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How a Free Market Inevitably Produces Dictatorship

Eric Zuesse

Who rules the land? A deeper and truer version of this question is: What rules the land? Is it the money (the aristocracy), or is it the people (the public, the residents on that land)? (For the interest of paleoconservatives, the issue of residents’ citizenship will come later here, as “immigrants” instead of as “citizenship”; but our basic focus is not ethnicity/nationality; it’s class: the money, versus the voters; not the natives, versus the foreigners.)

In a democracy, the public rule — the people do — and it’s on authentically a one-person-one-vote basis, and anyone who is a resident in that land can easily vote, just like anyone else who lives there, because only the residents there, during the specific time-period of the voting, are the ultimate decision-makers, over that land, and over its laws. This is what a democracy is: it’s one-person-one-vote, and, in the political sense, it’s total equality-of-rights and total equality-of-obligations — real and total equality-by-law: equal rights, and equal obligations, for all residents. A democracy applies the same requirements to everyone.

This does not mean that individuals are equal in their abilities and in their needs, and so it’s not a statement about the economy; it is purely a statement about the government — a political question. The economy is a separate matter, though it’s highly dependent upon the government — the laws that are in place and enforced. Many people confuse these two fields, and mistakenly think that the economy is basic to the government.

So: the economy is dependent upon the government; the government determines the economy, which, in any land, is highly dependent upon the laws that are in place and that are enforced — the government.

That’s only “natural persons” who control a democracy — no collectives of any type, corporate or otherwise, can vote, because, if it were otherwise, it would be an easy way to establish a dictatorship there: persons with the financial means could create any number of “artificial persons” who could vote, or could buy votes (such as by purchasing news-media to slant ‘reality’ selling politicians and political positions to the voters), and this money could produce a country controlled more by dollars, than by owners (i.e., than by actual persons, voters — not by artificial “persons” such as the wealth-collections that are known as corporations). If wealth-collections could vote, that would invite control over the land to be by wealth (the number of dollars) instead of by actual residents (the number of persons). It could even produce control by foreign wealth. Foreigners could end up controlling the country if the number of dollars is a bigger determinant of who rules than is the number of voters.

Obviously, no democracy will allow foreigners to control the land. Imperialism is inconsistent with democracy; any empire is dictatorial, by its very nature. It entails dictatorship over the residents in its colonies, even if not necessarily over the residents in the imperial land that had conquered the colonial area.

Empire is consistent with a free market, but it is inconsistent with democracy. No empire is democratic, because each colony is ruled by non-residents. (If the colony were ruled by its residents, it wouldn’t be a colony, and there wouldn’t be an empire.)

A federation is not an empire. The difference between them is that, whereas in a federation, the right of self-determination of peoples takes precedence over the federation’s interest in maintaining the status-quo; in an empire, there is no such right — an empire is a dictatorship. In political matters, no empire has a right to be an empire; just as, in economic matters, no person can actually own another (notwithstanding any ‘slave’-‘owner’ — or ‘seller’ — falsely believing to the contrary).

The propaganda for a free market is funded very heavily by billionaires such as the Koch brothers and George Soros, because control over countries naturally devolves into control by wealth, instead of into control by people (and certainly not by residents), if a free-market economy exists there. Billionaires do whatever increases their power; and, beyond around $100,000-per-year of income, any additional wealth buys no additional happiness or satisfaction, but only additional status, which, for individuals who are in such brackets, is derived from increases in their power, because, at that stage of wealth, money itself is no longer an object, only status is, and additional status can be derived only from additional power.

All of the empirical findings in the social sciences are consistent with this; and, whereas the income-point in most of those studies, beyond which additional dollars produce no additional happiness for the owner, has been $75,000 per year, there has been inflation since those studies were performed, and one might more accurately say today that $100,000-per-year is the income-point beyond which only status is increased by additional income; happiness or satisfaction is not increased by income above that point. This is a statement about nature; it is the reality in which any market — free or otherwise — exists. It is “human nature,” and that’s basic to all of the social sciences which pertain to humans, including political science, and economics.

In economic theory, the phrase that has been traditionally used to refer to this reality, even before recent empirical studies showed the reality to be this way, was “the declining marginal utility of money.” Beyond around $100,000/year, additional “bucks” are for status, not for happiness. Anyone who has no addiction to status, doesn’t care about having more money coming in beyond that amount. Beyond that amount, the additional marginal utility of each dollar received is actually zero. The wealth-addict might crave more, but it won’t do him-or-her any actual good; it won’t make the person happier. That’s the reality, now proven in numerous empirical studies.

This reality has major political consequences. One is that a country with highly concentrated wealth (the bottom 50% own almost nothing) is serving the addictions of a few, not the needs of the many — and therefore concentrated wealth cannot be sustained in a democracy, but only in a dictatorship: a dictatorship of wealth, where what determines power isn’t the voters but the dollars.

An important philosophical champion of free markets is the libertarian philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe. In 2001, Hoppe published his DEMOCRACY: The God that Failed, which was considered a libertarian masterpiece. Hoppe unapologetically argued there that libertarianism and conservatism are one and the same — and that he wanted it, passionately: he hated democracy. Unlike many libertarians, who falsely allege that democracy is impossible without there first being libertarianism (a free market), Hoppe acknowledged and argued for the mutual inconsistency between libertarianism and democracy. Although I don’t share his preference for a rule by the wealth instead of a rule by the residents, and thus he is an ideological opponent — the opposite of a supporter of my own position, as it’s being set forth here (and far more briefly than his tome) — I consider him to be the fullest and most internally consistent libertarian philosopher, and perhaps the most significant libertarian political philosopher in this Century, thus far.

Whereas lots of people call themselves “libertarian,” he actually is — fully — that. Of course, some libertarians don’t agree with Hoppe’s view; but, on 30 August 2011, Michael Lind at salon.com headlined “Why Libertarians Apologize for Autocracy: The experience of every democratic nation-state proves that libertarianism is incompatible with democracy,” and he empirically found that Hoppe was correct about this incompatibility.

Hoppe argues not only for an aristocracy, but for a hereditary one, and he even opposes immigration; so, if he were a democrat, at all, then he’d be excluding immigrants from voting. But he’s not even that much of a democrat. And he especially approves of hereditary monarchy. His reason for that preference is traditional libertarianism, which favors the private over the public: “Hereditary monarchies represent the historical example of privately owned governments, and democratic republics that of publicly owned governments.” Libertarianism opposes public ownership, favors private.

Like any philosopher, Hoppe has ignored crucial issues in order to sell his case (after all, it’s a philosophical, not a scientific, case; it is ideological propaganda alleging that libertarianism is good — instead of being anything scientific); and the most interesting thing that he has avoided discussing in it is anti-trust, anti-monopoly, anti-oligopoly — the issues about concentration of power. He ignores those issues. For example, whenever he uses the term “monopoly,” he is referring solely to “government,” never to the economy (he assumes that in a free market there can’t be any oligopolies or monopolies). He is, after all, a crank (a free-market political theorist and therefore someone who implicitly denies that government is basic to an economy, and who assumes the converse, that the government is instead built upon the economy), though he’s an erudite one and thus acceptable to his fellow-scholars. Erudition doesn’t mean, nor necessarily include, being scientific.

And the (scientific) reality is that the political issue isn’t ‘the government’s monopoly on power’, but instead it’s simply any concentrations of power — both monopolies and oligopolies — which unequalize both rights and obligations in the society, such that whereas a few people (the aristocracy) have many rights and few (if any) obligations, most people (the public) have few rights and many obligations. The latter type of society is called a “dictatorship.” The more that it exists, the more that it comes to exist — and, consequently, the less that there can exist democracy.

The basic issue in political science is not “freedom” versus “slavery” (two concepts in economics); it is “democracy” versus “dictatorship” (two concepts in politics).

Power precedes the economy; it directs the economy, if and where an economy even exists.

Democracy is natural where wealth is nearly-evenly distributed. Dictatorship is natural where wealth is extremely-unevenly distributed. The latter is true because no nation can maintain a democracy if the wealth is highly unequal. If the wealth is highly equal, then the possibility for democracy to emerge is substantial. But if the wealth is highly unequal, then the possibility for democracy even to exist to any extent, is low. All of the extremely wealthy people would have to be honest in order for them to tolerate rule by the majority. Otherwise, they’d simply be using their news-media to deceive instead of to inform the public: that’s what the ‘news’-people would be paid to do, cover-up real problems, and manufacture ‘reality’ — manipulate the public, instead of inform the public.

If the distribution of wealth is highly unequal, the ‘news’people will be paid to deceive the public, instead of to inform the public. This (and it includes the ‘charitable’ foundations) is why the majority of the public have come to believe the profoudly false assertion that “having a rich class is a benefit” to the public. They’ve been deceived.

Most of the world is dictatorial. That’s because, almost everywhere, wealth, and even income, is extremely unevenly distributed. The laws and their enforcement determine the distribution of wealth and of income. The natural tendency is toward dictatorship, because a free market produces increased economic concentration. Democracy is not natural. Dictatorship is natural. What’s natural for a body-politic is to fulfill addictions, not to fulfill needs.

As inequality of wealth increases, corruption also increases. Empirical studies find that successful people tend to be bad: it’s natural for the scum and not the cream to rise to the top in organizations. So, the wealthier a person is, the worse the person tends to be. And it’s not just that, but success itself tends to make a person worse than the person was before the success. So, it’s natural that at the very top, tend to be the very worst people. Good government is not natural; bad government is natural. Good government is unnatural.

Corruption is rule by deceit. An example of how that works at the federal-government level is here. An example of that in more detail is here. Another such detailed example, but at the state-or-local government level, is here. And an example of it within academia, and at the federal regulatory agencies, is here.

So, in a country that has extreme wealth-inequality, the way in which the public’s ‘consent’, to the billionaires’ rule, is manufactured, is by means of deceit — a rot that’s throughout the entire body-politic and society. This is how an extreme inequality of wealth is produced. It cannot be done honestly. Transparency International has reported that corruption and “social exclusion” or bigotry tend to go together, but has ignored the possible relationship between corruption and the economic distribution of either wealth or income. Perhaps the billionaires who fund TI don’t want such correlations to be pointed out, if they exist; so TI doesn’t investigate this.

The reason why a free market inevitably increases dictatorship, is that dictatorship is natural, just as a free market itself is natural, and power pre-exists everywhere to upset and overturn any equality that might exist in either sphere. Power is natural. No economy exists but that power pre-exists. The political sphere pre-exists the economic sphere. The basic reality, in any society, is power.

Thus, the question has always been: What rules? Is it the wealth? Or is it the people? The natural condition is for wealth to rule, because money (especially all excess money, all income above $100,000 per year, and certainly all income above $1,000,000 per year — what can truthfully be called 100% political money, because it can be ‘given away’ with no real loss to the current owner) is power. Although wealth isn’t the only source of power, it is a major source of power. (It can even be the major source of power.) And power rules everywhere. By definition, power rules in politics; and, by nature, the wealthy tend to rule not only in the economy, but also in the government.

That’s what’s natural. Democracy isn’t natural, but a free market, and an aristocratic government, are both natural. And the political reality determines the economic reality.

PS: You have just read here an entire online book. This article, including all of its sources that are linked-to, and the sources that are linked-to in those sources, constitute more than an ordinary book. The complete case and its documentation are fully presented in it. Anyone who finds this book valuable, might also find valuable, as a follow-up to it, a book of the traditional sort: Marjorie Kelly’s The Divine Right of Capital. Her Introduction there says, “The problem is not the free market, but the design of the corporation.” The first clause is false, but the second clause is true, and her book focuses in on that and gets it right. Any solution to either problem would need to be based on an accurate understanding of both of them. The bigger of the two problem-areas is the one that has been addressed in the present book-article. The second area is maybe 10% as large, but it too is significant, and what she says about it is true.

PPS: If you like this article, please pass it along to your friends, if only to get their feedback on it. They’re not likely to have encountered elsewhere the information it contains.

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

64 Comments

  1. John G says

    Any power that the market has over the state is purely illusory. Too many people here promote the illusion through ignorance.

    The left is its own worst enemy.

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  2. jazza says

    my posts are never accepted here – they just disappear into thin air – i have nothing to say

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    • If your comments repeatedly fail to appear you should email us. When that happens you aren’t being censored (at least not by us). It’s an ongoing issue that sometimes large numbers of comments fail to go through. We don’t know why

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  3. Running on corrupted currency is a rigged game. the currency of thought is our most fundamental interaction and exchange for our mind, or self and world depend on it.

    Rules are given power by allegiance and compliance. The power to make and enforce rules is also the power to undo them or change them. Rules operate from judgements accepted and acted from as worthy, necessary or true. Allegiance is given but compliance is exacted.

    So as I see it, ideas rule the minds of we who can ‘think’ only along the rules such ideas dictate. That is to say that any fundamental premise will filter and rule all that follows from it – until the premise itself is questioned and changed. This is the nature and history of the development of consciousness, culture and world-construct experienced.

    The power to set the mind in judgement that then conforms compliance is both inherited and acquired as our human construct, our cultural construct, our personal construct. Such a mind is oppositional and competitive as a persona requiring defence and maintenance against change seen as threat.

    So narrative identity operates or is given power as the idea of persistence or survival against threat. This is a mind predicated in power struggle of attack and defence – where attack is the the best defence – but masked in forms of communication or concern that are manipulative – which which become accepted social codes of contractual ‘relationship’ Separate minds join in shifting temporary alliance only for what each can get separately.

    The predicate ideas upon which we (each and together) give power of belief, or invested identity to, are the hidden ‘rulers’ of our thought which we then embody personally and culturally as our behaviours and our mores and rules – and the experience thereof. Our fruits thus make visible and tangible the nature of our inner and perhaps secret devotions.

    In the belief that we are free to make our self and determine the true and defend it, is the attack on the truth that we do not create ourself and can only create in the image and likeness of our Creator. And so the substitution of the image or symbol or conceptual framework for the Living Relational being, is to give power to the father of the lie by going forth and multiplying error – which is the fragmentation and dissociation of mind from its true being. A kind of ‘matrix’ of a virtual substitution for life under coercive or tyrannous rule predicated upon UN-consciousness of its archetype of a conflicted foundation in terror and rage.

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    • ADMIN – I reposted a part of the full post below because I thought it had been blocked or failed perhaps on length. Now it has come through please delete the reposted part.

    • Maggie says

      @ Binra
      ”So as I see it, ideas rule the minds of we who can ‘think’ only along the rules such ideas dictate. That is to say that any fundamental premise will filter and rule all that follows from it – until the premise itself is questioned and changed.”

      After reading and re reading your post many times, I now realise WHY many people don’t/can’t ‘think’ or assimilate. Unfortunately 99% pf the general public did not benefit from an Etonian education, but have to rely on those sharing information. When bombarded with wordy articles like yours regularly, aimed only at the mega educated, then who can blame them for being misinformed and being forced to rely on the corrupt MSM presstitutes for all their information?

      They are scoffed at and labelled ignorant. When really the ignorance is on the part of the educator who IMHO presumes too much.
      How can a premise be questioned and changed if it hasn’t been understood in the first place?

      • Hi Maggie/anyone – please disregard this response to the ideas being considered if it holds no relevance or resonance to you. But I seek to turn about and look at what farmes, forms or structures what I took as my mind, consciousness and interpreted experience of world.

        While an education that enables the ability to question and challenge rather than conform, is clearly a benefit, I don’t know that that is gotten at Eton. But I do see it is squelched by most of what is called education. I didn’t take advantage of mine excepting I was exposed to a range of subjects that once I woke up to a need and desire for learning, served some sense of them rather than ignorance. A spectrum of at least the then modern developments.

        My true education is of being opened to a territory of experience that I had no preconception of – let alone articulation, but which the need and desire to integrate developed as part of my own particular expression. I do not think about and formulate or deduce so much as seek word and phrase to match meanings wordlessly and currently felt.
        Sketches of a territory that is normally hidden by word or thing-meanings and the attempts to fit life to them.

        Generally, people have a thought system that filters, censors and distorts incoming communication – at least when they are identified with the thinking rather than with the territory that word and symbol point to.
        Those who recognise that truth is beyond definition but not beyond acceptance, are not given to defending the forms or symbols of truth nor of trying to use truths as a leverage or weapon. rather they call to the stirring of a recognition.

        No one is aware of the thinking they are acting FROM and thus be-living as true of themself and their world… excepting they open perspective on it. The willingness to challenge or be curious the consensual reality is usually a result of the breakdown of that ‘reality’ as a working model or identity. I don’t associate that with Eton excepting the breaking of the bonds of parenting to be remade by the school – which is then a training in a sense of both entitlement and sacrifice to power or at least positions of leadership and influence in society.

        My own conviction is that we can no longer operate from the old ‘paradigm’ to coin an over used phrase, and so are obliged to grow the consciousness of the new by living it – instead of persisting from the thinking that is part and parcel of an insane world – usually in wanting to change everyone else as if that will put Humpty together again.

        Living from a true foundation is not a claim to righteousness or knowledge. But rather a releasing of such claims in the willingness and desire for true – which is of a wholeness of being that reflects in our relationships. This makes NO sense to a head-control mentality because that has to define everything first and then ‘apply it’. But truth is the power that identifies us perfectly as a result of its movement through us in a real relationship. And words cannot teach this nor a system make. It’s Life Jim – but not as we (thought to) know it. (Star Trek ref).

        I have no sense if what I share finds recognition any more than some artists whose work is only ‘discovered’ after they are dead. But I am alive and inspired in what moves me and so I do what I do because it IS me and not as an attempt to get something to fill or mitigate a sense of lack. Freedom to follow joy is just because, and in a spiritual sense is just be cause.

        I believe that an increasing awareness and exposure of the insanity of our world is providing a goad to a necessary re-education – that is a deeper self honesty than we have ever perhaps allowed into awareness before. We all know that truth is the first casualty of war – and this is no less so in a mind that uses conflict to NOT KNOW what feels a threat or loss of self in opening up to. So I see ‘divide and rule out!’ as working the replacing of a congruency of being with a power struggle under narrative identity.

        No one can see what they are not yet the willingness to accept. In this sense believing limits seeing, and the MORE of who and what we are remains hidden. Conflicted self runs as a split mind where the part runs as if a ‘thing-in-itself’ or independent existence in which power is predicated on maintaining and protecting the separate-self-sense. This is the re-enacting of the ‘separation trauma’ by which the split occurred.

        If we are at the end of a global epoch, it wont be from planetary cataclysms as was before, but of our own re-enactment of just such archetypal conditioning under the rational banner of a ‘justified’ or sense of ‘control’.
        The war on Life is hatred of life masked in fantasy substitution. It is insanely predicated and destructive to sanity – such as to render insanity ‘understandable’ and sanity heretical or mad.
        But is it not that the power of masking and managed rage and terror is the ‘devil we know’ and have adapted to hide from or hide in, while the disinvestment from that is the ‘unknown’ onto which we project our deepest fears.

        A re-education has to move through the fear rather than follow fear’s dictate. But only as we grow to meet the sense of an illegitimate or outdated limitation.

        A significant quality of communication is between the lines – or ‘felt’. Forms in themselves do not have built in meaning. One has to feel for context. If we are locked into meanings that are inherited or acquired before we had the freedom or ability to know our choices, then we haven’t allowed the meaning of our freedom to redeem them. Choices are not ‘when’ but now. Putting our energy and attention into past and future imaging is a way of evading what is truly present now. The habit runs an UNconsciousness that defines itself conscious. Nor can anyone awaken the unwilling.

      • BTW bombarded regularly? I haven’t met anyone else writing in the way I do. Do you merely see a lot of words and presume it is ‘wordy’. The copy paste syndrome is not just the internet but part of running on derivatives instead of connecting to source or checking the sources.
        “…the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.”
        ~ Alan Bullock
        Propaganda isn’t only what governments do, PR is not only what corporates do, but is a development of what we each do to ourselves – that is we present and seek reinforcement for what we want to be true and likewise mutually reinforce what we either don’t want to be true or simply don’t want to look at or (openly) acknowledge.

        The political and social theory is a more sophisticated attempt to make a better world – according to the mind of its maker – or of the use to which others then put their take of what they want for themselves.
        All of the attempt to change the world will tend to create more masked or sophisticated problems by attempting to solve them externally.

        My writing is not founded in that mindset – but in LOOKING at the mindset (our own thoughts judgements and reactions) without the coercive or divisive resort to using them as a justification for guilt and penalty or sacrifice – so as to recognize what is really going on beneath the effects of such thinking and emotional investment at cause level. Generally it stands that to look upon a falsehood and know it as false is to no longer be able to use it as a true foundation. If we persist in doing what we do not want, it is because on another level we are getting a payoff that we are not ready to look at or release. IE: You may conform and comply to social norms that you don’t share or agree with because not doing so is believed to attract conflict – and you want a sense of personal comfort or security more than giving a true voice to the presence of who you actually are. (No blame implied here. Blame blocks seeing by assigning a negative outcome and either hiding the sense of vulnerability from awareness or instituting a self-scarifice (self censure or even punishment – in advance of being ‘exposed’.

        The territory of our thoughts can be mapped out in different ways. I look at the territory I am living and find consciously acceptable word and phrase meanings that – as I am able to discern – are not framing in blame and coercion and the strategies of evading, accusing or invalidating (the dark arts of magical persuasion) but essay a sketch of a what most others are set in looking away from or subverting and framing as weapons of manipulative intent or a means to capture attention.

        Of course the capacity to have an experience OF anything is always an effect of what we choose to look with or through. I am moved to an awakening from the loveless effects of loveless thinking that is at the very root of marketising and weaponising a private minded agenda. Most everyone else is most of the time pushing the other way under the sense of regaining love or power lost, or avenging in self vindication over those who killed it, denied or deprived, rejected or abandoned us. Which is fixing an evil in your sight and dedicating your life to fighting it. How many globalists have a set of beliefs that include nationalism as the evil to be broken and eradicated? Or the that the right to engage in thought, voice of any real influence given to the ‘unworthy’ must be done away with for a system of management by those who presume to judge and rule over others by their acting from such thinking as true?

        The conventional narrative tends to good v evil where of course these are all assigned differently in mutually polarising fragmentation. But in general the framing of our ‘choices’ is the devil and the deep blue sea – rather a sense of the devil we know (or think we do) and the ‘UNKNOWN’ onto which we (generally) project the deepest fears of our suppressed (unconscious) and so cling to the ‘known’ as too big to fail.

        Well in my view, we are in the process of the exposure of failure at a fundamental level. The unwillingness to LOOK at the true or full extent is our capacity to persist in it as if it can be further developed to be less harmful, or least evil. Note that ‘healing and cure’ are only used in pharming advertising and PR – they are being eradicated from a system of sickness management. The very IDEA of healing is being denied by the belief that life is a disease to be eradicated, and replaced. It is not other than self-hate though it is notable that those who embody it in systems of thought usually regard them as pertaining to everyone ELSE. We rarely own that we make versions of everyone we meet out of our self, act as if the world we made is true and often draw forth reactions that confirm our distrust. This is a form of psychic dissociation that has become autobotic. or if you prefer to be ‘done to’ you can be a hacked and managed bot-net under an overbearing and overwhelming power set against you. Full spectrum dominance.
        But I hold that a deceitful power works by inducing us to disempower ourselves in division of polarised fragmentation by mind-capture. I feel this goes much deeper than evil bastards rigging the system who simply need to be eradicated or at least taken from power in order for the world to come to rights. So I look within to notice how I disempower, invalidate or conflict myself and in a sense close the back door beliefs by which I am ‘hacked’ or phished of a truly shared identity. There is nothing new in this excepting the forms it takes. Vigilance against deceit is the necessity of a conflicted mind. Persistently choosing NOT to use it or feed it is allowing a choice for life to move and be recognised and join in moving with it. Or you can persist in control over the ‘unworthy’ – some of which may seem like barbarians at the gate or decadence within.

      • #2
        “How can a premise be questioned and changed if it hasn’t been understood in the first place?”

        Presumed reality operates as if it is an understanding. Although much of what the term ‘understanding’ is used for is a sense of definition and control within a society of rules, and compliances and conformities that set the bounds of thought, communication and behaviour. There are personal and social contexts for ‘understandings’ believed true that are not verbal mental constructs.

        The short and direct way to notice, and re-evaluate false premises that automatically result in poor, conflicted or distressing outcomes is nothing to do with thinking about and everything to do with ‘look within’.

        The term ‘understand’ is being in receipt of and in recognition of true and not in private possession of a property conferring status from which to assert self superiority or align in mutually agreed identity assertion.

        So in terms of this theme – all of our currency of thought is conformed or distorted to the premise of personal power as the basis for surviving and prevailing in a world of power struggle.
        Waking to the ‘self’ that has been running is the result of self awareness.
        I cannot teach you or anyone how to be self aware. But I can point to or illuminate the blocks to such awareness such as I notice then in our relationship in ways that you might recognize in a moment of looking within instead of the business and diversionary distraction of thinking about.

        Free awareness is the potential to notice and give focus to movements in yourself that were hidden by habitual thought-reaction.
        Awareness is free by nature and so it current focus is the active expression of desire and intent. If you do not know your active desire and intent you are acting as one who knows not what they do – while under an impression of ‘understandings’ running as your past learning – much of which was pre-verbal.

        Letting into a truly present relationship is the releasing of what is not actually here now as a willingness for embracing and accepting what is. Relational awareness is not taught or learned so much as lived from and shared in. The interjection and imposition of judgement is taught and learned as the basis of our social induction and adaptation to a system of rules – most of which are communicated tacitly.

        The premises by which we think and act and have our experience are an acquired inheritance. Sorting the false for the true cannot be a matter of thinking from the premise to be evaluated. But thinking can be followed back to its premise in the desire to know – and that is the recognition that thinking is not knowing.

        This is another way of saying that once we wake to see our thinking is insane or dissociated – sanity has awakened as the basis for its transformation from blind leader to true service.

  4. Running on corrupted currency is a rigged game. the currency of thought is our most fundamental interaction and exchange for our mind, or self and world depend on it.

    Rules are given power by allegiance and compliance. The power to make and enforce rules is also the power to undo them or change them. Rules operate from judgements accepted and acted from as worthy, necessary or true. Allegiance is given but compliance is exacted.

    So as I see it, ideas rule the minds of we who can ‘think’ only along the rules such ideas dictate. That is to say that any fundamental premise will filter and rule all that follows from it – until the premise itself is questioned and changed. This is the nature and history of the development of consciousness, culture and world-construct experienced.

    The power to set the mind in judgement that then conforms compliance is both inherited and acquired as our human construct, our cultural construct, our personal construct. Such a mind is oppositional and competitive as a persona requiring defence and maintenance against change seen as threat.

    So narrative identity operates or is given power as the idea of persistence or survival against threat. This is a mind predicated in power struggle of attack and defence – where attack is the the best defence – but masked in forms of communication or concern that are manipulative – which which become accepted social codes of contractual ‘relationship’ Separate minds join in shifting temporary alliance only for what each can get separately.

    The predicate ideas upon which we (each and together) give power of belief, or invested identity to, are the hidden ‘rulers’ of our thought which we then embody personally and culturally as our behaviours and our mores and rules – and the experience thereof. Our fruits thus make visible and tangible the nature of our inner and perhaps secret devotions.

    In the belief that we are free to make our self and determine the true and defend it, is the attack on the truth that we do not create ourself and can only create in the image and likeness of our Creator. And so the substitution of the image or symbol or conceptual framework for the Living Relational being, is to give power to the father of the lie by going forth and multiplying error – which is the fragmentation and dissociation of mind from its true being. A kind of ‘matrix’ of a virtual substitution for life under coercive or tyrannous rule predicated upon UN-consciousness of its archetype of a conflicted foundation in terror and rage.

    The exchange within a sense of true needs met is of giving and receiving that honours both giver and receiver. All else seeks to get from and get for – even if apparently giving. As soon as the true need is denied movement of its own fulfilment, a sense of disconnection, and fear of lack induces scarcity and generates the idea of getting, possession as a personal or group identity and defences against the inevitable and expected dispossession. Which of course manifest as mutually reinforcing agreements or rules that lock in the very fears they are supposed to defend from.

    The mind is free to think upon the lines of its own accepted self-defining thought. All behaviours automatically follow the framing of resulting perceptions – but in conflicted thinking, the expression of conflict results in guilt and penalty, while the inhibition of such actions generates depression and impotence.

    Presuming to engineer society or even our own fate is thus a false baited thinking to a sense of making ourself and our world in our own image. The result is a world where…

    Everything is BACKWARDS; everything is upside down! Doctors destroy health, Lawyers destroy justice, Universities destroy knowledge, Governments destroy freedom, Major media destroys information, And religions destroy spirituality”. ~ Michael Ellner

    My enquiry and writing is in the direction of uncovering to ourselves the mind or decision from which we live so as to restore the natural freedom of deciding otherwise – when our fruits clearly reveal false thinking at the ‘Template’ level. But unlike the lure of control-fantasy, to look upon what we have made without judging it in the framing of the mind that yet seeks to make itself lord over and apart from its own thought-creations.

    In the stillness of the receptive is the discernment of the qualities of true and false within our OWN mind.
    What is true needs no defence to be itself and what is false falls away of itself once being undone of its capacity to mask AS true.

    In a mad world of corrupted power, the need is for the sanity of a true discernment in place of being phished and ruled by emotion-backed reaction. In the grip of such reaction engaged as survival is no free awareness or power of choice. Judgement is both blind and blinding and the rejection of parts of our self is necessarily rejection of our wholeness. This can only ‘see’ a world in its own image and struggle to prevail over it or survive by aligning under a sense of being overwhelmed by such power.

    I see the consolidation of worldly power as drawing the ‘game of conflict’ to its inevitable conclusion in madness and death. Excepting what is created timeless is not changed by different ways of thinking and seeing, believing and suffering.

    The why, the purpose and the fulfilment of our being and of our living can be set in error, invested in and defended against truth as being ‘too big to fail’. Nothing is too big to fail, but invested identity may be too unwilling to re-evaluate its true account in fear of change and loss.
    To a love of truth, ‘failure’ is information from which to learn, grow and become more truly aligned.
    To a fear of loss of self and life, failure is built in as necessary to the survival of fear’s power and protection. It is not by accident that ‘war is peace’ and ‘slavery is freedom’, but the very nature of our predicate of self-definition and belief. Mistaken identity can never REALLY stick, but can be released to a recognition and appreciation of true. Giving and receiving is the law that getting thinks it is the freedom to have escaped amidst the nightmare of its own subjection in the terms it set!

    The wish for power is an expression of lack given power as a personal assertion. The mind preoccupied with past and future gain and loss is not here, not in current communication, but re-enacting its past into a future without true presence.

    How aligning in the true of us fruits a reintegrative result is not within the realm of ‘define, predict and control’ and so is unseen or disregarded by the allegiance to ‘power in the world’. No one who believes they are apart and alone can afford to let the true undermine their power. And so the separated ones join in ruling out anything true but what can be subverted or corrupted in form to support or reinforce such power. And so the weaponising and marketizing of all that lives brings on a paralysis of power over life – or living death. To see the reversal as it is is to already be in the willingness of its undoing.

      • You can only be as you are – but you can think you can be as you are not and believe it. This is the root of all evils – including the sense of power as tyrannous, coercive and deceitful. Because deceit is given power.

        That we each and together are entangled in deceit by engaging in power struggle runs a self-reinforcing experience – as if a mind could be trapped within its own thought or reflected image.
        That we are invested in our thinking and storymaking is not evident to be-living it as irrevocably real. The power to ‘make self-illusion real’ is protected against exposure by tantrums and terror symbols. The undoing of our own defences is by releasing as we would be released. This is accepting that truth is true. One cant open to truth while insisting that stories are true. But of course we can honour what we made for all that it has served our awakening.

  5. Francis Lee says

    Actually there is not, never has been, and never will be such a thing as a ‘free market’ and that also applies to ‘free-trade. In any number of ways the state, shapes, supports, aids, subsidizes, produces public goods (education, health, transport, the built environment) and all the basic infrastructure for the economy to function. As for ‘free-trade’ this is a chimerical Ricardian construction belied in a world of capital controls, exchange rate manipulation, intra-firm trade various non-tariff barriers and actual tariff barriers such as the one surrounding the EU.

    The state unquestionably remains the most significant force in shaping the world economy, despite the hyper-globalist rhetoric. It has always played a fundamental role in the development of all countries, and indeed in the process of glob alization itself.

    The US and the G7’s other dominant members design and establish the international trade agreements, organizations and legislation that support and govern trans-border investments, production networks, and market penetration constitutive of contemporary globalization. Advanced capitalist states, particularly use these political instruments to shape international economic decision-making and policy in their own national interest.

    The economy and the state are not antipodes but twins. And this applies to all capitalist states ranging from overt fascism to social-democracy.

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    • Toby says

      The economy and the state are not antipodes but twins.

      Exactly! I always say they’re siamese twins joined at the money system.

      • BigB says

        The G7 central banks acted in ‘Collu$ion’ [Nomi Prins] to reinflate the possessing classes asset bubbles: to the detriment of the nation-states. Thus, we can infer a super-sovereign virtual globalised ‘state’ and a superclass or supra-socitety that populates the trans-national entity. I would postulate several layers of sovereignty (for the international central banking cartel (BIS), TNCs, FTAs, RTAs, customs unions, free trade and special economic zones, IMF, World Bank, WTO, etc).

        The global economy and the supra-state are not antipodes but twins.

        Governing elites govern for them, not us. The nation state is a semi-redundant Westphalian concept. As the dominant imperialist-capitalist military have shown time and time again: state boundaries no longer exist. Neither does the Westphalian treaty based peace (though it is more likely to be respected in a multipolar neoliberal world system).

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        • Toby says

          The global economy and the supra-state are not antipodes but twins.

          That’s true too, and there are many layers and as-above-so-below mirrorings and echoes of ruler and ruled as you say, but I suspect the underlying dynamic is always the same: exploitative and opaquely manipulative. What occupies me is the possibility that advanced specialisation makes a meaningfully involved democracy impossible. It’s possible, I suspect, that very large societies are too devilishly detailed for everyone to be ‘equally’ capable of informed decision making. Of course, there’s also the distinct possibility that this degree of complexity is ecologically unsustainable, that a simpler, sustainable setup can only work in a transparently democratic system. But such a setup would engender very different cultural definitions of wealth and we’re back to my original musing. Time will tell. Or not…

        • Francis Lee says

          BigB: I note that you say that ‘The nation state is a semi-redundant Westphalian concept.’ But that ‘semi’ is quite important; which is to say that globalization is a somewhat exaggerated process and nation states are still very much with us – like it or not. Globalization had appeared to be an unstoppable force up to 2008 when it hit the brick wall of the financial meltdown. This change was most apparent in the financial sector where ‘The Masters of the Universe’ had to go on bended knee to the state to be rescued. It was a scenario also replicated in the auto-vehicle industry in both the US and UK. National governments poured billions of dollars, pounds, euros in propping up these sectors. In some instances this was only slightly short of outright nationalisation – the bete noir of market fundamentalism.

          The notion that the power of the state has been emasculated and borders are vanishing was a view put forward by the arch-neoliberal, Thomas Friedman in ‘The World is Flat.’ A view which is only partially true and is far from universal. Much of the ‘state-denialism’ focuses on western nations of statehood and experiences. Implicit is a common is the common genesis of the state during the 19th century and its zenith in the post-war Fordist regime of accumulation. However, in many parts of the world the experience of statehood have followed a quite different trajectory and are, in a postcolonial context, still being actively constructed and extended rather than weakened.

          Moreover, the globalization process is encountering increasing resistance from below in the form a neo-nationalist surge in continental Europe and Brexit in the UK, and Trump in the US; their success or not, may be problematic, but it will continue to be directed against the cultural and political homogenization of their societies, and their economic incorporation into a core-periphery structure. The panic among the globalizing elites is palpable and increasingly defensive as they struggle to contain these pressures and both the theory and practice of their project. In short there is a war going on between national self-determination and the borderless world of Soros and Company, and this is only the beginning.

          ”Moreover, everywhere electorates are looking to governments to be a counterweight to footloose corporations. It is this intuitive perception to rein-in markets that will increasingly occupy centre-stage between pro and anti the coming decade. For social-political movements the nation-state continues to be the chosen instrument for the organization of society. However much social institutions will have to adapt to new global pressures, what is not in doubt is that the nation-state remains the crucible for equality seeking movements the world over. Efficiency, profitability and competitiveness have not won the hearts and minds of the peoples worldwide.’’ (States Against Markets – Boyer and Drache)

          A major task therefore is to challenge the more implausible globalization myths

          The Earth is not Flat. ( contra Friedman)
          The World is not Borderless (contra Ohmae)
          Global Corporations do not rule the world (Korten)
          Globalization is not always good (contra neo-liberal hyper-globalizers)

          • Big B says

            Sorry Francis; I did reply …but it seems to have been eaten by hyperspace. The synopsis was that nation state autonomy is subordinate to transnational financial imperialism; with a relative loss of autonomy depending on position in the imperial pyramid …the bottom peripheral nation states being fully dependent and effectively financially colonised. There are also imperial protecterates set up around the likes of the EU – where no country in the Eurozone has any autonomy from the ECB. Examples being Greece and the other peripheralised PIIGS. The comment with links may or may not appear later.

  6. Fair dinkum. says

    We could follow in the footsteps of the great Anarchists: Peter Kropotkin (Tolstoy called him the White Buddha), Jesus (he stuck by his mates) and the Buddha himself (who threw it all in to seek Truth).
    Not forgetting Emma Goldman. A very courageous woman.

  7. Toby says

    The author talks a lot about wealth, but does not define it.

    How do we get, say from hunter-gatherer times, to this sort of speculation:

    Democracy is natural where wealth is nearly-evenly distributed. Dictatorship is natural where wealth is extremely-unevenly distributed. The latter is true because no nation can maintain a democracy if the wealth is highly unequal. If the wealth is highly equal, then the possibility for democracy to emerge is substantial. But if the wealth is highly unequal, then the possibility for democracy even to exist to any extent, is low. All of the extremely wealthy people would have to be honest in order for them to tolerate rule by the majority.

    How do we achieve “nearly-evenly distributed” “wealth”? What does that mean? Has that ever occurred where there is money?

    Earlier in the article, the author distinguishes between economics and politics. But money is power, because it is an information-based, myth-based tool for control, and thus has everything to do with politics.

    By the time we have “money” as a species – depending on our definition of money, a term that seems insolubly difficult to define to everyone’s satisfaction – you can be sure we are very far from hunter-gatherer modalities, which are “fiercely egalitarian” and thus create very even wealth distributions. By the time we have “money”, then, we most certainly have deeply entrenched social disequalities. (I just made up that term, because “inequality” defines the nature of things: no two things are the same, everything is unique.) I would therefore argue that money emerges from social disequalities necessarily. In other words, disequality is a requirement for money’s emergence. The Adam-Smith-originated idea that money was invented by homo economicus to solve the problem of double coincidence of wants is wrong; ethnographers have found no evidence for his assertion. Money is first and foremost a creature of power, an extension of it (see e.g. Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years). Hence, the idea that we can have political equality via “nearly-evenly distributed” “wealth” AND money – in their current conceptions – is a misnomer.

    We can’t go back in time to start again, so, to return to my opening sentence, we need to talk about what we want wealth to mean to us. If wealth remains solely or predominantly manifested in and through money, or in and through economic activity (buying and selling in the modern conception), social equality will prove an impossible wish. Wealth and money as currently conceived nudge the game of life inexorably towards narcissism and sociopathy, focus ‘human nature’ on greed and fear. If we want something approaching justice throughout society, we should begin with our understanding of wealth. While the term “wealth” remains the property of economics, social justice will never be determined democratically. Money is just a tool, one we can change democratically, if we know how to choose to do so. The first part of that process would be a deep and wide discussion about wealth. Bling? Safe communities? Civic pride? Justice? Transparency? Property accumulation? Power and control? Honesty and authenticity?

    How do we create political and economic theory in support of and emergent from a rich and subtle definition of wealth that is democratically and transparently (organically?) determined? This should be, in my view, our first task in our pursuit of the democracy we strongly appear to want. Of course, getting this process going requires an informed and able citizenry. And there’s the rub. But sites like this and (what’s left of) the internet are good starts.

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    1
    • Yes I did define it, Toby. I defined it the way that is standardly done; and this article does it in many contexts, such as the first of the two parenthetical clauses in the sentence “If wealth-collections could vote, that would invite control over the land to be by wealth (the number of dollars) instead of by actual residents (the number of persons).” Furthermore, if you had clicked onto the word “wealth” in the sentence “That’s because, almost everywhere, wealth, and even income, is extremely unevenly distributed,” you’d have come straight to Credit Suisse’s study of the “Global Wealth Pyramid” and they’re defining “wealth” in the normal way, so you can see it there, too — and you would already have seen it there, if you had really wanted to know what “wealth” refers to in my article — but, clearly, you didn’t; you instead simply wrote “The author talks a lot about wealth, but does not define it.” You falsified.

      • Toby says

        I’m sorry, Eric, but I don’t consider those implied and linked-to ‘definitions’ sufficient, in terms of the weighting of your piece, for what I believe is necessary in this regard. Indeed, they are not definitions as such, but borrowed or alluded-to alternatives between the opposing sides of a false dichotomy. My sense of your article is that it accepts orthodoxy on this vital concept (wealth) and builds atop it uncritically. For me, wealth, and its twin, value, are pivotal. They need a profound reexamination across the board before we can begin to develop a new way of self-governance that is as close to transparent democracy of and for the people as we can get it.

      • John G says

        It’s what they do. Whether intentionally or otherwise, these types are detrimental to any progressive cause.
        They can’t be persuaded or reasoned with. They are the Alex Jones crowd of the left.

        1
        1
    • BigB says

      Toby:

      How do we create political and economic theory in support of and emergent from a rich and subtle definition of wealth that is democratically and transparently (organically?) determined? This should be, in my view, our first task in our pursuit of the democracy we strongly appear to want.

      The pre-requisite is to bracket off capital accumulation (measured as GDP growth) as being in any way a determinant of wealth (except perhaps in an inverse detrimental relationship). Then also, bracket off ‘money’. Then we can have a critically conscious dialogical determination of ‘wealth’ in qualitative humanitarian values: what does it mean to be human and happy and free? The quantitative alpha-numerical substance has no real effect on this. Beyond the comfortable provision of the means of a profitable survival: it has marginal utility and super-accumulation becomes a distraction. If I am truly content in my humanity: can any amount material substance augment or compensate for my/our intrinsic relational (inter-subjective) community of wealth (the Sangha ((spiritual community, extended family)) of society)? I would obviously answer with a definitive no, but others may have different ideas.

      Once we have a participatory consensus, where the least have an equal say to the most: then we have a Telos …a definable, though necessarily not fixed and immutable, set of concepts that we can participatory valorise. Political economy becomes the embodiment and enaction of a common set of goals: a set that is determined and modifiable by those who co-mutually benefit from the very same set of organic goals. It is the enaction of the General Will of the People: by the People …ring any bells!

      “We the people of the United States [of liberational freedom], in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense [?], promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution …”

      The difference is between participatory and representative democracy. An “informed and able citizenry” is a function of its own democratic freedom, autonomy, and self-sovereignty. There is no need to manipulate, as that would pervert ones own freedom and democracy. But, but, but …the authoritarians and exceptionalists demand: it would never work …waffle, waffle, waffle; some pseudo scientific bollocks about a fixed and pre-determined animalistic human nature …Darwin, Descartes, Dawkins, etc …

      Our spiritual pre-pubescence and immature violent tendencies spring from vestigial ideas of artificial scarcity; millennia of violent repression, bent to the needs of hierarchical rule; the aggressive imposition of private property rights; and the ultra-violent dehumanisation of being subject to the needs, means, modes and relations of capital accumulation. Humanity is co-operative, not competitive …our collective community consciousness has been violated, deformed, and distorted by an artificially imposed pseudo-scientific individual ‘nature’. It was pre-determined all right, pre-determined by the inner logic of hyper-aggressive capital accumulation. It is readily one we can do without.

      So, transition to a truly participatory democracy, among a community of equals, is necessarily a long road to freedom. It requires de-schooling and unlearning everything that capital accumulation has taught us to be. It requires the listening and dialogue of seemingly mutually incompatible groups to establish the common humanitarian ground. We cannot go from being the pre-pubescent children of authority to spiritual maturity and co-mutual responsibility overnight. But neither can we ever mature as slaves of capital accumulation. If money is a tool, freed from the instrumental insanity of perpetual exponential accumulation: can it yet buy our freedom?

      • Toby says

        I just got back from watching Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman. It was for me a very enjoyable film until the end forcibly reminds the audience just how angry people are with each other. There’s so much hate and fear between various groups. Your comment is oddly timed, for my current mood at least, with that film’s closing sequence showing footage of alive-and-well racial hatred in the US. In other words, there’s a very long way to go. If we can make it to what you suggest in your first paragraph, that would be amazing.

        • BigB says

          I guess the US would have to re-constitute as the United States of Equality: without the artificial deformity of the tyranny of the dollar pushing wealth to the coasts, and leaving the ‘rustbelt’ and hollowed out core? Then Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness would not have to migrate to find what is spiritually abundant at the core and equally distributed elsewhere? 🙂

      • John G says

        GDP defines sales. At least try to get your terms correct. Your language is sloppy and misleading. That’s why you can’t be reasoned with in economics.

        • Big B says

          You’re right. I should have used ”Grossly Distorted Pseudo-science’ per capita – which is a far more objective econometric. However you measure the wealth of a nation quantitatively, the mathematical modelling bears absolutely no relation to the wealth of the individual qualitatively …which is the only thing worth measuring. All metrics equate progress with growth; which is problematic. In social science, GDP has long been loosely correlated with relative ‘happiness’. Other metrics have been developed as an alternative to GDP – such as Gross National Happiness. Besides which, I wasn’t even talking about economics, which is perhaps the most violent and deleterious way to develop human spiritual ‘capital’?

          • John G says

            No. You’re just talking nonsense again.

            GDP is a flow. Wealth is a stock. You can’t measure one with a unit of the other.

            I can’t imagine why you bother. You don’t even seem interested in learning basic concepts.

            • BigB says

              Economics is coded ultra-violence designed to subjugate and dispossess humanity. It is the mathematicisation and statistical modelling of something that cannot be reduced to a number, a function, an equation, or flow. All I want is to analyse and emancipate our common humanity from all pseudo-scientific alpha-numeric tyrannies …but I don’t expect you to relate to that. All you seem to want to do is impose your pet tyranny on anyone who does not conform to your dictatorial terminology. Once again, sociologists often use GDP as a stand-in metric for relative happiness, whether this is correct or not brings nothing to the debate. Try responding to the comment in full perhaps?

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    • The solution to the riddle you raise is contained in your correct identification of ‘money’ as the expression of ‘power’ in a money based society, that is to say, power as a disproportionate ‘influence’ in matters of law and order (social regulation) and the disproportionate appropriation of collectively produced goods and services by the so-called wealthy.

      And what is the basis of money accumulation in our society?

      It is ‘profit.’ And the means of extracting ‘profit’ are claims on and of property in the means of production and distribution.

      Consequently, to attenuate the power whose expression and substance is money, both money as such and all claims on and of property in the means of production and distribution must be extinguished: private property needs to be converted into collective or communal or public property.

      Capitalism has already solved one part of the problem that needed to be solved in order to make democracy real: it socialized production, made it into a collaborative and collective process.

      Unfortunately, the aims of production and the distribution of its fruits remain unsocialized, that is to say, that they remain in private hands and beyond the influence of the propertyless wage-earning majority, who have no final say on what gets produced or the proportions in which what is in fact collectively produced gets distributed.

      Democracy, if it is to become real, requires then that the distribution aspect of the economy also be socialized, and this can only happen if the claims on and of property are collectivized or made universal, the property of no one individual, but of all individuals.

      In such circumstances, there could be no inequality and, therefore, no differences in social standing and influence.

      Money and private property must be abolished for something like democracy to fully emerge.

      The real difficulty is that money and private property are underpinned by force, by soldiers and policemen who take their orders from within institutions that were specifically created to enforce the rule of money and private property.

      Thus the basic problem of democracy is the problem of finding a way of dismantling the institutions of the military and gendarmery, or of making these answerable only to the collective as a whole, and not as it is now, to the moneyed and propertied few.

      Much stands in the way of realizing the democratic aspirations of the many, not the least of which is getting most to glimpse the way forward . . .

      Yes, “The basic reality, in any society, is power.”

      How will the majority ever accede to it? They will have to ‘take’ it.

      Or they will ever endure the indignity of their current subjugation.

      • Taking power as equals?

        The idea of power is corrupted.
        Ok – the idea of self is corrupted.
        In hiding and defending from coercive power AND in masking the use of coercive power is the mask of a persona passing off as if an actual presence.
        The fear and belief in powerlessness is the drive or motivation to seek power.
        Everyone develops different strategies to survive.
        All such development is in some sense of broken, failed or conflicted relationship.

        The enshrinement of financial and corporate powers in law is part of the way of war.
        War is the idea of ‘taking power’ by all or any means.
        Possession is nine tenths of the law – goes the saying.
        No one likes to lose and everyone seeks to protect their investment.

        The mafia is a better model than a free market for the top down cartels that feed upon the fearful and shut down or buy the ‘opposition’. Power struggle is a driver of technology – including the technology of deceit.
        Weaponising and marketising everything generates a negative ‘economy’ of sickness and war and the evaporation of fantasy fulfillments to a hollow and Soulless wasteland.

        I believe we run on a guilt economy in which blame is redistributed so as to sacrifice ‘others’ to penalty. Their loss is our gain.

        The belief that humans are innately fearful, greedy and deceitful can find its witnesses.
        Other belief will find other witnesses.
        The world may not be run by psychopaths or evil bastards but by ideas that possess the minds of us all – while we think they are our own and witnessing to our freedom.

        The negative economy operates an abundance of debt, sickness, conflict, powerlessness and confusion &etc.
        My sense is that its root is the acceptance of a negatively defined sense of self and life – and by negative I mean fearful, divisive, separative or segregative, distrustful and defensive – where attack is the best defence and so preemptive judgements deny even the possibility of a communication in a relationship of equals.

        I see no hope in hell – but I do see hope of a true change of our condition as the basis for questioning our core presumptions and beliefs – and that is NOT going to occur collectively EXCEPT as the synchronous movement of disgust and disinvestment from the hate that keeps us in hell in the belief that self vindication will turn the tables on the enemy and victory will come at last. Of course death and destruction is the victor over life – at least in the mind of its worshippers. For is not power over life the wish that drives us insane?

        But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
        “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
        “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
        “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.
        ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

        • “The world may not be run by psychopaths or evil bastards but by ideas that possess the minds of us all – while we think they are our own and witnessing to our freedom.”

          Indeed. Until, that is, you engage in a bit of introspection.

          Then there arises the possibility, not always actualized, of taking possession of a thought, of formulating an insight, that you can then set on auto-pilot as an antidote to another idea or set of ideas that had possessed you unawares. In this way you can change your programming, the thinking that isn’t your own but that can be intentionally altered once glimpsed in a moment of contingent awareness, as it streams on by. That is your freedom. That you can change how you think, how you are possessed, and thus how subsequently your thoughts will run, and consequently the pattern of your intentional behaviors, of your cultivated habits, of the reflexes that comprise you in your behavioral totality as the person you are.

          Otherwise, you are an automaton, albeit one capable of varying degrees of circumscribed awareness, sometimes directed outward, and sometimes inward.

          As for the self: there is nothing but a series of insubstantial images trapped in a hall of continuously shifting mirrors.

          How do we know we are mad? That is the real perplexity, isn’t it? To be insane and to know that you are.

          • The ‘denied’ becomes a symbol of a suppressed wholeness.
            But the denier assigns wholeness to their private sense of self. Gotten from wholeness at expense of others – and seeing others and wholeness of being as threat of dispossession of such self and life.
            Power struggle or war is thus defined as the nature of self and life and prevailing or surviving in war the necessity or duty of such a life.

            War upon self is hidden in social mores and moral justifications.
            Who does not grow a mask (deny their true expression) to survive a world of unseeing or unfeeling lovelessness? And who does not use the masking of intent as a ploy to manipulate an outcome without revealing their full intent?

            My sense is that true possession of having = being, is lost in the attempt to grasp it for oneself. Thus we lose Soul-awareness to split and shifting perceptions of a world that would dispossess us and then seek and find all the pain and burden of defence. How does anyone respond to being truly accepted, seen and heard? How willing is anyone to risk such an eventuality except those whose need has awakened them from a private struggle in isolation?

            So just as I implied we are all insane UNTIL we wake to own it, (and can then change our mind about our mind), so we are all ‘possessed’ of conflicted and conflicting thought (doublespeak) that blinds us in a false sense of self. For the intent to subject life to our own private thought, wish or desire is the means to a life of subjection – but AS IF at the hand of another. The adaptation that learns to cope within such a prison becomes the power operating to keep the fences and gates barred.

            I realize that writing to the generally unconscious contents of mind cant really get through to identity made upon grievance of being unfairly attacked, denied, or deprived, but I hold that this gatekeeping to protect the war so as to remain in a sense of relative insulation from it, is part of the human world that our core definitions and beliefs make real just as everyone tuning to a tv channel shares a common experience.

            Private property is many things and secrets and lies share the same bed – but there is an honouring of another that gives privacy. I have no desire to intrude in what is not my business or in such a way or a timing that undermines your joy in life. In this I see you as myself – but not in terms of ‘control’.

            So beneath the surfaces of the personality level are archetypal patterns of self imaged conflict that run like a template or lens through which a true movement of sharing is corrupted to the mask of getting. I call it a mask because no matter how much the sense of self-lack stuffs into its hole – it can never rest in , appreciate or share in wholeness. Likewise ‘getting rid of’. No matter how ‘out-of-mind’ our rejected self – it never actually leaves us. Our denials come home not to damn us but because they have belonging. But our first interpretation will be in terms we made by the nature of our denial.

            There is a basis from which a tyrannous mind is replaced by a consciously willing discernment. But not within a framing set by fear. Fear ‘rules’ the world of the fearful – not merely by terror – but by guile – such as in the form of power and protection. How much is invested in keeping fear framed in such a way as not having to own it?

            Waking to the nature of ‘power in the world’ is a step in a larger process of self discovery that necessarily embraces our relationships. But our disturbance, outrage, terror or powerlessness may fixate us in looking into horror as if to make sense of it or indeed insulate ourselves from it in a sense of temporary escape or notional security.

            The embrace of the truly worthy cannot at the same time fixate in the horror and guilt of its destruction. In this world, pain and death is seen as power over life. But what if the alignment under such ‘power’ is pain and death?

            A reversal in consciousness sets all things awry.

      • Toby says

        Money and private property must be abolished for something like democracy to fully emerge.

        I agree with this direction with one caveat: they can’t be abolished, not lastingly anyway. In my view, something like a transparent and participatory democracy has to emerge first, whereupon money and private property would be rendered redundant. How this happens is anyone’s guess. If it’s even possible is anyone’s guess, but I believe so. The emergence of some ‘true’ democracy, if it happens, will include much struggle and effort and be a very long road, I suspect. I would love to be wrong about that. There’s this beguiling metaphor of the sleeping human. There’s nothing in a sleeping human to indicate what it is capable of when it wakes. Waking up takes mere moments after hours of sleep and happens almost without warning. Perhaps the social body is capable of a similarly unpredictable and rapid transition when the time is right.

        I promoted the moneyless route quite actively for a few years a while ago, but came to believe there was insufficient willingness to take the idea seriously. I also came to believe that money is, like all things social, that which emerges from a particular state of consciousness. Since then, I have come to see the exploitation-victim-force psychological axis as pivotal, as more important than money as a thing. In other words, we all have to grow up out of our immaturity, or many more of us than is currently the case, anyway. Which means I have to grow up and help others towards that process in whatever way I can. If some sort of tipping point is triggered as a consequence of an awakening of this type, I would expect the moneyless route to be adopted, but could be wrong. I don’t prescribe, I don’t insist, it just looks that way to me, that route makes the most sense to me. But before that path can be knowingly chosen, we’ve got to help to wake people up as we can, which takes time. Thereafter, we get to decide democratically how we proceed.

        • Perhaps you would expand a little on your use of the term democracy?

          I have a sense of outcomes arising from an honourable process of communication rather than coercion and deceit. And so consent is given as a sense of balance points within a wholeness that takes a step in willingness after voices have been heard that needed to speak. But not an enforced consensus.

          Marriage can be such a willingness through sickness and health – as an example of commitment to true communication rather than getting what we want because we want it.

          Everyone can sing in their own choir – but communication breakdown is the use of the forms of it to manipulate or mask. Hence the dark arts or PR, propaganda, and social engineering or mind capture.

          I recognize your willingness to be free of belief-thiefs and live what is – as a shared dis-covering.

          Hieros and demos. Without awakened self responsibility, there is no (sane basis for) choice.

          Or only the choice to remain unconscious in allegiance to whatever serves to protect from fear associated with breaking such allegiance or belief.

          • Toby says

            Well I agree with your musings here, binra. Once I was a wide-eyed convert to Direct Democracy, nowadays I’m simply concerned with developing a mindful relationship with Other and helping Other develop a mindful relationship with me and its other Others. If you follow me. Interdependence and all that.

            So democracy, in my thinking and usage, is the implementation side of learning how to communicate with others who have a very different set of sensibilities to us/me. On this site, communication breakdown happens very quickly, even among people who are ostensibly in the same camp. It is experiences like this that teach me, again and again, how far we have to go as a species. Even learning how to listen to each other is hard. Fashioning some new model for all humanity is far more than one level of complexity above listening and may well be a Utopian bridge too far.

            • Thanks for your response Toby.
              I feel the foundation is to stay in communication within myself – ie be vigilant against division – and learn to be curious and look at it rather than react as if my reaction is in fact true.
              Communication is vastly more than verbal mental – as I accept it – being more of a Field than waves or particles.
              Regardless appearances (because I don’t tend to give time to keeping them up) I have a real appreciation for the willingness I see in anyone and everyone here – regardless I agree or not with all they say.
              I mean willingness as the desire and purpose that stands as well as it can in freedom and integrity and holds a sense of worth for living despite being aware of so much that is unworthy of us.

              Being humbled from our personal self confidences by meeting experience that does not support or allow them to operate allows an approach in which our own choice to belong knows it has to give what it would receive – and so everyone belongs because they are – because they exist, That does not mean they are entitled to being supported in what is untrue or unloving – but it does mean that by honouring myself, I bring communication (more than verbal) to who they are without feeding who they are not in myself or them.

              So I see self inclusion as an extension of belonging, instead of a sense of self exclusivity (neg or pos) justifying the withholding of love, acknowledgement, honour or worthiness, appreciation, gratitude.
              I don’t know if we can evaluate our progress when we have so much upside down. But rather than believe we have light years to go, I would disinvest to being without knowing how or in what time frame or by what pathways, an awakening from what is true – replaces what seemed so, but never was. I do not negate or invalidate our experience – but rather that what is true is of a greater truth than a passing show. perhaps everyone is on their leading edge – but not everyone has woken to be it.

      • “And what is the basis of money accumulation in our society?”

        Surely sir, it is debt!

        The lure of profit is the carrot …but debt holds the stick.

        (The idea of money as piles of stuff is different from the idea of money as flow of credit which can be used to buy and sell stuff but can be induced to invested in self-inflating money scams).

        But even without the interjection of moneylenders the idea of debt is a deeper one than money.
        What you take shall be taken from you. (For you established taking as real by wanting it true).
        The idea of possession as ‘taking’ is the fear of dispossession and the need to protect it.
        This can be applied to our sense of personal existence as a private sense of exclusion that sees itself separate from and not part of.

        ‘Forgive us our debts as we forgive them that are indebted to us’ is a sense of unsettled grievance of unforgiveness or refusal that denies us as we deny others. Sowing and reaping in like kind.

        So self-inflation is a sense of self imaged by which we are phished by a sense of self-lack in grievance that drives us to self vindication in terms that counter or cover over the sense of lack.

        This is inconceivably complex in an already fragmented and entangled humanity. Grievance runs down the generations as a basis for vengeance as power and a sense of lack can be targeted at anyone and anything. Grievance piles up its reward in hell and holds us there.

        Identity founded on grievance makes it own reality and defends it (against reality).
        Identity made to cover a sense of self-lack fears exposure as self-damning.
        And so it sees and hates itself in others and accuses and attacks there as the way of maintaining its power and hiding its powerlessness.

        An insane war (on reality) is a self defeating futility
        An insane fear compels the lie as the only means of survival.
        The root of fear is self-division.
        The split levelled and fragmented mind is captive to a doublespeak of conflicted meaning.

        “NO-ONE WANTS madness, nor does anyone cling to his madness if he sees that this is what it IS. What PROTECTS madness is the belief THAT IT IS TRUE. It is the FUNCTION
        of insanity to TAKE THE PLACE of truth. It must be seen AS truth, to be believed. And if it IS the truth, then must its opposite, which was the truth before, be madness now. Such a reversal, COMPLETELY turned around, with madness sanity, illusions true, attack a kindness, hatred love, and murder benediction, IS the goal the laws of chaos serve. These are the means by which the laws of God APPEAR to be reversed. Here do the laws of sin APPEAR to hold love captive, and let sin go free.
        These do not SEEM to be the goals of chaos. For, by the great reversal, they appear to be the laws of ORDER. How could it NOT be so?” ~ (A Course in Miracles)

  8. @rtj. Attlee and Roosevelt reduced extreme wealth without killing anyone; through income tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax and laws against capitalist conglomerates. Of course there is no Law without a Loophole, so one has to go around plugging the loopholes; but it can be done.

    I once asked my physicist friend, how does one achieve a high vacuum? He replied, one just goes around plugging leaks.

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  9. Zuesse has advanced on the classic definition of Fascism. Mussolini described it as a wedding between Coercive Power of the State and Financial Power of Capitalism; but Zuesse now says this is no wedding between two complementary parties: Financial Power is Coercive Power.

    Knowing nothing about finance, I rush in like a fool to suggest that our present Mammonist Age is a temporary phenomenon. All I can adduce are fragments of anecdotal evidence from history. Crassus was the richest member of the Triumverate but Caesar won the power. The wealth of Croesus was proverbial but he lost his empire in war. The low paid coolie armies of Mao and Ho Chi beat the U$ tiger for all its golden stripes. Poor Hezb’Allah beat wealthy Israel. Poor Russia is holding wealthy NATZO at bay, not only in the Russian homeland of Crimea and the Eastern Ukraina but also in Syria and Iran.

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    • BigB says

      Vex: Eric has expounded the Motion Laws of Capital, a mere 150 years after Marx’s Kapital. Not only does the inner logic of capital accumulation entail the dictatorship …it also entails the homunculus of the dictator. Capitalism is a developmental psychology as well as a political economy. The inherent logic favours the concentration of wealth, and the formation of oligarchies and oligopolies of power. From within the possessing oligarchy (selected by adaptive aggressive competition and super-accumulation) emerges the dictator: or he/she is a selected marionette of continued dispossession by violent means. Capitalism is a hierarchical power dynamic that is, from its inception, necessarily proto-fascistic. The dictatorship is a coded inheritance present from its inception within the DNA of capital valorisation …as opposed to the valorisation of a universal humanity: which, by definition, is a priori negated by the inevitable (‘democratic’) dictatorship capital accumulation.

      Why the 95% precariat have not absorbed this self-evident logic over the last 150 years (a canon of logic that has been greatly expanded by Luxemburg, Gramsci et al) is a complex issue that involves human psychology and ideological warfare (capitalist indoctrination): suffice to propose that the only bar to our freedom has been that freedom itself.

      Instead, much of the precariat (particularly the petty bourgeoisies of the imperial heartlands …ie: those with the most evolutionary leverage) have internalised the politics and values of oppression and manipulation as their own. This is easily maintained by psychobabble political economic ideology: such as “austerity will bring future prosperity”; “tax cuts for the rich create jobs and wealth”; “perpetual GDP growth is a valid econometric of human self-esteem (happiness is a valorisable commodity)”; “globalised free trade benefits everyone (LOL!)” etc. These hollow political pseudo-promises are wearing thin.

      The meta-ideology of exponential sustainable growth that is available through a modified redistributive faux-deglobal state capitalism (socialism) remains. The illiberal left are entranced by their mirror-capitalist reflection: into which they transfer their internalised capitalism of a virtual future faux-prosperity of statisical wealth (wellbeing as a numerical anomaly: the more we have – the more we are worth). This necessarily demeans and negates our universal humanity, available for virtually free, and accessible right away in the here and now. We/they swap our human actuality for a manipulable statistical chimera that will never materialise. We/they are chasing the tail of a capitalist dragon …leaving our authentic universal humanity orphaned.

      While we/they are dreaming that capitalism will one day work for the many: capitalism has entered transitory end-phase: which will indeed be a “temporary phenomenon” …only, not in a good way. Capitalism is auto-cannibalising capitalism (and with it any hopes of a mildly redistributive statist-socialism). Too much ‘free’ capital (it is actually less than free: a Warren Buffet type can put up the value of the target corporation they plan a hostile takeover for: as the equity collateral …it don’t cost a cent to destroy a productive venture any more!) …all that “dark money” as Nomi Prins has termed it is cannibalising the future of humanity.

      The idea of a return to a mid-century unionised imperialist military-Keynesianism in a world of over-capitalisation, overcapacity, overproduction, debt-ridden underconsumption (of commodities); overconsumption of renewable and non-renewable resources (economic overshoot); breached bio-physical boundaries (6th Mass Extinction level event, etc); violently imposed pauperisation of the majority (circa 85%) of a dehumanised, externalised humanity; etc is a Eurocentric micro-imperialism of mind.

      We need to shake the capitalist out of our heads. To regain and embody our universal humanitarian cognitive bearings: we need to lose the internalised capitalist value-system of hierarchical domination (organisation around the class relations of production is organisation around the need to be ruled {dictatorially; Fascistically?}); lose the Cartesian-capitalist instrumentalised reason (the means justify the ends of capital accumulation: we become the means of our own statistical super-exploitation), lose the essentialised seperationist materialism (capitalism is totalising: anything of human and environmental value becomes objectified and commodified as a source of profit); lose the sectarian indentitarianism (capitalism exploits the violence of its own class and counter-culture system to prevent unified activism against the sacrosanct inner sanctum of capital accumulation: the class system is globalised and neutralised as means of evolution), lose all externalised violence of distance and difference (capitalism exploits supply chains of global dehumanisation: externalising and exporting the Other from conscious awareness).

      We are more alike in our universal humanity than we are different. We have more to gain from that common universal humanity than from any amount of individuated quantitative wealth (the marginal utility of a number on a balance sheet does not entail humanity …but only, perhaps, acts as a arithmetic representation of the loss of that humanity?). Capitalism itself has no marginal utility toward a universal humanity: its mindset and objective mathematicisation of humanity have passed their evolutionary usefulness.

      It seems to me that the progressive element of the Western petty-bourgeoisie are historically amnesiac, ignorant of the dictatorship inherent in the inner logic of capitalism, sleepwalking and daydreaming of a mirror-capitalist (statist; bourgeois socialist) prosperity that is fast disappearing offshore …as capitalism enters its endgame of cannibalistic accumulation by ever more violent dispossession: what is our dream for the future? Do we even have a post-capitalist vision? Because the capitalists have: it’s dictated in the DNA of capital accumulation and will soon be upon us (for most of humanity and the environment: it already is).

      • vexarb says

        BigB, I not only hear ye (as the Scots say) but I think I’m beginning to understand you. What you say above explains why my Communist friends are also among the most humanitarian people I know. “The capitalism in our heads” is personal selfishnes mythologised, like Plutus the God of Wealth to whom some Romans presumably thought it their public duty to make sacrifces.

        15
      • Toby says

        Well said, BigB!

        At risk of oversimplification, though, isn’t the core reason why capitalism won our hearts and guts and minds that it sold a better story, one that insidiously implanted a certain narrow but effective ‘definition’ of wealth into our consciousness? All that shiny gadgetry. All that convenience. All that entertainment. The more of that you have, the wealthier you are. That’s easy to understand. What’s the counter-story? Community? Is it sellable? I suspect only when the shine rubs off all those gadgets for long enough. But the distractions are endlessly self-replicating, ever present and pervasive. Ecosystem collapse seems the only way out.

        Unless something essentially anti-exploitative at its core can sell a better story. Like veganism. Veganism says “Treat Other with respect.” It calls to our innate compassion for the world around us, and gently asks us to do more, to care more, to always act on our care mindfully. Of course, this is not to say that call is always heeded, far from it. But the message, though corporatised and commoditised to a large degree, is incorruptible in its simplicity, a kind of Trojan horse. I see new definitions of wealth and value in its ethics because they are truly radical. Veganism is a step beyond the human-centric core of humanism in that it extends outwards to all manifestations of Other, such that Other becomes Partner rather than resource. That’s a simple conceptual step, but a scary one for many, or a dubious one.

        Anyway, whatever new story bubbles up (permaculture?) and takes sufficient hold of our cultural imagination, it will be profoundly challenging to almost all of us. As you and others rightly say, we have to unlearn very deeply nested concepts and habits of thought we barely know exist. Then relearn new ones that go against the established grain.

        • “At risk of oversimplification, though, isn’t the core reason why capitalism won our hearts and guts and minds that it sold a better story, one that insidiously implanted a certain narrow but effective ‘definition’ of wealth into our consciousness?”

          No. Capitalism first won through three centuries of revolution that overturned the feudal era, and even today continues to impose itself by force.

          It wins hearts and minds, when it does win hearts and minds, by taking control of the levers of indoctrination, of mass education, by separating children from their families through compulsory schooling, by brainwashing entire generations by means of standard curricula designed to forge uncritical obedience and intellectual apathy through an over-regimentation of activity, from grade school on up to the level of the PhD, and by controlling the content of the mainstream media, the purpose of which is to maintain ideological compliance to its requirements.

          You don’t buy into the notion that it is right and reasonable that the profits of the few should trump the basic needs of countless millions through discursive reasoning, but by having it trained into you in those years when you are most vulnerable to and least able to defend yourself against the “doctrinal authority” of your caretakers.

          And once the beliefs that make people fatalistically subservient to the demands placed on them by capital have become their background assumptions, only years of strenuous reflection and corrective discursive debunking can partially release them from everything they had come to accept as both perfectly natural and inevitable.

          In a very real sense, an aspect of the tragedy of our human condition is that we begin life as children, subject to the prevailing delusions of the cultures into which we are born.

          12
          • No other way to participate in the human experience than to imbibe enough of the conditionings to adapt and survive within it.
            But not everyone picks up all they are exposed to, and not everyone is as they seem to be if you were to meet them and not their defences.
            Consciousness is ‘evolving’ or developing AS THE sense of self AND world since it activated and ‘split’ into the subjective or imagined sense of self and world that began with gods of terror that then left us to grow history, science and technology under more abstracted philosophical gods. Yet beneath the civilising veneers is the same patterned or conditioned consciousness.
            Though we may not recall it casually – who is without separation trauma?
            It is the task of the mind to put it out of mind.
            Revisiting the foundations of a split self is the ‘road to Mordor’.
            Little people use worldly power in seemingly little ways, but those who are tempted to use it become possessed and corrupted by it. I use the term worldly power and not power, because power in the world is generally set in terms of power over others, over the world or over life. I hold that this is already corrupted from the true of our being.

          • Maggie says

            @ Norman,

            Absolutely flawless post. I agree totally with everything.

          • Toby says

            I agree with you Norman, but disagree with your first word: “No”. I did oversimplify, but it’s impossible not to in so few words. And my comment was aimed at BigB, with whom I have had plenty of lengthy discussions, so I felt I could cut a few corners.

            To expand a little on my brevity: The centuries of revolution you mention were also the centuries that saw humanist thought ‘triumph’ over the medieval. I think it’s reasonable to call capitalism the economic/political vehicle best suited to humanism, particularly in its emphasis on material accumulation and hard power, force, etc. Humanist thought, as I understand it (e.g. Hume demanding we consign the immeasurable to the flames, that only hard, verifiable facts matter), dovetailed neatly with the economic debates of the time on, e.g. usury and hard work, desert and reward. Roughly: the sovereign human on the verge of supplanting God, the human being as earthly master of the globe’s resources, ingeniously fashioning wonders by the sweat of his brow to be sold to the world at ever falling prices and great reward. Today we have shiny gadgets, a few centuries back they had shiny fabrics. It’s a continuum that appeals to vanity with one hand while exploiting and threatening force with the other. So yes, there was plenty of force, but there was debate too (establishing the story). Both were revolutionary.

            Before I hit send on the reply to BigB you responded to, I removed single quotes from around “won”. I thought they looked a bit pretentious. Instead, I added “guts” to the “hearts and minds” bit to emphasise, however obscurely, that the sold story undergirding capitalism was brow beaten deep into its multiple audiences, as it is today. The story is “better”, in that the debate was sufficiently victorious in its appeal to people that mattered, which meant the force side could be sustained for long enough for capitalism to bed down and become the dominant model. The story has been greatly refined in the meantime to a cluster of platitudes and it’s-always-been-this-way truisms that most people barely know how to identify as beliefs, let alone critically examine. You list the main mechanisms by which this is accomplished.

            So it’s this combination of factors I was referencing in my musing that overcoming capitalism needs a better story, one capable, a little like a trojan horse, of getting into hearts and guts and minds in a way that dry academic debate fails to do. But whatever we come up with has to be authentic, with no trace of cynicism.

            That’s a fuller version of what I was driving at.

            And once the beliefs that make people fatalistically subservient to the demands placed on them by capital have become their background assumptions, only years of strenuous reflection and corrective discursive debunking can partially release them from everything they had come to accept as both perfectly natural and inevitable.

            The years you refer to here cannot be forced, I believe. One has to want to take that corrective action on. In my case, it was the 2007-2008 implosion of the financial system (and a few other things) that triggered my self-examination and the subsequent jettisoning of pretty much all beliefs I had previously held (my goal is zero beliefs). Because I was able to go through that thanks to the internet, and because I feel profoundly grateful to many who guided me through that journey (and still do), I want to pay that back by contributing, in however small a way, to triggering other people to begin their journeys to their own freedom from ideology. As such, I’m always fishing around for effective triggers to that end.

            Apparently, there’s still a way for me to go…

            • BigB says

              Guys and gal: for me, the ‘story’ of capitalism is a dialectic …we, the people play our part in its creation. This is why it seems, at least, to be convincing and pervasive. It is a logical development of folk metaphysics, though by all means not the only interpretation that could come from the common consensus (folk) reality. It is a ‘story’ of consensus consciousness deformed by ideology to favour the needs of capital, over and above community or humanity …but it is as much ‘our’ story as ‘theirs’.

              The moral of the story is that if it is interactive, participatory and dialectic – then we can change the script?

              I’m starting to feel sympathy for Rene Descartes, the more I reflect on his contribution to humanities downfall. I can find justification in saying he wasn’t a Cartesian at all: certainly not in the way he is commonly reductively analysed. Anyway, it is largely the ideological interpretation of his philosophy that has deformed humanities communal community consciousness in favour identitarian sectarianism.

              In ‘Philosophy in the Flesh’: Lakoff and Johnson devote a whole chapter to the Cartesian basis for Enlightenment philosophy (I recommend their entire thesis as a deconstruction of the entire Western ontotheological canon). The seduction and enticement of ‘Cartesian capitalism’ is that Rene took the pre-existing folk metaphysical metaphors and gave them an absolute divinity …a “concurrence” with God. The apotheosised ‘Humanism’ and a metaphysical ‘Method’: founded the absolutised certainty of (scientific) knowledge. This pseudo-divinity of objectified Reason has been used to deform our consciousness toward a rational and empirical (manipulated by ideologues). This has redefined our common humanity as inhumanity: and led to the ongoing ‘Age of Reason’ – best characterised by an idealised irrationality and ubiquitous unreasonableness. Essentially, by the instrumental means of a dictatorial Reason – humanity has been defined away.

              The Cartesian mechanist v (a more) humanitarian anti-mechanist debate is still raging today.

              Also from Lakoff and Johnson: a further insight into how this might occur as a meta-psychology comes from, what they term “the folk theory of faculty psychology”. Essentially, we have not one, but seven, personifications of self – Perception, Imagination, Feeling, Will, Understanding and Memory …all essential (and equal) parts of our common humanity that are culturally subordinate to Reason. The dictatorial domination of the internalised Reason is further subordinate to the externalised primary authority of the greater (collective) certainty of (a logically and scientifically mathematicised) Reason …on which society and the conventions of consensus reality are founded (the Enlightenment principles: liberty, democracy, separation of powers, rule of constitutional law, etc). This is the essence of Rule (where Rule and capital needs have become synonymous).

              The reason it ‘works’ is not necessarily a narrative ‘story’: it is because its underlying logic is a coherent development based on how we experience ourselves (folk psychology, folk metaphysics). Another aspect to this is the language itself, which is necessarily a development of our unique embodiment. The primal signification of language is embodiment and enactment …embodiment and enactment with, thanks to Cartesian mechanism, a disembodied ‘rational’ mind. No wonder we are confused!

              Our confusion is perhaps the source of the ideological power over us (as also internalised within us)? A mechanistic determinism that it is the way it is …because we are as we are? Just look at all the theology of scientific objectivity that forms a logically rationally conclusivity that we are out of our minds …or rather, our minds are out of us! If it weren’t that the consequences are so deadly serious: the fact we have come to the continuum of reasoned belief that our minds are an ‘out of body’ experience would be cosmically funny?

              Modern humanity is an Enlightenment invention …one that became established by a heady blend of ultra-violence and consensus: a consensus based on the ideological perversion and subversion of our very own Folk Psychology? You cannot convince the Folk to accept the unacceptable by violent means alone …the carrot works better than the stick (provided you keep the ‘stick’ in plan view)?

              In Bakunin’s aphorism: to beat the people – Reason became the People’s stick?

              Well, thanks to the like of R D Laing, Gregory Bateson, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, (the aforementioned George Lakoff and Mark Johnson) – and, of course, the Buddha, Vasubandhu, and Nagarjuna (who got there 2,000 years before) – consciousness is coming home. From embodied consciousness comes the true Enlightenment – the ‘death’ of Reason and with it, the ‘death’ of the disembodied mind of conceptual man (and it is a totemic male personification). With the politics of meaningful, truly human existence and embodied and enacted universal humanity to follow …

            • Narrative control is the identity in story – and as such a sense of persistence in time rather than an expression or extension of the timeless. The idea of private property has echoes in me with the learning of object permanence – which is part of our learning the world as a specific framing of focus (as infants).
              Within the framework of associations (meanings) assigned to persons, objects and situations is a sense of self experience of such meanings accepted and believed. Mutually agreed definitions (often tacit) make the world of meanings that we then be-live as real until and unless they are themselves called into awareness and questioned or re-evaluated.

              I was simply intending to extend an appreciation for your posting – but I feel joining in opening other facets of the ‘story’ including structural archetypes that predicate our stories is more a sense of joining in worth – which is how I see cultural renewal occurring (along with disinvestment from the unworthy within ourselves).

              I live a story of awakening and reintegration to wholeness of being – which is a shift from invested identity in object permanence to continuity of joy – one step and one moment at a time. For meaning is not locked into form so much as form is a vehicle for communication made tangible and visible. Form-locked meanings run the sleepwalker to the phishing ruse. Discernment is a present relational communication – accepted. What does not resonate true with who you are will be dissonant – and all the more obviously so in the shift of experience from joy in being to emotional reactivity and struggle. Does the violation of our joy come from outside or from a sense of a loss of support and connection?

              Initially bringing curiosity to conflict is almost unthinkable because thinking has to be in some sense looked at rather than enacted and without succumbing to fascination in horror if we are to free after looking at it, to look past it.

              I agree with the saying that we cannot solve the problem at the level of the problem (or in the framing it sets). This means uncovering the truth that the problem either masks or serves diversion from. And that is the yielding of belief to the willingness and desire to know in the sense of inner recognition, acceptance and appreciation. Not in the sense of define, predict and control as a leverage of life rendered as objects.

              The covering over of truth is not its death, but a focus in story that rules out (ignores, invalidates or airbrushes) interruptions to its unfolding. We are having the time of our life – but are we doing time or opening the timeless? Wanting to be someone else, somewhere else is a dissociated imagination over a hated or feared existence. But is it fixed or locked that way by its external conditions or by our conditioned inheritance or acquisition of meanings that render our lives meaningless – albeit not accepted as such but driven to seek meaning in some other moment or to embrace such sacrifice as ‘reality’ and operate joylessly and lovelessly in the support of the forms of order that limit and rule out and substitute for feeling awareness.

              The freedom to make conflicting meanings and invest in them is the freedom to lose trust in our own being as a result of using the mind as a private playground, a bit on the side, a dark op.

    • “Vexarb,” you falsify when you say “Zuesse now says this is no wedding between two complementary parties: Financial Power is Coercive Power.”

      You ignore that I stated “Although wealth isn’t the only source of power, it is a major source of power. (It can even be the major source of power.) And power rules everywhere.”

      I do distinguish between “power” and “source of power.” Sloppy reading-interpreting of an article is unfortunately to be expected, but not if a person is commenting upon the article. Before a person comments upon an article, one should take advantage of whatever tools that the article itself provides, such as the links to its sources (its evidence), and such as the other statements that are made in the same article, in order to make sure that one is commenting upon the article, instead of saying things about it that the article itself (including its documentation) make clear are false.

      • vexarb says

        Eric Zeusse, you are right, and I apologise. When I wrote: “Zeusse now says Financial Power is Coercive Power” I knowingly over-simplified for the sake of a cheap epigram. Of course both Crassus and Caesar are major sources of power. We live in an age where Crassus has coercive power over Caesar; I simply want to remind people that there were times when Caesar had more power than Crassus. It is conceivable that a fascist dictatorship which springs out of capitalism could turn round and devour the capitalists.

        • It is not conceivable that a a fascist dictatorship could turn around and devour the capitalists as a class. Because the essence of fascism is the recognition that capitalism and democracy are in fact incompatible.

          Political liberalism threatens only one thing: reducing the prerogatives of capital while increasing its social obligations, and it does this by giving a voice, however attenuated, to the majority in the course of its ritual ‘liberal democratic’ elections.

          So it is that fascism aspires to totalitarian rule when an all too politically aroused populace threatens to submerge the economics of private ownership under democratic rule, that is to say, when the wage earning masses threaten to force the implementation of market policies in a socialist or communistic direction.

          Hence fascism’s proclivity for repressing working class self-organization and public dissent, for heavy impositions of duty to the state, for the suppression of the rights and freedoms of the dissenting citizenry at large, and, on the other hand, for reducing the social obligations of capital while permitting a broadening and deepening of its prerogatives.

          Fascism is in fact a more coherent and consonant political expression of capital than political liberalism. Both are strategies used by the capitalist establishment to manage the containment of the democratic passions of the working class.

          The political liberal approach requires that the working class be fooled into believing that the liberal parliamentary electoral process is an exercise in unfettered political pluralism, though in reality being a contest between representatives vetted by the ruling establishment and thus
          in truth loyal to it. If the masses are fooled, they believe that they elect the governments they deserve, since they do cast ballots and know themselves to be in the majority. Election results are then grudgingly accepted by that majority, with the lot willingly submitting in due course to unpopular policies that they believe they themselves have effectively democratically decreed.

          Sometimes, however, the farce that is the liberal electoral process, which is supposed to safeguard the rule of capital through a complicated system of checks and balances, breaks down and the sham democracy then runs the risk of actually becoming democratic. In such circumstances, fascism can become a tool to be deployed against an all too arrogant population, to attenuate its democratic ardor by breaking up and suppressing budding but effective networks of working class organizations and influence.

          Fascism is the strong arm of capital. If it devours anything, it is the working class and only the working class.

          • This is a clear description of a conflicted humanity. (A conflict in the mind of humankind).

            Alliance or combination between those who are invested in a private sense of possession set against those are feared to dispossess them. What they ‘get’ they keep for themselves alone and use it to wield and maintain power over others and then use such others as a means to maintain their power.

            What if the ‘possession’ is a private sense of self at expense of sharing in the true qualities of being?
            It isn’t the ‘what’ of possession, but the ‘what for’ or ‘why’ of it. Power or possession for its own sake is worship of form or image as a fantasy to which all else is made sacrifice. This generates a belief that reality is only forms – ie ‘physical’.

            Living truth (as contrasted with symbols or concepts of truth) does not support self-illusion, no matter how many join in defending it. Nor does it attack it.
            Self honesty is undoing of self-illusion’s capacity to pass off as true. This is the transformational undoing of what never really was to what always truly is. But in terms of our world is the reintegration to a truly aligned presence.

            The idea that self illusion must be abolished IS the founding idea of a corrupted or false sense of power.
            That which we seek to eradicate or escape is made real by the belief it must be overcome.
            So bringing illusions – or indeed bring what we presume to be true – to the light of an open or undefended self-honesty is the relinquishment of war as the means and the model of resolving or healing conflict. That does NOT mean acting against our integrity but it means that when we stand in or align in freedom, we are not ‘fighting’ for it but embodying the communication of it. The phrase ‘resist ye not evil’ could be rephrased as be vigilant against the temptation to react to perceived evils and thereby by framed or phished of your freedom by a false identity set in terms of what you hate. hatred needs be recognized and undone rather than used as a basis and justification for power over another.

            The wish for equality blocks or hides the willing of it and becomes the ‘justification’ to pull down anyone who seems ‘more’ excepting of course those who position to be the ones who determine the rules of measurement.
            Instead of resentment and bitterness, why not be equal to y/our situation or relationship rather than framing it in terms of a past that stamps its boot upon the present in persistence to a future like itself?
            Why not bring forth the qualities we feel denied or deprived of and blame on whatever and whoever?
            This is a different direction or purpose than changing others or changing the world OUT THERE, and is in the spirit of being the example or demonstration of the world you want to meet or join with or share in.
            This then brings congruence of thought word and deed which is an honesty of wholeness of being rather than fidelity to different part at different times under different conditions.
            I don’t write from my ‘person’ as different than you but as one already growing in the willingness and practice of living the reversal of a largely unconsciously acquired and identified reversal or ‘insanity’.

            Even the clearest description of the ego writ large in terms of private property (defended possession or political power) does not bring healing or restore a just and open relationship. But perhaps questioning the presumed terms of our description can uncover something within ourselves that can then shift to align more truly?
            – ie capitalism as a means of power over the whole by a cartel of private possession (getting for oneself at expense of others) – defended against fear of dispossession by any movement or communication of the restoring of wholeness.
            The law of mind is that intent of denial must then fear the return of what it denied as vengeance or retribution. And so it interprets threat in anything that moves outside the ‘rules’ of its own sense of survival and attacks its own shadow in others, who are then induced to deny them as the need to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. If it takes two to tango – does ‘who started it’ mean anything more than assigning guilt and penalty of sacrifice as if to assign the cause to another and claim power upon their powerlessness?

            The mind in the world can only ‘understand’ in terms of power and possession (weaponising and marketising). But the mind that can understand in terms of loving appreciation of a wholeness of being is not ‘in’ the world so much as giving and receiving a true inherence. The blocking or refusal to give is losing awareness of having – and this sense of lack drives the need to ‘get’. And the defending of the ill-gotten drives the need to ‘get rid of’.

            “To those who have, more shall be added while to those who have not, more shall be taken away – even the little that they have”. What it this saying refers not to private possession, (or a kingdom of a worldly sense), but to the true qualities of being? Do we live from a self-fulness or out-from a sense of self-lack?
            Is that a real choice instead of a world of mind-deceits?

            • “The wish for equality blocks or hides the willing of it and becomes the ‘justification’ to pull down anyone who seems ‘more’ excepting . . .”

              Right. It all comes down to envy and the desire implicit in that emotion to “pull down anyone who seems ‘more’ excepting.” Where have I heard that before?

              Are these your thoughts, Binra, or merely ideas that have taken possession of you and now gnomically speak through you in spite of yourself?

              P.S.: I know you can write plainly and to the point. As a courtesy, it would be much appreciated if you did, Binra. The oblique prose is interesting, but taxing and time intensive to decode. Otherwise, this “conversations” risks becoming a soliloquy.

              • I always write plainly and to the point – but clearly not in terms of your expectations.
                That the ‘point’ is obfuscated by a world of deceits makes getting to the point a series of facets that all serve the same purpose. A purpose antithetical to that which made a mind and world of deceits running as if true.

                I also choose not to fit in the fast food lane of skimmed superficiality or the ‘already known’. My sense of mainstream anything is subverted, diluted and usurping. Thanks but no thanks 😉

                I write out of this moment of shared consideration. I forget everything immediately after because I am attending the new situation. I don’t carry thinking around with me or I would not be (present) with what is.

                I regard the mind and body we generally assume autonomous to be an instrument of a greater purpose than autobotic selfishness – that I will call self-fulness. This cup runneth over because that is the nature of being – given expression. A blocked channel is a form of constipation that becomes toxic as a result of being held onto. Possessions past their use become burdens or clutter and keeping what does not belong to us will generate dissonance of noise that blocks the signal – and is interpreted as an evil or oppositional will. (Conflict).

                Of course I have a lifetime of influences that have resonated with and reflected to me what words cannot really say that all use words differently. But the purpose is the unifying principle – not the forms. I prefer to ‘teach what I learn’ by expressing it in my own life rather than conforming to a particular teaching, or set of symbols or groupspeak.

                So on the subject of possession – but as relating to thoughts. I make them my own by giving them away in freedom – but what I write is part of the life given me to share in, and that for me is a flow of a sense of joy or if you prefer; a sense of felt and connected presence. Thank you for yours.

                As I see it, ‘ask and it shall be given’ holds true. But most seeming questions are doublespeaking a form of statement and may not ask anything at all – hence there is no listening FOR the answer.
                The more clear we are in our question, the more we are accessing our desire – which is a form of self honesty rather than narrative control.

                Envy is one facet of the wish to bring down so as to feel ‘equal’ (as an expression of power) – but another is distrust of communication in any form that does not sacrifice (or conform and comply) to the social consensus of acceptability. For opening other perspectives ‘weakens’ the groupthink by not sharing it and as a threat is mapped out, and invalidated (or subverted and incorporated). That being as it is, I join with those who are in some sense outgrowing the limitations of an identity in set beliefs and have a desire to open to the ‘more’ of who and what we are, that an unquestioned presumption of reality walls off or covers over.

                Threat to the ego or self concept is equally the repressed contents of its unconscious as the blocked influx of a greater field of living information – and it co-fuses the two as a demonic sense of the true – along with a distorted version of the desire to share or communicate. (IE: as the urge to physically or emotionally dominate or possess).

                Are these my thoughts or yours? Do we give and receive or do we get from and re-assign it to ourself as a sense of dressing up in someone else’s creative relationship (at best) – or in derivative copies of derivative copies. Fake currency for a fake world, rigged against exposure.

                I flipped back to your post a few times. You were asking if I write my own thoughts?
                The movement of the qualities and meanings is formless – and yet I free willingly translate a sketch to a linear conceptual processing language. I don’t copy and paste or plagiarise other’s work. What for?!?

                My apologies in advance for any failure to be only what you asked – but if any part resonates with you – then it gives a recognition of the whole.

                In ‘A Course in Miracles’ it states that rejection of any part of the Sonship (humanity) will necessarily result in the rejection of the whole. This relates to the divisive nature of judgement upon the mind that judges. It then states the positive expression of the same law: The recognition of any part of the Sonship is the recognition of the whole.

                This way of thinking is antithetical to the ‘more’ and ‘less’ of the hierarchies of power. Nor can it fit into old wine bottles. Of course the words are not the truth of anything – but the recognition and appreciation of wholeness speaks itself alive – as the ordinary moment in a fresh appreciation. A coherent experience is not waiting on pigs to fly, cows come home or the cookie to crumble. Perhaps it ok not to know what isn’t in fact what you do not need to know now, so as to make room for what you do (need to know).

                If I invite and call forth these thoughts – do they take possession of me or am I a willing participant? I feel nothing coercive here – and so i trust the movement.

                Receiving as a whole is different from a censored partiality. While I have some material possessions – my fundamental sense of true possession in life is where having and being are one. That is where having the thought and being the thought are not two – and this is an intimacy of being rather than a manipulative attempt to get something from a relationship (and thus becoming entangled by my own intent).

                I appreciate your postings. But defining the problem in only external terms waits on, or calls for changing external situations. So I use your contribution to question myself as to what these things are in terms of my direct experience and ownership. But I wont attempt to go into that now.

                PS- You nearly got an extremely short response when I thought I had lost this one!

  10. ultra909 says

    I always think that truly free markets – much like true communism or Higgs-Boson particles – never exist for long, if ever; human greed always gets in the way, as outlined above.

    The basis of the current world order is oil. If you want to produce a new era free of the current empire – I would suggest inventing a new energy source that can be easily and safely distributed in people’s homes.

    • You know that this has to not only be invented, but find acceptance. Nothing that does not support or serve the ‘thinking’ of the establishment will be accepted.

      Thus I see the ‘thinking’ is the framing to be illuminated and undone. Otherwise we ‘think’ we are thinking when in fact we run the same operating system or predicate idea.

      I have a sense that madness is self limiting and that our current straight jacket is fitting. Awakened responsibility as the undoing of a fear and guilt power dictate cannot be systemised, weaponised, marketised or made ‘identity’ upon. Hence it is not attractive or even conceivable to the will to power. But the movement of love is feared and defended against as association with weakness, pain and loss.

      Even to call it the movement of love is to become instantly invalidated by the love of hatred in forms of self-vindication.

  11. Antonyl says

    A “free” school without any rules or supervision also results in a few school yards bullies ru(i)nning the place. Look at Nature, red in claw and tooth.
    Who is promoting this apart from those same bullies? The problem is that on world scale we have only the failed UN to patrol the neighborhood legitimately: mission impossible for now. So Trump is right: enforce rules on national level.

  12. zach says

    With so many trillions now stashed offshore, untouchable for redistributive ends, i’d suggest our “democracies” are likely to become ever dominated by the interests of the global super rich and their heirs. Even a return to the reformist, social democracies of the postwar type now seems inconceivable.

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    • rtj1211 says

      Extreme wealth can be got rid of very easily: you simply kill all their children. Then when they die, the money is not inherited, so it has to end up somewhere else.

      I am not saying go and kill all billionaires’ children, I am saying that is the cheapest way to break their hold on power.

      They tell the masses to die in wars, but make sure their children avoid fighting.

      So they have no moral case against wiping THEIR children out.

      Of course, that could be the hard power used to break their hegemony peacefully…..

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      • That you can use ‘morality’ to sanction murder as social utility is to demonstrate no sense of self-integrity. Integrity claims no moral justification or superiority but stands in its own witness.
        The wish to seem to have integrity then mimics some of such behaviours.

        I sense that the desire and intent to murder is supportive of every such act – regardless of distance or apparent sides. Just as the belief humanity is a virus unworthy of life and a blight on the Earth fuels the hidden agenda for population control. Of course the theorist always applies his/her theory to others – as if outside or above the consequence. This self-dissociating presumption to judge operates a false operating system (mind) in which all horrors then unfold.

        The confusion of moral justification with integrity of the whole is the usurping of wholeness by wishful thinking given power. Be conscious what you wish for – for everything you give belongs to you – regardless the experience of justifiably hating it in others.

        The ‘economy’ that runs on guilt, blame and punishment is a negative and destructive attempt to outsource it onto others. In focusing OUT THERE on others, we effectively persist in our own ability not to know or own what is in fact still in our mind and active upon our lives – yet seen as if caused by out there – Them, or any other target for hatred that can be found. Hate runs the world because it is not owned and undone. The more that is piled up the more we suffer. At the level of the personal we experience in terms of the guilt ‘economy’ or the power structure that it generates as the self-justifying dissociation from a hated and feared life – in preference for a private fantasy gratification enacted upon it – accepted and lived as if real.

        Your children do not have to inherit your ‘sins’.

        I can join with your sense that our world is a mess. I do not join with your sense that ending ‘THEIR’ power would solve anything. Vengeance is the nature of the problem, not the answer.

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