- LAOCRACY VS PATHOCRACY (I) -

 VERSION FRANCOPHONE

 

SUMMARY OF LEARNER       INTRO & VOCAB

 

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill.

 

First of all, what is this Pathocracy? It is the rule of sociopaths. See the chapter dedicated to them and their governance.

Sociopaths are people (four percent of the population: 3% of men and 1% of women; this percentage varying according to race and its nutrition) who can tell right from wrong but feel no remorse from the latter. They inflict pain, misery and suffering on the rest of us because they are bored and have nothing better to offer themselves. Think of vampires who don’t thirst for blood but for someone else’s suffering.

Conscience is a complex set of calculations the human brain performs to ascertain the moral consequences of its behavior; the same way (fewer but still many) subconscious calculations allow someone to stay upright on a bicycle. Sociopaths lack this first capacity of conscience.

Every one of humanity’s governments, religions and philosophies has been taken over sooner or later by sociopaths. Even Christ’s sacred religion of Love was subverted by bloody-handed Inquisitors.

Those of us conscience-driven would never consent to the suffering of so many people unless we had been ruled over, trained and guided (and our literatures, philosophies and sacred texts, certified) by an historical succession of conscience-amputees. In the absence of their deviant guidance and rule, the world could become a near-utopia run by the conscience-driven. Right, justice and truth would be obvious and indisputable, not compromised as often as they are today. There would still be problems with evil and wrongdoing, just as there are in our private lives, but a lot less and a lot less important.

Is that clear?

 

Democracy unimproved cannot serve peace management, even though reactionaries and progressives support it with equal fervor. Reactionaries, because they recognize that cleptocracy, oligarchy, National Capitalism and corporate fascism – the politics of disinformation they conceal behind the expression “democracy” – are repulsive, inexcusable and fruitless in the long run; Progressives, from bankrupt imagination after millennia of serial defeat.

At best, current democracies remain elitist because they are “representative” and winner-take-all rather than direct and proportional. They promote professional politicians, an over-specialized breed that’s supposed to have mastered the complexities of civic power and popular opinion. Yet they’ve achieved very little, in the final analysis, beyond electoral shenanigans and the trickeries of campaign finance.

Laocracy would require absolute private equity, personal emancipation, elaborate safeguards against exploitation, and lots more free time to philosophize. It would require that we raised rare and beloved children into healthy adults, and that an enlightened public took heed to ethical warnings in order to reduce unintended consequences. Finally, it would require that everyone valued their own Learning above all.

In a Learner Laocracy, politicians would have strictly limited roles. They’d satisfy their need to be admired, trusted and chosen on a competitive basis—after all, those would be their topics of passion. Once elected, they will serve as social antennae, sounding out constituents for their problems and unmet requirements. Thereafter, they’ll submit those problems to the community of Learners whose topic of passion would be to solve them, and forward their solutions back to the people involved, for them to adopt or reject by vote. The Agora of PeaceWorld will facilitate this global conversation.

Never again will politicians be expected to legislate fixes for social problems they were neither trained to resolve nor passionate enough to care about; nor will they be allowed to bury problems and delay their resolution through procedural minutia and then get rewarded for this criminal neglect. In the first place, those corrupted to that extent could never get elected beyond the lowest rungs of power, and those so tempted once in office, will stand out like butcher surgeons and be expelled by clear and expeditious regulations.

Instead, honest politicians will serve their constituents in the same way honest judges will serve their juries: as specially trained guides and intimate advisers without decision-making powers. Decisions will be left to citizen voters and randomly selected juries, tamper-proof by means of human honor and longstanding orthodoxy.

We are not speaking here of a spotless paradise, but of reducing sacrifice and multiplying celebrations. Avoid sacrificing anyone but yourself. Pick a celebration, pick several and celebrate them among yourselves. Keep doing it better!

 

Democracies let the very rich handpick political candidates to suit their needs. Any politician who fails this simple test is out of the running. Thus, the strong-willed, charismatic and progressive populists we await so eagerly during every election fails to appear.

The few good ones who evade this constraint, rich psychopaths can neutralize with the deftness of long practice. From the Gracchii to the Kennedys and from Martin Luther King to the next target in line, all of them have been co-opted, marginalized and assassinated with yawning ease by conspirators of greed. Oftentimes, these public murders are not even seriously investigated for fear of civil war. Societies that ritualize capital punishment (or simply make its foremost protestors “disappear”) reserve certain execution for their best leaders. Every time proletariats have stumbled upon superior of justice and abundance, this miscalculation was soon washed away in the blood of its mastermind.

What has been the most perilous job in America? Was it Alaska King Crabber? Bomb disposal expert? No; it’s been serving as a progressive politician in recent years (especially during the era of Bush the Lesser). The following people suffered fatal plane wrecks before, during and after their time in office. The Kennedy family gets its own column.


 

Ernest Lundeen

Clement W. Miller

Birch E. Bayh, II

Nicholas Begich

Thomas Hale Boggs

George W. Collins

Jerry Litton

George T. Leland

Mel Carnahan

Paul Wellstone

1940

1962

1964*

1972*

1972*

1972*

1976

1989

2000

2002

Joseph P. Kennedy

Katheline Agnes Kennedy Cavendish

Michael Joseph Kennedy

Ted Kennedy (injured, aide died)

John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

Lauren Bessette

 

1944

1948

1949

1964*

1999

1999

1999

 

 

 

* Same plane wrecks: one in 1964 (Bayh and Kennedy survived the crash, even though an aide died), the other in 1972 (four fatalities).

 

In many cases, those people were not only progressives but leaders of the pack: unique doers and shakers, confirmed heads of the Democratic Party or being groomed as such. Their more recent replacements have been at best pale imitators (Gore), at worst crafty turncoats (the Clintons, Obama).

Only four confirmed right-wingers died in recent plane wrecks: Larry MacDonald, whose Korean Airlines Flight 007 was shot down over Russia in 1983 (a transparent conspiracy even by lax American standards. Despite a flurry of lawsuits filed by grieving families and equally grieving insurance companies, no court saw fit to investigate); John Tower, Chairman of the Tower Commission that investigated the Iran/Contra Scandal in 1991; the same year John H. Heinz crashed and died. Also, the death by plane crash of Ted Stevens, defeated reactionary Senator from Alaska, in 2010. All of them had threatened to expose political skeletons in the Republican closet.

There were other casualties, but their political affiliations were vague and they probably died by accident. Given how few true progressives are recruited into American politics and how many more reactionaries, such skewed mortality rates become even more astronomical. Some actuarial number cruncher should make a scientific tabulation of these disturbing anomalies.

Even if on an amateur basis, it is still interesting to juggle these figures. While fourteen Democratic Congressmen suffered plane wrecks and ten Republicans; if you replace Democrats with Democrats/suspected progressives and Republicans with Republicans/suspected reactionaries; then break those numbers down before and after 1950, here are the results:

 

 Dem/Progressive

 

 GOP/Reactionary

Pre-1950

Post-1950

 

Pre-1950

Post-1950

4

10

 

4

7

 

Given that the Democratic and Republican Parties were much less polarized before, say, 1950, we can probably shift two or three so-called progressives into the reactionary column, pre-1950. Political affiliations were better disguised back then. This would give us the following tallies.

 

Liberal

 

Conservative

Pre-1950

Post-1950

 

Pre-1950

Post-1950

2

10

 

6

7

 

 

This does not take into account auto wrecks (easier to engineer than plane wrecks) and other ways of dying in office, all of which Democrats suffered disproportionately (two to one or higher death rates). Compare this with legislator suicides while in office.

 

    Republican: 7

    Democratic: 3

 

Presumably, reactionaries had something more to hide.

 

“Small d democratic” elections are falsified with impunity. Longstanding special interest groups are entrenched in electoral oversight agencies. What a coincidence! The more longstanding their authority, the fewer questions are posed about their legitimacy and the more infractions they may permit themselves without serious investigation and correction, much less direct penalty, public discredit and reversal of results.

Even during the 21st century, popular elections are brazenly falsified. Even when obvious transgressions are revealed, they go uncorrected, from the richest to the poorest of nations. We’ve permitted every democratic swindle and never challenged those swindlers for abusing our confidence. We’ve ruined democracy by honoring it, since we refuse to confront those influential creeps. Their tyranny worsens every time they get away with another transgression—all in the name of “sacred democracy.”

Just as democratic revolutions overthrew royal tyranny, a Learner revolution will overthrow our “democratic” tyranny. This time, for a change, we will replace weapon tyranny with a strictly peaceful and orderly government—never again with the latest renewal of a deadlier weapon tyranny.

Democracy is the ideal political setup for a mature weapon state but an insidious enemy of peace values. Weapon governments get at least four advantages from democracy:

 

·       Within carefully defined parameters, recruitment and promotion are based on service and loyalty to the elite. This setup is slightly preferable to hereditary replacement by sick, stupid or crazy nobles and their sycophants.

·       Compared to prior weapon tyrannies, democracy permits a tidy transition to power. While elected figureheads replace one another with placid regularity, back-room power brokers may determine whose turf gets to shrink or grow in accordance with the interests of great wealth. Fewer messy riots and rebellions ensue, and not too much infighting; at least in theory, at least most of the time.

·       Democracy grants the rich much more influence than their small numbers warrant. The richer they are and the fewer they are, the more powerful they grow in a democracy. This gives them undue political advantage despite the selfish rewards of their petty, private interests. The smaller the pool of decision-makers, the narrower and clumsier their solutions become. Simple arithmetic. Plus the greater their vulnerability to takeover by psychopaths and their sociopath slaves.

·       Democracy gives info proletarians the illusion of a say in government, with no practical consequences. Institutionalized ignorance bars most proletarians from valid decision-making. Upholding the sham of grass roots power, political campaigns degenerate into soundbite sloganeering, irrelevant anecdote, personality smears and unapologetic, uncorrected, systematically repeated lies. By universal consent, nothing much of importance will be discussed in public.

 

Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders exposed this fourth defect quite clearly. During their presidential campaigns, they were strong reform candidates backed by well-staffed grass-roots organizations. They had significant popular support in every State of the Union. They offered a battery of carefully studied proposals to resolve current problems. Unlike their slippery counterparts, they described their positions clearly at mass rallies. Their run-of-the-mill opponents confessed they could never drum up the size and enthusiasm of their audiences.

The former was not allowed to debate with orthodox candidates. He was never granted proportionate time in the media. He was barred from orthodox Party conventions. And, worse still, he was ignored by the people. The mass media had convinced them that their votes would be “wasted” if they dared vote their conscience.

In mature democracies, anyone who threatens to discuss policy in a serious manner is barred from public discourse. He will be ignored with equal obstinacy: from above by the media and from below by members of majority parties.

 

“As a form of government, democracy belongs to the future. It has so recently taken shape in the affairs and in the minds of men that it is still but a shadow of what it will become. Moreover, it is a form of government which will not exist in fact until social and economic, and even cultural, changes that have not yet occurred take place. … Mr. Henry Wallace speaks of the century of the common man—the democratic century—as a thing of the future. It has been well said that ‘the reason men feel that the democratic world must survive is not that it is perfectly realized, but that it is scarcely realized at all.’” Mortimer J. Adler, How to Think about War and Peace, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1944, p 186.

 

The word democracy comes from the Greek term, demos. Generally translated, demos signifies a parcel of rural land, its owners, and the “free” (because property-holding) citizens. It can also mean the popular assembly, the township and the commune. Finally, it means the people’s authority or the will of the state.

Laocracy comes from the Greek word laos: the crowd, the common folk, enlisted soldiers, the subjects of a prince and the masses in the Marxist sense. The Greek word laos is more functional than idiotes (people who won’t vote): the sport-and-soap-opera addicts who pass for free citizens these days.

Here’s how Democracy differs from Laocracy. Democrats (small d democrats) call themselves realists because they consider social contradictions and the resulting injustice inevitable and proper, whereas Laocrats would value freedom and justice as self-reinforcing and mandatory necessities to be promoted without exception or compromise.

Those Democrats dread the mob: the final arbiter of democratic injustice. In a Learner Commonwealth, the so-called mob would become an elegant source of tranquility, refinement and abundance. Its framework could anchor with its massive stability the frenzied whirl of Laocracy’s many gyroscopes. Learners would find better ways than mob violence to turn political frustration into new legislation for significant political reform.

The term “laity” derives from the Greek word laos, which describes the mass of non-professionals. The difference between a layperson and a professional is this: amateurs waste a lot of time and energy in their first efforts, many of which go wrong through inexperience. Take the unreadable drafts of Learner in the 1980s, for example. Thereafter, laic performance can improve dramatically. Talented amateurs are only limited by the time and effort they are willing to spend improving their skills, and by their tendency, over time, to adopt the professional liabilities listed below. Their achievement curve differs radically from that of professionals, whose first efforts achieve maximum results and follow-up efforts achieve less and less.

Professionals do everything poorly from the get-go: the only way their professors taught them. Anything done differently – for better or for worse – raises a howl of professional controversy. Greater efficiency threatens the collective rice bowl. Professionals are taught to compromise their ethics in favor of internal cohesion and discipline. Faltering colleagues are shielded at the public’s expense, even though their competency and honesty may fall short of some pre-determined standard of mediocrity.

 

In the past, record-keeping required elaborate technologies and fragile media. It has always needed them, just as it does today. Back then, literacy was a rare and expensive skill. A handful of young scholars underwent brutal training. “By-the-book” solutions were etched onto their minds through a series of exhaustive examinations. Only one rote solution rated a passing grade, in an attempt to ensure consistent control across vast distances.

Most scholars were sent out into the cultural wilderness with a roll of scrolls or a basket of clay tablets and their skull filled with weapon clichés. The trip from a central school to assigned posts was tough, dangerous and expensive. Once they’d arrived, they were supposed to govern ignorant info proletarians petrified in an information vacuum. This dusty silence was only interrupted by the occasional pony express rider bearing info elite proclamations, steadily heavier tax burdens and the rare, new business deal. Unlucky scholars paired off with brutal strongmen. Endowed with military and police powers, these warlords enforced decisions after listening to scholarly advice—in theory.

My friend Paul Lackman invoked Theodoric (yet another “Great” butcher), who sacked Rome with his Ostrogoths, then restored surviving Latin administrators (like Cassiodorus) to their civic responsibilities. In theory, he confined his Goths to military duties. He only plucked the random wise guy like Boethius from his glass and ivory tower and had him imprisoned then executed. The condemned one had dared suggest that free intellect might be superior to weapon management. History is full of such exemplary executions.

A monolithic mandarinate emerged in China. No-one there could join the info elite without first passing the imperial exam. The resulting bureaucracy became haughty, inflexible and rooted in past precedent; it turned into a stubborn orthodoxy averse to creativity, complexity and change. Mandarins tended to fling up their hands (if their long, creepy fingernails permitted) when changing circumstances stumped their stockpile of memorized clichés. They abandoned vast overseas markets and fumbled a technological edge centuries in advance of the West. They submitted to aggression, parochialism, misery and corruption—all in obedience to the weapon dictates of mandarin certification.

Brilliant Learners initiated a Golden Age of Western technology, they nearly sparked a comparable Golden Age in Manchu China. Instead, China declined under mandarin control. Nothing deadens creativity like mandatory academic certification for positions of responsibility. It is the next worst alternative (though perhaps the tidiest) when changing circumstances demand social transformation. Of course, the worst alternative is promotion through violence: the alternative that weapon cultures resort to automatically during wartime crises and ensuing revolutions.

The shared characteristics of Mandarinates and university systems show up as dependably in ancient China as in the modern West. Form and appearance supersede content and results; allowable means justify sorry ends. In both societies, packaging dominates content. The questions “who” and “how” overshadow “for whom” and “why.” The mass obligation to certify one’s good intentions (especially that the boat not be rocked) prevails over the threat of unintended consequences and their catastrophic consequences.

We are going to have to rock the boat and shift its burden, and do so vigorously and soon, just to keep it from swamping when it reaches the next set of rapids flooding into view.

 

“The ends justify the means.” First coined by the Roman poet Ovid; Machiavelli used this expression in The Prince. Later on, Hitler and like-minded henchmen would abuse it. In other words, heroic outcomes justify horrific methods. For Hitler and his peers, ends and means became equally insane. Thanks to them, our debate over ends and means has led to a dead-end. These days, any talk of valid ends fades away, replaced by microscopic examination of trivial means—preferably litigation-driven. Hitler’s self-contradiction is goose-stepped out any time someone advocates fair ends for their own sake. Please tell me, when we debate moral values, what are we doing quoting Hitler to each other?

I quote Mein Kampf in a few chapters of this book and do so with great care, for two reasons. First, when he says something marginally relevant (usually by accident) about some topic brought up here. Second, when he casts a grim shadow over the subject in question and betrays, in ways too obvious to miss, the contrast between his weapons intent and this book’s peaceful one. Quoting Hitler out of context will no doubt earn me censure from both sides of the aisle. I suspect that people will use this as an excuse to reject what I have to say, who would never accept this work in any case or read any part of it. Too bad. It is flattering to be rejected by such people.

All I can say is this. I live on WeaponWorld and must use whatever materials I found here. If I had restricted my analysis to nothing but viable peace texts, I’d never have assembled this work. By and large, those peace messages never survived the critical review of prevailing weapon mentality.

The ultimate literary peace prize on this planet is to get your book blacklisted by the publishing industry (not “commercial” enough), torched by some fanatic or banned by one or more of the latest mass religion or ideology. To be cast off in this manner, me and my work, it renders us honor.

Actually, the real-world formula for this debate is much clearer, based on outcomes. The ends parallel the means; the quality of ends justifies the quality of means. If adhered to consistently, good means bring forth good ends and bad means beget bad ends. Good ends don’t justify bad means, nor do they result from them. In turn, bad means almost never achieve good ends. After the first appearance of bad ends without corrective action, bad means take over everywhere. No need to wait for inevitable bad ends before stepping in to restore good means and ensure a good end.

All this should be obvious. But it is not, thanks to our industrious abuse of Hitler’s quote. Misusing this weapon myth, weapon mentors have gotten us to conclude that every means must be acceptably mediocre and every end, dismissed. According to our most up-to-date prejudices, good ends are irrelevant and good means, impractical. This is how one manages to starve hundreds of millions of babies a year without organized opposition.

An interesting illustration of this weapon myth is Dostoyevsky’s paradox concerning utopia. I believe it’s in “The Grand Inquisitor” chapter of The Brothers Karamazov, where one of his characters asks another something to this effect:

“If you could guarantee utopia in perpetuity by torturing an innocent little girl to death, would you do it?”

The correct answer? “There is no way the goals of utopia could be furthered by torturing an innocent child. On the contrary, such a crime would automatically set back utopia and its goals. Your paradox is another weapon myth. Shameless reactionary and weapon mythmaker, shut up and stop poisoning this discussion.”

 

Learners could call upon unlimited consultancies. Many info proletarians have a better grasp their topic of passion than equivalent professionals. A thousand expert amateurs wait to be summoned from the nearest telephone and computer. Each social decision could be a unique, perfectly crafted custom job. Laocracy is practically on the horizon.

Like other treasured institutions, democracy is the end product of weapon mentality. Weapon managers have polished democracy for so many thousands of years, they’ve turned it into a gleaming multi-tool in their blood-softened hands. Smug hypocrisy is all that we can expect from “democratic” weapon managers. They look forward to miraculous new top-down, canned knowledge and computer management systems; and ignore grass roots, Learner-powered alternatives obviously preferable.

Like most of the global peace technologies we need, we can pull better alternatives right off the shelf of weapon technology.

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