Those who love Trump recognise what he is not.
Those who hate Trump recognise what he is.
Too bad those who hate him accepted the evils that preceded.
Too bad those who love him think he has our best interests at heart.
He is not the established status quo that has been waging phony wars and trampling on our liberty for decades. He is not your normal smooth slippery politician. He is not somebody’s puppet. He is not predictable. He is not stupid.
He is a classic narcissist – constantly self-aggrandizing, arrogant and demanding. He ignores opposing views and displays little empathy. He loves borders. His own grandeur trumps all. He is stupid.
Love him or hate him, Trump is just another flavour of ruler, temporarily at the helm of a 21stCentury equivalent to the Roman Empire. He is a very different flavour and, like Marmite, elicits either love or hate. Few sit on the fence with Trump.
Whacky or wonderful, the Donald will come to pass. He is shaking things up, for better or worse. After him the status quo will return to the abnormal that we are used to, with duplicitous greedy politicians pretending to be sincere caring thoughtful human beings. With rare exceptions they will still be in the pockets of various corporate, industry or national lobbying bodies that really don’t give a damn about your personal well-being. The most powerful lobbies represent those feeding consumers products that are known to damage our well-being and those supplying pharmaceutical fixes for the results – from depression to indigestion, diabetes to cancer. The arms lobby represents industries that benefit from fear and conflict (preferably on other continents), which damages the well-being of countless innocents.
That is all pretty much business as usual. Much as we may be appalled by it, lobbying is an inevitable fact of life in America’s so-called free society, highly regulated by a top-down militaristic state. We would not be happy if “Parents Against Mandatory Vaccines” were not free to lobby their rulers against laws that require vaccination of their babies. It is just that Big Pharma has much deeper pockets with which to lobby Big Government. Many who love Trump share his doubts over mandatory vaccination. Maybe he will…
But let us not get sidetracked on details like who is president and what they are legislating or de-legislating, putting up or tearing down. Across the globe we find “politicians” at the bottom of the list of professions that people trust to speak truth. The British people are more likely to trust bankers, builders and estate agents than their politicians. Just 21% trust politicians to tell the truth. That means four out of five people do not trust politicians.
Such levels of distrust may seem like a no-brainer to many, but consider that politicians are those in charge of some of the most important aspects of our lives. We DO NOT put them in charge with our votes. They are in charge because they have taken charge, whether we like it or not. Democracy lets us have two or three ruler choices to pick from, all of them opposed to each other but in the same exclusive club. They battle with ballots instead of bullets and what they fight for is the power to be our rulers and receive the tax yield. They understand each other much better than they do you or me. They are not there to serve us, but themselves. It has always been so.
Is it not strange that, despite our disconnect with and distrust of politicians, so many of us still think that rulers are a necessary evil? Rather than ask who would look after food safety, the environment, the economy, education and our health, we should instead question the wisdom of having these expensive incompetents doing so. The politicians’ record has been appalling, perhaps because everything they do is done ‘for political reasons.’ How did we ever end up in such a dire situation?
Let us roll right back and recognise that the state’s primary function, its raison d’être, is to protect us from other versions of itself. Everything productive or functional that it does is stuff that we are doing, being paid for with money that comes from us in the first place. Without spending tax receipts, people have built skyscrapers, subway systems, canals, airlines, container ships, etc. Building roads is not rocket science.
Originally taking charge was always by force, demanding submission to a higher authority and payment of taxes. Up to 2300BCE in Mesopotamia, and beyond in other locations, there were well-organised civilised peoples co-existing without major conflict, trading with each other and living well. They dealt successfully with the complexities of life in cities of 10 – 50,000 or more (Uruk 2900 BCE). Humans are good at this. Then Sargon the Psychopath (aka Sargon of Akkad), trained just a few hundred men to kill their fellow human beings on command, a difficult task. With them he subjugated 21 cities in Mesopotamia, razing to the ground all trace of the one that opposed him. His euphemism for this crime against humanity was “unification.” Sargon firmly established the authority of rule by coercive force. The premise that “might is right” entered our culture, firmly.
This isn’t a history class so we won’t go into the 2000 years it took for Sargon’s concept to reach Rome and it’s transmutations en route – but here’s a cool video! A thousand years after Rome’s empire collapsed, the ‘might is right’ concept was taken to North America by armed Europeans. In its day, Sargon’s Akkadian Empire was a very big first, but it was smaller than Iran today, and it took many centuries for the ‘cancer’ to metastasise across continents. In its winding course we have had emperors, pharaohs, kings & queens, princes, popes, prime ministers, general secretaries, presidents and commissioners ruling increasingly diverse aspects of our lives, and demanding more of our money with which to manage and protect us. Every ruling state of whatever colour or ruler has its origins in violence, whether enacted with good intentions or bad.
Every state has another thing in common. They are all funded by taxation – the original point of organised coercion – and their legislation is powered by the underlying threat of coercion: “Do what we ask/tell you or we will inflict damage upon you.” This manifests in many ways and has been going on so long that we think it is a natural part of being human. It is not, and as David Friedman put it “The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.” Threats and violence do not provide sustainable evolving solutions and never have.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump heads up the most coercive organization in the world with the power of life and death, literal and figurative, over peoples and nations across the globe. The American Empire thrives on division, global conflict and fear. It is not an organisation that Trump built, but whoever is president stays there by feeding the beast, however eccentric their other leanings may be.
Good, bad or indifferent, rulers come and go, while the machine of a super state relentlessly sucks citizens’ wealth into its coffers and borrows more to fund relentless war. History shows us that eventually all empires come to an end, whether through conquest or collapse. History shows us that we once lived together in harmony without evidence of wars or a ruling elite. We have the skills.
Top-down government does not work and many now realize this, accepting it only as a necessary evil. But there it is—what to do? First of all, stop believing that the state is necessary, stop being frustrated by its inevitable failures, and stop expecting that it will get something right in the long run. By realising that the state is not a viable option, we open ourselves up to the discovery of alternative means to look after ourselves. Humanity’s newfound Internet connectivity has opened the door to building flexible and functional voluntary government from the bottom up. It is happening.
If these thoughts have resonated but you still hold onto the common notion that we need arch-criminals in charge to protect us from the threat of lesser criminals in our midst then you might be interested in my book, which addresses that, and much more.
The wheel needs a whole new hub, not just another revolution.
Summary of Chapters (free online)
from The State Is Out Of Date – We Can Do It Better
Preface- Peace, A Natural State
People accept their governments as a necessary evil, assuming that we could not live without central control underwritten by force. War, taxes and corrupt politicians are assumed to be a natural part of the human lot – an inevitable accompaniment to civilization. The Preface points out that we have tried an awful lot of variations on the theme of government, from kings to military juntas, pharaohs to parliaments, and keep hoping that the next one will work – vainly. Maybe we are not all natural-born killers and it is not necessary for us to kill and maim each other for unnecessary reasons. Perhaps living in peace with each other and our planet is actually an easier and more natural condition than that which we experience today.
Chapter 1 – What Would An Alien Think?
We project many human idiosyncrasies onto our depictions of extra-terrestrial cultures. We assume they are run by governments like ours, fully equipped with advanced weapons of mass destruction. This opening chapter proposes that a highly advanced alien visitor might not possess the tools to defend itself against the ferocious firepower that we have dedicated our wealth and technology to developing. Why do we assume that massive destructive power is the hallmark of an advanced successful civilization? A fully-fledged, intelligent and culturally sophisticated civilization might easily exist on some other planet without the need for a heavily armed state running it with rulebooks, police, jails and judiciary. What we do on Earth is more likely the exception than the rule for those gifted with higher intelligence.
Chapter 2 – The Emperor Has No Clothes
We all know the tale of the little child who had the innocence to point out what everybody else could see, but not perceive. We can all see that government by force is as ineffective as beating your child into good behaviour. But few are willing to question it and consider whether we might survive without it – whether we could self-organize into a stable and free system, as does all else in the universe. Many great thinkers have made the point that there is no such thing as good government, and that the best we can hope for is less of it. We use the term “for political reasons” to describe something done for reasons that are somehow not honourable. And yet we all go about our lives as though the emperor had his clothes on, as though government was working, continuing to hope that with the right tweaks and twists of the knobs, the politicians will eventually get it right. Most of the problems which we expect governments to sort out are, sadly, problems caused by governments, whether that be orphans or terrorists, refugees or the unemployed, bulging jails or even mad cows…as we shall see.
- “We shall get nowhere until we start by recognising that political behaviour is largely non-rational, that the world is suffering from some kind of mental disease which must be diagnosed before it can be cured.” George Orwell (1903 – 1950)
Chapter 3 – The State Is Out Of Date
Here, we see that little has changed in the underlying operation of the state since its first beginnings some four thousand years ago. Whether the rules are written by divine emperors, dictators or presidents, by priests or elected parliaments, the resultant state tells us what to do, taxes us as much as it can and threatens to damage us if we do not comply. And its primary raison d’etre is to protect us from other versions of itself. It now seems apparent that any new version of this ruling apparatus will, at best, be less costly and corrupt than the preceding one – a meagre hope seldom satisfied. It does not seem to ultimately matter what sort of people run the state or how they got to power. All is subservient to their primary goal of remaining in power. The most positive thing we can do is to recognize that the state will neither be able to bomb, nor even negotiate us into world peace. Neither can it legislate and tax us into harmony with our environment. Until we free our heads from such expectations the route to viable forms of peaceful self-government will be difficult. We have the technology, the will and the need.
4 Chaos theory
5 Playing God?
6 Do you believe them?
7 Natural government versus state control
8 Legitimising coercion
9 The constant confrontation
10 A terminal tool bag
11 Our problems – our solutions
13 Divide and rule
14 Birthright denied
15 The thin border line
16 Who owns you?
17 Victimless crimes
18 Poverty & crime: a popular myth
19 So what’s news?
20 The state of business
21 Global Corporation Inc.
22 The arms industry toilet
23 What’s wrong with money?
24 Banking and banksters
25 Strange fruit
26 Meat of the issue
27 The drugs problem
28 Positive protest – get fluffy!
29 A working example
30 The ways and means
31 Emptying the corridors of power
32 And where from here?