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Can Politics (poly-tics) Be Moral?
Advice for Politicians and Aspiring Politicians from Sedona - The City of Light
I winter outside of Sedona, Arizona, aka “The City of Light” aka “The New Jerusalem”. The reason it acquired these monikers is that the town has become a global center for enlightenment in a world of spiritual darkness.
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The town itself has a full-time population of around 10,000 but it attracts from 3-6 million tourists a year from around the world who come for breathtaking views, our “energy vortexes”, energy healing, sound baths, detoxification centers, yoga community, spiritual gurus, Med Beds, the High Vibe Collective, and the Sedona Quantum Consciousness Center to name but a few of Sedona’s delights.
Because Sedona has become a global center for spirituality it has attracted some of the world’s best spiritualists (Bernhard Guenther), unity theorists (Isaac Mars), energy healers (Lauren Manzke, conscious musicians (Grant Ellman of Prezence) channelers (Lincoln Gergar), Oracles (Jesselynn Desmond), Shamans (Shams Teh), futurists/consciousness hackers (Zenka Caro), longevity gurus (Troy Casey), breathing coaches (Mark Szymzak), Arturians (Arcturus Ra) yogis and yoginis (Tamara Lee Standard, Jen Richards, Jonathan Rickert), spirituality entrepreneurs (Tanjila Islam), organite artists (Brandon Strabala), Sacred Geometrists (Nadi Hana), and even multi-disciplinarian truthers like myself. It’s like Branson, MO.. cept spiritual.
The vibe of the town is off the chart! There is still alcohol but it is so light and in the minority… The #1 bar in town among the consciousness crowd is Lacuna…a kava bar that serves kava, CBD, and kratom drinks but no alcohol. The crowds frequently overflow the patio into the parking lot and the DJs keep it bouncing all night.
Percentage-wise, it is the most voluntaryist and anarchist place I have ever lived BUT, interestingly the majority of folks that I have met who self-identify that way seem to have come to it through the spiritual aspect of doing no harm, not voting to rob their neighbors, etc.
When I lived in Santa Cruz and San Jose for a couple of months in 2020 it was the largest # of voluntaryists and peaceful anarchists I have ever seen (pure numbers) but the overwhelming majority of the programmers and tech folks in the valley seem to have been attracted by the cold logic of the Non-Aggression Principle, Natural Law, the free market, and the utilitarian case for the wealth creation of free entrepreneurial humans.
Shortly after one of my friends in Sedona decided to run for city council I was drawn to pick up a copy of The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose, one of the best books on political philosophy from any era, the book I gift the most after my own, and the #2 best-seller in the Art of Liberty Foundation bookstore. I landed on a chapter entitled:
The Effects of the Myth on the Masters - The Divine Right of Politicians
I have replicated a portion of the chapter below for my friends running for office but wanted to preface with some of my own thoughts of how the political landscape can be navigated morally.
Is it possible to run for office morally? Yes… But it is tightrope. While I don’t vote to rob my neighbors I am not against the policy of voting defensively in those cases where the Liberty movement has the potential to win electorally (Sedona, New Hampshire, Idaho, etc.) BUT I would be looking for a candidate running to be NOT-Mayor or NOT-City Councilor because they would have the honesty to say that political authority is a scam.
I am looking for candidates that would only act in office to protect life, liberty and property (no redistribution or spending tax-slave money on pet projects) and would be doing everything in their power to privatize everything in their power!
2. Don’t Vote to Rob Your Neighbor – The 2nd piece of advice I would give would be to never vote to rob your neighbor no matter what the political expediency.
While I don’t believe in the “Con-stitution” I do think it is interesting that James Madison himself was quoted as saying: “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
3. Get use to saying: NO! and explaining the basics of logic, morality, and property to victims of the “Government’s” indoctrination system – Because inter-generational organized crime runs the “Government” they have forced the population into their mandatory “government” schools where they have been tricked into thinking that “Government” is legitimate, moral and necessary before they were old enough to evaluate the logic and morality of those claims. Get ready to have to say: NO! to every want and desire of the population and your fellow council people.
4. Remember that there is a gun and threat of violence behind every law, fine, and tax – Most people would never dream of pointing a gun at another human being but, paradoxically, have no qualms at all with supporting “laws”(politician scribbles) that require “government” to hold the gun for them. One example that is popular in Sedona right now is a cacophony of people demanding that the “government” ban short term rentals (Air-BnB). The core of the problem is “government” I.E. the organized crime US federal government gave “banks” the ability to create money out of thin air using fractional reserve banking even though it is inflationary and even though it is stealing the value out of everyone else’s money. The bankers and the firms that manage the assets stolen through fractional reserve banking (Especially BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street) are taking their fiat paper tickets and digital dollars and turning them into real estate, plant, property and equipment. Private equity is buying up homes in Sedona, turning them into AirBNBs and it is pushing longtime locals out of the housing market.
Instead of focusing on the real problem (“Government” being used to rob the population of the purchasing power of their money and enrich an entrenched criminal class of parasites), many are agitating for… wait for it… more “government”! There are demands that the local “government” do something about it and restrict the ability for everyone in town to use their property as they see fit. They are looking to rob their neighbors of a portion of the value of their property not understanding how their support of theft is leading to them getting robbed themselves. It is a small but vocal minority that doesn’t seem to understand Karma!
5. Realize You Have No Mandate – Even if magical “democracy” could somehow transmute the criminality of “mob rule” and theft into the promised rainbows and unicorns of socialism, the hard, cold truth is only about 30% of the population votes in Sedona. That’s right: the overwhelming majority doesn’t support either political party, doesn’t believe in voting to rob their neighbors, or doesn’t believe their vote will be counted or make a difference. Even if you believe in the scam of “government”, there is no “mandate” for the local “government” to do anything. Period. If that isn’t proof-positive that “government" is illegitimate and should be privatized and disbanded then I don’t know what else could be more clear.
Part III of The Most Dangerous Superstition
The Effects of the Superstition - Effects of the Myth
Throughout the ages, human beings have clung to all sorts of superstitions and false assumptions, many of them relatively harmless. For example, when most people believed the earth to be flat, that factually incorrect notion had little or no impact on how people lived their daily lives, or how they treated one another. Likewise, if children believe in the tooth fairy, or that storks deliver babies, they are not going to become purveyors of evil as a result of accepting such myths. On the other hand, over the years other false assumptions and myths have posed real dangers to humanity. It could be a simple misunderstanding among doctors, which led them to try “cures” that posed a bigger threat to their patients than the maladies they were trying to treat. As a more drastic example, some cultures offered up human sacrifices, in the hope that doing so would win the favor of their imaginary gods.
But nothing else comes close to the level of destruction – mental, emotional and physical – that has occurred throughout the world, and throughout recorded history, as a result of the belief in “authority.” By dramatically altering how people perceive the world, the myth of “authority” alters their thoughts and actions as well. In fact, the belief in the legitimacy of a ruling class (”government”) leads nearly everyone to either condone or commit acts of evil without even realizing it. Having been convinced that “authority” is real, and that by way of it, some human beings have acquired the moral right to initiate violence and commit acts of aggression against others (by way of so-called “laws”), every Democrat, every Republican, every voter, and everyone else who advocates “government” in any form is a proponent of violence and injustice. Of course, they do not see it that way, because their belief in “authority” has warped and perverted their perception of reality.
The trouble is that when something alters a person’s perception of reality, the person rarely notices it happening. For example, the world might look very different to someone wearing colored contact lenses, even though he cannot see the lenses themselves. The same is true of mental “lenses.” Each person thinks that the world is really the way he sees it. Everyone can point to others and claim that they are out of touch with reality, but almost no one thinks that his own perception is skewed, even when others tell him so.
The result is billions of people pointing fingers at each other, telling each other how delusional and misguided they are, with almost none of them willing, or even able, to honestly examine the “lenses” that distort their own perceptions.
Everything a person has been exposed to, especially when young, has an impact on how he views the world. What his parents taught him, what he learned in school, how he has seen people behaving, the culture he grew up in, the religion he was raised in, all create a long-lasting set of mental “lenses” that affect how he sees the world. There are countless examples of how mere differences in perspective have led to horrendous consequences.
A suicide bomber who intentionally kills dozens of civilian strangers imagines that he is doing the right thing. Nearly everyone on both sides of every war imagines himself to be in the right. No one imagines himself to be the bad guy. Military conflicts are entirely the result of differences in perspective resulting from mental “lenses” that have been trained into the soldiers on both sides. It should be self-evident that if thousands of basically good people were all seeing the world as it is, they would not be desperately trying to kill each other. In most cases, the problem is not actual evil or malice, but simply an inability to see things as they are.
Consider, as an analogy, someone who has ingested a strong hallucinogen and who, as a result, becomes convinced that his best friend is really a malicious alien monster in disguise. From the perspective of the one having hallucinations, violently attacking his friend is perfectly reasonable and justified. The problem, in the case of one whose perception of reality has been so distorted, is not that he is immoral, or that he is stupid, or that he is malicious. The problem is that he is not seeing things as they actually are, and as a result, decisions and actions which seem perfectly appropriate to him are, in reality, horribly destructive. And when such a hallucination is shared by many, the results become far worse.
When everyone has the same misperception of reality – when everyone believes something untrue, even something patently absurd – it doesn’t feel untrue or absurd to them. When a false or illogical idea is constantly repeated and reinforced by nearly everyone, it rarely occurs to anyone to even begin to question it. In fact, most people become literally incapable of questioning it, because over time it becomes solidified in their minds as a given – an assumption that doesn’t need a rational basis and doesn’t need to be analyzed or reconsidered, because everyone knows it to be true. In reality, however, each person simply assumes it to be true, because he cannot imagine that everyone else – including all the respectable, well-known, educated people on the radio and TV – could all believe something false. What business does one average individual have doubting something which everyone else seems perfectly comfortable accepting as indisputable truth?
Such a deeply entrenched belief is invisible to those who believe it. When a mind has always thought of something in one way, that mind will imagine evidence and hallucinate xperience supporting the idea. A thousand years ago, people would have confidently proclaimed that it was a proven fact that the earth was flat, and they would have said it with just as much certainty and honesty as we now proclaim it to be round. To them, the idea of the world being a giant spherical thing, floating around in space and attached to nothing, was patently ridiculous. And their utterly false assumption about the world being flat would have seemed to them to be a scientific, self-evident fact.
So it is with the belief in “authority” and “government.” To most people, “government” feels like an obvious reality, as rational and self-evident as gravity. Few people have ever objectively examined the concept, because they have never had a reason to. “Everyone knows” that “government” is real, and necessary, and legitimate, and unavoidable.
Everyone assumes that it is, and talks as if it is, so why would anyone question it? Not only are people rarely given a reason to examine the concept of “government,” but they have a very compelling psychological incentive to not examine it. It is exceedingly uncomfortable and disturbing, even existentially terrifying, for someone to call into question one of the bedrock assumptions upon which his entire view of reality, and his entire moral code, has been based for all of his life. One whose perception and judgment have been distorted by the superstition of “authority” (and that describes nearly everyone) will not find it easy or pleasant to contemplate the possibility that his entire belief system is based upon a lie, and that much of what he has done throughout his life, as a result of believing that lie, has been harmful to himself his friends and family, and humanity in general.
In short, the belief in “authority” and “government” warps the perception of almost every person, skews his judgment, and leads him to say and do things which are often irrational, or pointless, or counter-productive, or hypocritical, or even horribly destructive and heinously evil. Of course, the believers in the myth do not see it that way, because they do not see it as a belief at all. They are firmly convinced that “authority” is real, and, based on that false assumption, conclude that their resulting perceptions, thoughts, opinions, and actions are perfectly reasonable, justifiable and proper, just as the Aztecs no doubt believed their human sacrifices to be reasonable, justifiable and proper. A superstition capable of making otherwise decent people view good as evil, and evil as good – which is exactly what the belief in “authority” does – is what poses the real threat to humanity.
The superstition of “authority” affects the perceptions and actions of different people in different ways, whether it be the “lawmakers” who imagine themselves to have the right to rule, the “law enforcers” who imagine themselves to have the right and obligation to enforce the commands of the “lawmakers,” the subjects who imagine themselves to have the moral duty to obey, or mere spectators looking on as neutral observers. The effect of the belief in “authority” on these various groups, when taken together, leads to a degree of oppression, injustice, theft and murder which simply could not and would not otherwise exist.
The Effects of the Myth on the Masters
The Divine Right of Politician
In this country, at the top of the gang called “government” are the congressmen, presidents and “judges.” (In other countries the rulers are known by other names, such as “kings,” “emperors,” or “members of parliament.”) And, though they are at the top of the authoritarian organization, they are not perceived to be “authority” itself (the way kings used to be). They are still imagined to be acting on behalf of something other than themselves – some abstract entity called “government.” As a result of the belief in “authority,” they are imagined to have rights to do things in the name of “government” that none of them have the right to do as individuals. The legitimacy of their actions is measured not by what they do, but by how they do it. In most people’s eyes, the actions that politicians take in their “official capacity,” and the commands they issue by way of the accepted political rituals, are judged by a very different standard than are their actions as private individuals.
If a congressman breaks into his neighbor’s home and takes $1,000, he is seen as a criminal. If, on the other hand, together with his fellow politicians, he imposes a “tax,” demanding the same $1,000 from the same neighbor, it is seen as legitimate.
What would have been armed robbery would then be viewed by almost everyone as legitimate “taxation.” Not only would the congressman not be viewed as a crook, but any “tax cheats” who resisted his extortionist demands would be considered the criminals.”
But the belief in “authority” not only changes how “lawmakers” are viewed by the masses; it also changes how “lawmakers” view themselves. It should be obvious that if a person becomes convinced that he has the moral right to rule over others, that belief will have a significant effect upon his behavior. If he believes that he has the right to demand a portion of everyone’s income, under threat of punishment (provided he does it through accepted “legal” procedures), he will almost certainly do so. If he is convinced that he has the right to coercively control the decisions of his neighbors – that it is moral and legitimate for him to do so – he almost certainly will. And, at least at first, he may even do so with the best of intentions.
A simple mental exercise gives a glimpse into how and why politicians act the way they do. Think about what you would do if you were made king of the world. If you were in charge, how would you improve things? Consider the question carefully before reading on.
When asked what they would do if they were in charge, almost no one answers, “I would just leave people alone.” Instead, most people start imagining the ways in which they could use the ability to control people as a tool for good, for the betterment of mankind.
If one starts with the assumption that such control can be legitimate and righteous, the possibilities are nearly endless. One could make a healthier country by forcing people to eat more nutritious foods and exercise regularly. One could help the poor by forcing the rich to give them money. One could make people safer by forcing them to pay for a strong system of defense. One could make things more equitable, and society more compassionate, by forcing people to behave the way they should.
However, while many positive benefits for society can be imagined, if only “government” power were used for good, the potential for tyranny and oppression – in fact the inevitability of tyranny and oppression – is just as easy to imagine. Once someone believes himself to have the right to control others, there is little likelihood that he will choose not to use that power. And, whatever noble intentions he may have had to begin with, what he will actually end up doing is using violence, and the threat of violence, to impose his will upon others. Even seemingly benevolent causes like “giving to the poor” first require “government” to forcibly take wealth from another. Once someone – however virtuous and well-intentioned he may be – has accepted the premise that “legal” aggression is legitimate, and once he has been given the reins of power, and with them the supposed right to rule, the chances of that person choosing not to forcibly control his neighbors is almost none. The level of coercion and violence he inflicts upon others may vary, but he will become a tyrant, to one degree or another, because once someone truly believes that he has the right to rule (even if only in a “limited” manner), he will not view others, or treat others, as equals. He will view them, and treat them, as subjects.
And that is if the person started with good intentions. Many of those who seek “high office” do it for purely selfish reasons from the start, because they desire wealth and power for themselves, and delight in dominating other people. Of course, acquiring a position of “authority” is, for such people, a means of achieving an enormous amount of power that they would not otherwise have. The examples, throughout the world and throughout history, of megalomaniacs using the facade of “authority” to commit heinous atrocities are so common and well-known that they hardly require mentioning at all.
Putting evil people into positions of “authority” (e.g., Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot) has resulted in the robbery, assault, harassment, terrorization, torture and outright murder of a nearly incomprehensible number of human beings. It is so obvious that it is almost silly to even say it: giving power to bad people poses a danger to humanity.
But giving power to good people – people who, at least initially, intend to use their power for good – can be just as dangerous, because for one to believe that he has the right to rule necessarily requires him to believe that he is exempt from basic human morality.
When someone imagines himself to be a legitimate “lawmaker,” he will try to use the force of “law” to control his neighbors, and will feel no guilt while doing so.
Ironically, though “lawmakers” are at the very top of the authoritarian hierarchy, even they do not accept personal responsibility for what “government” does. Even they speak as if “the law” is something other than the commands they issue. For example, it is very unlikely that any politician would feel justified hiring armed thugs to invade his neighbor’s home, and drag his neighbor away and put him in a cage, for the supposed sin of smoking marijuana. Yet many politicians have advocated exactly that, via anti-drug “legislation.” They seem to feel no shame or guilt regarding the fact that their “legislation” has resulted in millions of non-violent people being forcibly taken from their friends and families and made to live in cages for years on end – sometimes for the rest of their lives. When they speak of the acts of violence which they are directly responsible for – and “narcotics laws” are only one example – “legislators” use terms such as “the law of the land,” as if they themselves are mere spectators and “the land” or “the country” or “the people” were the ones who made such violence occur. Indeed, the politicians’ level of psychological detachment from what they have personally and directly caused via their “laws” borders on insanity. They command armies of “tax collectors” to forcibly confiscate the wealth earned by hundreds of millions of people.
They enact one intrusive “law” after another, using threats of violence to control every aspect of the lives of millions of people they have never met and know nothing about.
And after they have been directly responsible for initiating violence, on a regular basis, against nearly everyone living within hundreds or thousands of miles of them, they are genuinely shocked and offended if one of their victims threatens to use violence against them. They consider it despicable for a mere peasant to even threaten to do what they, the politicians, do to millions of people every day. At the same time, they do not even seem to notice the millions of people who are imprisoned, whose property is stolen, whose financial lives are ruined, whose freedom and dignity are assaulted, who are harassed, attacked, and sometimes murdered by “government” thugs, as a direct result of the very “laws” those politicians created.
When young men and women are dying by the thousands, in the latest war game waged by politicians, the politicians speak of it as a “sacrifice for freedom,” when it is nothing of the sort. The politicians even use scenes of soldiers in caskets – a consequence directly attributable to what those politicians did – as photo-ops, to show the public how concerned and compassionate they are. The very people who sent the young folk off to kill or to die, then speak about what happened as if they themselves were mere observers, saying things like “they died for their country” and “there are casualties in every war,” as if the war just happened by itself.
And, of course, the thousands upon thousands of people on “the other side” – the subjects of some other “authority,” the citizens of some other “country” – who are killed in the wars waged by the politicians, are barely even mentioned. They are an occasional statistic reported on the evening news. And never do the politicians accept the smallest shred of responsibility for the widespread, large-scale, prolonged pain and suffering, mental and physical, which their war-mongering has inflicted upon thousands or millions of human beings. Again, the depth of their denial and complete evasion of personal responsibility can be seen in the fact that, f one of the victims of the politicians’ war games decides to attack the source, by directly targeting the ones who gave the orders to attack, all of the politicians, even hose claiming to be against the war, and all of the talking heads on television express shock and outrage that anyone would do something so despicable. This is because, in the eyes of “lawmakers” – due to the amazing power of the “authority” myth to completely warp and distort their perception of reality – when they do things which result in the deaths of thousands of innocents, that is “the unfortunate cost of war,” but when one of their victims tries to strike back at the source, it is terrorism.”
It is bad enough for those who are just obeying orders to deny personal responsibility for their actions (which is addressed below), but for those actually giving the orders, and making up the orders, to deny any responsibility for what their orders directly caused to happen is sheer lunacy. Yet that is what “lawmakers” always do, on every level. Whether it is the federal government, or some local township or borough council, every time a “legislature” imposes a “tax” on something, or imposes some new “legal” restriction, the politicians are using the threat of violence to control people. But, due to their undying faith in the myth of “authority,” they cannot see that that is what they are doing, and they never take personal responsibility for having threatened and extorted their neighbors.
The Effects of the Myth on the Enforcers
The “lawmakers” give the commands, but it is their faithful enforcers who carry them out. Millions upon millions of otherwise decent, civilized people spend day after day harassing, threatening, extorting, controlling, bullying and otherwise oppressing others who have not harmed or threatened anyone. But because the actions of such “law enforcers” are deemed “legal,” and because they believe they an acting on behalf of “authority,” they imagine themselves to bear no responsibility for their actions. Worse yet, they do not even view their own actions as being their own actions. They speak and act as if their minds and bodies have somehow been taken over by some invisible entity called “the law” or “government.” They say things like “Hey, I don’t make the laws, I just enforce them; it’s not up to me.” They speak and act as if it is impossible for them to do anything other than helplessly carry out the will of a power called “authority,” and that they are therefore no more personally responsible for their actions than a puppet is responsible for what the puppeteer makes it do….
To read the rest, you can get a copy of The Most Dangerous Superstition at the Art of Liberty Foundation’s Bookstore here: Government-Scam.com/store
About the Author
Etienne de la Boetie² is the nom de plume of a voluntaryist author, father, technology entrepreneur, cyclist, runner, hot yogi, multi-disciplinarian truther, armchair economist, cryptocurrency enthusiast, and neo-abolitionist who is experimenting with decolonizing human minds. Mr. Boetie² distills 20+ years of research into short, easily-digestible treatises on individual subjects and optimizes them for the 65% of society who are visual learners. Boetie² includes references and links to more comprehensive research and the “authentic voices” of the developing alternative media.
Mr. Boetie² is also the founder of a start-up public policy organization: The Art of Liberty Foundation that is developing voluntary and free market solutions to social issues while exposing the illegitimacy and criminality of “government”, and the hidden curriculum of organized crime’s mandatory government schools, scouting programs, and police/military “training”: The pseudo-religion of Statism, obedience, fealty, “order-following” and tax slavery.
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