A quick refresher on the disaster that was the first Leftist revolution:
The Jacobins instituted the General Maximum, a regime of price controls that eventually covered all foodstuffs and a long list of other basic goods. Violating the Maximum was punishable by death. This of course caused widespread shortages and famines. The Republic responded by sending troops into the countryside to seize crops from farmers to feed the capital. The people’s state that had freed the peasantry from their parasitic feudal masters had itself become for them, in a few short years, an even more voracious parasite.
The new Committee of Public Safety, under Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre, then initiated the Reign of Terror: a wave of political violence, including prison massacres and thousands of beheadings, that made the political repression of the overthrown regime look tame in comparison.
…The Republic’s worst single atrocity was the War in the Vendee. An anti-revolutionary rural population revolted against Paris’s attempt to conscript their sons into war. In crushing the insurrection, the Republican government killed as many as over a quarter of a million peasants. Rebel prisoners — men, women, and children — were executed in mass crowds by gunfire and drowning. A state massacring its own people at such a scale was at that time almost unprecedented.
This essay is flawed because the writer goes on to repeat the tired Leftist lie that nationalism arose with the French Revolution. What the fools mean is that nationalism was formalized at that time in defense of the nation-state, but they do not mention that nationalism was a natural instinct and common practice among tribes who saw themselves as bonded in larger groupings such as “the German tribes” or “the Frankish tribes,” all of which were seen a lesser parts of the general idea of European-ness, which even back then divided them into West, South and East clusters of tribes.
However, he points out handily the problem with Leftism: it is unstable, namely because it is based on what the Crowd wants, and what the Crowd wants is the sum of what its individuals want, which can roughly be described as acceptance into society without having to contribute more than obedient behavior; they want freedom from the obligation to behave in a constructive, moral way all of the time.
This is what equality means. The person who does ill is equal to the person who does good, which makes doing ill more efficient and profitable. The serf is equal to the noble. This basically creates a prole holiday where no one is responsible for anything beyond transactions and the pursuit of personal pleasure, which turns people against each other and makes them resentful.
In turn, this naturally makes an unstable society. People do the minimum and act according to ideology through a process known as conformity, but their participation is half-hearted and they do only exactly what they are obligated to; in the meantime, they have no need to do right and good, so when their participation is done, they feel justified in taking or exploiting anything else.
Society at that point deepens its engagement in what we call The Napoleonic Cycle: first, a violent revolution on some pretext; next, a purging of the dissenters and those whose assets can be taken; then, new rules which intensify old problems; finally, as society crumbles, permanent warfare as a means of keeping everyone in line and scared for their lives.
This is the face of Control. Leadership brings people together toward a goal; with Control, the only goal is more Control, and it uses pleasant illusions as a justification to keep itself in power. The end result is that people are forced into equality and conformity so that they can all do the same exact things, day after day, as a means of maintaining order.
Leadership on the other hand is cooperative. Leaders have more power because they have no need to justify themselves. They act as they think is best. They have beneath them a hierarchy of many levels, instead of the two-stage elites and masses model of Control. In this hierarchy, people act as individuals, participating unequally toward the same ultimate goal using different methods.
Nature resembles Leadership more than Control. Aristocracy is a form of leadership; military rule can be. Democracy always starts on a positive note and then, as the lack of standards encourages each person to go their own way, becomes more authoritarian as the society fragments from within. It always ends in a tyranny because democracy is unstable and cannot function for long.
Control creates a bad psychology of self-deception in order to accept that Narrative advanced by those in control, and in doing so, it twists people by making them obedient to the formal system of rules and simultaneously oblivious to the evident and commonsense truth of what they are doing. It steals their ability to have purpose. Witness how this self-deception works:
In one experiment Trivers and his team asked 306 online participants to write a persuasive speech about a fictional man named Mark. They were told they would receive a bonus depending on how effective it was. Some were told to present Mark as likable, others were instructed to depict him as unlikable, the remaining subjects were directed to convey whatever impression they formed. To gather information about Mark, the participants watched a series of short videos, which they could stop observing at any intermission. For some viewers, most of the early videos presented Mark in a good light (recycling, returning a wallet), and they grew gradually darker (catcalling, punching a friend). For others, the videos went from dark to light.
When incentivized to present Mark as likable, people who watched the likable videos first stopped watching sooner than those who saw unlikable videos first. The former did not wait for a complete picture as long as they got the information they needed to convince themselves, and others, of Mark’s goodness. In turn, their own opinions about Mark were more positive, which led their essays about his good nature to be more convincing, as rated by other participants. (A complementary process occurred for those paid to present Mark as bad.) “What’s so interesting is that we seem to intuitively understand that if we can get ourselves to believe something first, we’ll be more effective at getting others to believe it,” says William von Hippel, a psychologist at The University of Queensland, who co-authored the study. “So we process information in a biased fashion, we convince ourselves, and we convince others. The beauty is, those are the steps Trivers outlined—and they all lined up in one study.”
In real life you are not being paid to talk about Mark but you may be selling a used car or debating a tax policy or arguing for a promotion—cases in which you benefit not from gaining and presenting an accurate picture of reality but from convincing someone of a particular point of view.
When people are given public rules, they obey those rules by filtering out everything else they must do, which makes them insincere and prone to believe in illusions. When they are then rewarded for those illusions, they internalize them. This is how societies die, by cherry-picking data and filtering out the non-conforming information, then imitating the illusion in round-robin until the system collapses.
The dysfunctional behavior of government is explained by this as well. Under Control systems, people are told what to do and that if they fulfill that and do not violate the narrative, everything else is acceptable. For this reason, they view their role as conformity to ideology and not generalized morality, which creates a permissive situation that is prone to abuse:
Investigators showed the children more than 1,000 photographs that included pictures of Sri Lankan troops and locations of where the children had sex with the soldiers.
“The evidence shows that from late 2004 to mid-October 2007, at least 134 military members of the current and previous Sri Lankan contingents sexually exploited and abused at least nine Haitian children,” the report said.
After the report was filed, 114 Sri Lanka peacekeepers were sent home, putting an end to the sex ring.
Some of this may merely be third world sexual ethics. Practices that appall us in the West are commonplace in most of the world, and may serve as a necessary social control mechanism. There is no universal sexual morality, but more advanced moral standards offer certain benefits that may not be visible to all people (call it “sociological esotericism”).
However, more likely the situation is that you give people power and then identify a task for them, and so long as they are doing that task, they will use their power in abusive ways. The same practice is true of bicycle riders in the US who are given right-of-way and use it in a passive-aggressive manner, or even hall monitors in high school. Power without responsibility to morality invites abuse, and Control systems replace morality (in addition to: heritage, culture, family, integrity, chastity and eventually sanity).
Now consider this drama:
Congressional Democrats are demanding that key ObamaCare payments be included in the next spending bill, raising the possibility of a government shutdown if they are not.
The calls come a day after President Trump on Wednesday threatened to cancel insurer reimbursements in an effort to force Democrats to negotiate on healthcare reform.
Around here, when the Prole Holiday flag is flying proudly from the pole, people behave badly because there is no responsibility. They are more anonymous people in the industrial city, and can behave like selfish ingrates because they “gave at the office,” or in other words, they have performed their Control function and everything else is now fair game, with no moral standard.
People avoid looking you in the eyes as they cut in line in front of you, block aisles in the grocery store, drive in blithe ignorance of others, throw litter directly into national parks, urinate on monuments and engage in potentially thousands of other low-grade antisocial behaviors. Prole Holiday means you do not have to say you are sorry.
During the last government shutdown, this changed. Prole Holiday was suspended; the normal masses of people milling about the streets vanished, probably because they decided they should do something functional for a change. The passive-aggressive people stayed home. The remaining people started greeting each other, engaging in courtesy, and looking each other in the eyes again.
Leftists are playing a dangerous game with government shutdown, and Trump may force them to it. He wins the longer the government stays shut down, not so much because he can golf and spin-kick alligators at his Mar-a-Lago retreat, but because people will start doing things for themselves and others again.
Charities become the source of what welfare displaced, and they have standards, so even the guy who mumbles about alien abduction and probing non-stop will comb his hair and stop molesting kids so he can get his daily soup. Neighbors get to know each other, and start neighborhood watch groups. People interact informally, naturally and with the intent of making society work again.
If this went on for, say, three months, it is possible that people would begin to snap to and question how much of this government thing we actually need. Normal functional people benefit from none of this stuff, but work more than twice as long to pay for it and because of its myriad rules, laws, regulations, advisories, intercessions and the threat of intervention.
As a result, the people who do nearly everything in society would do just fine without government, and the others would be forced to make themselves useful or go hang out at the soup kitchen over at Our Virgin Of The Holy Legume. This would invert the inverted order we have now, where the strong work for the weak, and would be more pleasant for those who get just about everything accomplished.
A government shutdown would also break the Control structure. Instead of the combination of apathy and deference that comes with micromanaging authority, people would take responsibility for having not a rule-abiding society, but a moral and qualitatively good one. It would more resemble the America of old and might even improve upon it.