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Orwell's Boot: our inevitable? descent into tyranny - factotum666
July 8th, 2009
01:48 am


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Orwell's Boot: our inevitable? descent into tyranny

Please go the xfoolnature.org and see orwells boot there.   In six months, I intend to have only this link:
http://www.xfoolnature.org, and in a year I intend to dump this site.   I am not smart enough to use these tools correctly :-)

This paper lays out the ideas as to why I believe that the statement from George Orwell in his book 1984 is mostly accurate. This is probably a 30 minute read.  I have had people say that this article is too long and should be chopped up, so If your attention span is more along the lines of a 3 min pop song, or a twit (tweet?), you probably will not make it through.     To date, the only disagreements that I have had were either in the form of faith (people love freedom), or stupid --- calling me names.   Name calling:  The rhetorical technique used by those who have neither facts nor logic nor the brainpower to use either.   If you have information that some of my axioms or information is wrong PLEASE send it.   If you see flaws in my logic, please tell me.  If you have ideas to make this better, more clear, less confusing.   please let me know.   Thank you very much. I would REALLY like to hear from those who can point out flaws in my observation.   I am sure that, like me, none of you wish to see tyranny prevail.   THANKS

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Another way of saying this is, once cultures expand beyond small local tribes into large anonymous cultures such as exist today, then

Evolution must inevitably turn those cultures into some form of nation state run by and for stupid authoritarians. If you have not clicked on the links, please do so now, as I am not using the words stupid and authoritarian as a way to call names, but rather as narrowly defined terms.  In my writing I will abjure the use of pejorative adjectives  and name calling. As much as possible, I will attempt to describe things in a value free way.  If I have an opinion, I will not state that something is good or bad, but that I like it or do not like it. Getting back to what evolution does:  Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden, in their book Sex and War describe this process.  Very briefly, one can say that, in general, when two cultures compete for resources, than in the short run, the hierarchical authoritarian tribe will usually win over a tribe without such a command structure.  Depending on how you define vast majority (one or two standard deviations or something in between) of the normal distribution, that will be between 70% and 95% of the population. But clearly with at least 70% of any given population being stupid authoritarian it is fairly clear that, as our founding fathers feared, a government based on the votes of the governed will inevitably become a tyranny.    Our founders based their judgments on their knowledge of  history.  They tried,  with a written contract known as the constitution, to prevent this migration from democracy to tyranny from happening, and it worked for a couple of hundred years.  Due to our much greater knowledge of psychology, evolution, anthropology and other related fields, we have enough evidence to justify our founders fears.  Our founding fathers experiment  is close to failing to work.

As I will show below, it is not to surprising the the best efforts of these very smart people failed. Stupid and authoritarian in humans are simply variants of each other. I shall attempt to show that the logic and rules of evolution make it most likely that anonymous cultures will most likely become tyrannies.

Evolution distributes properties all over the spectrum of the possible so that there are some, but not many, people who are not stupid and not authoritarian.   Unfortunately nature also gives us more than enough psychopaths to exploit the majority who are authoritarian.  Of course most people do not think of themselves as either stupid or authoritarian. It is hard to say that you are not short. It is easy, even with an IQ of 90 to claim that you are not stupid. I am sure that the subjects of Stanley Milgram's experiment or of a similar experiment at Stanford did not think of themselves as obedient authoritarians willing to inflict pain and suffering at the word of their masters.

I may repeat this below, but all of us are also stupid in most things.  For example I am unable to learn a language.   I failed Berlitz.  I am stupid in a different way when it comes to cooking.   I have exactly zero interest in learning to cook.   Unlike most people, in fact, unlike the vast majority, I am well aware of my limitations and seldom think that I actuall know anything beyond the basics.   I also know how to do things.   I can look up information.   I can measure things.  I know how to dress myself.   I like to think, that since I have been a failure at a lot of things, that I have actually learned from those failures and am almost immune to the Dunning-krugger effect.  This effect shows that the less competent a person has in a given area the more likely they are to be ignorant of their level of incompetence.

I will present evidence of how all this works below.

It may be possible to avoid the descent into tyranny, but I am fairly certain that unless people are aware of the nature of the problem, then George Orwell's prediction is inevitable, unless we take some specific steps to prevent it. This is true because as Sun Tzu said “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. Sun Tzu In this case the enemy is our basic human nature. Clearly if we do not know ourselves then we are doomed!

I do not know what the solution is, but I have some ideas.

I will try to show how I came to this conclusion by starting from first principles, clear and unambiguous definitions of terms, and some self evident axioms. From these, I will require just a few obvious steps to demonstrate the conclusion.

Please post constructive criticism and ideas


First we need to be clear and unambiguous about the meanings of words. If we are not then we are little more than animals grunting at each other with the one grunting the longest and loudest winning. Interestingly enough, most leaders became leaders because they, in fact, did just this. Here is a very recent example of a person, who by most objective measures does not know what he is doing and has been wrong a lot, using noise as a leadership tactic. "Even if you don't have the authorities -- and frankly I didn't have the authorities for anything -- if you take charge, people will follow," Paulson said in an interview. That would be Henry Paulson of the treasury.  Here is the source. And here is another story  http://www.janegoodall.org/janes-story.  Folks, it would seem that most of our leaders are just really good at banging empty kerosene containers together.


Definitions: alphabetically.

These definitions will, I hope, enable me to avoid a trap into which way to many people fall, that being the rhetorical technique of Humpty Dumpty from "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carol.   I am sure that you recognize this technique from listening to politicians bloviate:“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”     “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”     “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master      that’s all.”

Anonymous culture: A culture where hardly anybody has any personal knowledge of anybody else. Compare today's major cities with small towns or tribes.

Authoritarian: A hierarchical social structure. Peoples actions are governed by those above them in the hierarchy. People do not take responsibility for their actions since their actions are determined by their superiors. People do what they are told rather than what they think is best. They believe what they are told rather than in their own powers of observation. Power belongs to those who take it by whatever means they can.

Almost all cultures are authoritarian to one degree or another. Chances are that you are very much an authoritarian person. To put it another way, you tend to be obedient to authority. If you think that you are not, or if you are, like me, afraid that you may be, then I suggest that you read "Obedience to Authority" by Stanley Milgram or go here If you think that you are that special person who can resist authority, then I suggest you read this.   for a much needed wake up call Here is another article on authoritarianism among other topics.  Go to page 100 (may be page 14 or so on your reader) A  key feature may be this reference to responsibilities.             To Fromm, freedom is the essential right and responsibility of being human, but with the evolution of individualism came not more freedom but less as people rushed away from its responsibilities and challenges.


from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-psychopath-and-a-sociopath.htm

"Conversely, some argue that the psychopath tends to be extremely organized, secretive and manipulative. The outer personality is often charismatic and charming, hiding the real person beneath. Though psychopaths do not feel for others, they can mimic behaviours that make them appear normal. Upon meeting, one would have more of a tendency to trust a psychopath than a sociopath.

Both the psychopath and sociopath fail to feel remorse or guilt. They appear to lack a conscience and are completely self-serving. They routinely disregard rules, social mores and laws, unmindful of putting themselves or others at risk." Or from another similar description

Psychopaths, also known as sociopaths, are manipulative, deceitful, impulsive and inclined to take risks.

While most people’s actions are guided by a number of factors, such as the desire to avoid hurting other people, the psychopath selects a course of action based on only one factor—what can he get out of it. This cold-blooded mode of reasoning enables the psychopath to commit acts that most people’s consciences would not allow.

Manipulative and Deceitful

Psychopaths lie easily and because they don’t feel anxious when doing so, many can pass lie detector tests.

Here is a list of characteristics: So how many politicians (elected or not) do you know who do NOT posses most of these traits?

Key Symptoms of Psychopathy

  1. * glib and superficial charm

  2. * grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self

  3. * need for stimulation

  4. * pathological lying

  5. * cunning and manipulativeness

  6. * lack of remorse or guilt

  7. * shallow affect(superficial emotional responsiveness)

  8. * callousness and lack of empathy

  9. * parasitic lifestyle

  10. * poor behavioral controls

  11. * sexual promiscuity

  12. * early behavior problems

  13. * lack of realistic long-term goals

  14. * impulsivity

  15. * irresponsibility

  16. * failure to accept responsibility for own actions

  17. * many short-term marital relationships

  18. * juvenile delinquency

  19. * revocation of conditional release

  20. * criminal versatility

Rank your favorite talking head / politician on a scale of 0 to 2.

I would give almost everyone in Washington, and senior management on wall street, a score of 1 or 2 on the first 9 and on items 11 and 16

This scale was designed for convicted criminals. We know that the upper classes have better lawyers, so lets remove the last three "symptoms" that reference explicit criminal behavior. I think it safe to assume that "early behavior problems", or number 12, is also hidden behind money. That leaves 16 symptoms. Whereas non criminals score around 5, your average politician is going to score around 20.

I, for example, see little if any difference between John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh

Read more: "How Can Psychopaths Be Identified? Use of the PCL to Assess Antisocial Personality Suite    and here is a nice description, in English, of a psychopath,  and yet another article from Scientific American.  I like this "solution" to the problem given in the SA article:  When Murphy asked an Inuit  (Eskimo) what the group would typically do with a kunlangeta, he replied, “Somebody would have pushed him off the ice when nobody else was looking.” And here is a similar observation from someone with much more real world experience than I have.  That someone would be  Jim Kouri, Jim Kouri, CPP, the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Here is a scientific study, albeit small one showing that social popularity is directly proportional to a persons ability to adapt to the situation.   IE, the ability to lie convincingly.   And really, what is an election other than a form of popularity contest? Let me add here that one can have some of these traits, and be a good person.   For example, let us say that one is NOT a pathological liar, nor parasitic or impulsive or irresponsible.   Those other traits would make for a good leader.   Certainly being glib and manipulative as well as callous would help in organizing men and sending them to their deaths.

Stupid: Unwilling or unable to learn by critically examining the existing pool of information. Obviously their are degrees, from Einstein (my favorite example. See we are almost ALL stupid to one degree or another) down through your cult followers, to "special needs people", to bedridden idiots.   If you resent being classified as stupid, then you may wish to think upon the following.   Almost all marketing campaigns, election campaigns,  most government regulations, and the vast majority of government bureaucracies and the people who labor in then work on the premise that the great majority of people are stupid.   Those marketing campaigns are successful, as are about 1/2 the election campaigns.  Lest you think that I am excluding myself from stupid, this is definitely not the case as I describe below referencing the amputation of my thumb with a power saw.  I suspect that most of you have managed to refrain from such self mutilation. And this is perhaps the best description of how nature builds in stupid that I have ever seen

Now that the definitions are done, here are some basic

observations / axioms

1. Almost all human attributes are distributed throughout the population as a normal distribution with a most people residing within one standard deviation, and 95% residing are within two standard deviations from the mean/middle .

As a point of interest:   The so-called "Big Five" personality traits / attributes. These traits are named openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

2. People are different, and the vast majority of people do not realize how different people are. Different is not good or bad in and of itself.  However, peoples natural wiring leads them to view difference as a threat, ie as bad. Here is one study, but there are many.

3. It is natural for people to see themselves as the norm or standard. That is to say, while a person may think of himself as “special” in some way, he is not likely to see himself as a freak of nature. If you can do something, you just assume that everyone else could also “do it” if they just made a little effort.  If you are a thief and a liar, you assume that everyone else is also, or that they are stupid, and that you are just better than they are at not getting caught.  This perception of self as normal and an inability to see differences happens even among people who are trained to see differences and who should know better. For example people with PTSD or chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia were dismissed as hypochondriacs, or lazy or in some other way given a bad label and told that “it was all in their head, and that they should just get over it”

4. Humans, like almost all mobile organic systems, are pattern recognitions systems: That is how they work. Before they become obedient to authority they learn by recognizing patterns, and this learning takes place by trial and error. Mobile organic systems are more likely to be successful or survive in a competitive world by seeing patterns that are not there than by not seeing patterns that are there. Think fleeing from a perceived threat that is not there as opposed not fleeing from a real threat that is there.

Because the consequences of failing to perceive a threat are so much greater than failing to perceive an opportunity, humans are more likely to see non-existent threats than they are to see non-existent opportunities or to fail to see real threats. Suppose now that there is no real pattern.   Suppose also that someone, a psychopath, tells you that he is the representative of an authority figure who says that what appears random to you is actually the work of  that authority figure.  How cool is that?  Everything is OK now because that ultimate authority figure says so.   People who can not tolerate ambiguity or randomness in the real world,  who believe that everything happens for a reason are probably likely to obey someone who claims to speak for an authority who can explain everything.    A similar, and possibly overlapping, group of people who are uncomfortable with randomness will also see conspiracies where none exist.   Google patterns, random, and conspiracy and you get a lot of hits, of which this is just one.  Psychopaths use this tendency to get followers (who donate money) of whatever conspiracy theory they want to use.

5. Almost all Humans do stupid things: This of course would include you!! The question is not "Do you do stupid things?", but how often do you do stupid things, and just how great would you or others rank the level of stupidity?. If you think that you do not do stupid things, then consider Albert Einstein: Look at the definition that I gave, and consider the following three items about Dr. Einstein:

I. He fathered an illegitimate child. Not exactly a smart move considering the attitudes of the early 20th century. II. He never believed in the implications of quantum mechanics despite all the evidence to the contrary, and once claimed that "God does not play dice with the universe" (As is so often the case with people quoting from authority to back up their positions --- see authoritarian above --- this quote is not correct. The correct quote, in a letter to Max Born December 4, 1926 is "Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.") I believe that Dr. Born replied that not only does he throw the dice, but that he often throws them where they can not be found.

As another footnote, Google has 30 times as many hits for the wrong quote than for the correct one . Google often re-enforces stupid rather than fixing it.

III. We have one of his most famous misquoted statements

"Striving for peace and preparing for war are incompatible with each other, and in our time more so than ever."

~Einstein, speaking in U.N. radio interview, June 16, 1950, recorded in Einstein's home in Princeton, NJ.

This from a man who spent 18 years of his young adult life in a country that had the interesting distinction of being one of the most heavily armed countries in the world on a per capita basis, yet managed to remained neutral and at peace in the middle of armed conflicts for over 125 years when that statement was made.

These three examples show that even Einstein did not always learn from his experience.

I am not trying to mock you or others, but to let you know that, by nature, people often do stupid things. Lest you think that I am excluding myself in some way, that is not the case.  I am sure that most of  you have all  of your body parts.  I, on the other hand, failed to listen or learn from nature and her manifestation of physical law in the form of power tools.  After two warnings about not paying attention, I cut off my thumb with a power tool. STUPID!! People do stupid things, and rather than think for themselves and act on those thoughts and their own observations, they obey authority. You can see the reasons for this if you consider how evolution works.

This is about the 4th time that I have mentioned authority, and now I wish to present evidence that

6. Nature Balances Her Books

This is an modification of the closing statement from Richard Feynman in his Minority Report on the Challenger failure. That statement was Nature can not be fooled.  Well, she can be, but only for a brief period of time.  The longer man succeeds in fooling her, and not working with her, the more painful the balancing of the books will be.  A large part, if not all of our problems come from trying to fool nature.   One of the ways that we attempt to fool nature is by thinking individuals can be independent of the group, or that the individual is in some sense supreme.  I suspect that we do this because no group ever wrote a book, and those individuals who have tackled the problem from an philosophical point of view were successful individuals and completely unaware of how nature has constructed humans and their psyches.   If they had any awareness of "primitive"  cultures such as the pirahã  I suspect that those authors looked down upon them.

7. Evolution favors authoritarian Tribes.

We, and almost all social animals, are wired to defer to or be obedient to authority. By ignoring our own observations and logic, and acting on the word of others  we act according to the authoritarian paradigm and we are being stupid. When the amount of information flowing into a culture was slow compared to the life time of its members, this sometimes made a great deal of sense. It was in fact smart. The best source of information, and the fastest way to learn how to do something, was to learn from a member of the tribe who was already successful at doing something. The more difficult and complex a thing was, the better to learn from an “expert”. And as this link shows this wiring, this ability to learn from others, is very old

Consider two tribes, one tending to authoritarianism, and obedience, and another that tends more toward autonomy and self direction.

To begin with, no matter what the nature of the tribe, all members will tend to give weight to the words of those who have been around a long time and who have some authority. There will not exist a tribe where everyone figures everything out for themselves. In general, in the terms of the entire expanse of the time frame of human history, it has always been reasonable to assume that someone who got to be old did so because their judgment was more sound and accurate than someone who died young. Children who paid heed to their parents teachings were more likely to live to make more children than those who felt compelled to go off on their own and do things that they were advised against doing.

Until just a few generations ago, the trait of not listening to ones parents was not likely to get passed on to any descendants. So even in the most libertarian tribe there will still be strong tendencies to listen to ones parents / elders.

Lets get back to those  two tribes that somehow happened to just be where they are wherever that is. One of them tends to be Authoritarian, and one tends to favor those who think more for themselves and to "question authority". If they come into conflict for whatever reason, then which one is more likely to survive?

I can not think of a single instance where, all other things like size and technology levels being about the same, where the authoritarian tribe will not end up destroying the non-authoritarian tribe. If you would like to see a detailed examination of this concept, then read Sex and War by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden

I am sure that someone with the intellectual acuity of a radish will claim that the United Sates and Nazi Germany are a counter example to the above assertion. To which I respond with two salient points. The first is that only a radish would think that either nation was a tribe. The second point is that large nations have forms of specialization among its members. One of these forms is the armed forces which are --- no surprise here --- authoritarian in nature.

Listening to authority and using it as the only or major determinant of behaviour, as we are wired to do, is contrary to the idea of learning and making decisions by examining the existing pool of information. In other words, while that wiring made us smart when “things to know” were relatively simple, obvious, and did not change very much over time, now that important things to know are often complex, not obvious, and change relatively quickly, we are wired to be stupid. Please observe that I am not claiming that a person should pay no attention to an authority figure. But the pronouncements of elders, or authority figures, should always be considered as just another datum of evidence. When this datum conflicts with your own real world experience, then you should not simply discount either one out of hand, but should carefully examine both, try and reconcile the conflict, and then make your best guess as to which is more likely to be true. It is unfortunate that the vast majority of people tend to automatically defer to authority and ignore real world evidence.

Here is a good rule of thumb. When you say "Important person X said", or offer up the speeches of others as evidence rather than say "the evidence indicates that", or quote studies of evidence by others, then you are being as nature intended. You are believing things based on authority and you are being stupid.

There is an entire major segment of our culture dedicated to living by authority, and that is almost all forms of organized religion.  There is no greater authority than God.  Unfortunately the bible is, by definition, nothing more than written words from authority figures. People claim that the bible is the true word of God, but this is unlikely since there are no first editions. All bibles in existence are translations of translations, and many of these from cultures long dead. Knowing exactly the original meaning of a word, phrase or sentence is not possible. Just consider how the meaning of awful in the past 150 years.  But people claim that they know because someone else told them what the words meant. Every true believer claims that their version of the translation of the translation is the one true word of God. Their one book is 100% accurate and all the rest are wrong. The Psychopaths that are our political leaders make very good use of this ultimate authority figure.  Since there is no logical reason to keep Gays from marrying, our political figures just go back to authority and claim God says this is how it should be.  The arguments are almost word for word the same as they used less than 50 years ago to keep Niggers from marrying good righteous white people.  After all, if God did not want the races separate, then why did he separate them.  And of course before that, there were all those quote from the bible about slavery, showing that slavery was a righteous institution, blessed in the bible by God himself.  Here is a quote from a federal judge "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Of course when speaking to "the base" a politician was no so polite as to use black.  Nigger was the preferred term.

Some real life examples from my life:

I really do not like doctors as practitioners except in instances of trauma, or possibly to confirm something, or maybe point me in a direction. I have been having trouble on and off with a knee, and recently it was on. I went to the doctor who gave me the usual diagnosis but was more holistic than most, and at least did not prescribe pain medication. And then about a week after I visited him I remembered that I had run out of Glucosamine Chondroitin.

I got some, and after about two months my knee was pretty much back to normal

My mechanic said that our transmission was going out based on some vibrations. Two Thousand dollars to replace it. But from my limited knowledge of transmissions and my own experience, this did not feel or seem entirely correct. A second opinion at a different place revealed a misaligned CV axle. Cost $250.00

By paying attention to actual data and learning from it and not deferring to authority, I was able to save myself time, money and pain.

This is not of course to say that one should never listen to experts or authority. What I am saying is that each of us must always re-examine authority. While giving weight to the experience of those older, and/or wiser, and/or better trained, we must still pay attention to our own experience. Not learning from experience, and deferring to authority is stupid. But that is how we are wired.

8. Now let us look at the concept of competition. In any form of interaction, all other things being equal, the more competitive person will come out ahead. It is unfortunate that competition can include winning at all costs. Successful psychopaths are very competitive.  As in "winning is not the most important thing, it is the only thing"

In addition to the above points there is the fact that any given group of people has members with a very wide range of brain functions. Musicians, sociopaths, hunters, craftsmen, storytellers. People who are generous, and people who are stingy. As any of you who have had children, and were involved with them from an early age know, your children have very definite personality traits from very early on. You can influence these traits, but you can not change them. If you have an oak tree, it you can make it a tall oak tree or a small oak tree, but there is no way that you can make it an elm tree.

My final basic axiom Number 9: Bad things tend to drive out good things. As in bad money drives out good money, bad people drive out good people. Consider a race for public office. You have a good competent person with a history of doing good things and who is honest and thoughtful. On the other side you have someone who has not actually been found guilty of a crime and who will use any method short of murder to win office. That person will lie, and cheat. He will accuse a person who lost limbs in combat of not being patriotic. He will start rumors that his opponent had affairs and fathered children with women who were not his wife. Why would any rational good person expose themselves to such things?

Remember that Nature does not care. She just keeps rolling the genetic dice. More competitive, less competitive, smarter dumber, more mirror neurons (empathy) fewer mirror neurons. Sometimes you get Mother Theresa, sometimes you get Bernie Madoff, and sometimes you get Ted Bundy.  Sometimes you get Ted Kennedy and sometimes you get  Bill Buckley.  (Hint, see how many people had bad things to say about these two after they died) These are the outliers who reside on the extreme ends of bell shaped curves.

More towards the center of the curve, you have the majority of average people who just want to be left alone, be productive, have a sense of belonging, be loved etc. Drop into this mix of normal people a Snake in a Suit (Snakes in Suits by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare) otherwise known as a psychopath described above and all these normal people become no more than food for the psychopath. Otherwise known as our political leaders and wannabe leaders. Perhaps Hermann Goering said it best

In an insulated group the Peter principle applies. People get promoted to their level of incompetence, and then they just stay there. No one promotes them further since they are not competent where they are, but unless times get very rough, they are not demoted or fired.  Now o to the next level. There is a good chance that that incompetent middle manager was promoted to his position by a person who is also incompetent. The larger and more insulated an organization is from the real world, the less actual competence competes with the Peter Principle. By competence I mean making the organization working better, producing a better less expensive product and keeping its customers happy.

In terms of insulation from the real world the four most insulated are, going from most to least, Government, Organized conservative religious institutions, educational institutions, and very large corporations. I think that it is not a coincidence that in the past 20 years, three of these four have been the source of the greatest social and financial calamities inflicted upon this society. In particular the more these four entities have been involved with each other, the more likely they were the source of a calamity.

The most heavily insulated culture in our society is government in all its forms. This is because the heads of all government entities are elected officials, and the only skill that they need is the ability to get elected. As supported by empirical evidence, that ability appears to correlate strongly with psychopathic personalities.

So, when I speak of leaders, I speak of leaders of organizations that are insulated from the real world. The greater the insulation the more my analysis applies.

If you lead a small company the market gives leadership very quick feedback that can be ignored only at the risk of the company quickly ceasing to exist. If you are the head of a very large company, for example General Motors, why then you can do what you damn well please, retire with a platinum parachute, and let your successors deal with the cesspool that you left behind.

Here is my thesis. And at this point, I was going to target the social conservative wing of the republican party, but upon further thought, I have concluded that what I have to say applies to almost everybody in a decision making capacity of government, especially to elected officials.

Given the Above Axioms and definitions summarized here:

Almost everybody is stupid, in that they are often unwilling or unable to learn from experience.

According to the work of Stanley Milgram at least 60% of people are authoritarian in that they defer to authority against their better judgment and core values. They will believe authority rather than their own experience. That is to say that they are stupid.  That 60% is about one standard deviation from the middle.

Leaders are not smarter, they just talk longer, louder and faster and are more personable.

Sociopaths want power, and are very good at manipulating people. Government is about one thing, and one thing only. Power. Everything else is secondary.  Because of a kind of nit-picky comment by someone, I will change this to the following:  Government is  unique among social institutions in that it is sanctioned to use any and all force to compel compliance with its wishes.  This includes killing you if you do not do what it wants, like pay taxes, or do what it does not want, like imbibe substances that you think are necessary for your survival.  This force is power.  There is nothing other than power that government does that other institutions do not do or can not do and often do better.  (When you think defense, think letters of marque)  It is this that makes government about power. Bad people tend to drive out good people.  This is different from good people trying to keep out bad people.  It is a different concept.  My statement that when bad people get into an organization, they will tend to drive out the bad.  The current military is an excellent example of this in progress.   The best and brightest officers are leaving the military for civilian career at a record rate.  This happens every so often in the military.   Because the civilians run the military in this country, and because, even given their innate corruptness they realize the necessity of a competent military they take steps to fix the problem before it becomes to bad.  This has happened before.

Most people --- think of them as the middle of the normal distribution as well as food/targets for those competitive psychopaths ---  just want to be left alone and prefer not think for themselves.   They are uncomfortable with an absence of patterns and will follow someone (an authority) who claims to see the patterns. Nature is continually dropping psychopaths into the mix of any given population.

thus, in the future, our written rules, to wit the constitution of the US, will eventually be completely trashed, and we will find ourselves under the rule of a despot as bad as any in history. I see nothing that will limit the size of government, nor do I see anything to prevent psychopaths from ending up running everything --- except maybe other psychopaths.

I now have three questions.

Which, if any, of my axioms are wrong, and how?

If they are not wrong, then why is my conclusion not correct?

Is there any way to change things? In general I think that there exist ideas that could be presented in such a way that people would eagerly  agree to them.  These ideas are about the way that government can be restructured and the rules of commerce re-written that almost everyone would agree are good.

Within a year this article was at the top of all search engines for the two words orwells boot.  Also, I had been reading more, and thinking more on the subject.   I am a little more optimistic.  Please go to xfoolnature.org and see my long article at the Human TOE link.  By long, I mean 37K words, or about the size of a small book.

   I would like your input and your ideas about how this fundamental reshaping might be accomplished with the absolute minimum of central authority. Added 3/27/10 There is one core way that I think is necessary and perhaps sufficient to halt this slide to tyranny.  Google and then read about bonobo chimps and Pan Troglodyte chimps.   I think the solution is to make our culture more feminist.  There is a fairly strong correlation between what most people would consider a successful culture and the amount of power women  --- Real feminine women, not women in drag like Margaret Thatcher --- wield in the culture.  Evidence would indicate that we are headed in that direction, but we need to speed up the process.

Another process that appears to be feminizing our culture is the opposite of the phenomena at the basis of the book by Leonard Shlain, "The Alphabet and the Goddess"  In that book Dr. Shlain posits that as humans became alphabetically literate, they became more masculine and in fact misogynistic.   As we have moved from radio to movies to TV, and not to a global internet, we have moved away from alphabetic communication to video and sound.  Each technological change mentioned above was followed by a marked increase in the power of women in culture.  This is mostly a good thing.

Any other feedback would also be appreciated. Here is an article that agrees with me


If you think this is not to terribly important, how about considering the possibility that Psychopaths may be the next step in evolution: At least that would be the logical conclusion from this tidbit Originally here but available here

here's a possibility: Insofar as consciousness means not just awareness, but awareness of awareness, then maybe its evolutionary explanation derives from what we might call the "Robert Burns phenomenon," namely the pay-off of being able to "see ourselves as others see us." And why might that be adaptive? Perhaps because it enables us to engage in a kind of Machiavellian sociality, adjusting our behavior so as to appear better, nicer, more worthwhile than we really are! In short, what if the evolutionary basis of one of our most cherished traits is, in fact, dishonesty and deception?

Some further articles of interest.




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Date:June 30th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)

Capable of Rewiring Ourselves?

The main comment I would make is that people are not irreversibly wired to be obedient authoritarians. It is difficult to say how much of humanity's tendency to be subservient and obedient is genetic, and how much is trained into them. (Obviously, the world's tyrants are constantly trying to train people to be obedient and unthinking, and the "education" system does a remarkable job of making that happen.)

However, lots of people, myself included, have escaped the authoritarian mindset. It seems like we are the fluke--the freaks, if you will--but it still happens. In fact, the Milgram experiments clearly show internal conflicts in a lot of people: conflicts between being obedient and doing the right thing. In other words, we humans have contradictory "wiring" in us, causing internal clashes in our "programs." At the moment, the "authority" program seems to win out in most people most of the time, but perhaps that is possible to change. Personally, I am quite convinced that most people, were they not raised in an authority-worshiping culture, would lose their love of blind obedience by the time they were about seven years old. In fact, the Milgram experiments also show that when even the well-trained sheep see one person resisting an unjust "authority," many others will suddenly acquire the strength to do so as well.

It should also be stressed that what people will do in the name of "authority," most people will NOT do on their own. Just as most Nazis did not kill Jews on their own, most IRS agents would not rob people if it weren't their "job." So the main problem is not their stupidity, or their malice, but their specific belief in obedience to "authority" as a virtue. (Incidentally, lots of stupid people are very nice and civilized, often more so than "intelligent" people.) What would it take to shake that belief? A lot, admittedly. However, if people were not raised in authoritarian cultures, would their genetic "wiring" automatically make them into order-obeying sheep? It's hard to say for sure, but I very much doubt it.

Larken Rose
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Date:June 30th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Capable of Rewiring Ourselves?

Dear Mr. Rose:

I agree about stupid. In fact, I believe that I hinted as much. Learning on your own, conflicts with being obedient to authority. But being obedient, means that you are, as Chico Marx said, going to believe what someone says rather than their own (lying?) eyes. Not believing or learning from evidence and deferring to authority is the hallmark of stupid.

Nowhere did I say that people are completely controlled by their genes. In fact, that is what training is all about, and to a lesser extent education. My point was about tendencies of people and cultures.

Note also the the authority figure in the Milgram experiment was a rather neutral being, powerless authority. A figure who could not harm the subjects, or fire them, and who did not do much in the way of rewarding them. Still 60% did as they were asked, NOT told, but asked, to do. I suspect that number would have been greater had more normal methods of power to hurt and reward been brought into play. And in fact, later experiments on "prisoners" and "guards" among college students seem to back that supposition.

RE: stupid. You are going back to the way people often use the word stupid. Please re-read my definition. I am not talking about globally stupid or feeble minded. I am speaking of the everyday stupid. The stuff that all of us do. Hence Einstein as an example. Do not deny your stupid, but seek to understand it.

With regard to this statement:
"However, if people were not raised in authoritarian cultures, would their genetic "wiring" automatically make them into order-obeying sheep?"

I think that the evidence is yes, since we are wired to obey our parents and other elders for a good reason. Whatever "knowledge" (and other words may be more suitable) they have got them to the point where they could make babies, and also had some power and status. Thus it must have had some survival value.

As I said, however, we are all on the normal distribution. Training can move our place on that distribution, just as it can change almost any other aspect of behavior.

The question is, what kind of training? Other questions are, are there any other controls / rules that we can implement to screen out the more psychopathic from positions of power?

Please feel free to add more, distribute this, put in more ideas. Thanks
From:Dave Scotese
Date:February 6th, 2016 07:18 pm (UTC)

Re: Capable of Rewiring Ourselves?

I, like Mr. Rose, see a problem with your axiom 7.

The wiring to obey parents (and later, authorities) is encouraged by the system, and I think that is intentional. There is a class of human ("stupid authoritarians") who recognized their weakness (other people are grown up and compassionate with each other and will cut you out of their benefits if you don't at least pretend to have compassion) and worked on a solution (public school) to render most people into a perpetual state of childhood.

You believe that we "are wired to defer to or be obedient to authority," rather than the more precise "wired to defer to or be obedient to our parents". When the natural process through which that wiring decays and is replaced by an active and engaged conscience (a rite of passage) is blocked or otherwise rendered ineffective (external motivation to do previously internally motivated things, like learning, is a very effective method), that wiring stays in place and fools people. I believe this effect is responsible for your conclusion that power ought to lie more in the hands of women, rather than more in the hands of the individual human being. A woman is the quintessential parent. While she is perfect for a child, she is an overbearing bitch to an adult if and when she expects that adult to relate to her as his or her mommy. This is how grown-ups view authority.
Date:September 9th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)


I just wanted you to know that I didn't ignore your comment on my Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner column, and have been going over this article. It makes a lot of sense to me so far.

Kent McManigal
Date:September 23rd, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)

What greater authority is there than God?

"conflicts between being obedient and doing the right thing. In other words, we humans have contradictory "wiring" in us, causing internal clashes in our "programs." At the moment, the "authority" program seems to win out in most people most of the time,"

-----------Now you're on to something big.
Date:January 27th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)

Representative Republic not democracy

Friend in soul, I will attempt to read past our point of departure, but I think you may appreciate my difficulty when you appreciate how far off course I think you are early in your trek. Please don't misunderstand me: I take your point about where we are either headed or arrived, as tyranny, and that as the result of democracy, and that as the result of stupid authoritarians as you call them, interchangeably with "the masses." I would as will be obvious later, perhaps, state these things in very different terms, BUT I UNDERSTAND YOU AND AGREE with your central meaning elements.

Our nation was designed to be a "Representative Republic." These two characteristics alone prevent what we have witnessed. The "Representative" forced the controlling population back to the third standard deviation, and the Republic made sure that the self destruct cycle of democracy did not start.

There are several good youtube discussions of the fact that there are only two forms of government: republic and all others are the same. A theocracy ends up with a few people speaking for God, and they are in fact the rulers. A king is really also his backers, and again a small group really runs everything. Oligarchy, you name it. All the same. The Republic is different because it is the rule of Law not men, no man is above the law, and all are subject to it equally. Well that is the theory.

So lets jump to the human body. Bad choices by the Brain can lead to suicide, which kills the entire individual. Look at a dancer's feet. They are "abused." Tyranny.

I don't have time tonight to fully develop the point, but here is the counter point. Your assumption is that the non-stupid, non-authoritarians would or do fair better. But the list of "stupid" tricks otherwise smart people are guilty of is painful.

Our founders were more sophisticated than you acknowledge. They understood that within their number were the seeds of destruction, that the tares were sown in with the wheat, and could not be separated until the harvest. The more profound truth is that, on average, the techniques of the average produce survival more than those of the exceptional. There were those who wanted an educated populace so they might be self governing, as if they ever are not. Others wanted an educated work force to exploit. Education serves both. The rain falls on the good and the evil alike.

And so then if we understand the need for eb and flow, wax and wain, why do we seem to want a static governmental system. Every system serves someone. It abuses someone else. When things shift far enough the giant rolls over in its sleep and crushes the former abusers.

There are some who think that they can beat the system. As they exploit others they create a moral and practical cesspool. Instead of glory they end up holding the keys to a prison of stench. At some point the players revolt. People who think they are on top are sacrificed.

People who are "behind" them escape and play again with supporting whomever is left, to their own advantage, of course.

At each level the control is empowered by the "consent" of the exploited. This is the crux that I think offers opportunity for a different system.

I think any plan which contains the elements of disrespect for the authoritarian masses either from their own controllers or their opposition, is systemically flawed and doomed. Acceptance of their purpose and role is required for any system that hopes to succeed.

The masses, AS THEY ARE, serve several purposes. They re-emerge from every population. It seems to be a feature of "regression toward the mean" and the 80/20 rule. Curious isn't it, that in organizations that take only the top 20% of a work force, within the resulting workforce, 80% of the value remains produced by 20% of the resulting workforce.

This is the jungle. You can't fight the jungle and survive. One must live with it, within it.

It is not that your observations are wrong. Fundamentally as far as they go they are all correct. I see the problem in the distance not gone.

Best Regards and thanks for some good work here, and for a heart that beats toward an ideal of a higher relationship.

[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Representative Republic not democracy

Glad that you liked it. As far as our founders go, they were about as knowledgeable and wise as any group of men ever assembled. They did, however, lack our factual scientific knowledge about the true nature of humans. For example they had no reason to believe that psychopaths are born (do searches on this topic, and brain scans and tests) and can not, as far as we know, be fixed and that this is not just a moral matter of good vs evil.

Other than that I found a number of generalities with which I agree and appreciate the support.

I did like this specific:

As far as fighting the jungle. I have expanded upon Feynmans concluding line in his minority report on the Challenger failure where he said Nature can not be fooled. She can, but nature always balances her books.
Date:February 16th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)


I appreciate your attempt at understanding the world. Couple thoughts:
1. Read "The Road to Serfdom" by F.A.Hayek
2. Although your thoughts are generally good, they're not the whole story. Focusing on the instances in history where there's been a reversal of this through revolution or evolution can enlighten the path out of the pattern.
3. In future postings, I'd suggest organizing the text into 3 bullet points supporting the main point in a syllogistic way. Organizing it that way makes it easier to understand your point as well as to comment on specifics.
Cheers, R
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Date:June 27th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
Oh man, thank you for writing this.
(Deleted comment)
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Date:October 4th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
I hope that people who respond actually have some idea about what I wrote and are, at a minimum 1/2 way literate. They should also use words that have some meaning, and probably should write when not stoned.

Lets just go in order of appearance ...
First of all, I have only a minimum idea of what cool is, and never tried to be that --- whatever it is. This is an example of a person putting out symbols that have no clear meaning. Like primates grooming each other.

Second geeks: I think that I discussed name calling. The rhetorical technique used when someone has neither facts or logic to support their position. They also usually lack the mental ability to use either facts or logic, thus they resort to name calling. Sort of like a small child, or a politician.

Third: "faith enough in themselves to realize everyone are." I have no idea what this means. Who are everyone? What does belief in oneself have to do with the realization of everyone. What does that even mean? This is evidence that this writer depriving some village somewhere of an idiot. Really, what is the phrase "realize everyone are" supposed to signify??

What movie??? and why is this person so lazy or ignorant as to not use spell check --- ridicolous & emphazised

Maybe this author was to stoned to realize that he was posting the wrong symbols to a site, and meant to post somewhere else. But that would not fix the deficiencies in grammar, logic, rhetoric and basic spelling
Date:December 16th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)

Answering your three questions: assumptions, logic, change?

YOU SAY: "Sociopaths want power, and are very good at manipulating people. Government is about one thing, and one thing only. Power. Everything else is secondary."

This is an enthymeme — incomplete reasoning — with your readers expected to complete the thought by concluding that the Government will be run by sociopaths. While this may sound good, the implied reasoning is faulty. It is a non-sequitor (the implied conclusion doesn’t follow from the facts). Here is a similar fallacious argument: "Greedy people want money. Working for a living is about one thing and one thing only. Money. Everything else is secondary." The implied conclusion would be that people who work for a living are greedy or that only greedy people work for a living. Neither is correct, I hope you will agree.

YOU SAY: "Bad people tend to drive out good people."

While I agree that this is true ("birds of a feather flock together" is the proverb), I think you might also acknowledge the truth of the opposite view: good people tend to drive out bad people. This can be easily observed in the animal kingdom, but it is equally clear in human society, which denies admission to undesirables seeking to join a club or attend an elite school, renders misfits homeless and unemployed, and imprisons or exiles criminals.

YOU SAY: "Most people --- think of them as the middle of the normal distribution as well as food/targets for those competitive psychopaths --- just want to be left alone and prefer not think for themselves. They are uncomfortable with an absence of patterns and will follow someone (an authority) who claims to see the patterns.

It is surely true that humans seek patterns and are easily tricked — as magicians and leaders of false religions know well. Once deceived, people are easily manipulated into believing that the rabbit really did magically appear in the hat.

Society is organized to a large extent as a pecking order, and those able to rise in this order are able to dominate those who are less able to rise. To some extent the social structure places people in positions of power despite their lack of ability. They obtain their authority by playing on the ignorance of those who allow them to dominate.

YOU SAY: "Nature is continually dropping psychopaths into the mix of any given population."

While this is true, it is also true that Nature is dropping geniuses and saints into the mix of any given population. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that nurture — or the absence of proper parenting — generates psychopaths - with genetics playing a somewhat smaller role.

[User Picture]
Date:June 16th, 2012 07:42 am (UTC)

Re: Answering your three questions: assumptions, logic, change?

The statement that government is about power and everything else is secondary is true. Take away the force behind government and you have much more efficient better functioning society with only two things missing, both of which are based on force. EnFORCEMENT of contracts and property rights, and common defense, both of which are about power.

The statement "Working for a living is about one thing and one thing only. Money. Everything else is secondary." is wrong. There are few people in this world who do not wish to feel productive, and many are fotrunate enough to have professions where whey would work if they did not get paid. So while I agree with your conclusions I do not agree with your premise.

As to bad people driving out good. You make valid points. I am going to refine my statement to say that it applies in proportion to the extent that the organization has little if any direct feedback from the physical world. Think of it as a form of the peter principle. I explore this idea in depth in xfoolnature.org, on the Human TOE link.

Since government has almost no direct feedback (elections are about 5 steps removed from direct) you end up with, for the most part, two kinds of people in government; obedient people looking for security, and those who want power. These probably account for 95+% of those on government payrolls I am not claiming that everybody who wants power is a psychopath, many are just misguided in the sense that they think that they know better how others should live their lives than those others.

In the private world, these bureaucracies that are detached from feedback, like GM, eventually fail. In government, you just have this never ending cancerous growth.

With regard to psychopathy, you may wish to read about James Fallon, and the maoa gene
Date:December 16th, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)

Answering your three questions: assumptions, logic, change?

YOUR SECOND QUESTION: “If they are not wrong, then why is my conclusion not correct?” - YOUR CONCLUSION: thus, in the future, our written rules, to wit the constitution of the US, will eventually be completely trashed, and we will find ourselves under the rule of a despot as bad as any in history. I see nothing that will limit the size of government, nor do I see anything to prevent psychopaths from ending up running everything --- except maybe other psychopaths.

Even if your assumptions were perfectly correct, which they are not, the conclusion doesn’t follow from these assumptions.

The heart of your conclusion, I would judge, is that psychopaths will run everything. If this were true one might expect to see it appear quite consistently in history. But has it always been true in the US over the past 200+ years? Is it true in every country in the history of the world? If psychopaths have not always ruled, why would you anticipate that they would rule in the future?

Whether the Constitution will be trashed or not makes little difference. Societies are never ruled by laws; they are ruled by men. A little more than a decade after the ratification of the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson acquire the lands of the Louisiana Purchase without legal authority for the expenditure. When the South seceded, the North compelled their submission to the Federal Government - something the Constitution did not contemplate.

The Constitution, like all such documents, is fatally flawed. Even if we tolerate its endorsement of slavery and the counting of slaves as 3/5ths of a person, giving voters in slave-holding states more representation than voters in non-slaveholding states, judges given power by politicians have frequently defined black as white. Thus, when a protestor argued against registering for the World War I draft nearly a century ago, he was not protected by "freedom of speech" and his action was equated to yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Regarding the growth of government, I think your conclusion is more justified. Government has gone very far toward the complete control of all aspects of life, either directly through taxing and spending or indirectly through laws, regulations, control of information, control of education, and the like. This is the inevitable result of democracy and universal suffrage. You may wish to read an excellent speech on this matter by Thomas Babington Macaulay — http://www.historyhome.co.uk/peel/chartism/macaulay.htm. Once people are given the power to choose their representatives, they expect the government (which they see as representing them) to do everything, solving all problems faced by the society. Albert Jay Nock does a better job of discussing this than I can.

YOUR THIRD QUESTION: “Is there any way to change things?”

Sure. In fact, there is no way to prevent things from changing -- they will change whether you do something or not.

Two wise views of this are those of Plato, who observed that democracies divide the rich and poor into two parties and sooner or later degenerate into tyrannies as one group or the other chooses a leader promising protection for their interests; and Karl Marx. Marx predicted the growth of government, social welfare programs, and its ownership of everything in the industrialized societies (Germany and England -- not Russia or China). Marx has been right in almost all of his predictions (see the ten points mentioned in the “Communist Manifesto” of 1848). The good news is that Marx said that this process would eventually lead to the disappearance of government.

What may concern you is what seems to be the lack of a practical plan to guide such a change. That cannot be offered usefully until people reach a point where they demand a solution and are willing to pay for it. At present, people are merely complaining and hoping that the government will solve their problems, perhaps trusting that this may occur if different politicians are elected.

Be patient. The masses learn very slowly, and even in the American Revolution only about 1/3 supported the rebellion -- about the same number than Milgram found would not follow orders.

[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)

Re: Answering your three questions: assumptions, logic, change?

This commentator had three replies. I saw no value other than nit picking in one, and saw minimal value in another, and because of that changed the statement of government being only about force.

I do see some value in this third comment, and will parse it in its entirety.

"The heart of your conclusion, I would judge, is that psychopaths will run everything. If this were true one might expect to see it appear quite consistently in history. But has it always been true in the US over the past 200+ years? Is it true in every country in the history of the world? If psychopaths have not always ruled, why would you anticipate that they would rule in the future?"

I did not say that psychopaths have always ruled. I said that they would end up ruling. there is a difference. And if you look at history, in most cases, and especially in empires -- in fact, no exception for an empire comes to mind -- psychopaths ended up running the show. If you are skeptical of this, find the psychopathy test, and apply it to the national leader / prominent politician of your choice.

Saying that the rules (the constitution) if fatally flawed because we do not follow them does not make sense to me. By that reasoning any set of guidelines or rules are fatally flawed, so why have them?

With regard to this statement: "YOUR THIRD QUESTION: “Is there any way to change things?”

Sure. In fact, there is no way to prevent things from changing -- they will change whether you do something or not."
Well duh!!! For those of you from a deeper part of the gene pool, I obviously meant can we change the direction in which we are headed?
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)

Re: Answering your three questions: assumptions, logic, change?

"Even if your assumptions were perfectly correct, which they are not, the conclusion doesn’t follow from these assumptions."

First, I would suggest that you read carefully. I did not offer assumptions, but axioms backed by observation and logic. I choose my words with care. Second. If you are going to state that they are false, then do not demonstrate lazy thinking by saying that the AXIOMS are false. Specify which one(s), and why and how it is false. Now you may respond that it is up to me to prove my AXIOMS are correct. This is not the case. One can not prove a theory true, only offer supporting evidence and logic which I do.

"If this were true one might expect to see it appear quite consistently in history."
You mean as in China, Russia, Germany, Rome, France, England, etc. etc. As to always being true in the US. Why do you even make such a statement? Societies are not like lite bulbs that instantly go from one state to another.

You confuse not following the rules (constitution) with the rules themselves.

"Sure. In fact, there is no way to prevent things from changing -- they will change whether you do something or not." Well duh!!! Obviously, (well not to you) I meant change the direction in which we are headed.

After all your verbiage, it would have been nice if you could have offered something other than the completely meaningless variation of " the people will rise up"

My guess is that you are a true believer in some ism and that there is hardly a fact in existence that can not be bent to conform to your views.
[User Picture]
Date:June 16th, 2012 07:01 am (UTC)

Re: Answering your three questions: assumptions, logic, change?

"Even if your assumptions were perfectly correct, which they are not, the conclusion doesn’t follow from these assumptions."

Ignoring the concept of perfect, I would appreciate knowing which assumption is wrong and how it is wrong.

As to psychopaths taking over: I do not think that lord Acton was correct. It is not that power tends to corrupt and that absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. Rather it is that power attracts psychopaths.
Our founding fathers did not know about psychopaths or psychopathy, at least not as we do, but they were aware of the problem. It is one of many reasons that they did not like democracy.
Almost by definition, psychopaths are not on any side except their own so they can not, actually, take over as some sort of conspiracy like the illuminati, or bliderbergs. This does not mean that they can not "take over" History is full of psychopaths having obtained control. And they inevitably crash the system. I would just as soon avoid the path

I have no idea what you mean by the phrase "the constitution is fatally flawed" Are you saying that it does not work? But a piece of paper can never "work or not work". If you mean the rules. Well, there are no obvious internal inconsistancies even if you do not like how some terms are defined, as in blacks being 3/5th of whites. You may not like the definition, but that does not make the rules inconsistent.

As to changing the direction in which we are headed. Well, I do think that I have some good ideas on the subject. You can read all about it at Xfoolnature.org. Click on the Human TOE link

Thank you for your comment. I am sorry that I did not get back earlier.
Date:August 16th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)

government change

One big problem I see with the current system is that members of the Supreme Court are appointed for life.
If one of them is an idiot, and gets appointed at an early age, it can take 3 generations to get them out.
In the meantime they can overturn laws and pursue any agenda they want without answering to anyone. Justice Clarence Thomas has recently been shown to have accepted bribes while he was ruling on various cases, yet nothing was ever done about this behavior.
The only fix I see is to term-limit the justices
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)

Re: government change

I think that you need to re-read this article carefully. Your suggestion would be kind of akin putting neo-sporin, a band-aid and makeup on an oozing irregular bleeding mole. The problem goes much deeper than the supreme court.

In addition, having one full time idiot, is not that noticeable when you have eight part time idiots. Seriously, how blind did they have to be 50 years ago to allow the disconnection of metal from money, or to say that the commerce clause give the federal government the poser to regulate any activity that might somehow, sometime touch upon commerce?
Date:September 8th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)

Not to nitpick

Okay, sorry... I just must say - I am sure you make extremely valid points and the little I read of course is very true about human psychology and obedience to authority, however you are far to pedantic in establishing obvious characteristics of human nature.

I just can't read three pages of alegories and nursery rhymes to make the point that human's are obedient to authority.

As a professional writer, if you want sincere criticism I can offer it. But judging by your defensive opening paragraph and supposition that only the illiterate or dense with short attention spans won't read your work, I will assume any offered criticism will be rejected out of hand.


So I read some comments hoping to get a summation (and your retorts to any negative criticisms). Yes, you are taking far too long and being overly verbose to venture a very hackneyed opinion about an inevitable descent into tyrannical, dspotic rule.

Here is an axiom, all government is violence. I can prove this in no more than 3 sentences. Speed it up and get to your thesis if you want more readers and to get your message out - which is likely one I agree with completely.
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)

Re: Not to nitpick

With regard to axioms, I suggest that you go and read Euclid. One of his axioms was that given a point off of a line, then one and only one line can be drawn parallel to that line. There are two sets of what you would call comments that are now known as non-euclidian geometry. Newton had as an axiom that space and time were comment.

As to my tendency to being pedantic and how many people I want to read this: Well, I really wanted to nail this. Now, if you take as a fact that any search on some combination of the terms george or orwell(s) along with either or both words 'boot' or 'tyranny', will return results that have this article listed as 1 or 2, maybe as low as 3, and sometimes 1 AND 2 out of as many as 9+ million hits, on ANY search engine , then I think that we can conclude that a large number of people have not only not been bothered by my tendency to be pedantic, but they also and took the time to link to this article.

I did not notice the allegories or nursery rhymes.

With regard to the opening paragraph. The logic is A > ~B. You incorrectly interpreted this to be equivalent to ~B > A. Ie you drew the incorrect conclusion that if you do not read my work (~B) than you have a limited attention span (A). I suggest that you brush up on logic. One of many correct conclusions would be B > ~A

With regard to your final comment. Of course government is violence. That is kind of axiomatic. The question is not what is the fundamental nature of government, but how does a society deal with the management of psychopaths, force, violence etc.

Having said all that. I am not good with words. At least not good enough to earn money at it. So if you wish to send me your contact info, then perhaps with your skill set, and mine (I am working on another article) we could do wonderful things together.
Date:September 14th, 2011 08:12 am (UTC)


I'm reasonably confident that I don't need a majority of people to be any particular way in order for me to be happy and free. There's no question that, in the words of my mother, "People are no damned good."

But some people are fairly decent. And I've enjoyed working with many of these sort.
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Date:September 16th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)

Re: ideas

I believe that in about 1935 in much of Europe, that Gypsies, gays, and Jews felt the same way. That did not work out so well for them did it?
Date:September 26th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
thanks amigo! great post!
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Date:July 4th, 2012 07:40 am (UTC)

AWESOME! Dying call from prison of Portugal Premier Minister!

User gussmanyti referenced to your post from AWESOME! Dying call from prison of Portugal Premier Minister! saying: [...] [...]
Date:April 8th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)

Looking for Answers

I came to read your post after listening to some of your comments during a recent lecture/discussion about the Power of Language and Communication. I have read very few of the books, articles or studies that you referenced in your post and have neither the time nor desire to do so. This lack of desire to delve deeper into this topic is the same reason when you posed the question during the discussion, “How many of you believe the Earth revolves around the Sun?” I simply trust that my own observations, experiences and ultimately the conclusions reached, are superior to the authors of those books, etc. And so I post this comment to allow you the opportunity to educate me, if you desire. And depending on your response, my desire to read further into this topic may change.

You make some valid and interesting points, and I cannot disagree (though I cannot yet agree) with your conclusion. If I understand correctly, you conclude that our democratic society will inevitably evolve into tyranny, PERIOD. I can see it more as a cycle, where democracy turn tyranny and back to democracy and so forth and so on, in varying degrees. You can see this throughout world history. Take the U.S. as an example, starting as colonies to the British authorities, to a democracy (or a republic, however technical you want to be), and perhaps now evolving back to tyranny (as our political spectrum is currently a huge mess).

With that said, I found your post difficult to understand and containing generalizations, which admittedly could perhaps stem from my ignorance of the technical language on this subject. I will start by addressing some items that “popped out” to me.

1. You state that people are genetically wired to be “stupid”, i.e. tend to be obedient to authority. NO, we as people are wired to survive. And through that survival instinct, we are trained to be stupid. Let us remember ourselves as children, when our elders told us to not put our hand into the fire, because otherwise, we will injure our hand. Being a "non-stupid" child, I placed my hand into the fire, which obviously caused me pain and injury. From that point on, based on my own observation and instinct to survive, I learned to listen to authority for my own safety and benefit. In your post, you alluded to this point. The problem is that we are too lazy and undisciplined to re-train ourselves by throwing out all of our habits (whether good or bad) and figuring it all over again, with the knowledge, observations, experience and wisdom that we have attained, independent of authority. Believe it or not, many people feel it is easier to listen to orders than to think for themselves.

2. You state that evolution favors authoritarian tribes. This is a generalized statement that is probably correct more often than not, but a more accurate statement would be “Evolution favors Militarily strong tribes.” The armed forces are authoritarian in nature (as you stated), and is necessary for any society to survive. Consider a tribe with 99 warriors following 1 leader with a single military strategic plan to defend their tribe, with every warrior obedient to the leader and having their roles defined in the plan. Now consider a second tribe with 100 independent warriors with every intention to defend the tribe but do not listen to authority and do not have a common plan of defense. It is not hard to understand that the former has a much better chance for survival. In this case, an authoritarian structure is vital to survival.
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Date:April 13th, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)

Re: Looking for Answers

Sorry this has taken so long. With regard to the earth moving around the sun. You have no direct or indirect experience to say that it does. At the most, you have evidence that the moon is between the earth and the sun but that would only indicate that the sun is farther away from the earth than the moon is, but it would not tell you which goes around which. That information can be inferred from observations available to the ancients but it is by no means obvious. An early and maybe the first heliocentric theory: http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/ast121/lectures/lec02.html

"If I understand correctly, you conclude that our democratic society will inevitably evolve into tyranny, PERIOD."

Yes. That was my initial conclusion. Since then (2009) more research and thought has lead me to believe that this may be avoidable. I lay this out in http://xfoolnature.org/?p=10. This link is also in the article that you read.

I am not a great writer, and need an editor. Many of your points reflect this need.
1. " In your post, you alluded to this point. " The point being about stupid and authority. Why yes is did, and I thought that I covered it well and in detail

I could be wrong, but I think that you simply re-state what I stated. As I said, I need an editor. But you did get the point
Date:April 8th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)

Looking for Answers Pt 2

3. You looked at the concept of competition, and I have no idea what your point was. Are you saying that if we want to come out ahead, we should be more competitive? Or are you saying that all competitive people consider winning as the only thing? Or are you saying that competitive people tend to be psychopaths? Or are you saying that only competitive psychopaths can be leaders? I consider myself an extremely competitive person, but I don’t think winning is the most important thing, nor do I get upset at losing. To me, competition is a test of my own personal growth. If someone beats me, I am driven to learn from that experience and improve myself so that the next time I find myself in some kind of competition, I can do better than the last time. I believe having a competitive spirit is beneficial to our personal individual growth as well as the growth of society as a whole. Competition drives us to work harder and be innovative. Nevertheless, I agree with you that the "Winning at all costs" attitude is detrimental to our society, especially when using manipulation, dishonesty and unfair advantages.

Lord Acton IS correct, though I also agree with you that power does attract psychopaths who lie and cheat to attain their position. Even honest good-natured people who are elevated by merit, and with the true intention of benefiting society, will be overwhelmed by the temptations of greed and more power. This is human nature that is wired into our individual survival instincts. (If I can get more money/food now when in a position of power, I won't have to worry about survival later when I'm out of power, with less resources, or better yet, I'll stay in power forever).

In summary, I believe an authoritarian culture is a necessity for a society to survive in this modern world. We are not hardwired to be obedient, but rather learned/trained that listening to elders gave us a better chance to survive. We need more wisdom through knowledge, observations and experience, so that we can tell the difference between authority intended to benefit individuals or society as a whole, from authority intended for ulterior motives. Competition is beneficial to our society as a whole, and we should embrace it following rules of honesty and fairness.

You may think that I am nit picky, but these subtle points along with a few others that I did not mention, lead to credibility issues with your entire post. Although your conclusions may prove to be more correct than not, the reasoning and root of the problem needs to be correctly articulated before any solution can arise, otherwise any solution is only superficial and likely temporary. If you cannot identify the question, you will never arrive at the correct answer.

Peace & Love
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Date:April 13th, 2013 01:37 am (UTC)

Re: Looking for Answers Pt 2

I think that your first paragraph was mostly in agreement with me, so I am not addressing it. With regard to your second one about Lord Acton. I am coming to the conclusion that Lord Acton was partially correct. I need a grant of several hundred thousand to do the study and it would break down as follows:

Given a 100 random people, and put each of them in positions of power over a group. What percent will become corrupted? Of those hundred people, how many had positions of power originally? What do FMRI scans of their brains tell us about their tendency towards psychopathy. That is, how many people are corrupted by power, how many are not corrupted by it, and how many came to power because they were already corrupt. I am sure that there is a PhD or several here. Just a wild assed guess here 15% not corruptible (probably has aspergers --- Steve wozniak) 25% with some psychopathic tendencies, and the rest just corruptible.

"We are not hardwired to be obedient, but rather learned/trained that listening to elders gave us a better chance to survive."
When we came out of the womb we were wired to connect with the local adults who cared for us. As I said, children are natures throwaways, but from the get-go, those children who follow the lead of adults are more likely to survive in a world full of dangerous things, than those who, from the beginning, follow their own impulses. It is a balance and a dance. Some are less wired to obey then others.

I do not think that you are nit picky. Or rather, being nit picky when one is attempting to be accurate in a somewhat technical situation is a good thing.

" the reasoning and root of the problem needs to be correctly articulated before any solution can arise, otherwise any solution is only superficial and likely temporary. If you cannot identify the question, you will never arrive at the correct answer."

I think that I said as much, borrowing from Sun Tzu and "The art of War" We are on the same page. If you are clyde who gave me his card, I will be writing to you.
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