Lèse-Majesté And The Necessity of Idolatry
Lèse-Majesté, an offense against the dignity of a ruler, is a little-used but very important concept. And it is the central crime that cannot be tolerated by the ruler.
Lèse-Majesté stands against the concept of free speech, of course, but when push comes to shove, necessities stand above the law, and lèse-Majesté is a necessity to rulers.
As we examine in this podcast, lèse-Majesté is crucial for the legitimacy of the ruler (without legitimacy the whole structure of rulership would fail), and is crucial to what I call “applied idolatry” in our world.
The World Is Wrong
Here is something that was thrown in my face at a relatively early age, as I began to think seriously and independently: So, the world is wrong and you’re right!?
But as it happened, I was more or less right. And very definitely the world was wrong.
The hierarchies of the world are trying to freeze everything and everyone in place. That means they will always be wrong. Even when they say the right things – like “murder is bad” – they’ll always be doing it for twisted reasons, with twisting effects…
Farber’s Second Essay
The second and final Farber essay, composed while both character and author were involved in dangerous cypherpunk projects, some twenty years ago.
Farber’s First Essay
This podcast (published originally in an appendix to A Lodging of Wayfaring Men) was composed twenty years ago, while working in a difficult and even dangerous cypherpunk project. It expresses the things that were on our minds as we stepped away from the status quo and dared to build afresh outside of it.
Men Are Idolaters
“Men,” wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don’t make it of wood, you must make it of words.”
Idolatry is a frame of mind. We’ve all experienced it, though we haven’t been clear on what it was. But once you do recognize it, you’ll be at least half immunized against it, and probably for life.
It’s up to us to improve the world. If obediently waiting for someone or something else could work, the dominating structures of the world would have improved long, long ago. But they haven’t, leaving the job to us.
To do this, however, we must first change the way we look at ourselves and experience ourselves.
Structured For Magnificence
This episode of the Parallel Society podcast explains something that’s tremendously simple and is great news for us, but is at the same time deeply radical, going against the structure of the world we live in. And that’s a simple phrase: We are structured for magnificence.
This concept offends people, of course, but however off-putting this little phrase may seem, it is true. And it opens a door to a magnificent future.
And we can demonstrate that mankind is structured for morality.
The Making of Production Versus Plunder
Production Versus Plunder, Paul’s highly regarded history book, came together in a fascinating and almost amazing way. He’s never told the story before, but in this podcast, he does.
The Dark Ages Weren’t Actually Dark
Most people still have the idea… the image… that the “Dark Ages” were filthy and grotesque, like a Monty Python film.
Not only is that false, but the people of the Dark Ages should be held in high regard. They’re the people who, for the first time in human history, killed slavery on a civilizational scale. They also created free market capitalism. And so, the prosperity that we enjoy to this day exists thanks to the people and ideas of the Dark Ages.
If that sounds crazy to you, you should probably listen.
Among the most important scientific findings of the 20th century were those of Dr. Robert Sapolsky. His work was becoming an interesting but fairly straightforward study, until a freak accident turned it into a human turning point. (Don’t stop listening half-way through or you’ll miss it!) Sapolsky’s findings show that the kind of progress we dream about is unquestionably possible. That puts the burden back on us, of course… and that scares a lot of people… but let there be no more question, we CAN step into a better age.
“It’s Only For Special People”
One objection to the cryptosphere… to free cyberspace… is that it’s only for super-smart people, and not for average people. And that’s flatly false.
Building the cryptosphere requires technical expertise, but populating it – filling it with people and commerce and human decency – is for all who will.
And by daring to enter, you make yourself functionally smarter!
We Can Succeed & We Will Succeed
It seems that right on the heels of a beautiful new vision, old fears come charging back to our minds, defending their positions. And so this episode explains why and how we will succeed. There’s really no doubt about the general outcome. The only uncertainty is the timing.
The Cryptography Revelation
Cryptography has changed the world over the past few decades. Without it there would be no Internet commerce, no VPNs, or Tor, or Bitcoin, or Wikileaks, or the Snowden revelations, or BitTorrent. But however impressive the results, it’s the power of the crypto vision that has driven them… and a revelation it is. Those who grasp it are often changed for life.
First Parallel Society Podcast
Buckminster Fuller’s advice for building a better world was to create a new model that makes the old model obsolete, and the Parallel Society podcast is dedicated to just that. We cover cryptocurrency, biohacking, private space flight, homeschooling and much more.