Thursday, November 01, 2007

In A Land Far Away (Petty Despots)

What was characteristic of tribal (feudalistic) organization and society, was that each person in the power hierarchy, was allowed their own “turf,” to do with as they pleased, without a universal code of conduct also known as ‘federalism“ in which what was valid in one place, was valid elsewhere -- unlike the feudalistic rules, in which whatever the local "boss" decreed, was the law of the turf they controlled, no matter how unjust it might seem anywhere else.

Thus in places like Hawaii or the antebellum South, petty tyrants were within their rights to do as they pleased -- because there were no universally applicable principles and laws. Individuals just made them up -- as they saw fit and it pleased them. There were no universal guidelines of appropriate conduct for everyone, under every circumstances. Such rule, in the worst cases and most common, were purely arbitrary, dependent upon the whims of the individuals, and so one’s experiences could vary greatly, depending on whether one had been born in fortunate circumstances and among kindly people, or was unfortunate to be born among those who regarded everyone else as their own personal pawns, to do with whatever one could get away with.

That’s why it is pretty shocking to learn of people still living under tribal rules and organization in many parts of the world -- in which people are killed because somebody has felt offended them in some fashion. Those feelings of anger and resentment are identified by the demagogues of the world and fanned into rage and insensibilities, that nothing less than taking as many lives as possible, seems to those individuals, the only course of action they are allowed.

But in modern civilizations, people always have a choice from the limited “option” they are presented -- to either assent or dissent to the one choice the powers that be who wish to always remain so, tell them they are allowed. Many conditioned only in such societies of being rewarded and punished for making these “right” choices according to these despots, are convinced there is nothing else they can do but strap explosives to their bodies and blow everybody else up -- as God’s will.

While such obvious fanaticism is easy to see and think oneself beyond such tyranny, in democracies, one still has to learn to avoid the domination and subjugation of authoritarian figures and control -- into the freedom of thinking for oneself and truly deciding the fate of one’s own life. Unfortunately, that is the most important lesson usually not taught or even acknowledged in most educational institutions -- because it would upset that whole status quo of that pecking order that has evolved over hundreds of years, and which its most ardent adherents are loathe to give up their privileges of being honored over everybody else as their lifetime entitlement.

Those are the old rules of society -- of privilege, titles, status -- and what is emerging as the new culture and society, are those who simply say, everything should be reviewed and reevaluated on its own merits -- for these unprecedented times. That is the personality and culture that liberates the explosive creativity of minds that no longer accept the age-old problems of the way things must be, as though the repetition of the past, is the only future and fate of the living.

9 Comments:

At November 02, 2007 9:36 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Actually, unless one frequents the media, schools, universities and politics, there is unprecedented freedom in this world -- where most of the happy and functional people have migrated to.

There's no reason people have to remain in perpetual arguments with one another over who's smarter and more self-righteous.

Most productive people just walk away from those arguments because the governance of society has moved onto the free market -- despite a few people's desire to increase the supervision over their fellow citizens.

People who are DOING right, don't run around demanding everybody else do right. They're too busy living rightly -- and not being the countless authoritarians demanding everybody else do what they wish.

Even under the worst tyrannies, life is defined and differentiated by the free market choices people make -- acting individuals, deciding for themselves, among the many choices available -- which is what government should work to ensure, and not merely to create their own monopolies so they ARE the company store and can pay grossly inflated wages to their own relatives and friends.

Thus, places like Hawaii have no manufacturing industries but only the make-work projects of pork-barrel programs -- so that the people have no idea of the value and purpose of work, making arbitrary control and government, the ideal.

When people lose their own moral compasses, they need "political correctness" and those who profess to know, to tell them what that is, so they can go mindlessly chanting that mantra along with all the other useful idiots the Party gathered with them.

 
At November 05, 2007 8:57 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The thing about petty despots is that you can never beat them by being more petty than they are.

The way to beat them, is to insist that they see the bigger picture -- which blows their circuits.

That's what they cannot imagine or envision -- that there can be anything beyond their own self-aggrandizement and self-advancement.

That all of a society and culture can progress together, is unfathomable to them; they can only "win," if everybody else loses -- and by corollary, when everybody else loses, is the only way they've known they've won.

If everybody improves together -- well that is just inconceivable and unlawful -- or should be.

That's the old politics of Hawaii, and elsewhere, where human relations are about who exploit whomever else. And so in reading the newspapers and other media, politics is only about who (what clique) is winning, and never about greater themes and ideas in society and civilization (which they have no idea what you are talking about).

While that readership seems to erode unmistakably but slowly, among the most critical thinkers, there's already been a mass exodus of the best and brightest. They're just not going to waste their time debating and arguing about who gets to control whom -- as indicative of any kind of intelligent discussion and activity.

The intelligent and productive people have moved on to develop and create the future of society and civilization. The petty despots are left to argue among themselves who is the boss among them -- as though any intelligent person should care.

 
At November 05, 2007 9:07 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

What's funny is seeing the old newspaper despots (editors) huffing and puffing and threatening to blow everybody's house down if they don't obey what they've decided everybody in society should do to please them.

All the control freaks and obsessive compulsive disordered (OCDs) still dominate the power professions of politics, the media, law and education (indoctrination) -- but others have been empowered and enabled to ignore them because they can't regulate everything going on in society now -- as is their desire of a perfect world in which they can control everything and tell everybody else what to do.

Believe me, the world is a much better place for that. but if one relies on the mass (mainstream) media to inform them of that, that's the last thing one will see.

 
At November 05, 2007 9:18 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

It's unfortunate that the most unhealthy (authoritarian) personality types are now those attracted to the "power" positions, while the healthiest, have dropped out from that participation -- largely because they were ostracized and excluded and instead of fighting for that prominence, realized there was more to be gained by creating other possibilities of human expresion and fulfillment.

That's what all the tools created in the last decade empower one to do. the whole role and nature of government has therefore changed -- so that the best in society govern themselves because they create realities that never existed before.

In the past, such deviance was usually regarded as subnormal rather than supernormal. So all the rules and regulations were designed for that orientation -- the presumption that creativity and imagination was likely to be used for evil purposes rather than benevolence and altruistic ones -- which is the expression of supreme intelligence.

But petty people, don't want anybody else to manifest intelligence any greater than themselves -- and so think that must be suppressed, ridiculed, derided, vilified, so that their old status quo, with themselves at the top, can be the only vision of human society that must be maintained as the only purpose and meaning of society and culture.

 
At November 05, 2007 9:25 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

We need to have "leaders" who understand this, and not demand that nobody else can be any smarter they are, or they should be eliminated from the population as "undesirables."

The struggle for power, dominance, status -- no longer interests most competent people, secure in their own sense of self , not needing to win every struggle against every other as their calling in life. There are more useful things to do with human energy.

 
At November 06, 2007 7:40 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2007/11/06/stop_making_a_difference

Stop "Making A Difference"

Among the many mindless mantras of our time, "making a difference" and "giving back" irritate me like chalk screeching across a blackboard.

I would be scared to death to "make a difference" in the way pilots fly airliners or brain surgeons operate. Any difference I might make could be fatal to many people.

Making a difference makes sense only if you are convinced that you have mastered the subject at hand to the point where any difference you might make would be for the better.

Very few people have mastered anything that well beyond their own limited circle of knowledge. Even fewer seem to think far enough ahead to consider that question. Yet hardly a day goes by without news of some uninformed busybodies on one crusade or another.

Even the simplest acts have ramifications that spread across society the way waves spread across a pond when you drop a stone in it.

Among those who make a difference by serving food to the homeless, how many have considered the history of societies which have made idleness easy for great numbers of people?

How many have studied the impact of drunken idlers on other people in their own society, including children who come across their needles in the park -- if they dare to go to the parks?

How many have even considered such questions relevant as they drop their stone in the pond without thinking about the waves that spread out to others?

Maybe some would still do what they do, even if they thought about it. But that doesn't mean that thinking is a waste of time.

"Giving back" is a similarly mindless mantra.

I have donated money, books and blood for people I have never seen and to whom I owe nothing. Nor is that unusual among Americans, who do more of this than anyone else.

But we are not "giving back" anything to those people because we never took anything from them in the first place.

If we are giving back to society at large, in exchange for all that society has made possible for us, then that is a very different ballgame.

Giving back in that sense means acknowledging an obligation to those who went before us and for the institutions and values that enable us to prosper today. But there is very little of this spirit of gratitude and loyalty in many of those who urge us to "give back."

Indeed, many who repeat the "giving back" mantra would sneer at any such notion as patriotism or any idea that the institutions and values of American society have accomplished worthy things and deserve their support, instead of their undermining.

Our educational system, from the schools to the universities, are actively undermining any sense of loyalty to the traditions, institutions and values of American society.

They are not giving back anything except condemnation, often depicting sins common to the human race around the world as peculiar evils of "our society."

A classic example is slavery, which is repeatedly drummed into our heads -- in the schools and in the media -- as something unique done by white people to black people in the United States.

The tragic fact is that, for thousands of years of recorded history, people of every race and color have been both slaves and enslavers.

The Europeans enslaved on the Barbary Coast of North Africa alone were far more numerous than all the Africans brought to the United States and to the 13 colonies from which it was formed.

What was unique about Western civilization was that it was the first civilization to turn against slavery, and that it stamped out slavery not only in its own societies but in other societies around the world during the era of Western imperialism.

That process took well over a century, because non-Western societies resisted. White people, as well as black people, were still being bought and sold as slaves, decades after the Emancipation Proclamation freed blacks in the United States.

Those who want to "give back" should give back the truth. It is a debt that is long overdue.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy.

 
At November 07, 2007 6:18 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Abuse and misuse of power comes in many different ways.

What we are most used to hearing about is the arrogance of politicians, but it happens in every arena of society -- and no more, more so, than in the communication of basic information and communications -- which have been taught as a weapon against the rest of society, by the "professionals" in it.

That is the consequence of a culture and mentality of trade-unionism, in which each group of practitioners and associates, literally wage war on every other -- as their fair game, ultimately to determine who alone stands at the top of the exploitation pyramid.

Many think it is the lawyers -- whether "politicians" or not, as they disproportionately dominate that arena, because most people don't like to constantly argue. That's true in every profession, that certain personality types are attracted to.

Those who like to tell other people what to do and claim to be the smartest person in the world (or at least the class), become teachers and academics. The most overtly demagogic types, have always been attracted to the media -- for obvious reasons; they need it to do whatever it is they want to do.

The greatest literary examples of this predilection is Ayn Rand's "Ellsworth M. Toohey," in Atlas Shu=rugged and Shakespeare's "Iago" in Othello, whose chief delight in life is the pure exercise of power over other people as their expression of personal power achieved through deception, manipulation and fabrication of every "fact."

It's a mental illness -- and probably the great mental illness of these times.

 
At November 07, 2007 6:51 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

As one reads the daily newspapers (and I sincerely hope one doesn't), one is struck by the fact that all one's fellow-citizens featured these days, seem to be obsessed with controlling how everybody else should think on every issue brought forth in the media.

That distorted reality exists only in the media, because in person and in actuality, most people understand to let others come to their own conclusions, and make the choices they best fit for their own lives.

For some people, that is their reality though, and why most people choose to avoid them, except for those who are even more obsessive-compulsive than they are.

That's still a small part of the total human experience though it is distorted tby the media to seem like the only thing going on. In a previous age, that might have been easierr to convince people of because only a few had access and controlled the media -- and not that possibility is available to anybody with that skill set -- including many who are creating new society and governance directly in the thinking and expression of them.

That is, human relations are how people directly relate to one another -- and not through the symbols and institutions, as they once did. That was necessitated by the fact that most people did not have real-time. access to all the virtual information -- and so they needed the intermediaries of the government bureaucracies to navigate their way to where they needed to be and get.

But now that can be done directly -- so that one does not need to first obtain a Ph.D. in any matter to access and know how to access most of the material in that field of vital interest. There are "search engines" that replace years of prerequisites to that understanding -- which boggles the bureaucratic minds, who have felt safe and secure from that urgency.

The bureaucratic mid is a sequential processing mind in which one has to follow an arduous and torturous predictable path that discourages all but a few, and in that manner, most are exhausted and frustrated before ever having to present their concerns to the proper individuals who have to make a decision.

Many people therefore rise in bureaucracies because they become good at avoiding ever making a decision -- as long qs they can find somebody else to blame, and if nobody else, is available, the President will satisfy most.

And so everybody comes to blame the President, is what is now regarded as "leadership."

 
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