I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
– Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
Some people live their existence in a great state of dread, convinced a totalitarian, centralized world government of sorts is in our future. Not only do I not think this is going to happen, but I predict the exact opposite will occur. I believe the world has already hit “peak centralization” and decentralization will be the defining trend of human existence on this planet going forward.
Naturally, this is just one man’s opinion, but I strongly believe it and will make my case in this piece. When I look around and think about the major trends of our time, they all point in the direction of decentralization, something which invariably scares the living daylights out of authoritarians worldwide.
Irrespective of what you think of Donald Trump, the fact he was elected proves the power of decentralization in the modern communications and media realm. As was well documented throughout the campaign, the mainstream media came out in clownish and historically lopsided fashion in favor of his opponent Hillary Clinton. We all remember seeing headlines like the one below and then reading stuff like the following.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has received fewer endorsements from the editorial boards of the nation’s largest newspapers than any major-party presidential candidate in history.
Among the top 100 largest newspapers in America, just two — the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville — endorsed Trump.
Yet he won the election anyway, which is instructive of the changing dynamics of our times. Indeed, I’m not sure Trump could’ve won if not for the internet and social media, which leveled the communications playing field and allowed anyone anywhere to have an opinion and share it widely. The role of media as officialdom’s trusted gatekeepers had been declining in influence for years, but the 2016 election served as the real wakeup call for a discredited establishment. Control of mass consciousness had been lost.
This realization is at the root of all hysteria surrounding fake news and the intense drive to push the “Russia did it,” via state funded media and Facebook meme. The end goal of this narrative is to somehow get information back under control of the gatekeepers in order to keep alternative views hidden. The rabble must be silenced, lest it get too powerful.
The general public would never accept such a crackdown if assorted billionaires and other corrupt card-carrying members of the status quo were honest about their intentions, so they have to create a story to justify stealth censorship. They’ve done this by aggressively pushing this story that fake news and Russia will spell the end of civilization as we know it unless we do something. The objective of all that “doing something” is to reestablish control of narratives by whatever means necessary. The tech platform monopolies will all play a key part in this narrative readjustment process, which will ultimately speed up calls for decentralized and more transparent social media platforms.
Another area where we’ve seen the clear impact of decentralization having already established itself in everyday life relates to drug laws. Twenty years ago it would’ve been inconceivable that U.S. states would simply vote by referendum to legalize cannabis. Not only has this happened over the past five years, but it’s been a resounding success in multiple states, including my adopted home of Colorado. While much hand-wringing has taken place about what Jeff Sessions or some other government goon might do, I for one believe the debate on this issue is settled. Much of the country has decided that cannabis is a relatively benign substance that no one should go to jail for, and any politician or other bureaucrat who dares to pick this fight will lose.
Which brings me to a point about the ability of governments and institutions to do whatever they want. Many people seem to think that because governments have guns and the threat of imprisonment, they can therefore do whatever they want at any given time. I do not accept this premise, and think a lot of the most dreadful things that happen around us are allowed to happen because we collectively put up with it. In other words, our collective consciousness resides in such a low state, we allow ourselves to be bullied and coerced into a state of degraded submissiveness.
If the power structure didn’t actually care about what we thought, why would they put so much effort into propagandizing us; into making us feel so powerless and fearful? The reason is because narrative is everything, and the public must be molded and manipulated in a certain way in order to keep us submissive. Once enough of us say we’ve had enough, then the game is over. That’s how you get progress, and that’s exactly what has happened with drug laws in certain states.
Finally, let’s move on to Bitcoin, and crypto currencies in general, which represent one of the most disruptive decentralizing forces the world has ever seen. Any student of money and history understands that there really is no greater power than the power to create and distribute money at will. Our supposedly sophisticated societies entrust this awesome power to central bankers, which in turn enrich the financial sector at the expense of everyone else. The unethical theft inherent in this system was exposed for everyone to see during the 2008 crisis, as the criminals were bailed out and rewarded while everyone else was kicked to the curb. Bitcoin came about shortly after, and has captured the imagination of tens of millions around the world ever since.
The beautiful thing about Bitcoin is that it’s government censorship-proof by design thanks to its decentralized nature. There’s no CEO to threaten, no company to shut down. It’s just a free-wheeling ecosystem of hodlers, supporters, thinkers, developers, miners, exchanges and related businesses somehow co-existing and thriving with no one actually being in charge. Of course, this comes with its own set of issues as we see with the scaling debate, but the fact it’s been this successful thus far is nothing short of extraordinary. With the advent of Bitcoin, decentralization finally made its mark on one of the most historically significant control systems of human power. Currency.
Naturally, this sets up a major confrontation with the current power structure which will not want to easily relinquish a tool so powerful as the ability to create money out of thin air. China, with its well-laid plans to replace the dollar one day with its own statist, centralized currency, has unsurprisingly started to push back.
When some people see the power structure fight back, whether against Bitcoin or alternative news, they get nervous and feel that all is lost. That we can’t win. I completely disagree and see it in the complete opposite way. The powerful are fighting back because they see themselves losing. We can’t be so naive to expect them to go down without a fight, but that doesn’t mean we should shrink from the challenge. If you go into a fight with a defeatist attitude of course you will be defeated. We’re the ones on the right side of history while their dominator hierarchies must be displaced. Our way is the way of freedom, ethics and innovation. Their way is of control, authority and violence.
Which brings me to a few key excerpts on China’s war against Bitcoin from a very interesting article, Is Bitcoin Reaching Critical Mass?
In contrast to the commonly quoted “no news is good news”, I believe in the context of bitcoin and crypto overall “any news is good news”. Ranging from the China “ban” on bitcoin, to the SEC crackdown on ICOs, they all inevitably acknowledge the presence and inevitably of bitcoin without actually harming it in any tangible way.
Anything short of compromising the integrity of the bitcoin blockchain is entirely ineffective, including any government-issued “ban”. Bitcoin’s censorship resistant nature means that the cost incurred to undermine the network is significantly higher than the reward to be gained in doing so – and this only becomes more true over time with increased adoption. You can read more about this on Elaine Ou’s piece titled “A hundred years of Crypto Anarchy”.
In some ways, the news is like a badge of validity to the public, even condemning news from official sources about bitcoin is exposure and consequently positive. It’s a message saying “this is something that could potentially undermine us”. In a global climate where government-backed currencies are constantly exposed for their shortcomings, and distrust in governance is at an all time high, bitcoin is appearing as an incredibly superior alternative. It has already established itself in places like Venezeula.
Decentralization is an idea whose time has come. As I write this, conscious people across the world are creating systems of human empowerment, while powers of centralization desperately fight to preserve control. We aren’t the ones reacting to them, they are reacting to us. That’s not a fight they can easily win– the only question is how much are they willing to destroy in a futile quest to stymie human progress?
Strategically, much of the current battle is about exposing power structures for what they really are by making them reveal their true thuggish natures. We must do this by creating systems that are transparently superior and more ethical than existing systems, which will then force their hands. If governments insist on thwarting human progress merely to retain control, it’ll be clear to all that they don’t work for the people, but rather, for themselves.
Looking ahead, the next major battleground for decentralization likely will be fought in the political realm of governance, with the Catalan independence movement providing a perfect example. I explained how I see this process unfolding on twitter yesterday.
Here’s how I see things playing out.
Humans push for decentralization, the state responds with thuggishness.
Legitimacy further damaged.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) September 20, 2017
This is precisely what is happening in Spain right now. As Reuters reports:
(Reuters) – Spanish police raided Catalan government offices and arrested officials on Wednesday to halt a banned referendum on independence, an action the regional president said meant Madrid had effectively taken over his administration.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside the regional government offices in the center of Barcelona’s tourist district as well as in several Catalan cities, waving the red-and-yellow Catalan flag and chanting “Occupying forces out” and “Where is Europe?”.
“The Spanish state has by all rights intervened in Catalonia’s government and has established emergency rule,” Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said in a televised address.
“We condemn and reject the anti-democratic and totalitarian actions of the Spanish state,” he said, adding Catalans should turn out in force to vote in the Oct. 1 referendum on a split from Spain that Madrid has declared illegal.
State police arrested Catalonia’s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove on Wednesday in their first raid of government offices in the region, Catalan government sources said. The raid targeted several regional government departments.
Acting under court orders, police have raided printers, newspaper offices and private delivery companies in a search for campaign literature, instruction manuals for manning voting stations and ballot boxes.
The Civil Guard, a national police force, on Wednesday seized 10 million ballot papers, polling station displays as well as documents and forms to run the vote, including a list of voters under the headline “2017 Catalonia self-determination referendum”.
Is that Riyadh or Barcelona?
Naturally, many Catalans were none too pleased and came out in the streets as you can see from the picture below.
Plenty of people previously against independence are probably in favor of it now. That’s just how these things work. As Reuters reported:
But the central government must tread a fine line in enforcing the law in the region without seeming heavy-handed. Polls show a minority of Catalans, albeit more than 40 percent, support independence although a majority want a referendum on the issue.
Denying the right to vote in such an aggressive and authoritarian manner will only galvanize support for the independence movement and increase anger towards the centralized government in Madrid. This was a major mistake by the Spanish state, but it’s precisely the sort of mistake we should expect as the world becomes increasingly decentralized.
To conclude, I recognize that I’m making a huge call here. I think the way human beings organize their affairs will experience the most significant paradigm level shift we’ve seen in the Western world since the end of the European feudal system hundreds of years ago. That’s how significant I think this shift will be. There are two key things that need to happen for this to occur. The first is technological innovation, and that’s already happening. The second is increased human consciousness. As Thoreau noted, in order for us to have greater self-determination we need to be ready for it. Are we ready? I think we’re getting there.
So get out there and innovate if you can, and if you can’t that’s ok too, go become an inspiration to others. If we spread the ethos of freedom and decentralization far and wide, we shall have it.
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27 thoughts on “The Future Will Be Decentralized”
Great article i will share now. I tried to scan your Bitcoin QR code to donate and its sais unrecognised address, not sure if you have the same problem, or if anyone else has?
Hi Ed, it scanned just fine for me. Alternatively you can just copy/paste the address itself to donate. Thanks!
Globalization is slowly but surely being replaced by localization. To me that is the foundation of decentralization.
Localization is the single largest threat to the oligarchy because it is impossible to stop without employing physical force. Thuggery always backfires sooner or later.
What a sweet clarion call!! Again, you hit all the right nail heads 🙂 And the Kurds want a vote in northern Iraq; Cameron probably regrets his promise of a Brexit referendum; and where else? Maybe my dream of a Cascadia (or West Coast) country/state will come to pass for your generation. This is ala Schumacher’s ‘Small Is Beautiful’, foreseeing ‘devolution’. (The one warning I read somewhere, is that wars will increase between smaller countries, global giants have always been been instigating small conflicts.)
I had also seen the Repubs’ voter suppression, done in broad daylight, and DNC’s brazen sabotaging of Bernie etc. as the desperation of those who know they cannot win a fair election….. what a positive sign!! I think the plutos really fear that we will achieve ‘security’…. which will really embolden ‘us’.
Thanks ….. keep it up!
Awesome article Mike, thanks for the positive energy.
Question: have you done an article for retards like my self about bit-coin? I’m totally interested but being a blue collar type I’m still a bit Leary of something like bitcoin but totally understand it’s power of decentralization. Anyway if you have done one please reference said article and if not maybe think about one based in laymens terms on how to use it effectively.
Hi Pete, if you want to see some of my thoughts on the topic, just enter bitcoin into the search bar on the website.
For much more though, this series of videos put together by Andreas Antonopoulos are worth checking out: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPQwGV1aLnTuN6kdNWlElfr2tzigB9Nnj&app=desktop
Hope that helps.
Wonderful article, and a nice antidote to the negative doom and gloom. Social networks make decentralization even more appealing since it reduces time for communication with neighbors. The growth of such site specific “community networks” is the next step beyond FakeBook.
Great article I agree completely people assume they’re powerless in this but I don’t think so. At every level there is enforcement that has to be handled by other people. Police can no longer post on social media bragging about busting down a marijuana “grow house” without facing anger and ridicule. A doctor’s office that urges everyone to get their flu shots is going to face people who say the shot made them sicker. A news report about the Syrian government gassing its own people will not be taken as truth just because they said so. At what point is enough enough? You’ve correctly identified money as the root problem, or at least the power of a central authority to materialize money out of thin air, and then to fund things that systematically take control from people and consolidate power at the top. I don’t know if it will be bitcoin or one of the other emerging cryptocurrencies that come out on top: it could be all of them. The next step is to build an economic system of users without the regulation and compliance of authorities up top…
This was a great article to read before bedtime, thanks!
For many people the wake-up call has come as a result of the progressively toxic food industry. Surely one of the most important facets of a decentralised world will be a return to greater localism and grassroots control of the food system. Producing at least some of your own food, either individually or in a collective, is a tremendously potent revolutionary act. I would urge all your readers to wean themselves off industrially produced food and drink, as much as possible – which will have the added benefit of reducing the profitability of the pharmaceutical industry, another major weapon of centralised control.
Absolutely, imagine our communities beginning again to supply our own food,
to see new small farms pop up , to give a true boost to local economies, reinvestment and circulation of long term efficient local models of many kinds of production.
Excellent article. Totally agree. People must detach from the centralized government by not voting for them or at least not voting for people in distant governments, not paying taxes to them, and not supporting those systems through military service or participation in their judicial systems. Government power always emanates through the support they receive through elections, military/police power and their judicial systems. These things should at most only be done locally and limited in your community. Consider the US federal government for example, does it make sense that 536 elected people (House of Representatives, Senate, POTUS) are ruling over 330,000,000 people. This is exceptionally out of balance and comes across as absurd when you think about it. It no longer has any resemblance or functions as what a democracy is intended to be. There must be a decentralization. The US empire is far far too big. Power needs to return back to the individual sovereign people. Trump is right about sovereignty. But he is wrong about where that sovereignty needs to be. It needs to be returned to the individual. Not to the federal government.
The ‘transition town’ movement in Britain aims to do just that, albeit with varying degrees of success so far. Have you heard of what they are doing in Todmorden, a small town in West Yorkshire? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KmKoj4RSZw
Michael, interesting article but a bad call. Centralization is here to stay.
You ascribe individual attempts to take or maintain local control as being inspired by the human desire for freedom and self determination — they are — but you neglect to see and discuss that in all of these examples you cite that the xtrevilist elite also play a major ‘behind the curtain’ role in instigating and controlling these conflicts.
Their game plan is ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ to be achieved by fueling and controlling ‘Perpetual Conflict’ in the masses. They are very experienced masters at controlling the policy and its roll out.
I could cite you many more recent examples of their intentionally instilled divisiveness where the controlled conflicts have taken hold and bear them even greater profit and control; Iraq, Libia, in fact the entire Middle East, etc., and that have spawned even greater controlling mechanisms — especially the phony ‘War on Terror”.
The real struggle is in human nature and its development of MORALITY. You mentioned this little discussed phenomenon when you said this:
“Strategically, much of the current battle is about exposing power structures for what they really are by making them reveal their true thuggish natures. We must do this by creating systems that are transparently superior and more ethical than existing systems, which will then force their hands. If governments insist on thwarting human progress merely to retain control, it’ll be clear to all that they don’t work for the people, but rather, for themselves.”
The size of the new systems we create will not matter if they do not have the transparency and ethics — the morality — you call for. That is a far better and accurate prediction.
The reason that centralization is here to stay can be found in human nature and its amazing ability to create DETODs (Deceptive Externalized Tools Of Dominance). It is this ability that has given humanity its species dominance. Centralization is the growth process that now unites all of these individual DETODs into the next iteration of humanity — the Onotron. DETODs emulate the make up of their creators; the human body in which centralized control and local control work in harmony. Consider that the Onotron is in it’s fetal development stage where rapid and irregular growth spurts are the norm. Test your future predictions against this human body growth and replication analog.
Money is a life blood transferring mechanism in the Onotron’s growth process based in the EME (Electronic Migration Effect) in DETODs. Bitcoin will play a part, as will BIS SDR and many other forms of electronic transfer.
The analogy and thesis is explained here;
Again the key is morality. The real problem is time.
Whether we call it morality, or as I like to say consciousness, I do agree that will be an instrumental component as to whether the more positive future I envision happens or not. It could definitely be a rocky road to get there, I don’t deny that.
As I have maintained on many previous occasions, without higher consciousness we will never truly take the next leap forward. It will be interesting to revisit this post in 25 years.
Centralization leads to decentralization. If a corporate food supplier abandons a town, as it’s no longer sufficiently profitable, of course folk are going to grow/raise their own – nothing to do with morality or consciousness.
Thirteen years of forced, government “education” continue to hobble consciousness. I’ll become optimistic when I see cracks in that monstrosity.
Fixed the first one, thanks.
Second one was intentional. Hodling is a thing: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/5m9m4g/whats_a_hodler/
Michael has stated his desire to find gems amid the manure, both to increase his force for good, and as a way of keeping out of despair. Those of you pointing out the manure are doing the easy and obvious work. We all see the headlines. I did it too, above.
Maybe we can expand upon the gems Michael has identified?
Here’s my attempt: Work is on a decentralizing trend. There are more solo-preneurs, more flexi-work-at-home types, more contractors.
Very insightful. I think in the long run you are right, but my fears are that authoritarian push back will keep me or my children from enjoying the benefits of a decentralized world in my lifetime.
Also: the world will not decentralize uniformly. China stands out as a force of centralization which won’t go away quietly. I hope they don’t do anything desperate.
Rural and undeveloped areas could rapidly become prosperous in a decentralized information economy, passing directly from preindustrial to postindustrial without an intervening industrial age.
Michael is right about consciousness, versus morals.
The Sun could supernova 10 seconds after I hit post comment. Or I could drop dead of a heart attack. Or….etc., etc.
You can talk about DETOD’s till you finally die from something. Or you can focus on living while you’re alive on this particular plane of existence.
This quote exposes the Achilles heal of the elitists:
“The worst that could happen to us is that we have to die, and
since that is already our unalterable fate, we are free; those who
have lost everything no longer have anything to fear.”
Every single one of us will lose everything we have and think we own when we die, except our awareness.The elitists have a constant underlying deep and visceral fear of losing what they think they have, and therefore what they think they own.
But in reality they own nothing except things that they are terrified of losing. As a result they live in a constant state of fear, which is nothing more than a prison that their consciousness has built for each of them individually.
So all of us have a simple choice given to us by our inevitable death. You can either focus on accumulating the things which imprison you because you’re afraid of losing them, or you can focus on being free, and fear nothing.
Attachment = prison. Detachment = freedom.
No one but you can choose. Forget about your wife, your husband, your children, your family. None of them can make that choice for you, and you cannot make that choice for them.
Genaro; Michael is incorrect in equating consciousness with morality.
Consciousness is the state of being awake and aware of one’s self and surroundings; morality concerns itself with making the distinction between right and wrong — what is good and what is bad behavior.
Understanding DETODs and the morality inherent in them and how they are used is a “focus on living” process as it provides a road map for fully developing one’s spirit. For living a fuller life. Understanding DETODs and the concept of their aggregation is essential for finding the “gems” as Greg (comment above) calls them.
I believe that Michael has expressed a “gem” in this article when he says, “We must do this by creating systems that are transparently superior and more ethical than existing systems.” That is why I called attention to the judgment in it — the morality in it — ethics; the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. To conflate that with consciousness only muddies the water of clarity.
The aggregate corporate media, owned by the xtrevilist elite, is a DETOD used to shape the menticide; to make you believe that piggish wealth, the corporate structure, and control of the money/credit supply to buy and control governments is normal and acceptable behavior. It is not!
Accumulating material things, DETODs, can be either a prison or an act of liberation.
The wrapper of death will first be stemmed and ultimately be defeated. The spoils will go to the superior deceptions.
Imagination works faster that the speed of light.
“The air is cleaner in a BMW”.
This is an interesting conversation, and it is true that consciousness and morality are not interchangeable, but I do not regret using the word consciousness to describe what I want to see happen and I will continue to use that word and concept going forward.
One of the things inherent in someone as they get to higher levels of consciousness is a sense of increased connectivity with others around them and their natural surroundings. As consciousness progresses, you start to get to where you barely see yourself as distinct from other beings, but rather there is deep awareness that you are intricately connected to your fellow humans and see yourself in them and vice versa. Someone who truly has this sense of awareness, even a little, will inherently be more ethical in behavior and express greater morality. The idea being that if you harm another you are actually harming yourself comes into play on a very deep level.
This is not to say that morality cannot exist without higher levels of consciousness, it absolutely can. I would just argue that moral behavior which comes from a conscious awareness is superior and more stable than the same moral behavior coming from someone who exhibits such behavior out of simple cultural norms or due to fear that some deity will punish or frown upon them in the afterlife. It all goes back to the means and ends stuff that I have written about. Morality can be achieved as an end in various ways, but I think the means is certainly important in this case, as in most cases.
Thus, a conscious morality is what I would like to see humans evolve into, as opposed to an unconscious morality rooted primarily in culture or religious dogma.
“Thus, a conscious morality is what I would like to see humans evolve into, as opposed to an unconscious morality rooted primarily in culture or religious dogma.”
Or any other type of dogmatic thought process.
That’s why the concept of “morals” and “morality” is a potentially slippery slope that can lead to self-serving judgemental thinking and thus behavior. That is where “religion” part ways with spirituality.
Example: Muslims and Mormons believe that drinking alcohol is “immoral” behavior. But I’ve lost count of the Muslims and Mormons I have dealt with over the years that have absolutely zero business ethics because they believe that it is morally acceptable within the confines of their religious belief system to screw someone over in a business deal if they aren’t a Muslim or a Mormon.
Every individuals consciousness has an effect on the collective consciousness.Either you are focused on service to self, or you are focused on service to others, in your day to day life. If everything you think and do is focused on service to self, then that thought process has a negative effect on the collective consciousness. Whereas if it is focused on service to others it has a positive effect on the collective consciousness.The latter is the Golden Rule.
So all morality and ethics can be summarized by, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It is really that simple.
Michael, yes, interesting conversation.
Again I would suggest that word meaning is essential to greater clarity here and you might be conflating consciousness with ’empathy’ ?
I agree that as people get to higher levels of consciousness — achieve greater levels of perceptive awareness — they have a sense of increased connectivity with others around them and their natural surroundings. But it does not logically follow that they will then as you say, “will inherently be more ethical in behavior and express greater morality. The idea being that if you harm another you are actually harming yourself comes into play on a very deep level.”
Many people who have high levels of consciousness, in fact, use that knowledge, that greater awareness, to kill, maim and enslave others for their own survival. They are the ones who create, control, and promote, the menticide; the cultural norms that are divisive and fear based with some imaginary deity metering out punishment at death.
Because they LACK ’empathy’ — “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this”
You have a great capacity for empathy Michael, it comes through in all of your very consistent writings.
But empathy is an inherent trait of humanity that is not acquiring of consciousness or awareness bound. Most humans are born with the capacity for empathy; you see it in young children that hug and share as they first begin to socialize. But some few of us humans are born without this capacity. It is up to those who have it to change the behaviors of those who do not as they mature. To create a MORALITY that brings us all into harmony and allows us to be as free as possible without raining on the other persons spirit — that morality, at its best, will be a consensus mix of centralized and decentralized rules that is a mix of service to self and service to others. That morality ebbs and flows as the human species matures. It is my perception that we have presently been propagandized into a deep trough.
I have labeled the human trait of lack of empathy as an integral symptom (there are many others) of the sociopathic disease of xtrevilism. Positing this as a disease — xtrevilism — has many advantages. The primary one being that one can list human nature based behavioral symptoms that manifest in concrete measurable terms, like piggish wealth, spheres of influence, etc.
Genaro, yes , a good summary maxim; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
I also like, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!”, and; “You reap what you sow”.
Thanks for your commentary, it is very well thought out and I appreciate it.
I think the issue here is that we see higher consciousness in very different lights, but that’s fine. I don’t agree that “people with high levels of consciousness” do the terrible things you think they do. Personally, I believe true higher levels of consciousness leads to increased empathy as one moves into higher levels. Just because some sociopathic killer claims to be “enlightened” doesn’t mean they are. In other words, I do not trust that just because someone claims higher consciousness that this means they have actually attained it. To me, everyone who is truly at a high level of consciousness is by definition empathetic. You can also be empathetic without it being sparked by conscious awareness of connectivity, based on cultural, religious indoctrination as I mentioned, yet I believe consciousness based empathy, morality, etc is superior in that it is rooted in true understanding, which makes it more solid.
Your point about children though is a very important one. As a parent of two kids under 2 years old I think many of the same thoughts and I agree that kids tend to have certain qualities that are then destroyed in a very deleterious way by culture. In many ways the entire idea of consciousness is that you’re trying to reconnect with who you truly are as a human before it gets reprogramed by culture. The essence of who were all are that we forget about. It would make sense that young children would be more in touch with their true beings than reprogramed adults.
Ultimately though, we agree on the importance of empathy and morality. There’s really no debate there between us, but as I said, I will continue to discuss the importance of consciousness for the reasons I outlined and I respect your decision to proceed differently. I don’t see us agreeing on this point, but that’s perfectly fine.
I agree that people are over-concerned about state repression. I have an example of this, that might be instructive.
When we decided to homeschool our son, I got on one of the big homeschooling email discussion lists in our state, Oregon. I was on that list for years. The funny thing there, was that whenever a homeschooling newbie came on board, the first thing she would want to know was, “What do I have to do, to get right with the authorities?” It got to the point where I would invariably answer, “Why bother?” I’d explain that the list was full of members who had registered with the state as homeschoolers, and wish they hadn’t. On the other hand, there were no members who had refrained from registering, and wish they had. (The “noncompliant” crowd, which was large and feisty in Oregon.) I encouraged them, right on the list that we were pretty sure was monitored by the teacher’s unions, to ignore the law, and saying I had done it myself, along with many other noncompliant parents.
Normally one would think this would generate a visit by some bureaucrat along with a cop. Well, along with my noncompliant suggestions on that list, I would also say that my son’s education was none of the state’s damn business, and that I would not tolerate anyone fucking with my family – and I was not talking legal action, either.
It turns out that state bureaucrats want a secure and easy working life, followed by a nice fat pension at the end. The last thing they want is to personally deal with an irate and heavily armed father, protecting his family. Let’s just say the disincentives are substantial. So, the visit never came.
I should say that a contributing factor in Oregon is that large and feisty noncompliant homeschooler population (safety in numbers), and a general climate among even non-homeschoolers that does not approve of government action against functioning families. But the bottom line here is that in many cases, the state is a paper tiger. The state could not exist unless the people were mostly repressing themselves, in their own minds.
“It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.”
— Sally Kempton
BTW, homeschooling is easy: