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Civil disobedience


Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem. ~Howard Zinn (November 1970) “The Problem is Civil Obedience,” address he gave at Johns Hopkins University and reprinted in Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Howard Zinn discussed his frustration with the so-called “problem of civil disobedience.”  That’s “topsy-turvy,” he said, just plain backwards, like a protester getting clubbed by the police and then getting arrested for assaulting a police officer.

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis… In dangerous times, there is no sin greater than inaction. ~Dan Brown (2013) Inferno p. 440

Statism is a pandemic religion, a psychosocial disease that has swept the world up in a web of political delusions. It has convinced people, through conditioning and propaganda, to be dependent upon the [government]. When really it’s all just smoke and mirrors thrown up by an entrenched authority so that it can maintain its power and control over the people. And that’s the crux: the power dynamic. People should have power over the government, not the other way around. As Alan Moore said, “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Indeed, self-rule is far superior to state-rule. The problem is, most people aren’t aware of it. Amidst this rampant statism stands the mass-man, the ignorant majority, the statist puppet, naïve to the political power swings surrounding him, dumb to the way things actually work. Sadly, statist puppets represent the majority of “we the people.” It’s not their fault, really. It’s simply how the majority of us were culturally conditioned to believe. We were all born into it, to a certain extent. But there comes a time when we must choose: become aware of how power works, or remain ignorant and powerless. ~Gary ‘Z’ McGee (04 April 2017) 4 Signs You May Be A Statist Puppet, Waking Times

My essay is intended as a generalist piece based on my understanding and experience of three lands: Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

Since the beginning of history, each and every government in our world is founded on the “big lie.” This is true regardless of party affiliation, nationality or era in which any or all governments operate. All governments — past, present and future — all are founded on the “big lie,” without exception.

The big lie upon which governments are founded is the idea that those who are in power will represent the interests of others who have no power. This “big lie” fantasizes that selfish, power-seeking, egoistic psychopathic persons are magically transmuted into humble, compassionate, ethical “representatives” when they win an election. We are to believe that all their hunger for power instantly vanishes at the moment they win, replaced by God-like universal love for all the people, even at the expense of their own careers or personal wealth accumulation.

Thus, there is no such thing as a legitimate government. The leaders of the “public sector” are all criminals one and all. In reality, governments have no responsibility whatsoever—they are not here to serve us the people. The people are here to serve them the government and those forces that control governments. Governments consist of groups of people and institutions, that hold power and the citizens are required to obey them. Thus, governments destroy people’s freedom.

Somehow, we are led to believe that those who win elections are “serving their nation,” not leveraging power for their own selfish aims. Politicians even use this language, claiming they are running for office in the hopes of “serving their country” but never serving their own insatiable appetite for power. Bureaucrats, generally speaking, don’t serve their nations. Rather they exploit national power to serve their own self interests. Those who seek power always covet it for themselves

Governments are dangerous organizations because the power of defence can be and usually is turned against its own citizens, and because, once it is created, it is neither easily extinguished, changed nor controlled.

When a government claims that defence demands controlling the health, education, habits, communications, movements, religions, sexual practices, clothing, wages, products, jobs, energy use, inventions, money, etc., of the people, power is misused and abused. None of these common forms or labels tend toward unlimited government. All are using power illegitimately, that is, far beyond what defence, properly understood, entails: to maintain domestic order within the people; and secure the common defence against external enemies. These two functions, internal and external defence, may be called simply defence; or they may be termed protection of property rights.

Limited government, after all, may not be possible, or possible for long, or not a stable equilibrium, but it is a useful concept to understand what we do not have and where we have gone wrong. Governments use power in ways that are illegitimate as referred to the standard that defence is the only or main legitimate role of the government.

Keeping the government limited has not proven possible. Segments of the people, including people in government, invariably expand and extend the uses of power. The political realm of governance invades or flows into the social and individual realms of governance. The thermometer of power then rises toward a higher totalitarian reading.

Yet, the illusion of representative government is over. The corporate world has colonized government systems. The danger of allowing this to continue, of course, is that the casualty always eventually becomes life itself. We are now run by the combined forces of big business, big banks and big unelected unaccountable bureaucrats.

Governments and gangs are one and the same. The only differences between the two is that gangs are usually smaller than governments, and their borders are more fluid. Governments are gangs of thieves who have declared themselves owners of various geographical land masses known as: the United States, Spain, Israel, Colombia, Australia, Russia, and so on. They sell the people the idea that government is necessary. And, that it is necessary to tax them to create and maintain the government and keep them safe and secure.

Governments manipulate the public to accept policies as “necessary.” When the people are repeatedly lied to they view events through the lenses that governments have lowered over their eyes. Governments use fear and intimidation to push agendas. Enter “the terrorist threat.” Are people in the west really under threat of being killed by terrorists? No, they are not – though governments want us to think so—and thus many if not most people do.

Facing injustice, we are oblivious if not complacent – a stance that stems from undue deference for the law, as if it were holy. “There is nothing sacred about the law,” Howard Zinn said. “The law is not made by God, it is made by Strom Thurmond.”

In 1971, Professor Philip Zimbardo recruited 18 male university students to play the role of guards and inmates in a makeshift prison setting for a psychology experiment. After one day the students had internalised the roles of the powerful and powerless. The “guards” became abusive and cruel toward “prisoners.” The prisoners responded by resisting and then by succumbing to despair and a sense of learned helplessness. The experiment was planned for two weeks, however Zimbardo truncated it after only six days. The lesson had been learned: When the correct group dynamics are present — and a set of rules legitimate the behaviour — otherwise “normal good” people will readily abuse and bully other humans. The lessons learned were quickly embraced by the masters.

The separation between what police are, (enforcers for the government), and what people perceive them to be, (our protectors and servants), is a chasm of monumental proportions. Governments want people who follow orders—who obey figures of authority. The function of police forces is to maintain order for the forces that control the government. Police aren’t interested in helping working class people—they are concerned with keeping them in their place. History challenges the idea that governments care about us the people and protect us and keep us safe. Never.

The very idea that people in power can be representatives of those who are powerless is absurd. Has any religion, race, nationality or philosophical belief ever discovered a group of people who do not make decisions in their own self interest? You might say that certain religious organizations or non-profits are engaged in such selfless behaviour, and you’d be right in a few (very few) isolated cases. But for the vast majority of organizations — including most non-profits — their aim is to increase their own size, power and influence.

That same philosophy pervades the halls of every national capitol in our world, where the claim of “serving the people” is nothing more than a deceptive sales pitch to get elected so that real power can be wielded against those whom you claim to represent. Even the most corrupt government regimes in the world claim to represent the interests of the common people.

Politicians have special aeroplanes to waft them about the place. Air Force One, for example, gives them all delusions of grandeur. Imagine politicians travelling just like the people they represent. Imagine them enduring the futile humiliation of airport security, and the realities of railway privatisation.

Unlike the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the US’s and Australia’s Houses of Representatives are similarly named in a way that claims to “represent” the interests of the people. Yet in reality, the very members of these Houses — with a few notable exceptions — are legislative prostitutes for corporate interests.

In truth, there is no such thing as a government composed of people who will voluntarily ignore their own self interests to “serve” the people. No such government organization exists anywhere in the world. So that, in the US, every government agency exists to expand its own power and influence no matter what the repercussions on the people.

At the heart of this social insanity is mindless acquiescence to figures of authority, and automatic compliance with any and every new government rule or regulation, is an effort to dumb down the population. It takes place in the halls of our educational institutions, and it comes home with us in the evening to our television screens.

They lie to us again and again—for our own good, of course. Governments lie about everything, all the time. This follows other social psychological research, such as Stanley Milgram’s study of obedience to authority figures. People defer to those who they perceive as having more authority than themselves, especially those people society has deemed legitimate possessors of information. That remains the case to this day, even when the media, politicians, and the dominant institutions in society face high levels of disapproval. Because of this social effect, head of state  rhetoric has much power, leading to elite opinion shaping debates.

Political leaders and other high-ranking government officials shape narratives around key policies. The issue isn’t one of fake-news as we have always had fake-news. The issue is that of omission of news. That is the issue! They do this by adopting types of rhetoric; rhetoric of fear, rhetoric of hope, etc. Leaders socially construct a reality for their claims, framing them to justify the policies they’ve already decided upon. Fear the terrorist and hope for us to bring them democracy to justify their wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The press reports the official rhetoric and expands its power through its editorials. As they do, this effects the opinions and views of citizens who pay attention to the mainstream media.

In the larger society, this means that objectivity and reporting official sources increases support for policies arrived at without democratic deliberation. Worse, this leads to omissions, misinformation, and lies. Also, what is considered objective leads to Orientalist constructions of the Middle East in reporting and official statements. Stereotypes about Middle Eastern cultures being antithetical to democracy were/are used to justify supporting dictators, and opposing democratic uprisings, as occurred during the Arab Spring.

The elites are able to dictate the parameters of the debate. In a world of ignorance, apathy, gross contradiction, cognitive dissonance and denial—what will it take for the people to wake up? Granted, they have been deceived, but living in zombie-like trance state they lack responsibility towards themselves and their fellows: It’s therefore no surprise to see them buy into the effronteries and blindly give their consent to the ruling elite’s agendas, not knowing about the underlying hidden, dark and destructive ulterior motives. A major effect of these agendas is that they are dehumanizing. 

The CIA maintains an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation are documented. But as long as the public ignores the influence of intelligence agencies in shaping or fabricating news stories, the agency will set the policy that drives the American war machine at will.

Everyone carries a part of society on his or her shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his or her own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether they chose or not, every one is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.

Thus, gain a nuanced understanding of how the media and governments interact in developing narratives to shape public opinion: anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything. Beliefs, perceptions, behaviours and their “facts” are largely determined by social conformity rather than any evidence of reality. Your mainstream media perspective is hugely problematic, and will ultimately result in the creation of the New World Order. Is that what you want? Wakeup!

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