Humanity Crucified on a Cross of Iron

CrossIron

A few people remember President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, where he warned Americans about the rise of a military-industrial complex… a warning that was stunningly accurate and almost fully ignored.

What almost no one remembers was Eisenhower’s speech in 1953, when he said that under the pressures of fear and war spending, humanity was “hanging from a cross of iron.”

Bear in mind, this was said by Dwight David Eisenhower, five-star general who had been supreme allied commander. He was also the sitting president of the United States when he said it. So, there is absolutely no room for passing this off in the name of patriotism.

Precisely What He Said

Before I elaborate on this topic, I want you to read Eisenhower’s words for yourself. Here’s the core of Ike’s speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on April 16, 1953:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people…

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Here’s one more line you should read:

God created men to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their own toil.

Obviously this speech was widely ignored.

The Cross of Iron

“Iron” is a reference to war materials: planes, bombs, guns, tanks, and so on. And what’s crucial about this iron is that it is purchased with money forcibly taken from the productive people of the world. And I’d like you to see the extent of these extractions.

So, here are the world’s top nine military budgets for the year 2012, in billions of US dollars:

USA
China
Russia
UK
France
India
Japan
Germany
Brazil
682
251
113
58
51
46
46
46
35

Altogether, that comes to $1.328 trillion. Added to that are not just the expenses of the smaller militaries, but dozens of now-gigantic intelligence agencies. (The US Department of Homeland Security alone spends $44 billion per year.) And so I think a reasonably accurate figure is closer to $2 trillion per year… and given many other expenditures, often cleverly hidden, even that figure may be low.

This is properly a job for some young economist, but not having one handy, I’ll give you, in rough numbers, what that equates to:

14,000,000 modern houses with amenities, or

100,000,000 brand new cars, or

a year of quality food and drink for 600 million people,

and so on. Obviously the cost of cars and housing varies from place to place, but you get the idea.

That’s what’s taken from us – annually – to build and operate machines of destruction. In just the past 20 years this would cover housing, transportation, and food for 150 million families… not counting the value of everything destroyed by the war machines.

Can we call this anything but an abject organizational failure? To be very blunt about it:

Humanity is producing far more than was ever dreamed possible by our ancestors, but we’re pissing it away on machines of death and destruction.

And there’s a clear reason for this. But it’s a reason that can be hard to face.

Forget Politics; It’s About the Structure

We’ve been trained to devote all our passion and attention to political fights. In other words, to spend all our energies on ephemera that come and go like the winds.

What we haven’t been trained in – what we’ve been diverted from – is the analysis of structures: the things that actually matter and the things that endure.

The structures that dominate mankind are monopolistic, non-optional, and violence based. The central principle of their operations – the one they enforce thousands of times every day – is this: Do what we say or we’ll hurt you.

However offended people may be at these statements, it will not be because they are false. Rather, they will be offended that such things are discussed. It’s not pleasant to face the fact that our world’s basic organizational structures are barbaric relics of the Bronze Age.

These systems are offensive structures by design. They are built to extract money from large populations, to consolidate those takings in the seat of the operation, and to use that money to become more powerful than every other such system. And their 6,000-year track record most certainly bears this out.

No one described this more honestly than Simone Weil, in An Anthology:

What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war… What is called national prestige consists in behaving always in such a way as to demoralize other nations by giving them the impression that, if it comes to war, one would certainly defeat them. What is called national security is an imaginary state of affairs in which one would retain the capacity to make war while depriving all other countries of it.

The truth of the matter is that the ruling structures of our world are abject failures – relics of a brutal and ignorant past. And Eisenhower was right when he said they were crucifying humanity on a cross of iron.

We can do better.

* * * * *

New-Age-Intelligence

The 20th century, for better or worse, is over. This book was written from the trenches of the new data wars. It offers a raw, apolitical view of what is happening and where the practice of intelligence is headed.

Comments from readers:

“Be warned; this book is not rainbows and butterflies. This book is a hard look at a future that can be avoided only through vigilance and dedication. At only 55 pages, I read it in one sitting and agree with every word. If I had the resources I would buy hundreds of these books and distribute them to people freely.”

“Right on the money. What’s described so aptly in this book is happening now and it’s only going to get worse.”

“A must read for everyone. As terrifying as The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

If you have a glimpse of the whole picture of history and where we can head (or are heading) as a civilization, you should come away from this read with new insights.”

Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

The Long Family of Mankind

Mankind

If you could go back in time a thousand years, you would find individuals who reminded you very much of your current friends and companions. The same is true of people who will live a thousand years from now. Some of them will be nearly identical to the people you love now. And you would care about those people the same as you do their present-day counterparts.

Please understand this: Those we would love in the future can advance only in the same way we have, by the benefaction of their predecessors.

Can you imagine how long it took for ignorant men to learn the rules of metallurgy? Or engineering? Or a hundred other things we can barely imagine being without? Our lives are advanced only because they created new ways of living and passed them down to us. Hundreds of generations of men and women lived through dark times, fighting toward whatever bits of light they could find, opposed by others nearly the entire way, to bring us to where we are now.

Someday our generation will also be gone, and we will have played – whether we’ve understood it or not – the crucial role of transmitting civilization to following generations. What do we want them to be like? How do we want them to live?

Numberless men and women have struggled toward the future and spent all they had to bring us here. We owe them something. It may be that they no longer care, but their gifts to us will cease to exist unless we pass them along. We make them matter, and they deserve to matter.

We stand now at the threshold of the stars, but we’ve been immobilized by self-serving structures designed to control every human and reap from their every action. We must get past them if we are to continue forward.

Foolishness bids us to forget the future, to chase status instead of goodness, conquest rather than production, and thrill rather than substance. A thousand self-serving voices call us aside, grasping at our assets and our energy. We must turn away from it all.

We owe this to the people of the past.

We owe it to the people of the future.

We owe it to ourselves.

What happens next is up to you. It’s not up to leaders or bosses. It’s up to you.

The consequences of your failures are inescapable, and the consequences of your good deeds are inescapable. Regardless of your acknowledgement, our descendants will live or die by them. What you are and what you do matter a very great deal.

Engage your will. Act. Awake.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Screw the Way Things Are, I Want Out

screwthings

This is a beautiful planet, filled, in the main, with decent, cooperative humans. And yet, I want out. Give me any kind of functional spaceship and any reasonable chance, and I’ll take it. This place is anti-human. It chokes the best that’s in us, aggressively and self-righteously.

I was struck not long ago by a comment of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s, in which he expressed the same kind of feeling:

I ought to have… become a star in the sky. Instead of which I have remained stuck on earth….

All of us who’ve had a moment of transcendence – who made some type of contact with what is truly the best inside ourselves – have also sensed that life in the current world is incompatible with it. I think we should stop burying that understanding beneath piles of “that’s the way things are,” “we should be realistic,” and “you can’t fight City Hall.”

Screw the way things are, screw “realistic,” and screw City Hall too. I was made for better things than this, and you were too.

Everywhere I turn, some kind of ruler, sub-ruler, enforcer, regulator, or “right-thinking” quasi-enforcer demands not only my money but also for me to make myself easy to punish, thus showing myself to be a good subservient. That’s not just wrong; it’s a disease. I don’t care whether such people are “following orders,” “just doing their job,” or whatever else they tell themselves to soothe their rightly troubled souls. That mode of living is perverse, and these people are enforcing a disease.

Let me make this part very clear: The desire to control others is disease; it is corruption. Willing controllers are a morally inferior class. And the truly deranged thing is that these people rule the world!

Forget about why this is so – we can debate that later – focus rather on the utter insanity of this:

A minority of moral defectives, who think extortion is a virtue, rule people who are happy to live and let live… by force.

That’s outright lunacy.

And to support the lunacy, we have lies, intimidation, and slogans: “In a democracy, you’re really ruling yourself,” “Only crazy people disagree,” “It’s always been this way,” and so on. To all of which I reply, How stupid do you think we are? You drilled that crap into us when we were children, but we’re not children anymore.

And if “our way” isn’t as bad as North Korea, that makes it right? Only to a fool.

And the results of “the way it’s always been”… my God, the results…

A study from the 1980s((It was published fairly widely at the time, but I lost track of the details and it seems to have persisted only among religious groups. The best information I have is that it was published by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences in 1984.)) found that since 3600 BC, the world has known only 292 years of peace. During this period there have been 14,531 wars, large and small, in which 3.6 billion people have been killed.

This is what I’m supposed to serve with all my heart and soul? A Bronze Age system that can’t keep itself from slaughter? We’re talking about a 5,600-year track record of mass death… and yet fundamental change is considered unthinkable?

Well, screw that too, because I think deep, fundamental change is called for… and was called for a long time ago.

Again, this is a wonderful planet and most of the people on it are decent… but it is ruled by insanity, and I want out.

Yes, I know, there’s really nowhere to go. Every place I might go is dominated by the same diseased model, and dissent is punished the same… and in some places worse. That’s one of the reasons space appeals to me; it gives me a chance to escape this madness.

I’ll draw this to a close with a passage from C. Delisle Burns’s wonderful The First Europe, describing why the Roman Empire collapsed:

Great numbers of men and women were unwilling to make the effort required for the maintenance of the old order, not because they were not good enough to fulfill their civic duties, but because they were too good to be satisfied with a system from which so few derived benefit.

I, for one, am unwilling to expend any effort to maintain the present order. It is by its nature incompatible with the best that is in us… and always will be.

Those of us who want to be more and better cannot support the current order without opposing what’s best in ourselves. Screw that.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Evil Is Weak

EvilIsWeak

For clarity, let’s define “evil” as “the willful abuse of other humans.”

By this definition, any person or persons who purposely manipulate other humans to their own ends – anything from tricking them into a bad business deal to extorting money from them to murdering them – are engaging in evil.

Evil Almighty?

From television, politicians, and endless “authorities,” we learn that evil is pre-eminent. God may be supremely powerful, but he’s powerful somewhere far away; Satan is powerful here. We can slide into evil with ease, but being good is difficult. Western man is convinced that darkness is stronger than light, whether he defines it in religious terms or secular terms.

The fear-sellers, we must admit, have won the day.

This primacy of fear and darkness is necessary to authority of course; without it, how would we be driven into their arms?

So, when someone comes along and calls evil a weakling, we think they’re a bit crazy, and maybe we worry that the devil might notice and chop them down.

Fundamental Weakness

Carrying such fears around every day, people seldom realize that evil is weak. And not weak temporarily or in a certain situation, but fundamentally weak. Here’s why: Evil does not produce.

Armed robbery is a good example of evil, and it is clearly contrary to production; we could almost define it as “anti-production.”

Evil is massively wasteful: it burns crops, it breaks down bridges, it steals important, useful assets, and it kills people. Evil, therefore, must take advantage of healthy and effective life if it is to prosper.

Genghis Kahn had to get his arrows, horses, and shields from somewhere, and he didn’t produce them himself. Likewise for Mao and Stalin and Tamerlane and the rest. One way or another, they required basically decent people to produce for them. Regardless of whether these producers were tricked or intimidated, it was they who armed evil; evil didn’t arm itself.

And this brings us to one of the great, simple truths of our times:

If goodness ever stops allowing evil to take advantage of it, evil is simply finished.

The good don’t need the evil, but the evil are fully dependent on the good.

It is the good (or at least the basically productive) who permit evil to continue. These decent people are laboring under fears and flawed ideas of course, but without their acquiescence, evil could accomplish very little. And this is massively good news: Evil is vulnerable… deeply vulnerable.

Changing the Game

Right now, evil has tricked millions of productive people into doing its will. At this point, most think acquiescence is the right thing to do, or they simply don’t realize any option exists. And being in that position, they accommodate themselves to it. This can be seen in the moral confusion that is currently endemic. How else could people believe that what is immoral for one person is somehow moral for another?

So, the very first step toward the defeat of evil is to clarify morality. And here we can get a quick start, because morality is simple. It boils down to this:

What is hateful to you, do not do to any man.

From there, we can move on to things like, “Do not encroach upon anyone or their property,” or, “Keep your agreements,” but those are just extensions of the first statement… and that’s all we really need.

Yes, a professional philosopher can come up with strange exceptions, but those aren’t serious concerns. Send the one-in-a-million scenario to a specialist and get on with the other 999,999.

Act with integrity and you’re guaranteed to do the right thing 99.999% of the time. Do you think any of the complicated, academic systems of ethics will touch that percentage?

Furthermore, integrity is a simple concept that can be understood by any functional adult. This means that moral clarity is not only possible, but universally accessible.

Then What?

Once we’re clear on morality, we simply start calling things by their true names… and we don’t stop.

After that, evil openly displays its weakness every time it objects: It shows that it cannot abide – cannot survive – the persistence of simple truths.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

We Are Great

great

Every time I write one of these pieces, a certain number of people freak out, and often quite vocally. But it’s a huge mistake to define ourselves by what we’re against, and darkness is not all that exists in the world.

And we are magnificent creatures. I want my writing to help humans realize that this is true, and to start acting on it. Decrying what is wrong has a place, but a limited place: that of warning good people to avoid it.

The focus on evil is massively overdone. We are inundated with all that is bad in the world: News broadcasts are fully dedicated to nothing else, politicians are dedicated to nothing else, and the very existence of contemporary governance is predicated on “keeping fear alive.”

But all of that is degrading, distracting, and devolutionary. Sure, evil exists, but the truth about evil is that it’s small and weak (stay tuned next week). It’s time to stop devoting the whole of our lives to it.

Who Is “We”?

Since I’m saying, “We are great,” and since I’m expecting a lot of instinctive objections to the concept, I should define the term.

“We” refers to productive humans. And there are billions of us. We are the majority. Our big problem is we’ve been conditioned to think that darkness and destruction lurk for us on every corner and that nonproductive people are our natural superiors. But those are lies. We are superior to the willfully unproductive.

And yes, in this article, I’m completely ignoring murderers, criminals, and the various dependent classes. They don’t define me, and they shouldn’t determine the shape of your mind either.

Celebrating Our Greatness

The Romans used to celebrate themselves: their arches and domes, their aqueducts and fountains, their roads and farms, their prosperity. On the other hand, we’ve accomplished far, far more than the Romans. And yet, we are fully convinced that we suck. There’s a problem here.

The past few centuries have seen the most productive generations ever to inhabit the Earth. Never before, in our long history, have humans accomplished anything remotely close to what we have. And we’re poised to jump much farther… except that we’ve been convinced – irrationally and maliciously – that we deserve no credit for anything, that we’re vile and filthy and caustic.

Entire academic disciplines are devoted to convincing us – against any and every objective fact – that we can’t know anything, that thinking we do know sets us at the lowest depths of self-delusion, and that our only rational role in the universe is to hate ourselves and to obey our betters (aka, authority).

It’s all bullshit, my friends. All lies. All manipulation. It was all a coordinated attack on our minds.

With no historical precedent, productive people just like you and me have created these things (and many more) over the past few centuries:

  • The telescope.
  • The microscope.
  • Calculus.
  • The law of gravity.
  • The laws of mechanics.
  • The binary system.
  • The barometer.
  • Logarithms.
  • The slide rule.
  • Electronic calculators.
  • The blast furnace.
  • Practical steam engines.
  • Rifles.
  • Hand guns.
  • Eyeglasses.
  • Electrical generators.
  • Electrical transmission.
  • Ice cream.
  • The laws of electromagnetism.
  • Artificially produced ice.
  • Statistics.
  • The telegraph.
  • The telephone.
  • The electric light.
  • The electric motor.
  • The assembly line.
  • Automobiles.
  • Railroads.
  • Hot air balloons.
  • Airplanes.
  • Space travel.
  • Radar.
  • Photography.
  • Sound recording.
  • Video recording.
  • The fax machine.
  • The computer.
  • Radio.
  • Television.
  • The Internet.
  • The cell phone.
  • Refrigeration.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Mechanized farming.
  • The vaccine.

So… we suck?

The fact that we are great is obvious. The problem is our conditioning.

“Bow Down to Fear and Self-Condemnation”

Please understand that the dominating systems of this world need you to feel like garbage. They couldn’t survive a situation where productive people believed in themselves, trusted themselves, and were proud of themselves. The hierarchies of this world require that you cower before every imagined fear and never dare think your own mind is trustworthy.

Look and see: Who among this world’s sacrifice-collectors delivers your groceries? Which of them fixes your hot water lines? Which of the televised suits changes your tires or hangs a door or rewires your lights?

It is productive men and women who make your life better, not the mighty; they merely extort your wages.

You, my productive friend, are better. I don’t care what you were taught in school about ‘great men’ and their necessity. That was misguided at best. Much of it was purposely destructive.

Please consider this passage from Buckminster Fuller:

If you take all the machinery in the world and dump it in the ocean, within months more than half of all humanity will die and within another six months they’d almost all be gone; if you took all the politicians in the world, put them in a rocket, and sent them to the moon, everyone would get along fine.

These are true words. And if they are true about machines, how much more do they apply to the people who create those machines?

The progress of the world waits for the productive man and woman to stop flagellating themselves. It’s waiting for them to stand up and act like what they are.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

The 18-Year-Olds’ League

18-Year-Olds

My dream of what could be.

In 2016, after realizing that humanity had been at war for some 6,000 years with seldom a break of even a single year – and very often in a dozen places at once – a simple thought appeared in at least a hundred young minds scattered across our planet:

It’s not the evil old men who keep all the wars going; it’s us, the 18-year-olds.

The problem, they saw, was that they kept obeying the bitter and rapacious old men. Swept along by authority and the fear of standing alone, they had been – for millennia – marching off to kill other young people exactly like themselves.

The 18-year-olds on the opposite sides of all the battle lines had been doing precisely the same thing: obeying the orders of their own bitter and rapacious old men.

And then a very simple thought struck them: If the 18-year-olds in every country agreed to not fight, who would?

After all, the old men never fought for themselves.

And so, being a generation gifted with worldwide communication, they began to find each other and to talk among themselves.

Some of them dug into military literature to see if they were missing something. Others read studies in the psychology of killing. A few researched guerrilla warfare. And then, one by one, they began to study economics, cooperation and consent.

Within months, they had no more doubt; war was almost wholly dependent upon them.

Old men with bloodlust would never stop the killing; once they passed 50 or 60 years old, they were never going to change. But that wasn’t really much of a problem, because a sufficient number of 18-year-olds could stop war anytime they wanted.

And so, in a matter of days, they wrote an agreement to be published in every country. They agreed they would carry it to their schools and to the streets of all their cities… they would eventually confront every young person in the world and encourage them to take their vow and add their names to the list of 18-year-olds who refused to march off to war.

Their agreement read as follows:

We, young men and women of all nationalities, hereby vow not to kill each other at the behest of old men and women.

We don’t want to fight. We do not want to die. We do not want to see our friends dismembered, nor do we want to dismember others… or even to assist in it.

We want to live and love. Most of us want families. All of us want rewarding lives. And we do not want to live with the nightmares of war.

If the old people want war so badly, let them go fight it. They’ve already had their families and careers.

Bitter old men and women will send us off to war forever if we let them. They’ve been doing just that, continuously, for 6,000 years; they’re not going to change.

The jungle warlord and the militant senator are precisely the same in this; they need war. For 6,000 years they’ve issued orders to us, and we – confused and obedient – have marched off, in thousands and even millions, to kill each other.

But no more. We, the 18-year-olds of the world, hereby affirm that we will not go to war. We will protect our home towns if necessary, but we will not march off, based upon the fears and intimidations of old men and women, to fight other 18-year-olds like ourselves.

We are confirmed in this resolve by the wise words of Albert Einstein: “Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

We therefore jointly refuse. Let the old men kill each other if they care so much.

This, their agreement, was presented to young people in almost every school in the world, in thousands of town squares, and in countless homes. The names of more than 10 million signers were posted to Internet pages before they were certified as “domestic terror sites” and hijacked. After that, they moved to the DarkNet. At that point, the old men and women panicked, banned the evil, unpatriotic document, and threw thousands of the young people into jail cells.

But there were too many, and soon there weren’t enough obedient enforcers to attack the young petitioners and not enough government cages to hold them.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

With Millstones Around Our Necks

Filters off. Today I rant.
Humanity has been progressing steadily over millennia. The terrorist empires of the ancient world are gone. Chattel slavery, a filthy curse upon our species since several thousand years BC, was obliterated in Europe a thousand years ago and remains in only a few barbaric corners. Humanity is healthier and better fed than ever in history, and by a huge margin.

Millstones

Filters off. Today I rant.

Humanity has been progressing steadily over millennia. The terrorist empires of the ancient world are gone. Chattel slavery, a filthy curse upon our species since several thousand years BC, was obliterated in Europe a thousand years ago and remains in only a few barbaric corners. Humanity is healthier and better fed than ever in history, and by a huge margin. We have vast knowledge at our fingertips and technology that would have been considered magic not too long ago.

(People fixated on darkness will object to my itemization of humanity’s progress, but everything I’ve written is indisputably true.)

My point is this, and if I could write it in giant, flaming letters, I would:

Humanity is ready to break out and fly.

“No, we’re not!” scream a hundred objections. “War machines, surveillance, stupidity, terror, obedient sheeple, psychopaths in power!”

And yes, I understand. But fixating on evil gets us nowhere. We have to lift up our eyes, see the path before us, take the millstones off our necks, and move. And that means leaving our precious complaints behind.

If you’d prefer to stand in place and complain, that’s your choice. I’ll probably agree with most of your complaints, but I won’t join in your chorus, because complaining doesn’t move me forward. And I want to move forward. I’m sick of watching a big, rigged game in which the debased triumph and the good stand around moaning.

I’m done with it. I give no consent. I offer zero respect. I’ve turned my back to it.

Have you ever considered the attitudes of the first Christians, stuck inside the Roman Empire? “We are not of this world,” they said. “We are strangers and pilgrims on Earth,” they said. They believed all the kingdoms of the world were evil and acted accordingly… and they were not wrong.

The Nexus of Coercion

  • Is coercion the font of righteousness?
  • Is intimidation superior to reason?
  • Is permanent menace the source of health and prosperity?

Think carefully, because if you maintain that the state is good, necessary, or God ordained, you believe precisely these things. Why? Because the state, like it or not, is the nexus of coercion in this world.

I know you were taught that the state protected you from coercion, but that was simply a lie. A big, fat lie… as in “demonstrably false.” (Not that reason has ever been much of a basis for idolizing the state.)

Rudolph Rummel documented 262 million “deaths by government” in the 20th century alone. Nothing else comes remotely close to that toll – not mass murderers, not petty thugs, not drug gangs, not all of them put together.

And where does the coercion in your life come from?

  • Does your neighbor demand that you hand over half your income or he’ll lock you in a cage?
  • Does your electrician force you off the road, demand your documents and issue you fines?
  • Does the grocer forbid you from working without a hugely expensive certificate?

The conclusion here is obvious and simple: The state is the nexus of coercion upon Earth. It’s easy to see that this is true; we’ve just been trained to look away.

And Coercion…

Coercion is a blight upon humanity. The theory of coercion being our savior – as in “we need a monopoly on coercion to save you from coercion” – is simply ludicrous. No mind that hadn’t been preprogrammed to it would accept it.

It might be fair to say that medicine saves us. But did organized coercion create medicine? Did it teach us to grow food or build cars? Did it discover the laws of physics?

Of course not. Coercion takes, by manipulation, fraud, and force.

None of this is complex. Understanding it requires no genius. It’s simple and obvious.

Our Path Forward

The path forward is almost equally obvious: a voluntary society, a society of consent.

And there is no reason not to reorganize ourselves into a society of consent. It would involve the usual human problems, of course, but they exist in coercive society in even greater measure. The real problem is that organized coercion forbids it.

We are violently prevented from experimenting with new ways of life. We are threatened with any number of punishments if we stray from the pattern that is dictated to us.

These monopolies of coercion always promise “freedom,” but their “freedom” applies only if you stay inside their limits. If you want to live differently, you are to be hammered down.

That’s why I call this a millstone. It forbids us from living any other way. It forbids adaptation. It forbids experiment. It forbids progress.

The worst part, however, is this: Organized coercion demands that we warp our minds and bludgeon our judgment, so we can praise it as the true and great savior of mankind.

So…

Our situation is this:

Humanity has been crawling into the future with millstones around their necks. The millstones are useless and debilitating, but they’ve been part of their lives so long that most people can’t conceive of removing them. But if ever they do remove them, they’ll be ready to fly.

Is organized coercion the only problem we face? Of course not. Our primary problems are internal… the kind that stop us from pulling the stones off our necks.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

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* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Status, Evolution, and Human Nature

As we move into a new year, I’d like to post something that I feel has fundamental importance. I hope you can take the time to read it carefully. Status is generally defined as a person’s condition, position, or standing relative to that of others. Please read that definition again and consider this: Status automatically creates division and conflict. Status forces us to think in terms of position, hierarchy, and dominance, and …

HumanNature

As we move into a new year, I’d like to post something that I feel has fundamental importance. I hope you can take the time to read it carefully.

Status

Status is generally defined as a person’s condition, position, or standing relative to that of others.

Please read that definition again and consider this:

Status automatically creates division and conflict.

Status forces us to think in terms of position, hierarchy, and dominance, and can’t possibly do otherwise; it is built solely upon our standing relative to others.

In other words, status is a poison. It causes us to think of others as adversaries and to compulsively compare positions.

To be very blunt about it, status is a primate model of seeing other beings. But it’s even worse than that: Not only does status poison our inter-relationships, it poisons our self-image. After all, it requires us to think of ourselves as above or below every other person.

Here are the two central problems with status:

  1. Status is plainly irrational. We are massively complex beings, at the same time better and worse than the next person in a dozen ways.
  2. Status forces us to see each other as adversarial. Status seeds hate, malice, and war.

Evolution

Status stands before us as an evolutionary hurdle. If humanity is to rise as a species, it absolutely must transcend status. Until we do, humans will continue to think primate thoughts, and human history will remain centered on conflict.

Status is a continuous, pervasive, and internalized culture of man versus man. And most human minds do hold this as a central concept. How many people like to see themselves as richer, prettier, taller, or more powerful than others? By so thinking, they build the foundations of envy, abuse, and violence.

Our present world is dominated by status-based structures. Whether kingdom, democracy, theocracy, or whatever, status-based structures set one man or group of men above all others. These people of a “higher” position-relative-to-others collect the production of the “lower” people, issue edicts they are forced to obey, and punish those who do not.

In other words, the ruling systems of the present world are incarnations of status… they are “status made flesh,” to paraphrase a famous scripture. This is a primary reason why the world is perpetually at war. The very model on which our society is built sets man against man and group against group, automatically and unavoidably.

Human Nature

Status is not “us.” It may be something we’ve been trained in for dozens of generations; it may be something that has influenced us all our lives; but it is not “us.” It is, rather, a dirty and old habit.

Individual humans tend to transcend status fairly well when they exert effort on it. They usually learn, for example, to drop the concept among people they love. And therein lies the proof that it is not truly “us.” We are better than status.

The truth is that humans can and do demonstrate non-oppositional thinking and living. And in this we see that human nature has been sold short.

Humans, even while immersed in the poisonous and persistent mindscape of status, still demonstrate love and charity.

That fact speaks extremely well of us. Human nature is better than we thought it was.

It’s time to start stripping status from our minds and lives.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Thousands… Millions… of Whom the World Is Not Worthy

NotWorthy

All of us have partial views of the world. We can only see and hear so much. At our best, we take in only a slice of the whole. Still, I’ve been noticing something that seems widespread and worthy of comment. Here it is:

I see an increasing number of people who are markedly better than the world around them.

My title for today’s dispatch comes from the book of Hebrews, where the author lists great men and women and concludes by saying, of whom the world was not worthy.

Yes, yes, I know that we can all complain at length about the stupid, brain-locked, and obnoxious people who surround us. And most of those complaints are true. But there’s another side to this:

Humans are inherently biased. We focus, probably at a ratio of at least two to one, on the negative.

Try asking people what they want. In most cases, they’ll start listing the things they don’t want. This negative bias masks most of the good that happens in the world.

And right now, there are millions of people who are becoming qualitatively better.

Why this should be so is a great question, and while I’m not going to dig in to it today, an increase in understanding has to be a central factor.

You Are Better

I obviously can’t know all my readers, but I do pay attention to them, and I think I have a pretty good feel for them. So while what I say here may not apply to every reader, I am sure that it applies to most. And what I want to say to you is this:

You are better than the world around you. Perhaps not better than every individual you know, but better that the enforced mentality of this world; better than its rulers; better than its great men. BETTER.

You see, we live in a time of rising contrast: millions of individuals are becoming better while the ruling systems of the world are becoming worse. Saying “of whom the world is not worthy” isn’t that big of a statement just now.

And I’m seeing people—old, young, male, female—who are, by nature, better. They display more kindness. They’re interested in understanding and improving. They are truer to themselves, and from thence are truer to others.

I think you should take this seriously. Compare your virtues with those of the world’s ruling systems. Find the truth of the matter and accept what is true.

Is “Better” Defined by Rules?

You’ll notice above that I said these people were better “by nature.” I did not say that they were better because they were good rule-keepers.

Keeping rules is precisely how not to become better. We’ve been trained to define “good” by comparing ourselves to rules, but the great thinkers of the world have been more concerned with transcending rules. First on the list of such people was Jesus, but I devoted an entire issue of my newsletter (issue #44) to that aspect of his philosophy, and it’s far too much to repeat here.

But I will give you two ancient thinkers. The first is St. Paul. He writes in one of his letters about people who:

doing by nature the things contained in the law… are a law unto themselves.

And this was not just a Christian concept. A few centuries earlier, Aristotle had said nearly the same thing:

This I have gained by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

So, if both pagans and Christians in Greece and Asia Minor could do this between 2,000 and 2,300 years ago, is it crazy to think that modern people are capable of it too?

Here are more modern thinkers who had more or less the same thing in mind:

Spinoza:

He who regulates everything by laws is more likely to arouse vices than reform them.

Jefferson:

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant’s will.

James P. Driscoll, writing on Carl Jung:

From whatever aspect we consider the command… it is the most dangerous single element in the social life of man.

Gustave Le Bon:

Armed with a small stock of formulas and commonplaces learnt while we are young, we possess all that is needed to traverse life without the tiring necessity of having to reflect on anything whatsoever.

Now, let’s go to the second part of this discussion: Who makes the rules?

In our time, that would be politicians. That is, the same people we condemn as liars nearly every day. Are we really supposed to take rules made by these people as definitions of “good?”

Furthermore, rules can be purchased from these people. Are we really supposed to surrender our moral natures to that?

Love, kindness, courage, integrity, understanding, and empathy: these are things that make people better. And they stand wholly apart from rule-keeping.

In the current world system, rules define who is punished, not who is good.

Fear of Being Better

People fear being better, and not irrationally. Let’s be honest about this: good people suffer mostly for their virtues, not for their vices. In our current situation, above-average virtue is often punished.

So there’s reason to fear being better. Not only will some people resent any type of positive difference, but the hierarchies of this world need their masses to be weak, intimidated, and confused. The problem with better people is that they grow out of those characteristics, even though they’re pressured to conform.

The system’s answer to this, as we all know, is to pile more penalties and pressure on these better people. It’s all they have; it’s all they know; it’s what they are.

So to you who are better, I have one primary piece of advice: Learn to accept the fact that you are better, and that you may be punished for it.

Is This Too Radical?

Before anyone gets the idea that these observations of mine are too radical to be taken seriously, please allow me to pass along another quotation:

That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Did you get that? If something is high and glorious among men, if it enjoys status—if it is authoritative, powerful, and feared—God is disgusted by it.

Now that is radical.

You wanna take a guess who said it?

Yup, that’s right, it was Jesus. That Jesus. The rabbi from Nazareth. Get a concordance and look it up.

So

Actually, there is no “so” in this case. This isn’t a prescription for conduct. I’m writing about internal acknowledgment, not outward actions.

What matters here is that you accept a fact: that the ruling systems of this world are less moral than you, and that you’re not crazy to think so. Whatever change that spawns in you will be to your credit.

But please, be better: Live with more love, more kindness, more courage, more integrity, and more empathy.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

This article was originally published by Casey Research.

In Praise of Traditional Family Values… Sort of

TraditionalFamily

Humanity has a problem of clinging to extremes, as I’m quite sure you’ve noticed. They love the Reds and hate the Blues, or they love the Blues and hate the Reds. They believe deeply in God, or they consider belief to be insane. And once they’re on one side or the other, they instinctively repel any modification of their opinion. Their polarization jumps to defend itself automatically. Facts for its defense are assembled afterward, as a subsidiary process.

Discussions of “family values” have stood on this kind of battlefield for decades, making them hazardous at best. Nonetheless, I think that it’s time to remove this topic from automatic polarization. And I do think that many people are ready to let it go.

So let’s give it a shot.

The Gulf Between Beneficial and Mandatory

There are two big obstacles to letting go of this polarization, and both involve the difference between “beneficial” and “mandatory.”

These two obstacles are the political and the cultural. We’ll go through each.

Problem #1: The Political

The problem with anything politicized is that all political decisions include threats of violence. That’s what laws are, after all; without physical force standing behind them somewhere, laws would merely be suggestions.

So, when we politicize something, we mix it with violence. That violence may stand at the end of a long process, but it’s always there. For this reason, politicized family values polarize people, and understandably so—no one likes having a gun pointed at them.

Both “you must” and “you must not” are mandatory statements, and they are also threats. If you do not comply, something bad will happen to you. As related to values, this is nearly the worst foundation imaginable.

Even if we could pick a “family value” that nearly all us would agree with, forcing people to comply with it removes their judgment—their agency—from the equation. By doing that, we minimize them, degrade them, insult their consciousness.

So, political solutions, regardless of which side of the polarization divide “wins,” damage and degrade far more than they can fix.

Problem #2: The Cultural

There are strong and enduring reasons why certain “family values” persist, but they’re not always the best of reasons. For example, the majority of humans have an instinct to reproduce and to see their offspring reproduce. Whatever we may think of this, we cannot deny that it’s built into the race.

Common or not, this instinct, while probably necessary to the continuance of our species, is not something that we should force on others. And that’s precisely where the debate on this subject goes off the rails. By pressuring people to conform to our instincts, we move perilously close to violating their agency.

I happen to think that having children is generally a good thing for adults to do. But it would be wrong of me to pressure others to live by my desires. I might make my case for childbearing to someone close to me, but even then, I should be careful not to pressure him or her.

My opinions on the beneficial should not be made mandatory for any other person.

I have a moral right to require that others do no harm, but I have no right to make them live according to my instincts. That would make them a slave, not a free being with agency over his or her life. However important I think childbearing may be, I have no right to enslave people to my way of life… or even to try.

The problem with cultural pressures is that they arise from instincts with or without clear reasoning, and are often delivered without reasoning. And applied often enough, their pressure approximates that of force.

Christians and Parents and Gays, Oh My!

Now let’s look at some of the “hard cases,” the ones that drive people to wild reactions:

Christians. I am not unsympathetic to Christianity, and certainly not to Jesus. I understand people who want to live according to their book, and I think they have every right to do so. If they think homosexuality is a bad thing, that’s their right. And they should be able to discuss their opinions openly, so long as they do it politely. (Not that I agree.)

What Christians should not do is force others to live by their book; they should not try to enforce their values. And the primary reason they shouldn’t is their own belief in free will. (As Jesus said, “Whosoever wills, let him come.”)

If a Christian believes that God gave man free will, compelling other men to live against their will is to fight against God. Furthermore, it voids the concepts of faith and of “cleaning the inside of the cup first.”

Parents. The most instinctual part of the family-values divide hits parents. Those who are traditionally minded are likely to be upset with grown children who wish not to have families. This is part of the current human condition and will probably remain so for a very long time. So, it will continue to be a sore spot.

Children who don’t wish to have families will have to understand that their parents feel differently and try not to be overly sensitive on the subject. Parents in this situation will simply have to overcome their instincts. Yes, they can ask occasionally and even make their case for family life once in a great while, but parents should be the more mature party in this conflict of opinions. They should not push their children.

Gays. Let me start with a note to heterosexuals: I’d like you, for just a moment, to imagine the pain of growing up gay. What if you naturally felt for the same sex as you do now for the opposite sex? How would you deal with it at 12 years old, when all the boys were talking about kissing girls, or all the girls were whispering about boys? And what if they also told “homo” jokes and looked for opportunities to insult each other? Being the only one who was different and knowing that you couldn’t escape them at school, how would you feel?

My point is that heterosexuals should have compassion for gay kids… and for older gay folks too. Their road is difficult, and I don’t think many of them simply choose it.

Now, a note to gays: Have a bit of understanding for straight folks. Yes, there are some who are simply assholes in the way they talk about you, but most straight people are not interested in hurting you and might very well defend you in a pinch.

Furthermore, you should not use the same political manipulation that your opponents use. As I noted above, laws always entail violence, and you don’t have any more right to lord it over straight people than they have to lord it over you. If you want solid, long-term acceptance, you must convince people, not force them. Yes, that way is slower and harder, but it builds with durable materials, not materials that will blow away with the next shift of the political winds.

The Case for Traditional Values

I think I’ve made myself abundantly clear that family values ought not be enforced on anyone. With that said, however, I’d like to make a case for them.

I’ve seen lots of people living lots of ways, and my observation (over quite a few decades) is that more people thrive within the traditional family arrangement than within any other. Most of us are happier and more productive living long term with a committed spouse. And most of us gain a great deal from raising children.

I’m not, of course, making blanket statements, or claiming that this arrangement is best for everyone. But I’ve known a lot of people over a lot of years, and this conclusion seems very solid to me.

Having a family is no panacea. Marriage (legal or otherwise) is not automatically easy, and raising children is long, hard, and sometimes thankless work. I’m not saying that this way of life is painless; I’m saying that it is productive and that we tend to mature and grow better within this arrangement than within others.

I’ll go even further and say that there is value in the classic arrangement of the husband working and the wife tending the children and the home. Obviously, I would never hold anyone to this arrangement, and I’m not saying that it is always the best, but in my opinion, it’s a productive way of life.

One difficulty in the usual husband/wife arrangement is that the woman is especially limited by it. Tending children and keeping house are hard. (Husbands: I strongly suggest that you try switching roles for a week.) No woman can do this full time and still have time and energy left for all her intellectual interests. That’s why this must be a choice. There is much to be gained by it, but there are real trade-offs.

Raising children is one of the most significant things that a person can do. It matters a tremendous amount, and women who choose to do it should be held in high esteem. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a token of great respect for a man to address an older woman as “mother.” That might be a good thing to bring back.

I should add that men too bear a burden in having their wives stay home with their children; they have to work more, they need to help at home anyway, and they worry right along with their wives. The difference—and it is a difference that matters—is that the husband has outside interests and is gone from the home most days. In almost all cases, the husband’s role—which is legitimately hard—is still less difficult than the mother’s.

So, to sum up: while no one should be forced to follow traditional roles, they are very often the most productive choices for us.

Why We Dont Have to Worry About the Family

I have, for a long time, heard people expressing their worries that “the family” will fracture because of modern changes. So, let me put your minds at ease: the family will not vanish as the preferred human grouping.

I can say this with confidence because I have proof. And the best piece of proof I have is from the Oneida colony of the mid-19th century. (I covered these people in issue 16 of my subscription newsletter.) Here, briefly, is the story:

The people of Oneida believed that traditional man/woman marriage was contrary to God’s will. They practiced—and enforced—group marriage, and over quite a long time. No one was permitted to have any sort of monogamous relationship… and there were hundreds of people involved.

Over time, however, Oneida fell apart, mainly because the children of the first members wanted monogamous relationships. They took frightening risks and suffered harsh punishments in order to be monogamous. Everything in their lives powerfully opposed and punished monogamy, yet they could not be held back from it.

So don’t worry about the family. Gay people will not eliminate it, and political stupidity will not kill it. The vast majority of us are simply wired that way, and that wiring is not easily changed. As the Roman poet Horace wrote:

You can expel nature with a pitchfork, but it just comes back.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

This article was originally published by Casey Research.