Imperial Conditioning and the American State by Bill Buppert

“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
― Henry David Thoreau

Imperial conditioning is the means by which a state through subtle and overt means make obedience to government a habit and sole course of action for citizens.  It may not necessarily be a conscious effort on the part of the state but merely the inevitable outcome of the initiation of aggression on a mass scale.  Absent violence, the state cannot exists.

One can read many of my previous essays on cops to see that they are the foundational element that makes governments work.  Absent the armed praetorians to conduct “law enforcement” (one of the more honest labeling enterprises of government), the state has no engine to uphold its legions of edicts and diktats over the unfortunate inhabitants in the tax jurisdictions.

I just went on a trip overseas.  As usual, every stage of travel within the American borders was awash in a sea of uniformed agents of the state directing one to do this or that on the condition that non-compliance would be most unpleasant.  At one point after my return to the vaunted home of the free, I went through the porno-scanner to save time for a connection we were close to missing to return to Arizona.  When directed to put my hands on my head so that they could get a better view I rendered the appropriate one-finger salute east and west to which one of the unemployable TSA drones said “that is unnecessary” to which I replied then that there is no more fitting tribute to an organization for whom the word unnecessary should be part of the slogan for the blue-shirted shamblers. Of course, this resulted in a punitive grope and rifling of my carry-on bag.  No surprise.  Discretion on their part to harass those who object is part of their charter.  One is supposed to grin and bear every infringement on liberty in the name of national (read government) security.  They are, in fact taken aback, nay offended, when one of the cattle resists or says no.  Much like the ritual at the Border Patrol checkpoint 40 miles north of the border south of Tucson in Arizona where all inquiries are answered with a firm no.

One reason these enforcement drones are so incensed when a mere mundane refuses the easy compliance they expect is that so many do comply with bad laws, it is rather unusual for one of the subjects to get uppity.  Sometimes it ends badly and lethally as Mr. Grigg has so expertly and poignantly pointed out to us.

The biggest head-scratcher of all is the notion that violence and theft will never be tolerated in the behavior of mundanes but absent both of these tools, the cops much less the state could not exist. The virtue of zero aggression and embracing the non-initiation of force is a principle embraced by most ethical individualist anarchists and abolitionists.

Most folks have become so inured to the state of nature that they live in that they accept that police practice of terrorism is simply the way of the world for them to retain their freedom and safety.  Quite simply, two pillars must be established to keep these systems afloat:  they must be able to instill fear through the threat of fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing anyone who refuses to comply with the whims of the system.  The second, and arguably more important pillar, is to convince the populace that not only is this the way of the world and the only way but that we must eventually find a way to put a happy face on it.  So we see large public spectacles like the 2012 Grand Old Politburo Convention in Tampa, Florida where thousands of drones not only pay obeisance to the police state but insist on more of the same and the additional burden of paying for their enslavement out of their own earnings.

The state is very savvy when it comes to the manipulation of convenience in the service of slavery.  There are ways to poach people’s time in a fashion to influence their selection of state means versus private means.  It is much easier to go through the porno-scanner instead of submit to a grope and be threatened with missing one’s plane unless you and yours submit to sexual assault.  It is much easier to get the government library card and have your internet usage monitored and recorded than finding a wireless system available that has even a modicum of privacy.  It is much easier to go to the grocery to purchase FDA approved death food than sneaking around to procure raw milk or fresh vegetables without a government stamp of approval.  It is much easier to pay for your local property tax that funds the government schools that are quite literally churning out huge populations of unreflective and shambling drones whose sole notion of reality is largely electronic and virtual.  It is much easier to present your “government issued” ID than dare to defy the authorities by refusal.

Like critical thinking, protection of individual sovereignty is hard work.  Your refusal is the foundational stamp of individual liberty. It is the state’s primary job to ensure that you never practice or acknowledge that.  Think about it, if you can simply refuse to comply with anything you suppose violates your self-ownership, the government would not have a leg to stand on, therefore they move heaven and earth not only to guarantee your compliance but to condition a willingness on your part to not only embrace evil but endorse it in all its bejeweled and patriotic awful beauty.

While most self-professed anarcho-capitalists and individualist libertarians (the Objectivists are a noxious and curious hybrid of collectivist libertarians but then again, all minarchist libertarians are in that camp de facto and de jure) are aware of the nature of this deal with the devil, most subjects in the American tax jurisdiction are proud of their fetters and will quite literally put their neighbors in jail who scoff or refuse to comply and applaud the wheels and machinations of law and order.  They will even go so far as to approve of their maiming and death at the hands of the police because” they got what they deserved” for not being respectful or compliant with authority.

The recent abduction and detention of Brandon Raub in Virginia speaks to the next step in the Orwellian process of putting a happy face on official tyranny and violence.  Like so many things in the old Russian Soviet system, the Americans are trying to improve upon the tried and true totalitarian tools employed by that extinct regime.  Raub became ensnared in the American variation of psikhushkas, the Soviet inference that resistance to the state may have a psychiatric component.  This may be a ramping up to begin a new conditioning regime to introduce the notion that resistance to government oppression and tyranny may be signs of mental illness.  Raub may be part of a demonstration project to “shop” the idea that resistance to government is not only against the law but may betray a nascent psychological condition.Remember that this is the same government in the DHS that monitored the opposition to its snitch program it developed. In the end, the government goal is to pilot your Weltanschauung in the direction they approve of and no other.

The state needs a conditioning regime that is intergenerational and self-replicating which is why the government in the US desires such detailed control of the school system from pre-school through graduate studies in universities.  Why do you think the government schools have cops innocently named School Resource Officers?  The entertainment industry does the same thing.  Even when portraying “corrupt” cops, good cops save the day.  Huh?

So imperial conditioning makes the government work.  The only refusal they will countenance is the admission that your self-ownership is sacrosanct.  They refuse to believe it.

“I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Ethics 101 by Chris Dates

When using the Socratic jackhammer against statists, it’s usually not more than a couple blows of the anvil before we arrive at what the state actually is–a group of individuals exercising the use of force against other individuals. Ultimately, this is the core of the state’s power; the use of force to maintain its order. This is a trait shared by all governments, from republics and liberal democracies, to totalitarian dictatorships and oppressive oligarchies. At their cores, that is, at the foundations of these differing political systems, the use of force is the fundamental premise upon which their theories are built. Only the degree of aggression, intrusion, and violence is varied from the total state to the minimal state; they are identical twins spawned from the same egg. The nurture may differ, but he nature does not.

From the political scientist to the everyday statist, they share more than just the belief in the use of force; they believe in the use of “legitimate” force. And that is where the statist and the anarchist part ways; indeed that is where the true socialist, and the statist part ways. The definition of the state that is generally accepted among anarchists is that entity that claims for itself a monopoly on the use violence to maintain its order. There may be variations of this definition, but what these differing definitions refer to are the same–a monopoly on violence.

You’ll notice I did not include the use of the term “legitimate” in my definition of the state, because I believe that term is used by statists, in academia and beyond, in a completely arbitrary fashion.  When pressed on what one means when they use the term “legitimate” in their definition of the state, the conversation usually devolves into one big exercise of begging the question.  Here’s what I mean-

How did the state’s use of violence become legitimate?

Through legitimation.

What is legitimation?

It’s the process of making a thing legitimate.

The violence of the state had to go through the process of legitimation; was the process always legitimate?

Well, it is legitimate now.

You see, the Statist’s use of the term legitimate in their definition is question begging, because the premise relies on the conclusion to make itself true. Sloppy logic such as this also leaves the statist open to a very slippery slope. What about successful revolutions? Are they now the wielders of this legitimate use of force? What if a new regime is successful in overthrowing the current government? What about chattel slavery, wasn’t that also legitimate? This is when legitimation enters back into the conversation. One thing I’ve noticed when debating statists is the term legitimation is used synonymously with the term conquered, because as long as the people accept it, it’s legitimate. The state is, quite simply, a group of terrorists who’s actions are now seen as being legitimate, because the people have just accepted this violence as part of their lives. This is also what the statist sees as “consent”. Choosing not to fight a successful terrorist group should not be considered consent, in the same way as if a woman stops the struggle and finally gives into the rapist’s demands is also not consent.

A slippery slope, indeed.

The rationalizers of political violence would have us believe that this violence is as constant as gravity, or tectonic plate shift, or the laws of thermodynamics, or any other law that could be classified as a “natural law”. The state apologists try to convince the unwashed masses that the state’s power must be taken as a given, and that a value judgement must not be hung on the monopoly of violence. The individual is encouraged to go to the polls and vote for the politician who most accurately reflects their personal values, but they must not apply these same values to the system of violence itself. The developers of this new “science” would see it as irrational to apply ethics to the state’s violence, just as it would be irrational to apply ethics to gravity. They believe they have been so clever as to forever expel ethics from human action by calling their study a science. Well, I’ve got one question for you-

Is gravity legitimate?

In the statist’s own definition they include the use of the term legitimate. Why? If it is the case that the state’s monopoly on the use of violence is as constant as gravity, then why even employ use the term legitimate in the definition? Why not just call it like it is–a monopoly on the use of violence? I’ll tell you why. With all of their ivory tower educations, and elitist thinking, they have been unsuccessful in separating ethics from human interaction, even in the context of government. They must use arbitrary terms like “consent”, and “legitimate” to mask their aggression. They rely on the those they seek to control to be irrational and illogical. And make no mistake, it’s not about the helping the poor, or stopping wars around the world,  or the money–it’s about the subjugation of an entire population, and they use the political scientists to rationalize it for them; it’s about control. It’s a morbid dance–political science and the state–because one necessarily relies on the other.

In the context of human interaction, the ethical argument will always reign as king. They will try and convince you that they have risen above such silly things as ethical considerations, but the truth is they haven’t. This is evident in their own language, and their language is meant to confuse, not inform in the way that the hard sciences have been developed. They will try and pull the standards of the hard sciences into their pseudo-science, but it’s not going to fly with me. You’ve got to get up a little bit earlier in the morning to fool this blue-collared boy. They’ve tried to strip you of your rationality, don’t let them strip you of your humanity.

Class dismissed.

Resist.

The Youth Road to Serfdom by Bill Buppert

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

- Edward Abbey

We just got finished watching the older movie, Red Dawn, the other day and it struck me how out of touch modern American teenagers are to the protagonists in the film.  I get it; the film is homage to hyperbolic patriotism in the fight against a foreign invasion as unlikely as the scenario could be even in the heyday of US-USSR global bipolar disorder.

With three dozen acknowledged insurgencies world-wide and realistically hundreds in reality, these partisan scenarios played out against internecine rivalries for power within or around various nation-states are ubiquitous and overwhelmingly a young man’s endeavor ranging from the prepubescent fighters in the Lords Resistance Army to the twenty- and thirty-somethings that made up the bulk of the fighters in Northern Ireland, Chechnya and Afghanistan among the innumerable ranks of trigger pullers battling for some cause world-wide.

But I have to wonder just how fit the modern American teenager is for this kind of fighting whether initiated by a foreign invasion or the far more likely notion of battling a brutal and repressive regime from DC visited against its own citizens resisting the increasingly totalitarian notions of Potomac America where freedom demands a license and laws are so legion that one can’t walk through a day without violating some obscure Federal statute.

America’s youth seem to be fatally tethered to a need for information which has become so addictive that it is hard to pry one’s children from the phones and computers that shadow, if not dominate, their every waking minute and hour.  One would think that a forward looking mind that has access to the greatest store of knowledge ever in human civilization would render a new golden age peopled by superior thinkers, new inventions and new areas of cognition that would propel us forward into a brightly lit future of unlimited potential.

Not so much.

If we were to harness the endless dithering about bowel movements or online gaming marathons and turn it into energy, we would have no need of any other terrestrial fuels to light up the planet.  I remember talking to one shambling shibboleth of sloth who told me in five years of gaming World of Warcraft, he logged an entire human year playing.  A year!  Good God.

This electronic renaissance has accomplished just the opposite, it has ushered in the most lethal and effective device yet known to man to harness every man to feudal state of being and every woman to the notion that her sin qua non is the  incessant broadcasting of her most banal daily activities and constant concern for the appearance of her photographic life on the wall of various virtual town halls where immediate satisfaction and the sharing of formerly idiotic behavior is the hallmark of a fulfilling life.

No state or government could have engineered such an ingenious device to enslave minds and distract humans from doing anything but…dithering.  Shut off the internet connection at any government facility with the armies of drones shuffling virtual paper from one inbox to another and the exodus from the physical facilities are amazing to behold.

Given the nature of this transformation from homo sapiens to homo insipid, we see an evolution toward sloth and servitude, not advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of ever more productive ways to serve our fellow man in the market.

These are not the qualities of fighters.  As much as the mall ninjas and violent gamers like to brag about skills, when the shots ring out and they are zombified in their haze of Condition White, they will be nothing more than targets playing the age-old game of whack-a-mole that has been littering battle zones with corpses for centuries.  As Heraclitus taught us two and a half millennia ago:

” Of every One-Hundred men, Ten shouldn’t even be there,
Eighty are nothing but targets,
Nine are real fighters…
We are lucky to have them…They make the battle,
Ah, but the One, One of them is a Warrior…
and He will bring the others back.” 

 There are southern and inland western youth in America who still hunt, shoot and otherwise pay homage to the martial arts (beyond the repetitious Asian arts that play at defense and fail in the end with the honorable exception of Krav Maga and Haganah).  The subculture of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) practitioners and their fans encourage me but an increasing large slice of that following are falling into the silly hero-worship and geeky fandom of professional wrestling.  There certainly is a tactical sub-culture in the US but the majority are kit-geeks who collect more than perfect and are making a sizable profit in sales for the largest waist size in “operator” pants outside of Mexico [I know from personal experience the tactical obesity of Mexican constabulary and armed forces].

Look around, not only are Americans obese and out of shape; they take pride in their lack of self-sufficiency and American teenagers are rarely unconnected unless forced to do so.  Their primary predilection in their waking hours is the addictive updating of the banality of what passes for their existence.  They read but they don’t read books nor do they take the time to do what is the most basic first step in cognition and reflection, stand still, concentrate and think.  War-game solution sets, extrapolate outcomes and puzzle out second and third order effects.  It is not happening and it may form a fatal national amnesia that will make them putty in the hands of any political opportunist who can readily manipulate an unreflective people whose notion of virtue is learned not from Socrates and Seneca but Jersey Shore and JZ.

They cannot defend themselves much less fight for a virtuous course that will put their safety (or internet connection) in the hazard.  No invasion is necessary because the surrender has already occurred.

Teach your children well.

Disconnect.

Resist.

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche