“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” ~Unknown proverb
War is murder, no matter how you try to justify it. Taxation is theft, no matter how you try to codify it. Statism is tyranny, no matter how you try to rationalize it. No amount of justification, codification, and rationalization will get you off the hook for murder, thievery, and tyranny. The only solution? Stop justifying, codifying, and rationalizing murder thievery and tyranny. It can only be resolved from the ground up; never from the top down. Meaning: it begins with you. It begins by recognizing how individual thievery can become collective tyranny.
Here’s a parable explaining the diabolical ease in which base thievery can become a tyrannical state. As Anthony de Mello said, “You have to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story.”
1. Steal a fish from one guy and give it to another.
“Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.” ~Mohandas Gandhi
There you are, scoping out the ocean side, looking for that unaware fisherman. Sure you’re lazy and greedy, but you’re smart. You’ll be damned if you’re gonna let a sucker keep his fish. After all, that fishhead soup isn’t going to cook itself. You’re hungry and you have to survive too. It just so happens that you’re hungry for power and control, and survival for you is making other people’s survival dependent on you. Who cares if it’s off the backs of others? You’re smarter than they are. Or so you keep telling yourself.
Besides, you’ve already been doing it for a month now. And it’s working! The fisherman you’ve been stealing from is pissed off, sure, but the guy you’ve been giving the fish to is fast becoming lazy and dependent on you. His family needs you. Without you they wouldn’t be able to prosper. So really you’re doing a “kindness.” And anytime the second guy or his family questions the morality of how you’re getting your fish, you simply…
2. Convince the second guy that the first guy is greedy for wanting to keep the fish he caught.
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” ~Voltaire
Through aggressive propaganda you tell the second guy and his burgeoning family that the fisherman is actually greedy for wanting to keep the fish he caught. In devious fashion, you convince him that you are a modern-day Robin Hood and the fisherman is nothing more than a gluttonous hoarder. So, in their ignorance, the second guy and his family begin to cheer for you to steal more fish. Little does the family know, the fisherman is neither gluttonous nor a hoarder, but is himself a victim of their benefactor’s thievery. But when people are convinced they are convinced, and it’s almost impossible to alter a belief once it sets in.
(Interesting side note: This is where it can get a little confusing. Notice how the concept of morality itself is hinged upon intent. Had the thief’s intent really been about balancing the injustice caused by a greedy, overreaching, monopolizing fisherman hoarding all the fish, then the thief’s thievery would have been moral, or at least amoral. But since his intent is to lie, steal, and deceive his way into power, the thief’s thievery is immoral. This is because the fisherman is not actually greedy, overreaching, or monopolizing, the thief has simply used convincing propaganda to deceive an ignorant family. This is why awareness of the truth is so important. It’s easy to be deceived. It’s difficult to seek the truth. But unless you want to remain a victim, the red pill must trump the blue pill.)
3. Expand the racket, stealing fish from more people and buying the loyalty of others.
“Americans shall never have real, lasting peace so long as we give our allegiance to a king — that is, in our case, to the whole conglomeration of institutionalized exploiters and murderers we know as the State.” ~Robert Higgs
And so you expand your empire. Hundreds of families are now dependent upon your stolen fish to feed them. Sure, hundreds of fisherman are pissed off, but thousands of people are convinced that your thievery is liberty. They are comfortable and they never have to worry about fishing anymore. After all, you’re feeding them. You’re providing for them. You are bringing safety and security in an otherwise unsafe and insecure world. Thank god for you, right?
Meanwhile the fishermen, the ones doing the real work, have now become slaves to your indirect structural violence. But there’s nothing they can do because they are outnumbered by thousands of sycophants who are unable to see past the smoke and mirrors of your strategic social propaganda. Even if they wanted to revolt, it seems to be too late. You’ve effectively instilled an “us” versus “them” mentality into the ignorant populace. Your power is growing beyond your wildest dreams. You know there is a tendency for power to corrupt, but you’ve convinced yourself that your power is necessary. You’re a leader. You’re a role model. You’re a job creator. You’re an empire builder. You’re the king, and the people “love” you.
4. Prohibit anyone from fishing without getting permission and paying taxes.
“Order followers are the people that keep the system of slavery in place.” ~Mark Passio
You now look upon your empire from behind the scenes. It has become the accepted status quo. The people will fight for you, blindly, because this is what they have grown to believe in. Their faith is strong. Even their cognitive dissonance has cognitive dissonance. Even their Stockholm syndrome suffers from Stockholm syndrome. They are convinced that they need to pay taxes on their “fish.” They are committed whole-heartedly to complying with your rules and laws, no matter how ridiculous they are, and no matter how poor it keeps them and how rich it makes you.
You have them right where you want them. Your power is almost absolute. It matters little to the hoodwinked populace that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They have become part and parcel of it, of you, of the almighty tyranny of the state. Somewhere Nietzsche’s words hum beneath the deceptive static of it all:
“State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.” Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.”
Indeed. Your Damocles sword is precarious but strong. The people slobber over your handouts as they kowtow at your feet. They believe in you so blindly that they keep each other in check. They toss meaningless and trite clichés in the face of anyone who dares disobey: tax dodger, law breaker, criminal, and dissident. They bleat; they moo; they baa! And their eyes turn a murderous red if they see anyone who dares grow black fur. You have become Goliath, and they are too comfortable and afraid to become David.
5. Get the recipients of the stolen fish to act as your hired thugs.
“To efficiently control the human farm, you need a majority of broken, self-attacking, insecure, shallow, vain and ambitious sheep, forever consumed by inconsequentialities like weight, abs and celebrities –and a minority of volatile, angry and dominant sheepdogs, which you can dress up in either a green (military) or a blue (police) costume and use to threaten and manage the herd.” ~Stefan Molyneux
Government tends to become corrupt. Unchecked government corrupts absolutely. But so what? It’s your government, and you hold all the power. You are accountable to nobody, not even other governments. Your military is mighty. It travels around the world extorting fishermen from all countries. And should it happen that a country does not allow you to steal its fish, you declare war and convince the people that war is peace. And if you cannot convince the people of war, you create false flags and scapegoats and use your propaganda machine to brainwash the masses into believing their safety is at stake.
Yours is a police state where the number one goal is the protection of your “property.” Your police enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those green papers represent all the fish you have stolen and hung over the people’s heads as debt: an abstraction of an abstraction. Everyone “owes” you something. And both the police and the general populace, all recipients of your plunder and power, are content with the scraps of fish trickling down from your gold-plated dinner table. You eat, and you eat well. What does it matter that the world is bleeding and dying at your feet?
Read more articles from Gary ‘Z’ McGee.
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (Statism in a Nutshell: From Thievery to Tyranny in Five Easy Steps) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary ‘Z’ McGee and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.
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