I’m going to put this up in two pieces because it is rather lengthy. This first post is focused on providing some background, context and greater awareness of state violence today. The next post is Anti-Americanism’s False Savior: Putin the Pathological.
I chose Death by Government in the title of this post because of the title of the book by that name. But, as I have noted before, I separate government or self-rule from the state or the rule of man. Some people don’t. Some people think all forms of government are violent. I beg to differ but the fact does remain that our modern form of government is used by the “winners” to violently inflict their beliefs (tribalism) on others be they Democrats or Republicans or whatnot. Modern forms of democracy, representative government, republicanism or whatnot have resulted in violent forms of primitive tribalism and the resultant fracturing of society. Which is one reason we see the world splintering into smaller states. Political winners (state actors) use the force of the state to inflict what is often fanatical tribalism on the rest of society. This is not emotional freedom or any other kind of freedom but rather state tyranny and tyranny of the mob. Regardless, concentrated power of government or the state is a pathology unto itself. It is an affront to enlightenment principles that grant all people unconditional natural rights, self-determinism and human dignity. The state is the source of the vast majority of violence in this world. It always has been. That violence is directed at us. To pathologically control us.
The state is destroying humanity. Literally. Rather than the twentieth century being one of prosperity and abundance, unprecedented human innovation and scientific achievement resulted in hundreds of millions dead through war, poverty and state murder. And billions more living in squalor. In fact, the state butchers, bludgeons, murders, enslaves and imprisons much more of its own population than war between states ever has. (Rummel’s statistics web site) The reality is the state is at perpetual war with humanity. Or, as Randolph Bourne so eloquently wrote, War is the Health of the State. (Zinn’s take on war and Bourne’s writings here.) So, instead of humanity’s achievements being a force to free us from the mundane, from endless work and from undue suffering, they have always been used by the state to oppress and enslave us to the mundane, endless work and undue suffering. State violence (the rule of man) has enslaved humanity through our very achievements. Rather than technology and innovation freeing us, the state has used them to put its noose around our neck. The state always has been and remains the largest single contributor to a morass of never-ending violence and suffering for the vast majority of humanity. And two of the most corrupt state actors enslaving humanity to its oppression are Russia and China.
Sociopaths love power. They love winning. If you take loving kindness out of the human brain, there’s not much left except the will to win.” -- Martha Stout, doctor & psychopathy expert
The state’s perpetual war on humanity (driven by the primitive ego’s will to win) includes the state’s war on terror, war on drugs, war on poverty, war on illiteracy, the Cold War, corporate capitalism (economic war), endless political wars, political wars to get elected, corporations (our tribe is the company we work for and we fight for the tribe’s survival) , the constant wars between Democrats and Republicans (primitive ego-driven tribalism), endless wars corporations wage to beat the competition, economic wars countries wage against each other, nationalism (an arbitrary tribal war against humanity), the war between EU & American politicians and Russian politicians, and endless other wars are manifestations of state and state actor’s violent will to win. War is about one thing. Winning. And winning is a pathology of a primitive, ego-driven need for control. It involves violently preying on the exploitable as corporate capitalism and the state so aptly prove time and again. That will to win when void of conscience that defines state actors willing to endlessly manipulate millions of people is a predatory, exploitative pathology. All wars, be they military, economic, spiritual, emotional or whatnot are pathological manifestations of state violence against humanity. All of these wars and more are a form of primitive ego-driven tribalism. The ego’s primitive tribalism created by the violence of the state and state actors has replaced our mind’s higher power and its loving concept of community and connection. Maybe Bourne’s work should be re-titled to ‘War is the Health of the State’s Pathology’.
Unfortunately, the start of the twenty first century looks like more of the same. But in many ways it is even more sinister because it has perfected relatively newfound covert forms of emotional violence. By newfound, I mean in the twentieth century. Especially its latter half. Additionally, states are literally armed to the teeth with weapons of mass murder. If state actors around the world have their way, the life and death games they play, which keep humanity from ever achieving lasting progress, could certainly result in a state-created catastrophe on a scale never before seen. I am becoming more dubious any such efforts are even possible but as noted on here many years ago, we are entering what has historically been classified as a war cycle. Technology, rather than being used by the state to control us, may be finally close to freeing us. State actors around the world are continuously caught with their pants down whether it is China, India, Egypt, Russia, the EU, Turkey, the United States or countless other examples. And that information flows instantaneously around the world. The exposure of massive fraud, corruption and state violence is resulting in an enormous paradigm shift of conscious human awareness. The vast majority of people everywhere distrusts their government. That is, other than those who enrich themselves through state violence. This is generally some large swath of the “professional” or “educated” class. Indoctrinated class may be more appropriate. Regardless, people everywhere are awakening to the reality that the enemy is not each other but the state. This is all consistent with my long-time thesis that we are experiencing a new Age of Enlightenment. Well, and the coming Age of Aquarius.
There are many reasons to believe that we are now witnessing what could be characterized as “peak” state and thus the peak for actors (institutions of the ego) who enrich themselves through state violence; the legal system, corporations, the educational system, public officials, politicians, political parties, the military-industrial complex, the national security complex, the class-based capitalist aristocracy, the investor class, Wall Street, etc. Not just in the U.S. but around the world. It should be of no surprise that over the years I have labeled all of these bubbles that are headed for a reset.
The concept of the state has been in some degree of perpetual collapse since the 1980s. That includes the United States as I have noted on here time and again. (As written ad nauseam the U.S. economy peaked in the 1970s to 1980 time frame and since has been in a monetary debasement exercise to keep the system from collapsing.) Of course, state actors don’t actually appreciate this but these are some of the most ignorant people in our society. We have seen countless states fracture into smaller and smaller pieces in the last 25 years and there is no reason to believe that dynamic has resolved itself. Literally dozens of secession movements are in process around the world from Quebec to Venice to Scotland to Chechnya to the Ukraine and in the United States. This number would be even larger if state violence wasn’t suppressing more secessionist movements. Nothing ever lasts forever and as noted on here time and again over the last half dozen years, there is ample reason to believe that we could see the state, the ultimate institution of the ego, fall like dominos before this cycle ends. If humanity can move beyond the horrors of the state, maybe we can finally start to build an emotionally-free, sustainable world based on justice, morality and dignity for all people and all life.
"In dictatorships you need courage to fight evil; in the free world you need courage to see evil." --Natan Sharansky, Soviet dissident scientist, Putin’s-KGB survivor, author of Fear No Evil - a requiem on state violence.
I don’t think most of us consciously appreciate the level of state violence that is involved in humanity’s every day existence. Regardless of country, it is unprecedented on a global scale. In order to appreciate this level of violence, one must appreciate the only two intents of the human mind. That is, our higher power’s intent of discovery and truth and the ego’s intent of control. The state exists only through the ego’s intent of control (emotional, physical and spiritual violence). Most often willful, accepted control by its human chattel.
The state inflicts violence in today’s world in a much more covert and sinister fashion than it did past times when it literally enslaved, butchered and tortured humanity into subjugation. In modern democratic societies where people actually have a choice to overthrow tyranny by simply exercising their rights, the state must convince people that their own enslavement to state violence is actually beneficial. They do this by manipulating us (Generally using fear-based tactics that appeal to our primitive survival instincts. Tactics that are ingrained in the psyche of predators.) to outsource our internal locus of emotional guidance to state actors. In reality, the modern state must actually convince humanity through deceit that their endless violence is good for us. Spying protects us from terrorists. Class-based, free market corporate capitalism is synonymous with democracy and is a virtuous democratic economic system. Private, profit-driven corporate control of public health is a major win for our democracy. Going to college to serve corporate capitalism will result in a better life experience. Financial fraud and debt slavery are financial innovations that benefit society. Greater and greater military empire protects our democracy. Diminished social benefits, ever more shitty jobs, wage slavery, welfare slavery, service (servant) economy jobs and offshoring tens of millions of wealth-creating jobs is a natural evolution of the free market, and by inference, good for democracy. The CIA, NSA and standing armies are a “global force for good” to use words straight from a Navy propaganda commercial. People making $200 million a year, often by involvement in harmful, exploitative or useless renter capitalist enterprises, while others literally fight to stay alive, is natural, normal and consistent with democracy and natural rights. Democrats and Republicans have our best interests in mind while other choices are loons and buffoons. Welfare and unemployment benefits that enslave people to poverty, indignity and state power are beneficial programs that are consistent with democracy. (It’s amazing what small crumbs the wounded ego can be manipulated into accepting while state predators walk off with everything.) The Federal Reserve and Wall Street are glorified through various propaganda methods and on and on and on. The contrived covert and sinister state propaganda is literally endless. These are all forms of emotional violence perpetuated by the state. That doesn’t even include the spiritual and physical violence that is the state. Or the violence that results from its unintended consequences.
Mind you, the sinister methods of the state today are just as violent as times gone by. Emotional and spiritual violence is just as powerful, if not more so than physical violence. There is plenty of that too with a massive prison population, endless wars and a radicalized domestic police state. But it is emotional violence that can actually convince humanity to accept state atrocities and holocausts often achieved when predators manipulate society into primitive nationalism. (A form of primitive ego-driven tribalism. Just like political party tribalism, religious tribalism, college-educated tribalism, etc. There are countless other examples of primitive tribalism that defines modern corporate capitalist society and the state.)
We must understand this form of covert and sinister violence to appreciate reality is little different anywhere on earth. And how violent the state actually is. We must appreciate this to understand that Vladimir Putin, as just another in a long list of pathological state actors, is no savior for people of the world. And to appreciate how Putin is using these very propaganda tactics to sway people towards support of Russian state violence via a heavy propaganda campaign targeted at disenfranchised people in the west. Well, and stoking primitive nationalism (primitive ego-driven tribalism) with Russian-heritage people. The war today between states is often a much different one than between, say the Soviet Union and America. Today Russian, Chinese and other state actors are in a war to beat U.S. state actors at their own game. Which, frankly, is a much more nuanced game of state propaganda and manipulation. This because unprecedented numbers of people around the world actually have some degree of human rights and freedom to believe whatever they want. ( If not by rights in their own country, by rights protected to some degree by the international community. ) So, that freedom of our mind is constantly under violent emotional attack by various state and state-enabled actors be that corporations, the military-industrial complex, political parties, politicians, religious fanatics or whatnot.
So, unlike the Soviet Union’s overt past brutality, Russian state actors, as an example, have learned quickly how to play the west’s game of public manipulation through propaganda. Or emotional violence. This modern state game is one where pathological state, corporate, religious and other hierarchical power has to embrace a more refined form of propaganda by getting people to willfully outsource their internal locus of emotional guidance. Thus, as Natan Sharansky noted, in a free society people need to have the courage to see evil. That evil is everywhere. And in addition to the overt force of the state it is the covert force of the state.
Sociopaths love power. They love winning. If you take loving kindness out of the human brain, there’s not much left except the will to win.” -- Martha Stout, doctor & psychopathy expert
I’m actually amazed at how many people around the world appear to be duped by Putin and China while very few are duped by the U.S.. There certainly is some degree of ego-driven schadenfreude involved in cheering Putin on to some dystopian form or winning against the U.S.. Especially in what appears to be the rising primitive tribal nationalism of Russian-heritage people. Tribalism is really nothing more than a primitive ego-driven will to win stoked by pathological state predators of class rank or privilege. It is outsourcing one’s beliefs and emotional guidance to pathology.
The will to win defines the state bureaucracy and appears to describe Vladimir Putin’s actions quite well. Remember, Putin is a former KGB apparatchik. Putin running Russia would be like electing a CIA bureaucrat to run our nation. The state is far too cunning to ever attempt such a move in the United States. The violence of U.S. state actors is much more refined but Russia is learning fast. Regardless, Putin comes from the KGB system that brainwashes its members to serve state violence. I seriously doubt Putin has experienced some great enlightenment from his past brainwashing and as you read the second post in this series, I hope you appreciate that too. Because humanity needs to stop looking for state actors to save them from themselves. We are the ones the world has been waiting for. That would be you and me. Not state actors.
The pathological will to win is part of the hyper-aggressive capitalist culture I have written about extensively on here. And because pathology is so ingrained in the state, vulnerability or any lack of will to use force is viewed as weakness by state actors. Vulnerability or lack of will is exploited and abused. Yet, it is vulnerability and the acknowledgement of our weakness that allows us to connect to form communities and loving, supportive relationships the species needs to survive. In other words, appeasement is taken advantage of by predators as we saw with Hitler and Chamberlain. And now we see that in dynamics between Obama and Putin. Obama blinked. Putin is emboldened. Not that either state actor stands on moral ground. But from pre-election remarks, it is possible that Obama may have a conscience in there somewhere. I don’t see any evidence of any such conscience in Putin. Maybe it exists but his inauthentic “game face” or will to win hides it well.
It should be no coincidence that Time magazine picked both Hitler and Putin to be on their cover. There certainly exists the possibility that both suffer a similar pathology. Deceitful, cunning and premeditated charm and charisma is a pathology recognized as a clear trait of predators. Charisma and charm that Putin and other power-mad state actors use to “win over” public opinion are inauthentic. They are self-serving attributes which have an intent of controlling others. That many in the west find some degree of identification with Putin’s charm isn’t a reassuring thought. It is rather disturbing and brings to mind the fascist movement by similarly-minded supporters of state violence who wished to overthrow our government during the Great Depression and install a fascist dictatorship. Or, beyond the concept of borders, western support of Putin really is no different than the support of Hitler by the German people. Pathology and the ego love power and believe the world needs stronger, authoritarian state leaders to impose greater state violence upon humanity. (More of that will to win.) We even saw this dynamic again in the 2008 crisis when one of the Wall Street CEOs told Secretary Treasury Paulson that the U.S. should impose martial law for the very reasons corporate power sought fascism during the Great Depression. That is, to maintain the status quo that creates and benefits from the state’s violence.
The extreme fascination with Vladimir Putin that seems to have developed with many in the west, well and the rising nationalism in Russia, is really nothing more than another cult of personality for people who are always more than willing to fall prey to their tribal, primitive instincts and emotional self-abandonment that results in granting others control over their emotional guidance system. There is a reason why people like Hitler, Putin and many American politicians are granted unprecedented power beyond their natural-rights, law-granted positions as public servants. And there is a reason why politicians accept or even forcibly take that power beyond their role as public servants. The person granting others power over their fate is simply suffering emotional self-abandonment by giving up their internal locus of emotional guidance. And the person taking those powers from others is emotionally self-abandoning themselves by seeking an external emotional guidance system. Both groups of people are operating in a very primitive ego state of being an emotional takers. They seek out others to ameliorate their lack of internal emotional regulation. Or their ego’s disconnection to their mind’s higher power. It’s that simple. And we are all prone to this type of self-abandonment. Especially when driven by fear or comparing ourselves to others (winning) or the primitive will to survive (win) fomented by pathology and the state. State predators understand that their power is inflated by instilling fear or a primitive, instinctual, impulsive, ego-primitive state of mind in those they prey upon. By the way, this is the same predatory emotional-dysregulation and outsourcing of our emotional guidance system that is foundational to the success of class-based corporate capitalism, the violence of political parties, the violence of religious fanatics, the violence of primitive, ego-state parenting (Ambitious career-minded corporate state parents, abusive parents, etc. Btw, ambition or seeking to “get ahead” of others that capitalism glorifies always results in violence against ourselves and others. It is a manifestation of the will to win. The capitalist system rewards pathology and possibly even creates it. Ambition is not the same as prosperity. Prosperity is a functional, higher state of mind. Prosperity does not come at the expense of others including our children, our community, our natural connection to all life and ourselves.) and the violence of any class-based or authoritarian system of control that relies on emotional exploitation/emotional self-abandonment. The state, corporations and other state actors recursively reinforce these and other violent, primitive, ego-driven states of mind.
None of this means I support American state violence or empire either. And that includes substantial American violence directed at its own citizens, Russia and others that ultimately harms countless innocent people. State violence isn’t defendable regardless of who the perpetrator is. It is obvious to most everyone that state actors in the U.S. and Europe wag their finger at Putin after they and their predecessors have murdered upwards of 500,000 Iraqis and left upwards of 100,000 U.S. and European soldiers dead, wounded or severely emotionally-damaged. And before that the Clinton sanctions against Iraq left an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children dead. How many of those deaths and injuries were inflicted on people guilty of any crime? I would gather just about none. But these actions of state actors themselves are certainly crimes. Wholesale crimes against humanity. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends around the world; they have lost millions of human connections in just these two examples of state violence. The U.S. has military boots on the ground in 40 African nations. We have over 1,000 bases and illegal torture/detention centers around the world outside of our own borders. We are fomenting untold levels of violence and manipulation around the globe. Mind you, all of this is supported by European state actors. None of this is any kind of revelation. Then we have the endless state violence directed at its own citizens be that in Europe, Russia or the U.S. where unemployment and poverty are at record levels while the state enriches itself and grants itself even more power. Power that is used to foment even greater violence.
Of course, then there is the less obvious to most in the west. Less obvious because our mind’s aren’t focused on the greater reality that Russia and China are predatory state actors just as the U.S. is. Russian and Chinese state actors too derive their power by taking it from humanity. And using propaganda and manipulation to get people to outsource their internal locus of emotional guidance. Russian and Chinese state actors exist not to serve humanity but to serve the state and those who are enriched by its violence. This is manifestly obvious for anyone who actually appreciates how poor the average Chinese or Russian citizen actually is. This while Russian and Chinese state actors and those who serve the state (corporations, the military, universities, public servants, party members etc) enrich themselves off of the backs of those poor. But Putin is the world’s new state hero. Ahem. Well, and China is going to save the gold-loving mammon capitalists. Putin has become a savior, a prophet and a leader for countless who wish to see an end to United States’ empire. Resisting U.S. state violence is one thing. But simply inserting another state actor into a power void that failing U.S. empire would create serves absolutely no purpose to humanity or human progress against state violence. In fact, it guarantees future suffering. It simply shifts the source of state violence to other actors.
Some people are so blinded by their ego’s emotions regarding U.S. injustices that they would replace the the devil they know with they devil they don’t. ie, Russia, China or others. This is a perfect example of how people outsource their own internal locus of emotional guidance that allows the perpetuation of state violence. This is the exact same meme that perpetuates the false choice between Democrats and Republicans. Pick your choice of state oppression. You can have it the Russian way, the Chinese way, the American way, the EU way or whatever. The Democratic Party way or the Republican Party way. What has really changed for humanity by interchanging state actors?
A return to a multi-polar state-dominated world simply guarantees the continuation of future state violence and resultant human oppression. How has humanity progressed by replacing one bully, the United States, with three bullies, the U.S., Russia and China, all using every tool of state violence at their disposal to try to become the biggest bully? Humanity needs to rid the world of state violence, period.
Finding messiahs in state actors is a fool’s game. Humanity’s only answer is to awaken to the higher power within us and take back our internal locus of emotional guidance. Putin is just another state actor who has achieved some level of savior status by people who are constantly seeking someone else to take responsibility for their own emotional self-abandonment. And, for the Russian population, this certainly is an institutionalized behavior ingrained into a society that willfully accepted state oppression for most of the last hundred years. And, hundreds of years before that. That oppression still continues today. Now, I am not singling out the Russian people because Americans too have become institutionalized to state violence. Frankly, as is all of humanity. Don’t kid yourself that Russia, or China for that matter, is simply in the early stages of “democracy” or embracing human rights so they should be forgiven their transgressions. That is a fool’s game perpetuated by state apologists and capitalist predators.
The greater truth is that the Russian and Chinese states are simply transitioning from one form of violent control to another. From communism to corporate capitalism. Or worse, some dystopian hybrid of both. Russian and Chinese state actors have shown absolutely no desire to lose any state power to humanity in that transition. That is perfectly clear. They are still obsessed with the pathology of winning and exploiting the masses to serve their own pathology.
A rising China or a rising Putin are not the answer for what ails the world. They are poster children for its sickness. There is no state actor who is going to cure what ails the world. Only we can do so by becoming responsible for our emotions so that we no longer allow pathological predators to manipulate and deceive us through emotional violence. Often using manipulation to stoke fear, tribalism or feelings of inadequacy to rip our internal locus of emotional guidance from us with savior promises. Promises they cannot keep. And, if they try, it is through the use of state violence. To the winner goes the spoils of politics, war, capitalism and other forms of state violence. The pathology of winning. But the winner who gets those spoils is the state.
The only nonviolent answer to the state’s endless violence is to restore emotional responsibility, determinism and empowerment to humanity. For that to happen, the state and state actors need to be relieved of their power. Power they violently took from humanity to control humanity.