gurus, Soros likes to flout the laws of logic. While Soros, in his ‘Open Society’ (2000) manifesto admits that the Enlightenment unleashed the creative energies of the human intellect to bring about achievements and living standards ‘beyond compare,’ he then dismisses these achievements ‘beyond compare,’ by arguing that in the Enlightenment ‘Reason was unequal to the task.’ As an historical illustration he cites the excesses of the French Revolution, not an applicable example as participants in the French Revolution abandoned constitutional safeguards and rational behaviour, instead responding to events by leadership fiat-decision-making and mob-rule.
A further criticism of the Enlightenment made by Soros is that rationalism produced the ‘unencumbered individual,’ a simplistic view of individuals living as though without family or local connections or any social values, and disregarding the reformist actions of many of these individuals to extend suffrage, enact factory laws, and abolish slavery, not just reformists but humanists, like John Stuart Mill, Lord Shaftsbury, and Charles Dickens. Soros equates ‘individual’ with ‘selfish,’ though no such analogy is justified, his colleges train students to be ‘encumbered’ social justice warriors. And here’s Hegelian contradiction:
‘It’s time, ‘says Soros,’ to subject reason, as construed by the Enlightenment, to the same kind of critical examination that the Enlightenment inflicted on the dominant external authorities, both divine and temporal. We have now lived in the age of reason for the past two hundred years, long enough to discover that reason has its limitations. We are ready to enter the age of fallibility.’ ( G.S. Open Society. P 125.)
What does it mean, ‘subject reason to ‘reason,’ subjecting reason to itself? And what does it mean to ‘enter the age of fallibility?’ Would not our ‘human fallibility’ require us to act by trial and error-testing, which is rational behaviour for a fallible being and also the objective basis of the scientific method?. What Soros says here is illogical, he’s putting fallibility in place of reason. By abandoning reason, where does that get us? Well it gets us just where gurus want us, amenable to propaganda slogans modelled on George Orwell’s 1984, you know, slogans involving double – think, like ‘War is Peace.’ ‘Freedom is Control.’ ‘Truth is Lies.’ Can’t have a rational populace alert to the contradictions gurus employ to get control of their minds.
So how come a procession of dastardly gurus are motivated to control the rest of us cits, and how come they so often succeed in their machinations? Seems it’s there in the wiring of the homo sapien brain. Remember this little scenario in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, ‘The Birds’?
‘Who are you, what are you?’
Who are you? Well, you have only to look at that famous image of ‘The Ascent of Man,’ to see that descended from the gods we are not. Has to be that a large measure of what we do is determined by our genetic inheritance, from lizard brain to our evolution by way of our early mammalian ancestors.
What are you? Bright side, dark side, let’s do dark side first. Says Daniel Kahneman in his book, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow,’ ‘We are machines for jumping to conclusions.’ That’s pretty much it, says Kahneman, a psychologist who turned psychology into quantitative investigation. Daniel Kahneman argues the existence in our brains of two independent systems for organizing knowledge, one he labels System One, a fight or flight survival mechanism which probably evolved with our ancestors, the lizard brain, a fast thinking system making judgements and taking action without waiting for our conscious awareness to catch up. Making use of memories and heuristics linked with strong emotions like fear and pain, though the fast thinking system worked well for fight or flight survival in a jungle, its judgements are often wrong. Our System Two is the slow process of forming judgements based on conscious thinking in the frontal cortex that checks the actions of System One and allows us to correct our mistakes.
For System One thinking, says Kahneman, the measure of success is coherence of a story, consistency, not completeness of evidence… ‘what you see is all that there is.’ To answer difficult questions there’s a grab-bag of simple heuristics we adopt to make adequate but often wrong answers to difficult questions like ‘the availability heuristic, what comes readily from memory, first in line.’ And the bad news is, as Kahneman first discovered, working with Israeli Defence Forces in the 1950’s, that your System Two thinkers are also prone to similar thinking errors and heuristics, more apologist than critical of the emotions of System One.
And something else runs counter to individual decision making regarding that early inheritance. Homo sapiens evolved as social animals in family groups and tribes that developed within a web of culture. The individuals who made those hand imprints on the walls of the Lascaux Caves were also part of a group, as we, members of tribes, associations, nations, live in societies with pressures to conform according to accepted rules and mores.
‘Nothing so outlandish,’ said rational pessimist, Michel de Montaigne, regarding tyranny of custom, ‘that cannot be demonstrated in public practise somewhere in the world.’ And those customs, from some gentle beginning, unperceived, ‘unmask a furious and tyrannical countenance, against which we have no more courage or power so much as to lift our eyes.’ Montaigne ‘Essay; Of Custom.’
Taking a walk on the bright side…
du, dudu, dudu dudu du du…
Throughout history, some cultures have emerged that are more enabling to rational thinking than others. Compare the tribal society of Sparta, where institutions were seen as god given and unalterable, to the emerging democracy of Athens, 5th century B.C. where its citizens dared to question what and how? Being a member of a maritime society is helpful, observing many cultures and recognizing that institutions are made by man and therefore may be changed. Greek tragedians, Sophocles and Euripides, writing drama about political and social problems, Greek philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle, Socrates developing critical argument, Aristotle developing tools of logic, ways of recognising and eliminating contradictions that hinder enquiry, these were major steps for human kind.
Evolutionary nature has endowed human beings with dexterous hands with opposable thumbs, big brains, language capacity beyond signalling, all of which curious humans, wanting to solve a problem have exploited to the max.
Man the debater as mentioned above, and man the builder, creator and discoverer. Builders of roads, bridges, builders of aqueducts and printing press, inventors of the wheel, paper, first harnessers of fire technology then of water and steam power. Herewith an example of deliberative thinking I like to cite, James Watt, the Scottish instrument maker, out walking in the city of Glasgow, one afternoon in 1765. For months Watt had been working on Newcomen’s steam engine trying to solve the problem of inefficiency from wasted steam:
‘I was thinking upon the engine at the time,’ he wrote later, ‘when the idea came into my mind that as steam was an elastic body it would rush into a vacuum, and if a communication were made between the cylinder and an exhausted vessel, it would rush into it and thereby be condensed without cooling the cylinder … I had not walked further than the golf-house when the whole thing was strong in my mind.’ (‘The Scottish Enlightenment.’ Arthur Herman. Chapter 12.)
Man the creator, achievements in the arts, Shakespeare exploring in iambic pentameter, possibilities of dramatic language and cognition, giving us characters thinking out loud, whether to themselves or to others, reflecting on what they themselves have said, and in the course of reflecting, becoming a different kind of character. In the visual arts, Greek, 6th to 4th century B.C. vase painters and sculptors and Renaissance artists, Leonardo and Michelangelo, exploring ways of suggesting depth of field and movement on canvas, and in stone statues, as in life, suggesting muscle and living tissue. Music composers, Mozart, Beethoven and ‘Song of Man,’ Johan Sebastian Bach, creating out of sound bits, complex orchestrations and miraculous harmonies of song.
Man the discoverer, those curious investigators of the scientific revolution, persistently seeking real answers to nature’s mysteries … Galileo, Isaac Newton, James Hutton, Charles Darwin….
Great movements in civilization by way of individual and opportunist endeavour. Opportunistism, every living thing must do it, find and explore new opportunities, new skills, new niches, live to fight another day – that’s the Darwin Award for doing it right.
Great movements in civilization but ever under attack. Enter your gurus, Gurus they just want to exploit YOU. Endless procession of shaman and kings who ruled by divine right or would rule as philosopher kings of privileged insight like your present day globalists, remake and control society to their own plan, and always an authoritative plan. Technology, internet, universal education should be enabling to open society, but as in George Orwell’s dystopian ‘1984’ they’re being used by guru groups to propagandize and enslave our minds. Herewith:
Viva la resistance!
‘Why can’t we?’ ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ Ernest Hemingway.
… Well actually we can.
So let us begin… Aristotle’s three laws of logic are your key to fight-back, and of course, shown by history, individuals from Socrates and Galileo to Darwin, a felt need to get it right as the spur to real engagement with nature, of which we are a part.
Aristotle’s Law of Identity.
First law of logic is the Law of Identity. A thing is what it is and is no other thing. As in the logic of mathematics, 1=1, does not = 2 or = 3, so in reality of nature, a thing is itself and not some other thing, A=A, can’t be B or C.
Reasoning is uniquely possible to Homo sapiens by virtue of words, our tools of cognition. A word is a symbol with a definition and that means careful definition, ‘definition,’ the set of properties or characteristics that distinguish a thing from all other things, a distinct set of implications.’
For Homo sapiens, inventers of descriptive and critical language, consciousness is identification, the quest for non- contradictory identification. Here is a comment at Science and Fiction’s blog, (16/08/18 ) ‘The main loop of a conscious entity’s running code is an incessant query: what is it? Answering that produces identity.’
What is the question?
What is the question?
Gurus need to mess this up. It’s the art of persuasion. If they’re going to convince their focus group that ‘lies are freedom’ or ‘ignorance is strength,’ they have to subvert the Law of Identity by sleight of hand, word-craft mis-definition and drum in the identity switch by forced association and oft repeated slogans…Gurus understand that habit rules.
Law of Identity.
A thing is itself, it has
its own identity, A
cannot be B or C, this
simply defies reality.
‘Nothing,’ says Edward Bernays
‘is simply what it really is,
but I, smoke and mirror-wise,
can make it seem this, that or
some other thing, by means
of a symbol – conjuring trick.
Aristotle’s Law of Contradiction.
Definitions again: ‘Truth: an idea that cannot be contradicted by any other implication within its context.’ Truth in logic, as in nature, is one of two possible states, the other possible state is false.
Reality, evolution, ideas, all have the same forms and logic is the formalization of the forms. In nature, all those living entities, including us, function in ways, natural particular to themselves, function reflects the law of causality, Darwinian cause and effect in one direction, the order is one way, following the arrow of time. Second Law of logic, regarding statements by Homo sapiens describing distinct entities and their particular functions …‘that’ necessarily follows without contradiction from ‘this.’
Gurus like Hegel welcome contradictions to pervert the second law because truth is not their object. They each have their own 1984 agenda… sell you that values’-laden fast car or diamond bracelet… or find a lucrative niche for themselves like mistletoe on a tree… or create a dystopia where they will be philosopher king. Means to these ends, reality and logic have to be reconstituted, contradictions employed, such as inverting cause and effect, cart before horse, cli-science, increasing CO2 is causing temperature rise, whereas the long record shows the opposite. Or disregard ‘cause’ altogether, logic and science can surely get along without it, despite what Feynman says about putting your theory under rigorous scrutiny. Simple correlation might do the trick, the rooster crows at sun rise. Or you can bring in those smoke and mirror words, laden entities with added entendre; fear and guilt and virtue signalling work wonders with words like ‘justice,’ equity,’ and ‘sustainability.’
Or you might try crowd- appeal, ‘all’ and ‘every’ are handy quantifications, consensus has emotional power, especially when you add argument from authority, ‘nine out of ten doctors say…’
Aristotle’s Law of Contradiction.
All contradictions welcome
in Hegel’s dialectics.
As with Humpty Dumpty, things
mean what Hegel says they mean,
more, not less; ‘tis a tricksy
balancing act involving
a number of conflicting
meanings, all held together
and at the same time. Clevah!
Aristotle’s Law of the Excluded Middle.
The Law of the Excluded Middle: a statement has to be true or it is false, it’s a binary opposition. If a statement does not evaluate to ‘true’ or ‘false,’ it is, by definition, unreasonable. Truth in logic, as in nature, is one of two possible states, the other possible state is false No other option such as ‘maybe, could be, should be. Gone are problems like the liar’s paradox, designed to confuse and weaken you, if part of a statement is untrue, the statement is false, that’s it!
And if a description can’t be substantiated, then it doesn’t exist, no such thing as an empty set. This eliminates the mysterious and the superstitious in one fell swoop. Shakespeare wasn’t wrong when he said that’ nothing can come of nothing.’ H/t King Lear, Act 1. Negation of nothing is nothing: ‘I did not destroy New York today,’ does not mean that I built anything. The negation of life is nothing The negation of death, is nothing. Life after death, well you know… Better make life count and guard your precious self possession, don’t let those gurus take it from you.
Law of the Excluded Middle.
Law of the excluded middle,
in nature, either it is or is not,
no mister in between is possible,
if it can’t be substantiated, it
doesn’t exist, there are no empty
sets nor empty suits.
Not so,’ says George Soros
following Plato and Big Bro’)
ghostly apparitions a specialty
by means of my state-of-the-art
I’ll give a local habitation and
a name to any ideal entity,
utopia on earth or divinity in
heaven, or demon manifestations
of fear and guilt, any size, as required.
Well that’s about it! Reconstituting reality requires truth as a casualty, and every guru from wa-a-ay back KNOWS the so called ‘noble’ lie is a necessity, by raison d’etat, and ‘the state is us’ and we know what is best for you and we know what is best for us.
Finis – phew
I hope a million people read this – and understand it.
A million people would be good! 🙂 Thank you, gnomish.
That Bernays. Sometimes I think the last century was his. He won it, sort of.
Well, at least one serf is in revolt now.
Myth was BIG in the 20th Century, ‘Master Race,’ ‘Blood and Soil,’ ‘Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, ‘ – gotcha! … Now we got ‘suss-tainability’ globalism-fnord, and K12 Core-Curriculum.
serf, excellent post.
The 3 big manipulators Plato, Hegel & Bernays.
Lucky we have Aristotle, Locke & Rand.
Now, The Devils advocate.
I cannot see a 2nd Age of Reason in the immediate future.
I would concede, the ones that want(do) to control us are as evil as hell.
Most of humanity seems permeated with various levels of mysticism.
Are they ready to stand on their own two feet?
Will their always be people that need to be lead?
Do we need a benevolent King (if there is such a thing)?
Ask yourself what are the conditions that must prevail for a renaissance to occur?
Then ask how it is that when they did, they eventually fizzled out?
I think there is no cure for stupid because it is a habit.
But what if your child had a habit of reasoning? Would that not be equally unbreakable?
So if there is no cure for stupid, there may very well be a vaccine.
It just has to be administered before infection.
Do you see any flaw in my reasoning?
I cannot answer the second question with out a suitable answer to the first question.
As yet I have not convinced myself of a suitable answer to the first question. I will continue the inquiry.
As to “Do you see any flaw in my reasoning?” You did ask!!
With all respect, I have a problem with the truth of your premise:
“I think there is no cure for stupid because it is a habit.”
ok, first let me define ‘stupid’ so we can avoid semantic quibbles:
stupidity is the belief in something that is patently false i.e. contradicted by reality.
so – do you have a question about whether stupid is a habit or whether habits are virtually unbreakable or both those contentions?
Hi gnomish, back again.
Can we accept stupid as irrational?
Let me give an example of myself.(why stupid can be turned around)
As a very young child I believed in Santa, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy, etc
I was young and influenced by an all knowing authority -parents.
Although I was quite a rational young person, I had a great interest in maths and science, ‘magic’ still becomes an influencing part of my psyche.
Up until my early 20s mystic ideas still affected my ability to reason. I was still an irrational animal.
Being curious, philosophy very much attracted quest for knowledge.
Long story short, I consciously chose reason as the true source of knowledge.
So therefore I know irrationality is ‘curable’, although ironically it requires conscience effort.
That was over 30 years ago and I haven’t look back.
That’s heroic. There should be a medal for somebody who reclaims his birthright – a Darwin Award for doing it right!
And i’ll yield the point – at least grant that there are exceptions when a self motivated individual undertakes to validate his own beliefs.
Enlarging the context also taught you that people will lie. Every year NASA tracks Santa on satellite- it’s on every news channel.
But finally the child is told that yes- there was a vast conspiracy- and it was meant to be fun. Ha ha- fooled you. Proved you’re a dumbass.
But what happens when nobody ever tells him that the omniscient distributor of causeless wealth and moral arbiter of your every thougth – what if that mythical entity is not named Santa but something else? What if it is forbidden to question that? What if there is monumental evidence – literally, monuments- as testimony to his power? What if there is 97% consensus? To whom would one voice a skeptical thought about it with impunity? Excommunication still works- in fact, it is all the rage right now.
I will suggest that you had sufficient understanding of logic to reason – and you bootstrapped that to remove yourself from that mystic quagmire. This is the underlying point I was making – and perhaps you may grant that you were not all the way stupid?
in any case- bravo! Nobody has to care how you did it- as long as you did it. Bravo.
Now, the question is how to make this possible for a large percentage of the population because otherwise, with man as predator on man, the accumulated benefits of all the productive minds who left more than they consumed will vanish and we will sink into barbarity once again.
The prospect of another 1000 year long Dark Ages is very ugly.
I am not heroic, I wish I had the courage to stand against the world for the things we and this site believe in.
If I ever said anything worthy of quotation, it would be this:
‘Winning and fighting are 2 entirely different propositions.”
I don’t see any reason to stand against the world. They’re all gonna die.
So winning is a matter of ensuring that the generation that replaces them is reasonable.
What worked for you and me- as Beth quoted from Will Durant:
“Excellence is not an act but a habit.”
Nature doesn’t do stupid. There can be no such thing as a stupid gene. Such a thing would be absolutely dysgenic and be immediately deselected.
Stupid is an acquired habit – it’s done by recruitment/indoctrination/training. It is a perversion.
Wnat makes one immune to that is a pre-existing habit of reason.
That’s my thesis and I’m sticking to it!
I too think that excellence is not an act but a habit.’ I saw how my father acted, as a man and as an engineer. Do not lie, only believe in facts.
We do not need a benevolent king for there’s no guarantee he won’t be followed by that third generation Caligula. Non- arbitrary rule of law for all, individual self possession, yeay, how do we bell the cat of big government?
Will there always be people who need to be led? We’re diverse critters subject to nature’s random
acts, need a safety net for the impaired. Some, maybe, seriously lack curiosity and be ovah constrained
by herd behaviour, but education, not lowest denominator aim, from K-12, defining aim of ‘education’ … it’s for self possession, autonomy is the way to go. Oh Socrates! :-)the real Socrates, that is, not Plato’s goddamn sock puppet.
Are they ready to stand on their own two feet? As in the animal kingdom, this development is Naychur’s way and Naychur rules. Birds stand on their own two feet, some of yr animal kingdom on four, but it’s out of the nest, burrow, fox hole or whatever after some early reality training by mum and dad. We are able to give back up and support but should always be aware that to keep children as children all their lives is a guru perversion fer non-noble ends, no matter what they might say.
Can you expand on ‘self possession’ in a future post?
Yr Hotel California The Eagles , interrobang, on Jo Nova, purfect theme song for Brexit, purfect musically.
I thought it fitted well.
In fact the whole song with a bit of modification could be a good Brexit theme song.
You could probably do a better job of that than me.
On the calm English channel, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of croissant, rising up through the air
Welcome to the European Union
Such a lovely place
that’s about all you need to change!!
Hotel EU indeed.
And for our world, Hotel Plato.
Where you can check out anytime you like, but watch out for the Philosopher Kings…
sorry serf on a bit of a roll!
Merkel is politically twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty troops she calls friends
Twister, yes. She’s one of the EU guru set who luv to control you. Re my above post and a new age of reason to combat guru influence, I have a friend who is developing a logic game that will teach young children habits of logical thinking. The name of the game is Crown of Creation, its a treasure hunt bed-time story meant to be played by mother, father and young child, – the nuclear family, base of civilisation. The game’s about mum, dad and child together solving puzzles to find a real treasure. But there’s other treasure for the child, treasure of acquiring armour plating to the ploys of guru mind arson. That’s what any intelligent parent would want for their offspring, like Richard Feynman’s dad, encouraging in his son from an early age, habits of curiosity, of asking questions and seeking to solve them. I think this relates to what philosopher Will Durant said regarding habit:
‘Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence but rather, because we act rightly these virtues are found in man by doing his actions, we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit.’
First thing gurus do is target the kids. School’s now, courtesy of UN’s Common Core Curriculum, are a hot-bed of guru mind control, values education permeating all subjects, even watered down numeracy, science and literacy programs as I discussed in my ‘Gullibility and Obedience’ post, 44th edition.Most of my editions are to do with open society and the individual.
I am thinking this game is part of a fight back for rational thinking and I will buy one as a family heirloom for future generations. Think I will do my next post on the Crown of Creation treasure game, ( and self possession. )
The game sounds great.
Couldn’t agree more about education, keep unmoulded clay out of the hands of the subjectivists.
What Mark Twain said, has worked for me;
“I never let schooling get in the way of my education.”
I just started reading Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. Have you read it?
I haven’t read i Tragedy and Hope.but I will read it. Check out Readings bookshop today Agree with Mark Twain. Huck Finn, so cool.
“Crown of Creation” – is he/she a Jefferson Airplane fan?
faustino, don’t know. ) Will ask him.
I asked him. ) He said he’s not a fan of music groups, only likes some songs.
I seem to recall you mentioning Jefferson Airplane at Climate Audit. )
IRT 20th century myth making:
The myths of the current era are mostly “sciencey”.
Eugenics supported the racialist myths.
Socialism was not merely a political idea. It was “Scientific Socialism”.
And Marx explicitly used a perverted form of the scientific process, “thesis vs. antithesis” and made sciencey sounding predictions (I realize he infected the world in 19th century).
I would suggest that people think of the implications that for the ancient myths like those described I Genesis that the people who produced them and held them as “literal history” were not the peasants but the elite.
“Often, mimicry functions to protect a species from predators”
And sometimes, it functions to disguise the predator from the prey. Lab coats, clipboards, diplomas – symbols without substance…
“its coat of arms, a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, represented its preferred methodology for achieving its goal.”
‘The myths of the current era are mostly sciencey,’ Yes, hunterson, the Great Global Warming Scare is a classic. Cli-sci a perversion of the scientific process. The Cru emails show this. Cherry picking and bodging data to fit an desired outcome, hiding declines, efforts to eliminate the Medieval Warming Period, controlling the review process, they did it all. https://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/climate-change/climategate-emails.pdf
Could it be that reason, and consequent ideas of reason; secularism, libertarianism, capitalism, science, were all propagandized into myths in the 20th century.
That which gave us a vehicle to advance as never before, are now considered the ‘ills’ of our society.
The biggest scam on humanity?
Do you consider them to be so?
I bet not- and if you don’t there is a reason
No critical thinker falls for propaganda- he sees through it.
So there’s your answer.
This is a failure to establish critical thinking- logic- as a habit in children.
This is the reason all previous renaissances have eventually fizzled out, i think – the inability of the populace to state, explicitly, what it was that made it possible (reason) – because what is required to produce such a civilization is the same as what is required to maintain it.
The 3 laws of logic are so simple a 3 yr old child of 2 can learn them and speak them.
Reason is the application of logic – simple too – indeed, when it is a habit, there is no alternative.
This is precisely the proper time for that education – when it forms his identity.
If a habit of stupid can not be broken, i submit, a habit of reason is equally indelible.
What about you? is it true of yourself?
It’s true of me.
It’s true of every reasoning person i know.
I find no exception.
Can you falsify the proposition?
Jack, It could. 😦 It stands to reason, doesn’t it that when you want to make over society according to a new world order blue print, you have to undermine the what the old society created,this means attacks on what western civilization created, value of the individual, free speech, critical argument based on reason, non arbitrary legal system, evidence based science, parliamentary democracy. They have to be demonised as ‘ills.’
George Soros’ Manifesto and actions exemplify this. https://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/50th-edition-serf-under_ground-journal/
Not sure of your first question, so let me restate what I posted.
In the 1700s Philosophers of the west, in particular, Locke, Bacon, Descartes, said “basically” we are individuals capable of thinking without the need of external authorities for our quest if knowledge. Although reason had been around for over 2000 years (the very incredible Aristotle) It was here that the age of reason was born for western civilization.
The 1800s, with the application of reason, the western civilization achieved unprecedented progress for humanity. Science/Engineering/Health, Individualism/Capitalism.
The 1900s seen a hacking away of these ideals.
Now we have situation where the full use of reason is very rare.
Properly the greatest assault on reason (philosophically) was/is the Post modernism movement of the 1950s which now the most pervading ideology (especially epistemology) in our institutions, professors and teachers.
This is what I see as happening, why (the scam)is a different question.
gnomish, we properly agree on most things!!
gnome is my favorite Linux desktop 🙂
Will reply to your other question above, as you have very sensibly defined stupid.
I agree completely. Well stated!
“Now we have situation where the full use of reason is very rare.”
– the root of the rot.
Of course you mean ‘by individuals’. So how can it happen that an individual fails to use reason habitually?
Could it be that he never acquired the habit? In such a case, he must have acquired some other habit.
“why (the scam)”
This is an essay on gurus…
There are 2 ways to work your will in the world
mind over matter -or- power over people.
reason vs slavery.
the way you make a slave is by crippling his cognitive faculties
alongside Aristotle, the mystics plied their trade.
Some brands of mysticism have been institutionalized and retain great influence after 2000 years.
(and they reproduce – they train their children in mysticism from birth)
Popper has been selling his brand of platonism and it’s been very popular. He gets fame and paychecks.
Can you identify his essential fallacy?
It’s really quite simple: platonic essence is a violation of the 3rd law of logic.
That’s where all mysticism lives – in the excluded middle.
“you can’t prove anything” , he says. And when you demand that he prove it?
Anything true can be proven. If true things could not be proven, logic would be illogical.
That’s how a serious guru fucks a mind up – and it’s not hard to do that to an individual who has never learned the 3 laws of logic and can not perform reason reliably.
The benefit of the doubt accrues to the guru so he sows the seeds. They take root in manure minds. And thus, slaves are cultivated.
I once came across a metaphor/similarly of 3 options for corruption and a bus.
1. You can get on the bus. Get a free ride, become part of the problem.
2. You can run beside the bus. Live life but lose ground to the bus passengers.
3 You can stand in front of the bus. The moral stance.
In today’s world that bus has a lot of momentum. I am not brave enough.
Infinite variety in nature, sometimes useful to get about in harmful guise, sometimes like gurus, who
don the raiment of the all loving father and voice false promises. What is it? What is it!
To no one’s surprise, Edward Gorey explored predators camoflauged rather well
Masks, like the spots and stripes of
tigers or leopards lurking in undergrowth
may be a cover up for sinister intent,
for a Macbeth, say, who smiles and smiles,
yet may, behind that smiling mask, be
a damned villain, waiting for nightfall
to carry out an under-cover nefarious
(or murderous) event.
Just as likely though, wearing a mask
may be concealment for a shrinking self,
the donning of a protective covering,
like the turtle or the whelk, or as in classic
drama, putting on the mask of an Achilles,
now there’s a way for an unheroic actor
to become a hero, just for one day.
a kind word means so much…
Lol. Hope the bus comes in time.
Define peace. (
this just out:
they are not saying anything about population density
they say nothing about ownership of one’s home vs landlords
‘complexity’ entails division of labor, clearly, so there is mutual interdependence and probably laborers who are essentially dependents upon whoever provides them with the means to obtain sustenance.
a million people necessarily means nobody can know everybody- nor even give them the time of day- too many.
and that further implies the necessity of a habit of ignoring people as a means of economizing.
and that has certain social implications because a person must, then, be part of a group he knows while all others are ‘other’.
they say, specifically:
“Although our results do not support the view that moralizing gods
were necessary for the rise of complex societies, they also do not
support a leading alternative hypothesis that moralizing gods only
emerged as a byproduct of a sudden increase in affluence during a
first millennium bc ‘Axial Age’19–22.”
the “increase in affluence” hypothesis might imply a leisure class which may only be possible with a surplus of values = in other words, a parasitic caste. I will assert that inventiveness and creativity requires leisure time and that the leisure time gives the crazy bald monkeys time to discover tricks that pay off in a variety of ways – in every field of human endeavor.
It doesn’t matter how that leisure time happens- it happens – the creativity blooms even on the backs of slaves – wherever there is a great concentration of wealth. That is what happens when there is a surplus, it seems.
That can be sustainable – in fact, it has been suggested that governments originally formed in some regions when raiders who pillaged and destroyed a place found there was nothing there when they came back to do it again the next year- and therefore began to protect them from other raiders and to take less so the villages would be able to survive – at which point we can call it a tax…
Anyway- while these scientists work on the public dime, i’m gonna read their stuff without paying and you’re invited to hop the paywall
I’ve often wondered about the beginning of God, )
Those hands on the Lascaux Cave wall, maybe
a tribe free of Shaman Big Bro.
Of course the study can’t definitively establish its suppositions but
make sense,re means and motive for yr shamanism. Surplus to support
the kept priest, and motive, the tribe that pray together stay together.
Morality is the science of evaluating alternatives based on some standard of value.
So ‘commandments’ and obedience are quite immoral. In the absence of choice, there can be no morality.
So these omnipotent moralizing entities are a substitute for morality which marks the absence of morality.
This is how the guru works- by substituting his will for the will of the victim.
Force and mind are opposites. Commandments are coercive. Obedience is the abandonment of self possession.
The question built into the article is ‘what is it about a million people in a clump that destroys rationality.
As usual, the diagnosis is failure to acquire a habit of reason. How does population density break that habit?
Is it a matter of population inversion where a certain percentage of irrational people is exceeded?
Is a certain percentage a tipping point where recruitment to stupid dominates?
It’s all academic, but interesting. I don’t think having answers to that is nearly as important as knowing how to prevent it.
Jack, re the bus. Some societies are more encouraging to individual liberty than others but even Socrates was condemned to death.
‘By Zeus, Socrates!
It seems you’re right again!
Time for your hemlock.’
H/t David Bader.
How times have changed.
No hemlock any more, just ridicule by the media.
“The deviant Socrates, has manipulated the the minds of the Athenian youth against the social norms by teaching them to question and think.”
Here’s another David Bader haiku, lol.
The Prince. Niccolo Machiavelli:
‘What I learned at court:
Being more feared than loved – good.
Getting poisoned – bad.’
lol Very good.
Moah ways to kill a cat
than hemlock. or ways to kill
a mouse than mouse traps,
‘Ridicule.’ dark-side bright side’, can be the knee-jerk mob in action with a quiver of stones, or, as in
la divine comedy, an antidote to rigidity, Ma Naychur’s survival tactic fer homo-sapiens, yr not paying attention … ’tis a survival mechanism, – , only humans laugh.
Et tu, jack?
(Yr Brexit /California was good.)
I laugh and cry
Complex ain’t we?
Some music makes me weep ‘n then I laugh at myself fer bein’ such a silly serf.
I am a bit of a pleb when to come to art.
But I do know what I like.
Beethovens Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125
Make me feel fantastic and at times, a tear(of joy).
I hate that the EU have it as an anthem.
If anything it should be their anti-anthem.
This should follow yr next comment bur wordpress says ‘No.’ Re Beethoven’s Ninth as EU Anthem, isn’t that so like those gurus, so Hegelian, unerring eye for taking the sublime ‘n the grand to make it represent the non-sublime, the un-grand. Beethoven for Bureau-creep, Liberty for Ing-soc.
There is a difference between rulers and leaders, although in rare cases some rulers are also leaders. Still it is a case of A and B. The rarity then, is when you get A + B.
I do not understand why some in the population want to, are driven to, and are obsessed with ruling. It seems to me to come from the lizard part of the brain. I just don’t understand that drive to rule.
Wannabe rulers have three tools – brute force, guile, and persuasion – to reach their goal. It appears to me that the first two tools are preferred because persuasion is a lot of work!
I understand leaders a little better. Leaders have a destination or goal of some sort and are determined to reach it. Leaders rule only as necessary to reach their goal.
Then there’s the rest. Some are C, sheeple who can be ruled or led – makes no difference – and others, D, want to rule their self and only be ruled by their self. The latter are those who value and desire freedom or autonomy.
A is not B is not C is not D. Pure As or Bs or Cs or Ds are not all that common. Most are a combination. For example a C (sheeple) can have a bit of B (leader) in them when they don’t like how they are being ruled or where they are being led. An excellent tyrant is likely made from an A – C.
I see what I believe are pure As, Bs, Cs, and Ds, but I don’t understand them. I find that most people are a mix of that alphabet.
Thx for comment, H.R. One of the fascinations of the Western Canon, especially Shakespeare, and study of history, humanity in all its variations. I myself am on the D scale, remember as a small chlld saying to myself, for whatever reason, ‘I am a person,’
Find the out and out guru hard to understand, can understand in heavily controlled societies yr sheeple, brain washed and oppressed from git go, t he newspeak factor.
beththeserf: “Thx for comment, H.R.”
Thanks for an outstanding essay. I’ve bookmarked this one.
beththeserf: “Find the out and out guru hard to understand, […]”
Yup. That was what my alphabetic ramble was all about in the end. I just don’t get the urge to rule. I can’t empathize with that urge at all because I don’t have those feelings in my heart.
I suppose some day they’ll identify the tyrant gene. Would humanity be better off if they could snip that gene out?
But what would the “C”s do?
They got television game shows and football and such. Quite a few of them have 9 to 5 jobs where they can follow orders quite happily.
Ahh..Of course serf.
Bread & Circuses.
Thank you, HR. Down with tyrants, but maybe not just one gene. As you say, a difference btw gurus and leaders. Leaders like Brunel, Abe Lincoln, focus on a multi-task they see as worth doing and know how to get it done.
Gnomish @ 3.58am:
So cool, that definition of morality, from which follows: ‘In the absence of choice there can be no morality.’
I won’t make no comment re self-possession as I’m saving that for me next serf post.
i may begin referring to ‘sheep’ as ‘the dispossessed’ now…. hmm…
lol ..and there he came upon a flock of the dispossessed and sayeth, ‘They shall be mine.’
the Grim Repo…
One of the games gurus play is to pose questions about ‘the lifeboat ethic’
they pose a situation where every alternative results in mortal harm and essentially constrain the choices to various evils.
then they ask you to choose. whatever you choose puts your ethics or morality on the losing side of the game and it is be proven that you will choose evil and therefore are a hypocrite and that morality is a fantasy. (there are plenty self contradictions, of course. these tricks always resolve to a self contradiction)
i now wonder if the population of a million and the supernatural overlords arise from ‘lifeboat ethic’ kind of situations that can only happen when there are people completely dependent on people, i.e. who have no choice but obedience… (a choice of which one is unaware isn’t really a choice)
obedience is dispossession. in some sense it is always a voluntary alternative – except when the only other alternative is death, then it really isn’t. survival is not about morality – it’s about not dying by any means available.
Games gurus play, who can count the ways? (sigh.) To the lifeboat ethic _ the lemming option?
Tried an little informal experiment today.
On a site you know I occasionally post,
I put a post of some mild philosophical content about the epistemology of post-modernist, and I also posted a joke.
I got 3 times the thumbs up for the joke than the other post.
It saddened me, but did not surprise me.
I consider issues, the window dressing, the battles. (other site)
I consider philosophical ideology, the foundations of ideas, the war. (this site)
Yeas, jack, I read ’em. I ticked ’em both, lol. I offer in response, that people from engineering fields are suss of people from the Humanitees Philosophees Departments,- any wonder given what some of them come up with? But Jokes, what’s not to like?
A happy birthday to our serf…
Oh thank you, moso, ‘n that’s just how it should be played – the divine Haydn.
Well, it seems, a congratulations is in order for another orbit around the sun.
Thx, jack. Say, anuther orbit! I’m gettin’ dizzy …
Hi, beth, I’ve linked to SU on a Times article on the sacking (and abuse of) Roger Scruton, in part because of his negative reference to “the Soros empire.” The anti-Scruton’s should read this but are most unlikely to; hopefully others will.
Hi faustino, Roger Scruton sacked! I didn’t know. Alas free speech under threat in the country that was once its protector.
this essay is excellent Beth–enzo
Say, Enzo you and I appreciate the classical, do we not?
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