Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On the Social Identity (sub-section: Peasant Mentality)
Re: Moral cap and Authority
RICHARD to Claudiu: Yes, the better example [of where nothing was owned and where one could help oneself to whatever was available] is indeed ‘before civilisation’ as to ‘stake out a territory and start farming it’ marks the shift from a ‘free-range’ life-style to the ‘property-rights’ way of life (and, thereby, to the arising of a ‘peasant-mentality’). To explain: [...snip 155-word explanation...]. A footnote appended to a 2005 online response of mine is as good a place to start [on a further explanation] as any. Viz.:
The following day another respondent queried me on my above response; in my clarification I referred to the term ‘wage-slave’ as being, perhaps more correctly, ‘modern-day serfdom’. Viz.:
Although, for persons taking out a house-mortgage – typically, these days, over a 30-35 year period (whereafter they find they have paid for three-four houses, whilst only being allocated one, per favour usurious banking guilds having usurped, several centuries ago[†], the sovereign power of a nation-state to emit debt-free monies) – the term ‘indentured servitude’ may be even more appropriate.
[†]Footnote: Mr. Alexander Del Mar, in his engaging 1899 book ‘Barbara Villiers or A History of Monetary Crimes’, details how the ‘exclusive prerogative of the State’ to emit money was usurped, during the reign of Charles II (and due, in no small part, to his infatuation with a notorious married woman), with the ‘surreptitious mint legislation of 1666-7’ whereby ‘the most powerful instrument by which a State can influence the happiness of its subjects, was surrendered or sold for a song to a class of usurers, in whose hands it has remained ever since’. A 1983 reprint can be read online here:
If anything is a classic case of ‘read it and weep’ then this is it in spades. The role played by Ms. Barbara Villiers – a.k.a., Mrs. Barbara Palmers, Countess of Castlemaine, Duchess of Cleveland, Baroness Nonsuch – or, rather, the allure her feminine charms had for the profligate Charles II, starts properly on Page 26. Were her story better-known she may very well become celebrated as the patron-saint of banksters world-wide (if not already, albeit secretly, that is).
Even more to the point: the fact that modern-day women demanded the legal right to enter into such ‘indentured servitude’ alongside the traditional male ‘bread-winner’ – most family-households these days are double-income households (hence necessitating publicly-subsidised childcare facilities) – and thus further enriching that already obscenely-rich ‘class of usurers’ amply demonstrates how the ‘peasant-mentality’ is not a male-only trait.
P.S.: Just for the record here is the quote in full from Page 7 of that 1899 book ‘Barbara Villiers or A History of Monetary Crimes’ (with emphases added). Viz.:
RICK: Hi Richard, firstly, thank you for posting, as it means a lot to read anything new from you.
RICHARD: G’day Rick,
Your appreciation is very welcome ... and especially so as you have previously demonstrated just how much all the words issuing forth from this keyboard mean to you.
For just one instance:
RICK: Secondly, the semi-sidebar you included regarding Alexander Del Mar’s expose of how the contemporary global monetary system came to pass was well received. I was able to read that first half of Del Mar’s book via the link you provided and found it intriguing in its accounts of a philandering monarch, parliamentary payola and powerful monopolists surreptitiously changing the course of history.
RICHARD: I am pleased you took the opportunity to peruse Mr. Alexander Del Mar’s well-researched account – and his other books are as equally well-researched – as it is essential to familiarise oneself with how the current situation came about in order to comprehend not only why the world-wide monetary system is failing so spectacularly but also why no-one is able to prevent it from doing so, no matter how many ‘fixes’ are put in place, due to that fatal flaw at the very heart of the system itself which predetermines, by the inexorable laws of mathematics, its ultimate failure.
Mr. Alexander Del Mar was not only exceptionally knowledgeable but was very perspicacious as well – and this back in the days when gold (and silver) further complicated comprehension – inasmuch he is the earliest writer I have come across thus far, in all my reading on monetary matters, who understood what money actually is.
RICK: Interestingly enough, it seems possible that in the not too distant future things may end up going back to how they were before Barbara. Just 60 days ago (Mar 20, 2015), Frosti Sigurjónsson submitted a report commissioned by the Prime Minister of Iceland, strongly advocating for the return to a monetary system wherein the State – not private banks – control the supply of money.
RICHARD: Yes, I downloaded that report shortly after it became available online – it attracted some considerable attention at the time – and the presentation of its subject matter is refreshingly easy to read.
If the country’s voters were to give the go-ahead – and were those globalised vested interests, whose monetary machinations begat this blowback, to accommodate its institution – it would certainly make for an informative case study (for as far as it goes).
RICK: The 2008 Global Financial Crisis seems to have provided enough of a shake-up that economists and governments are taking a careful look at the system, and are earnestly playing around with the idea of a complete revamp.
RICHARD: Yes ... although I am yet to see a modern-day monetary reform proposition which advocates a ‘complete revamp’ (then again, I have not researched the topic exhaustively, of course).
RICK: This likely-to-be-influential report, which is the culmination of reformation advocacy from well-regarded macroeconomical thinkers such as Alexander Del Mar and, more recently, Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof of the IMF, can be found online here in PDF: www.forsaetisraduneyti.is/media/Skyrslur/monetary-reform.pdf
An advantage claimed for re-establishing a sovereign monetary system, after a 350 year hiatus, would be the ability to effectively stem the outrageous and ever-increasing debts of persons and nations.
RICHARD: Hmm ... the word ‘stem’, in this type of context, has two meanings.
A nation-state, with its sovereign power to emit debt-free money re-established, might stem those ever-increasing (i.e., usurious) debts to a certain extent – although that would be dependent, of course, upon how effective governmental agencies were at allocating a necessarily-limited amount of new (publicly-created) money – but usury itself has to cease forever, via a set-in-concrete constitutional amendment, along with a corresponding debt-repudiation (of all outstanding obligations incurred with privately-created money), for effective stemming to take place.
As the topic under discussion is ‘peasant-mentality’ it is pertinent to note how modern-day propositions for monetary reform, such as this ‘Sovereign Monetary System’, would have all those trillions upon trillions of dollars in outstanding world-wide debt continue to be serviced, despite having been incurred with privately-created money (i.e., with what is, in effect, counterfeit money), and thus further enriching an already obscenely-rich elite few only this time around with publicly-created money.
Could it be, then, that those ‘economists and governments’ you referred to, further above, who are ‘taking a careful look at the system’ are looking at it with a peasant mentality?
RICK: It is summarily explained in the report, on page 70, that: ‘in the current system the bulk of new money is created when banks make loans. This means that in order to create new money for a growing economy, households and businesses must go deeper in debt. The money supply is currently issued only when households or businesses take on loans from the banks, placing an unnecessary burden of interest payment on society. In a Sovereign Money System, the CBI can create the money that is needed by the economy. No one has to take on more debt to create sovereign money. When the CBI creates sovereign money the government can spend or invest it into circulation. Furthermore, the transition to a Sovereign Money System implies a very significant one time lowering of public debt.’
RICHARD: Two things stand out (in regards the topic of ‘peasant-mentality’) in those last two sentences: (1) ... or ‘invest it into circulation’, and (2) ... a ‘one time lowering of public debt’.
RICK: Less debt, more prosperity, greater economic stability, less disenfranchisement.
RICHARD: Why not, instead, no debt, prosperity for all, complete economic stability, no disfranchisement?
RICK: Of course, there are arguments made that point out disadvantages of a sovereign money system, or propose advantages of another system, or make argument for the status quo.
RICHARD: More than a few of those arguments stem from a lack of understanding of what money actually is (especially obvious in those promoting a return to some form of gold-standard) and, thus, what it serves as.
RICK: Ultimately, it does not matter the degree of privilege one attains from a society, under any given social system.
Being alive is a privilege no society could ever grant. [Addendum: Ultimately speaking, of course].
RICHARD: Yes, and this is the nub of the matter (of course) because any societal privilege attained – being gained or granted at the expense of one’s fellow humans – has to be maintained.
RICK: PS: The influential article, ‘The Chicago Plan Revisited’ authored by Benes and Kumhof (2013), may be worth a glance as well: http://web.stanford.edu/~kumhof/chicago.pdf.
The article is an updated monetary reform proposal from the original ‘Chicago Plan’ proposed back during the Great Depression era (given its name from a professor at the University of Chicago who was its staunchest advocate), highly regarded at the time but lost traction until the idea of reformation started being countenanced again due to the 2008 GFC.
RICHARD: The original plan was a memorandum of half-a-dozen pages, put together by several economists at that university, and circulated confidentially amongst maybe 40 or so people. Eventually, Prof. Irving Fisher (who received the first Ph.D. in economics granted by Yale University back in 1891) became the plan’s leading proponent, bringing it to the attention of then-President of the USA at least two occasions, but initially he kept his endorsement of it confidential.
For such is the conformist state of affairs in academia-land.
As the further above ‘Sovereign Monetary System’, which is based upon ‘The Chicago Plan’ (but incorporating several elements from other developments), is a much easier read then a summary, such as at Wikipedia, is probably sufficient for the purpose thereof.
As a matter of related interest: the writings of Mr. Clifford Douglas (1879-1952), who is known for the ‘Social Credit Movement’ his books and lectures spawned, are also an aid to understanding what money actually is and, thus, what it serves as. There is an explanatory article about ‘Social Credit’ here:
For further reading, if required, five of his published books (1920-24) can be read online here:
And a copy of his 1924 ‘Social Credit’ book is here;
Lastly, as the above books can be a trifle long-winded, a contemporary book (1920) by Mr. Charles Hattersley might be helpful:
(If nothing else these older books convey the way in which certain people experienced the prevailing world-view of those times in a manner history books cannot).
‘Tis great having these older, out of print books, available online (they have been especially useful in my studies of the Pāli Canon) and I have not needed to use the local Library/Inter-Library service for years.
Re: Moral cap and Authority
RICHARD to Claudiu: Yes, the better example is indeed ‘before civilisation’ as to ‘stake out a territory and start farming it’ marks the shift from a ‘free-range’ life-style to the ‘property-rights’ way of life (and, thereby, to the arising of a ‘peasant-mentality’). To explain: for a hunter-gatherer, the free-range life-style was epitomised by, basically, just helping oneself to whatever was available. With the advent of the property-rights way of life, however, any such ‘helping oneself’ transmogrified into being theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera. (...).
JONATHAN: Hi Richard, thanks for your input. Is it fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted?
RICHARD: G’day Jon,
No, it is not fair to say that because as a boy, a youth and as a young man, this particular individual writing these words would regularly ‘just help himself to what he wanted’ from the forests/ the woods and the pasturable-lands and the rivers/ the streams and oceanic-waters in and around the remote pioneer-farming district where this particular individual was born and raised, in the rural south-west of Australia.
And the term ‘remote pioneer-farming district’ is used advisedly because, although there had been some timber-cutters in that particular area in the 1890’s, the district did not attract a lot of settlers until a soldier-settlement scheme was established in the 1920’s whereby the state-government encouraged de-mobilised military personnel from ‘The Great War’, as it was known then, to take-up land-holdings there. Although, even so, the following decade’s ‘Great Depression’ held back a lot of development, which might have otherwise happened, and the main employers of hired hands then were timber-mills. As I was born in the late 1940’s (some 20-25 years later) there were still large amounts of forested land – virgin territory where, perhaps, no human had trod before (the hunter-gatherers from surrounding districts had a legend referring to it as being a ‘taboo’ area for them) – such that the intervening area between the northernmost boundary of the property, where I spent the first 16-17 years of my life, and the nearest settlement, some 30-odd miles nor-northwest as the crow flies, was uninhabited forestland still yet to even have roadways established through it.
A few details of my early life are already online.
I would either shoot or trap that ‘game for the table’ – although trapping was preferable wherever possible as the cost of each bullet, for the somewhat antiquated rifle I used, was the same as the price of a full loaf of bread baked in the nearest township 20 kilometres away to the south – and freshly-killed kangaroo meat, rabbit, wild duck and pigeon (for instance) were oft-times a feature at meal-times.
An abundance of fresh-water lobsters frequented the waterways and (although the regular way of catching them was to dangle a piece of meat on a string into the water), upon having noticed one night how they came out from their underwater burrows to feed after dark, the easiest way to capture them was to go out into the forest to wherever there were shallow streams and, by shining a light into the water, simply reach in and pick them up by hand (just behind the head to avoid their claws). As a general rule, it would take about an hour or two to help myself to a four-gallon bucketful.
Another foodstuff to just help myself to were berries when in season – blackberries in particular were plentiful – as were mushrooms, both of the field and forest variety, which could be collected by the bucketful. Emu eggs, although not plentiful all year round, were an occasional item to gather, as were wild bee honey-combs as well. An oddity item to help myself to by the armfuls, in season, was a rather special wild-flower which grew in swampy areas and known locally as ‘Boronia’; once a year a buyer for a city-based perfume supplier would travel throughout the area purchasing prodigious amounts, for distillation, from whomever would go out and pick them for free.
The nearby southern ocean was a bountiful source for a range of seafood and my preferred way of helping myself was to go into the sea with a spear in hand (fashioned from a straight piece of sapling, about the length and thickness of a modern broom-handle, with a sharpened length of eight-gauge fencing wire attached for a spear-head, and an inch-wide section of circular rubber, cut from a discarded inner-tube, fastened at the other end for propellent force when held at full-stretch by the hand grasping the shaft) in order to be able to pick and choose particular fish. And, apart from all the fish, there were also crabs, crayfish (known as salt-water lobsters in the USA), octopus, and quite a variety of shellfish to help myself to.
Come to think of it, even today (if I wanted to) I could just pop open my bedroom window and drop out a line with a baited hook attached and help myself to any peckish fish swimming by or, for that matter, I could slide open one of the glass doors of my sitting-room and pass out a small netted cage on a rope, suitably baited with some attractive meat near the inner end of a funnelled entrance, so as to help myself to any crabs hungry enough to find their way in. Furthermore, there are oysters growing on the nearby rock-walled river-bank, uncovered twice a day at low tide, which remind me of my younger days when paddling a canoe from island to island, in the coral waters off the north-eastern seaboard of this country, where I would wander along a tide-exposed reef with nothing but a stubby flat-head screwdriver and enjoy oyster after oyster au-naturel.
Ahh, well ... I guess it is a case of being too fainéant, these days, to just help myself to foodstuffs like that.
JONATHAN: Even in the hunter-gatherer days, individuals and groups had to work quite strenuously to feed their bellies and protects themselves from danger.
RICHARD: The question of whether or not hunter-gatherers had to ‘work quite strenuously to feed their bellies’ is beside the point – the point being that they retained 100% of whatever such ‘work’ produced (in contrast to the archetypal 30% labour-cost component of the stereotypical business-model) – as is the question of whether or not they had to ‘quite strenuously ... protect themselves from danger’ also beside the point (the point being that, whatever else might be a ‘danger’, what they needed to ‘protect’ most, lest they be enslaved, was being able to retain that 100% return on their ‘work’).
Howsoever, even with it being beside the point, it is handy to know that when 1,030 people from Albion, comprising of 732 convicts, a contingent of marines, and a handful of other officers, first established a penal settlement in Terra Australis, on the 26th of January 1788, a dozen or so of the more literary-minded personnel amongst them recorded in journals their observations of the way in which the nomadic hunter-gatherers lived their lives, in and around the surrounding districts, with some of those journals being published shortly thereafter in book form – most of which are available to read online – and no impression of them having to ‘work quite strenuously to feed their bellies’ is conveyed in the half-dozen I have read.
Plus it is also worth mentioning – if only in order to diffuse the impression which modern-day labelling of that January 26th date as being ‘Invasion Day’ conveys – how those published journals record that the first confirmed instance of any of those 1,030 people being speared, and even then non-fatally, is some 20 months later on the 7th September 1790, with no retaliation being permitted, and the first confirmed fatal wounding was on the 13th December 1790 (whereupon retaliation was ordered on the 14th).
In other words, no such impression of those hunter-gatherers having to ‘quite strenuously ... protect themselves from danger’ is conveyed by those first-hand accounts from the very people who were there at the time.
JONATHAN: And their gains were probably stolen by alpha males and more powerful groups as well as floods, drought and plague.
RICHARD: Just as a matter of interest – as this allegedly scientific term ‘alpha male’ has made an appearance on this forum before – are you aware that it is a 1930’s ‘Mills and Boon’ invention (albeit therein depicted as ‘Alpha Man’) which was co-opted by zoologists in the 1960’s and, in the 1990’s, by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists?
Now, Mr. Joseph McAleer, in his book, ‘Passion’s Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon’ (OUP, 1999), explains that it was Mr. Charles Boon (1877-1943) who – after the death of Mr. Gerald Mills in 1928 (the co-founder of ‘Mills and Boon’ in 1908) – set down what he called ‘the Alphaman’ as one of the ‘ground rules’, for his authors, when he reshaped the company in 1930.
To sum up the story so far (because this is so funny it is hilarious): when Mr. Charles Boon reshaped the ‘Mills and Boon’ company – two years after the death of its co-founder (who had held the company to a more mainstream line since 1908) – he set down some ground rules for his authors to follow, one of which, ‘the Alphaman’, survived through the decades, even after his death in 1943, such as to still have an impact today. His son, who took over the ‘Mills and Boon’ company in 1944, spoke of his father’s ‘Alphaman’ as being based on what he referred to as a ‘law of nature’ in that ‘the female of any species will be most intensely attracted to the strongest male of the species, or the Alpha’.
Note that none of this stems from or is based upon any scientific studies but, rather on what a 53-year old British male publisher set down, for his authors to follow, after his mainstream business partner died. The unmitigated success of ‘Mills and Boon’, amongst the mostly-female readers during the thirties, the forties, the fifties, the sixties (and on down to the present-day), attests to Mr. Charles Boon having picked a winner with his ‘Alphaman’ concept (the company had nearly gone broke in the latter years of the 1908-1928 period when Mr. Gerald Mills set the company policies).
Now, according to the ‘Online Etymology Dictionary’ quote further above, the term ‘Alpha male’ was in use by circa 1960 ‘among scientists studying animals’ (i.e., zoologists) and was applied to humans in society from circa 1992 (i.e., by evolutionary psychologists, so-named in 1973 & popularised in 1992, and sociobiologists, so-named in 1975).
However, starting back in the sixties and seventies, feminists (such as Ms. Germaine Greer) joined in the public discourse on the ‘Alphaman’/ ‘Alpha Male’ concept and public support of ‘Mills and Boon’ gradually became more and more muted. After 1992, more and more Romance authors began to move away from the ‘Alpha Hero’ model.
Ms. Laura Vivanco picks up the narrative, at this point, in an online article she published in 2010 titled, ‘The Evolution of the Alpha Male’, in which she delves into the historical origins of the term. It is a long read, with many links to follow, but its essence is as follows.
So, there you have it. The next time you are tempted to use the term ‘Alpha Male’ just lie back and think of ... um ... ‘Mills and Boon’.
In regards to the second part of that portion of your ‘probably’ speculation – that the hunter-gatherer’s ‘gains’ were probably stolen by ‘more powerful groups’ – it completely overlooks the fact that those ‘gains’ of hunter-gatherers are, by the very action of being either hunted or gathered on the spot, of a consume-now-or-go-to-waste nature (i.e., sufficient unto the day thereof).
Besides which it is all beside the point, anyway (the point being, whether stolen or not, a particular day’s ‘gains’ were obtained by the hunter-gatherers via, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available).
As the remainder of your ‘probably’ speculation (viz.: ‘...as well as floods, drought and plague’) has strayed so far from your query it is helpful to re-present it here:
Given that the land-mass referred to as ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ before it was discovered, explored, and mapped by Caucasians, starting circa 1606, is notorious for being prone to periodic droughts and floods then the very fact that nomadic hunter-gatherers roamed over virtually the entire country, surviving for tens of thousands of years by, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available, demonstrates that neither floods nor drought are evidence that it is ‘fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted’.
As for ‘plagues’: in April 1789, just over fifteen months after that penal settlement was established in Terra Australis, a smallpox plague began to affect the nomadic hunter-gatherers in and around the surrounding districts (despite none of the 1,030 Caucasians being infected with the disease since having left Albion) and by May 1789 an estimated 50-70% had perished. Many years later, as explorers mapped further inland, it became more and more evident (via smallpox scars observed on survivors in the 1830’s for example) that almost all of the nomadic hunter-gatherers on the continent had been affected by smallpox, between the late 1790’s and the late 1820’s, with various estimates of 10-50% having perished.
Obviously then, the evidence that somewhere between 50-90% survived (and kept on living their hunter-gatherer lifestyle all the while) demonstrates that plagues are not a reason why it is ‘fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted’, either.
JONATHAN: With that in mind, it would seem that the atavistic harboring of a deep primordial feeling of being somehow disenfranchised developed right along with the evolution of the species from early primate to man.
RICHARD: No, it would not seem that at all (else you are proposing that the ‘property-rights’ way of life – where just helping oneself to whatever is available is theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera – began ‘right along with the evolution of the species from early primate to man’).
JONATHAN: As opposed to having developed after warlords appropriated the land and produce.
RICHARD: You do realise, do you not, that the period between when (1) ‘the evolution of the species from early primate to man’ occurred and when (2) ‘warlords appropriated the land and produce’ is measured in the millions of years?
JONATHAN: Another question: Is it fair to say that the feeling of being disenfranchised (and its associated feelings of resentment, envy, cynicism, and so on and so forth) is baseless?
RICHARD: No, it is not fair to say that because all of your propositions and speculations presented above, which have led you to this conclusion (albeit presented as a query), are either invalid or beside the point.
JONATHAN: No one is disenfranchised (franchise = the territory or limits within which immunity, privileges, rights, powers, etcetera may be exercised) in part because no one has ever had it (the strong have always had power over the weak but were in turn subject to up-and-coming adversaries as well as injury and illness) ...
RICHARD: Your ‘because no one has ever had it’ assertion is flatly contradicted by the published reports of how the nomadic hunter-gatherers of ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ – reports about how both those on the mainland and those on ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ (who were markedly different in height, physique, physiognomy, hair type, weapons and tools) – lived their lives inasmuch they survived for tens of thousands of years by, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available.
JONATHAN: ... but mostly because one can chose to not ignore what life and the universe actually is.
RICHARD: Hmm ... when spelled out in full what you have ended up saying is that no-one is disfranchised from, basically, just helping oneself to whatever is available because, mostly, one can choose to not ignore what life and the universe actually is.
Surely it must be obvious that this flesh-and-blood body – despite the identity in residence all those years ago having chosen to ‘not ignore what life and the universe actually is’ – cannot, basically, just help itself to whatever is available as that would be theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera.
Re: Moral cap and Authority
RICHARD to Claudiu: Yes, the better example [of where nothing was owned and where one could help oneself to whatever was available] is indeed ‘before civilisation’ as to ‘stake out a territory and start farming it’ marks the shift from a ‘free-range’ life-style to the ‘property-rights’ way of life (and, thereby, to the arising of a ‘peasant-mentality’).
To explain: for a hunter-gatherer, the free-range life-style was epitomised by, basically, just helping oneself to whatever was available. With the advent of the property-rights way of life, however, any such ‘helping oneself’ transmogrified into being theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera. Millennia later, all of this results in feeling-beings atavistically harbouring a deep, primordial *feeling* of being somehow disfranchised – the instinctual passions, being primeval, are still ‘wired’ for hunter-gathering – from some ancient ‘golden age’, wherein life was in some ill-defined way ‘free’ (e.g., ‘The Garden of Eden’), such as to affectively underpin all the class-wars (between the ‘haves and have-nots’) down through the ages.
Unless this rudimentary *feeling* of disfranchisement – of *feeling* somehow deprived of a fundamental franchise (franchise = the territory or limits within which immunity, privileges, rights, powers, etcetera may be exercised) – is primarily understood (to the point of being viscerally felt, even) any explanation of ‘peasant-mentality’ will be of superficial use only.
A footnote appended to a 2005 online response of mine is as good a place to start as any. Viz.: [...snip remainder of post...].
JONATHAN: Is it fair to say that there has never been a time where an individual could just help himself to what he wanted? Even in the hunter-gather days, individuals and groups had to work quite strenuously to feed their bellies and protects themselves from danger. And their gains were probably stolen by alpha males and more powerful groups as well as floods, drought and plague. With that in mind, it would seem that the atavistic harboring of a deep primordial feeling of being somehow disenfranchised developed right along with the evolution of the species from early primate to man. As opposed to having developed after warlords appropriated the land and produce. Another question: Is it fair to say that the feeling of being disenfranchised (and its associated feelings of resentment, envy, cynicism, and so on and so forth) is baseless? No one is disenfranchised (franchise = the territory or limits within which immunity, privileges, rights, powers, etcetera may be exercised) in part because no one has ever had it (the strong have always had power over the weak but were in turn subject to up-and-coming adversaries as well as injury and illness) but mostly because one can chose to not ignore what life and the universe actually is.
RESPONDENT: Richard I had similar doubts as Jon re: the ‘helping oneself’ as a hunter-gatherer bit.
RICHARD: G’day No. 45,
As you will probably be aware by now I responded in detail, with suitable quotes plus relevant references, so as to demonstrate how each and every proposition and speculation in that above post – about which you say you ‘had similar doubts as Jon’ regarding the way in which the free-range life-style, for a hunter-gatherer, was epitomised by, basically, just helping oneself to whatever was available – is either beside the point or invalid. Viz.:
As Jon replied shortly afterwards (in Message № 19627), indicating that they were [quote] ‘burdened by prior assumptions’ [endquote], it may be helpful to particularly bear in mind the ‘beside the point’ aspect as you read what follows.
The point being, of course, that the free-range life-style, for hunter-gatherers, was epitomised by, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available (whereas, with the advent of the property-rights way of life, any such ‘helping themselves’ transmogrified into being theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera).
RESPONDENT: Hunter-gatherer tribes in the Amazon had to be quite careful about the territory they were permitted to forage in and were subject to brutal raids by other tribes.
RICHARD: The fact that hunter-gatherers, being driven by the same instinctual passion of territoriality as modern day feeling-beings are, were thereby subject to territorial warfare is beside the point insofar as to ‘forage’ – as in, ‘to wander in search of food or provisions’ (American Heritage Dictionary), for instance – in that manner (i.e., within any such tribal territory as was thus forcefully demarcated) was not a matter of theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera, but rather a case of, basically, just helping themselves to whatever was available therein.
So there be no misunderstanding: nowhere have I suggested the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is one of peace and harmony (either personal peace or communal harmony) or that it be preferable over capitalistic enterprise (be it privately-owned or publicly-owned capitalistic enterprise).
Indeed, the ability to generate capital – so essential for the elimination of poverty, for the maximisation of health and safety, for release from debilitating manual labour (from having to ‘earn the daily bread by the sweat of the brow’), for the proliferation of the arts and sciences, and so on – is of inestimable benefit.
RESPONDENT: I too would ask a similar question re: the fundamental nature of the disenfranchisement.
RICHARD: Okay ... the most ‘fundamental’ aspect of all, then, is illustrated by the distinction between my deliberate usage of the word ‘disfranchisement’ and the word ‘disenfranchisement’ (which both you and Jon used) as the word franchise – derived via the now obsolete usage of the word frank, from the Late Latin francus, meaning ‘free’ – refers to the ‘condition of being free’ (the noun suffix ‘-ise’, occurring in loanwords from the French language, indicates a quality, condition, or function).
Thus the word disfranchise refers to being deprived, lacking or having lost that original ‘condition of being free’ (‘original’ as in having been free in the first place) inasmuch the prefix ‘dis-’, being privative, indicates a negation or absence.
Whereas the word disenfranchise refers to being deprived of an enabled or caused ‘condition of being free’ (as in, having a previously granted freedom withdrawn, for instance) as the prefix ‘en-’ forms verbs with the general sense of enabling or causing someone/ something to be in the condition, state or place referred to by the word it prefixes.
Now, while this distinction may initially appear to be pedantry on my part it serves, nevertheless, as a useful illustration of how relatively little time it has taken – despite the vast majority of the millions of years of human development, prior to the ‘free-range’ life-style being hijacked by the ‘property-rights’ way of life, over which our human/ hominid ancestors lived an original condition of being free to, basically, just help themselves to whatever was available (and I have seen plausible estimates of it being 99.8% of those millennia) – for modern-day thralls to atavistically feel and thus intuitively think of their ancestral disfranchisement as being a prehistoric disenfranchisement.
In other words, the domination of the enthrallers has been of such an all-encompassing/ far-reaching magnitude as to be interiorised and personalised so completely it is ‘second-nature’ for the enthralled to automatically think of their ancestral ‘free-range’ franchise – that heritable condition of being free to, basically, just help themselves to whatever was available – as having been an antediluvian enfranchisement (i.e., an endowed ‘free-range’ right granted in primeval times) which, being a bestowment, is subject to rescindment.
One of the reasons I provided ‘The Garden of Eden’ as an example of some ancient ‘golden age’ wherein life was in some ill-defined way ‘free’, in my initial post at the top of this page, is because of it being such an archetypal case of ‘that which can be given is that which can be taken away’ (and taken, what is more, with creatorship impunity). Howsoever, the edenic mythology has an extra twist to its knife insofar its disenfranchisement is the fault of the disenfranchised – not of the disenfranchiser as is the everyday reality – and, as such, redemption requires total obedience (a.k.a. complete surrender) to the enfranchiser.
The many and devious ways and means whereby upwards of at least 98% or more of the peoples alive today are, in effect, in thrall to so few (yet obscenely rich) enthrallers are quite fascinating to contemplate as the continuance of such thralldom depends solely upon the ongoing complicity of the enthralled.
Hence the term ‘peasant-mentality’.
RESPONDENT: Still it must be said that the sheer magnitude of disparity in resource distribution we have today cannot really compare to that of a hunter-gatherer life, where the elders/ chieftains aren’t that much better off resource wise.
RICHARD: Indeed so ... and, furthermore, due to the inexorable law of mathematics all usurious ‘resource distribution’ (a.k.a. wealth) eventually, and quite predictably, shifts into the hands of an elite few.
RESPONDENT: Also the fact that this has led to this all encompassing economic system of servitude that runs our lives is very much the product of property rights.
RICHARD: Yes, and the way in which that alienation of the very earth beneath our feet – the source and nourishment of life itself – from the vast majority of the peoples it engenders and sustains, by a minority of those persons for the maximum enrichment of that commandeering few, has thus far escaped world-wide criticism and condemnation as ‘a crime against humanity’ is a prime example of the ‘peasant-mentality’ in action.
RESPONDENT: I don’t think the ‘buy in’ for hunter-gatherers was as insidious and comprehensive as the world we live in today. Perhaps the hunter-gatherer life, while not perfect, was a bit more relaxed and a better fit for our animal bodies and animal instincts than the current rush-rush-rush world?
RICHARD: Oh, goodness me, no ... in no way at all is the hunter-gatherer lifestyle ‘a better fit’ for flesh-and-blood bodies with the instinctual passions/the feeling-being formed thereof still in situ. For just one instance: via studies carried out around the world it can be reliably estimated that upwards of 25% of a tribe, over an average tribal-member’s life-span, perished in inter-tribal warfare (as compared with around 2-5% of a nation in 20th Century inter-national warfare).
For example, the first-hand account recorded by Mr. William Buckley, on pages 42-44 of a 1852 book titled ‘The Life and Adventures of William Buckley, Thirty-Two Years a Wanderer Amongst the Aborigines of the then Unexplored Country round Port Phillip, now the Province of Victoria’, provides a unique insight into what the almost constant state of warfare of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle really entailed and, what is more, comparatively so as well as he fought in the Napoleonic wars in the short-lived Kingdom of Holland in the early 1800’s.
(Mr. William Buckley, an escaped convict, having lived on his own amongst the hunter-gatherers of the south-eastern coast of Terra Australis in the years before any Caucasian settlement anywhere at all in that area provides a unique insight into the hunter-gatherer lifestyle there because of it being, at that time, a lifestyle totally-unaffected by any subsequent settlement many years later).
And so it goes, page after page of a ‘raw-footage’ account which undeniably exposes the (highly-politicised) modern-day narrative – whereby the ills which notoriously plague indigenous communities are virtually all the fault of ‘whiteys’ having dispossessed erstwhile hunter-gatherers from an idyllic living-in-harmony-with-nature lifestyle – which seeks to maximise ‘colonial guilt’ for a fiduciary-style perpetual recompense.
RESPONDENT: I do feel guilty mooching around at times. It does seem that the master-slave apparatus has been thoroughly internalised. Is this a question of the social identity type disenfranchisement piggy-backing on our primordial disenfranchisement?
RICHARD: As a social identity – a mental-emotional construct (a.k.a. a ‘conscience’) inculcated verbally, affectively and psychically according to a particular society’s cultural mores (mores or moeurs = ‘folkways of central importance accepted without question and embodying the fundamental moral views of a social group’ ~ Webster’s College Dictionary) – is a mental-emotional embodiment of particularised societal/ cultural mores and, as any society’s mores have that primordial disfranchisement as a central cultural feature, then any ‘social identity type’ disfranchisement intuitively felt is that very primordial disfranchisement.
Put simplistically: one and the same thing.
RESPONDENT: I am somewhat socialist leaning so I do see the current liberal capitalist or state-capitalist global order as being fairly rotten.
RICHARD: All political ideologies, being identity-based or rooted-in/ stemming-from many and various an identity in situ (i.e., born of feeling-beings’ core desires for feeling-beings’ self-centric advantage), are as rotten to the core as any of its constituent identities are.
RESPONDENT: Not that I think communism or socialism is the answer. Because those can be perverted too. But I do think that the present system breeds a great deal of covetousness and comparison in everyone.
RICHARD: Any political system ‘breeds a great deal of covetousness and comparison in everyone’ (just as any socio-economic system, any politico-philosophical system, and so on, does).
RESPONDENT: I feel very much like a white-collar peasant. Engaged in the rat-race to get to the top and realise there is nothing there ala what John Lennon and your friend spoke about.
RICHARD: What is there at the top is, of course, money/ assets, fame/ prestige and, especially, power – albeit a puny power, being over people (to have them do as bid), and not a potent power, as over the physical world (to directly effect beneficial material modification) – but there is ‘nothing there’ of intrinsic value (as in, nothing of significance, in the ‘meaning of life’ significance, that is).
RESPONDENT: I can relate to the Stockholm Syndrome aspect quite well too.
RICHARD: Good ... capture-bonding (i.e., loyalty to ‘the system’ in this context), when unexamined, enables the continuance of complicity (as already mentioned further above) with its especially insidious loyalty.
RESPONDENT: Professional training is one of gladiatorial combat, where one vies with others to become a member of a small officially sanctioned professional cabal that has a strong financial incentive to maintain the current hierarchy (Training, safety etc. are the other reasons cited - which are quite sensible. Somehow though I think these are secondary). Naturally this inculcates the symptoms you talked about. However I’ve had deep suspicions about ‘the system’ for a while. In some sense this that has lead to my being less focussed on accumulating wealth, assets, prestige, being career focussed etc. than many of my peers. But I wonder if I go far enough.
The question I have for you is: Can you elaborate some more on becoming aware of this peasant mentality - specifically as it relates to practising actualism?
RICHARD: Essentially, seeing-through the whole sick-and-sorry system and, thus, ceasing to believe in it, is all what is required.
The identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago found it incredibly liberating to no longer be able to believe in it/ be capable of loyalty to it ... especially so as ‘he’ had been quite the rebel up until then (the ‘black-sheep’ of the family and all).
In a latter part of his response to your ‘Money as Debt’ post Andrew speaks of having tuned-in to this liberating aspect.
RESPONDENT: For instance would you recommend pragmatically minimising ones involvement in this system as a necessary (or helpful) condition to becoming actually free? Thanks.
RICHARD: Not necessarily, no ... actualism practice works best in the market-place.
Both feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ and feeling-being ‘Peter’ minimised their respective income-streams, within a year or so, but that was more because they valued their time over money than any other reason.
Plus the more one enjoys and appreciates being alive simply by being here, each moment again for as much as is humanly possible, the lower the cost-of-living becomes as less and less discretionary spending is used-up in purchased entertainment, in socialising expenditure (e.g., fashion-house attire, designer-driven accoutrements, status-displaying automobiles, and etcetera), in mood-enhancement payments, in novelty-seeking travel costs, and so on and so forth.
Re: Moral cap and Authority
RICHARD (to Claudiu): Yes, the better example [of where nothing was owned and where one could help oneself to whatever was available] is indeed ‘before civilisation’ as to ‘stake out a territory and start farming it’ marks the shift from a ‘free-range’ life-style to the ‘property-rights’ way of life (and, thereby, to the arising of a ‘peasant-mentality’). To explain: for a hunter-gatherer, the free-range life-style was epitomised by, basically, just helping oneself to whatever was available. With the advent of the property-rights way of life, however, any such ‘helping oneself’ transmogrified into being theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera. Millennia later, all of this results in feeling-beings atavistically harbouring a deep, primordial *feeling* of being somehow disfranchised – the instinctual passions, being primeval, are still ‘wired’ for hunter-gathering – from some ancient ‘golden age’, wherein life was in some ill-defined way ‘free’ (e.g., ‘The Garden of Eden’), such as to affectively underpin all the class-wars (between the ‘haves and have-nots’) down through the ages. Unless this rudimentary *feeling* of disfranchisement – of *feeling* somehow deprived of a fundamental franchise (franchise = the territory or limits within which immunity, privileges, rights, powers, etcetera may be exercised) – is primarily understood (to the point of being viscerally felt, even) any explanation of ‘peasant-mentality’ will be of superficial use only. A footnote appended to a 2005 online response of mine is as good a place to start as any. Viz.: [...snip explanations and examples...].
Which neatly brings me to the point of detailing these above examples: understanding the ‘whys and wherefores’ of peasant-mentality is not about effecting social change but being free of it in oneself. In the seventh paragraph of ‘Article 20’, appended further below [...now snipped...], I have highlighted the relevant sentence. Viz.:
In other words, one is then free to conform with the legal laws and observe the social protocols – to ‘go along with’, to ‘pay lip-service to’ – whilst no longer believing in them. ‘Tis a remarkable freedom in itself – with no need to rebel at all – as all rebellion stems, primarily, from that deeply-held primordial feeling of disfranchisement [a primeval feeling of being somehow disfranchised from just helping oneself to whatever was available, per favour the ‘free-range’ life-style of a hunter-gatherer, and, thereby, being subject to the arising of a peasant-mentality, via enforced-employment under the ‘property-rights’ way of life] and its associated feelings of resentment, envy, cynicism, and so on and so forth.
RESPONDENT: G’day Richard, thank you for your detailed explanation regarding ‘peasant mentality’ and many other points along with it. I had been reading your reply again and again, because it is something so novel that it would have been unwise of me to jump and reply in a fit of rush.
RICHARD: G’day No. 32,
Yes, it can take a while to fully appreciate ‘something so novel’ – an apt descriptor, by the way, of this ‘peasant-mentality’ explication – which has, nevertheless, been hidden in plain view all this while (albeit assigning a much-deeper meaning to that cliché, for deliberate effect, than is usually ascribed).
And, although the term itself (‘peasant-mentality’) was not something new to the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body, all those years ago, the situation and circumstances whence that most peculiar mindset arose in the human psyche (and, thus atavistically, in ‘his’ psyche) was indeed ‘something so novel’ that ‘he’ found dianoetic comprehension to be insufficient insofar as an instinctual-intuitive rememoration – as signalled by my ‘viscerally felt’ recommendation further above – of its ancestral origination was essential in order for ‘him’ to penetrate its all-pervading perfidy.
Put differently: its elucidation is indeed ‘so novel’ that, back in the late 1970’s, it was ‘me’ as soul/ spirit – as in (according to the Oxford Dictionary), the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of the emotions, or sentiments, and character – who revivified viscerally, with a markedly luminous vibrancy, an atavistic memorative facility whereby that which ‘I’ as ego could but speculatively countenance was intuitively presentiated and thus rendered fathomable.
(I am resurrecting and introducing several obscure and/or obsolete words so as to facilitate communication as it is more explanatorily helpful to bring back to life antiquated terms (that Shakespearean-Era ‘rememoration’, for instance, was already ‘not in use’ in 1828, ‘obsolete’ by 1913 and ‘archaic’ come 2008 according to the various ‘Webster’s Dictionaries’ available) unto which restored word that special-usage meaning of an instinctually-intuitive type of memoration can be readily ascribed and hypostatised for actualism-lingo utilisation. As in referring to, then, an instinctually-intuitive type of memoration which is, essentially, an atavistic re-memoration of ancestral experiencing – as memorialised affectively/ psychically in the human psyche itself (in what is metaphysically referred to as an ‘etheric library’ or ‘akashic record’) – affectively-psychically accessible and revivified feelingly with luminous vibrancy in that Shakespearean-Era memorative facility).
As briefly possible to set the scene: what ‘he’ had already understood, primarily from learned knowledge but also from some near-negligible first-hand observations, was that the ‘free-range’ lifestyle persisted not only throughout the (geologic) Pleistocene epoch – wherein the brain-matter of our Hominidae forebears increased dramatically in volume so as to become about three times as large as in Pongidae of the same bodily size – but even down through the ages unto a decade or so before ‘he’ was born, on the land-mass known before 1606 as ‘Terra Australis Incognita’, whereby considerable insight had been gleaned from information gathered via first-hand accounts over the preceding one-and-a-half centuries, such as to be indicative of the likely lifestyle of ‘his’ own stone-age ancestry (those ‘Ancient Britons’ of archaic lore and legend).
In a nutshell: the difficulties those nomadic hunter-gatherers of ‘Terra Australis’ had in adjusting themselves to the irreversible reality of the ‘property-rights’ way of life taking precedence over the ‘free-range’ life-style – and which difficulties were not only well-recorded but still persist, albeit in attenuated forms (mainly as politico-constitutional strategies vis-à-vis perpetual recompense, fiduciary-style, as befitting ‘traditional’ custodial lessors), unto the present day – set the scene for that affective/ psychic illumination.
In other words (and given that none of us alive today were parachuted in, so to speak, from somewhere beyond the Van Allen Belt) the well-recorded difficulties they had in making the necessary accommodations to private ownership of the lands and waters they and their stone-age ancestors had held communal ownership over – via familial lore (i.e., the various tribal territories demarcated and defended at spear-point by virtue of their instinctual survival passion of territoriality) – having been decreed ex cathedra by those industrial-age subjugators to have pre-eminence in common law (i.e., imposed and upheld at gun-point by virtue of their instinctual survival passion of territoriality), are a latter-day reflection of the difficulties every modern-day person’s own stone-age ancestors encountered.
(More on this, much further below, in Footnote № 1).
RESPONDENT: At first I tried to feel this *feeling* of disenfranchisement but I couldn’t feel it, but one of these days I finally felt a bit of it and quickly it expanded into a bit more intense feeling - my immediate reaction to this was a feeling of being ‘cheated’ and a feeling of rebellion ensued.
RICHARD: Yea verily ... feeling ‘cheated’ is a quite predictable visceral effect of intuitively feeling-out that ancestral betrayal of what amounts to humankind’s archaic birthright – and seemingly sold out for a ‘mess of pottage’ at that – along with its reactionary counter-feeling of ‘rebellion’.
Howsoever, the identity then in residence in this flesh-and-blood body rapidly realised there was something even more monumental than all of that to comprehend ... to wit: the outstanding real-life situation, then, was how ‘he’ had bought the entire package sight-unseen – as in, ‘he’ had swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker, without even knowing ‘he’ had done so – and in that revelatory instant (at this very moment of seeing that fact) this all-at-once and in-its-entirety flash of understanding was the ending of it, all of it, in one fell swoop.
Then, and only then, could ‘he’ begin to fathom the full range and extent of this perfidious ancestral legacy.
RESPONDENT: However, I quickly recalled your later remark of how you no longer believed all that. As soon as I also decided to do that, then the next part that you said became immediately clear i.e. 1). ‘social change is unnecessary’ and 2). ‘there is no need to rebel’.
So the trick here, if I’m correct, *is to no longer believe in all of this* and yet continue to follow social and legal protocols.
RICHARD: Given that virtually all the arable land/ fecund water has been long-ago commandeered by long-dead entrepreneurs, or otherwise alienated from the common weal in ages-past, there is no viable choice, physically, but to pragmatically ‘go along with it’ all – to ‘pay lip-service to’ them – until there be a global spread of the already always existing peace-on-earth as possessiveness itself, be it either of the personal or communal type of territoriality, does not subsist anywhere at all here in this actual world (i.e., this sensate world; the world of the senses; the world where flesh-and-blood bodies already reside) due to the complete absence of that instinctual survival passion to possess and protect.
RESPONDENT: The cherry on the top came yesterday - whilst watching television and having these thoughts running at the back of my head, all of a sudden it struck me, that not only is this earth a ‘free-range’ place in actuality but the entire universe is like this - that there is in actuality no *ownership* of anyone/ anything over anyone/ anything else - everything in this universe is literally free - as in, has no ownership..all ownership exists in the head in the ‘real’ world.
RICHARD: Indeed it does – territoriality exists only in the human psyche, in particular, and the animal psyche, in general, and nowhere else – and, as I have previously commented on your above report (in Message № 19572), I will re-present the bulk of it here for easy reference.
What stands out quite starkly, upon re-reading that second paragraph, is how the word ‘state’ features so prominently. So much so, in fact, that the much-maligned statist word ‘fascism’ – as in: ‘Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato’ (‘Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state’) – is what immediately springs to mind.
Whereas, of course, there is no such entity as a ‘state’ in actuality – flesh and blood ‘citizens of the world’, or actual cosmopolites/ cosmopolitans, live on this verdant and azure paradise known as planet earth – as nation-states, with their artificial borders (their territorial precincts) and their sovereign citizens (their nationalised tribespeople), with their ubiquitous nationalism (i.e., tribalism writ large) and their concomitant patriotism (their civilised territoriality), feature solely in the real-world; the world of the psyche; the world where flesh-and-blood bodies never reside.
A little over five years ago this truly amazing absence of statism of any kind, type, or variety was geographically verified, as an experiential actuality, whilst visiting another continent. A brief message of mine, written about a week after arrival, speaks admirably to this effect.
I made a point of deliberately checking it out at Kuala Lumpur – and it was exactly the same of course – during a five-hour stopover on my way back to this continent. Apart from the obvious ethnic distinctions, such as particular aromas, street signs in the local language, peoples of a differing physique and physiognomy, and so on, the direct experience of being here, on this planet as a flesh-and-blood body, was no different regardless of location.
RESPONDENT: Meanwhile, I also wondered if you had discussed about peasant mentality with Peter and Vineeto, during their feeling being days, because there is no mention of this peasant mentality even in their journals. I just got curious because if they became actually free without hearing about this, then it will be a sort of surpirse. Once again, thank you for your reply.
RICHARD: Yes, it was discussed – mostly touched upon from time-to-time, as appropriate to a particular situation and/or set of circumstances, rather than emphasised as a core issue in regards to actualism/ actual freedom – and the main aspect which feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ (for example) came to grips with in the early days was loyalty.
A clue as to how soon that topic came up is contained in a snippet of a discussion about loyalty itself which happened to be tape-recorded, in 1997, and transcribed in ‘The Compassion Gained Through Forgiveness Binds’ at the following URL.
A short way down the page the following exchange takes place.
In that text I am reminding ‘her’ how there had been a conversation about loyalty on the second or third occasion ‘she’ had visited – and I can recall, even now, how on that initial occasion it had touched a responsive chord in ‘her’ as something vital to examine – as ‘she’ had shifted ‘her’ familially-inculcated/ societally-inculcated allegiance to ‘the system’ at large over onto the spiritual commune which ‘she’ had been a live-in member for the better part of nigh-on 17 years.
It was still the ‘peasant-mentality’, of course, just in a different guise (and which the spiritually enlightened beings/ the mystically awakened ones, being feeling-beings themselves, affectively/ psychically tap into with full effect).
Speaking of which: as no such effect operates here in ‘Terra Actualis’ – no loyalty to be bound with; no allegiance to be held by – there is no way any application whatsoever of ‘Das Führerprinzip’ (either of the secular or sacred variety) could ever succeed.
Here equity and parity prevails.
also from some near-negligible first-hand observations:
During my late youth/ early adulthood the identity then in residence became quite intrigued with the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers on this continent – to the point of having me at one stage take on a full-time salaried position as first-mate on a coastal ship (i.e., 2nd in command; answerable only to the ship’s captain) supplying the mission stations situated along the northern coastline of the then (1971) largely unmapped area of Australia known as the Arnhem Land Region – and ‘he’ closely examined whatever information ‘he’ had access to regarding how such a lifestyle really functioned in practice.
Without going into it in too much detail one particular incident stands out whilst in charge of unloading cargo onto the mud-flat-and-mangrove-fringed estuarine shoreline in an area known as Maningrida (back then it was a small Native Welfare Department outstation, established in 1957, situated on the site where a rations depot, and trading-post for crocodile skins and buffalo hides, had been located since 1947). As soon as the ship was secured in place on the shoreline, with its bow-ramp lowered to provide easy egress onto the narrow sandy strip which fronted the forested landscape, I went ashore to liase with the governmental superintendent regarding the reception and storage of the supplies (constituting frozen foodstuffs, in the main, on this particular voyage). Time was of the essence as the tidal-range in that area was prodigious and unless the unloading was expedited the ship would soon become high-and-dry and, thus, subject to a delayed departure until the next incoming-tide. (As a salaried professional, with a bonus paid as a percentage of the profit for cargo delivered on time, the adage ‘time is money’ was truly of the essence).
With the ruddy-faced superintendent assuring me he would send a ‘team of men’ to do all the leg-work lugging the cartons from the ship’s commercial-sized freezer to the outstation’s storeroom – comprised mainly of ice-cream and frozen meat-pies (the nomadic hunter-gatherer’s favourite tucker when not on ‘walkabout’) – the ship’s crew of four deck-hands began unloading the cargo onto the shore, under my supervision, in anticipation of the arrival of that ‘team of men’.
When the superintendent hove into view twenty or so minutes later, along with maybe thirty-odd of the local tribesmen, the prospects of a quick turnaround became a distinct possibility. He organised the ‘team of men’ to shoulder a carton each and led them back along the pathway through the trees, to the storeroom, from whence they would return while he stayed behind to keep everything secure and fill out the necessary book-work. Yet when they eventually straggled back in twos and threes – the ship’s crew were all the while trans-shipping the stores to the shore – they sat themselves down in the scant shade of the trees lining the sandy strip (it was around the middle of the day with characteristically steamy-hot tropical atmospherics).
Appealing to them, en masse, to recommence the simple task of carrying away the cartons was to no avail – apparently, and all-of-a-sudden, they could not understand the most simplest of words (what was then-known as ‘Pidgin-English’) – so I resorted to individually encouraging each man to his feet and, by conveying him to a carton, could manage to convince each one in turn, with suitable gesticulations, that the reason they were gathered here was to ferry the goods to the storeroom as before.
To cut a long story short: when they eventually straggled back – although by then their ranks had thinned considerably – they of course headed for the shade of the trees again. After another round of one-on-one persuasion, as before, and another straggling return only to lie around once more under the trees, I finally gave it up as it was wasting more time than it gained and directed the ship’s crew to commence unloading all the way to the storeroom.
The superintendent was most apologetic, of course, whilst explaining that ‘once they got it into their heads’ to not co-operate there was little he could do about it (a plaint I had heard of elsewhere numerous times before).
By dint of much deadline-motivated exertion and sweat – and that well-known line ‘only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun’ (as per a 1772 physician’s article popularised by Mr. Noël Coward’s 1931 song) resonated prominently in the psyche of the identity-in-residence all the while – the final carton was secured in the outstation’s storeroom, before the tide had ebbed too much, and the ship was cleared to be under way once more to its next port-of-call.
And the point of this tropical seashore tale (being but one among several of a similar nature which could be told)? As already mentioned, further above, the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago was by then vitally interested in the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, as ‘he’ was questioning the whole notion of ‘progress’ – as in just what the end-goal might be which all this ‘progress’ was presumably progressing towards – which drove peoples of a Caucasoid stock to dominate the globe with their ever-expanding developmental way of life, and it was incidents of this kind which intrigued ‘him’ no end. There seemed to be something quite telling about the way in which those by-then part-time hunter-gatherers (those of the ‘free-range’ lifestyle) thought nothing of lounging about in the shade of a tree while the productive wage-slaves (those of the ‘property-rights way of life’) dutifully laboured to unload the ship’s cargo under the blazing-hot tropical sun (a cargo comprising mainly of their frozen meat-pies and ice-cream, mind you, thereafter to be acquired by them via piecemeal return of fortnightly-dispensed tokens, known locally as ‘Gubmint Munny’, to the superintendent).
Something quite telling indeed ... somehow these peoples, of veritable stone-age vintage, managed to remain unafflicted by a ‘peasant-mentality’ – and, by and large, even so through to this present day for more than a few – in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) the many material benefits, as exemplified by those frozen meat-pies and ice-cream, flowing their way per favour the ‘property-rights’ way of life.
Five years later, while studying ‘Aboriginal History’ as an elective during a three-year ‘Fine Arts’ course at the country college of a city university, that identity-in-residence recounted the above story in the lecture-theatre one fine day, so as to illustrate some hopefully profound point about the ills which notoriously plague indigenous communities, and the presiding history professor introduced ‘him’ to the term ‘ethno-centric view-point’. As she did so in a rather depreciatory manner, this brand-new concept she conscientiously deposited into ‘his’ lexicographical bank-account opened up a quite different avenue for exploring cultural/ societal beneficence – including a six-month investigatory visit to the Indian sub-continent in 1984 (quite advantageously as an egoless identity by then) – in the abstract realm of post-modern relativity, and the ilk, which turned out to be a creative mind-space where ‘narrative’ reigns supreme (i.e., where ‘truths’ trump facts) and where no particular culture or society is better than/ superior to any other culture or society.
Now, I am no fan of any type of culture, period, including the one I was born and raised in – and any last lingering traces of identifying as either being ‘English’ or being ‘Australian’ (as overlaid upon the core ‘British’ cultural identifier at that time) had disappeared shortly after returning from that 1984 trip to India anyway – so there is no way of being biased, as in having an ‘ethnocentric viewpoint’ these days, in any of my assessments of societal beneficence stemming from one particular culture as compared/ contrasted to that of some other culture (or cultures, generally, as applicable).
So, given that everybody alive today has a stone-age ancestry – there is simply no other way of arriving here on this planet as human beings other than as descendents of ‘hunter-gatherer’ lifestyle ancestors (be they of the far-past or near-past) – the transition to the prevailing ‘property-rights’ way of life is an ancestral legacy to be atavistically addressed as the beneficence accruing via the ability to generate capital (so essential for the elimination of poverty, for the maximisation of health and safety, for release from debilitating manual labour, for the proliferation of the arts and sciences, and so on) is inestimably superior to the beneficence accrued in any pre-pecuniary lifestyle.
RICHARD: Given that virtually all the arable land/ fecund water has been long-ago commandeered by long-dead entrepreneurs, or otherwise alienated from the common weal in ages-past, there is no viable choice, physically, but to pragmatically ‘go along with it’ all – to ‘pay lip-service to’ them ...
RESPONDENT: Yeah true..a physically armed rebellion is just not sensible in today’s age and beside, once again, as you’ve correctly remarked that the benefits accrued by the property-way of life has inestimable benefits, so going for an armed rebellion in today’s age is actually going Ludite and thus not progressive
RICHARD: G’day No. 32,
Just shortish note, so as to correct a misunderstanding before it takes root and starts proliferating, as it is nowhere remarked by me that ‘the benefits accrued by the property-way of life has inestimable benefits’ but, rather, my observation is that the beneficence accruing via [quote] ‘the ability to generate capital’ [endquote] is inestimably superior (to the beneficence accrued in any pre-pecuniary lifestyle).
Also, and just so there be no misconstrual of what that implies, it is worth mentioning how I made a point of drawing attention to the inestimable benefit that ability to generate capital has in an earlier post (when referring to the preferability of capitalistic enterprise over the hunter-gatherer lifestyle).
Incidentally, by the term ‘the ability to generate capital’, I am simply referring to a pecuniary lifestyle per se (as compared/ contrasted to any ‘pre-pecuniary lifestyle’ as per the quote from Message № 19775 further above) and not, for instance, to the current global monetary system whereby banksters world-wide not only generate capital – having usurped, several centuries ago, the sovereign power of nation-states to emit debt-free monies – but also have the unmitigated gall to then impose usurious charges (albeit under the guise of having an ‘interest’, as if returning a dividend, in that newly-generated capital thus advanced) upon their privately-created money (i.e., upon what is, in effect, counterfeit money).
So as to not pre-empt what is clearly a matter for a future email suffice is it to say, for the nonce, that I am not a fan of the ‘property-rights’ way of life – such as what is referred to, in the further above quote from Message № 19669, as either ‘privately-owned or publicly-owned capitalistic enterprise’ – as already signalled in Message № 19547.
(The word ‘owned’ should give a big clue as to why not).
P.S.: Also, briefly, in regards to your ‘armed rebellion’ observations: please be assured that not only will there be a ‘bloodless revolution’ (i.e., non-destructive) but it will be a non-disruptive transition as well – e.g., no food-shortages or fuel-shortages; trains, coaches, planes, ships, and so on, still operating, no loss of creature-comforts, &c., &c. – when the global spread of actual freedom/ actualism eventually takes place.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.