Yes, when government by the people is on the horizon, the powers that be perceive the public as their enemy. Manning, like the President, took an oath to serve the Constitution, not his superiors. But, the culture of obedience does not recognize the distinction. The culture of obedience serves a hierarchy and aims for compliance, whose level increases in direct proportion to the irrationality of the orders given. Thus the culture of obedience is not only abusive of man, but of the truth.
Truth is always a casualty, when virtue is turned into vice by being coerced.
That is the 21st Century question. Whether agents of government are tasked with telling the public what to do or, as the United States Constitution suggests, are to limit themselves to prohibiting socially injurious behaviors by individuals and corporations. (more…)
The Cons, whether they be con men, conspirators, connivers, conservatives or contrarians, share one common characteristic in that their actions are directed by ulterior motives. Nothing is as it seems. Their object isn’t just deception. Indeed, it’s possible that they don’t even admit their true motives to themselves. Ulterior motives are, in a sense, self-protective. If one doesn’t admit what one wants, then one isn’t disappointed by not getting it. One is, however, likely to be in a permanent state of funk as a result of not knowing what one wants and not getting, or getting, what one doesn’t want.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Adam Alter suggests that “Where We Are Shapes Who We Are.”
He starts out with
IN the early 1970s, a team of researchers dropped hundreds of stamped, addressed letters near college dorms along the East Coast and recorded how many lost letters found their way to a mailbox. The researchers counted each posted letter as a small act of charity and discovered that students in some of the dorms were more generous than others.
and concludes, after reporting on the disposition of flyers left on cars:
These environmental cues can shape and reshape us as quickly as we walk from one part of the city to another.
without, apparently, considering that both experiments involved littering by the experimenters, nor that the response of drivers is likely to be different from people who actually walk. Most walkers, except perhaps the hikers on Mount Everest, don’t litter nearly as much as people who drive in cars.
Blaming the environment for how people act is a new one on me. On the other hand, people just dropping what they don’t want is probably attavistic behavior and may have to be consciously restrained, or carefully unlearned.
Then too, “a place for everything and everything in its place,” depends on a person having a sense of place. Which, also apparently, some people lack.
I think I’ve enumerated these before, but I’ve added a new one:
a) it acts as a prompt to repetition, to try and try again
b) it produces a guaranteed/secure result
c) it promotes longevity
d) it discourages envy
e) it deceives opponents assuming one aims for success
f) together with attention-seeking behavior, it provides cover for crooks
To deceive is to rule. Ergo, just as power has to hurt, rulers have to lie.
Does that mean those who rule themselves have to lie to themselves? Just a question.
At a session of the Wisconsin legislature considering mandatory ultra-sound inspections for pregnant women, who seek medical assistance to abort an unwanted or life-threatening pregnancy, the public was restricted from speaking and from demonstrating this deprivation by taping their mouths. So, they covered their mouths with their hands to make the injustice obvious. Taking pictures was also forbidden, but one reporter violated the ban.
The bench is ready to be assembled in place, but it is raining and not likely to stop until tomorrow.
There’s a long tradition. Celia Thaxter did it on Appledor in the 1800s.