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The Nature of Government
by Nicole Terry
31 Dec 2001
Dedicated to the unsung heros of the real America... like Stephen Ames
THE NATURE OF GOVERNMENT - Report #TL07B:
Proved APFN, by Nicole Terry, quest (at) panetwork.com July, 22 2001
This Essay is a must read.
Report #TL07B: THE NATURE OF GOVERNMENT
VERSION 2 - October, 1998
Not copyrighted; public domain. Please copy, translate, publish, and distribute widely.
Please include following reference:
Originally published by TERRA LIBRA in October, 1994."Most PROFOUND
Essay On The Subject." -- HYPERLINK "http://pw2.netcom.com/u126 \u126 ~zeno7/index.html"Craig Green
I've often asked, "If freedom is so good, and so many great minds have praised and promoted it, then why is freedom in danger of being wiped out?" One of my answers to this question is that "government" is the main enemy of freedom, but nobody I know of has come even close to accurately describing "government" and communicating such an accurate description widely.
For about seventeen years I've been working on developing an accurate description of "government" that could be communicated widely. My work in this respect is still very much in the experimental stage. Every reader of this article is invited to provide me with comments and suggestions to improve our description of "government" and its communication.
This article is aimed mainly at people who already know a great deal about freedom - people who realize that in order to bring about general human well-being, peace, happiness, health, prosperity, etc., we need to find a solution to the scourge of "government." However, it's possible that people relatively new to freedom will grasp its main thrust without too much difficulty.
The "nature of government" is a very important issue. I believe that achieving an accurate, communicable description of the nature of "government" will bring about a major turning point in history. The fact that nobody (I know of) has come even close to this achievement indicates that it's a very very major challenge.
As a preparation for studying this report, I highly recommend the excellent article 'HYPERLINK "http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/le970701-10.html"Lies Our Forefathers Told Us' by Victor Milan. Mr. Milan identifies some very important basic aspects of "government." I also suggest you study the "Government Traps" section of 'HYPERLINK "ffp05.shtml"#FFP05: Harry Browne's Freedom Principles'. These materials will most likely help you to better understand what follows.
A Classic Description of the State
"There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.
The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.
The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth; 'I, the state, am the people.'
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.
Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.
I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law.
But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says, it lies - and whatever it has, it has stolen.
Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. Even its belly is false.
Confusion of the language of good and evil; I offer you this sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!
Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!
... It would like to range heroes and honorable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences - this cold monster!
It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the luster of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes.
It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of divine honors!
Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!
I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called - life."
This is how Friedrich Nietzsche described "the state" in his classic Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in 1884. Typically, in the history classes taught in the last generation in "government schools" in America, when Nietzsche is discussed, he is depicted as the forefather of Hitler's Nazi ideology. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nietzsche was probably the most penetrative philosopher and psychologist there has ever been. He saw right through the falsehoods on which "government" rests. Fifty years before Hitler came to power he was already disgusted at what he saw happening in Germany. He predicted that Germany would suffer a horrible calamity. He was so disgusted that he renounced his German roots and became a Swiss citizen. The Nazis did take some of Nietzsche's statements out of context and used them as slogans. But to teach that Nietzsche inspired the Nazis is pure brainwashing. Nietzsche clearly saw what a destructive disaster "the German state" was and expressed his view in unequivocal terms. Maybe that's why "government monopoly schoolteachers" try so hard to discredit him.
Nietzsche's is a pretty good description, but I doubt that it's communicable to but a few. Although Nietzsche did make it to the front page of Time magazine with his pronouncement "God is dead," he never got anywhere with "the state is dead." Nevertheless, he did indicate that "everything the state says is a lie" and "everything it has it has stolen." He did indicate that "the state" is an idol and an instrument of death. He also pointed out the "confusion of the language of good and evil."
Description of "Government"
First, I'm going to provide my comprehensive primary description (or definition, if you like) of "government." Then I'll elaborate further on aspects of this description. I'll also cover some secondary descriptions of "government." It'll also be necessary to explain certain thinking skills that are necessary to grasp the descriptions. Finally, a few important related topics and arguments will be briefly covered, as well as the benefits of understanding and applying the information in this article.
Primary Description of "Government"
"Government" is a granfalloon, a scam, a hoax, a fraud, a swindle, a theatrical tragicomedy, and a form of parasitism or cannibalism kept in place by certain fraud-words, by superstition, by idolatry, by gullibility, by lack of thinking skills, by brainwashing, by mass hallucination, by terror, and by violence.
"Government" is a "Granfalloon."
Author Kurt Vonnegut coined the word "granfalloon" to describe abstract concepts like "nation," "state," "country," "government," "society," "IBM," etc. He wrote, "To discover the substance of a granfalloon, just prick a hole in a toy balloon." In his book The Incredible Secret Money Machine, Don Lancaster explains:
"A granfalloon is any large bureaucratic figment of people's imagination. For instance, there's really no such thing as the Feds or the General Veeblefeltzer Corporation. There are a bunch of people out there that relate to each other, and there's some structures, and some paper. In fact, there's lots and lots of paper. The people sit in the structures and pass paper back and forth to each other and charge you to do so.
All these people, structures, and paper are real. But nowhere can you point to the larger concept of "government" or "corporation" and say, "There it is, kiddies!" The monolithic, big "they" is all in your mind." [emphasis added]
A granfalloon is the lumping together of many diverse elements into an abstract collection, and to then think and speak as if the abstract collection is one single entity capable of performing actions. This phenomenon leads people to say things like "the government runs the country." I hope you realize (or will soon) just how absurd the previous sentence is
"Government" Consists of Individual Human Beings.
The human brain is an abstracting device. We might call the first level of abstraction the "concrete abstract." Consider the concept "table." The concept or word corresponds to and represents a physical object "table." However, the concept "table" is more general than the object "table" - because the concept "table" can be applied to any of a large number of objects with flat surfaces and (usually) four legs; whereas the physical object "table" is one specific object.
Our next level of abstraction we might call the "collective abstract" - for example, "furniture." It's very useful to lump together a number of diverse but related objects and use the abstract word or concept "furniture" to represent all of them. It makes thinking and communicating more efficient. Instead of saying, "Clean the chairs, the tables, the shelves, the mirrors, the cupboards, etc.," you can simply say, "Clean the furniture." It's much more efficient. But with the increase in efficiency comes a potential lack of distinction...
"Government" can be described as a collection of individuals, pieces of paper, buildings, weaponry, etc. Let's take a look at what becomes possible when we think in terms of individual human beings, instead of the monolithic collective abstract "government" - a two-sentence refutation of all the arguments for "government":
"Government" consists of individual human beings - or people.
When people say "government is necessary to do X (whatever)," or "only government can do X," or "government must do for people what they can't do for themselves" - what they're really saying is: "people are necessary to do X," or "only people can do X," or "people must do for people what they can't do for themselves."
Compare this to all the books containing lengthy chapters on why "the free market" is better at providing X (whatever) than "the government" is. Once you develop the ability to think in terms of individual human beings, it takes just two sentences to demolish all the arguments for "government."
This is a demonstration of the comparative power of individualistic thinking as opposed to collectivist thinking.
Unfortunately, for most people - including many freedom lovers - it seems impossible to grasp the above refutation because they are locked into the habit of thinking, talking, and writing about "government" as a volitional entity. They say "government does this and that" - as if "government" is some kind of living, breathing entity capable of performing actions - collectivist thinking. Sometimes it seems that when you say to these people, "Look at anything that "government" supposedly does, like running a school, and you'll find that all the work is being done by individual human beings," - individualist thinking - they can't hear you. They seem so brainwashed with the notion that "government does things," that their brains automatically shut out anything to the contrary.
We are dealing with a particular mental process here: when the mind is confronted with a thought that is dangerous to the way its knowledge has been organized hitherto, it tends to either "wipe out" the thought, or distort it into something more acceptable - as George Orwell wrote in Nineteen-Eighty-Four: "Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought... crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."
"Government" is a Scam, a Hoax, a Fraud, and a Swindle
Nietzsche wrote that everything the state says is a lie. Of course, it's really individuals who lie when they call themselves "the state" or "the government." Throughout history, people have used all kinds of trickery to legitimize calling themselves "the King" or "the government" - for example, "the divine right of Kings to rule" and in "modern" days, "the Constitution." Some of this trickery is described in Terra Libra Report HYPERLINK "tl06.shtml"#TL06: Discourse on Voluntary Servitude.
The issue of the validity or legality of the so-called "Constitution" is covered in Report HYPERLINK "tl07.shtml"#TL07: The Constitution of No Authority. The essence of that report is that the so-called "Constitution" was never signed or adopted by anybody to make it a valid legal contract or agreement. That means that the so-called "U.S.A." has been a scam, hoax, fraud, and swindle from the outset.
It also means that all the politicians and bureaucrats, calling themselves "presidents," "secretaries," "judges," "generals," "congressmen," etc., have been liars and impostors masquerading as "government" (so-called).
The people who signed the pretended "U.S. Constitution," called themselves "We The People... " They were lying. They signed it as individuals. And they never signed it in any way to make it a binding contract.
It's a basic legal principle that for a contract to be valid, it needs to be knowingly, intentionally, and explicitly signed by all the parties involved. For something like a "U.S. Constitution" to be valid, it would have to be knowingly, intentionally, and explicitly signed by every single person involved.
On the same grounds, every political system in the world, I know of, is a fraud and a hoax. In his pamphlet, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, attorney (one of the good ones) Lysander Spooner wrote in 1870:
"The constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago... we know, historically, that only a small portion of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those people, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now... and the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children... they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument does not purport to be an agreement between anybody but "the people" then existing; nor does it... assert any right, power, or disposition, on their part, to bind anybody but themselves...
The constitution itself, then, being of no authority, on what authority does our government practically rest? On what ground can those who pretend to administer it, claim the right to seize men's property, to restrain them in their natural liberty of action, industry and trade, and to kill all those who deny their authority to dispose of men's properties, liberties and lives at their pleasure or discretion?" [emphasis added]
Reading Spooner's pamphlet was an assault on my whole knowledge structure. It triggered a process of questioning many concepts such as "constitution" (so-called) - what does this word represent in reality? If Spooner was right, then it represented but an empty fraud. It also meant that words did not necessarily correspond with reality. There were "fraud-words" which served only to mislead. And if there is no valid "constitution," then what does the word "country" mean? What does it really represent? Similar questions followed about ''government," "state," "king," "law," etc. In the Introduction by James J. Martin to Spooner's No Treason, I read:
"Since late Neolithic times, men in their political capacity, have lived almost exclusively by myths [more appropriate: "fraudulent fabrications "or "murderous misrepresentations!"] And these political myths have continued to evolve, proliferate, and grow more complex and intricate, even though there has been a steady replacement of one by another over the centuries. A series of entirely theoretical constructs, sometimes mystical, usually deductive and speculative, they seek to explain the status and relationships in the community...
It is the assault upon the abstract and verbal underpinnings of this institution which draws blood, so to speak... those who attack the rationale of the game... are its most formidable adversaries." [emphasis added]
Spooner attacked words and phrases like "the government," "our country," "the United States," "member of congress," "King," "constitution of the United States," "nations", "the people," "emperor," "divine right," "president," "monarch," "ambassador," "national debt," "senator," "judge," etc. He indicated that these were all fraud-words designed to dupe the gullible. In a letter to Thomas F. Bayard, Spooner wrote:
"In practice, the constitution has been an utter fraud from the beginning. Professing to have been 'ordained and established' by we, the people of the United States, it has never been submitted to them, as individuals, for their voluntary acceptance... very few of them have ever read, or even seen it; or ever will read or see it. Of its legal meaning (if it can be said to have any) they really know nothing; and never did. Nor ever will know anything."
Spooner indicated that the people who masqueraded as the so-called "government" could be more accurately described as fraudulent impostors or a "secret band of thieves, robbers and murderers." Rick Maybury wrote as follows in an article, "Profiting from the Constitutional Convention," published in the November, 1984 issue of an investment newsletter, World Market Perspective:
"On March 10, 1783, at the town of Newburgh, New York, a group of generals met to plan a military coup. The generals offered the leadership to an officer the troops had respected and admired for many years... for several days the officer pondered whether or not he would accept the offer to become military dictator of America... finally, on March 15, 1783, he announced his decision to decline. His name was George Washington...
... the First Constitutional Convention which commenced on May 14, 1787 had George Washington presiding. This is the convention that created our current constitution. The procedures and results of this convention have long been held to be legal, ethical, constitutional, patriotic and in every other way proper... it was held in secret. It had a hidden agenda. It was surrounded by clandestine meetings in which numerous deals were struck. The delegates intended to draw vast amounts of new power into the hands of the federal government and they violated every restriction their legislatures tried to impose on them. The First Constitutional Convention was actually a military coup. The history books do not describe it this way, but that is what it was...
It may have been the slickest, smoothest, most well-lubricated coup any nation has ever experienced. To this day, most Americans do not understand what was really done to them. They look back on it all and smile wistfully."
"Government" is a Theatrical Tragicomedy
My Webster's defines tragicomedy as "a drama or a situation blending tragic and comic elements." The theme that "government" is theater is expounded by Ferdinand Mount's excellent book The Theater of Politics - in the Introduction Max Lerner writes, "politics is shot through with the theatric, and can be understood best only if we view the exchange between political actor and political audience as theater... the element of theater on the American scene has gone beyond politics and pervaded the entire society. It has become history-as-theater."
Let me suggest that when you watch TV, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper and the topic is politics, either people are getting hurt or killed (tragedy), or some political actor is openly joking or pretending to be serious (comedy). Alexis de Tocqueville in his Recollections wrote about the 1848 French Revolution:
"The whole time I had the feeling that we had staged a play about the French Revolution... Though I foresaw the terrible end to the piece well enough, I could not take the actors very seriously; the whole thing seemed a vile tragedy played by a provincial troupe."
Some quotes from Mount's The Theater of Politics follow:
"... [T]he political confidence trick, whether monarchic or presidential, oligarchic or democratic, whether necessary or unnecessary, is at any rate effective, because most people are foolish and gullible."
"Is political history the record of a mass of mugs being taken for a series of rides?"
"We see the politician rather as an actor who takes on a part; and we judge him according to whether he plays well or badly."
"The theory is comforting: they are our hired servants. The practice is humiliating; we are their wayward wards, to be comforted, cajoled, bullied, but never to be treated as equals, never to be told more of the truth than suits their present purposes, and too often to be told off-white lies."
"He [Churchill] is, as all political actors must be, the analyst of humbug, the humbugger and the humbugged all in one."
>From Edmund Burke's Reflections on the French Revolution, describing political rhetoric: "... a theatrical, bombastick, windy phraseology of heroick virtue, blended and mingled up with a worse dissoluteness, and joined to a murderous and savage ferocity, forms the tone and idiom of their language and their manners... Statesmen, like your present rulers, exist by everything which is spurious, fictitious, and false; by everything which takes the man from his house, and sets him in a stage, which makes him up an artificial creature, with painted theatrick sentiments, fit to be seen by the glare of candle-light, and formed to be contemplated at a due distance... If the system of institution recommended by the assembly is false and theatrick it is because their system of government is of the same character."
Words Have Consequences
Of course, words in themselves don't have consequences, but whenever a word is used, there are consequences. When you talk to a person, depending on the words you use, that person may become happy, sad, or angry. Words have consequences.
If words have consequences, then it's obvious that different words have different consequences. It's also obvious that we can observe the consequences of the words we use. We can become aware of the consequences. We can experiment and learn to use different words to produce different consequences.
Also note that when the politicians and bureaucrats want your money, they don't immediately point their guns at you. They send you words on paper or by phone. In general, they only come after you with their guns if you repeatedly don't give them money. Because most people obey the words of politicians and bureaucrats, they don't have to use their guns all that often.
In Terra Libra we talk a lot about Freedom Technology: the practical knowledge, methods, and skills to live free. A major aspect of Freedom Technology is to learn how to use the right words to counter the words of the politicians and bureaucrats, and to escape having to give them money - without being jailed or shot.
Let me suggest to you that the destructive power of the politician, the bureaucrat, and the lawyer stems much more from their words than from their guns... Take away their words, and what happens? How can we take away their words?
In order to grasp the nature of "government" (so-called), it may be necessary to master certain thinking skills that enable you to handle self-referencing syntax. English - and probably languages in general - isn't particularly suited for handling self-referencing.
Consider the sentence: "government" consists of individual human beings. The reason the word "government" is in quotation marks may indicate that the author questions the validity of the term. To emphasize the challenge to the validity of the term or concept "government," the author may say: so-called "government."
When I say - So-called "government" consists of individual human beings - the sentence includes self-referencing syntax. The sentence says that part of itself is invalid - the concept of "government."
There is also a problem with the use of "quotation marks." They are used for at least a dozen different purposes. The reader has to figure out from the context for what purpose quotation marks are being used. In his book How To Read A Page, I.A. Richard wrote:
"We all recognize - more or less unsystematically - that quotation marks serve varied purposes:
Sometimes they show merely that we are quoting and where our quotation begins and ends.
Sometimes they imply that the words within them are in some way open to question and are only to be taken in some special sense with reference to some special definition.
Sometimes they suggest further that what is quoted is nonsense or that there is really no such thing as the thing they profess to name.
Sometimes they suggest that the words are improperly used. The quotation marks are equivalent to 'the so-called.'
Sometimes they only indicate that we are talking of the words as distinguished from their meanings...
There are many other uses... "
Questioning Words or Concepts
Most people take it for granted that there is some kind of one-to-one relationship between words and the things represented by those words. They assume that because practically everybody uses a word like "government," therefore there's such a thing as "government."
In order to develop an accurate description of the "nature of government," it's absolutely vital to make a distinction between the word and the thing it supposedly represents. The word is a noise that comes out of your mouth (or some squiggles on paper). The thing is something you can touch or feel - or discern otherwise. This is why semanticists are fond of saying, "Whatever you say something is, it's not that." You see, the thing is what it is - and what you say it is, is a noise coming out your mouth.
Just because we use the word "government" doesn't automatically mean there's a thing "government." For the previous sentence to make any sense to you, you must be able to question words or concepts. You must be able to recognize that "government" is an abstract concept. In contrast, "table" could be called a "concrete concept" - even though the concept "table" is an abstraction of the thing "table." There's a word in my Webster's for construing (regarding) a conceptual entity as a real existent: hypostatization.
I speculate that for most people their consciousness is rooted in a number of basic concepts, and that "government" is one of these basic concepts. When their "government" concept is challenged it's as if their entire consciousness is threatened and they run a mile.
Later I'll refer to "statist fraud words." Some years ago I had dinner with a libertarian intellectual friend in the Atomium Restaurant in Brussels. We had an extensive discussion about libertarianism. Every time he used a statist fraud word such as "government," "country," "nation," "prime minister," "law," etc., I challenged that word. I asked him what he meant by it. I asked him for a referent. (The referent is the thing the word refers to. In the case of "table," it's the physical object with a flat top and four legs.) After about 20 minutes of my onslaught, my friend became sick and had to run to the restroom to puke his guts out! He blamed me. I speculate that challenging people's basic concepts may threaten, not only their consciousness, but also their metabolism!
Consider two different isolated tribes somewhere in the jungles of South America. Call them Tribe 1 and Tribe 2. Each has its unique language with its own structure. The language of tribe 1 (language 1) tends to be very literal. A man who fishes, for example, is called "man-who-fishes." The same man, while sleeping, is called "man-who-sleeps"; while talking, "man-who-talks"; while running, -"man-who-runs"; while eating, man-who-eats"; while writing, "man-who-writes"; while making a chair, "man-who-makes-chair"; while giving orders, "man-who-gives-orders"; etc. In language 1, distinctions are made between different kinds of words: "Thing-words," "Do-words," "How-words," "Story-words," "Funny-words," "order-words," "Panic-words," "What-words," "Who-words," "Why-words," "When-words," "Where-words," etc. Abstractions are rare in language 1. To the people of tribe 1, any word that doesn't refer to something physically perceivable, is highly suspect. Their test for reality is physical.
The language of Tribe 2 (Language 2) is very different. A man who obtains his wherewithal mostly by fishing, is called "fisherman." (This system of nomenclature would seem absurd to the people of Tribe 1 - how can you call someone a "fisherman" when he is not fishing, but sleeping?) Language 2 contains many abstractions - like "happiness." People from Tribe 2 can talk for hours about "happiness." (To someone from Tribe 1, this would be incomprehensible - they only talk about "woman-who-is-happy" while she is happy, and "woman-who-is-sad" while she is sad. The notion that you could separate "happiness" from a real person being happy, and talk about "happiness" as if it existed by itself, would be completely unthinkable to someone from Tribe 1.)
To the people from Tribe 2, any word being used is automatically assumed to be part of existence, otherwise people wouldn't use it. (To someone from Tribe 1, the word "existence" would be a meaningless absurdity, because in their mentality only particular objects exist.) In Tribe 2, the test for reality is agreement. If other people agree with a word and the way it seems to be used, then that word is automatically accepted as valid and useful. They suffer from hypostatization.
One day a strange man arrives at the place where the people of Tribe 1 live. They ask him: "Who you?" He: "I King". They: "your name King?". He: "No; my name John." They: "Why call self King if name John?" He: "I special person, agent of God." They: "You look different but not special; who God?" He: "God creator of world." They: "Where God?; How create world?" He: "God everywhere; God all-powerful." They: "How we see God?" He: "Can't see God." They: "You speak crazy." He: "No; I special; I show you." Whereupon the stranger performs various tricks like apparently making objects appear and disappear. They: "You clever man-who tricks." He: "I special; I King." They: "You speak funny; you clever John-who-tricks." He: "I King; my word law." They: "What law? - special word?" He: "Yes; my word law - you must obey." They: "Ah! You mean order-word!" He: "Yes; I King; I make law." They: "No; you speak order-word?" He: "Yes; I special". They: "What special? - Anybody speak order-word?" He: "You not understand." They: "No."
Eventually John-the-stranger gives up trying to convince the people of Tribe 1 that he has a "special status" and that his words are different from the words of anyone else - so he leaves, to search for more gullible and impressionable victims elsewhere...
For many days and nights he trudges through the jungle before discovering the people of Tribe 2. They: "Who you?" He: "I King." They: "Your name King?" He: "No, my name John." They: "Why call self King if name John?" He: "I special person, agent of God." They: "You look different; what God?" He: "God creator of world." They: Where God?; How create world?" He "God everywhere; God all-powerful." They: "Show special?" Whereupon the stranger performs various tricks like apparently making objects appear and disappear. They: "You King, agent of God." He: "Yes, my word law." They: "What law?" He: "Law special word of God through me; you must obey." Whereupon the people of Tribe 2 bow down and kiss the feet of John - they do not habitually test abstractions against reality, so they readily accept John-the-stranger as their "King" and his word as "law." Thereafter all he has to do to control and dominate them, is to open his mouth...
"Government" is a Form of Parasitism or Cannibalism
The reason why people call themselves "government" is because it provides them with advantages - if they can get away with it. In the case of tribe 1, John-the-stranger called himself "King," but the people didn't buy it, so he left. However, the gullible people from tribe 2 believed him, so they became his "subjects" - meaning he could live off their effort - like a parasite.
The "state" (so-called) has its origin in a gang of looters making an agreement with a tribe: "We'll protect you from other gangs if you give us part of the food you produce." ("Government" is a Mafia-like protection racket.)
It's much easier to live off the values produced by others than to create your own values. Being a parasite is easier than being a producer. Being a value destroyer is easier than being a value creator. Now if we take it a step further, and regard the fruit of our labor as part of ourselves, then we're talking about cannibalism. That's why the American Declaration of Independence talks about "eating out our substance." "Government" is a form of cannibalism.
"Government" is also a form of "self-cannibalism." It continuously eats out its own substance, eventually destroying itself. It may start off only moderately destructive - like after the American Revolution - but gradually (but sometimes with big jumps) it becomes monstrously degenerate and destructive - like in modern America.
"Government" is Kept in Place by Certain Fraud-Words
Politicians and bureaucrats use mostly words to impose their will upon others - even when physical violence is involved, they use words to attempt to justify their actions. Thomas Szasz wrote in The Second Sin, "Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is thus the key to understanding man; and the control of language, to the control of man." The language used to control and dominate others I collectively lump together as "Newspeak." The word Newspeak was invented by George Orwell and described in his book Nineteen-Eighty-Four. I use the word in essentially the same way that Orwell did, but within its domain I subsume words that I don't think Orwell would have: "state," "government," "law," "king," "constitution," "queen," "president," "prime minister," etc. Newspeak, as I use the term, has developed over many centuries. I contend that the use of Newspeak by freedom lovers as if valid (i.e., without questioning its validity, and without considering its consequences), may easily become counter-productive. I specifically use Newspeak in the sense of Orwell's "B vocabulary":
"The 'B vocabulary' consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them... the 'B' words were a sort of verbal shorthand, often packing whole ranges of ideas into a few syllables... even in the early decades of the Twentieth Century, telescoped words and phrases had been one of the characteristic features of political language; and it had been noticed that the tendency to use abbreviations of this kind was most marked in totalitarian countries and totalitarian organizations... the intention being to make speech, and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neutral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness... ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word 'Duckspeak' meaning 'to quack like a duck.'" [emphasis added]
I'm also introducing here the concept of "fraud-word." I'm saying that certain words are fraudulent in themselves. You don't even have to use them in a sentence; the word itself is a lie. For example, the word "King." We have a perfectly good word "man." When a man calls himself "King," he's lying as did John-the-stranger above. The word itself is a fraud.
In his superb book Restoring the American Dream, Robert Ringer devoted an entire chapter to how "government" is kept in place by certain words - Chapter 8: "Keeping It All in Place." Here is my list of statist fraud-words: "government," "state," "country," "nation," "U.S.A.," "empire," "commonwealth," "republic," "society," "emperor," "king," "queen," "prince," "princess," "president," "prime minister," "law," "constitution," "public interest," "national interest," "fair share," "common good," "national security," "social contract," "public policy," "mandate from the people," etc.
Two of the Worst Fraud-Words: "Constitution," and "Law"
If you think about it, you will realize the role of language in practically all coercion: be it parents or teachers coercing the young; or those masquerading as (so-called) "state" or "government" coercing (so-called) "subjects." Politicians and bureaucrats have an armory of weapons they use to coerce their victims. I put it to you that fraud-words are the most formidable weapons in their armory - not guns and explosives. Do politicians and bureaucrats use guns or words? I further put it to you that next to "government," two of their most powerful fraud-words are "law" and "constitution."
Most people believe that some of the noises and scribbles emanating from the mouths and pens of the lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats (masquerading as "government" so-called) are somehow special and constitute "the law." This is a grotesque superstition.
The criminals who masquerade as "government" use "the Constitution" as their shield - they claim that "the Constitution authorizes or empowers them" to perpetrate their destructive acts. They use the word "law" as their sword. Because you broke their so-called "law," therefore they are authorized or empowered to punish you as they see fit.
"It is illusions and words that have influenced the mind of the crowd, and especially words - words which are as powerful as they are chimeral, and whose astonishing sway we shall shortly demonstrate," wrote Gustave le Bon in his classic The Crowd, a hundred years ago. About two hundred years ago, Jeremy Bentham wrote, "Out of one foolish word may start a thousand daggers" - Bentham's Theory of Fictions by C.K. Ogden. And 160 years ago Jonathan Swift wrote in Gulliver's Travels:
"There was another point which a little perplexed him... I had said, that some of our crew left their country on account of being ruined by 'law'... but he was at a loss how it should come to pass, that the 'law' which was intended for 'every' man's preservation, should be any man's ruin. Therefore he desired to be further satisfied what I meant by 'law,' and the dispensers thereof... because he thought nature and reason were sufficient guides for a reasonable animal, as we pretended to be, in showing us what we ought to do, and what to avoid... I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, accordingly as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are slaves."
"Government" is Kept In Place by Superstition
The first superstition that keeps "government" in place is the belief that because practically all of us use certain words without any thought as to their validity and the consequences they produce - Duckspeak - therefore these words are valid and represent reality.
The second superstition is the notion that certain words constitute "the law" (so-called). This is a most grotesque absurdity.
The third superstition is that because certain naive and gullible people put pieces of paper into "ballot" boxes, this action transforms, transmutes, transubstantiates, or transmogrifies, certain people into "presidents," "congressmen," etc. This is primitive magical "thought."
The fourth superstition is that because some people call themselves "government" - or organize themselves into structures called "government" - therefore they acquire magical powers to perform miracles.
"Government" is Kept in Place by Idolatry
George Bernard Shaw wrote that "He who worships a King and he who slays a King are idolaters alike." Shaw was greatly influenced by Nietzsche, who wrote a book called The Twilight of the Idols. My Webster's definition of idol includes the following:
A representation or symbol of an object of worship;
A false god;
A pretender or impostor;
A form of appearance visible but without substance;
An object of passionate devotion;
A false conception or fallacy.
In my opinion, both worshipping and hating "government" can be forms of idolatry. In the latter case, it depends on exactly what it is you hate, when you say, "I hate government." Could it be that the libertarian or patriot who says vaguely, "I hate government," is as much an idolater as the democrat or republican who says "I love my government," or "I love my country."
The Idols of Human Understanding
by Francis Bacon (condensed and edited):
"The idols and false notions which are now in possession of the human understanding , and have taken deep root therein, not only so beset men's minds that truth can hardly find entrance, but even after entrance obtained, they will again in the very instauration of the sciences meet and trouble us, unless men being forewarned of the danger, fortify themselves as far as may be possible against their assaults.
There are four classes of idols which beset men's minds. To these, for distinction's sake, I have assigned names:
Idols of the tribe;
Idols of the cave;
Idols of the marketplace;
Idols of the theater.
The idols of the tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe, race, and culture of men. It is a false assertion that the measure of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well as the sense of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
The idols of the cave are the idols of the individual man. Everyone has a cave or a den of his own, which refracts and discolors the light of nature; owing to his personal and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed, or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance. Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.
There are also idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call idols of the marketplace, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding.
Lastly, there are idols which have immigrated into men's minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call idols of the theater; because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage-plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion."
Max Stirner: the Greatest Idol Smasher of All Time
Here is a brief "taste" of Stirner (edited from The Ego and Its Own):
"I no longer humble myself before any supposed "power," and I recognize that all powers are only my power, which I have to subject at once if they threaten to become a power against or above me; each of them must be only one of my means to carry my point, as a hound is my power against game, but is killed by me if it should attack me personally. All "powers" that attempt to dominate me I then reduce to serving me. The idols exist through me; I need only refrain from creating them anew, then they exist no longer; so-called "higher powers" exist only through my exalting them and abasing myself.
Man, your head is haunted; you have idols in your head! You imagine great things, and depict to yourself a whole world of "gods" that has an existence for you, a "spirit-realm" to which you suppose yourself to be called, an "ideal" that beckons to you. You have fixed ideas!
Do not think that I jest or speak figuratively when I regard those persons who cling to the "higher" as veritable fools, fools in a madhouse. The vast majority belongs to this category. What is it, then, that is called a "fixed idea"? An idea to which a man has subjected himself. When you recognize such a fixed idea as folly, you lock its slave up in an asylum. And is the "truth of the faith," say, which we are not to doubt; the "majesty of the people," which we are not to strike at; "virtue," against which the censor is not to let a word pass, so that "morality" may be kept pure - are these not fixed ideas? Is not all the stupid chatter of most of our newspapers the babble of fools who suffer from the fixed ideas of "morality," "legality," and so forth? Fools who only seem to go about free because the madhouse in which they walk takes in so broad a space?
Touch the fixed idea of such a fool, and you will at once have to guard your back against the lunatic's stealthy malice. These lunatics assail by stealth him who touches their fixed idea. They first steal his weapon - free speech - and then they fall upon him with their nails. Every day now lays bare the cowardice and vindictiveness of these maniacs, and the stupid populace hurrahs for their crazy measures. One only has to read today's journals to get the horrible conviction that one is shut up in a house with fools. But I do not fear their curses, and I say, my brothers are arch-fools.
Whether a poor (or rich) fool of this insane asylum is possessed by the fancy that he is "god the father," the "emperor of japan," the "holy spirit," the "president of the USA," or whatnot - or whether a poor fool in comfortable circumstances conceives his mission as being a "good christian," a "faithful protestant," a "loyal citizen," or a "virtuous man" - these are all fixed ideas.
Just as the schoolmen philosophized only inside the belief of the church; as "pope" (so-called) Benedict XIV wrote fat books inside the papist superstition, without throwing a single doubt upon these beliefs; as authors fill whole folios on the supposed "state" without calling into question the fixed idea of "the state" itself; as our newspapers are crammed with politics because they are manacled to the fancy that man was created a political zombie - so also "subjects" wallow in "subjection," "virtuous" people in "virtue," and "liberals" in "humanity"; without ever putting to these fixed ideas of theirs the searching knife of criticism. Undislodgeable, like a madman's delusion, those thoughts stand on a firm footing, and he who doubts them - lays hands on the "sacred"! Yes, the fixed idea, that is the truly "sacred"!"
The phenomenon of self-abasement warrants further discussion. When you call someone "King" or "President," and yourself "their subject," you exalt him and debase yourself. Similarly, when you regard someone's words as "the law." When you surrender your power to another - for example, by political voting or paying taxes - you exalt another and debase yourself. Similarly, when you subject yourself to an idol such as "government." These are all vile acts of self-abasement.
"Government" is Kept in Place by Gullibility
To think of Slick Willy as "President of the U.S.A.," is pure gullibility. The same applies to Washington, Jefferson, and all the others. They were all liars and impostors - idols. The entire "U.S." political system has been a fraud and a hoax since the outset. The same applies to all the other political systems I know of.
Why are people so gullible as to believe politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers? The first reason is that human consciousness is in its infancy. In evolutionary terms, consciousness is a very recent development - as Nietzsche indicated. Erving Goffman started his book Frame Analysis with:
"There is a venerable tradition in philosophy that argues that what the reader assumes to be real is but a shadow, and that by attending to what the writer says about perception, thought, the brain, language, culture, a new methodology, or novel social forces, the veil can be lifted. That sort of line, of course, gives as much a role to the writer and his writings as is possible to imagine and for that reason is pathetic."
Later in the same book - implying that it's impossible for people to become more conscious? - Goffman wrote:
"I can only suggest that he who would combat false consciousness and awaken people to their true interests has much to do, because the sleep is very deep. And I do not intend here to provide a lullaby but merely to sneak in and watch the way people snore." [emphasis added]
The second reason is that many beliefs are culturally passed on from generation to generation. In general, people who question cultural beliefs tend to be ridiculed, punished, cast out, or killed. Furthermore, the politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers have created concentration camps for brainwashing (euphemistically called "schools" by the gullible) where the youth are coercively inculcated with cultural beliefs designed to perpetuate and strengthen the political system.
The third reason why many people are so gullible is that few have developed the thinking skills to question what they are taught and what they see, hear, and read in the media.
"Government" is Kept in Place by a Lack of Thinking Skills
To see through political hoaxes requires thinking skills. The most important one is probably the ability to question everything. Robert Anton Wilson wrote as follows in his book Right Where You Are Sitting Now:
"On a night in September 1927 when he contemplated suicide at the age of 32, Buckminster Fuller decided to live the rest of his life as an experiment. He wouldn't believe anything anybody told him - "golden rule," "dog-eat-dog," or any of it - and would try to find out by experience only, what could be physically demonstrated to work.
In the year following that decision, Bucky stopped talking entirely, like many mystics in the east. He insists that he had nothing "mystical" in mind. "I was simply trying to free myself of conditioned reflexes," he said. He had met pioneer semanticist Alfred Korzybski shortly before and was convinced that Korzybski was correct in his claim that language structures caused conditioned associations - mechanical reactions that keep us locked into certain perceptual grids. Fuller tried to break these grids, to find out what a person "of average intelligence" could accomplish if guided only by personal observation and experiment...
The language we use influences the thoughts we think much more than the thoughts we think influence the language we use. We are encased in fossil metaphors; verbal chains guide us through our daily reality-labyrinth.
Physicists, for example, spent nearly three centuries looking for a substance, heat, to correspond to the substantive noun, "heat"; it took a revolution in chemistry and thermodynamics before we realized that heat should not be thought of as a noun (a thing) but a verb (a process) - a relationship between the motions of molecules.
Around the turn of this century - this is all old news, even though most literary "intellectuals" still haven't heard about it - several mathematicians and philosophers who were well versed in the physical sciences began to realize consciously that there is not necessarily a "thing" (a static and block-like entity) corresponding to every noun in our vocabulary."
Fuller's many inventions and discoveries stem largely from his ability to question everything. It's through the application of this and other thinking skills that we discover that the most fundamental issue concerning "government" is the underlying thought patterns, consisting of statist fraud-concepts like "government," "state," "nation," "king," "president," "law," etc. According to Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
"But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government... is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself. And if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government..." [emphasis added]
Frank Herbert illustrates the same principle in his book The White Plague:
"There's a lust for power in the Irish as there is in every people, a lusting after the ascendancy where you can tell others how to behave. It has a peculiar shape with the Irish, though. It comes of having lost our ancient ways - the simpler laws, the rath and the family at the core of society. Romanized governments dismay us. They always resolve themselves into widely separated ascendants and subjects, the latter being more numerous than the former, of course. Sometimes it's done with great subtlety as it was in America, the slow accumulations of power, law upon law and all of it manipulated by an elite whose monopoly it is to understand the private language of injustice. Do not blame the ascendants. Such separation requires docile subjects as well. This may be the lot of any government, Marxist Russians included. There's a peculiar human susceptibility you see when you look at the Soviets, them building an almost exact copy of the Czarist regimes, the same paranoia, the same secret police, the same untouchable military, and the murder squads, the Siberian death camps, the lid of terror on creative imagination, deportation of the ones who cannot be killed off or bought off. It's like some terrible plastic memory sitting there in the dark of our minds, ready on the instant to reshape itself into primitive patterns the moment the heat touches it." [emphasis added]
Let me suggest to you that the "terrible plastic memory" consists of concepts like "government," "state," "nation," "king," "president," "law," etc. The tragedy of organizing human affairs into structures called "government" will be resolved when the underlying structures of words, and the thoughts that stem from the words, are changed. In The Virtue of Selfishness Ayn Rand wrote:
"If some men do not choose to think, but survive by imitating and repeating, like trained animals, the routine sounds and motions they learned from others, never making an effort to understand... they are the men who march into the abyss, trailing after any destroyer who promises them to assume the responsibility they evade: the responsibility of being conscious."
"Government" is Kept in Place by Brainwashing
My book Wake Up America! The Dynamics of Human Power (available from Terra Libra) includes a chapter titled "Are our Schools Concentration Campuses for Mind Destruction?" in which I describe "education" in some detail.
Ayn Rand's The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, contains a chapter, "The Comprachicos." Comprachico is a Spanish word meaning "child-buyer." The comprachicos were a nomadic association, notorious in the seventeenth century. They bought and sold children - special children, children turned into deformed freaks, used in freak shows to amuse the public. At an early age they placed a young child in a porcelain pot with a grotesque form. As the child's body grew, it had to assume the shape of the pot. The result was a deformed freak for people to laugh at.
Rand uses the practice of the comprachicos as an analogy to describe American "education." She refers to our "educators" as "the comprachicos of the mind." Children's minds are forced to assume the shape of a grotesque "intellectual pot." Rand describes the result:
"The students' development is arrested, their minds are set to respond to slogans, as animals respond to a trainer's whistle, their brains are embalmed in the syrup of altruism as an automatic substitute for self-esteem... They would obey anyone, they need a master, they need to be told what to do. They are ready now to be used as cannon fodder - to attack, to bomb, to burn, to murder, to fight in the streets and die in the gutters. They are a trained pack of miserably impotent freaks, ready to be unleashed against anyone." [emphasis added]
In every part of the world, the monsters who masquerade as "government," do their utmost to achieve monopoly control of the so-called "education system" - they try to make it compulsory so all children will be subjected to government brainwashing. The result is that practically every victim is degraded into an unthinking follower... or unthinking rebel.
"Government" is Kept in Place by Mass Hallucination
My Webster's definition of hallucination includes the following:
Perception of objects with no reality;
A completely unfounded or mistaken impression or notion.
We could also describe hallucination as "seeing" or "perceiving" what's not there - or "seeing" or "perceiving" more than exists in reality.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) could be described as the science of representational systems. In our brains we have "neural patterns" or "models" that attempt to represent reality. For example, in my brain I have a "picture" of a table. If someone asks me to draw a picture of a table, I access the "picture" or "model" in my head, from which I then draw a table. These "pictures," "models," or "neural patterns" are called representational systems. They include intellectual, emotional, visual, auditory, and other sensory data.
Our representational systems are more or less "useful." To the extent that we use them to predict accurately and produce desirable results, we regard them as useful. NLP people have identified three major ways in which our representational systems differ from reality:
Generalization - e.g., the representational system called "furniture" - or the "intellectual" neural pattern: "all women are the same."
Distortion - e.g., "the color of my car is blue" - the physicist tells us this is a distortion; it's more accurate to say that my car's outer surface reflects light with the wavelength we call "blue," while absorbing light with other wavelengths.
Deletion - e.g., "Tom is a wonderful, generous, happy, healthy individual" - Tom has many other attributes, some of which have been ignored or "deleted" from my representational system.
I've identified a very important fourth way in which our representational systems differ from reality:
Addition - e.g., "John-the-stranger is a King, therefore he has special powers; and the words that come out of his mouth are special and therefore are the law which must be obeyed." John is really an ordinary man. By representing him as a "King" in our representational systems, we have added something to what exists in reality. Similarly, John's words are ordinary like those of the rest of us, and when we represent some of his words as "the law" in our representational systems, we have added something to what occurs in reality.
The essence of hallucination is "seeing" or "perceiving" what doesn't really exist or occur. The phenomenon of addition, as described above, is simply hallucination. To have a neural patterns or mental models that say "the government runs the country," "government makes law," "Slick Willy is President of the U.S.A.," all constitute hallucination.
It's these forms of hallucination that keep "government" in place. Because practically all humans suffer from similar political hallucinations, they tend to all agree with each other about certain fundamental political concepts and notions - such as "government," "state," "country," "nation," "constitution," "king," "president," "law," etc. If anybody questions or challenges these concepts or nations, they tend to think he's crazy. The phenomenon is mass hallucination.
Here is one of my favorite sentences: "The notion of "law" (so-called) is an hallawcinotion" - it sounds even better in French: "La notion de la "loi" (soi-disant) est une halloicinotion." How's that for self-referencing?!
"Government" is Kept in Place by Terror and by Violence
Ultimately, political power comes from the barrel of the gun - as Mao said. The last resort of the monsters who masquerade as "government" is terror and violence. That's why they need the IRS, the ATF, the FBI, the CIA, etc. They have to threaten, terrorize, punish, and kill to retain their coercive power. Make examples out of those who question, threaten, or challenge their so-called "authority."
That's why it's appropriate to call them "territorial gangsters" or "territorial criminals" or "terrocrats" - monsters who use fraud, coercion, and violence to claim "jurisdiction" over a certain area, and the people who happen to be in that area. The monsters do so in order to control and dominate, and to live like parasites or cannibals off the values created by their victims. The foregoing is another very useful definition of "government!"
The Man Who Helped Me Open My Eyes
About 14 years ago I visited a Luxembourg bank to deposit some paper money and buy gold coins. I had to wait in line. I started talking to the man behind me in the line. After a while he told me he was a libertarian. After we'd concluded our business we met in a nearby café for coffee. I told him that I was also a libertarian.
"Libertarian!" he snorted, "practically all so-called libertarians are still so conditioned and so far from the truth, they don't know the first thing about liberty."
I looked at him in surprise. I considered libertarians to be the leading edge of human evolution. There followed a sometimes heated discussion about many aspects and principles of libertarianism. Time and time again this most extreme radical questioned even the words I used, for example: When I asked, "What about the laws of a country?" my new friend responded:
"Haw, haw, haw," laughing almost hysterically. I thought he would fall off his chair. Several people in the café looked at him in bemusement. "What about the barking of copulating baboons in the zoo?" he said.
I was bewildered: "What's so funny?"
"My friend," he said, "like most so-called libertarians, you don't have the foggiest notion of what exists and what doesn't. You believe in magical "law" like a spiritualist believes in supernatural "ghosts"... except... except that your belief is possibly even more absurd than that of the spiritualist. You see, I've heard of people who claim that they have seen "ghosts"; there are even purported photographs of "ghosts." But I've never heard of anyone who claims that he has seen a so-called "law," never mind photographed it."
"Anyway," I said, "what does all this have to do with liberty?"
"My aspirant-libertarian friend," he replied, "When you free your mind from the false concepts and misconceptions that fixate your thinking within the mental grooves fashioned by those who seek to enslave you, then you will discover what liberty really is, then you will be able to live free. Most so-called libertarians are like pigs hopelessly floundering in a cesspool of statist concepts. Just as it is almost impossible for a fish to imagine life on land, so it is very difficult, if at all possible, for an aspirant-libertarian locked into statist concepts, to conceive of life outside his self-created cesspool..."
For a while we were both silent. Then he continued, "In actuality, the whole world is libertarian. Individuals are supreme, whether they know it or not. We all have virtually unlimited choice all the time - we may assume notions and beliefs that limit our choice, we may also get ourselves into situations