Archive for power

The Problem with Taking Religion Seriously

Posted in Ethics & Morals, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2019 by Drogo

Christianity forced itself on me when i was a boy, and it constantly tries to get me to submit and sacrifice to the authority of its Churches, so I feel that I always have a right to speak out about it. 

Christianity cannot help itself, it is designed to convert others. When I am critical of Christianity I do it not as a native repelling an alien invader, but as a Christian who wants to try to be something more than what tradition and convention dictated. I am constantly reminded of inescapable antiquated social limits that I will always be contained inside by living in current US culture. We can all agree on some basic ethics and habits (like washing and sleeping and cleaning), but needing one book or a god to tell us is a bit juvenile.

Being able to resist and deconstruct Christian authority is important because it is insipid. Christianity by design gets into all aspects of culture, from churches to schools and governments. Based on the rebel family unit, the slave religion was devastating to the Roman Empire because people were peacefully protesting authority by resisting as sacrifices unwilling to function for the Empire. Rome of course solved this by adopting the slave religion as the state religion, and therefore to resist authority became Christian heresy. The Bible has several passages not only of arrogant egocentric God-level pride, but also dictates about spreading the word to the heathens, so it is constantly on a mission of conversion. If one chooses not to be a Christian in society for the past several hundred years, they must constantly be on guard and resist by every means possible, which means not only ignoring conventions, but also at times mocking the insanity of dogma. Although the Bible says that God is too jealous to be denied his power, joking about religion is certainly a good test of its power. 

This same problem of aggressive religious authority also applies to any fundamentalist religion. The problems of power are not confined to religion, but also apply to government in the form of conservative Nationalism. The Nazis did not need Jesus to act like the Popes of the Crusades.

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Snobs Cry “Don’t Punish Success”

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Matras Quotes Tips, Music Reviews, news, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2019 by Drogo

I have heard the cries of the successfully wealthy and powerful, “Do not punish success.”; from the brilliant actor that satirizes Trump (Alec Baldwin), to the angry metal band that cut off their long hair in the name of maturity (Metallica). As a fan of both Baldwin and Metallica, I appreciate their artistic mastery of craft, and believe that if any one earned the right to be rich by working hard I am sure that they did; however to not understand that the very art that they did was often anti-authoritarian is mystifying to me. Perhaps fame blinds many to hypocrisy, as their same angry fighting spirit that got them there, wants to cling on to “what is rightfully, not wrongfully, theirs”? 

 

When I listen to Metallica’s music, and then i hear them speak about how they do not understand ‘this new desire to rebel against authority’, i wonder how out of touch they have to be to not have learned more wisdom from their own lyrics…. “Master of Puppets is pulling your strings”. To be fair to Metallica, I first heard the cries for mercy from the lead singer of Kiss in his auto-biography; as though it were so much easier to become rich back then, and luck has nothing to do with opportunities or hard work. Talent speaks for itself, and being successful at your craft means being able to sustain yourself enough to do it. Any wealth, power, and fame that comes with successful talent is just layers of responsibility that they can accept, but must let go of eventually, even if it has to be pried from their cold skeleton hands in the grave by robbers. If an archeologist preserves their remains clinging to their assets, ok fine.

 

Money and popularity makes people into gods, so if their worshipers are jealous there is really not much law abiding citizens can do. The gods can proclaim that jealousy should be punished, but not greed; and have their will carried out in the halls of justice, in favor of divine corporations over individuals. ‘Might is right, and weakness is wrong’; did this problem of human existence eat away at Nietzsche’s mind as his body gave way to illness? Ethics may be for the weak, but Jesus did promise that the meek shall inherit the earth. Promises, promises. I see no evidence that the rich are being punished more than average people. In reality evil seems to win by brutalizing those who cannot control them, even while their corruption pollutes the planet.

 

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Philosophical Anarchism

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, ecovillages, Legal / Laws, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by Drogo

Anarchy is absence of supreme government leaders, company authorities, or laws. Anarchism is rejection of central state or group hierarchy for collaborative democracy and independent freedom. Anarchy does not mean ‘let chaos rule’, but can be messy as individuals express themselves voluntarily. Lack of direction from a boss can be scary for many who prefer to be told what to do. Another problem is the political vacuum of anarchy allows despots to use charisma and power to shatter the ideal potential of anarchy and democracy, and create populist structures of obedience to corrupt state systems.

Anarchy is a natural feeling for many people who have an intuitive reaction to any perceived authority over them; which maybe related to our pre-history. Civilization is considered new and brief compared to thousands and thousands of years when humans must have lived more or less like other wild animals with no writing, and no language rules, in primitive anarchy. This anti-authoritarian type of human nature can manifest in complex egalitarian cultures, and thus can create advanced anarchy systems based on cultural capacities. Proudhon considered anarchism to be a political philosophy for “stateless societies based on voluntary associations”. Having no desire for authoritarian companies or governments, anarchists often try to organize and maintain voluntary institutions (like SCOD).

Labor unions (aka trade unions) are groups or collectives of workers, organized to represent their job interests within capitalism. Unions are similar to trade guilds, except they are often employees of companies that need to negotiate with bosses using social pressure and collective protest bargaining, with threat of striking vs lay-offs to enforce contracts. Safety standards, living wages, and benefits are labor themes.

Philosophical anarchism often relates to democracy, communism, socialism, and labor unions because they all are systems to empower workers to control leaders, companies, and governments by the people being responsible for their power. The term ‘worker’ (proletariat) represents the bulk of citizens or their families, and therefore the masses of society. When the workers have to power to vote directly and frequently on their bosses, companies and governments become decentralized and depend on social networks and sub-cultures.

anarchy

[see also Mondragon, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman]

Power Corrupts People

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Ethics & Morals, History, Recommendations & Tributes, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by Drogo

Baron J.E.E. Dalberg-Acton (aka Lord Acton 1834-1902) was a noble English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. Lord Acton knew several major foreign languages. Acton’s linguistic and religious passion may have influenced Tolkien many years later. A fellow Catholic, Tolkien used the literary legacy that power tends to corrupt even the best men, as his main theme. In Lord of the Rings, the most powerful Ring cannot be used as a tool for good by even the best heroes, because they too would eventually be corrupted, no matter their intentions. The revelation seems to be that power is part of Original Sin as described in the the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament myth that humans fell from the grace of godly paradise because we submitted to the evil temptation of power (the apple advocated by the serpent), seems to have found new expression in the words of these men. Acton collected a large historical library for the “History of Liberty”. Acton was politically Liberal, and travelled greatly. Acton loved reading original historic letters. Acton lived at his country house in Aldenham, Shropshire; and served in the House of Commons. Acton admired the U.S. Government for the Constitution, but oddly sided with the southern Confederacy for defending individual citizen liberties against the tyranny of Union Federal empire (while ignoring slavery). Acton was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order, as a Knight Commander (KCVO).

“History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys.” “There is not a more perilous or immoral habit of mind than the sanctifying of success.” [about Oliver Cromwell] “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.” “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote his most famous quote:

“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the jailer to murder Mary, and William III of England ordered his Scots minister to extirpate (destroy) a clan. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman (biblical Persian minister in the Book of Esther), for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

He is best known for that remark he wrote in a letter to an Anglican bishop; but according to an editor of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Lord Acton has left too little completed original work to rank among the great historians; his very learning seems to have stood in his way; he knew too much and his literary conscience was too acute for him to write easily, and his copiousness of information overloads his literary style. But he was one of the most deeply learned men of his time, and he will certainly be remembered for his influence on others.”

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Mohandas ‘Bapu’ Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian Hindu non-violent civil disobedience activist. Gandhi was leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Gandhi’s self-sacrifice inspired freedom movements for civil rights across the World. Raised in a merchant caste family in India, he later trained in law in London. Gandhi first used non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, for colonial civil rights. Returning to India in 1915, he organized farmers and workers to protest against high land tax and bigotry. Leading the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led national campaigns for social causes and self-rule (Swaraj).

Gandhi helped India challenge the British salt tax by marching in 1930. In 1942 Gandhi called for the British to leave India. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a community and wore a traditional hand-spun Indian dhoti and shawl. Gandhi was vegetarian and took long fasts for spiritual and political reasons. Muslim Nationalism (Pakistan) and Gandhi’s Hindu pluralism in India helped to force Britain out of India in 1947.

Displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs migrated; and religious violence broke out in Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi visited the riots to help and fasted to stop religious violence. Hindu nationalist conservatives criticized and assassinated Gandhi. Gandhi’s birthday is commemorated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. As with all martyr heroes that lives real lives, Gandhi had many human flaws of the sort that might be emphasized more when historical writers express loss of popular favor their cults.

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s work was certainly influenced by the events of the World Wars, despite his public refusal of metaphor speculation. ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ explores abuse of corrupt power, by considering that the temptation of use of power can eventually corrupt anyone. The One Ring of Power created by Sauron promises great power, but eventually corrupts all who use it. Even good people are corrupted by lust for the Ring because of its power to rival Sauron, and by using its vast powers even the lightest souls darken. The ones best able to carry the Ring are innocent souls with meager ambition, and the best they can do with the Ring is to destroy it.

Tolkien said these words about power: “The proper study of man is anything but man, and the most improper job of any man . . is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” [Letters #52] Tolkien believed that leaders should be judged by their example, more than common people are judged [James 3:1]. Power and authority allow for the most terrible things. The misuse of power often ruins leaders and followers who allow the abuse to happen. Vigilant active citizens will demand wise balance.

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Power within us and others is clearly our responsibility; not only to control our own will power to keep it within reason, but also to influence the power that we allow others to hold over us and others. If citizens cannot control their own leader’s passion for power from within a government using democracy, then it will be left up to other governments in other countries (see World Wars). The conclusion to the problem of power is perhaps best summarized by Spiderman in Marvel Comics – “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Racism & Conservative Culture

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2016 by Drogo

My Thoughts on Racists, Racism, and Conservative Culture

This will not take long. ‘Race’ is an artificial term that we use to stereotype or ‘vaguely identify’ physical differences between the same human species, from different ethnic and genetic regions. The fact remains we are so closely related to apes, that these distinctions among our own species are more opinion than fact. Cultural pride is not the same as hateful bigotry; when the two concepts are combined to promote intolerance of differences, humanitarian self-defense must apply social pressure to limit the hostility, or fascist regimes come out of the closet and run governments and kill those that do not obey their domination. History has shown this is true; with all empires and dictators that imposed their belief that their culture is superior to others and deserves to enslave the others.

History has never frozen in time, according to the records. Things are always remixing; cultures, families, animals, plants, inanimate objects comprised of matter, etc. etc… Yes we all have our own biased or bigoted tastes or preferences that are racist because they are based on our own cultural or personal perspectives; that does not mean that being hatefully prejudice against ‘them that are other’ is a good thing in a World where we should be evolving to be more harmonious and cooperative, even with our minor distinct differences and bio-diversity. Death will come to all soon enough, and life has plenty of other challenges that we can spend time on.

Identifying by superficial features is well, superficial. Fear, greed and jealousy are at the heart of Racism, where love should be. “Races” have always been more of a rainbow blend spectrum, rather than ‘black or white’. What we call ‘races‘ (inbred DNA groups in periods of time) and ‘cultures‘ (ethnic or economic power groups) always and constantly change, adopt, adapt, and generally move around in history and countries.
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Hybrid Cultures and Races
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ps – Trump has the same New England style racism as Lovecraft (HORROR author). They are not as violent as the KKK or Nazis, but New England racists want to be the last immigrants; and want to stop cultures from mixing in the melting-pot of liberty. In the South, the KKK mainly focus on attacking blacks with psychological terror and physical violence. The KKK supports Trump, and consider Nazis to be too socialist. The Alt-Right is led by white nerds that want to justify their weak hatred with pseudo-intellectual rhetoric (words). 

SCOD Hybrid Design

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Crafts, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2016 by Drogo

‘All or nothing’ is the same mentality that causes gridlock in Congress, and starts wars. In historic and environmental circles, there are many hypocritical idealists and intolerant purists. Puritanical authoritarian attitude leads to inhumane imbalances in politics, as found in Nazis, and my ancestors ‘the Puritans’ who not only killed witches, but also stray Quakers. As radical as Bernie Sanders seems compared to main-stream Hillary, or far-right Trump; he still would barely scratch the surface of our socio-economic problems or ecological design work that needs to significantly change the paradigm. But Sanders would be a good start to help shift pop-culture a bit further to the left socially, as Obama allowed somewhat, to tolerate pluralism.

The SCOD way of reasoning, is that it is better to preserve larger portions of nature when planning architecture. If over 50% of a farm can be kept for growing food, and wilderness conservation for-ever (as long as can be predicted reasonably and indefinitely), then regardless of the details of any historic, artistic, or ecological architectural combinations; the master plan is a success overall. There are 7 basic SCOD architecture types: Yurt, A-frame, Sod, Cob, Tree, Dome, and Glass; all of which can be mixed or overlap (sod underground homes can be dome-shaped).

Hybrid cultural appropriation and poly-synthetic blending is a natural part of history. Race is an artificial term, to distinguish superficial differences between homo-sapiens. New-Age multiculturalism celebrates social and religious diversity, and encourages exchange and adaptation. Enlightened New-Age spirituality runs parallel with advances in science; such as the importance of bio-diversity, relativity, quantum theory, and mathematical fractals.

Cultural pride is not hatred of others; what ‘cultural pride’ means to me, is I can love Celtic music and mythology, and not hate other cultures. I can even love cultures that are not my own, and adopt what interests me into my own celebrations and studies in life; regardless of snobs that say I am not worthy because it disrespects cultural purity. Obviously I can be sensitive to cultures that have been abused, but I am fine with Africans wearing torcs and crowns like those in the museums of Europe. I would love that. We should share and celebrate each-others historic cultures, while helping to create new World cultural traditional blends. None of it was ever pure, and we will continue mixing and remixing all things.

People should be comfortable in communities, and methods of negotiation are useful to arrive at levels of comfort architecturally. Pillow people need to communicate with Straw people, and find out if some pillows can be made with straw, or if straw or hay can be used without using finished processed materials sometimes. Sharing personal stories, tools, games, and allegories can be helpful as well, in the art of design.

7 dwellings

 fourways temple

Too Busy for Change

Posted in Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2014 by Drogo

When i hear other people saying “sorry i am too busy”, i admit it makes me want to say it more…. i think this is the road block to developing a working community of renaissance doers that function in the market better together. Im not saying we are not actually already busy, with children work school etc…. but i think until we list a scod group as part of that busy-ness with several people committed, large scod projects will remain almost impossible.

It is important to think critically, but it is more important to contribute constructively than only criticize; by ‘contribute constructively’ i do not mean just using nice words to criticize, i mean actually helping by sacrificing more time, tools, or work….. This rule of collective actively, creating and making with others is critical for forcing change, and it starts within our own minds; specifically not just finding problems, but problem solving… which can allow innovation to make a difference.

I understand many people do not want to do certain things, and they do other things to contribute to a better world. However i would like us to continue finding people that not only want to meet, but proactively create meetings and attend them where we conspire to do projects and then do them. Harpers Ferry Outdoor Festival does a great job of this, and not only does it seem to work but i find the meetings a joy to attend.

I remember the feeling that having ‘regular jobs’ creates; it is sort of like the Old Testament God saying, ‘You shall have no other job before me!”

i sometimes commit to way too many projects, and have to quit any that i cant handle. When you have a full time job written in stone, plus the schedule is a full routine every week, then some things have to go if you want to do something else more.

Sometimes the choice is to keep doing the same things, which is fine too… it just makes it impossible if everyone does that to make collective change. if we all say we dont have time to do anything significant outside the box, guess what happens…. nothing significant. We can very easily all say we are too busy for change.

That being said, it is the way of SCOD that some people work more regular jobs in mundane places, in order to fund a better market place transition that is desired. However such full-time normal jobs should not be seen as permanent if people are not content spending the rest of their lives doing it, so long as they are able. As difficult as it may be, sometimes people need help in forcing a change of habit, if indeed they want to change the pattern. If people do not want to change enough mundane patterns to be able to contribute effectively to SCOD, then SCOD is not for them during the times they do not want to do it. SCOD is like an open field, it is there regardless of where you are, and unless it is paved over with a parking lot and condos, it will be there for you to return when you are ready to get serious.

Once people have kids i no longer expect anything from them. In reality i know people commit to what ever they think they want to, in whatever ways they think they can. When slaves are shackled, sometimes desire to be free is not enough. We are all within degrees and shades of freedom and slavery.

Life is tragedy and comedy, going from freedom to slavery, and back and forth to various degrees and shades of bondage and release, falling and flying, weakness or power, living and dying.