Speak Truth to Power

Article by Bob Podolsky republished by permission on Dec. 1, 2015
originally published at Titanians.org


I Have a Fantasy…
a somewhat dark fantasy that sometimes creeps into my dreams. In the dream version I’m living a quiet conscious life – minding my own business and living as creatively and ethically I can, and not imposing my wishes on anyone else.  BUT, it seems that I had forgotten to pay a parking ticket.

So, in that dark dream, a gang of costumed thugs, bearing all manner of weaponry (and badges), shows up, abuses me with painful violence, and hauls me off and puts me in a cage. Some hours after this kidnapping, I am manacled and brought before a man in a black robe who is seated on an elevated platform that resembles a throne. A plaque on his podium announces that he is the “Honorable Judge James Jones”.

Now in the real world if this happened I would never get to say what I’d really like to say. If I attempted to do so, I’d undoubtedly be interrupted, accused of “contempt of court”, and thrown back in a cage as punishment. So instead of speaking freely, I’d attempt to mitigate my situation by asking questions – along the lines of those suggested by Marc Stevens in his wonderful little book, Adventures In Legal Land.

But in the world of a lucid dream, a fantasy world, I’d ultimately speak freely – stating exactly how I perceive my situation and judging the invalidity of the ethic that put the black-robed slave on his elevated bench. Since I’ll never get to speak truth to such a man of power, I’m setting down in this fantasy what I would really like to say.

Facing the Judge
Judge Jones”, I’d start off politely, “I am trained both as a scientist and as a psychotherapist – and 42 years ago I began looking for the answer to the BIG QUESTION: ‘What has to happen for our species to thrive and flourish?’” I have spent a lifetime inquiring into the basis for reality in the 3 dimensional world and the world where no one likes to go: the inner working of the human mind.  I started questioning

“Thirteen years later”, I’d continue, “I realized that the answer is simple. For humanity to thrive, it is only necessary that our institutions make ethical decisions that lead to ethical actions. A validly ethical act is always one that that increases someone’s creativity, awareness, truth (in the scientific sense of the word)”, love, or personal evolution.

Hearing the word “ethical”, the man in black starts looking nervous. He appears to have no idea what I’m talking about. He probably thinks ethics are just a set of rules to which he is required to give lip-service, and that the subject of ethics is trivial – and 43 years ago I’d have agreed with him, because I still believed that government existed to protect human rights – as stated in the Declaration of Independence. I was wrong – and so is he. That is not the purpose of government. It should be. We’d like it to be. But it’s not. Governments are power brokerage cartels – and their purposes are totally self-serving. So I continue explaining.

“Mr. Jones, the exercise of power over others (the initiation of force and/or the threat of physical violence), is only ethical in the defense of self or others – and nowhere else.” This fundamental principle is a purely logical consequence of the definition of a valid ethic.  And furthermore, as I learned in my 25 years as a therapist in private practice, only two groups of people seek power over others: Psychopaths and Slaves. Follow my reasoning, and you’ll understand how this works.”

“Since I don’t know yet which you are, Mr. Jones, I’ll give you first the feedback from which a slave might benefit – because I know that psychopaths are immune to corrective feedback.”

Your Story, Judge
“At this point, James, you now have the essential elements of my story – so I’ll tell you the core elements of yours.

Notice that at this juncture I’ve dropped the honorific “Mr.” and I’m addressing him as an equal.

“You are a slave, James. In ceding your freedom for the privileges of a slave, you’ve effectively sold your soul – by becoming part of a power brokerage cartel. You are, to all intents and purposes, a minor component in a machine called ‘government’ – a machine that exists only to benefit the political class that you answer to, and a still higher class, the nobility that owns the machine – the ownership class. I doubt you understand this message – so I’ll explain.

At this point the man in black interrupts saying, “Stop right there! If I wanted your opinion, I’d be giving it to you. Continue in this frivolous vein and I’ll hold you in contempt!”

“Ho ho”, I reply, “that ploy would work in other circumstance – but this is my dream fantasy, and I’ll say whatever I damn please. Besides, James, what I’m saying isn’t just ‘opinion’, but rather a few demonstrably provable facts.

In Case You Weren’t Aware…
“James, when a child can’t get real love, he’ll settle for approval. Since the age of about two, your life has been driven by the need for approval and the concomitant need to avoid disapproval. These needs define the core culture of bureaucracy – in which the avoidance of disapproval is the primary motivator. In this culture, the destruction, elimination, and avoidance of corrective feedback are paramount.”

“Moreover, James, you’ve always resented being a slave, so you get even by treating those with less power the way you have been treated – by the exercise of frivolous and unethical power over them. Unfortunately, this revenge doesn’t hurt the people above you in your hierarchy. Instead it helps them, and hurts everyone else around you. In effect, you’ve become the thing you fear and hate the most.”

“Bailiff!” yells the judge, “I won’t hear any more of this. Off with his head!” he screams, echoing the words of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. But like the Red Queen, his authority is an illusion that can be swept away when its unreality is revealed.

“Yes, James, you have much power over others. Even now, if this weren’t my lucid dream, you could push a button and a small army of heavily armed (lesser) slaves would rush into the room and remove me to a cage – at your command.  But just because you have the power to do such things, doesn’t mean you have the right to exercise that power. The gun-toting slaves that you command are even more enslaved than you, but they too have made a bargain with the upper classes. Like you, they are paid to do the things they do – and they’d rather comply with evil than give up the paycheck that feeds their families. Like you, they think that as slaves they are not responsible for their actions – but in fact we are all responsible for what we do, whether ordered to or not.”

“I wouldn’t do that”, says the black-robed figure, “I’m one of the ‘good guys’”.

“I beg to differ with you, James. You are not a ‘good guy’, because you have chosen to represent a gang of cutthroat parasites whose sole purpose in creating your machine was to transfer wealth from those who’ve created it to a group that creates nothing – and like most parasites you are destroying your host.”

Where Did You Get Your “Authority”?
“Coming back to your story, James, where do you think you got the so-called “authority” that you wield with such dispatch? Originally your parents were that authority. You grew up in a household that required you to give up your innate freedom in order to maintain some level of closeness with your parents. It was a bad bargain, and one that you might have grown out of with some help. But, given your dependent circumstances at the time, it was inevitable.”

“In school you were a ‘good boy’ and transferred your slave mentality to your teachers, whom you were told you had to obey. And still later you transferred it to your employers, who, in your case, are members of the political class.”

“I just do as I’m told”, the man demurs.

“As do all slaves”, I reply, “just like the slaves that ran the death camps under Hitler.”

About Power Brokerage…
“Now comes the tricky part, James. The members of the political class cannot delegate to you, or to anyone, authority that they do not possess themselves as individuals. And as individuals, the members of the political class have no more authority over others than you did when you were born – which is to say NONE.”

“How dare you say such a thing?” protests the bureaucrat. “My authority was vested in me by the State”.

“So where did all the authority come from that you believe has been delegated to you? The fact is, James, there is no such authority – nor is there a ‘State’. The political class and its owners in the ownership class made up these concepts thousands of years ago. They are illusions – shared hallucinations that you have been conditioned in your childhood to accept as reality.”

“The value of this fictional authority to the ownership class lies in the fact that they’ve convinced the general public that the authority is real – and that they are therefore able to exchange portions of said authority for services – like ‘law enforcement’, ‘courts’, ‘tax collections’, ‘political concessions’, ‘assassinations’, ‘wars’, and so forth. This kind of transaction is the very hallmark of a cartel – as is the hierarchic pecking-order.  This military command style of management can be seen as prevalent even among most civilian groups today – and it is a near perfect model as a slave control mechanism. Seen factually, James, your authority is nothing but an opinion – backed with a gun. And the hierarchy that owns you is just another Mafia. In fact the Mafia doesn’t stoop to pretending that it has any kind of legitimacy – it just does its coercive thing. You could take a lesson from them – it might make you more honest.”

The Support System
“Before moving on to discuss the political class, I want to address your coworkers, James – all the people employed in this great courthouse building – in fact all the people working in the whole grand hierarchy we lovingly call our government –To all of you I want say, some of you are slaves and some of you are masters. Government is an environment where the slave and political classes mingle at the bottom of the political class – and the political class and the ownership class mingle at the top of the political class. As one progresses up the pyramid, the preponderance of psychopaths in the environment increases markedly – but if you were to observe their social events, you’d see they keep plenty of wage-slaves around to take care of their varied needs and desires.

“As I am still addressing the slaves, throughout the system, I want you to understand that you are a big part of the problem that our species faces today. Your salaries are paid with money and other valuables stolen from you by extortion – and from your brethren everywhere. Don’t you think you could have made better use of the money had it not been stolen from you?”

“Don’t you think you have a right to a choice in the matter? Well, you do have a choice. You can work in the private sector as an individual entrepreneur.”

“I know. Entrepreneurship is risky. You might fail at it. Slaves fear failure more than anything – that’s part of needing approval. I suggest you get over it. There are people who can provide the help you need …if any. I can’t say I know anyone who got over this phobia on their own – but I can’t say it’s impossible, either. I just know that having the right kind of help makes the task much easier and quicker. Call me for a referral or a consult. When you get over your fear of failing, you’ll be free.”

“One final comment to this group: Not only are your salaries stolen from more creative people, but your participation in that hierarchy constitutes support for the malignant system that you serve. If not stopped, and stopped soon, that system will inaugurate the darkest period of oppression in human history. And you will have been one of those responsible. Get out now, while you still can.”

“The Compulsion to “Control” Others…
is seen in both the political class and the ownership class – always the sure indicator of a psychopathic nature. No one knows exactly what causes psychopathy – but its characteristics are well known. There are indications that it is a common condition among men whose genetic makeup includes an extra chromosome. It is also well known that certain forms of early abuse (both physical and mental) contribute to the formation of psychopathy. For this reason, many knowledgeable practitioners consider it to be a character structure…and a particularly rigid one, at that. Having been severely dominated as a child, the psychopath becomes a dominator – or, as some would say, a ‘control freak’.”

“The extreme psychopath (yes, there are different degrees of psychopathy), is completely cut off from his feelings (assuming he actually has some, to begin with). He experiences no empathy, no conscience, and no remorse. He (or she) sees others as fair game for any kind of fraud, thievery, sadism, assault, torture, mayhem, murder or genocide that the psychopath wishes to impose upon his victims. His conversations are mostly comprised of lies – some credible and some outrageous – about which he has no compunctions whatever. Nor has he any about anything else.”

“For some reason, probably cultural bias, female psychopaths comprise less than 10% of the psychopath population. But we can certainly see a sampling of them as we listen to the speeches of some of the more politically prominent ones today.”

So to all you psychopaths I say: “We know you. You can’t hide in sheep’s clothing any more. We see you. And when your time comes, though we can’t cure your condition, we know we have to constrain you. The most just way to do this would be to exile you – to a region where you could live among your own kind. It remains to be seen whether we’ll have the resources to do that when the time comes. Maybe someday…”

Hierarchic Structures
“The day of the hierarchy is about to end, James, as we now have better ways of organizing. We call them Octologues and HoloMats.  Since hierarchies are essential to “top-down” control and power brokerage, the ownership class won’t be happy about the forthcoming abandonment of hierarchy.”

“With the advent of the BitCoin and its copy-cats we now have an anonymous medium of exchange that can’t be regulated, devalued, confiscated, or otherwise manipulated. This means we now have a free market at last. The cartels of the world won’t like this. By breaking their monopoly stranglehold on money, we can break free of them entirely. Cartels are a curse on humanity. Every human activity that is registered, regulated, licensed, forbidden, or otherwise controlled is dominated by a cartel.”

“The most destructive cartels are the big banking cartels known as “Central Banks”. The Federal Reserve is undoubtedly the worst offender – unethical to the core and, you guessed it, dominated by psychopaths. The widespread use of BitCoins has the potential to make an end run around the bankers – to make them irrelevant to the rest of the world, thereby rendering them powerless.”

“Get a Clue, James…
The world is changing. A new era is dawning – and we don’t know for sure whether it will be a bright new day with lots of new opportunities – or the beginning of an extended period of darkness. At this point it could go either way. The giant parasite that I call the BORG (Banks, Organized Religions, and Governments) might raze the earth with a nuclear holocaust – ultimately covering the earth with ice and destroying its host (the rest of us), or it might commit suicide by deploying a bunch of biological weapons, of which it undoubtedly has a secret stockpile – to which it thinks it is immune.”

“Alternatively, the noble (ownership) ruling class might go into hiding in giant underground cities (bunkers) and luxury accommodations overseas. At the moment there seem to be preparations underway along both avenues.”

“Jimmy, I’m not here to tell you how all of this is going to end…but rather I’m giving you a ‘heads up’ that a change is beginning. I’m free, Jimmy – and you can be too, should you make that choice. Heed my words before it is too late. Shed your fear and let me show you the path, then you can decide whether to walk it.

Case Dismissed!