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Author Topic: The Power of the Powerless  (Read 1779 times)


  • thrivalist
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The Power of the Powerless
« on: December 24, 2013, 12:35:36 pm »

David Gross does a great riff on the classic essay by Václav Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless."

Havel's essay is a bit of a slog, but Gross has done a great job interpreting it.

Many folks here at TMM will recognize themselves, others, and the system as they read.  It provides some answers to questions for people like me, who eschew violent revolution, or violence as a means to achieve one's goals.  Questions on the utility and purpose of peaceful withdrawal of consent.

It really is worth reading.

h/t to Claire Wolfe.

Merry Christmas!

cowardly lion

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Re: The Power of the Powerless
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 03:10:03 pm »

Very interesting, Silver.  Will have to do some thinking on this.  (Mainly, on how best to apply it - I've already been thinking about the principle involved)
Sic semper tyrannis, baby!    - Joel Simon

As much as we may not want to consider it, we must have a mindset that enables us to do instant and devastating violence in defense of self and/or loved ones.   -Dave Champion

It's not unusual to run into folks in the internet that are dense enough to have event horizons.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November . . . .

Don't mistake my silence for weakness - no one plans a murder out loud.

Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind.

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Re: The Power of the Powerless
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 09:56:15 pm »

I can tell you right now, after finding out that one of my friends died, and died entirely too young, probably because of stressing over the political climate more than almost any other reason I can think of, it ain't worth stressing over what the system does.

They're a bunch of corrupt bastards who aren't worth what any of us flush down the toilet.  That's not to say that they are as safe for us to be around than what we flush down the toilet almost daily.

I understand I can be brutally blunt in my expression, and some of you are offended by this, but lets face it.  Exactly as the fellow in the essay mentioned, they get us to burn up our energy upholding the very odious system which oppresses us, and when we "oppose it" we basically step into the cookie cutter molds they prepared for us called "opposition to us" rather than "they just don't give a rats ass and we can't influence them, other than to kill them or harm them and prove them right by being aggression initiating psychos.  Granted, that is exactly what they are, but we are to maintain our moral edge, or we become nothing more than the tsarists fighting the communists if we drop our moral advantage.  We are, at this point, at least, GOOD.  They are not, and never have been, aside from false promises and falsehoods being perpetrated on those afflicted with credulity.

In truth, the nastiest thing we can "do" to these corrupt bastards is to live our lives exactly as we should, as if the control freaks don't mean much to us, any more than any other trash.  For you Christians out there, Jesus is written to have said "give Caesar what is his, and God what is his" when the lawyers and SWAT/Sting operators of his day came to try to frame/Sting him as "opposition" so they could safely sideline and demonize him.  For anyone with a brain that worked, it meant "give Caesar nothing you don't believe belongs to him, and to God, everything you believe belongs to him."  Since Caesar and his men were and are a huge criminal enterprise that clubs you over the head or threatens you and takes your stuff, and puts their flag and face on everything and then claims to own it by virtue of counterfeiting their likeness/brand on everything, legitimately, the only thing belonging to Caesar was exactly what Brutus and Company gave him.  A few swift stabs to the chest.  That they proceeded to become a triad of tyrants afterwards swiftly points you to my above argument.  Never lose the moral high road/edge.  It is the only thing that separates us from those who tyrannize us.  Everyone can resort to evil or stupid fantasy.  Few do not.

So, seriously, lets see them for what they are.  Scum.  Instead of vehemently burning up our lives to fruitlessly oppose the machinations of bureaucrats and scum by opposing their ever changing symbols and falsehoods with tools they devise in arenas they designate by rules they permit, lets simply realize that we aren't contesting with them, nor their false (un)holy symbols (secular or otherworldly.)  We are contesting with ourselves to recognize the evil we face as being a lie, believed more fiercely than any religion (except perhaps Islam to a suicide bomber, but governmentalists are more akin to muslim suicide bombers than to anything else, for they believe equally as fiercely, and while most are cowards seeking to milk the system, enough of them are "true believers" and thus both, very dangerous, and completely devoid of their own identity, just like any other cultist.  So you aren't supposed to oppose them, as much as to realize that they are willing victims of a lie so heinous that disbelieving it is probably the hardest difficulty check they'll perform in their whole lives, and it will shatter the very foundations of every other lie they've accepted as truth.  For many people, seeking truth is scary because so many of the things they believe to be true are LIES. 

In reality, all it takes is to stop pretending to believe their bullshit.  The first few, like all pioneers will suffer greatly, and will feel like Isaiah, screaming in the wilderness to the ears of fools and trees while looking for the Remnant.  In reality, also realize that while you may not be outright beaten or killed, you will be ridiculed.  Be above reproach in all you do.  Acknowledge your shortcomings and don't pretend they aren't there, for they will be discovered and exploited, just as the vaunted Demon's Eye sees sin and weakness and exploits it against its bearer in many ancient a mythos.

Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that when they challenge you and ask "and what would you put in its place" or a myriad other trick questions, your job is NOT to defend the truth.  Despite how much they taught you in school (as they did everyone including myself) to DEFEND your position, you are to simply question their premise instead.  Instead of saying "well, I would build X or Y" ask simply the logical question: "What would YOU put in the place of a criminal enterprise in society, or in place of an excised tumor in a long suffering patient?  Would you invite a new gang to move in or insert a new tumor into the incision?"  Get them thinking, rather than "opposing" the evil.  The evil thrives on being opposed, because, as the essay author mentions, the lie gains legitimacy when people oppose it as an ideology or ideal.  You oppose something that is real and true.  To oppose the lie, means to give it legitimacy and give it substance.

So don't oppose them, but merely laugh at their stupidity and the ridiculous nature of their lies.

Oh yeah, you'll make enemies.  As the authors of the Matrix shrewdly put it, "there are some, so inured into the very system that enslaves them, that they will fight, to the death, to defend its existence."  Realize that not everyone, not even most are ready to be unplugged.

So did every ancient wise man when proclaiming a truth rather than accepting a falsehood.  No great idea won over its opponents through opposition.  It survived their deaths via attrition.

Early scientists were persecuted widely by the Church, for example, and yet, while the ideas were sound, they could never persuade the dogmatist living in a lie and an illusion, to face the truth, that the men being murdered or tortured were actually seeking to find out how nature/god/existence works.  Not to prove God doesn't exist simply because proof is difficult to collect to counter that argument or to prove it.  (Again, the truth never needs defending, as, by virtue of its nature, the truth disproves illusions, illusions are what needs defending, The truth, you may question and attack and it repels attack, because what is true has one virtue which a lie never does... the truth simply IS.  A fact will not stop being true just because a fanatic questions it and kills those who believe or know the truth.)  No, financial ruin as more and more turned away from the Church is what persuaded the Vatican's bureaucrats to change their stance on various things throughout history.  It was either find a way to reconcile reality with their dogma, or lose their hold on people's lives (and more importantly, their economic output, aka, their wallets.)  History is replete with such examples where some organization opposed the truth until it couldn't do so and remain relevant/viable/solvent.

Again, the truth needs no defending, and if you defend it, you only accomplish one thing, undermining your own point.  Truth is universal, it does not need you or I to "defend" it, it merely should be recognized, and the FALSE premises questioned.  The truth stands without help, lies fall the moment they are examined whatsoever and CANNOT be defended.  Truth should not need defense, and lies cannot be defended... simple as that, each and every time.  Any child screaming as taught in school that "my daddy and mommy are the dictator and his wife" (see any totalitarian communist statist dictatorship) will quickly discover that the presidente and his fearless wife are NOT going to prepare or heat up a bowl of soup.  Reality trumps lies and platitudes each and every time.  And no reality is a more rapid fact check than deprivation/starvation and lack of shelter.

Instead of stressing over these bastards and the evil they pass as truth, lets simply recognize that, A, they are seriously and often irredeemable bastards, B, they are scummy liars and thieves, and C, they are so full of shit, only the truly congested cannot smell them out.  So lets stop giving them the battle ground choice by fighting the battles they choose for us to waste our energy with.  Just recognize them for A, B, C, and walk your own path.  For some that is easier than others, but the only true freedom you have in this world is to USE YOUR MIND.  So do it... and stop getting frustrated over that evil.  They will continue to screw us over.  View it as the cost of living and keep living, and give them as little as you can, if they demand you pay them lip service, get sick, have another apointment, lose your voice during the slogan, have a cough, whatever.  It is YOUR life.  Until we discover immortality, the practical or religious kind, mostly every human is likely to die at some point... so... in light of that, when your time comes, if your life indeed flashes before your eyes, what would you like to recap?  How you let some bastards not worthy of even your contempt, run your life for you, or how you snagged every shred and shard of freedom you could, and found ways to live your life DESPITE their idiocies they forced you to endure?
Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.
Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take the wall with you.


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Re: The Power of the Powerless
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 06:22:44 am »

Bravo, DF.  :)
The lust to control the lives and property of others is the root of all evil.


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Re: The Power of the Powerless
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 01:29:14 pm »

We are, at this point, at least, GOOD.

That's the "real" issue, and that's their worst enemy, as without GOOD, there is no EVIL, and they can only be seen as EVIL in the presence of, or when confronted by GOOD.
And that's why "they" work so hard to corrupt everyone in the entire world......because they want to be seen as your benefactor, your savior, your mommy.......and not as the wretched parasites they are.
Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.
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