“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~
I would like to see a survey done, asking people if they’d ever refrained from speaking what was really on their mind among friends for fear of being ostracized from the group. I’d be willing to bet, if they answered honestly, that a large percentage of the people questioned would answer that they had. There is a polite word that society has come up with to describe this phenomenon; they call it a filter; something inside your mind that prevents you from blurting out things that might be taken as offensive or crude.
I can understand the need for a filter like that in certain situations; you certainly wouldn’t want to blurt out, “FUCK that hurt” after banging your shin in church. But I wonder how many have their internal filter settings cranked up so high so as to keep them from discussing certain controversial issues, or stating an opinion that is contrary to everyone else’s just because they don’t want people to look at them funny, or say that’s ridiculous? Do you want to know what I find ridiculous? I find it ridiculous that people keep their thoughts to themselves when they can prove that what the group thinks is not true. I find it ridiculous that social status or friendship is more important than the truth; that’s what I find ridiculous!
Psychiatrists, or psychologists, (I really can’t remember which), have stated that man is a social creature, that they require interaction with other human beings. The psychologist Maslow even placed that into his hierarchy of needs; placing it between safety and esteem. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is basically a list of needs that mankind has. It begins with the physiological needs, such as food, water, shelter, etc. Once man obtains those needs he can then move on to the next one; which is safety. Once man obtains safety, he then tries to attain love and belonging; a wife/girlfriend, and groups of friends.
While I haven’t delved into psychological studies of Maslow’s hierarchy, (I simply learned about it in leadership school in the military), I am guessing that once man attains each level of this hierarchy he would not do anything to threaten what he has obtained; unless of course he was under the influence of something, such as mind altering drugs which cause him to do things that threaten his friendships, his family, or even his health. Could that be why, once you are accepted into a circle of friends that you refrain from saying things that might threaten your status in that particular group? Like I said, I’m no psychologist, but it seems logical that this would be true; at least to me.
The problem with this phenomenon, at least as I see it, is that if people tend to keep their thoughts to themselves, they develop what is known as ‘groupthink’ or what I call the herd mentality. This phenomenon is similar to how large flocks of birds fly in these intricate patterns; changing directions instantaneously without any deviation from any member of the flock. It’s fascinating to watch…in birds…it is frightening to watch in humans; for it deprives people of their most precious possession – their individuality.
Now I’m not saying that one should be offensive, or controversial, just for the sake of being that way; that would be ridiculous as well. However, I am saying that if you know that what your group is saying is untrue then you owe it to the truth to point it out to them; regardless of whether doing so threatens your status within the group; that’s called having intellectual integrity; something I don’t see much of these days.
You see this a lot today; especially in politics. I call it party over principle; where your status in the party or ‘group’ is more important than the truth. A few years back I witnessed this first hand when I was asked to attend a local Tea Party meeting and was almost thrown out the door for questioning the positions of the candidates they were endorsing. After the meeting the guy who invited me told me that he agreed with pretty much everything I’d said, but that you cannot go around saying that kind of stuff when you’re surrounded by die hard Republicans. I told him that I thought it was a Tea Party meeting; not a meeting of the Yuba City chapter of the GOP. Although my friend had agreed with me, he kept his thoughts to himself for fear of being ostracized from the ‘group.’
I have a small group that I belong to; people I consider to be my friends. However, the thing that binds us together is not such inane things as loyalty to a political party, or fanaticism over a football team, it is intellectual integrity; we all strive to find the truth in all things. I have been taken to task, and rightfully so, for allowing my emotions to guide my reasoning process. I can only speak for myself, but I value that in friends more than I value anything else they might be able to provide me; keeping me on my toes and in accordance to the truth is more important to me than any monetary or physical benefits I could get from membership in a group.
If you were to draw a line on a piece of paper and put intellectual integrity at one end of the line, what do you think would be at the other, more extreme end; what word or phrase would you put there? I can think of but one word that would fit properly at the other extreme – hypocrisy. If you know something to be untrue, but refrain from saying it aloud in your particular group for fear of threatening your status in that group, you are a hypocrite. If you reject the truth when it is presented to you, for the same reason, (your status in a group), you are a hypocrite; for you are denying the one thing that truly matters in life – the truth.
Intellectual integrity is defined as striving to be honest and thorough in their quest to learn the truth. A person with intellectual integrity shuts down their emotional process when examining things; they rely solely upon facts and data when forming their opinions; and they courageously follow the truth, wherever it may take them. Oh, one other thing, a person possessing intellectual integrity does not fear being proven wrong; in fact they will often admit it; while those who are lacking in this quality are incapable of admitting that they were wrong. Do you want to hear a couple examples of intellectual integrity? Well here they are anyway:
– For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
– Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Both those passages can be found in Patrick Henry’s famous Give me liberty or give me death speech, of March 23, 1775. Just think of how great this country could be if everyone held themselves to such high standards of integrity. Alas, it is not to be; groupthink and denial of the truth permeates society today; and this country is the worse for it.
Ever hear the term evil genius? The first time I heard it was in reference to Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes stories I read as a kid. Moriarty was equal to Sherlock Holmes in his brilliance; however he put his genius towards evil, while Holmes put his talents towards apprehending people like Moriarty.
Well my friends, evil geniuses are real, and they exist among us. These type people are drawn towards power; both monetary and political; and once they obtain that power they it to control others. The thing about people like this is they tend to be very astute in understanding human nature; and they use this understanding to manipulate your feelings and beliefs. A perfect example of people like that are the pimps that are able to spot runaways and play upon their feelings in such a manner that they end up becoming prostitutes.
I couldn’t do that; convince someone to do something that is contrary to their own best interests takes a skill, (if you could call it that), that I do not possess. There is another category of people who also possess this ability – politicians. How else do you explain the fact that people vote for them when any examination of government itself, or the past record of these candidates, clearly proves that they have no regard for your individual liberty?
These evil geniuses, through their control of the media and the public school system, have brainwashed people into believing that they can’t live without the system they are a part of; and that anyone who tries, or who questions the authority of the system, are enemies to be feared and demonized. These evil son’s a bitches understand human nature; they know that people in large groups cannot think for themselves, and they play upon people’s need to belong to these groups so as to manipulate and shape public opinion.
Just look at all the fear generated over this Covid scare; it is all because of the constant repetition on the news media that this fear exists. Had the news never spoken of Covid at all, most people would not have know that there was anything out of the ordinary happened; only that it was just another bug going around that was causing some to get sick, and some to die. It happens every year with the flu, but due to the media bombardment and their manipulation of the numbers, people are living in fear; not only of the disease itself, but in fear of those who have studied the facts and refuse to adhere to the mandate to wear a face mask.
You could almost call this programmed democracy. Democracy, in its simplest form, is majority rule. The bigger the majority, the more power they have over the minority. Now if you could somehow shape, or manipulate the sentiments of a large majority of the people, (through fear), then you are in control of society; which is exactly what has happened in every crisis that we have faced.
There is a word to describe this groupthink; it is also called collectivism. Collectivism is the belief that the group takes priority over the individual. If you are a Star Trek fan you may remember the film The Wrath of Khan; where Spock dies at the end of the film. If you’ve seen it, you’ll remember his words to Captain Kirk, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” That is collectivism boiled down it its purest form.
The problem with collectivism is that it denies individuality; and by virtue of that it also denies the principle of individual liberty. Collectivism is the antithesis of liberty; for liberty is the freedom of each individual to live their lives as they please, while collectivism demands that all people live their lives without the freedom to deviate from ‘established’ norms. The problem with that can be summed up by a single question: Who gets to decide what is normal; what is acceptable behavior? An example of collectivist thought is political correctness; the inability to say things that might offend others; which is in direct contradiction to our fundamental right to freedom of speech.
Those who get to dictate what is, or is not, acceptable, control society absolutely; for the people no longer think for themselves, they have their thoughts fed to them through the public school system and the media. Their thinking ability is limited to the framework of what is acceptable behavior; established by the system itself as a means of control. Those who question the system, are therefore deemed, the enemy.
Even if people disagree, or dislike what this system tells them they must do, they comply anyway. If you don’t believe me, just look at how many people who will tell you in private that this mask wearing is bullshit, but when they go out in public they wear one anyway. They fear being ostracized, or deemed a threat; so they comply.
Those who obey these infringements upon their liberty, even though they dislike or disagree with them, cannot think outside the box that they are trapped in; that box being that we have to accept what the system tells us, even if we don’t like it. It’s quite similar to what Morpheus tells Neo in the film, the Matrix, “You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
The reason I bring all this up is because I see, with great sadness I might add, a serious lack of intellectual integrity among my fellow countrymen. What I do see is a preponderance of group think, or more accurately; collectivism.
The framework of our society, or more specifically our system of government allows for a certain amount of disagreement between opposing beliefs; the two party paradigm. As long as people confine their debates inside the construct of the two-party system the debate is deemed acceptable. It is when one steps outside that paradigm and begins questioning the system, and how it has become destructive of the ends for which it was instituted that they face the wrath and ire of both sides. The system cannot tolerate individuality, nor can it tolerate those who stand for individual liberty; you must choose a ‘side’, and keep your debate focused on opposition to the ‘other’ side. Step outside this box they have place you in and you become a pariah; an enemy to the public welfare and society in general.
Just look at the strategy that has been used to cause us to give up or freedoms due to the war on terror; Covid; mass shootings; and any number of other crises that the media bombards us of coverage with. It’s all programmed fear, and if you remember Maslow’s Hierarchy you will remember that security, or safety, is one of the most important needs man has. Therefore, if you can convince mankind that to obtain that safety they must first surrender their freedom, you have enslaved them without ever firing a shot or placing any shackles on their wrists.
People have become so conditioned to believe that they need government; that they could not exist without the services it provides, that anyone who questions the need for government, or the programs it enacts, is attacked and demonized.
These evil geniuses understand you better than you understand yourself. They know your fears, they know your wants and desires, and they use them against you to manipulate and control you. Just look at how readily people will turn on each other for simply not wearing a face mask if you don’t believe me. It will be the same when the vaccine comes out, and some refuse to take it; they will be ostracized and deemed a threat to the public good.
This tactic is not new; it is as old as our country itself; maybe even older. Read the history of the ratification of the constitution itself if you don’t believe me; look at how opponents to the new constitution were treated, and attacked by those who supported it; some of whom probably never even read it; their attacks were based upon their fears over what would happen if something weren’t done to remedy their dreadful situation. Boy does that sound familiar.
Look at how George Bush came out and publicly stated that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” It did not matter that the steps Bush was taking undermined the constitution and infringed upon your basic rights; all that mattered was the patriotic fever that swept through the nation after the 9/11 attacks; you were either a patriot or you weren’t, and the truth be damned! It doesn’t matter that in 1967 the Supreme Court held, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties … which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.” (U.S. v Robel)
It’s the same thing you see today in regards to these black lives matter protests/riots. If you question what they are doing you don’t care about black lives. If you mention all lives matter, you don’t care about black lives; you’re a racist. When people allow their emotions to guide their thoughts, the truth takes a back seat; if it’s not thrown from the bus altogether. When that happens, anyone who doubts, or questions, the narrative being spoon fed to the masses is an enemy and must be attacked. This whole belief that one cannot question the ‘official’ narrative is completely contradictory to our right to freedom of speech; to question things and seek out the truth.
I began noticing this years ago when political correctness first reared its ugly head. The idea, or concept, that certain things should be prohibited or banned because they are deemed offensive goes against the belief that people are free to speak their minds whenever they hear lies being told. People fear being labeled a racist, unpatriotic, or the catch all, a conspiracy theorist. Those in power realize this, and use that fear to control them, by ensuring that anyone who steps outside established boundaries are labeled as any, or all of those.
Are you aware that the term conspiracy theorist was weaponizedd by the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency? This is verified by CIA Document 1035-960: Foundation of a Weaponized Term, were we read, “‘Conspiracy theory’ is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.”
It does not matter what the term is, if it is used to stifle honest debate, or silence opposition to the ‘official’ narrative, it is a weapon by which those in power control the direction public takes. Any debate outside the established boundaries is deemed a threat, and those speaking such heresy are given a label and viciously attacked.
Look at Edward Snowden, who committed no crime; rather he exposed the crimes our government was committing. He was labeled a traitor, and had to flee the country to avoid prosecution; or possibly something worse.
Look at how the Branch Davidians were demonized; called a cult, and the actions of the FBI and the BATF were justified as necessary steps to eradicate them. The same thing happened with Ruby Ridge and the Weaver family. I don’t care who you are, nothing justifies shooting an unarmed mother through the head while holding her child in her arms…NOTHING! That is the kind of evil that permeates this country, yet thanks to the propaganda and indoctrination, the victims become the criminals, and America applauds the real criminals; which is why we see this unjustified support for law enforcement; when the truth is they are the enforcing arm of tyrants.
As I said, these tactics are not something that is new to America; they have been used from the very beginning to stifle honest debate and silence opposition. As far back as 1788, when Patrick Henry had the courage, and the intellectual integrity, to speak his mind in regards to the dangers he saw in the newly proposed constitution, he was attacked by others for daring to question their precious document. He himself said, ”When I thus profess myself an advocate for the liberty of the people, I shall be told I am a designing man, that I am to be a great man, that I am to be a demagogue; and many similar illiberal insinuations will be thrown out.”
Can you not see that the same tactics are being used today against those who dare stand for liberty in a country that is quickly sliding into abject tyranny? Now they have chosen to label those who oppose the rules being imposed upon society as psychopaths. You heard me, those who stand for liberty are not being told they have a mental illness.
In an article written by Canadian economist Michel Chossudovsky, (who has also been labeled a ‘conspiracy theorist’) we read, “A diabolical process is underway which consists in “identifying” all those who are opposed to the governments’ management of the coronavirus pandemic. According to ongoing psychological studies, these opponents are categorized as anti-social psychopaths.
Accept the “big Lie” and you are tagged as a “good person” with “empathy” who understands the feelings of others.
Protest against the official truth (“big lie”), criticize government guidelines, express reservations regarding the closing down of the global economy, social distancing and the wearing of the face mask, and you will be tagged (according to “scientific opinion”) as a “callous and deceitful psychopath”.”
Is this something new? No, it isn’t; it is just using tactics that have proven effective in the past. Benjamin Rush, the father of American psychiatry, once said that an excessive desire for liberty was a mental illness; he labeled it anarchia.
It is okay to question the Democrats if you are a Republican, or vice versa, but it is not acceptable to question the system; for you will then be labeled an anarchist. I take great pride when someone calls me an anarchist; considering they probably don’t know the meaning or the origin of the word.
The word anarchy comes from the Medieval Latin word anarchia and then from the Greek word anarchos (“having no ruler”), with an-+ archos (“ruler”) literally meaning “without ruler”. Anyone who understand what liberty is, and where it comes from, would wear the label of anarchist with pride; it is nothing to be ashamed of.
An anarchist, not to be confused with someone who believes in absolute chaos, is one who recognizes that the individual is responsible for all their own wants and needs; not society. An anarchist would not ask the government to provide something which was their responsibility to provide for themselves; including food, shelter, and security.
On the other hand, a statist, a collectivist, or someone exhibiting the malady of groupthink, requires a governing force to compel others obedience to their collective will; they cannot abide individualism. The seek to subvert individualism, and individual liberty, and replace it with collective obedience to the system; which is why the system demands that people obey its laws, and not ‘take the law into their own hands.’
People think that if anarchy were to prevail, chaos would ensue; that is entirely possible, for awhile. But there is something people do not seem to understand, which is best explained by a quote from author Robert Heinlein, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” To put that into Nealspeak, “People wouldn’t be such criminals or assholes if every time they were someone shot them.”
That is a concept that is understood universally by those who have studied, and professed allegiance to the principle of Natural Rights. Society could be self-governing, self-regulating, if it was allowed to weed out and eliminate those who posed a threat to the safety, peace, and liberty of all. Locke clearly outlined that principle in his Second Treatise when he wrote, “And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom being the foundation of all the rest; as he that, in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or commonwealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.
This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else.”
But can’t have that can we; why would we need prisons and law enforcement if people were allowed to exercise the fundamental right of self-defense? And after all, isn’t it law enforcement the enforcers the laws these tyrants write; you certainly don’t see Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump arresting and killing people, do you?
But as Morpheus said, some are so hopelessly inured to the system that they will fight to defend it; which is true with well over 90% of the American people. They may not like what the ‘other’ side is doing, but if you dare say tear down the system you are a lunatic, an enemy to be silenced.
For the truth is, freedom is the most despised thing in America today; and the fear of it crosses all political lines. It does not matter if you lean Republican or lean Democrat in your thinking, the one thing neither side can abide is the individual who only wants to be free to live their live free of taxes and governmental intrusion upon their lives.
Those who both understand what liberty is, and defend it with every ounce of their being, are a dying breed; and endangered species if you will. You may applaud when we die off and leave you to your wonderful system of equality for all; but guarantee that you’ll soon be wishing we were still around to defend your rights and liberty; for this equality y’all are promoting isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. But you’ll soon find that out for yourselves….
Oh, and if you’re wondering what the title means, eleutherophobia is the irrational fear of freedom…