I've recently published my 2nd book, a short work of philosophy/politics/psychology. It is a general analysis of our society (The United States in particular, but I think it's applicable globally), from the point of view of the (lack of) freedom and equality of each individual. It's not just the system, but a variety of mental and emotional manipulation which allows the system to perpetuate itself.
I've also made a chart that goes along with the book to explain the basic premise; our society is made of a series of monopolies. I'll attach it below.
If any of my fellow artists here on CA.org want to check the book out, I'll send you a free, printable PDF of the book. Just shoot me an email michael at endlessunlimited dotcom.
"Never regret thy fall from grace, O' spirit of Icarian flight, for the greatest tragedy of them all to face, is to never feel the burning bright"
Believe my lies, for I tell the truth about them. Or would you rather me lie about telling the truth?
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I've always enjoyed the Socratic model of meeting people in the marketplace and attempting to add value to their lives.
In any case, I appreciate you checking out my work!
I welcome any thoughts, even if any of you peeps passing through have thoughts on the chart or whatnot; like Courage Wolf, I keep the door open for any challengers.
I am something of an anarchist. I have given up on politics. :-)
My sketchbook thread:
In truth, most people are anarchists most of the time. 95% of most people's lives are self-governing.
"Giving up" on politics, and focusing on your own life, family, community, etc, is the best way to go, as far as I can tell. Resorting to using the violent arm of the state against people who disagree with you, even if they disagree non-violently, is a course existence, and I aspire, through my work, to help disillusion peeps of the fantasy notion that is the Institution. It doesn't end up benefiting anyone, and ultimately ends up manipulating everyone on the bottom into slave-on-slave violence with each other.
But I think, through the book, I have added several key points to the discussion, and helped piece together a bigger picture view of the farce, how it works, and why.
T'is a wretched way of living in the world, methinks.
Last edited by jetpack42; September 29th, 2012 at 07:10 AM.
The concept is great, Jetpack. IMO you left out religious monopoly. Otherwise, or not otherwise, please dig up my email and send me the PDF. I'd take a read. If it's captivating and we all like it, or even anyone likes it, what do you plan to do with it?
This should allow for the largest I have of these images at the moment without re-scanning or even re-photographing them. I'll keep adding more.
One thing you are overlooking is that we are cooperative by nature. We actually have a progressive morality structure passed down from generation to generation. Sure violence is the universal language for "or else". But I'll say there are more positives than negatives that effect the average american life. We have free education, despite the vulnerability to brainwashing we all know our three R's. We have regulations that ensure our food is not poisonous and our drinking water is not THAT toxic. I could go on and on about the positives outweighing the negatives.
As for the apartment analogy, I think it works for the broad stroke of the concept of an empire. But for instance the bush administration dipped it's toes in jacking apartments. The american people decided these apartments are not worth the upkeep, so we elected somebody to give them back.
I think democracy is the most important weapon in history. I think the core problems could be handled slowly, but surely if the general public was interested. But as your graph shows, the majority of folks are too busy to give a fuck or too comfortable to give a fuck, but most of all giving a fuck is boring. As artists we have the ability to make giving a fuck fun.
Thanks Dr. Shoot me an email. Religion wouldn't be considered a monopoly, since people are free to abstain. Also, religion (in many places) is not enforced by violence. Now, religious people might try to use the state, but they couldn't do it if the state didn't have a monopoly on law--land and violence.
Thanks for the thoughts. My argument has never been that certain people have not derived some benefit. Surely, that is true. Although, as you will see in my chapter on school; the concept of school itself defies logic. It's not that nobody learns anything. It's that everyone could learn way more..
As for food, if government didn't regulate it, who would? private actors would come up who would be interested in discovering the truth about foods, and people would pay for their service because they want to eat healthy food, and they would be inspired to do good work so they maintain their customers. Regulation happens quite naturally and much more efficiently without monopolies. We understand monopolies are bad in the marketplace.. they're just as bad, if not worse, when applied to important everyday issues such as security and health (and not just iPods).
Problem is, people don't often hear about many of the absolute failings of government's ability to do it's own job, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz27ya0rUiv or we hear about it too late. The "security" provided by government is an illusion. They're as concerned for your security in as much as you can continue to be their tax-slave, and beyond that you're on your own.
My argument is a moral one--if the initiation of force is wrong, then it continues to be wrong no matter how many papers you sign or how many badges are on your official costume. Might does't make right, and neither does the number of pieces of meat who agree with you (democratic elections). If me and the Dr can't vote for you to be our slave, why can 51% of the population vote to take goods and benefits from the 49%?
While I completely reject democracy as a corrupt idea, I agree with your final sentiment. It can be boring, but the problem is that it affects all of our lives. Central bankers are pillaging the population on a daily basis, and people can't seem to be bothered to care. There are a lot of reasons that I think the issues have become compounded upon each other, to keep people within a cycle of slavery; you'll see in the book.
I certainly agree that arguments for freedom and equality need to begin to resonate on an emotional level, rather than an intellectual one.
Your question presupposes that democracy is like a fruit at a fruit stand and we're deciding what kind of pie to have for desert. As if it's a matter of preference and I need only to convince you of my fruit. Democracy is a system of might-making-right; mob rule. If two people can't vote to kill a third (morally), why can 51% of poor people vote to take money from 49% of the wealthiest? Why can't the wealthiest 51% just vote to take everything that the poorest 49% have? It's absurd. Voting doesn't change the principle of gravity, so does voting make murder any more or less moral?
As far as what to replace it with, it's open to discussion. The point I attempt to espouse is that if we want the most moral, intelligent system of governance, that would express itself in living on principle. If we are born free and equal, what can Presidents do for people that they couldn't do for themselves? If we are born free and equal, can the mob force you to be a slave? A decentralized, voluntary society is going to be the most productive, prosperous, and free, and the most advanced society of people would utilize advancements in technology, polycentric law, localized communities, competing currencies.... etc. Basically, the exact opposite direction that everything is heading now. Apparently, nobody learned any of the mistakes of the last century, where government were centralizing, growing, and consolidating power for themselves. That model hasn't worked for any large countries, and it certainly didn't work out well for the 170 MILLION people who were murdered by their own governments. Yes, that's a statistic http://www.fff.org/freedom/1094f.asp
In short, I'd replace it with principled living, self-government, decentralized communities, polycentric law based on Natural Law, and the like. Government, even democracy, is the antithesis of humanity. Just like it is not the natural state of any animal to be kept in a zoo, or for a cow to be kept on a dairy farm, it is not the natural state of a human to be a cog in the Institution. It is also worth noting that advocating a removal of corrupt law is not advocating for lawlessness, chaos, or destruction. Much to the contrary, all of the best solutions I have heard for many of societies problems are all based on non-violent solutions; they don't rely on the violence of the state to implement.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntaryism I believe we each are born free and equal. I don't believe in slavery.
Regardless of freedom, I don't believe people are born equal.
If you are born with a messed up 21st chromosome-- you have Downs Syndrome and your fate is to be retarded.
If your mother consumed a drug such as Thalidomide, carries certain genes, or had a pregnancy involving damage to the infant body, e.g. brachial plexus palsy, your fate is to be born physically handicapped.
In a well mannered Hobbesian State of Nature which you, seemingly, envision the physically and mentally handicapped are certainly still not equal.
Political equality, rather, would seem to be a creature of 18th century French and American politics-- utterly immersed in Democratic politics (actually "Republican" politics in the classic sense.)
As for me. I really really don't see the rank and file of the King County Sheriff's office as whip crackin' slave masters keeping me in line! Honestly, and demographically, I find it hard to envision a situation where I would ever do anything to get myself shot, tased, or baton whacked by Sue Rahr's otherwise unremarkable somewhat dumpy middle-aged Deputies.
The Amish may actually be living out the ideal which you desire. But, paradoxically, they do so, protected, by American style Republican Democracy which shields them from harm and protects them from dying in the Republics' wars owing to their conscientious objector status.
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To be interested in philosophy one must possess a mind devoid of the tribulations that plague an earthly life.
To be interested in politics one must possess a mind devoid of the virtues that safe keep morality.
To be interested in psychology one must possess a mind devoid of the aforementioned.
2- Your last two paragraphs make my point for me. You behave in a certain way to avoid the blunt end of statism; receiving a violent beating or being tased. And since you're comfortable falling into line, you imagine everyone else can just behave like you as easily, without problems. Sadly, King County is also home to one of the worse police forces in the country, Seattle PD. You don't even have to do anything wrong to get abused by SPD, or executed on the street. http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/doj-...r-pract/nF4Xq/ We could run in semantic circles all day long about how you "see" things, but as soon as you've admitted that you're obedient to avoid a beating, well now, that's hardly the ideal of a free society, is it? And I'm not saying that I'll ever see an ideal society in my lifetime, but there's clearly a large gap between the ideals we might claim to pay lip service to, and the reality, which is the point. You, apparently believe that people who disagree with you should be beaten and tased? I don't want to put words in your mouth, but that seems to be what you're insinuating, that since you won't receive a beating for your sterling behavior, other people might and it's their own fault? I believe that people who initiate violence should be beaten or tased, but therein lies the key difference: I don't view disagreement as the initiation of violence. Who is the violent offender? The 800,000+ people a year who are arrested for using a plant for their own purpose? Or the ones who track down, point guns at, and haul those people off? It doesn't work both ways, you can't live in a "free" society (or claim to espouse the values of one) and then say that people who peacefully disagree with you should be beaten, tased, and jailed. That makes sense, right?
3- Technically, you're right about the Quakers. But in every way other than technical verbiage, that whole concept is laughable. So then, are the indigenous peoples on reservations also under the protection of the Feds? Everyone who would rather have nothing to do with the Feds are under their benevolent protection? American style Republican Democracy? According to CNN or FOX? What does it mean when the government breaks its own laws? What does it mean when elections are full of fraudulence? Any "republic" or "democracy" only exists in your mind, because there is plenty of evidence to show that it only exists in as much quantity as needed to maintain the illusion. As a quick example question, regardless of what you think about Ron Paul, his candidacy illustrated the limits of the grassroots. They changed the rules in many places mid-race, used force against grassroots organizers, called voice votes in opposing directions, and so forth, to stop him from receiving any nomination and delegates. If you're unable to understand the implications of a fraudulent election, that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
Nothing you say belies the fact that peaceful people MUST submit, or else they face the violence of the government. If the government can make an objection for Quakers, why not for others of differing beliefs? Why not Hindus also? So then the violence of the state determines who gets preferential treatment?
Your refusal to acknowledge the violence of the state (that it can beat people whenever it likes for whatever rule (tragically, it often doesn't need a rule), that it can force some into compliance and give others a pass, that it can impede in any peaceful person's life for whatever reason) only illustrates how addicted the average American has become to it's power. Everyone imagines that things will be "fair and equal" if their party gets into power, so they can use the violence of the state to force people to behave like them. Racism, gay rights, any of these social issues are proof of the violence of the state. And these groups don't strive for the removal of violence, they strive to gain political power so they can alleviate the pressure on themselves and force others to behave as they do (under the penalty of those beatings you were talking about).
You're probably fine with the state reading all of your correspondence too (emails, texts, phone calls), after all, you've got nothing to hide. You're not committing any crimes. But then, you probably don't realize that the state is constantly changing what is criminal. And they're also changing what the rights of the accused are (little-to-none), as well as the punishments (indefinite detention without trial). And we haven't even talked about how horrible the government is at properly identifying threats, or how they manufacture them. These are real people we're discussing; lives destroyed. You're welcome to be indifferent, but it's sad that so many have so little empathy.
Maybe you could read this and show me the "American style Republic Democracy"? http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...137626701.html I'm not able to find it myself.
You seem to be reaaaally focusing on the beating and tasing thing. Kind of feeling like a strawman argument here. Kamber mentions one little sentence on not thinking he'll be beaten for anything he does in his everyday life so you run with that an make it so suddenly that he thinks people should be beaten or tased if they disagree with him? Or that he's changing his everyday behavior to fall in line? Kind of pushing it to an emotional argument here then running with it, really putting words in peoples mouths (as you said) then attacking them.
I don't know where you live, but the U.S. is a veeeery big place the culture shock from one state to the next can be staggering. I've moved around a lot growing up and have yet to meet a place where police are even remotely as bad as your making them. Your kind of portraying them as mindless monsters that follow the state to go around beating and tasing people, no conscious of their own when they're people same as you or I. Most people don't even think twice about getting a beating or getting tased, because the events of their daily life don't even remotely deal with things that would get them beaten or tased.
Also exactly what kind of government DOESN'T have this sort of issue or possibility with law enforcement? Anyone with power can abuse it. Anyone. A cop beats you and nothing happens to him? Hell I live near Baltimore, cops die on the streets everyday with no repercussions. Anything can happen off the records. On the records how many cops get sued as well. Quite a lot. It's not exactly black and white. There's the same issues with judges, and law in general on a local level.
I'm not really sure what kind of society your advocating here though really. All societies have the same basic principles protection and service/communal law. There will always be those with some sort of power over another and those that abuse it. Say the U.S. was broken into sub cultures people deciding their own laws on a more local level. Who's going to enforce it? Who's going to stop those who do enforce it from growing too large and abusing its power?
(Should throw in here that no we aren't in a perfect society in the U.S. quite the opposite. Plenty of fucked up shit going on.)
Last edited by JFierce; October 6th, 2012 at 04:35 PM.
Whoa! A lotta intermingled concepts from jetpack.
Re rights: I have no problem with the idea of "human rights" or political equality. I'm just pointing out that in a radically individualist society that you aim towards the physically lame and mentally retarded are going to have a hard go of it. What of orphaned retarded kids? Who looks out for them in the absence of family, community, or the modern Welfare State?
Re force: I spend 7 or 8 hours of my day sleeping; I spend another 8 to 12 hours of my day engaged in productive labor not likely to attract the attention of law enforcement whatsoever; otherwise I engage in dainty gentlemanly pursuits such a sketching from life and flailing around with my watercolors; add in laundry, grocery shopping, my occasional forays into dating, walking, working out, hiking, etc.
I'm really really not doing anything either likely to bring me into a violent confrontation with my fellow citizens-- certainly a precursor to a call out of the Deputies, guns drawn, clubs a swingin'-- or likely to provoke "the man" directly. I suppose I could get pulled over for the occasional traffic violation. But, I'm not likely to fight or run-- what sense would it make? Thus, the cops are not likely to blast me or club me. Re traffic infractions, I generally obey the traffic laws not out of fear of the State's agents putting a .40 caliber round through my midsection but because they make sense!
I concur with JFierce-- my own unlikely-hood of getting beat down by the Deputies in no way means I believe those who are illegally attacked by law enforcement deserve what they got!
The utopic society you describe cannot exist, because its citizen would have conflicting interests. Laws are designed to keep our rights from stepping on the rights of others. I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I don't see that there is a viable alternative. The problem is human nature. How would you stop might makes right?.. with more might?.. or reasonable discussions maybe?
. . . . .
I think that there isn't really any difference between what has
been said by JFierce and Jetpack. Both arguments are based on
the fact that society's are in nature completely violent.
You could say they are indiscernible in that fact.
One presents a society that is completely succumbed by violence in its most extreme form.
The other presents the same society which has that extreme form as well but adds
that there is a lot of variation in how violence presents itself.
Both say that this 'violence' has existed and always will exist in our society.
Ergo, one key ingredient for our society to function is violence, violence has a purpose.
Because violence has a purpose in our society the act of violence should be in a way beneficial,
this goes for both parties really, the victim and the aggressor. You could talk about the economy of violence.
But I rather think that Jetpack has a point in his diagram when he displays economy
as an initiator of monopolizing violence. I'd be more extreme and say that in current
society's economy is a simulacrum for violence just like politics is a simulacrum for economy.
I think both are wrong in taking examples out of real life. They only tell us
that some acts of violence are more brutal than others. The extremity is not in
how it manifests itself into life but more the dominating presence of violence everywhere.
When people talk about an Utopian non-violent society and say that that is
impossible they aren't telling the complete story. It is true that with current
rules and social constructions violence is a necessity.
An Utopian non-violent society is impossible because the social constructions
we have put our faith in and trust as true need it to exist. I think that if
you do dream of a non-violent society you should put your efforts in deconstructing or
radical complicating these social constructions.
I think that the question that spur this discussion is wrong in the first place.
'What do you want to replace it with' should have been 'what will it be replaced with
and can we influence this process?'
I don't think that current society's are or ever will be the end of history.
Last edited by D.Labruyere; October 7th, 2012 at 03:58 PM.
Thought Experiment: If D.Labruyere is a peaceful farmer eking out a living in the Hobbesian State Of Nature-- a place where there are no courts or Deputies to drag malefactors to court-- he becomes a law unto himself-- the Glock .40 on his hip is all that stands between himself and those other denizens of the State Of Nature who might steal his crops, rape his woman, murder his children, and set him to a state of chattel bondage.
In Social Contract Theory, those residing in the State Of Nature relinquish the ability to deal out violence to the violent-- one on one-- for the greater security of a civil State that promises to maintain order so that the citizenry might go about its business of making a living without each citizen having to constantly look over his shoulder to stave off the onset of evil.
So you're saying that since you haven't encountered police brutality, it's not a significant problem? Or you're saying that this is no big deal? http://www.policemisconduct.net/ This whole concept is allowable because of the monopoly of violence, which is the point of the argument. A monopoly of violence is evil.
(as an aside.. don't make me chuckle about cops getting sued. Who pays for that? Not the cops. The taxpayers! The taxpayers pay for the cops to do shiesty crap, then the taxpayers pay for the trial and the defense, and then the taxpayers pay the settlement or the award. Cops are ALMOST NEVER held personally responsible for their actions, contrary to you and I.)
If anyone with power can abuse it (and history shows that almost everyone with power has) then why would anyone with a working brain agree to giving people in power MORE POWER? Doesn't that defy common sense? And that's the point.
This is a forum, and the argument is very simple, but can get quite complex. Slavery is wrong. If using force against other people is wrong, then it needs to be stopped. Who is going to enforce all that stuff you mentioned? Each person will decide how to enforce it. There's plenty of theory available on decentralized systems, but before we can discuss it seriously, we'd have to agree that centralization is wrong. For example, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0_Jd_MzGCw
Last edited by jetpack42; October 8th, 2012 at 02:18 AM.
1- You raise a valid point, and I certainly sympathize with the plight of the less-fortunate (which is why I advocate what I advocate from the beginning, I believe our society is actually designed around the destruction of the most unfortunate) but then your argument is that all people should be enslaved so that way the handicapped have a more fair shake?
2- Many people have found themselves on the wrong side of a police confrontation for no reason whatsoever. It's not a "likely" occurance, but SWAT teams have tried to serve no-knock warrants in the middle of the night....at the wrong address and ended up shooting a completely uninvolved person. I don't disagree with what you're saying, and this is all a tangental distraction, the main point is that the monopoly of violence CREATES as many problems as it solves, if not more. You can't exactly war your way to peace, in any moral sense, so why is it any different on a societal level?
The bottom line of the argument is that our society is built on violence. If the initiation of violence is wrong... well then conclusions draw themselves.
You say "I think your error, here, is this-- societies "in nature" are NOT "completely violent." Rather, society/government exists to mitigate the inherently violent tendencies of humankind so that the greatest amount of peace and good may exist for the greatest number of people in those societies/governments."
So...we have to use violence on everyone to make sure that the most violent people don't abuse everyone else? This argument overturns itself, as Socrates explained 2000 years ago by saying that politics attracts money and power--what kind of person wants money and power? An evil person. As to your point again, if people are evil, and they need to be managed, they cannot be managed by the same evil people who need managing....can they? Who decides the greatest good? Who decides what people? Just as an example (and I am tired of it, but it's a simple one) why should the colonists decide what is best for the indigenous Americans? Is it any different today? Everyone is hoping that their party gets into power so they can change the laws to force other people to behave like them. If you don't like it, then you get a visit from some cops, and then you're in all sorts of legal entanglements. Comply or have violence used against you.
If people are evil and destructive, then the argument for more management completely falls apart (or falls back onto mob rule, aka "democracy") backed by more violence. And if people don't need to be managed, then there wouldn't be an argument against voluntary association.
Thanks for the questions and discussion. I've enjoyed thinking through your points. If you have any more ideas, I'm happy to entertain them.
Last edited by jetpack42; October 8th, 2012 at 02:44 AM. Reason: made a mistake
There's been all kinds of theorizing and discussion on the ideas. Stefan Molyneux has quite a bit of podcasts where he talks about a lot of stateless-society concepts, you can watch if you are interested.