A bank is entrusted to guarantee the security of your deposits, and in some cases, to provide interest on them. The hypothetical bank doesn't place a condition on this - you put your money into the bank, and you're supposed to be able to get your money back out - no matter what.
However, in our modern society, a person's bank account can be frozen, seized, and redirected by court order.
What organization has this power, that it shares with no one else? The "government" - whether federal, state, or local.
So in other words, the people that we entrust to handle our money - the "value-carrying" assets we spend our lives collecting, and wish to guarantee the absolute security of, since they provide our means to survive and live - these banks, credit unions, or any other group that hold our money - they will simply stop agreeing to hold the money we entrust to them, and will simply give it to somebody else - only if that other group says it's mandated by the laws that same group makes. That is the special arrangement the "government" has managed to work out with our modern banks.
So banks will guard your assets with the utmost security - unless the people who are, realistically, in charge of the banks" safekeeping of assets, decide to take them.
You may wish to safeguard your assets from being confiscated for "taxes", so that they may be spent on war, "bailouts" of those same banks, corporate subsidies, oppressive "policing", domestic surveillance, or any of the other million objectionable roles of "government" - but domestic banks, who came into existence only to safeguard our funds, will simply give up your funds in that event. They will say, "sorry, it is mandated by court order that we hand over your funds." their organization, in other words, have devised a procedure that means you can't take back what you gave to them for safekeeping.
Replace the "government" with any other group, in the example. A local pawn shop, a local gas station, a local ice cream store, a local music school. The local ice cream store ordered the bank to hand over your money to them, and so the bank played along, and the $100,000 you spent your entire life earning is now gone?
That's where we're at today, in our modern, enlightened, just, "free market" society. We cannot earn money and even come close to guaranteeing that we get to keep it. People whose entire profession, historically, has been to keep our money safe for us, will hand our money to somebody else.
Should we accrue unlimited wealth for our personal wants? Of course not. If we are more than financially secure, and somebody else is in need, it's a moral and social obligation to share our resources with them. Attempting to live life tolerating knowledge of misery elsewhere results either in anguish or maniacal suppression of empathy - that's a simple fact. It's good for everyone to have a more-or-less equal amount of resources at their disposal, and it's a sign of an enlightened society that people receive what they need, and give what they can.
But this does not excuse this form of "collusion" between governments and banks.
Even indoctrinated Republicans and Democrats recognize that poor people suffer, and find themselves forced to pay "government", while richer people safeguard their funds overseas. "government" simply does not use this power to fix class divisions - the educated know that the government, through its twisted creations of "property law" and "corporate law", are, in essence, solely responsible for class division in the world, and all of the suffering that carries with it. They designed the society.
That's no surprise, really, when you notice that there are billionaires paying 15% capital gains taxes on their income, or even less, while poor people barely have enough money left after taxes to pay their rents/mortgages and utility bills - taking into account sales taxes, income taxes, withholdings, and others, that adds up to over 50% of what they earn.
But is it really a surprise that there's horribly rich people, and poor people living paycheck-to-paycheck, in this society - where a "government" will invent "corporations" into law*, put a fraction of the people of that "corporation" in charge of determining everyone's payment, and then turn a blind eye to the monstrous fortunes - $1,000,000-$100,000,000 a year - gained by the people in charge, while raiding every place the workers, getting paid $16,000-$60,000 a year, try to stash their money?
It would seem, in that case, that the rich people in the country wrote all of the laws - and judging by the outcome, where the government has the final say in who owns what, and where some of us (often with government connections) are monstrously rich, while the vast majority are sinking deeper and deeper into poverty - it would seem that they took total advantage of that power. Somehow, the millions of people manipulating the legal control of our society have crafted a country where the vast majority spend their entire lifetimes being ripped off, and a tiny minority is ripping everyone off.
and if the rich didn't simply run the government - how else could this have happened?
But there's one more big issue - it gets even worse.
as you can see from this graph, the actual base currency in our economy - unadjusted for fractional reserve practices - has skyrocketed in size in the last century. We see that it hit 100 billion in 1976 - when our population was ~218,035,164. As of 1998, it was 270,298,524, and the currency in circulation had hit 500 billion. So the currency increased to 5 times its previous size, while the population had only grown 23.97%!
Where did this money enter the economy? We were not mailed the money, we didn't get the money as oversized tax refunds, or Social Security payments, or anything. The money entered the economy as under-the-table, unaudited payments made to banks, mutual funds, and other groups that "invest" in so-called "Treasury bonds" - the "investment" that is profitable because it sucks value out of all of the rest of the money in the economy when the government prints money to back it up.
This practice certainly has extreme potential for insider trading - and predictably, we see a massive consolidation of control in the banking market as a result:
And, as a review of the shareholder lists for any major corporation will show you, these same banks have also managed to include massive corporate ownership into their holding portfolios.
So what is a modern bank in the United States? It is a complex, Frankenstein monster of an institution, which the government uses to micromanage the personal finances of everyone in the economy, and which the ruling class uses to funnel money out of the government, and out of corporations, into their personal accounts and trusts. Banks - including investment banks - are the junction where the ruling class destroys the non-ruling class.
* if you don't believe corporate structure is reinforced by "government" agents, such as police, watch what happens when the workers of a company attempt to take it over without the consent of "management".
the myth of efficient and humane "government"
[edit: This post was originally hastily written and had overtones of legal advice, and has been edited substantially since then. If you're a defendant in a tax case, please don't try to present these arguments to a judge, I'd give about a 99% chance you'll lose the case. I study law as much as any layman but am not a lawyer. This post is now simply intended to illustrate the incompatibility of taxation with standards of justice throughout the rest of the legal system, and hopefully to be one tiny push towards a society that doesn't rely on taxation for public goods and services.]
Taxation is illegal. Plain and simple. The entire way the government funds itself is not legal under the government's own laws, rooted in thousands of years of legal tradition.
People have tried and failed to make this argument a billion times via arguments rooted in "United States" law. They claim that the 16th amendment was never ratified, they claim that it's contradicted by the 5th amendment, and all other manner of claims.
Unsuprisingly, courts reject these arguments over and over again - either the arguments are flawed, or the court is unwilling to admit their validity. Once in a blue moon, a defendant successfully maintains one of them argument, but it's more a matter of luck than skill.
But there is a contrast between what arguments judges will accept, and what arguments are ethically viable.
Taxation cases put courts and "attack attorneys" (also known as "prosecutors" or "claimants") into what is really a contradictory position - they are expected to uphold written law above that which is just or moral.
In reality, the absolute duty of not only court officers and public officials, but all human beings, is to uphold what is just above all else.
These may sound like abstract principles, but in fact, they are the entire basis of our legal system - a mish-mash of Anglo-Saxon common law principles, British law, and ancient Roman/Greek principles. Let's examine some of these principles, and see how they color the picture of taxation.
"Ex injuria jus non oritur" ("From injury, justice does not arise")
This is an incredibly clear principle. Justice and "net" (total) injury from an action are incompatible. if your action does more harm than good, it is not just, and thus, is not legal. Injury does not create law - the "correctionary" principle here is considered to be "ex factis jus oritor", "from facts, law arises." Notice the contrast of "injury" against "truth".
Is this true in cases of "taxation"? Yes. The individual impulses to, primarily, self-preservation and accomodation, and secondarily, compassion, have their monetary "fuel" deprived, which is then spent on acts of government - including mass murder, war, mass poisoning, subsidy and support of corporate crime, and aiding and abetting of fugitives. It is abundantly clear that taxation causes net harm on a population.
"Consensus facit legem" ("Consensus makes the law")
Taxation is not performed with a full consensus of the population - that is, with each individual consenting. If it were, no penalties would need to exist for nonpayment. The actual informed consent of the person being taxed does not exist, which is why the threat of confiscation of property, violence, and imprisonment is a necessary component of "taxation" - some individuals will claim to consent, but the vast majority would not behave accordingly if the coercive measures to obtain the taxes were lifted.
The individuals carrying out acts of "taxation" - more commonly known as "extortion", "fraud" and "racketeering" - attempt to claim that the presence of benefit enjoyed by the defendant is enough to obligate the defendant into payment. However, neither implicit or explicit consent is ever given by the taxation defendant for the performance of those services.
A homeless man with a "squeegee" cannot bind a motorist into paying him for wiping his windshield, nor can a pizza deliveryman randomly choose houses to give pizza to, and then obligate them to give payment. All forms of consent were absent, and therefore, no payment is required.
You could hypothetically make the case that, if the defendant actively enjoyed the benefits of the act, i.e., ate the pizza, or allowed the car to be scrubbed - then they would be obligated to give fair and reasonable payment - but this argument falls flat when applied to taxation. First, we do not actually enjoy benefits from the vast majority of government "services" at all, since so many of them cause direct injury, and second, almost all the fundamental government services we use - roads, highways, subway systems, buses - are paid for at point of service. Roads are usually paid for with gasoline taxes and tolls, and tolls are paid for subways and buses as well. Some of us do use the services of public schools (not advisable, but for most unavoidable), firefighters, and police (also not advisable). It would be ethical to pay for services that are just and that you are obligated to pay for - but the vast majority of other government services don't qualify under this definition. Again, that is why taxation takes the form of a mandate, and not a service in an open market. If they were things people would feel an ethical obligation to pay for, they would - we do underestimate the ethical potential of a free society.
"Suppressio veri" ("Suppression of the truth")
"Suppressio veri" is much the same as the crucial element of a fraud case, that a party to a contract may have relief against the contract if the other party suppressed information material to it.
Fully informed consent is the highest standard for consent - somebody who enters into an agreement must understand the consequences of his obligations in the agreement.
This is impossible with any arrangement involving the government. Huge portions of the government's spending, and actions, are beyond review or public availability, as encoded by the government's own self-regulations (confidentiality arrangements). It is impossible for fully informed consent to exist under present circumstances.
"Se defendendo" ("Self defense")
In Wikipedia's terms - "The act of defending one's own person or property, or the well-being or property of another". A case of armed robbery, generally, where the homeowner defended themselves against an intruder, would not see them prosecuted for defense of self or property, under current law. And yet the same acts of a home invader, undertaken by the government, produce a completely different outcome. The legal defense is nullified. This fundamental principle of law is disregarded to make things more convenient for government behavior.
"Respondeat superior" ("Let the master answer")
Similarly to the "se defendendo" principle, we see by this principle that actions by the individual employees of a company should see liability for those actions resolve onto the employer. A repairman's damage-causing negligence in performing some job may trace back to his employer, making them liable.
Contrast this with acts of taxation, civil asset forfeiture, extralegal theft by police, and more. The government is given special exemption for criminal acts - coordinated extortion, very public conspiracy to leverage threats to extort money from hundreds of millions of people, are not even regarded as giving someone standing to sue. What recourse do citizens have? The individual agents are not liable for their actions, because they're acting "under color of law", and yet the government is not considered to be liable either, because the court defaults to evaluating the questions not in terms of criminal law, but in terms of "Constitutionality".
"Salus populi suprema lex esto" ("The good of the people shall be the supreme law")
Simply put - is the good of the people reflected in the act of taxation? Is theft of a third of $50,000/yr in income in order to pay for military expenses and shady "safety net" programs morally justifiable? The government so often invokes the name of charity to justify taxation, but then taxes the poor - not solely to act on their behalf, but to invade, conquer, and destroy.
The ethicality of taxation is debated endlessly, but I think anyone who has simply looked at it, at face value, can see how ridiculous the concept is.
"Quantum meruit" ("As much as he/she has earned")
In the absence of a contract, someone performing a service may be compensated on the principle of fairness, when one party would otherwise receive "unjust enrichment", a net benefit from a service performed by another. As described above, this is a negative amount - the government has provably caused more injury than benefit.
"Non faciat malum, ut inde veniat bonum" ("Not to do evil that good may come")
This one is absolutely essential. it literally means that an illegal act - extortion in the name of taxation - is not legally justifiable by a supposedly good outcome).
In plain terms, that indicates taxation is illegal.
"Nemo judex in sua causa" ("No one shall be a judge in his own case")
A judge on the public payroll cannot legally adjudicate a case regarding the method by which he/she is paid, and should self-recuse.
A taxation case itself, therefore, cannot legally occur in a court funded by the proceeds of that same taxation.
The problem here is extremely fundamental. Although prosecutors and others would prefer taxation be described as a matter of "public interest", the reality is closer to the other end of the spectrum - a dictator ordering confiscations of property and paying people to give the illusion of legal justification for such confiscations.
"Mens rea" ("Guilty mind")
A "guilty mind" must be demonstrated for a legally actionable crime to be committed - more plainly, "criminal intent". A taxation defendant who acted to withhold funds from criminal purposes in pursuit of more honorable purposes for those funds cannot be demonstrated to be of guilty mind. Should we be prosecuting those who would withhold money from the government and instead use it to help the impoverished or disabled?
"Malum in se" ("Wrong in itself")
This legal principle, among others previously discussed, means that justice takes precedence over a system of laws. This relates to the notion of "lex naturalis" vs. "lex humana" - things that are inherently right or wrong, vs. Things that are simply claimed to be so by a system of law. Here we see another ancient hint of the inextricable ties between the concepts of law and actual ethical justice - that an act of law should promote an ethical outcome, and hence, that an act of taxation must be ethically justifiable.
"Male fide" ("Bad faith")
The party seeking legal action in favor of taxation - the "government" - demonstrates bad faith, by compounding blackmail and threats with personal distress and possible injury of person or property caused to the defendant in the taxation case. The entire basis of all judgments that would be likely consequences of the case would be in bad faith, and thus, unjust/illegal.
"Leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, moriuntur" ("The laws of man are born, live, and die")
This principle simply states that laws are human and not absolute - this has been understood since time immemorial. Written law (lex scripta/lex humana) are simply words, which may, or may not, be compatible with a just outcome.
"Ius"/"jus" ("That which is binding")
The law is justice. That which is unjust is not law.
See the etymology for the word "just". Justice is that which is right. "Ius"/"Jus", synonymous with "upright", "righteous", "true".
It's when injustice takes the form of "law", and the "enforcers of law" conspire to make injustice a reality, that society collapses.
Society works fine and provides more than enough for everybody without people creating injustice - "government" and the "taxation" that supports it can only be described as a kind of mass idiocy, a reliance on extortion to maintain order instead of the free actions of individuals.
This article outlined some fundamental conflicts in the legal reasoning behind "taxation". Hopefully it will help provide some insight to someone interested in how something as unjust as taxation became law.
The money economy has to die before it kills us. Forget what you do for money - think about what you should do.
Be the kind of person you want to be. Fuck the constraints on your life. You're not really free if somebody else is calling the shots.
Community and money are not compatible. When money runs out in a monetary economy, community dies.
"Sorry, I can't give you groceries if you can't pay. How do you expect me to keep my business open?"
Money relations distract us from our common bonds and make us tear at each other's throats - turning us into "boss" and "employee", "orderer" and "doer" - and stops us from focusing on our common goals and needs.
The story of the "invader" and the "invaded" societies, no matter where it takes place, almost always has one thing in common - the invaders are the primitive ones. They don't fix their society, and make use of their land - they just try to get somebody else's.
That's why selfishness pervades our society - we literally killed or marginalized all the non-selfish people.
Building things together is what defines a community. Our society is destroying itself because, to do anything, we attach the condition that we have to get paid. The money is often there when we're called upon to do something evil, but often not there when we're called upon to do something good. It would be better for us to simply do the good things, forget the bad things, and forget the system of money that would have us do otherwise.
It should go without saying that our society has become a machine designed for the benefit of its designers - and sadly, it was designed by a small group of corporate/governments masters, not the public. If you're reading this blog, I hope you already know that.
The machine has its sub-units, all designed for a certain function - "government" for management of the system's rules and big movements of money, it has its corporate and governmental resource management, corporations for consolidation of capital into a smaller number of hands, and news/PR agencies to make sure the public believes in the system and its figureheads.
As anyone who's lifted a finger to research government/corporate collusion groups - the Council on Foreign Relations, World Bank, Bank of International Settlements, Bilderberg Group, etc. - already knows, it's easily shown that there is a revolving door and extremely strong evidence of collusion between governments and corporate executives and shareholders.
The rules are written by the people who benefit most from the rules. That is F-A-C-T fact - if you don't agree, go read about those organizations until you get a handle on what's going on. Enough time has been wasted because people are too lazy/scared/gullible to notice something is fishy about the Neverending Battle Againt Osama Bin Laden.
Thankfully, a lot of us don't want to be a part of that system, as made clear by worldwide protests and solidarity movements of the past few years. It is clear that living our lives while supporting these organizations makes us complicit, and many of us do not want to live our lives in a way that supports "ecocide", i.e., self-destruction of the planet.
So, while society runs on the gears of money and "law" that our rulers have designed for it - how do we, as individuals, jam the function of the machine?
The first step is pretty relevant this week:
STOP PAYING TAXES.
Don't keep pushing the illusion that the public supports the functions of government, just because they've frightened you into their extortion racket!
Every single one of us knows something is horribly wrong with these people, even if we've been foolish enough to let them tell us that some of them are heroes. I don't care if you're an Obama supporter or Marc Rubio supporter - look past their stupid speeches and PR events, to what they actually do in their jobs, and notice how they keep funneling our money to evil wars and mass murders.
None of them are heroes. Not to sound religious, but these people are laughing demons - complete jackals. They will tell any lie and put on any face to get what they want. It's a monstrous form of psychopathy that is WAY too effective, and needs to be rendered obsolete as soon as humanly possible.
What will you say to your children, if they ask you if you kept handing over your money, after the world woke up and realized the crimes that were being done with it? That you were too afraid to stop? That you had no choice, because they would levy your bank account and seize your assets?
Will they close all of our bank accounts? Will they take all of our houses? Will the police do it for them? When push comes to shove, who should the "lawkeepers" stand behind - the public, or the people trying to manipulate the "law" to rob the public? What are the police and ruling class going to do, kick us all out of our houses and live in 30 houses each?
The police have something to learn from the unions they've spent so many years cracking down on - that they should show some backbone, and stand up against the bosses who would sell them down the river at the first opportunity.
Some of the police and military - the "Oathkeepers" - have already learned this lesson. Being made into an attack dog for a rich man is maybe the most demeaning thing that can happen to you. Helping the rulers of our society to keep collecting their blood money is a crime, and wrong on every single count. It's better to be an honorable janitor than it is to be the richest politician.
Taxation must stop. Blow the wheels off of the "government". They can print money, and they can borrow money, but not without proving that they've run a huge deficit because the population is no longer willing to comply with their crimes.
Will eligible people still pay taxes this year? Yes - maybe 10% of them, maybe 98% of them. So-called "Americans", despite what they tell themselves, are usually complete cowards. But the fewer, the better. This kind of organized evil of "taxation" will never go away if we don't stand up to it.
I think a little less of everyone who doesn't. But the saddest thing is the society that doesn't band together and stand up to it. There are enough defenses, even if you're scared of reprisal. Put your money in a country that won't expatriate it to the U.S.. Defend yourself in court and question the idea that it's "legal" for the government to simply write a law that says it can rob the public. In a jury trial, convince them to do the right thing. You're supposed to have a constitutional guarantee that you won't be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
[edit: The above is certainly bad advice for an individual. I'm not a lawyer, don't consider this legal advice.]
Personally, I've spent at least a hundred hours by now researching legal defenses against organized extortion under color of law. [edit: Which generally just do not work in court, or especially against closed IRS proceedings.] Grab the people threatening you by the balls - get their bond numbers and names, and get their licenses pulled for any misrepresentations or lies. You are NOT the one doing something wrong if you refuse to pay taxes, and don't let them - the people threatening you to pay them - claim that you are.
DO RIGHT BY PEOPLE & BUILD FREE AND VOLUNTARY REPLACEMENTS FOR "GOVERNMENT".
Reject the idea that forceful theft of an entire population is a necessary, or morally justifiable, way to raise money for social good.
How can you look someone in the eye, as you rob them, and tell them that you're spending the money for their own good? Don't they know what's good for them better than you do?
Hypothetical scenario. Assume that you are the governments that have spent half of the last century designing machines that can obliterate all life on the planet, for no reason but to intimidate. Are you, this purveyor of death and evil, really more rational than the people who want to spend their money on houses and food for themselves and their children?
A public service is done out of acknowledgment of the importance of the public good - not for money. Let's feed and shelter people who would build roads, sustainable power, water pipes, or any other important things - let's just feed and shelter everyone.
Why not simply do things for honorable reasons? It seems to only be when people dream of a life of laziness and unimaginable wealth that they resort to evil. How is it reasonable to expect this not to happen when we simply allow pieces of paper to decide what we do, and who we do it for?
We have totally forgotten the meaning of "society". Instead of doing things for each other, we claw at each other's throats to line our pockets, and then expect people in "government", who do the exact same thing, to pick up the slack for us. Is it any surprise that homeless people are lining the streets? Our society is the shame of humanity.
STOP BITING THE BAITED FISHING HOOK OF MONEY / PHASE OUT MONEY.
It is better to do anything for free than to do it in a way that involves money.
As long as people are willing to do things for money, then he who controls the supply of money controls those people. That is unacceptable.
Look around you. Everything is shaped the way it is because we've done all this evil for money. We kick people out of their houses for money, we start wars for money, we hide our true selves for money, we destroy art and culture for money, we break apart families for money, and we kill innocent beings for money.
We all supposedly use money because it's supposed to guide us to do things for the right reasons. It's supposed to be that we're so afraid of not having money, that we must work to get money, and that to get money, we must do right by each other, because the "free market" and "government" will supposedly keep us in line. But that doesn't happen! Our air is filled with pollution, our food is poison, and our politicians stink of corruption. We've abandoned all of our personal responsibility, and allowed our souls to rot. We lost sight of what we were supposed to be working for in the first place.
Having to use money to buy things makes us desperate for money. It's an evil, horrible cycle, and it keeps us afraid enough to SELL OUT for a living. It may not be the root of all evil, but it's pretty damn close. If everyone did a little less for money, and a little more for charity, year after year, what kind of society would we end up with?
Barter with each other. Give to each other. Anything is better than this "Ruling Class Voucher System" we call "money".
STOP RESPECTING EVIL AUTHORITY.
It's an oxymoron, really - "evil authority". You're not an authority on anything if you're evil. You don't even understand yourself, yet alone, anyone else. Yet we consider the most evil people in our society to be the "authorities".
People who see themselves as powerful, or fearsome, or intimidating, deserve to be mocked and ridiculed until they learn the humility and kindness that everyone else practices on a daily basis. It doesn't matter what uniform you wear, or what title it says on your desk. You're just a hairy, stupid animal, with a huge ball of rage and egotism buiding up in your mind.
LEARN WHAT YOU ARE.
You're an animal. DEAL WITH IT! Stop scheming and learn what it means to be a grown-up who doesn't go around snarling at everyone and fucking people over to get ahead. Go out and do something good. You'll feel better about your life.
STOP DESTROYING NATURE.
It was not, despite what the Bible says, put here for humans to abuse ruin. Nature is our support system. We are causing mass deforestation, "dead zones" of life, and yearly lists of species to go extinct, simply because we can't live within our means and respect our surroundings. If things keep going the way they are now, this will be the end of life on the planet.
It doesn't stop at littering, or even at being a vegetarian or vegan (animal slaughtering business is most of the reason we're cutting down so much land), or using a hybrid car. There is a fundamental problem with the mindset that leads to us exploiting nature. Automobiles are problematic enough on their own, with all the habitat disruption and noise that comes with their use, but oil-fueled automobiles are just too much to take. Oil harvesting and oil combustion are destroying our environment, and doing everything from giving us cancer to causing mass slaughters of ocean life.
We don't need to be driving to work. We don't need to be driving to the grocery store. We don't need groceries shipped from third world countries to our grocery stores. All of these things are problems only because we've tried to separate everything in our economy between "producers" and "consumers". Agriculture is a local problem, not a national problem, and right now it's being overtaken by corporate giants who are resorting to using trucks to ship produce across the country. This is complete insanity - food grows everywhere, even when we're not trying to grow it. We're having such a hard time getting to it because we keep burning down its natural habitats and paving them over with concrete.
Nature is NOT there to be exploited by humans - our belief that it is, at the rate things are going, will destroy all of us. Nature provides, but it's not a tool to be used by humans to provide for humans. Plants grow naturally, and we're supposed to have to go to the effort to pick them. Otherwise, the whole system breaks down. Trying to sow crops and harvest them throws ecosystems out of whack, causing soil erosion, pollution, water aquifer depletion, and the crop yields are so poor that we're now being tricked into using "RoundUp Ready" and other GMO crops. There are organic techniques that help us integrate desired crops into nature:
Which, thank god, we're starting to build in cities -
But we need to be using techniques like these NOW, for ALL of our food. Failing to do that puts us in one of biology's stupidest positions - the parasite that kills its host.
Credit to "KomeOne"
Linguistic experts have long noted that language shapes culture, and that culture shapes language, forming a cycle of continual memetic evolution of culture. We find that our social practices are legitimized by linguistic structures, and that we euphemize our worst social practices by codifying them into what I can only call "politically correct language" (to deviate from the common usage of the term). Among other consequences, this allows evil to become an acceptable part of our culture.
How does this phenomenon play out in the common cultural practice of carnivorism?
The semantics surrounding meat consumption are extremely complex. We find that entirely different dialects exist to describe meat consumption depending on the specific dietary subculture in question.
Omnivorous human beings, who consume meat, use a large number of terms to describe their practices. A nearly countless number of specific terms, often from foreign languages, are used to describe meat, based on the specific cut and animal from which the cut was taken. I am no butcher, so I speak only from limited experience and knowledge. At least in North America, the most commonly consumed animals are the cow, chicken, pig, and turkey, and much less commonly, the lamb, goat, rabbit, bear, deer, and so forth.
Cows and pigs have the tragic honor of having the most distinct and commonly recognized cuts. For cows, the most common are the brisket, flank, rib, sirloin, T-bone, and rump - some of which are often simply abbreviated as "beef" - while for pigs, the most common are the shoulder, ribs, side, "ham" (backside/thigh), and others. Chickens are more simply separated into drumsticks, wings, breast, and assorted other parts, and the same roughly applies for turkeys, with the "dark meat" and "white meat" distinction. Deer are simply called "venison", while bear meat often is given no special name.
When described in this sense, it is clear that these terms all refer to anatomical locations. They are the part of the animal's body that has been sliced off and served. However, in a culinary context, these terms lose virtually all connection to their origins. "Chicken" and "beef", served in a context completely different from their origins, are thought of strictly as substances.
When looking at a restaurant menu, we would have to deliberately think of "chicken" as an animal to recognize what we are being served - an animal that experiences conscious thought - much less, when it is described with a suffix such as "breast" or "wings", or even just alone - "wings". The same is even more true of "beef", which does not share a word with its animal of origin. Beef is basically thought of as a brown substance with meaty qualities. A surprising number of people rarely even cook it - even when they do, it's so often purchased in its processed form - ground beef, which has begun to lose its resemblance to the flesh that it is.
Vegetarians and vegans, when discussing their approaches to diet with omnivores, often find themselves dealing with meant-to-be-offensive phrases made in the assumption that they're denying themselves something desirable - i.e., "mmn, I love bacon", or, "I'd take a hamburger right now". It's worth noting that these phrases rarely include any relation to any actual slaughter or consumption of the animal itself - only the highly isolated, detached, and prepared versions of their flesh that people consume. People will not seriously suggest that they should find a wild boar and attack it with their teeth - for many people, that would be the end of their lives. Mired in the assumption that meat consumption is morally defensible and nutritionally sound, the omnivores simply mock vegans and vegetarians based on the pleasures they shortsightedly perceive from their practices.
Vegetarians, and especially vegans, describe the practice of meat consumption in plainly moral and straightforwardly clinical terms. Meat is more commonly referred to with terms such as "dead animal" or "flesh". The conditions of animals in captivity are described plainly, such as how they're medicated with recombinant bovine growth hormone, antibiotics, and antivirals, or the unnatural grain diets animals are often fed in post-industrial societies - or, in the case of supposedly "ethical" or "compassionate"-oriented meat industry groups, the slaughterhouse experience of the animals.
In the words of George Bernard Shaw - "I was a cannibal for twenty-five years. For the rest I have been a vegetarian." Vegans and vegetarians very often recognize some portion of the spectrum of animal life, that so intimately relates us to other animals. Our genome, which, roughly, serves as the "recipe" for the arrangement of chemicals that compose our bodies, shares remarkable similarities across mammals, and even with rodents, avians, and invertebrates. Many people who have practiced cannibalism in the past have remarked that human flesh tastes remarkably similar to pig flesh. As far as life on this planet is concerned, we are very literally eating our close relatives, and we are suffering for it with debilitating illnesses, moral and spiritual deadness, and devastating pollution.
So, in terms of semantics, it is not surprising that this understanding manifests itself in "clinical" terms similar to those described. After all, it is the vegetarians and vegans who see the industry surrounding the "meat", the awareness possessed by the animals involved, and the absolute devastation that lies in the wake of meat consumption, while those who consume meat rarely attempt to make any argument in their defense - assuming these arguments have already been won - and simply focus on the enjoyment they've managed to marinate and fry into their animal flesh. That is another interesting point of note - while vegans and vegetarians gladly eat a variety of raw foods (i just finished off a whole bag of fresh peas, myself), omnivores will rarely ever eat raw meat, or even unseasoned meat. Meat is not often sauteed (I guess turkeys are basted with butter?), and only sometimes fried. In order to make meat palatable, a large variety of vegetables, fungi, and spices are often added, and these additions are often what turns a meat preparation into a dish.
For instance, Italian cooking heavily depends on the addition of tomatoes, basil, oregano (and also cheese products and grains) to meat for its preparation. We have adopted a large number of these dishes into American culture - for instance, lasagna, pizza, ragu, pizzaiola, "parmesan" (a preparation with marinari and parmesan breading, usually with chicken, veal - baby cow - or eggplant), and others. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine often incorporates meat into bread, or serves meat on bread. Asian cultures often create similar dishes with rice-based noodles and vegetables, such as dumplings, the Indian "tandoori" meat preparation, soups, curries, etc..
It seems to very often be the case that meat is at the heart of dietary "impurities" that people perceive in their lives, but are unable to identify, trying all kinds of fad diets but refusing to give up that crutch. My theory is that this sort of cultural ingraining of meat consumption, in terms of the cultural institution of cuisine, with its strongly rooted familial traditions, is the primary difficulty people have in recognizing these problems - and it is our language that ultimately shapes how we view our cuisine. Thus, understanding the biases inherent in how we describe what we see as "food" can go a long way to help reshape our attitudes towards reality.
I guess the geniuses of the ruling class still think nuclear war threats (or nuclear war itself) help any person on the planet:
There's a phrase for this - sabre rattling. Kim Jong Un, the baby king (reminds me of Cleopatra's deposed baby brother, Ptolemy) of "North Korea", for some reason, is trying to make waves about the possibility of a nuclear war between the "United States" and "North Korea". [or, evidently, is falsely attributed by the American media as trying to do so Apr 5, 2:48 UTC]
Who is this beneficial to?
In reality, it's truly beneficial to nobody. People perceive they've benefited from it, but curse themselves at the same time, by sowing self-doubt and guilt into their own lives, rendering it impossible for them to maintain normal human relationships (at least, without disavowing their past ways).
So, moving on, who thinks this is beneficial to them?
The ruling classes of the "United States" and "North Korea" both benefit if the citizens of both "countries" are afraid of each other. "North Korea" in particular has a propaganda narrative that relies almost exclusively on its official opposition to the "United States" (and its near-religious worship of the Kim family):
Meanwhile, the "United States"" ruling class enjoys the ability to portray "North Korea" as part of its semi-official "Axis of Evil", consisting of "North Korea", "Iran" (A.K.A. "The Country Formally Known as Persia"), and other countries with official stances against the "United States".
Both ruling classes benefit from this sort of national division for several reasons. First, it promotes the division of civilization on the planet, which prevents people from ideologically focusing on our shared goals. Being distracted from those goals helps politicians and corporate officials to promote agendas which run against the grain of actual human needs and desires. One of the more dramatic of these agendas is the agenda of war itself - despite their claims to want peace and stability, the ruling class thrives on social disorder and war. These are strongly established facts, but perhaps they deserve some more emphasis, for there are people that don't yet understand them.
It is simple enough to explain this for "North Korea". Those who control the military, official propaganda, and who "benefit" (in their minds) from rulership in "North Korea" - they are the exact same people. Kim Il-Sung, then Kim Jong-Il, then Kim Jong-Un, and their direct subordinates along the way. The nearly complete merger of the state and the economy in "North Korea" has guaranteed that the managers of the state operate with as much glorification and privilege as the population will sustain.
Who benefits in the "United States"? The same principles apply, although the relations are much less obvious, because the "government" is forced to operate under the myth of public accountability. It is trivial to point out the massive "campaign contributions" and under-the-table deals given to members of Congress by military contractors, something which obviously tilts the game in their favor. It is just as trivial to make the same observations about our last few "Presidents" - Obama makes war-mongering decisions, in exchange for favorable coverage from military contractor General Electric on their news channels, NBC and MSNBC. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were among his top campaign contributors in 2008 (although they ceased it in 2012, for Obama's P.R. Reasons), and they heavily invest in the war industry, whether through government bonds or private stock holdings. Bush's "Vice President" was the former CEO of military contractor Halliburton, and Bush apparently had a direct relationship with Erik Prince, CEO (?) of draconian military contractor Blackwater/Xe/Academi (three name changes in a decade! Escaping bad press?). Bush's family received massive payments from the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm with massive investments in military contracting - payments of at least $100,000 in size, enough to buy a small-to-average house. All of these candidates received huge "campaign contributions", at one time or another, from members of banking firms who invested in the debt instruments necessitated by the massive spending increase initiated by the Bush administration. These are all massive and irreconcilable conflicts of interest, and we see that these "officials" acted directly in favor of those who sought to corrupt them. And to top all of this off - these same firms, and their associates, are the principle economic presences in both the "United States", and "North Korea""s primary state sponsor - China.
That is the reality of modern threats of nuclear warfare. It is a hideous part of a profit-making venture that involves fooling the population into investing in unnecessary military warfare, and into trusting their government to pointlessly pit them, and their resources, into a deadly, destructive, worthless battle. Not even the politicians, who are stupid enough to put their own lives in jeopardy (at least in the event of a nuclear attack) over these pointless battles their bosses have ordered them to initiate, and degrade their own honor and conscience in full view of millions of people - not even these politicians ultimately benefit the most (though they certainly believe they do).
It is the people who invest in war - the people who invest in government debt, in military contractors, in financial instruments that profit from resource acquisition, such as resource futures, and in the companies that profit from the stream of war spoils - that ultimately benefit the most from war, although they curse themselves to lives of distrust and guilt when they become deeply involved. And it is those people who thus stood to gain the most in ordering Kim Jong Un and his subordinates to begin threatening nuclear obliteration against the "United States". Consider the simple possibility - they want more money, and they think the population needs to be made afraid once again.
Only when we unanimously disobey them, and those who would obey them, and reject their "jobs" and their "money", will their system ultimately collapse. The #1 element of the social sickness that pervades the world is what psychologists call the "diffusion of responsibility" - the failure of individuals to take responsibility for the behavior of the swarm they're members of.
Photo op for Kim Jong Un to look like a sophisticated and important military leader
Photo op for Obama to look like a sophisticated and important military leader
Control by "government"
I absolutely believe in free economies. The thousands of years in which we rejected personal freedom so that our economy could be controlled by a centrally administered set of rules have been an abject failure - time and time again, we witnessed central management of economies turn into totalitarianism, in one form or another, whether the empires of the past, or the empire of today.
And I will draw a line between a "free economy" or "free market" - an economy not controlled by a "government" - and "capitalism", in which the greedy few can control the many in systems of production akin to modern "corporations".
It is an absolute fact that good reason and common sense should enjoy absolute precedence over violence and threats as the means to keep human behavior in line, and it is extremely difficult to imagine a single scenario in which violence is preferable to discussion. This alone is a basic consequence of understanding human rights - we deserve to be treated as logical, thinking creatures, not as irrational things that need controlling. I wouldn't even stoop so low as to describe animals as irrational. If the machinery of society treats humans as irrational monsters, that is what they'll become.
Attempts at promoting state "regulation" of the economy are easily dismissed in a single sentence - they propose that the greedy and irresponsible outliers should be kept in line by simply investing the power to issue mandates over an entire society into a few hundred people - the idea is that dangerous individual control should be replaced by a tiny group of people controlling everyone!
This idiotic abdication of responsibility, in which 300 million of us give up control to a few hundred, has created or worsened nearly every problem we experience as a society, from widespread pollution, poverty, endless war, cancer, and heart disease, to the idiotic social issues we constantly debate, where we question if the government should ban a variety of victimless crimes, such as gay marriage or cannabis usage. We find ourselves debating why we are prohibited from doing things we want to do, and why our money is spent on things we don't want, while it's not spent on things we want. We find ourselves at the point where the "government" is passing laws about our eating habits, and where we cannot properly manage for ourselves what enters our mouths and what doesn't. You don't have to be a psychologist to recognize this as a severe dependence relationship - where we would naturally be responsible for our own existence, we simply expect others to manage it for us. We now seriously find ourselves debating the idea of drone airplanes being used to surveil citizens, as if that idea wasn't so psychotic that it would be grounds for a preschool teacher to call someone's parents over it.
But the errors in thinking go even deeper.
What's mine and what's yours
One of the strongest economic beliefs of all time is that any economic system not designed for equal provision of wealth to its participants, and the equal distribution of responsibility to those best suited to perform it, can only result in an unfair and inequal distribution of the same. This idea came in many forms, but notably was championed by Karl Marx as his "From each according to his ability..." principle - by itself, a rare example of a great truth he annunciated.
Equality, sustainability, and prosperity - the meeting of human economic needs - are roughly the best measures of success for any economic system, and were achieved thousands of years before us - so why do we fail to achieve them today? Obviously, because our society isn't designed to achieve them. There is only one other way to explain the way our society is designed - greed. Ignorance doesn't even come close to describing it by itself - in terms of economics, ignorance is a perfectly paved road for greed to travel on.
In terms of the modern monstrosity of state-managed "capitalism", this error takes the form of the belief that, since communal systems will supposedly inevitably fail as a result of lack of individual contributions, and excess of individual takings, that accordingly, we must provision ownership of everything that could conceivably be owned into individuals, with no regard for anything but whether or not the law recognizes it as their property - whether a result of "free trade" (so often rigged by the state), or taxation or eminent domain seizure.
The error in this thinking is extreme. the fallacy is that, since greed prevents us from sharing, we must permit greed to grow into its most extreme forms. a young child can see through this monstrous error in logic.*
So, having already debunked the idea of "state-managed economies", we now look to anarchism, and the obvious schism in modern anarchism - the schism between "anarchosyndicalists" and "anarchocapitalists".
How to be fair
The position of more insightful "anarchocapitalists", although misaligned to the contrary, surprisingly takes the last error into consideration at times, and thus emerges with a remarkable similarity to the position of "anarchosyndicalists" - that the benefits of production and control of production must be provisioned to the workers. Such "anarchocapitalists" believe that this is a logical consequence of a truly free market with unrestrained union activity, or of a moral society in general, while the "anarchosyndicalists" hold it as a fundamental building block of their system, and often hold the anarchocapitalists in scorn for not doing so.
Obviously, the reconciliability of these two positions depends only on how essential the anarchocapitalist society believes this syndicalization of ownership is - their willingness to enforce
The divergence in thought appears to arrive specifically from the lineage of thought practiced by both schools. The "anarchocapitalists" derive their thought from the "classical liberal" tradition of the totalitarian Adam Smith, and later, the more respectable Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises, while the "anarchosyndicalists" derive their position from the totalitarian Karl Marx, and later, the more respectable Mikhail Bakunin, Emma Goldman, and Joseph Proudhon (among others, for both schools of thought).
Stunningly, both schools of thought reached their current states by identifying the errors of thinking in their predecessors, which had led them to create, respectively, the totalitarian disaster of the United States, and the totalitarian disaster of the U.S.S.R..
So how may "anarchocapitalism" and "anarchosyndicalism" be reconciled? It's simple - both schools of thought need to reject any totalitarian tendencies in thought which may or may not be present, and arrive at a single agreement on what characteristics are necessary and sufficient to produce a just society/economic system. Both schools of thought should reject any violent tendencies that they have, in order to not alienate the rest of society, and the "anarchocapitalists" must understand that there are common sense limits to what can justly be considered one's "property", which the "anarchosyndicalists" have, for the most part, codified as "usage" or "possession" rights.
And what is the shared enemy of anarchists of any flavor? It's not really even a group or a system, even multinational corporations or the state. It's the human failure to self-actualize - to become a responsible being. And who suffers the worst from this failure? Those who we identify as our oppressors.
The only thing you need for a working society is for its members to be responsible people! Of course, for responsible people, you need a culture that understands what responsibility actually means. And that is what we do not have.
*One of the most common examples used to justify ownership-based systems is the example of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia:
Giving Thanks for Private Property
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
The first British settlers of America arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in May of 1607. There, in the Virginia Tidewater region, they found incredibly fertile soil and a cornucopia of seafood, wild game, and fruits of all kind. But within six months, all but 38 of the original 104 Jamestown settlers were dead, most having succumbed to famine. Two years later, the Virginia Company sent 500 more settlers, and within six months 440 had died of starvation or disease. This was known as "the starving time" (See Warren Billings, ed., The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606—1689).
The error in reasoning here is insane, but easily missed. The Native Americans who preceded those colonists enjoyed communal living, and managed to live comfortably, avoiding the starvation and disease this article cites.
It's only that the extremely privileged European colonists, totally alienated from nature, by thousands of years of monarchism and Judeo-Christian religion, that managed to botch an experiment communal living and nearly kill themselves off - and then proceeded to genocidally exterminate the Native Americans who knew how to make it work. The society they emerged from - the British Empire - was so crazed that an attempt by American colonists to cut ties with the empire was met with a military invasion staged across the Atlantic Ocean! With greed so extremely ingrained into their culture, is it any surprise that their attempt at communal living failed on account of greed? It is a tremendous mistake to blame that on human nature itself.
And we still, to this day, use this story as an example of why communal property structures cannot work? It's true, then, that we haven't really learned anything about ourselves for hundreds of years! "Capitalists" at one extreme worry that communalism means absence of any goods for everyone, while "communists" at one extreme worry that capitalism means the domination of all goods by the few. Where is the happy medium of people having what they sanely need and want?