Most dangerous superstition

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THE MOST DANGEROUS SUPERSTITION Larken Rose 2011, Larken Rose Preparing the Reader What you read in this book will, in all likelihood, go directly against what you have been taught by your parents and your teachers, what you have been told by the churches, the media and the government, and much of what you, your family and your friends have always believed. Nonetheless, it is the truth, as you will see if you allow yourself to consider the issue objectively. Not only is it the truth, it also may be the most important truth you will ever hear. More and more people are discovering this truth, but to do so, it is necessary to look past many preconceived assumptions and deeply ingrained superstitions, to set aside one’s life-long indoctrination, and to examine some new ideas fairly and honestly. If you do this, you will experience a dramatic change in how you view the world. It will almost certainly feel uncomfortable at first, but in the long run it will be well worth the effort. And if enough people choose to see this truth, and embrace it, not only will it drastically change the way those people see the world; it will drastically change the world itself, for the better. But if such a simple truth could change the world, wouldn’t we all already know about it, and wouldn’t we have put it into practice long ago? If humans were purely a race of thinking, objective beings, yes. But history shows that most human beings would literally rather die than objectively reconsider the belief systems they were brought up in. The average man who reads in the newspaper about war, oppression and injustice will wonder why such pain and suffering exists, and will wish for it to end. However, if it is suggested to rum that his own beliefs are contributing to the misery, he will almost certainly dismiss such a suggestion without a second thought, and may even attack the one making the suggestion. So, reader, if your beliefs and superstitions – many of which you did not choose for yourself, but merely inherited as unquestioned “hand-me-down” beliefs – matter to you more than truth and justice, then please stop reading now and give this book to someone else. If, on the other hand, you are willing to question some of your long-held, preconceived notions if doing so might reduce the suffering of others, then read this book. And then give it to someone else. Part I The Most Dangerous Superstition Starting with the Punch Line How many millions have gazed upon the brutal horrors of history, with its countless examples of man’s inhumanity to man, and wondered aloud how such things could happen? The truth is, most people wouldn’t want to know how it happens, because they themselves are religiously attached to the very belief that makes it possible. The vast majority of suffering and injustice in the world, today and spanning back thousands of years, can be directly attributed to a single idea. It is not greed or hatred, or any of the other emotions or ideas that are usually blamed for the evils of society. Instead, most of the violence, theft, assault and murder in the world is the result of a mere superstition – a belief which, though almost universally held, runs contrary to all evidence and reason (though, of course, those who hold the belief do not see it that way). The “punch line” of this book is easy to express, albeit difficult for most people to accept, or even to calmly and rationally contemplate: The belief in “authority,” which includes all belief in “government,” is irrational and self- contradictory; it is contrary to civilization and morality, and constitutes the most dangerous, destructive superstition that has ever existed. Rather than being a force for order and justice, the belief in “authority” is the arch-enemy of humanity.Of course, nearly everyone is raised to believe the exact opposite: that obedience to “authority” is a virtue (at least in most cases), that respecting and complying with the “laws” of “government” is what makes us civilized, and that disrespect for “authority” leads only to chaos and violence. In fact, people have been so thoroughly trained to associate obedience with “being good” that attacking the concept of “authority” will sound, to most people, like suggesting that there is no such thing as right and wrong, no need to abide by any standards of behavior, no need to have any morals at all. That is not what is being advocated here – quite the opposite. Indeed, the reason the myth of “authority” needs to be demolished is precisely because there is such a thing as right and wrong, it does matter how people treat each other, and people should always strive to live moral lives. Despite the constant authoritarian propaganda claiming otherwise, having respect for “authority” and having respect for humanity are mutually exclusive and diametrically opposed. The reason to have no respect for the myth of “authority” is so that we can have respect for humanity and justice. There is a harsh contrast between what we are taught is the purpose of “authority” (to create a peaceful, civilized society) and the real-world results of “authority” in action. Flip through any history book and you will see that most of the injustice and destruction that has occurred throughout the world was not the result of people “breaking the law,” but rather the result of people obeying and enforcing the “laws” of various “governments.” The evils that have been committed in spite of “authority” are trivial compared to the evils that have been committed in the name of “authority.” Nevertheless, children are still taught that peace and justice come from authoritarian control and that, despite the flagrant evils committed by authoritarian regimes around the world throughout history, they are still morally obligated to respect and obey the current “government” of their own country, They are taught that “doing as you’re told” is synonymous with being a good person, and that “playing by the rules” is synonymous with doing the right thing. On the contrary, being a moral person requires taking on the personal responsibility of judging right from wrong and following one’s own conscience, the opposite of respecting and obeying “authority.” The reason it is so important that people understand this fact is that the primary danger posed by the myth of “authority” is to be found not in the minds of the controllers in “government” but in the minds of those being controlled, One nasty individual who loves to dominate others is a trivial threat to humanity unless a lot of other people view such domination as legitimate because it is achieved via the “laws” of “government.” The twisted mind of Adolf Hitler, by itself, posed little or no threat to humanity. It was the millions of people who viewed Hitler as “authority,” and thus felt obligated to obey his commands and carry out his orders, who actually caused the damage done by the Third Reich. In other words, the problem is not that evil people believe in “authority”; the problem is that basically good people believe in “authority,” and as a result, end up advocating and even committing acts of aggression, injustice and oppression, even murder. The average statist (one who believes in “government”), while lamenting all the ways in which “authority” has been used as a tool for evil, even in his own country, will still insist that it is possible for “government” to be a force for good, and still imagine that “authority” can and must provide the path to peace and justice. People falsely assume that many of the useful and legitimate things that benefit human society require the existence of “government.” It is good, for example, for people to organize for mutual defense, to work together to achieve common goals, to find ways to cooperate and get along peacefully, to come up with agreements and plans that better allow human beings to exist and thrive in a mutually beneficial and non-violent state of civilization, But that is not what “government” is. Despite the fact that “governments” always claim to be acting on behalf of the people and the common good, the truth is that “government,” by its very nature, is always in direct opposition to the interests of mankind. “Authority” is not a noble idea that sometimes goes wrong, nor is it a basically valid concept that is sometimes corrupted. From top to bottom, from start to finish, the very concept of “authority” itself is antihuman and horribly destructive. Of course, most people will find such an assertion hard to swallow. Isn’t government an essential part of human society? Isn’t it the mechanism by which civilization is made possible, because it forces us imperfect humans to behave in an orderly, peaceful manner? Isn’t the enacting of common rules and laws what allows us to get along, to settle disputes in a civilized manner, and to trade and otherwise interact in a fair, non- violent way? Haven’t we always heard that if not for the “rule of law” and a common respect for “authority,” we would be no better than a bunch of stupid, violent beasts, living in a state of perpetual conflict and chaos? Yes, we have been told that. And no, none of it is true. But trying to disentangle our minds from age-old lies, trying to distill the truth out of a jungle of deeply entrenched falsehoods, can be exceedingly difficult, not to mention uncomfortable. Overview In the following pages the reader will be taken through several stages, in order to fully understand why the belief in “authority” truly is the most dangerous superstition in the history of the world. First, the concept of “authority” will be distilled down to its most basic essence, so it can be defined and examined objectively. In Part II, it will be shown that the concept itself is fatally flawed, that the underlying premise of all “government” is utterly incompatible with logic and morality. In fact, it will be shown that “government” is a purely religious belief – a faith-based acceptance of a superhuman, mythological entity that has never existed and will never exist. (The reader is not expected to accept such a startling claim without ample evidence and sound reasoning, which will be provided.) In Part III, it will be shown why the belief in “authority,” including all belief in “government,” is horrendously dangerous and destructive. Specifically, it will be shown how the belief in “authority” dramatically impacts both the perceptions and the actions of various categories of people, leading literally billions of otherwise good, peaceful people to condone or commit acts of violent, immoral aggression. In fact, everyone who believes in “government” does this, though the vast majority does not realize it, and would vehemently deny it. Finally, in Part IV, the reader will be given a glimpse into what life without the belief in “authority” could look like. Contrary to the usual assumption that an absence of “government” would mean chaos and destruction, it will be shown that when the myth of “authority” is abandoned, much will change, but much will also stay the same. It will be shown why, rather than the belief in “government” being conducive to and necessary for a peaceful society, as nearly everyone has been taught, the belief is by far the biggest obstacle to mutually beneficial organization, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence. In short, it will be shown why true civilization can and will exist only after the myth of “authority” has been eradicated.Identifying the Enemy To assess the concept of “authority” and determine its worth, we must begin by clearly defining what it means, and what it is. From early childhood we are taught to submit to the will of “authority,” to obey the edicts of those who, in one way or another, have acquired positions of power and control from the beginning, the goodness of a child is graded, whether explicitly or implicitly, first by how well he obeys his parents, then by how well he obeys his teachers, and then by how well he obeys the “laws” of “government.” Whether implied or stated, society is saturated with the message that obedience is a virtue, and that the good people are the ones who do what “authority” tells them to do. As a result of that message, the concepts of morality and obedience have become so muddled in most people’s minds that any attack on the notion of “authority” will, to most people, feel like an attack on morality itself. Any suggestion that “government” is inherently illegitimate will sound like suggesting that everyone should behave as uncaring, vicious animals, living life by the code of survival of the fittest. The trouble is that the average person’s belief system rests upon a hodgepodge of vague, often contradictory, concepts and assumptions. Terms such as morality and obedience, laws and legislatures, leaders and citizens are used constantly by people who have never rationally examined such concepts. The first step in trying to understand the nature of “authority” (or “government”) is to define what the word means, What is this thing called “government”? “Government” tells people what to do. But that by itself does not give us a sufficient definition, because all sorts of individuals and organizations tell others what to do. “Government,” however, does not simply suggest or request; it commands, But an advertiser who says “Act now” or a preacher who tells his congregation what to do could also be said to be giving commands, but they are not “government.” Unlike the “commands” of preachers and advertisers, the commands of “government” are backed by the threat of punishment, the use of force against those who do not comply, those who are caught “breaking the law.” But even that does not give us a complete definition, because street thugs and bullies also enforce their commands, but they are not “government.” The distinguishing feature of “authority” is that it is thought to have the right to give and enforce commands. In the case of “government,” its commands are called “laws,” and disobeying them is called “crime.” “Authority” can be summed up as the right to rule. It is not merely the ability to forcibly control others, which to some extent nearly everyone possesses. It is the supposed moral right to forcibly control others. What distinguishes a street gang from “government” is how they are perceived by the people they control the trespasses, robbery, extortion, assault and murder committed by common thugs are perceived by almost everyone as being immoral, unjustified, and criminal. Their victims may comply with their demands, but not out of any feeling of moral obligation to obey, merely out of fear. If the intended victims of the street gang thought they could resist without any danger to themselves, they would do so, without the slightest feeling of guilt. They do not perceive the street thug to be any sort of legitimate, rightful ruler; they do not imagine him to be “authority.” The loot the thug collects is not referred to as “taxes,” and his threats are not called “laws.” The demands and commands of those who wear the label of “government,” on the other hand, are perceived very differently by most of those at whom the commands are aimed. The power and control the “lawmakers” in “government” exert over everyone else is seen as valid and legitimate, “legal” and good. Likewise, most who comply with such commands by “obeying the law,” and who hand over their money by “paying taxes,” do not do so merely out of fear of punishment if they disobey, but also out of a feeling of duty to obey, No one takes pride in being robbed by a street gang, but many wear the label of “law-abiding taxpayer” as a badge of honor. This is due entirely to how the obedient perceive the ones giving them commands. If they are perceived as “authority,” a rightful master, then by definition they are seen as having the moral right to give such commands, which in turn implies a moral obligation on the part of the people to obey those commands. To label oneself a “law-abiding taxpayer” is to brag about one’s loyal obedience to “government.” In the past, some churches have claimed the right to punish heretics and other sinners, but in the Western world today, the concept of “authority” is almost always linked to “government.” In fact, the two terms can now be used almost synonymously, since, in this day and age, each implies the other: “authority” supposedly derives from the “laws” enacted by “government,” and “government” is the organization imagined to have the right to rule, i.e., “authority.”It is essential to differentiate between a command being justified based upon the situation and being justified based upon who gave the command. Only the latter is the type of “authority” being addressed in this book, though the term is occasionally used in another sense which tends to muddle this distinction. When, for example, someone asserts that he had the “authority” to stop a mugger to get an old lady’s purse back, or says he had the “authority” to chase trespassers off his property, he is not claiming to possesses any special rights that others do not possess. He is simply saying that he believes that certain situations justify giving orders or using force. In contrast, the concept of “government” is about certain people having some special right to rule. And that idea, the notion that some people – as a result of elections or other political rituals, for example – have the moral right to control others, in situations where most people would not, is the concept being addressed here. Only lose in “government” are thought to have the right to enact “laws”; only they are thought to have the right to impose “taxes”; only they are thought to have the right ) wage wars, to regulate certain matters, to grant licenses for various activities, and o on, When “the belief in authority” is discussed in this book, that is the meaning being referred to: the idea that some people have the moral right to forcibly control others, and that, consequently, those others have the moral obligation to obey. It should be stressed that “authority” is always in the eye of the beholder, If the one being controlled believes that the one controlling him has the right to do so, then the one being controlled sees the controller as “authority.” If the one being controlled does not perceive the control to be legitimate, then the controller is not viewed as authority” but is seen simply as a bully or a thug. The tentacles of the belief in authority” reach into every aspect of human life, but the common denominator is always the perceived legitimacy of the control it exerts over others. Every “law” and “tax” (federal, state and local), every election and campaign, every license and permit, every political debate and movement – in short, everything having to do with “government,” from a trivial town ordinance to a “world war” – rests entirely upon the idea that some people have acquired the moral right – in one way or another, to one degree or another – to rule over others. The issue here is not just the misuse of “authority” or an argument about “good government” versus “bad government,” but an examination of the fundamental, underlying concept of “authority.” Whether an “authority” is seen as absolute or as having conditions or limits upon it may have a bearing on how much damage that “authority” does, but it has no bearing on whether the underlying concept is rational. The U.S. Constitution, for example, is imagined to have created an “authority” which, at least in theory, had a severely restricted right to rule. Nonetheless, it still sought to create an “authority” with the right to do things (e.g., “tax” and “regulate”) which the average citizen has no right to do on his own. Though it pretended to give the right to rule only over certain specific matters, it still claimed to bestow some “authority” upon a ruling class, and as such, is just as much a target of the following criticism of “authority” as the “authority” of a supreme dictator would be. (The term “authority” is sometimes used in ways that have nothing to do with the topic of this book. For example, one who is an expert in some field is often referred to as an “authority,” Likewise, some relationships resemble “authority” but do not involve any right to rule. The employer-employee relationship is often viewed as if there is a “boss” and an “underling.” However, no matter how domineering or overbearing an employer may be, he cannot conscript workers, or imprison them for disobedience. The only power he really has is the power to terminate the arrangement by firing the employee, And the employee has the same power, because he can quit. The same is true of other relationships that may resemble “authority,” such as a craftsman and his apprentice, a martial arts sensei and his pupil, or a trainer and the athlete he trains. Such scenarios involve arrangements based upon mutual, voluntary agreement, in which either side is free to opt out of the arrangement. Such a relationship, where one person allows another to direct his actions in the hopes that he will benefit from the other’s knowledge or skill, is not the type of “authority” that constitutes the most dangerous superstition, if it constitutes “authority” at all.) Government Does Not Exist Most people believe that “government” is necessary, though they also acknowledge that “authority” often leads to corruption and abuse. They know that “government” can be inefficient, unfair, unreasonable and oppressive, but they still believe that “authority” can be a force for good. What they fail to realize is that the problem is not just that “government” produces inferior results, or that “authority” is often abused. The problem is that the concept itself is utterly irrational and self-contradictory. It is nothing but a superstition, devoid of any logical or evidentiary support, which people hold only as a result of constant cult-like indoctrination designed to hide the logical absurdity of the concept, It is not a matter of degree, or how it is used; the truth is that “authority” does not and cannot exist at all, and failure to recognize that fact has led billions of people to believe things and do things that are horrendously destructive. There can be no such thing as good “authority”– in fact, there is no such thing as “authority” at all. As strange as that may sound, it can easily be proven. It never has and it never will. The politicians are real, In short, government does not exist. the soldiers and police who enforce the politicians’ will are real, the buildings they inhabit are real, the weapons they wield are very real, but their supposed “authority” is not. And without that “authority,” without the right to do what they do, they are nothing but a gang of thugs. The term “government” implies legitimacy – it means the exercise of “authority” over a certain people or place. The way people speak of those in power, calling their commands “laws,” referring to disobedience to them as a “crime,” and so on, implies the right of” government” to rule, and a corresponding obligation on the part of its subjects to obey. Without the right to rule (”authority”), there is no reason to call the entity “government,” and all of the politicians and their mercenaries become utterly indistinguishable from a giant organized crime syndicate, their “laws” no more valid than the threats of muggers and carjackers. And that, in reality, is what every “government” is: an illegitimate gang of thugs, thieves and murderers, masquerading as a rightful ruling body. (The reason the terms “government” and “authority” appear inside quotation marks throughout this book is because there is never a legitimate right to rule, so government and authority never actually exist. In this book such terms refer only to the people and gangs erroneously imagined to have the right to rule.) All mainstream political discussion – all debate about what should be “legal” and “illegal,” who should be put into power, what “national policy” should be, how “government” should handle various issues – all of it is utterly irrational and a complete waste of time, as it is all based upon the false premise that one person can have the right to rule another, that “authority” can even exist. The entire debate about how “authority” should be used, and what “government” should do, is exactly as useful as debating how Santa Claus should handle Christmas. But it is infinitely more dangerous. On the bright side, removing that danger – the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced, in fact – does not require changing the fundamental nature of man, or converting all hatred to love, or performing any other drastic alteration to the state of the universe. Instead, it requires only that people recognize and then let go of one particular superstition, one irrational lie that almost everyone has been taught to believe. In one sense, most of the world’s problems could be solved overnight if everyone did something akin to giving up the belief in Santa Claus. Any idea or proposed solution to a problem that depends upon the existence of “government,” and that includes absolutely everything within the realm of politics, is inherently invalid. To use an analogy, two people could engage in a useful, rational discussion about whether nuclear power or hydroelectric dams are the better way to produce electricity for their town. But if someone suggested that a better option would be to generate electricity using magic pixie dust, his comments would be and should be dismissed as ridiculous, because real problems cannot be solved by mythical entities, Yet almost all modem discussion of societal problems is nothing but an argument about which type of magic pixie dust will save humanity. All political discussion rests upon an unquestioned but false assumption, which everyone takes on faith simply because they see and hear everyone else repeating the myth: the notion that there can be such a thing as legitimate “government.” The problem with popular misconceptions is just that: they are popular. When any belief – even the most ridiculous, illogical belief – is held by most people, it will not feel unreasonable to the believers. Continuing in the belief will feel easy and safe, while questioning it will be uncomfortable and very difficult, if not impossible. Even abundant evidence of the horrendously destructive power of the myth of “authority,” on a nearly incomprehensible level and stretching back for thousands of years, has not been enough to make more than a handful of people even begin to question the fundamental concept. And so, believing themselves to be enlightened and wise, human beings continue to stumble into one colossal disaster after another, as a result of their inability to shake off the most dangerous superstition: the belief in “authority.” Offshoots of the Superstition There is a large collection of terminology that grows out of the concept of “authority.” What all such terms have in common is that they imply a certain legitimacy to one group of people forcibly controlling another group. Here are just a few examples: : As mentioned before, “government” is simply the term for the “Government” organization or group of people imagined to possess the right to rule. Many other terms, describing parts of “government” (such as “president,” “congressman,” “judge,” and “legislature”) reinforce the supposed legitimacy of the ruling class. “Law”: The terms “law” and “legislation” have very different connotations from the words “to/eat” and “command.” The difference, again, depends upon whether the ones issuing and imposing such “laws” are imagined to have the right to do so, f a street gang issues commands to everyone in its neighborhood, no one calls such commands “laws.” But if “government” issues commands through the “legislative” process, nearly everyone calls them “laws.” In truth, every authoritarian “law” :s a command backed by the threat of retaliation against those who do not comply. Whether it is a “law” against committing murder or against building a deck without a building permit, it is neither a suggestion nor a request, but a command, backed by the threat of violence, whether in the form of forced confiscation of property (:.e., fines) or the kidnapping of a human being (i.e., imprisonment), What might be called “extortion” if done by the average citizen is called “taxation” when done by people who are imagined to have the right to rule. What would normally be seen as harassment, assault, kidnapping, and other offenses are seen as “regulation” and “law enforcement” when carried out by those claiming to represent “authority.” Of course, using the term “law” to describe the inherent properties of the universe, such as the laws of physics and mathematics, has nothing to do with the concept of “authority.” Furthermore, there is another concept, called “natural law,” which is very different from statutory “law” (i.e. “legislation”). The concept of natural law is that there are standards of right and wrong intrinsic to humanity that do not depend upon any human “authority,” and that in fact supersede all human “authority.” Though that concept was the topic of many discussions in the not-to-distant past, it is rare to hear Americans using the term “law” in such a context today, and that concept is not what is meant by “law” in this book. : The flip side of the concept of “law” is the concept of “crime”: the act of “Crime” disobeying “the law.” The phrase “committing a crime” obviously has a negative connotation. The notion that “breaking the law” is morally wrong implies that the command being disobeyed is inherently legitimate, based solely upon who gave the command. If a street gang tells a store owner, “You give us half of your profits or we hurt you,” no one would consider the store owner a “criminal” if he resisted such extortion. But if the same demand is made by those wearing the label of “government,” with the demand being called “law” and “taxes,” then that very same store owner would be viewed, by almost everyone, as a “criminal” if he refused to comply. The terms “crime” and “criminal” do not, by themselves, even hint at what “law” is being disobeyed. It is a “crime” to slowly drive through a red light at an empty intersection, and it is a “crime” to murder one’s neighbors, A hundred years ago it was a “crime” to teach a slave to read; in 19405 Germany it was a “crime” to hide Jews from the SS. In Pennsylvania, it is a “crime” to sleep in or on top of a refrigerator outside. Literally, committing a “crime” means disobeying the commands of politicians, and a “criminal” is anyone who does so. Again, such terms have an obviously negative connotation, Most people do not want to be called a “criminal,” and they mean it as an insult if they call someone else a “criminal.” Again, this implies that the “authority” issuing and enforcing the “laws” has the right to do so. : There is a strange paradox involved in the concept of “lawmakers,” in that “Lawmakers” they are perceived to have the right to give commands, impose “taxes,” regulate behavior, and otherwise coercively control people, but only if they do so via the “legislative” process. The people in “government” legislatures are seen as having the right to rule, but only if they exert their supposed “authority” by way of certain accepted political rituals. When they do, the “lawmakers” are imagined to have the right to give commands and hire people to enforce them, in situations where normal individuals would have no such right. To put it another way, the general public honestly imagines that morality is different for “lawmakers” than it is for everyone else. Demanding money under threat of violence is immoral theft when most people do it, but is seen as “taxation” when politicians do it. Bossing people around and forcibly controlling their actions is seen as harassment, intimidation and assault when most people do it, but is seen as “regulation” and “law enforcement” when politicians do it. They are called “lawmakers,” rather than “threat- makers,” because their commands – if done via certain “legislative” procedures – are seen as inherently legitimate, In other words, they are seen as “authority,” and obedience to their legislative commands is seen as a moral imperative. : One of the most common examples of “authority,” which many “Law Enforcement” people see on a daily basis, are the people who wear the label of “police” or “law enforcement.” The behavior of “law enforcers,” and the way they are regarded and treated by others, shows quite plainly that they are viewed not simply as people, but as representatives of “authority,” to which very different standards of morality are believed to apply.Suppose, for example, someone was driving down the street not knowing that one of his brake lights had burned out. If an average citizen forced the driver to stop and then demanded a large sum of money from him, the driver would be outraged, It would be viewed as extortion, harassment, and possibly assault and kidnapping. But when one claiming to act on behalf of “government” does the exact same thing, by flashing his lights (and chasing the person down if he doesn’t stop) and then issuing a “ticket,” such actions are viewed by most as being perfectly legitimate. In a very real sense, the people who wear badges and uniforms are not viewed as mere people by everyone else. They are viewed as the arm of an abstract thing called “authority.” As a result, the properness of “police officer” behavior and the righteousness of their actions are measured by a far different standard than is the behavior of everyone else. They are judged by how well they enforce “the law” rather than by whether their individual actions conform to the normal standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone else. The difference is voiced by the “law enforcers” themselves, who often defend their actions by saying things such as “I don’t make the law, I just enforce it.” Clearly, they expect to be judged only by how faithfully they carry out the will of the “lawmakers,” rather than by whether they behave like civilized, rational human beings. : The concepts of “law” and “crime” are obvious offshoots of “Countries” and “Nations” the concepts of “government” and “authority,” but many other words in the English language are either changed by the belief in “authority” or exist entirely because of that belief. A “country” or “nation,” for example, is a purely political concept. The line around a “country” is, by definition, the line defining the area over which one particular “authority” claims the right to rule, which distinguishes that location from the areas over which other “authorities” claim the right to rule. Geographical locations are, of course, very real, but the term “country” does not refer only to a place. It always refers to a political “jurisdiction” (another term stemming from the belief in “authority”). When people speak of loving their country, they are rarely capable of even defining what that means, but ultimately, the only thing the word “country” can mean is not the place, or the people, or any abstract principle or concept, but merely the turf a certain gang claims the right to rule, In light of that fact, the concept of loving one’s country is a father strange idea; it expresses little more than a psychological attachment to the other subjects who are controlled by the same ruling class – which is not at all what most people envision when they feel national loyalty and patriotism. People may feel love for a certain culture, or a certain location and the people who live there, or to some philosophical ideal, and mistake that for love of country, but ultimately, a “country” is simply the area that a particular “government” claims the right to rule. That is what defines the borders, and it is those borders which define the “country.” to Rationalize the Irrational Attempting People who consider themselves educated, open-minded and progressive do not want to think of themselves as the slaves of a master, or even the subjects of a ruling class. Because of this, much rationalizing and obfuscating has been done in an attempt to deny the fundamental nature of “government” as a ruling class, A lot of verbal gymnastics, misleading terminology and mythology have been manufactured to try to obscure the true relationship between “governments” and their subjects, This mythology is taught to children as “civics,” even though most of it is completely illogical and flies in the face of all evidence. The following covers a few of the popular types of propaganda used to obfuscate the nature of “authority.” The Myth of Consent In the modem world, slavery is almost universally condemned. But the relationship of a perceived “authority” to his subject is very much the relationship of a slave master (owner) to a slave (property). Not wanting to admit that, and not wanting to condone what amounts to slavery, those who believe in “authority” are trained to memorize and repeat blatantly inaccurate rhetoric designed to hide the true nature of the situation. One example of this is the phrase “consent of the governed.” There are two basic ways in which people can interact: by mutual agreement, or by one person using threats or violence to force his will upon another. The first can be labeled “consent”– both sides willingly and voluntarily agreeing to what is to be done. The second can be labeled “governing” – one person controlling another. Since these two – consent and governing – are opposites, the concept of “consent of the governed” is a contradiction. If there is mutual consent, it is not “government”; if there is governing, there is no consent. Some will claim that a majority; or the people as a whole, have given their consent to be ruled, even if many individuals have not. But such an argument turns the concept of consent on its head. No one, individually or as a group, can give consent for something to be done to someone else. That is simply not what “consent” means. It defies logic to say, “I give my consent for you to be robbed.” Yet that is the basis of the cult of “democracy”: the notion that a majority can give consent on behalf of a minority, That is not “consent of the governed”; it is forcible control of the governed, with the “consent” of a third party. Even if someone were silly enough to actually tell someone else, “I agree to let you forcibly control me,” the moment the controller must force the “controllee” to do something, there is obviously no longer “consent.” Prior to that moment, there is no “governing” – only voluntary cooperation. Expressing the concept more precisely exposes its inherent schizophrenia: “I agree to let you force things upon me, whether I agree to them or not.” But in reality, no one ever agrees to let those in “government” do whatever they want. So, in order to fabricate “consent” where there is none, believers in “authority” add another, even more bizarre, step to the mythology: the notion of “implied consent.” The claim is that, by merely living in a town, or a state, or a country, one is “agreeing” to abide by whatever rules happen to be issued by the people who claim to have the right to rule that town, state, or country. The idea is that if someone does not like the rules, he is free to leave the town, state, or country altogether, and if he chooses not to leave, that constitutes giving his consent to be controlled by the rulers of that jurisdiction. Though it is constantly parroted as gospel, the idea defies common sense. It makes no more sense than a carjacker stopping a driver on a Sunday and telling him, “By driving a car in this neighborhood on Sunday, you are agreeing to give me your car.” One person obviously cannot decide what counts as someone else “agreeing” to something. An agreement is when two or more people communicate a mutual willingness to enter into some arrangement. Simply being born somewhere is not agreeing to anything, nor is living in one’s own house when some king or politician has declared it to be within the realm he rules. It is one thing for someone to say, “If you want to ride in my car, you may not smoke,” or “You can come into my house only if you take your shoes off.” It is quite another to try to tell other people what they can do on their own property. Whoever has the right to make the rules for a particular place is, by definition, the owner of that place. That is the basis of the idea of private property: that there can be an “owner” who has the exclusive right to decide what is done with and on that property. The owner of a house has the right to keep others out of it and, by extension, the right to tell visitors what they can and cannot do as long as they are in the house. And that sheds some light on the underlying assumption behind the idea of implied consent. To tell someone that his only valid choices are either to leave the “country” or to abide by whatever commands the politicians issue logically implies that everything in the “country” is the property of the politicians. If a person can spend year after year paying for his home, or even building it himself, and his choices are still to either obey the politicians or get out, that means that his house and the time and effort he invested in the house are the property of the politicians. And for one person’s time and effort to rightfully belong to another is the definition of slavery. That is exactly what the “implied consent” theory means: that every “country” is a huge slave plantation, and that everything and everyone there is the property of the politicians. And, of course, the master does not need the consent of his slave. The believers in “government” never explain how it is that a few politicians could have acquired the right to unilaterally claim exclusive ownership of thousands of square miles of land, where other people were already living, as their territory, to rule and exploit as they see fit. It would be no different from a lunatic saying, “I hereby declare North America to be my rightful domain, so anyone living here has to do whatever I say, If you don’t like it, you can leave.” There is also a practical problem with the “obey or get out” attitude, which is that getting out would only relocate the individual to some other giant slave plantation, a different “country.” The end result is that everyone on earth is a slave, with the only choice being which master to live under. This completely rules out actual freedom. More to the point, that is not what “consent” means. The belief that politicians own everything is demonstrated even more dramatically in the concept of immigration “laws.” The idea that a human being needs permission from politicians to set foot anywhere in an entire country – the notion that it can be a “crime” for someone to step across an invisible line between one authoritarian jurisdiction into another – implies that the entire country is the property of the ruling class. If a citizen is not allowed to hire an “illegal alien,” is not allowed to trade with him, is not even allowed to invite an “illegal” into his own home, then that individual citizen owns nothing, and the politicians own everything.Not only is the theory of “implied consent” logically flawed, but it also obviously does not describe reality. Any “government” that had the consent of its subjects would not need, and would not have, “law” enforcers. Enforcement happens only if someone does not consent to something. Anyone with their eyes open can see that “government,” on a regular basis, does things to a lot of people against their will. To be aware of the myriad of tax collectors, beat cops, inspectors and regulators, border guards, narcotics agents, prosecutors, judges, soldiers, and all the other mercenaries of the state, and to still claim that “government” does what it does with the consent of the “governed,” is utterly ridiculous. Each individual, if he is at all honest with himself, knows that those in power do not care whether he consents to abide by their “laws.” The politicians’ orders will be carried out, by brute force if necessary, with or without any individual’s consent. More Mythology In addition to the myth of “the consent of the governed,” other sayings and dogmatic rhetoric are often repeated, despite being completely inaccurate. For example, in the United States the people are taught – and faithfully repeat – such ideas as “We are the government” and “The government works for us” and “The government represents us,” Such aphorisms are blatantly and obviously untrue, despite the fact that they are constantly parroted by rulers and subjects alike. One of the most bizarre and delusional (but very common) claims is that “We, the people, are the government.” Schoolchildren are taught to repeat this absurdity, even though everyone is fully aware that the politicians issue commands and demands, and everyone else either complies or is punished. In the United States there is a ruling class and a subject class, and the differences between them are many and obvious. One group commands, the other obeys. One group demands huge sums of money, the other group pays. One group tells the other group where they can live, where they can work, what they can eat, what they can drink, what they can drive, who they can work for, what work they can do, and so on. One group takes and spends trillions of dollars of what the other group earns. One group consists entirely of economic parasites, while the efforts of the other group produce all the wealth. In this system, it is patently obvious who commands and who obeys. The people are not the “government,” by any stretch of the imagination, and it requires profound denial to believe otherwise. But other myths are also used to try to make that lie sound rational. For example, it is also claimed that “the government works for us; it is our servant.” Again, such a statement does not even remotely match the obvious reality of the situation; it is little more than a cult mantra, a delusion intentionally programmed into the populace in order to twist their view of reality. And most people never even question it. Most never wonder, if “government” works for us, if it is our employee, why does it decide how much we pay it? Why does our “employee” decide what it will do for us? Why does our “employee” tell us how to live our lives? Why does our “employee” demand our obedience for whatever arbitrary commands it issues, sending armed enforcers after us if we disobey? It is impossible for “government” to ever be the servant, because of what “government” is, To put it in simple, personal terms, if someone can boss you around and take your money, he is not your servant; and if he cannot do those things, he is not “government.” However limited, “government” is the organization thought to have the right to forcibly control the behavior of its subjects via “laws,” rendering the popularly accepted rhetoric about “public servants” completely ridiculous. To imagine that a ruler could ever be the servant of those over whom he rules is patently absurd. Yet that impossibility is spouted as indisputable gospel in “civics” classes. An even more prevalent lie, used to try to hide the master-slave relationship between “government” and the public, is the notion of “representative government.” The claim is that the people, by electing certain individuals into positions of power, are “choosing their leaders” and that those in office are merely representing the will of the people. Again, not only does this claim not at all match reality, but the underlying abstract theory is inherently flawed as well. In the real world, so-called “representative governments” are constantly doing things their subjects do not want them to do: increasing “taxes,” engaging in warmongering, selling off power and influence to whoever gives them the most money, and so on. Every taxpayer can easily think of examples of things funded with his mane) that he objects to, whether it be handouts to huge corporations, handouts to certain individuals, government actions that infringe on individual rights, or just the overall wasteful, corrupt, inefficient bureaucratic machine of “government.” There is no one who can honestly say that” government” does everything that he wants and nothing that he does not want. Even in theory, the concept of “representative government” is inherently flawed, because “government” cannot possibly represent the people as a whole unless everyone wants exactly the same thing. Because different people want “government” to do different things, “government” will always be going against the will of at least some of the people.

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