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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Narrow Shaft of Light

Those seeking power and influence have always been quick to capitalize on man's ignorance, fears, and prejudice.

Frightened men find solace in institutions and hierarchies which hold the allure of truth while serving the pragmatic function of control. As observed off-handedly by Thoreau, "Where there is a lull in truth - an institution springs up." --Be they religious, governmental, military, or corporate... most institutions are born of primal fears and metaphysical ignorance.

-- When man was ignorant regarding the cosmos and mysteries of nature, religious institutions served to fill the vacuum.

-- When man was ignorant to the philosophies of liberty and freedom, governmental institutions manifested kings, lords, emperors, and master.

Though such claims to truth are the centrepiece of their perceived importance, the hierarchical nature of institutions ensures that the truth, if any exists, is always compartmentalized. It is disseminated according to relationships of importance within the hierarchical order. Institutions, by their very structure, are designed to control knowledge from the top down. The archetypal pyramid of power. Those at the bottom of the order -- the masses whose labor and zealotry service the institution -- receive only partial truths and disguised deceptions. This provides the greatest benefit to the few at the top -- ensuring, through incentive, the perpetuation of the lie.

-- According to a recent United Nations study, "The richest 2 per cent of people in the world own more than half of all household wealth, while the poorer half of the global population control just 1 per cent". This is the malignancy of power.

The controlling oligarchy which, as Aldous Huxley asserted in his speech at Berkeley, "has always existed and presumably will always exist", has managed to manipulate the masses from time immemorial simply by controlling the institutions in which they rely. It is in this way that the ruling elite have managed to keep populations in servitude while they themselves are privy to a life of hedonistic freedom and indulgence. Power. Domination. Secrecy. Control.

This is why the founders of this once-great republic originally created such an incredibly limited governmental structure. They understood the systemic corruption and deceptive tendencies inherent to all institutions -- especially those with potential for real power.

-- I wish my "liberal" friends would acknowledge the prevalence of this fundamental reality: What holds true for the excesses of corporate greed holds true for the excesses of governmental power. Again to quote Thoreau, "Society is EVERYWHERE a conspiracy against the individual." Not just in it's systems of managed capitalism, or merely as a product of the military-industrial complex (the traditional enemies of the political "left"). It is within the bloated bureaucracies and welfare institutions whose existence is cloaked in the guise of charity. It is in the regulations and laws which serve to limit the choices of the individual for the sake of perceived safety or security. It is indeed everywhere.

Ultimately, at its rotten and festering core, is the brutal murder of the human soul -- a state of dependence is the most wicked result of all. Thomas Jefferson put it best: "Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition." It is a prison built of deception -- a mighty citadel of institutions and bureaucracies. Human beings cannot evolve, either spiritually or intellectually, when they are being regulated and controlled. It is Freedom that brings the evolution of spirit, not government agencies and entitlements.

-- I wish that my neo-con/ republican friends could see the folly of imperialism. I wish they could acknowledge the effective danger of such a pervasive military and intelligence apparatus (especially when it is ultimately used against dissenting Americans). But hearing some of the bravado and testosterone-laced comments regarding the need to "nuke them middle-eastern bastards back to the stone age" disheartens me to the point of nausea. Human beings are human beings. Nations make war. Institutions make war.

Stobe Talbot (Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State) observes in a 1992 Time magazine interview, "In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single global authority." He then shamelessly asserts, "National sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all."

The existence of a constitutional republic built upon the principles of Individual sovereignty -- the ultimate expression of liberty -- is the bane of all tyrants. Unfortunately, tyrants are more vigilant than a fat and complacent population undereducated in the virtues of limited government and individualism.

Although I am happy to see more and more Americans becoming aware of the deceptions and illusions which have dominated the controlled political debate for the better part of a century, I fear that we may have already crossed the bar -- once more we have drifted into the tumultuous seas of despotism.

All that we can do is RESIST.

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