Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part 4 – Having One’s Cake and Eating It Too

This is a blog post rendition of my 1-hr presentation at The 21 Convention in Austin, TX in August, right after I gave a 20-minute abbreviated version of same at the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012, in Boston, at Harvard University School of Law.

The previous three parts here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Both the wolf is full, and the lamb is whole. - Bulgarian saying

Perhaps I should not have spent so much time in the last three posts on what I spent time on. Because, there's this.

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Valid Authority Sighting

Yep, plain old reality is the ultimate authority; you can never escape it. You're wholly captive to it, feel-good fantasies and delusions notwithstanding. In a presentation format, we'd have got to this point in about 10 minutes or so. In this format, however, I really needed the epistemological basis (quality knowledge vs. fantasy and delusion) to reference and pound home in forgoing posts and comment replies again and again, and again. It's of utmost importance to highlight the  general idiocy that prevails unchecked—for the amusement of the few who already know and the exposure of the most who don't—and who don't care to confront it. So let's work on that, this time. Most will turn their heads away to their ancient Teddy Bears.

People aren't really much interested in having their comfort zones challenged. They want their cake, and they want to eat it too—the wolf full and the lamb whole. They don't care to engage in debate over the intellectual equivalent of their Teddy Bears. It makes them uncomfortable. Why bother? Why not just leave everyone to their delusions? Well for one, there's a certain joy of sport in ridiculing the ridiculous. But mostly, society still runs on force and domination and fantasies—and delusions are generally the basis of that force and domination. It's gonna be a long road, but one hopes we someday evolve beyond it...someday.

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Shorter version: QUALITY KNOWLEDGE

If one would go back and review the previous posts, with my insistent emphasis on quality of knowledge, then, then, they just might begin to understand what I'm getting at. But, there's those Teddy Bears. Such a comfort. ...14th Century, dirt-scrathching Teddy Bears.

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What passes for "quality"

The latter balderdash in image not only offers absolutely nothing of value to the the former image in quotidian usage, but has myriad cheerleaders who've actually fought against it and killed millions throughout history and most—fucking MOST—people simply cannot find it in their indoctrinated selves to take a very simple accounting and conclude: fuck that ancient 3-14th century, dirt-scratching, superstitious bullshit!


"Thank God" for the other 10%? Otherwise, you'd be riding on donkeys, milking goats, living in adobe huts that collapse in the smallest of earthquakes—killing you and your children—and going to the town square to cheer for the latest crucifixion,  hanging, or what? ...assuage the failures of life? ...directly or indirectly as a result of the ignorance that's nurtured and celebrated above all?

...What's weird to me is how damn proved efficient modern society is with its scientists, inventors, engineers, entrepreneurs, and the list goes on. Literally, the men and women of the mind are so damn right, so often, so effective that it literally breeds a comfortable, moron, parasite class—who go to church to bow and give credit to a fantasy being, or into a voting booth to sanction a brute like the State, all the while giving false credit for what is in reality the accomplishments and achievements of other regular men and women.

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Simple Pimple

Basically, this is what all quality knowledge must ultimately reduce to. There's other ways to express it: A is A; 1>0>-1, etc. It all essentially means the same thing. The lesson here is that reality is simply what is. It's not complicated, though it may be elusive to know. But owing to our big brains, I suppose, humans seem to have this obsession over having an "explanation," when no explanation is possible in the context of existing knowledge of reality. The valuable and heroic few, for whom uncertainty or plain ignorance represents an insatiable mystery or challenge vs. the uncomfortable and fearful who are incapable of accepting the unknown.

So, instead of work and wait for the time when perhaps elusive bits of knowledge become quality, reducible to the simple, the axiomatic, the tautological, people just make shit up. And then what do they do? They defer to various forms of bogus authority in order to prop up the illusion—the "explanation" that explains nothing.

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You Bet
You Bet: Bedfellows through and through

As already discussed in reference to bogus authorities, the church & state form the bulwark of the whole delusion. Notice that churches and States don't build cars, trains, planes, or anything else. They don't really create anything. They just pretend, lie, order to prop up the illusion that such things could not be possible without the "grace" of a mythical being, or the "benevolence" of terrestrial thugs called "government."

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The Domain

This is their domain, as contrasted from hard science, original research, discovery, entrepreneurship, wholly voluntary trade, live & let live, charity and goodwill to men, and all the other things that are the true root of human survival, advancement, prosperity, safety and security.

Some may balk at history being on that list, but there's history you learn from true historical scholars—which ought always be viewed through a gimlet eye—and the sort the church-state complex would prefer you believe. As just a quick example, the history of Abraham Lincoln*, 16th President of the United States, so-called emancipator of black slaves in America. Children in America are taught that Lincoln engaged in national war (they like to call it "civil")—a war that killed 620,000 Americans—as a just endeavor to "free the slaves." How "noble." Our hero. Hey, let's have a holiday!

How many children are instructed as to his 1862 letter to Horace Greeley, then editor of the influential New York Tribune?

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.

Shorter Lincoln: Slavery? Meh. A Completely United Union of Authority with Me in Charge? Priceless. Two Thumbs Up! Way Up!

Others will say "it's complicated." ...Industrial north, agrarian south, economics, labor costs, etc. etc. I say that the church-state complex regards human beings, their lives, loves, families...merely as expendable fodder in pursuit of their "greater" designs.

Fuck all of them.

[* From what I've seen in Teevee trailers for the Spielberg film Lincoln soon to be released, he's taking the conventional wisdom route.]

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Of course, power and authority are at the root of all this. But what is the underlying method, how do they tend to hold it, only shuffling shit around with conclaves and elections now and then?

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Fear & Trepidation

The big blank out—even if it were true that a human life is so very perilous—is that because life is to be so feared, enemies are always at the gates, and you're just escaping either eternal damnation or domination through conquest (...or your prescription drug benefit is going away, or any of the myriad other "entitlements" once established, people lose sleep over, for fear they could go away) by the bare skin of your teeth.

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In Part 5 I'll discuss some of the real hobgoblins of real life, and how they get deal with by quality knowledge and valid authority.


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  1. Rather on topic, since Lincoln did plenty of trampling on the 1st Amendment in the name of war, I recently discovered this excellent Hitchens speech about free speech. (I actually have a lot of respect for Lincoln unlike ancaps such as Richard).

    How I miss that goddamned eloquent bastard, even if he was a neo-con till the end. Hitchens, that is, although Lincoln was also an eloquent bastard, perhaps America’s last truly eloquent president.

    I’ll go ahead and defend Lincoln by saying that despite his statism, he represented an ideal and a nobility that I’d love to see in today’s excuses for politicians.

    For fuck’s sake, the French worship that tyrant cunt Bonaparte who tried to conquer the world, whereas Lincoln a few decades later, merely wanted to keep his newly formed country from splitting apart. Also, unlike Napoleon, Lincoln didn’t whine about his hemorrhoids when he got his ass whipped. Lincoln doesn’t pass the ancap purity test by a long-shot, but what president does? It smacks to me of cultural Marxism to dismiss Lincoln’s ideals and ideological struggles as mere selfish self-aggrandizing fluff.

    • Cool, yea, Lincoln was I guess the lesser of two evils.

      Saw this, today.

      • Actually, it never occurred to me to question Lincoln’s hallowed status until I started hanging out on libertarian/anarchist sites a year or two back. While there is a good case to be made that Lincoln was a statist asshole, I’m not comfortable with the idea of trashing him altogether. Maybe I was overly influenced by Gore Vidal’s biography of Lincoln. Vidal was also a statist asshole like his cousin Al, but a hell of a good writer of historical fiction.

      • This just popped up, but haven’t read it yet.

        I do know that DiLorenzo is a longtime Lincoln critic.

      • Well, if there’s anyone who could make me hate Lincoln, it’s Spielberg. Spielberg and Lucas together would be a perfect storm. He’s a big-time lefty so I’m sure he’ll put a statist spin on it. I did try to read Team of Rivals but couldn’t get into it at all.

      • My parents are both Texans so I grew up with some anti-Lincoln sentiment, but never really bought into it until I read DiLorenzo.

        Yay for eloquence, but I think part of being a great statesman is either being so far up your own ass you believe your own shit, or knowing intimately that you’re lying through your teeth and smart enough to know how to be charming about it. From being a 1%-ers’ corporate lawyer, I’d guess Lincoln was the latter.

  2. Rick Mehaffy says:

    “Notice that churches and States don’t build cars, trains, planes, or anything else. They don’t really create anything.”

    – no government ever furthered any enterprise except by the alacrity with which it got out of the way-

  3. Delusions certainly ruin us all and single handedly ruin the US. I have been plowing through Kropotkin lately, I came here for a simple read but was delightfully intrigued by this piece. Think for yourself, question authority and understand most of the history we were taught in school was worthless. Pardon me while I read some simple shit from Alex Jones.

  4. “You can have the most far-fetched, made-up, impossible, illogical Bollocks and if it’s in print, someone will believe it…..just look at the Bible”.
    On rumor vs. knowledge and contrasting the Bible to a Maths book….with a few choice bits along the way :-)

  5. paleoSockPuppetCunt says:

    Yo, Richard, just out of curiosity have you been to see the Atlas Shrugged movie (released 12 October this year)?

    I couldn’t be fucked reading any of Rand’s stuff (I like to get to the fucking point while Ayn doesn’t…). I value your opinion though and I’d like to know if you think the movie is a good representation of her work.

    • I happen to like AS and Fountainhead, but also took them for what they were intended to be, I.e. archetypical characters, not deeply developed characters typical of literary fiction. Both AS pats 1 and 2 are similar in that regard, rather one-dimensional characters. Frankly, I don’t know if someone who’d never read the book would follow along. Maybe, maybe not.

      • The movies seemed, to me, to be written by someone that was concerned with remaining true to AR’s “vision”, rather than wishing to communicate her ideas to the movie-going public. I think one has to already understand the characters in order to appreciate the movies. Personally I wish that the producers would have dumbed down the plot or streamlined the characters to do justice to a story that had to be told over 1000 pages. Like Gordon says, every page had a point. That doesn’t translate well to 2 hours.

    • Gordon Shannon says:

      AS is a philosophical novel. Every page is part of the “point.” This is like telling Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, or Hugo to get to the point.

      This isn’t an attack – rather, it’s an encouragement to read the book and forget the movies. My wife tried watching the first movie and had no idea what was going on. I’m a huge fan of the book, and gave up on the movie 15 minutes in. They might be interesting to some people, but AS is something that needs to be experienced in its pure form if at all. Again, parallels to Dostoyevsky etc are appropriate.

      • LeonRover says:

        If only Ayn Rand had WRITTEN like Dickens, or Dostoyevsky, then she might have marginally greater success in getting her ideas across.

        She was just a FUCKING BORING writer – no wit, no plot, no characters. Ah Shrugged after 75 pages and put the book down – 40 years ago, when I had more forbearance than now for poor writing.

        The movie might work, but Woody Allen would need to do the screenplay.

      • AS is not really a novel. It is a pamphlet, with various versions of the same (interesting) thesis restated several times. The story is boring. The characters are literary stick figures. But the thesis is interesting. My fear with a movie adaptation would be losing the thesis at the expense of the story.

      • I always thought AS should have been adapted as a TV mini-series that took some creative license with character development with flashbacks and such.

        I do think the central thesis has merit: ‘yea, whatch what happens if the industrialists go on strike.’

      • I think “We the Living” was Rand’s best work of fiction by far in terms of literary merit.

      • Gordon Shannon says:

        I found that one the most difficult to read. Not sure why, and have never spent the time to find out. I’m tempted to say it’s because of the immaturity of her presentation of her view, but it could just as easily be something to do with me. I was always a big fan of the Fountainhead as a work of fiction. It’s characters are definitely more developed than those of AS, though admittedly less ‘real’ than those of WTL.

      • Gordon:

        Yea, could be her view wasn’t fully developed. It’s “existential” in the classic sort of sense in that the heroin doesn’t live happily ever after. It’s a novel—most likely autobiographical in many of the scenes—about someone waking up to the world going to hell in a hand basket all around her. Could very well be she was always haunted by the fact of her fortune in becoming so influential in the country she loved and how easily it could have been otherwise.

      • Rick Lucas says:

        I agree, Richard. “We the Living” is the only novel Ayn Rand wrote that I’ve ever read more than once.

      • I liked “We the living” mostly because of the testimony it represents as to what life was like in the soviet union in those days. Although the end of the heroin was a bit of a shock.
        As to AS I loved the plot and the characters for what they represent: Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Although I’m French and English is not my native language I’ve read it twice.

      • Gordon Shannon says:

        AS is a philosophical novel. Thus it doesn’t follow the same conventions as typical fiction. Take Crime and Punishment – what’s it’s plot? Dude kills an old lady then mopes about it for 300 pages. BORING. It’s merit lies in its philosophical and psychological exploration. The same is true of Dickens, and many of the great 19th century authors. Similarly, have you every read the Iliad? It’s one of the least exciting stories ever composed. Yet it’s exploration of humanity and war (etc) is phenomenal. AS has to be judged in the same way, *as must much of pre-20th century fiction.*

      • I agree, Gordon.

        I’ve often wondered about C&P whether people must not have found it boring and one dimensional in its time.

        I had to slog through that as well.

      • LeonRover, I disagree with you (heh, it had to happen sometime;)
        If she had written like Dickens or Dostoyevsky, she might have had more Respect for those ideas “in all the best circles” but not a greater success in getting them across to a wider public. How many do you know read Dickens except under threat of getting an “F” ?
        She seems to have been writing for broad public appeal, so some of her writings are in the form of essentially trashy novels. Plot and characters written in broad strokes, one-dimensional heroes but Towering ones, et voila! each reader fills-in the characters to their personal preference – in trashy novels we have to imagine all sorts of personality traits to round-out our heroes (sigh!) and they are necessarily our own projections. So to each the novel is personal – this is fairly brilliant, actually.
        It got Fountainhead a movie, Rock Hudson I think?, and that was most people’s first exposure.
        There’s an insidious seduction of’the masses’ who won’t get most of the philosophy but will come away with a favorable inclination towards the main thrust of individualism that is, after all, hammered home repeatedly. As a bulwark against the largest threat of the time that she could see, Communism, it’s not bad.
        Propaganda is another name for this.

      • Just to be clear, I don’t appreciate her philosophy much at all and certainly not the interpretations and extensions by various political groups. Seem to me as knee-jerk reactions to the bogey-man, communism. Just more products of fear.

      • Gary Cooper

  6. Hey Richard,

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile. I was originally drawn in by your reputation as an important blogger in the Paleosphere (Paleo in so much as it concerns fitness and nutrition), but have found myself really into the “off-topic” posts, such as this recent four-part series on anarchy. Can you recommend any informative/interesting books on the topic of anarchism? Thanks.

  7. ladysadie1 says:

    “How many children are instructed as to his 1862 letter to Horace Greeley, then editor of the influential New York Tribune?”

    Whatever the answer is to that question, I intend to make it a +3 today.

  8. Gordon Shannon says:

    “Basically, this is what all quality knowledge must ultimately reduce to. There’s other ways to express it: A is A; 1>0>-1, etc. It all essentially means the same thing. The lesson here is that reality is simply what is. It’s not complicated, though it may be elusive to know. But owing to our big brains, I suppose, humans seem to have this obsession over having an “explanation,” when no explanation is possible in the context of existing knowledge of reality.”

    As you may know from reading Rand, the correct attitude here was basically invented by Aristotle. (An interesting aside – it’s the failure to grasp this that accounts for the so-called is/ought dichotomy Hume made such a big deal about.) This passage got me thinking, and I realized that nowhere does the distinction appear more clearly than in Aquinas, Aristotle’s greatest ‘student’. Without getting into the details, he buys the entire Aristotelian causal story, A is A, the whole lot, but feels compelled to ask ‘why’ with respect to the universe. I.e. what is the first cause of existence. And of course his answer is God. But the distinction – and the answer – is right there on the page, in clear, syllogistic purity. But he took the wrong step.

  9. ladysadie1 says:

    “It’s of utmost importance to highlight the general idiocy that prevails unchecked—for the amusement of the few who already know and the exposure of the most who don’t—and who don’t care to confront it.”

    That bothers me. I really don’t want to trifle with (most of) them, for this specific reason, “People aren’t really much interested in having their comfort zones challenged.” There’s just not a high enough rate of return compared to the effort it takes to get most people to stop hugging their Teddy Bears and sucking their thumbs. I think that a big problem is that there are armloads of Teddy Bears that people turn to for comfort, and they believe that comfort=reality.

    Why is is of “utmost miportance”? and How on earth can we “evolve beyond it” or ‘free the slaves’ when they have no desire to be free?

    • Sadie:

      It’s of utmost importance in that there will always be those who love to highlight it, like me.

      Actually, I don’t think anyone ought go there unless they are comfortable with it. Me? I relish in it. I won’t be satisfied until everyone hates me, and I’m not joking.

      • ladysadie1 says:

        “I won’t be satisfied until everyone hates me, and I’m not joking.”

        Ok, that’s perfectly fine. So what if my goal is to get folks to toss aside a few of their silly Teddy Bears – not even the BIG ones – because I think they will benefit from it? My goal isn’t to be hated, it’s to get people to think for themselves.

        Little things like “Not everyone needs A College Degree (TM)” and “More government does not equal more Security” even at that level, people get quite angry with the suggestion that they examine the basis for their beliefs.

      • I don’t know what your goals are, nor would I be presumptuous enough to blithely suggest what they out to be, based upon my own values.

    • I sure in every phase of human development was those few on outer edge of bell curve waiting for moron majority to hurry the fuck up and evolve already! But is no possible to force this -many is unwilling and most is probable uncapable.

      All you really can do is what historically have always been done -take advantages of them, con them into shit, and convince them to do you bidding.

      • “All you really can do is what historically have always been done -take advantages of them, con them into shit, and convince them to do you bidding.”

        Or, you can rise above that, because Anarchy Begins at Home. more to come.

      • paleoSockPuppetCunt says:

        “you can rise above that”

        Yeah that’s what I thought for the first 33 years of my life. I’ll be spending the rest following cow’s advice: “take advantages of them, con them into shit, and convince them to do you bidding”.

      • I’m with the sock puppet on this one. For the sake of political correctness, I rarely mention it in public. There’s a little bit of Watchmen in this: it takes a crisis for most people to correct fundamental errors of thought.

        I enjoy watching “Kitchen Nightmares” because the imminent threat of bankruptcy and hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain aren’t enough to get those morons to take a look at their lives. It takes an authority figure PLUS his hard-nosed insults to get them to reassess what they’re doing. And even then it sometimes fails. And that’s not about fundamental stuff, either — just whether one should freeze meat and then cook it in a microwave, or not!

        Kindly wishing the rubes well will not make their lives better; plus they’re threatening to take me down with them.

      • “It takes an authority figure PLUS his hard-nosed insults to get them to reassess what they’re doing.”

        Yep. Gordon Ramsey just came with a bunch of armed thugs nd took over the place out of the goodness of their hearts, to make them profitable again, and a value to the local neighborhood.

        ….People who make silly analogs, blur critical distinctions in important areas and generally make a mess of thinking wear mea out and make me cry.

      • ? I don’t give a shit about the reality-show aspect of it, the contrived drama, the heavy editing. My point was the restaurant owners tend to have an extremely fixed view of their world and it takes a LOT to knock them out of that. How can some 2-bit diner cook say that Ramsey doesn’t know anything about good food? That takes both heavy ignorance as well as arrogance.

        My analogy is that most people are the same about all of their precious beliefs. There are some people that are ready to be helped, but they’re *looking* for it. People come to this blog because they’re looking; you don’t go out to find people to save. And my point is that, due to this effect, the latter is futile.

      • AndrewS

        My point is that this line is COMPLETELY impertinent.

        If you think for a second that any of this is about no more abject morons, then I hope you stop reading now, an posting stupid, non-sequitur impertinent comments.

        This has nothing in the universe to do with State force. It has nothing to do with anything I’m talking about, remotely, and there isn’t a single analogy worth a shit in any of it.

  10. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    Question: So what would/should the victims of something like Sandy do in a State-less society? Fend for themselves? Who would rebuild all the necessary infrastructure?

    • “So what would/should the victims of something like Sandy do in a State-less society?”

      Not steal from other people.

      “Fend for themselves?”

      Of course; themselves, people they hire, people they trade with for mutual help. What, do you suggest they take on slaves?

      “Who would rebuild all the necessary infrastructure?”

      Probably the same people who built it in the first place.

  11. “society still runs on force and domination and fantasies—and delusions are generally the basis of that force and domination”

    My beloved husband always said: the world runs on lies and violence; priests and warriors.

    • “the world runs on lies and violence; priests and warriors.”

      Rather “priests and politicians”!

      There’s nothing morally wrong with warriors when they defend themselves, their loved ones and their property.

      • “There’s nothing morally wrong with warriors when they defend themselves, their loved ones and their property.”

        Très intelligent pour un gars français.

        The next step is to go back. THAT is the most morally right thing ever.

      • BTW, I have to ask. Is Raynote a play on Renaud, seeing as you’re commenting amongst the illiterate in terms of French?

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