Peak Obedience

PeakObedienceWarnings about Peak Oil have circulated widely in recent years, and if accurate, they are important. Peak oil, however, pales in comparison to something that’s happening right in front of us… and something that is a good deal more dangerous: Peak Obedience.

If that concept strikes you as odd, I can understand why: We’ve all been living inside of an obedience cult. (And I choose these words carefully.)

In our typical “scary cult” stories, we find people who have given up their own functions of choice and who then do crazy things because they are told to by some authority. While inside their cult, however, it all makes sense; it’s all self-reinforcing.

So, inside a cult of obedience, obedience would seem proper; it would seem righteous; and more than anything else, it would seem normal. And I think that very well describes the Western status quo.

Obedience, however, should not seem normal to us. Obedience holds our minds in a “child” state, and that is not fitting for any healthy person past their first few years of life. It also presupposes that the people we obey have complete and final knowledge; and in fact, they do not: politicians, central bankers, and the other lords of the age have been wrong – obviously and publicly wrong – over and over.

So, obedience is not a logical position to take. But we all know why we take it; and that reason is fear. The mass of humanity obeys because they are afraid to do otherwise. All the “philosophy of governance” explanations are merely attempts to distract us from the truth: people believe they’ll be hurt if they don’t obey.

We are taught not to think in such stark terms, of course. Those “philosophy of governance” explanations give us reasons to believe that obedience is the good and heroic thing to do. Still, we know the truth.

But that truth about fear, even though important, is not the point I’d like you to take away from this article. My primary point is this:

When we obey, we make ourselves less conscious; we make ourselves less alive.

Why Obedience Is Peaking

I covered this in far more depth in issue #40 of my subscription letter, but I would like to provide a brief explanation here.

Over the past two centuries, authority has benefitted from a perfect storm of influences. There was never such a time previously, and there probably will never be another. Briefly, here’s what happened:

Morality was broken

For better or worse, Western civilization had a consistent set of moral standards from about the 10th century through the 17th or 18th century. Then, through the 20th century, those standards were broken.

Note that I did not say morality was changed. The cultural morality of the West was not replaced, but broken. The West has endured a moral void ever since.

Previously, people routinely compared authority’s decrees to a separate standard (most often the Bible), to see if they held up. But with Western morals broken, authority was freed from restraint.

Economies of scale

Factories made it much cheaper to produce large numbers of goods than the old way, in individual workshops. Economists call this an economy of scale. Thus a cult of size began, making “obedience to the large” seem normal.

Fiat currency

Fiat currency has allowed governments to spend money without consequences. It allowed politicians to wage war and to provide free food, free education, and free medicine… all without overtly raising taxes. Fiat currency made it seem that politics was magical.

Mass conditioning

Built on the factory model, massive government institutions undertook the education of the populace. And more important than their overt curriculum (math, reading, etc.) was their invisible curriculum: obedience to authority. Here, to illustrate, is a quote from the esteemed Bertrand Russell, who is himself quoting Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the founding father of public schooling:

Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished.

Mass media

Mass media turbocharged authority and obedience in the 20th century. It was authority’s dream technology.

All of these things, and others, created an unnatural peak for authority. But now, this perfect storm is receding.

Peak Obedience Is Brittle

Through the 20th century, the people of the West built up a very high compliance inertia. They complied with the demands of authority and taught their children to do the same, until it became automatic. People obeyed simply because they had obeyed in the past.

Authority quickly became addicted to this situation, basing their plans on receiving every benefit of the doubt.

Automatic obedience, however, is a brittle thing. Economies of scale are failing, the money cartel has been exposed, government schools have lost respect, mass media is fading away, and the game continues because the populace is distracted and afraid. And that will not last forever.

The ‘walls’ of reflexive compliance are growing thinner. Any serious break may ruin the structure.

And Then?

It has long been understood that complex systems breed more complexity, and eventually break themselves. As central authorities try to solve each problem they face, they inevitably create others. Eventually the system becomes so complex, and its costs so much, that new challenges cannot be solved. Then the system and its authority fail, as they did recently in the Soviet Union.

Sooner or later, this is going to happen here. (If that seems impossible to you, please reflect on the current state of the mighty Roman Empire.) But again, that’s not my primary point. Obedience matters to you right now: today and every other day.

Obedience turns the best parts of you off. It degrades and kills your creativity; it undercuts your effectiveness and especially your sense of satisfaction.

Don’t sign away your life, no matter how many others do. Live consciously.

Paul Rosenberg

27 thoughts on “Peak Obedience”

  1. Yes – – – but our society functions because obience is integral to that functioning of our societies. Even in primitive societies, obedience is what societies base their function upon. We, individually, cannot go our own ways and run a functioning society.
    Sure, the maverick seem to provide some directions toward progress. But remember that your freedom ends where your neigbor’s nose begins.

    1. I guess you haven’t been reading Paul’s columns very long: he understands very well that your freedom ends where your neighbor’s nose begins.
      And just because one can list many societies that demanded (or still demand) obedience in ways far beyond libertarian principles doesn’t negate Paul’s points.

      1. What a delight to find thinking people, most don’t! Ned your Absolutely correct. Just like a mutation (cancer) in biology you need a maverick gene/person to evolve/change the organisim/system.
        Couple of thoughts on this distinct point and alluded to by others.
        Our ‘current’ system favours a ‘type’ of person to lead (political or business), they tend to be sociopath in tendency partly in nature (genes) and partly reinforced in nurture (schooling). If they weren’t greedy they’d never make it to the top. So in simple terms yes we are run by nutters (people at one end of the sociopath bell curve). I include myself here btw.
        ‘Normal’ people follow the “copy” code we all have from birth that is essential to learning & survival) and tend to lead pretty happy lives to some extent in happy ignorance. I envy them sometimes.
        It’s a known fact that most great thinkers or notable persons were mavericks (sociopathic tendencies) and as such broke the chains of conformity to bring about change or at the very least get their name remembered for prosperity. But they weren’t all successful (I know dangerous word); Faraday being a good example of mad genius that lacked the greed ingredient and despite pre-inventing the radio died alone and penniless (Marconi was a crook or was it the system).
        Most of you here strike me as free thinking mavericks, but your all still born of the copy code and judging by sentiments towards greed lack the final ingredients to be super successful in our current system, maybe that’s why your critical of the system…
        Which brings me onto my last point. What was successful or maverick or illuminating in the past system doesn’t ensure success in the current system. The system evolves, the mavericks evolve. In other words (I postulate) our maverick thinkers (including us) are still totally trapped by the boundaries of the system. We are born of the system and even when we think we have opted out or found an alternative cult, alas these places are entirely within its sphere of influence. You have merely opted back in somewhere else even if you think it’s your own new creation.
        Which makes our whole purpose and posts pointless as we don’t have free will even if we are sociopathic or able to “think” differently. One simply can’t escape the fact that we are of limited intelligence and a product of this system… a bit dark I confess and makes my contribution a bit self defeating.
        The matrix films played on this idea, inserting Neo as the “one” maverick saviour, only to discover he was a stooge designed to give the perception of ‘choice’ for the Zion people and bring balance to the system for the system. Which most ironically he still did even when he thought he had ‘broken free’ of the normal system game plan.
        Just as you are doing now perhaps 🙂

  2. When are Americans going to stop ignoring the 20,000 pound elephant in the room? When are we going to finally face the frightening truth? When are we going to admit that the Unites States government has degenerated into a tyrannical police state that is diametrically opposed to the government that was originally established by our brilliant Founding Fathers? When are we going to accept the fact that our beautiful country has
    been surreptitiously invaded from within, and that it has been conquered more
    effectively and more efficiently than any external invasion could have ever accomplished? When are we going to admit that the US government has surreptitiously usurped powers that were never granted to it by our magnificent Constitution, which is the supreme law of America and to which all other laws must conform? When are we going to admit that the US government is now corrupt, criminal, and illegitimate? That it is totally bankrupt both morally and economically? That it is out of control?
    Why can’t we accept the fact that, even though every federal, state, and county government official in America is legally required to solemnly swear to support and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, that the vast majority of these officials have never read the Constitution, even though it
    only takes about 30 minutes to do so! Consequently, there is no way that they
    could possibly know what it actually requires. So how can they possibly obey their solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution?
    There is absolutely no valid excuse for not supporting and defending the US Constitution! Let’s face the facts, these officials are liars, terrorists, and traitors! They are criminals of the worst kind! They are domestic enemies of America and its Constitution, and they should be tried for treason and sentenced to long prison terms! The fact that none of them have been prosecuted for treason is irrefutable proof that the US government is corrupt, criminal, illegitimate, morally bankrupt, and out of control.
    It appears that, as long as Americans have a beer and a ballgame, they couldn’t care less about truth, principles, and individual liberty! Does America have to degenerate into a North Korea style police state before Americans realize what they have so foolishly squandered? Isn’t it painfully obvious that it will be too late by then?
    Does anyone truly care about America and the revolutionary idea of individual liberty that she was originally established to promote and protect? An idea so powerful that it
    totally transformed the world into a much better place to live! Does anyone still care about truth, principles, morals, and individual liberty, or have we all been corrupted by the neurotic quest for material possessions and the twisted delusion of government
    provided “security”? Isn’t it obvious that the cure has become far worse than the disease, which that cure was supposed to alleviate? Will America degenerate into an omnipotent police state in which all liberty has been completely crushed, or is it possible that individual liberty can somehow still prevail?
    Sincerely yours,

      1. Dear Ed,
        Thank you very much for taking the time to read, and reply to, my humble opinion. And thank you for sharing the brilliant insights of Lysander Spooner with me. However, I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Spooner on two issues. First is the idea that the Constitution gives the government the right to plunder and abuse American citizens. The Constitution is a declaration of natural human rights. It was designed to limit the power of government. The fact that the government has slowly but surely freed itself from the restraints placed upon it by the Constitution is a testament to the persistence and tenacity of the psychopaths who doggedly pursue power, and the irresponsibility and cowardice of generations of average Americans, who were more concerned about chasing material possessions and living in the pleasant but psychotic fantasy that the government was going to “protect” them from all danger and risk! Any objective person would emphatically agree that 90% of the government’s power is contrary to the Constitution and therefore illegitimate.
        With respect to the oath or affirmation that all government officials are legally required to take, Lysander missed the point altogether. The assertion that the oath is not made to anybody is false. It is actually made to a government official, who administers the oath and to a room full of other oath-takers, and most importantly it is made to the person who swears the oath or affirmation! Every moral, responsible, courageous person, who takes this oath, does it with the absolute conviction that they will honor their oath to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those, who take this solemn oath, walk out of the room and never give it another thought! This is exactly why America finds itself in the precarious situation in which it now suffers. Thanks again.

          1. Esteemed Ed,
            While I might disagree with what you say, I will fight to the death for your right to say it! Whether or not the Constitution has any authority is not the question. Here is the question: “Have the government officials, who have solemnly sworn to uphold the Constitution, lied under oath and refused to honor their legal and moral obligation to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic? The answer to this question is a resounding and irrefutable “YES”. Any person, who solemnly swears to act and does not act in accordance with their oath, is a liar, a fraud, immoral, and in this case, a traitor! There can be absolutely no doubt about this!
            Does the Constitution have any authority? Any man-made law anywhere in the world only has the authority that men give to it. If we Americans choose to ignore the irrefutable natural truths that are expressed in the Constitution, we do so at our own peril. In spite of what governments choose to believe, all human progress comes from individual human beings, who can express themselves freely as enumerated in the Constitution. While history has shown that sick, twisted psychopaths can band together and eventually enslave large groups of people for awhile, history has also proven that this enslavement is ultimately doomed to fail. Unfortunately, the time, lives, and resources that are wasted in these endless futile attempts at total domination are staggering!
            The founders of America understood this all too well, and they tried to design a document that would prevent the psychopaths from eventually enslaving their fellow men in America. Unfortunately, too many Americans are spoiled, selfish, and willfully ignorant. They just don’t seem to care about individual liberty. Consequently, the psychopaths, who relentlessly pursue unrestrained power, slowly gain control until the insanity collapses and starts all over again. What a tragic waste of precious human resources!
            All the best to you,

          2. If the Constitution has no authority then it is a meaningless nothing. Those who swear to uphold it are swearing to uphold nothing.
            There is a reason that the founders were meeting in private. They didn’t want anybody to know that they were about to be duped.
            Do you realize that you speak like a slave?
            Part II

          3. Dear Ed,
            If you choose to believe that the Constitution is a meaningless nothing, then that is your perfect right. However, it is my perfect right to believe that the principles that are enumerated in the Constitution are much more than meaningless; they are the very foundation upon which individual liberty is based!
            The Constitution enumerates universal truths. No matter where men try to establish a free society, it will be absolutely essential for them to base that society on the magnificent universal truths that are incorporated in the first ten amendments to the Constitution – even in a anarchist society!
            I have taken a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and I take that oath very seriously and I will do so until the day that I die.
            So let’s take a brief look at this “worthless” instrument of enslavement. The Constitution protects our right to speak freely. I sure don’t see how this makes me a slave. In fact, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it wasn’t for the Constitution. Freedom of the press is also protected. Without this freedom, we would not be reading Paul’s brilliant insights! The Constitution protects our freedom of religion, which means much more than having the freedom to choose which church we will attend, our religion is our philosophy of life. Your right to believe in anarchy/abolition is actually protected by the “oppressive and worthless” Constitution! We have the right to bear arms, and this right could very well be the one that prevents the psychopaths from crushing all of our freedoms and making us all slaves! We still have the right not to be a witness against ourselves, which keeps the psychopaths from torturing us into confessing our guilt to whatever crime they may arbitrarily bring against us; and we still have the right to a speedy and public trial by jury, which prevents Inquisition-like star chamber proceedings, which is nothing more than a rubber stamp of the psychopath’s sadistic fantasies. So, if I am a slave to this worthless, unauthorized piece of garbage called the United States Constitution, then I am proud to be a slave!
            I humbly submit that your real enemies are the psychopaths who have manage to cleverly bypass the Constitution with their tyrannical rules and regulations. In spite of your low opinion of the Constitution, it is your final line of defense against total tyranny in America!
            It is obvious to me that anarchy is not the panacea that many people choose to believe. Even, if by some miracle, a anarchical society of no rulers was somehow created, it would be just a matter of time before the psychopaths managed to corrupt it into another tyrannical police state!
            Consequently, your struggle is not with the Constitution, it is with the psychopaths who are continuously born into this world like a plague of zombies, and who have no human empathy or compassion for themselves or anyone else. They are solely fixated on acquiring unrestrained power and control over other people at any and all costs. Ayn Rand was right, these pathetic excuses for human beings really do hate themselves.
            So may I humbly suggest that you stop wasting your time fixating on the irrelevant idea that the Constitution was not authorized, and devote your energy towards solving the real problem, which is how do we identify and remove the psychopaths, who have infected the government, before they finally enslave us all! The Constitution is the least of your worries – believe me!
            Al the best to you and yours,

          4. Belief in the Constitution is what allowed the present Psychopaths to be elected.
            You have a lot of theories. No proof.
            The Constitution protects nothing, people do. Therefore, people using the market is the “final line of defense against total tyranny”.

          5. Steve, I’ve been reading your posts and those of Ed’s and David’s. I am sympathetic to your point of view, for I was once a Constitutional libertarian, or maybe conservative, who carried a copy of the Constitution with me, read and reread and could spout erudite quotations from THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, and generally thought much like your comments here evidence you think. However, by reading the likes of Lysander Spooner, Frederich Bastiat, Carl Watner, Hans Hermann Hoppe, Murray Rotherbard and many other Voluntaryists (a.k.a. anarcho-capitalists), I came to recognize the contradictions so subtle but evident in the concept of constitutional government and the grave danger to liberty my old beliefs pose. I hope you will continue to pursue the subject of human freedom with an open mind, realizing that as William Paley reportedly once said, and which has also been attributed to Herbert Spencer, “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance–that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
            You ask: “How do we identify and remove the psychopaths, who have infected the government, before they finally enslave us all?”
            Steve, the psychopaths you refer to are folks in government who are all just ordinary Americans like you and me who have had the misfortune–although they don’t look on it as such–to be elected, hired, or appointed to positions of power over other human beings, which has corrupted them, as it would anyone–including you and me. Lord Acton nailed the problem precisely when he said, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It isn’t the people, it is the system of constitutional (or otherwise) government that is the problem. Under the Constitution, legislators (I call them control freaks) enact laws and agents of the executive are given the obscene “authority” to enforce those laws by whatever degree of force and violence they deem necessary, and judges back them up. This system, called euphemistically “the rule of law,” which obviously is the rule of the men who enact and enforce the law, not the law itself. The system of the rule of law is as evil as two other practices which men long embraced and enforced through government. Those other practices are slavery and human sacrifice. Just as most of us have come to realize that slavery and human sacrifice are barbaric practices we do not need to enjoy useful, happy and productive lives, so to the evil practice of men ruling men will eventually be consigned to the ash bin of history, because more and more men and women are coming to recognize that government as we know it can only exist if individual liberty does not.
            The alternative to constitutional government is individual self government. It requires the highest degree of self responsibility, which is the price of freedom, but it is so invigorating, creative and exciting you’ll hardly notice the burden and never regret it.

          6. Dear Ned,
            Thank you for taking the time to share your point of view with me. I value it very much. And I thank Ed and David also. It is obvious to me that you are all sincere and passionate about your beliefs, and I appreciate it very much. Honest and sincere debate is the only way to find the truth!
            I have been stumbling around on this earth for too long, while trying to understand why I have been put here and what I am supposed to do in the meantime, to ever think that I have all of the answers. Reality has long since ground my pathetic little ego into dust! However, as long as I exist in this dimension, I have no choice but to try to make intelligent decisions regarding exactly how I will conduct the rest of my life.
            Please allow me to address is the issue of psychopathy/sociopathy. This is a bonifide mental disease and experts estimate that at least 4% of the population suffers from it, but my experience has been that the percentage is much greater than that. For some reason sociopaths feel no compassion, no love, no quilt, and no empathy for their fellow men. As far as I am concerned, a sociopath is not a human being. They may exist in human form, but they are some sort of strange parasite that will never be compatible with a civilized society.
            What a tremendous “advantage” a clever sociopath has in a competitive world. While “ordinary” human beings are “limited” by their compassion and empathy for their fellow man, the clever sociopath has no such limitations. Before you know it, the clever sociopaths have banded together, much like the mafia families that were depicted in the movie “The Godfather”, and they have enlisted the “services” of the not so clever sociopaths, who use fear and violence to control all of us “ordinary people”, and to accomplish the selfish objectives of the clever sociopaths.
            The clever sociopaths eventually make us “ordinary people” into “defacto sociopaths”, who differ from true sociopaths only to the extent that we still have feelings of empathy and compassion for our fellow men that we must somehow suppress in order to survive in the insane world that we have allowed the clever sociopaths to create!
            Should the “ordinary people”, who have been forced to kill and injure other human beings, be excused for their crimes against humanity? Only until their crimes should have become obvious to any honest person. After that, if they still continue to violate the rights of other human beings, they cannot conveniently hide behind the excuse that they are just “ordinary people” who were simply doing their jobs! The Nazi Germans were able to exterminate millions of people because they had the help millions of “good and decent” “ordinary people”, who were just following orders!
            I am speaking from personal experience. I was drafted into the army and I was sent to Vietnam to kill people with whom I had no personal animosity. Yet I was forced to kill them in order to survive. I cannot know how much grief and pain that I have caused, but there can be no doubt that the damage has been substantial. Now I am condemned to live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life because the majority of “good and decent” “ordinary people” stood by and did absolutely nothing while the clever sociopaths slaughtered hundreds of thousands of naïve and trusting human beings for power and profit!
            Is it any wonder that I feel violated? Is it a mystery why I am outraged at the clever sociopaths who engineered this holocaust for the sole purpose of wielding unrestrained power and garnering massive profits at the expense of naïve and trusting young men, and the “good and decent” “ordinary people” who stood by and did nothing while waving the flag and living in their pleasant fantasy?
            As far as I am concerned, no man, or group of men has the right to force another man to risk his life and/or kill another human being! This is a clear and irrefutable violation of another person’s human rights! and it is a clear violation of the US Constitution!
            A dedicated anarchist would exclaim, “So there you have it, Steve. You have just made my case! This could have never happened in a society that was organized in accordance with anarchist principles!”
            But it also could have never happened in a society that was organized under the strict principles that are embodied in the US Constitution! The problem is that the clever sociopaths will always find a way to corrupt whatever form of government that men manage to create – even an anarchist society!
            It is patently obvious to any honest person that there are actually two Constitutions. There is the Constitution that was designed and implemented by the founders of our republic, and there is the present Constitution that has been twisted, amended, and corrupted by clever sociopaths with a hidden agenda!
            The original and unambiguous intent of our Republic’s founders was to protect each individual’s right to live their life in any way that they chose as long it didn’t interfere with any other individual’s right to do the same. In order to accomplish this intention, they created the Constitution, which formed a government that was granted very limited powers. So most of those amendments to the Constitution that have been so cleverly passed since the Constitution came into effect are completely unconstitutional!
            Yes, I know that the Supreme Court has declared them to be Constitutional, but the Supreme Court is part of the government and the Constitution was designed to limit the power of the government, so allowing the Supreme Court to decide what are the limitations of the government is like letting the fox guard the chicken coop! Consequently, it won’t be long before there are no more chickens!
            Originally common juries had the obligation and the power to decide if the law with which the accused was charged was Constitutional before he was tried under that law. This was called “jury nullification” and it gave the people the power to decide what laws were unconstitutional. If the jury decided that the law was unconstitutional, the accused was immediately set free!
            Of course, this was a huge impediment to the clever sociopaths, who yearned for unrestrained power over ordinary Americans. So it wasn’t long before the concept of jury nullification was cleverly relegated into obscurity so that now the “good and decent” “ordinary people” who compose the juries are too lazy and too irresponsible and too timid and too selfish to make themselves aware that they have the power to nullify unconstitutional laws!
            This is how the clever sociopaths acquire unrestrained power over other men. It is not the fault of the Constitution, it is the fault of “good and decent” “ordinary people” who refuse to accept their solemn obligation to learn how their Constitutional operates and act accordingly!
            So the anarchists gleefully assert that this could have never happened in an anarchist society! To this I must respectfully beg to differ. Does any sane person actually believe that a world without any sort of man-made rules could possibly exist peacefully and productively for any length of time?!
            In any group of men there will always and necessarily be disagreements and disputes. How would these disagreements be resolved in a society with no rules? Would everyone be armed, and when there is any sort of dispute they would all pull out their guns and start blasting away until the survivor, if there was one, wins the argument?! Really!!!!
            Who is going to live in the pleasant fantasy that everyone in this anarchist society will peacefully sit down and solve their problems honestly and logically? Is there anyone stupid enough to actually believe this?
            The sad truth is that for many people violence will always be a way to solve problems no matter how hard you try to convince them otherwise! Exactly how will an anarchistic society deal with these uncooperative people? Without any rules there will be no courts. Will all of the uncooperative people simply be exterminated? At least the Constitution gives the people that chance to attain individual liberty, if they would only take their responsibilities seriously and refuse to let the clever sociopaths acquire power. An anarchist society be an absolute paradise for the sociopaths! There would be no legal barrier like the Constitution to at least slow them down. While normal human beings struggled with their humanity, they would be exterminated by the sociopaths, who have no humanity with which to struggle!!!
            So, while the Constitution may not be a perfect legal document, it is as close to perfection that any government will get in this imperfect world. The real problem is that “good and decent” “ordinary people” are too lazy, too selfish, too preoccupied, too irresponsible, and too cowardly to stand up and resist the clever sociopaths, who endlessly seek ways to acquire unrestrained power. I submit that these “good and decent” “ordinary people” are not really so good and decent after all! Wake up America! Thank you for your kind attention.
            All the best to you and yours,

        1. Do yourself a favor Steve, take the constitution and put the text into a word processor of some kind. Your choice. I use Open Office myself. Now highlight the words that are dedicated to what government can do. Then highlight the words that pertain to the rights of the individual. That will take far less time. Now do a word count for each. What you will find is that roughly 95% of the words in the constitution talk to what government can do and what power it exerts over the states and individuals. About 5% of the words are dedicated to the rights of the individual and those are for the most part conditioned. You have almost zero power in the equation.
          The combination of the 16th amendment and article 1, section 8 should scare the hell out of any sane person. You can be taxed at a rate of 99% of the fruits of your labor (slavery) and their isn’t a thing you could do about it. That would be constitutional. According to the constitutions 13th amendment if someone is convicted of a crime, say smoking a little vegetation, then they become a slave. Slavery was never abolished, it was codified into law and became a monopoly of the state.
          The constitution was a coup d’etat by a group of statists who sought to centralize power unto themselves. When it comes to protecting individual liberty it is a useless screed at best. It took the negativism in the declaration and turned it into positive law. To fully appreciate this you first must understand the difference between negative law and positive law. This is lost on most people but it is the difference between liberty and tyranny.
          You train of thought would have me conclude that you believe that the constitution projects some sort of magical power. That the rights of man are provided by it and the state. This belief is misguided. People who constantly roar about oaths and turning back the hands of time and “returning to the constitution” have no clue that the constitution is doing precisely what it was designed to do, giving power to a centralized government with little to no regard for the individual.

  3. Well, if I may, I would put that differently.
    The populace may be afraid and distracted, but let’s be honest, it is also lazy and enjoys obeying and not having to think.
    Bertrand Russell also said something like: people would sooner die than think, and indeed they do.
    Having said that, things are more complicated than described in your post.
    It is not a non-thinking populace blindly following the orders of a thinking elite.
    Our dear leaders don’t think!
    Do you believe that Sarah Palin or Nancy Pelosi think, or can think?
    All the leaders went through the same school system as we did.
    Yet, at the end of the curriculum, they were selected because of some of their skills (most especially a tendency for sociopathy) and sent to so-called ivy league schools, not to learn how to think, but how to lead and give orders.
    But whose orders?
    That’s where it becomes interesting, and frightening.
    Once reaching the real world, these future leaders are groomed, as they call it, by the actual leaders, in order to replace them without causing a ripple in the system.
    They are here to perpetuate the system (think Yellen following in the steps of Bernanke, following in the steps of Greenspan…following in the steps of Keynes…).
    In other words, leaders also obey, but they obey directly to the system, like the Pope obeys directly to God.
    The thing they have in common is that they do not criticize the system, even less contemplate the idea of changing it.
    The system is what it is and they are here to get as much from it as they can.
    And in order to achieve this they have to give orders, but not to think.
    People who think are generally not in a position of power: teachers, independant scientists, writers, and others who do it somehow as a hobby, blogging for example.

  4. Excellent, Paul! Your ability to communicate abstract ideas in layman’s terms provides a bright light on the table in a dark room. The utilitarian predispositions of most people, typically lacking the requisite intellectual curiosity to overcome a life-time of indoctrination, see obedience to authority like a fish sees water. Still, others seek and will be drawn to the light.

  5. Traffic laws and traffic courts are one of the best ways of teaching and enforcing obedience to the state and its agents. And the sheeple ask in astonishment, “What, you want everyone running red lights and ignoring stop signs?

  6. Terrific article, thank you.
    It may just be coincidence that your timescale agrees almost perfectly with the Illuminati.
    Johann Adam Weishaupt (6 February 1748 – 18 November 1830 ) was a German philosopher and founder of the Order of the Illuminati, a secret society.
    I have said often that the only two motivators are fear and greed. Whilst I acknowledge that “Love” may be a motivator, I have yet to see it in action beyond my immediate family.
    Fear and then greed are powerful and almost omnipotent. The means to activate them were spelled out in that awful forgery “The protocols of the elders of zion”. I know that it is a forgery, but nonetheless, it does seem to be used as a blueprint for what is happening. Just as Animal farm and 1984 were written as warnings, not instruction manuals.
    Thanks again.

  7. Urm. I don’t doubt anything that’s been said. Indeed I rejected the programming at age 16 but I think the article misses a key point. “Cult” is short for “culture” that is to say any collaborative group will adopt or obey the cultural behavour. Dolphins do it and many other animals.
    The driver being evolution. If collaboration (and the cult that results) is advantageous such that the group expands/dominates/reproduces in advance of other groups it is by definition the winner.
    The system before you wasn’t created! It evolved like all life does over time based on simple win/lose code. Sorry but the blame lies not with the high priest or the hapless followers. They or rather we are all contributing components to a simple algorithm.
    So beware your virtuous criticism of the system that gave you or rather life on earth the ability to evolve from acid to mindfulness (hint!).
    Yes the system is flawed but only to the extent that no system is any better. By all means play your part in the evolution of that system but beware how far you go in search of the truth only to then disregard it on the mistaken belief you ever had free will in the first place. And don’t do Acid!!

  8. Came 50 years ago to US:My Dream Nation,where I can live as a free man.As time passed,I saw US freedoms erode and on 9/11 all hell broke loose.The tyranny and dictatorshipI had escaped seemed to have reappeared:My Land of the Free & Home of the Brave melted away.:

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