do they turn their kids into statists in pursuit of their own status fantasies also?
"Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."
Jack london, "Before Adam"
2) The questions is: (say the Romans were the first) why did the Romans do those things? Why did they adopt Weitko? That's what I'm trying to understand. As best as I can tell, they had the luxury to because of their military, and they wanted to because it made them wealthier (aka it was a competitive advantage).
And now that we go back that far, you start thinking two more things.
1, the origin of Weitko was more ignorance than arrogance because science was quite unrefined at the time before the common era.
2, the fact that countless people have repeated this same mistake for thousands of years brings you to a question: Is Weitko an instinctual human response to the societal/environmental stimuli, or has all evidence for non-Weitko decisions effectively been wiped clean of the history books because they simply couldn't compete with Weitko-following people. Weitko is a competitive advantage, but it leads to destructive competition. Now, that makes the most sense to me. Weitko is ignorance and/or corruption of the government to prevent destructive competition.
3) Interesting; I hadn't put 2 and 2 together on that point yet. Correct me if I'm wrong because now I'm going back to your previous post to summarize what "the problem" is. Our system has progressively made it easier for collectives (these collectives are 5 threats you mentioned already) to gain power, and they aren't merely threats; they are actually taking away personal liberties.
However, let's pretend we lived during the time that "liberty" was at its peak. Doesn't personal liberty for one take away personal liberty for another? Economically, a rich person used his liberty to attain such wealth, but he's basically stripped economic power from the poor people near him. The difference between power and liberty is minor in a real circumstance, despite it's vast difference on paper.
So I agree that certain liberties are gone, but certain new powers have also been granted (not just economically, but technologically and anything defined under the mystical "quality of life"). How could we maximize both, at the same time, in the current modern world?
Furthermore, in agreement that energy consumption is the primary problem our civilization faces, how has a decrease in personal liberties exasperated this problem?
-If it hasn't, then would you agree that the change in liberties have been felt quite unevenly among all people (some win, some lose), so it's not totally accurate to call it a total loss. That also makes liberty a social problem, rather than a "life or death" sustainability problem.
-If it has, then why? If so, I'd say it's a lifestyle problem rather than an ideological problem. Perhaps "Weitko" decreases when people are living more autonomously. If this is the case, the libertarians would be right on something.
Last edited by wiltondeportes; 10-02-2013 at 09:06 PM.
So now there is a discussion on Western civilization, political influence, and the definition of "liberty" on MDA....this makes me really happy, for some reason.
1) -- "Wetiko" is an Native American word that means to "consume the soul", or to "consume all".
An example would be war; and this brings in your "competitive advantage" idea....despite a lot of war amongst various "tribes" all over the world prior to the rise of Western civilization, it was not what we, or for that matter the Romans, would recognize as war. It was not fought by the hundreds of thousands, with the obliteration of the other people as the spoken objective. This is a new phenomenon in humanity, having only been around about 2000 years. We were around for a VERY long time before that.
And it is not an inevitability of civilization or technology. Many of the South American tribes of the time, or others in the East, were arguably MORE advanced than the Romans. They also had large populations, warring interests, government, etc....and war of extermination was still not a product of it. War was fought with few numbers, and all out death was rare. Often very physical sport took the place of war. (Lacrosse got its start this way) We did not go Von Clousewitz, "Total War" on each other for thousands of years. No other species does it, and we don't do it naturally either.
Jared Diamond's "The World Before Yesterday", and Grossman's "On Killing" both touch on this. (You referenced him earlier)
Wetiko is not really a policy, but a mindset. It is EVERYWHERE in the world now that has been infected by the Western strain, or by the Eastern one that came out of Japanese imperialism.
Oil: No debate on whether maybe we shouldn't just use it all, as fast as possible.
News: A euphemism for "entertainment through real-life suffering or mockery"
Pornography: Taking a beautiful thing and turning it into an object of one's consumption, like a woman is a commodity.
Banking: Open usury, fraud, without any real reform.
Arguments: Objective is to humiliate the opponent, or force into silence.
It is a mindset that says that it is acceptable, expected, smart to take and consume all that will allow you to consume it.
I was introduced to it when I was a teenager and went a Havisu Indian reservation in Arizona....these people were around for a thousand years before Rome's founding....it was probably the most transformative experience of my life.
And I learned, most importantly, that THEIR way of thinking is our natural state, not Wetiko. We are not designed to be so aggressive....as they say in the play South Pacific: "It must be carefully taught". It clearly gives a competitive advantage, in the same sense that if I decide to win in hockey by drugging the other goalie and cross-checking every opponent in the neck to put them out of the game....but that does not make it legitimate.
2) Liberty is not power. Power is the ability to alter the lives of other people. Liberty is the principle, with institutions, that limits one's ability to do that. Power and liberty are opposing forces.
A rich land-owner, like the nobility of old England, might decide that he is going to demand that I go to his church to tithe, must allow soldiers of the country to stay in the home he is serving to me, and ensure that I do not have the ability to vote on anything of importance....in this sense, he is powerful.
But if a government exists that expressly forbids him from doing this (which many millions did not have, for a long time), expressly gives me the unaltered right to have a gun, to NOT be forced to quarter soldiers against my will, to go wherever the hell I want on Sunday mornings, I have gained more liberty....my "soul's right to breathe" has flexed its muscles. I am no longer his pawn.
What has happened is that the powerful have been able to re-define all of these terms. Now, so long as I exercise my power in purely fiscal terms, I can call it a "free market", and others will do my bidding for me "on principle". I can restrict people's ability to vote, to prevent "fraud". I can take guns away for "safety". Power is always best-served to re-define terms, rather than actually fight.
I would argue that quality of life has been declining in the US for about 35 years, if not longer. We are a very unhappy, unfulfilled, frustrated people.....because apparently they have been MOST effective at covering up the biggest hole in our structure:
Wetiko and democracy are also opposing forces....the ideal to consume all, to take, to be like cannibalistic sharks to one another cannot co-exist with democracy. It doesn't now and never has. We will get, are getting, exactly what should be expected. If one objectifies and consumes all, others are looking at you in the same manner.
Power and Wetiko are driven by each other....liberty and democracy oppose them. It is the same, everywhere, and for the past 50 years it is VERY clear who is winning.
Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 10-02-2013 at 09:54 PM.
"Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals." - de Tocqueville
"Women can no longer complain about men.....until they begin to show better taste in them." - Bill Maher
I just realized something. Government, in itself, is a check against absence of government. Government prevents anarchy, right? We knew that, but here's why anarchy has one less check in its system of already lacking checks and balances. Because people are united under government, they are able to work together whenever an extremely large problem comes along. This problem could even come directly *from* the government.
Now, think about anarchy. Something goes wrong amid these small, disjointed communities. This "wrong" is massive, but who is able to fight it? We would essentially have to signal "one if by land, two if by sea" by lamp light considering the fact that more autonomous, independent communities necessarily means less infrastructure and thus, less ability to communicate long distances.
Perhaps, you can think of giving the government certain powers (which could possibly strip your own certain liberties), and in exchange, because everyone does this, you decrease the chances of *major, major* problems. Trading more minor problems for less major problems, you achieve a more stable way of life.
The main way this breaks down is when government reaches an absolute totalitarian level. You need things like free speech and free guns to prevent that.
Last edited by wiltondeportes; 10-02-2013 at 09:57 PM.
You need to keep in mind the difference between the "government" and the "state". The former is a democratic institution that creates policy, the latter is an autocratic institution that deals in force.
This distinction was originally made by anarchists. They realized that the "state" was what empowered corporate/capitalist interests. So they sought to get rid of it. They didn't necessarily want to get rid of "government", decision-making by the people.
Then came "libertarians", who carry water for corporate elites. They want to get rid of government but keep the state.
William S. Burroughs said that when fascism comes to America it will be called anti-fascism. That sounds right.
There's only a few absolutes in life. One, it's better to be something than nothing (in other words, value exists). Two, people are driven mostly by survival (bodily, genetically, memetically). Three, everything else is dynamic and complex. This makes it a bit hard to describe one's attitudes on many things, like politics (if you disagree, you're a moron) and general life philosophy.
I've basically come to see it this way: It is better to be balanced in waiting and imbalanced when striking. This goes for competition of all forms. "Waiting" applies to everyday life pursuits, and "striking" applies to any moment where you have a clear opportunity to do something. I'll relate to pornography. Better to not use it much as you search for women in real life. This is the balanced approach. When you find that woman you want, aggressively pursue her. This is the imbalanced approach. If you get stuck with imbalance on a daily basis, your life will quite clearly become imbalanced. Some say moderation is the way of life, some say moderation is for cowards. My impulses agree with the latter, but my logic sees it both ways; the simple complexity of life weaves on...
2) So you define liberty, not as what you can do, but as what others can prevent you from doing? Understood, but in the real life, there is no noticeable difference between what you can do and what you can do to others; everyone lives in the same area, so everyone is interconnected. That is why power and liberty, despite one possibly being the negative of the other, are intimately connected.
However after reading the rest of your section here, I think we're on the same page. The key point is that power must be spread around rather than allowed to congregate in a few. That's democracy.
Weitko and democracy are opposing forces? I agree. That's why I said Weitko is the failure of democracy, essentially. Just more specifically, it's ignorance and/or corruption of the government to prevent destructive competition.