I recently joined an e-mail list. I am not sure how I got onto it but the people on it seem to be the usual activist types. I have never met any of them that I am aware of.
But they got into a discussion about pacifism and politeness awhile back which got me writing something about it. It kept getting bigger as I wrote and I forgot it a couple of times to work on other things. Finally I put an end to it and sent it to this list.
I have not got any reply back yet. I do not know what will happen. Maybe they will just banish me.
Here is the URL to the Cory Morningstar article I refered to in this piece.http://theartofannihilation.com/2011/09/15/tar-sands-action-the-paralysis-of-a-movement-part-i/
Hello. This is the first time I have posted anything on this forum and I will not post much. Depending on the reaction, it many be the one and only. I am on this list because I wanted to see what you people talked about.
I started writing this a few weeks ago and forgot it for awhile because I became focused on something else, and also because it got longer than I originally intended. What motivated me was the discussion created by somebody bringing up the Cory Morningstar series. Thanks to whoever for drawing it to my attention.
I also wanted to read a little more in Cory's series and to see if there was any further discussion of it on this list. There has not been.
I am going to philosophize a bit. I have spend a lot of time watching different activist groups come and go. I see the same thing over and over and over. People are hamstrung by the way they are conditioned to think. An example of this is the person describing Cory's writing as "vitriolic" and "off putting". It is none of this.
What she says is not ideal. She repeats the global warming fallacy right off the start, thus making the same mistake she criticizes. But she gets most of what is wrong with "activism" right.
It is all about making the participants feel good. It is usually also about reassuring them that nothing is really going to happen. Especially, nothing that is going to get them hurt.
But also, nothing that is going to force them to think about really disturbing things. That is, things they have to get if they want to overcome the intense social conditioning to passivism and rationalism, and begin to be effective human beings. The class system and class warfare is real, and it is not conducted primarily through force.
It is conducted more by cognitive control than anything else. In this society the cognitive control is intense. I do not want to get into what would be a very long discussion of the way "the public" is created and controlled. I will write up about that some other time and not specifically for this forum.
The thought control works in multiple layers. These days more people are rejecting the established narrative, like we live in a democracy and have "rule of law" and everything will be fine if people just "respect authority". But most people still fall into the rationalist trap, as in; "justice" will happen if everybody gets "reasonable", and "truth" is somehow going to happen if people discuss everything long enough and "respect others opinions".
People who think they are being "activist" or even "revolutionary" are really falling into just another mind trap laid out for them. That is why you have people buying into fake libertarianism and fake Marxism, or thinking themselves to be anticapitalist while buying the "global warming" trope hook, line and sinker. There are nowhere near enough people yet who are really getting outside of all this crap, and they are in particularly short supply in Canada.
The key to getting out of it is to first get out of the rationalism trap, the "fundamental attribution error". No, it is not that "different people reason differently"; the whole idea of reason is nonsense. When somebody says something is reasonable, the question to be asked is, according to whose reasons? Or as the old joke goes; "be reasonable, see it my way".
Or, logical according to whose logic? The human brain does not work according to "logic". Science does not work by logic. Neither does what is called "common sense" or "good sense". They work by the cognitive cycle. You observe, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis against reality, form a revised hypothesis about reality, and by this continuous process, build a model of reality which gets close to reality and by which to react to reality and to plan.
Fundamental attribution error is when people fail to attribute their idea of truth and reality to their own previous ideas; to not be aware that these ideas are constructed in their own minds, mostly unconsciously, by previous thoughts and experiences.
And yes, there is a reality and a truth. There is nothing flakier that the person who claims to make his own reality, or who says that there is no one truth. This is another part of the cognitive control; anything might be true, anything could be reasonable, nothing is objective.
Once you accept this you could be talked into just about anything. Even if you reject what you are told, you have a hard time coming up with any better way of explaining things and deciding what to do, because of this type of conditioning. This is how the cognitive control works.
This is why getting out of the mind control requires some very serious mental exercises in examining the source of one's own ideas. If you start doing that, getting close to the truth about things is really not that hard.
But it also makes you very unpopular. You start going against the "false real" that is laid around everybody. You start to be attacked in various ways by the various cognitive control agents who are all around.
You do not get out of the false real by joining "the left" or becoming an "anarchist". These are also forms of the cognitive control technique of projecting a fake real, fake world view. To "get real" you have to get out of the control of the psychopaths.
Here is how the false real control is operated, and how "society" works. Psychopath; anyone should know what is meant by that. Someone with no conscience and no regard for the truth, who sees other people as objects to be manipulated. These people are either born that way or their disfunction is irreversibly set at a very early age.
Under the psychos are the narcissists; the manufactured psychopaths. These people are thought to be mainly products of severe abuse at an early age which makes them unable to function socially in a normal way. The only way they can get anything is by deceiving or intimidating other people.
However, narcissists usually do not have much sense and judgement. They cannot get far in life on their own. They need a mentor, an "overbully" to give them direction. The psychopath fills this role.
Under the narcissist is the codependant. This is the person who generally started out as normal, or what passes for "normal" in this society. But he or she has been subjected to psychological bullying techniques. These people have come to accept that it is hopeless to stand up to the psychobully". Better yet, many have been made to think that they have done something wrong when they are bullied.
But best of all are those who can be made to believe that instead of being put into subservience to the psychobullys, they have come to a reasonable accommodation with them. These often think of themselves as pacifists or as having "emotional intelligence". These are the most valuable to the psychopath; they can be used to convince everyone else to submit to the psychobullies while deluding themselves that they are "compromising" with them, or "understanding" them, or even "reasoning" with them.
Of course, people who can see the manipulation going on and who will not give in are relentlessly hounded out of the psycho's sphere of control. If such people group together, then efforts are made to isolate the group. A false reality, a false story, is constructed which makes the good guys the bad guys and vice versa.
This then, is the system of social control in the "psychopathocracy". Some say it was been working for about ten thousand years, since the development of agriculture. My theory is that it keeps rising up, self destructing, and rising again, because the underlying human tendency to trust authority more than one's own senses enables it.
The human is a social animal. The cognitive cycle does not work just within the minds of individuals. Groups of people have to agree about facts before they can function together, form a common mental model. Sensible people have a way of getting to an agreement about those relevant facts and methods which they need to agree on.
However, this gets more difficult to do when humans are grouped into larger social units and into whole societies, nations, etc. The bigger the social unit the easier it is for psychos to, first of all, evade exposure and segregation from the sane, and second, to take control.
For psychos, life is about evading exposure and finding a way to dominate normal people; the only way they can thrive. In modern times the psychopathocracy has developed a very sophisticated technology for taking control, using people against themselves, and preventing them from detecting what is going on. It is usually, and vaguely, referred to as capitalism.
People are starting to detect what is going on, and the control of the psychos is weakening somewhat. But even aware people still cannot envision what a world without the psychopathocracy would be like, or what they have to do to be out of the control of the psychos.
There is a reason why things rarely go anywhere when some people get together because they do not like the way things are and wish they knew what to do about it. It has nothing to do directly with any lack of "social" or "interactive" skills, maturity, emotional intelligence, and so on. These lacks are generally a product of living in a world made by psychopaths.
The general lack of success of "activist" groups has to do with their direct intimidation or disruption by psychos and their minions, which is usually not seen as what it is. It is also about the way group intelligence works in humans; the way a common mental model is formed. And it has to do with the reluctance of the social animal to challenge group authority.
This latter is not a disfunction; it enables the social animal to live in a society and function in units. It becomes disfunction when it becomes a false sense of guilt or a fear of being singled out for attack. Sensible people in a group are able to accommodate and even encourage legitimate contrarianism; it is how a group of minds come to function as a larger mind, or as a good "over mind". Group mind works the same way as individual mind, by the cognitive cycle; building up a frame of understanding the reality they are dealing with, and changing it when the reality changes.
But encouragement of constructive contrarianism is the opposite of tolerance of cognitive control and domination. The psychopaths will always try to pose the later as the former while trying to achieve dominance. I think half of social intelligence is the ability to see one from the other. And the controllers and dominators are always there, trying to get inside the resistance against them.
So, if any revolutionary movement is going to succeed at anything besides replacing one hegemony with another, it is going to understand this. What concerns me about the Occupy Wall Street, Toronto, and other localities movement is not that they subscribe to an anarchic organizing principle and put forward no set of demands. It is that they still subscribe to this dumb pacifism, as well as a kind of rationalism. This will set them up for disruption and attack.
What I like most about Cory's article is how she explains Gandhianism. It is just hypocrisy which really achieved nothing in India and has never achieved anything anywhere. He secretly supported violent action when it suited him. Yet Gandhi has become the deity of this ridiculous pacifism cult.
As long as there are people in the world who can and will get what they want through physical and emotional violence, pacifism is not only ridiculous, it is their tool of control and intimidation. It is the other big mechanism of neutralizing resistance to the psychopaths, probably even more effective than rationalism; belief in "reason".
The people talking down at St. James park are coming around to the idea that there is no reforming the system, what is needed is a new system. But they are still obsessed about "peaceful". Everything has to be done "peacefully". Ever hear anybody say they are going to march down the road violently? I am going to go and violently boil some rice.
All this puts a mental box around people who think they are thinking outside of the box. If they are afraid of violence, or of seeming unreasonable, they are not going to be able to conceive of this new system, or do what will be needed to bring it about.
Because, folks, getting the present system to go away is going to require incredible violence. There is not the slightest chance that those who benefit from the present order are going to be talked out of it. It is not just about abolishing capitalism but abolishing the rule of the psychopath. They can thrive only in the diseased societies they create. There is simply no place for them in a healthy society. They will literally fight to the death and try to take everything down with them, and have done so all down history whenever their system has failed them.
Another positive thing about the "occupy someplace" movement is that they seem to be able to deal with efforts to co-opt them. They don't let anyone split them up into small groups or try to "lead" them to a set conclusion. But they are making very slow progress at deciding what to do. This is because they are still struggling with the above mentioned indirect forms of cognitive control. They are still lacking key concepts. They have not discarded false concepts yet.
I should not assume too much from the limited time I have spent hearing them, but I think it is a good guess that they still waste too much time on people who waste time. I mean, people who like hearing their own voices, or have little hobby horses they want to ride in front of everybody, or who want to puke out their poisoned minds in public. The genius of their format is that they have almost unlimited time.
But when this moves to the more general society, where people do not have unlimited time, this will not work. This long, slow talk it out is the only way they can develop any deliberative process given the limitations imposed by diseducation and social conditioning, as I mentioned above. They have to overcome this this conditioning and learn how to define problems and get to a solution, and to be intolerant to those whose petty narcissism drags out the process.
To put it in a different way again; the best way to make people incapable of resisting tyranny is not with armies of goons and networks of cognitive agents, but by diseducating people to be "reasonable" and "tolerant". All ideas are not equal and do not have the right to be heard. Thought is not about considering every possibility and every perspective.Rather, the brain is a device for cutting out the irrelevant and finding the relevant. A deliberation is about getting to a conclusion that can guide action. To be "reasonable" is to be incapable of thinking and thus incapable of acting.
If you are someone who is frustrated that it is so hard to get anywhere with a public meeting or discussion group, that they often go on interminably without ever getting anywhere, and you are hearing me, now you know why. You see the challenge faced by the occupiers and by groups like this.
Speaking of which, I hope this has not been a strain on anyone's brain. It is the first time I have tried setting out this line of thinking in writing. I think that, while there are some possible holes in it, in all it is pretty good. So I am going to send it off, because I have some other things I need to give attention to.