Ah, dissidence. Are we at last to tolerate a little liberty? If only for the sake of theatre. A little stage in a little mind made dizzy by the need to validate this curiosity? How did it once taste? How did it sound? Has a judge even the memory to recall? And what man made this freedom his standard? How did it acquire conformity? But I remember the tales! Ah, tales indeed! Spun by who, exactly? A modern interpretation with a little room for manoeuvre. That even liberty could be inherited? And when the last free man died who exactly protected this heirloom? Someone buried it? In literature? No! It was buried in the dust! So that you may come again!
Chimp-men elect the greatest organiser among them to increase the effectiveness of their chimp-bashing abilities.
In primitive societies this would be the chimp-man who has asserted his prowess through combat. All other chimp-men within the collective recognise this authority based upon a sensual evaluation – that is, all would be challengers have been defeated in an open contest before the eyes of all the other chimp-men in attendance. With this contest won the strongest chimp-man can then organise the chimp-men under his command to bash other, less effectively organised, chimp-men and steal their chimp-ladies. This is a Tribal government.
As societies grow larger it is impossible for every chimp-man to view the combat which determines who is the strongest chimp-man. And, besides, complex societies require a greater level of logistical understanding (read bureaucracy) to organise effectively owing to the various needs of the participants. The next contest is settled through ‘Right to Rule’, ‘Mandate of Heaven’, etc… This utilises Man’s ability to form abstractions to construct an ethereal system of idols which reflect various beliefs in the physical world – fertility, war, well-being, etc. The chimp-man which best fulfils these rituals asserts his authority upon the collective by appealing to their need to be recognised by a primordial creator and the perceived advantages such things confer. This method can reach a wider audience compared with Tribal government owing to language and rumour. Internal chimp bashing increases the cohesion of the collective by either eliminating or coercing dissidents while externally it is free to bash chimp-men from other belief systems. This is a Theocratic government.
Societies which reject the superstitious pretence of a primordial creator yet adhere to the ‘Right to Rule’ principle represent a Monarchy (read feudal hierarchy). Rather than settle the matter of master chimp-man through the ability to perform rituals a bloodline is declared. In this system the ‘Right to Rule’ is passed from kings to heirs and is maintained as long as there are no substantial claims to the throne or a complete rejection of the system. This feudal system imposes severe restrictions upon each chimp-man based upon his status. Chimp-Serfs are bashed by Chimp-Vassals. Chimp-Vassals are bashed by Chimp-Lords. Chimp-Lords are bashed by Chimp-Monarchs. The higher the rank of the individual the less bashing occurs owing to a need to preserve cohesion. (Chimp-Serfs may frequently starve to death without attention but if the same fate were to befall a Chimp-Lord then the integrity of the system would be challenged). Chimp-Monarchs can still suppress Chimp-Lords but this is much subdued compared to the suppression reserved for Chimp-Serfs unless the word ‘treason’ is muttered. Externally speaking a Chimp-Monarch may then decide what he really wants to do is to bash another Chimp-Monarch for some perceived (and no doubt deserving) offence. When this happens the Chimp-Serfs must create surplus to support the war effort and then go and die in it along with the Chimp-Vassals and Chimp-Lords, and maybe even the Chimp-Monarch. This is a Feudal government.
Once a society rejects both the ‘Right to Rule’ and Tribal principles it elects a Chimp-Ruler through ballot. Crudely speaking, the majority of voters elect a Prime Chimp-man who will bash less organised opponents to confer advantages upon the electorate. This can include land rights, working wages, tax breaks or a welfare system depending upon who the right to vote is extended to. Once a Prime Chimp-man is sworn into office he or she may legitimately reduce or rescind the rights of minority groups declaring, with much gusto, that they represent the majority. This is a Democratic Government.
The pinnacle of our chimp bashing system has to be the ability to bash chimps that aren’t even born yet. This method of chimp bashing occurs through national debt. This regime of chimp bashing requires that the chimp-men of today extract more money from the government than they pay in taxes plus money received from all operational licences which the government grants. Various interests groups from corporations to parasitical citizens lobby the government for favourable conditions to increase their revenues. As a result the government takes on more debt than it can possibly hope to pay back. This outstanding balance is recouped from unborn chimp-men when they eventually enter the labour market. Crony Capitalism and National Debt are our most refined forms of chimp bashing. But, alas, both are still chimp bashing.
To these Godly souls I should lead them away from all base existence. But alas, what words of mine would evict their base desires? That common bond of depravity! Such have I lived! Such have I tasted! That bitter sensation of the youthful soul, not strong enough to nourish itself! That it must drink from others! Then I say this, who has courage to sip from this joyful chalice? For too long it has simmered, now from the mount does it spill. All was concocted within me and only now do I erupt! Only at my hour do all know me! By what other hour could I be known? That I did wander through my loneliness to make myself known to – myself! For what truer virtue exists other than the virtue of oneself! So I say this also, “Make oneself of one’s own virtue!” For only then can you know what you ought to love. I make that the only law of the Noble Virtue, the Noble soul. Through it I give my unreserved love to those who stand before me. To those whose virtue is at odds with order, the demanded virtue, the expected happiness. For there exists no greater measure of virtue than he who suffers for his virtue. And no greater strength than he who smiles through bitterness.
Where is your zest, young man? Youth has been maligned, corrupted, conspired against. And now you come of age – for what? To inherit your own boredom! How obedient we have made Man, how worthless. When those instruments of efficiency swallow your education how will you bargain for your happiness? How shall we, in our acquiescence, ever arise to the most lofty of ideals – the creation of our values? Dignity has acquired a sense of equality – the taming of all aspiration – for it does not do to undermine the esteem of men. But what has Man’s timidity brought? Has he ever viewed himself through his own eyes? Could he survive his own verdict? Only if society had raised him to its baseness. Only if he had not compromised some part of himself in the acceptance of these values. But where is our overcoming, our youth? Why does it learn to be afraid? Why does it learn to submit? Why does it grow – old?
Power is the dominion of a single representation. There can exist no plurality in its manifesto. As such it is dependent upon a simple, rigid ideology that allows no room for manoeuvre. Anything else would undermine its legitimacy. But how does a single representation come about and how does it come to dominate?
Power is the means to gain recognition for either a person or an abstraction. Once recognition is obtained actions that were previously criminalised can be legitimately undertaken in its name. This legitimacy has two parts; firstly the person committing the act, secondly the observer witnessing the act. Once an ideology is established the person committing the act will always consider the act to be lawful if it satisfies the goals of the ideology. The act only gains legitimacy for the observer if it passes a threshold of acceptance. This threshold of acceptance will consist of many forms. Some will accept it as popular opinion, others will accept it by some deep-seated prejudice that the ideology satisfies. Some will settle that it is an unwanted but necessary alternative to the current situation. Some will accept it based upon what they can gain from it. Others will accept it if it conforms to reason. It is doubtful that the ideology will satisfy all of the above and thus will never achieve universal acceptance but universal acceptance is not required. If the ideology passes the threshold of acceptance then power allows any executive to coerce or threaten the reluctant parties. Given that our threshold of acceptance is a subjective quantity based upon people and environment we shall focus our attention on the source of power in the hope that we may give a just account of it.
Power is expressed through a single representation of life. A single representation is the ultimate declaration of being in the sense that it rejects all other external representations, i.e. that of another conscious perception, as invalid concerning the justification of existence. Indeed existence only has relevance if it serves and promotes the ideology. As such, anything than opposes or runs contradictory to this ideology must be suppressed and eliminated. That is how it comes to dominate and only through excessive effort is it sustained.
But how does this singular representation arise? Recognition. A being is dissatisfied with the current interpretation of existence and proposes a different set of values based upon his inner beliefs – that is, his esteem. He believes that his interpretation is a necessity that only he can provide. Thus he rejects all dissent as meaningless arguments based on incorrect values. Where he strides others shall follow, he shall create peoples along with a legitimacy through his will – that is, the outer manifestation of his inner beliefs. He surrounds himself with people who affirm his inner valuations creating a dangerous feedback loop. Anything that contradicts the ideology is now willingly misinterpreted so as not to offend the values of the system constructed. But a loss of causality – that is, the link between cause and effect – means that the ideology cannot correctly identify underlying causes with physical effects. Eventually the physical opposition to the system overcomes the spiritual strength of power and the ideology collapses.
Mankind is not uniform. His valuations do not amount to universal consensus on existence. Privacy is essential for this reason, it provides a quiet retreat away from collective judgements – that is, a common consensus on how a person should behave when in company. For some these collective judgements provide a necessary scale on how to measure one’s success and worth, for me they are a farce. I always ask myself if it didn’t exist would I create it, in most cases the answer is ‘no’. If I am at odds with the spiritual evaluation of a human being then I am not satisfied, or impressed, by any subsequent achievement that this system recognises. And equally, nor will my achievements and failures be recognised by this collective valuation. Man is interred by a reward system that came before his existence, to maintain this system requires excessive energy to prevent a human being from reverting to type – that is, without inheriting a system of values the person in question would be forced to form their own abstractions and subsequent recognition system. This is disobedience – a reluctance to honour the previous system imposed upon human worth. But the system has only gained legitimacy because it came first – that is, it is the most archaic system devised. In it everything presupposes obedience to a higher assessment, God, nature, the town, the nation, the race. Everything is made to feel larger and more important than the individual. He is asked to play his part, mutual cooperation, assimilation, indeed anything that prevents him from discovering who he is. Dangerous things begin to happen when an individual losses touch with his sense of community. He begins to reassess what is important through the only mechanism available – himself. His questions go unanswered, namely on two counts – one because only he understands the question and two because people don’t understand the aim of the system. He refutes the exploitation of either his intellect or his virtue or his effort. At this point the system rallies and expends a significant amount of its resources to ‘correct’ or ‘re-educate’ the dissident. He has neither asked for this attention nor sees the value in it. But he is sure of one thing, he is a failure by the measures inherent in the system because he has not satisfied the key value of it – blind obedience. Before accepting any truth he dares to ask, ‘what does it mean to me?’ There exists a simpleness in him, not through a lack of intellect but through an abundance. His interests turn to other, less valued, pursuits. But replacing one set of nonsensical values with another set achieves no victory worth mentioning. After this period of disillusionment comes the real worth of being – the judgements cast against any dissident lead him to revaluate what is necessary about his existence; what does he find joy and despair in? How does he attain validation if the herd cannot bestow him with worth? The energy the system expends to undermine the individual’s valuations eventually succeed but they succeed too well. The dissident, cut off from these reward mechanisms, now seeks validity in reason and takes his place amongst wiser counsel. He sees that the greatest minds have experienced the same reluctance to embrace the herd instinct and once here he is never going back.
To the apologists amongst us; what offence have we ultimately committed? There is much that resists Man’s brashness, his outward actions. Are we to also induce regret in such beings and demand that they rescind such behaviour? Does his threat undermine our valuations so much that we must scold him for it? I would say that there exists much femininity in reprimand, a desire to install shame in otherwise adventurous characters. And yet how many men have bowed simply to impress? That shame is a system to reduce any wilful occurrence to an offensive gesture. If drawn to its conclusion these apologists seek a great taming of disorder. And what would we have in its place? Boredom? Obedience? That, my friends, is far too heavy a price.