> On Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:55:03 -0000
>       You hit a nerve only in a general sense. Psychiatry is a
>       especially vicious tool for political manipulation and
>       oppresion.

Indeed. Religion, physics, and medicine generally, as well.
Political oppressors will co-opt anything they can use, no?

As terrible as religion is, I won't deny some people get genuine benefit
from it. As terrible as the A-bomb is, I won't deny physics has helped
mankind. No different for psychiatry.

>       Your niece is shy. But now being shy has been turned into a
>       'mental disorder' a 'syndrome' or whatever. We should be glad
>       that science is fixing the world...

Not just shy, dude. She's shy, yes, because she is wired a bit differently
and is self-conscious of it.. but its deeper than that. Certain
psychological principles have truly helped her, and her parents, cope.

But let me be clear: I understand what you're saying, and you're not
wrong. In my nieces' case, it took a few attempts with different doctors
to find one whose first reaction wasn't to drug her.

I'm not saying that the mechanisms of psychology, especially as it
intersects with the State (i.e. state-run hospitals, state-ordered
"therapy" and so on) aren't oppressive. They truly, surely are.

I'm just saying, "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" .. Nazi
doctors did terrible things, too, but presumably you understand that they
are still helpful for setting broken bones and things.

>> There are pacifists which interpret it that way however, and I'm just
>> acknowledging an interpretation that is different my own, without
>> denigrating it. Something you seem unwilling to do.
>       I'm not denigrating it, but pointing out that it's open to some
>       degree of rational criticism.

Fair enough, and I don't disagree. The thing to realize from my view,
however, is that people aren't fundamentally rational.

The trouble with that view from an anti-authoritarian perspective is that,
lets face, there is a lot of irrational stuff out there. So IF people were
basically rational, then it would mean most people are just inherently

And if they are not capable of reasoning through shit, it really calls
into question whether they are capable of, for example, maintaining their
affairs without State intervention, so some type of big brother checking
up on them.

I don't believe people are inherently stupid. I believe they operate
primarily according to motives, and drives, that have little to do reason.
The veneer of reason is added, as an after thought.

Rational criticism can help them realize THIS. But the alternatives
offered have to play to something more than just algebra.

>       I specifically disagree with putting too much emphasis on the
>       fact that some 'majority' of people have 'mainstream' views.
>       Although at first sight that indeed seems to be the case,
>       treating it as some kind of biologically determined outcome
>       doesn't strike me as either correct or useful.

I wouldn't go so far as to say its biologically determined, but I would
say that there are psychological, or if you prefer, emotional forces

The utility of the view can be expressed this way: when one realizes the
emotional reasons why a person clings to statism so passionately, you're
in a better position to help them out of it. Because argumentation and
logic don't win many converts alone.

It helps develop a proper scale of the real problem. It's not just a
matter of "the state" .. its a matter of "the state" and the human desires
that seek us to create states, to love and revere kings, to subconsciously
select leaders.

I once was involved with a group where I noticed that two individuals
always reserved their opinion until I stated mine, and then championed
whatever I said and worked to convince others in the group of it. I never
asked, nor wanted this, naturally. My solution was to go to my main
"opponent" in the group, with whom I disagree most frequently, but was on
pleasant terms with personally - and brought this up. I asked her if she'd
noticed it, and she had. We decided that we'd wait until it happens, and
then slowly shift positions. I'd gradually adopt her position, and she
mine and argue for them in reverse. To shake up the dynamic, and confuse
them into doing some real thinking on their own.

Over time, it worked. They began agreeing with neither of us outright.
Perhaps they thought we were both fucking stupid and decided that their
own opinions had more merit than us "flip-flop" dullards.

Good. Whatever they needed to get the confidence to embrace their own
ideas is OK by me.

>       At this point I'm not sure how the topic of social conformity
>       was started, but the idea I'm advancing is that social
>       conformity should be shredded to pieces, not 'explained'.

OK, great. I agree totally. The question then, is how do we help do it?
If you'll forgive an analogy.. but we have a burst pipe. One method of
trying to stop the leak is to stuff the whole with argumentation, logic,
and fill the void. Mine, as I see it, is to understand the cause of the
leak. Identify the source, and shut off the valve.

I could have argued, and reasoned with those two "followers" of mine. I'd
tried, basically. Their answers were always some variation of: "Oh, I'm
not simply following you. I really believe that. I've always felt that
way, I just didn't have the words to express it so clearly." or some such

I understood they weren't consciously trying to put me ahead of themselves
as a leader, they lacked confidence in their own abilities, and felt more
comfortable attaching themselves to me.

And so it goes with social conformity, generally. Certain people get
"groupies." It's just the way it is. Recognizing it, and helping to get
them on their own two feet.. that's my solution. I see that as quite

>       More than a few slaves managed to actually run away, a rather
>       risky action. It seems fairly safe to assume that a lot more
>       thought about runing away even if they didn't try to.
>       So the dreary picture you painted about people born in slavery
>       not even being able to think about freedom is...let's say too
>       biased towards pessimism.

I'm not a historian, and certainly am not expert on American history, but
my understanding is that at the end of the civil war, there were far more
slaves in captivity than freed. The percentage of fugitive slaves was
fairly small.

And it is, nevertheless, true that some slaves stayed on as paid laborers
after the war. Perhaps these were especially kind, fair "masters" whom the
slaves never had a real problem with. Perhaps it speaks to a larger fear
of the "great big world" that so many from small town and isolated social
networks have. Perhaps its a combination of both.

Maybe I was too dramatic in making my point, but I believe it stands:
slave culture made obeying largely an instinctive quality. That culture
limits the type of thinking that people can do. Outliers notwithstanding.

>       Well, as far as I can tell, you sound a bit too elitist even if
>       you don't intend to. I'd rather assume that the majority of
>       people can think for themselves, even though they are not doing
>       it at the moment. If I assumed that they can't, then I'd have
>       to conclude that the situation is...hopeless.

This is an interesting example of how two people can think opposite things
and arrive at the same conclusion :)

Because my take is very different. As I explained above with regards to
rationality. If I thought that rationality was the core feature of the
human mind, I'd be forced to conclude most people are just not capable
decent logic.. and we need a nanny state to govern their affairs.

Rather, I see the situation that.. yes, free will is constrained. Yes,
social norms and culture play a great role in placing boundaries on the
thoughts that average people think.

But there are important people who break the mold. Inspiring examples that
speak not to reason, but to the real motivator of people: emotions, and
the desire to truly breathe, not just with their lungs, but with their

So, while neither of us may be able to convince a 3rd party in our
particular brand of "reasonable ideas" .. either because of a
dis-interest, incapability, or acute difference of opinion .. that 3rd
party can still be inspired to live free from the state, as best they can.

So, for me, rather than a hopeless situation.. its rather quite pleasant.
We don't have to stuff a gaping hole and resist the unfathomable pressure
of millions of souls.

We just have to turn the emotional valve for people, to inspire them.

>       I've never lived in a commune. I'm not exactly a communalist,
>       communist, or <insert appropriate label>. I suppose they are OK
>       for people who...don't belong to the individualist category =P

There are libertarian "communes." A commune is just a place that
like-minded people gather, at bottom. Some are communist, some are
anarchist, some are libertarian.. some are religious.

Being a loner doesn't make you an individualist. It just makes you alone.

Real individuality, in my view, is being able to be in the company of a
group of people whom are each different, and recognize and support each
others differences. It is, perhaps, a bit like being able to hang out with
naked cowboys, drag queens, and truckers while yourself wearing a
three-piece suit. And still feeling right at ease.

>       Which is the same thing as a discussion. Trying to sum it up :
>       you gave 'free advice' that amounted to "suck it up" "do
>       something 'useful'". I don't think you got an unreasonable
>       reaction on my part...

My response wasnt to you. It was to Razer, for blasting me with shit after
I just tried to make some idle chit-chat with him tangentially on his
topic of media aggregators and so on.

Because, in that case, I don't see speculating about a tiny aggregator and
a two-bit law firm, and then blasting me for not giving a fuck, as
particularly useful.

>       As is to be expected, I disagree. Limiting state power
>       is...just what the sentence literally means. If the state can
>       'regulate', spy, tax, fine, kidnap, kill, etc, limiting its
>       power amounts to stoping it doing that kind of thing.

The way you limit state power is to take away their legitimacy. So, lets
look at taxes.

If everyday people spent their time helping the homeless, unemployed, and
the disabled rather than watching TV, there would be no need for the taxes
collected for welfare, for instance.

Rome wasn't built in a day. And you won't undermine in a day, either.

You want a world without a state? So do I.  It means we have to build it,
and build alternatives.

I can see why that doesn't appeal to you. It's not something a loner can
really do effectively. But, as far as I can tell, its the only viable

I'm not playing the game out of self-interest in my lifetime. I'm playing
for keeps, and may never see the results of my labor.

Like the architects and slaves that built the pyramids, or the laborers
that build the Sistine Chapel..

It's BIGGER than ME.

>       All the services that the state has monopolized like education,
>       'health care', whatever. can be provided by the market/the
>       people/the commune once the state is gone.

Cart before the horse, man. Unless you're advocating open insurrection.
Good luck.

The problem with 'revolution' is that in revolving, we soon enough come
right back around to having a state.

I don't want to turn the wheel, reset, and have some other state or some
new oppressive non-state structure in its place.

I want to stop the wheel of history in that sense.

>       ...on the other hand there's a particular 'service' that
>       the state allegedly provides, called 'security'. If you are
>       talking about THAT service, then you are right. So how good is
>       your army?

You're right. A far more effective approach would be to establish large
standing militias willing to confront the state.

We're not there yet. In order to fight, people need something to fight
for. Thats where the OTHER non-state services come in, in my view.

>> But, as may have been predicted.. we've entirely derailed.
>       I don't think it was that bad.


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