jesus is buddha

Recent epoch-making discoveries of old Sanskrit manuscripts in Central Asia and Kashmir provide decisive proof that the four Greek Gospels have been translated directly from the Sanskrit.

A careful comparison, word by word, sentence by sentence shows that the Christian Gospels are Pirate-copies of the Buddhist Gospels. God's word, therefore, is originally Buddha's word.

[...] The main Buddhist sources are Mûlasarvâstivâdavinaya (MSV) and the Saddharmapundarîka (SDP). The Sukhâvatîvyûha is the source of Luke 10:17. The first words of Jesus are from the Prajnâpâramitâ. There are a few other Buddhist sources, and of course the numerous quotations from the Old Testament, but the main sources are, without any shadow of doubt, the MSV (parts of which, again, prove more important than others), and the SDP.

[...] The Sanskrit TRi-RaTNaS becomes the Latin TRi-NiTaS.

[...] 1. Matthew 1:1 runs:

biblos geneseôs, ´Iêsou Khristou, huiou Daueid, huiou ´Abraam.

Book of descent, of Jesus Christ, of son David, of son Abraham.

One person cannot possibly be the son of two different fathers belonging to two widely different periods of time. The son of David, the son of Abraham not only has two fathers. He is also the son of Man, of mary, of Joseph etc.
The original source solves the intentional paradoxes.
The source is the introduction to the MSV.
Ma-hâ-Maud-gal-yâ-ya-nam, becoming the Math-thai-on le-go-me-non, Matthew 9:9, introduces the MSV by relating the legend of the vamsas = biblos of the kula, genitive, kulasya = geneseôs of the Sâkyas in Kapila-vastu, alias Ka-phar-naoum.

The genitive form of ksatriyas, son of a king, is ksa-tri-yas-ya. These four syllables in Greek become ´Iê-sou Khris-tou. As will be seen , when comparing the Greek and the Sanskrit, all the syllables and consonants of the original Sanskrit have been preserved. This means, in this case, that the - sou of ´Iêsou represents the genitive ending of ksatriyasya, namely -sya. Moreover, the `I represents the y.
There are , to be sure, several Sanskrit originals behind Jesus. More about this later on. Normally Sanskrit ksatriyas becomes ho Khristos in the Greek. Th article ho is there in order to imitate the three syllables of the original. So, as a rule, Sanskrit ksa-tri-yas is translated as ho khris-tos. Such a ksatriyas is also anointed. Thus the Greek represents not only the sound but also the sense of the Sanskrit perfectly. The sense is, of course, at the same time assimilated to that of the Messiah.

The ksatriyas is, in Q, the son, Sanskrit putras, of the king, called deva. He is, therefore, a deva-putras, a son of the king. Sanskrit devas also means god. He is , therefore also the son of god. This is nicely assimlitated to the king Dauid. So the deva- , god and king, is nicely assimliated to the king David.
Note also, that the Greek has no word for “of”. It says “son David”. The reason is clear. It has to have four syllables only, as does the Sanskrit.

Finally, he is the son (of) Abraham. The Sanskrit original is Brahmâ. The ksatriyas descends from the world of Brahmâ. He is, as such, one of the numerous sons of Brahmâ. Thus it is easy to see that the son of Abraham - a chronological absurdity - was originally the son of Brahmâ.

[...]So, to sum up: The Sanskrit original of the intial eight words of Matthew, runs, in simplified Romanization:
kulasya vamsas ksatriyasya deva-putrasya brâhmanasya .

The total number of syllables, is of course, the same in both sources.
The reader who consults the first few pages of the MSV (being here SBV I) will easily be able to make further identifications.
Let me only add, that the ksatriyas was supposed to be the next king of Kapilavastu. He was the son of a king. But things turned out otherwise.
So, we have the son of a king who never became a normal king. He did, however, become a king of Dharma.
Just like o khristos.
This is, in brief, the secret of Christ.


The Economics of War

It has often been said that war is the health of the State – but the argument could also be made that the reverse is more true: that the State is the health of war. In other words, that war – the greatest of all human evils – is impossible without the State.

The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises was once asked what the central defining characteristic of the free market was – i.e. since every economy is more or less a mixture of freedom and State compulsion, what institution truly separated a free market from a controlled economy – and he replied that it was the existence of a stock market. Through a stock market, entrepreneurs can achieve the externalization of risk, or the partial transfer of potential losses from themselves to investors. In the absence of this capacity, business growth is almost impossible.

In other words, when risk is reduced, demand increases. The stagnation of economies in the absence of a stock market is testament to the unwillingness of individuals to take on all the risks of an economic endeavour themselves, even if this were possible. When risk becomes sharable, new possibilities emerge that were not present before – the Industrial Revolution being perhaps the most dramatic example.

Sadly, one of those possibilities – in all its horror, corruption, brutality and genocide – is war. [...] in its capacity to reduce the costs and risks of violence, the State is, in effect, the stock market of war.

[...] We can imagine an unethical window repairman who smashes windows in order to raise demand for his business. This would certainly help his income – and yet we see that this course is almost never pursued in real life in the free market. Why not?

[...]If you want to hire an arsonist to torch the factory of your competitor, you have to become an expert in underworld negotiations. You might pay an arsonist and watch him take off to Hawaii instead of setting the fire. You also face the risk that your arsonist will take your offer to your competitor and ask for more money to not set the fire – or, worse, return the favor and torch your factory! It will certainly cost money to start down the road of vandalism, and there is no guarantee that your investment will pay off in the way you want.

[...]How does this relate to war and the State? Very closely, in fact – but with very opposite effects.

The economics of war are, at bottom, very simple, and contain three major players: those who decide on war, those who profit from war, and those who pay for war. Those who decide on war are the politicians, those who profit from it are those who supply military materials or are paid for military skills, and those who pay for war are the taxpayers. (The first and second groups, of course, overlap.)

In other words, a corporation which profits from supplying arms to the military is paid through a predation on citizens through State taxation – and under no other circumstances could the transaction exist, since the risks associated with destruction outlined above are equal to or greater than any profits that could be made.

Certainly if those who decided on war also paid for it, there would be no such thing as war[...] However, those who decide on war do not pay for it – that unpleasant task is relegated to the taxpayers (both current, in the form of direct taxes and inflation, and future, in the form of national debts).

[...]Those who decide on war and those who profit from war only start wars when there is no real risk of personal destruction. This is a simple historical fact, which can be gleaned from the reality that no nuclear power has ever declared war on another nuclear power. The US gave the USSR money and wheat, and yet invaded Grenada, Haiti and Iraq. (In fact, one of the central reasons it was possible to know in advance that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction capable of hitting the US was that US leaders were willing to invade it.)

[...]The “risk of retaliation” in economic calculations regarding war should not be taken as a general risk, but rather a specific one – i.e. specific to those who either decide on war or profit from it. For example, Roosevelt knew that blockading Japan in the early 1940s carried a grave risk of retaliation – but only against distant and unknown US personnel in the Pacific, not against his friends and family in Washington. (In fact, the blockading was specifically escalated with the aim of provoking retaliation, in order to bring the US into WWII.)

The power of the State to so fundamentally shift the costs and benefits of violence is one of the most central facts of warfare – and the core reason for its continued existence. [...] if the person who decides to profit through destruction faces the consequences himself, he has almost no economic incentive to do so. However, if he can shift the risks and losses to others – but retain the benefit himself – the economic landscape changes completely! Sadly, it then becomes profitable, say, to tax citizens to pay for 800 US military bases around the world, as long as strangers in New York bear the brunt of the inevitable retaliation. It also becomes profitable to send uneducated youngsters to Iraq to bear the brunt of the insurgency.

[...]Thus the fact that the State externalizes almost all the risks and costs of destruction is a further positive motivation to those who would use the power of State violence for their own ends. Once you throw in endless pro-war propaganda (also called “war-nography”), the emotional benefits of starting and leading wars funded by others can become a definitive positive – which ensures that wars will continue until the State collapses, or the world dies.

[...]If the above is understood, then the hostility of anarchists towards the State should now be at least a little clearer. In the anarchist view, the State is a fundamental moral evil not only because it uses violence to achieve its ends, but also because it is the only social agency capable of making war economically advantageous to those with the power to declare it and profit from it. In other words, it is only through the governmental power of taxation that war can be subsidized to the point where it becomes profitable to certain sections of society. Destruction can only ever be profitable because the costs and risks of violence are shifted to the taxpayers, while the benefits accrue to the few who directly control or influence the State.

This violent distortion of costs, incentives and rewards cannot be controlled or alleviated, since an artificial imbalance of economic incentives will always self-perpetuate and escalate (at least, until the inevitable bankruptcy of the public purse). Or, to put it another way, as long as the State exists, we shall always live with the terror of war. To oppose war is to oppose the State. They can neither be examined in isolation nor opposed separately, since – much more than metaphorically – the State and war are two sides of the same bloody coin.


The Slave's Revenge

If the slave cannot escape, and is beaten if he does not work hard, then his vengeance will always take on a more subtle form. The slave will perform his work slightly more slowly – not enough to be punished, but enough to irritate his master. The slave will pretend to be less intelligent than he really is, so that when he loses or breaks things, he will be more likely to escape punishment, since he is pretending in effect to be a child.

[...] the slave will also do what he can to promote any negative habits his master may have. If his master likes to drink, the slave will always be on hand to refill his cup. If his master has a tendency towards jealousy, the slave will innocently “mention” that he saw his master’s wife chatting with another man.

If the slave is particularly cunning, he will also do everything that he can to inflate his master’s ego. He will sing his master’s praises, claim joy in “knowing his place,” thank the master for everything he does, and remain fanatically “loyal.” This hyperinflation of the master’s ego inevitably creates pettiness, vanity, hyper-irritability, and unbearable pomposity.

In other words, the slave will always turn his master into an unhappy man – who is constantly annoyed, who cannot experience love, and who engenders no respect from those around him – particularly his children. (One of the worst aspects of being a slave-owner is that it turns you into a terrible and abusive father.) As a result of the slave’s passive-aggressive manipulations, the master becomes prone to violence – verbal and physical – self-abusive habits, crippling self-blindness, and sinks into a bottomless pit of discontent and misery.

This is the vengeance of the slave. All slaves are Iago. And, for the most part, all children are slaves. As you were.

[...] the great danger for the slave is his capacity to become addicted to the dark “satisfactions” of passive-aggressive vengeance. By enslaving his master, the slave gains a sense of control – and also re-creates in his master his own experience of enslavement. It is a subtle cry of hatred – and plea for empathy. [...]A slave can only hope for freedom by making owning slaves unbearable for his master. Not only might the slave’s endless passive-aggressive noncompliance and provocation provoke suicide on the part of his master – but his master’s miserable existence might also serve as a warning for others who might wish to own slaves.

[...]However, as mentioned above, the greatest danger for the slave is that he becomes addicted to the sense of control that comes from manipulating his master. In other words, the great danger for the slave is that he becomes addicted to his slavery. If a slave begins to believe his own master-destroying propaganda, then in the absence of masters, he will create them.

[...]Most of us are raised as slaves. Our opinions are rarely sought, rules are rarely explained – and moral rules never are – we are shipped off to schools where we are treated disrespectfully; our subservience is bought with rewards, and our independence is punished with detentions. Scepticism and curiosity are scorned and belittled, while empty abilities like throwing balls, learning dates, sitting still and “being pretty” are praised and elevated.

Lies about our history become cages for our futures. Lies about our own intelligence and originality lead us to the petty enslavement of “good citizenship” – and horrifying fairy tales about life in the absence of coercive or religious control scare us back into our slave pens the moment we even think of glancing outside to the green and beautiful hills beyond our bars.

Collective punishments turn us against each other; the “kibbles and whips” of the classroom reward us for laughing at each other to gain the favor of the teacher; terrifying and brutal “morality” is inflicted upon us. We are punished for not treating those in authority with “respect” (do they treat us with respect?) – and we are bred for a life of subservience, fear, productivity and dependence as surely as fattened calves are bred for veal.

Where in the past we were not taught to fear the priests, but rather the imaginary devils the priests warned us of, now we are not taught to fear our politicians, who can debase our currency, throw us in prison and send us to war – but rather we are taught to fear each other. We are taught to imagine that the real predators in this world are not those who control prison cells, national debts and nuclear weapons, but rather our fellow citizens, who in the absence of brutal control would surely tear us apart!

The entire purpose of state education is to make sure that we never truly “leave” our childhoods: that we spend our lives trembling in fear of imaginary predators, begging for “protection” from those who threaten us with the most harm.


necessity of the state

Logically, there are four possibilities as to the mixture of good and evil people in the world:

1. All men are moral.
2. All men are immoral.
3. The majority of men are immoral, and a minority moral.
4. The majority of men are moral, and a minority immoral.

(A perfect balance of good and evil is practically impossible.)

In the first case (all men are moral), the government is obviously not needed, since evil cannot exist.

In the second case (all men are immoral), the government cannot be permitted to exist for one simple reason. The government, it is generally argued, must exist because there are evil people in the world who desire to inflict harm, and who can only be restrained through fear of government retribution (police, prisons et al). A corollary of this argument is that the less retribution these people fear, the more evil they will do. However, the government itself is not subject to any force or retribution, but is a law unto itself. Even in Western democracies, how many policemen and politicians go to jail? Thus if evil people wish to do harm, but are only restrained by force, then society can never permit a government to exist, because evil people will work feverishly to grab control of that government, in order to do evil and avoid retribution. In a society of pure evil, then, the only hope for stability would be a state of nature, where a general arming and fear of retribution would blunt the evil intents of disparate groups. As is the case between nuclear-armed nations, a “balance of power” breeds peace.

The third possibility is that most people are evil, and only a few are good. If that is the case, then the government also cannot be permitted to exist, since the majority of those in control of the government will be evil, and will rule despotically over the good minority. Democracy in particular cannot be permitted, since the minority of good people would be subjugated to the democratic control of the evil majority. Evil people, who wish to do harm without fear of retribution, would inevitably control the government, and use its power to do evil free of the fear of consequences. Good people do not act morally because they fear retribution, but because they love virtue and peace of mind – and thus, unlike evil people, they have little to gain by controlling the government. In this scenario, then, the government will inevitably be controlled by a majority of evil people who will rule over all, to the detriment of all moral people.

The fourth option is that most people are good, and only a few are evil. This possibility is subject to the same problems outlined above, notably that evil people will always want to gain control over the government, in order to shield themselves from just retaliation for their crimes. This option only changes the appearance of democracy: because the majority of people are good, evil power-seekers must lie to them in order to gain power, and then, after achieving public office, will immediately break faith and pursue their own corrupt agendas, enforcing their wills through the police and the military. (This is the current situation in democracies, of course.) Thus the government remains the greatest prize to the most evil men, who will quickly gain control over its awesome power – to the detriment of all good souls – and so the government cannot be permitted to exist in this scenario either.

It is clear, then, that there is no situation under which a government can logically or morally be allowed to exist. The only possible justification for the existence of a government would be if the majority of men are evil, but all the power of the government is always controlled by a minority of good men (see Plato’s Republic). This situation, while interesting theoretically, breaks down logically because:

1.The evil majority would quickly outvote the minority or overpower them through a coup;
2.There is no way to ensure that only good people would always run the government; and,
3.There is absolutely no example of this having ever occurred in any of the brutal annals of state history.

The logical error always made in the defense of the government is to imagine that any collective moral judgments being applied to any group of people is not also being applied to the group which rules over them. If 50% of people are evil, then at least 50% of people ruling over them are also evil (and probably more, since evil people are always drawn to power). Thus the existence of evil can never justify the existence of a government.

If there is no evil, governments are unnecessary. If evil exists, the governments are far too dangerous to be allowed to exist.

Why is this error so prevalent?

There are a number of reasons, which can only be touched on here. The first is that the government introduces itself to children in the form of public school teachers who are considered moral authorities. Thus are morality and authority first associated with the government – an association that is then reinforced through years of grinding repetition.

The second is that the government never teaches children about the root of its power – violence – but instead pretends that it is just another social institution, like a business or a church or a charity, but more moral.

The third is that the prevalence of religion and propaganda has always blinded men to the evils of the government – which is why rulers have always been so interested in furthering the interests of churches and state “education.” In the religious world-view, absolute power is synonymous with perfect virtue, in the form of a deity. In the real political world of men, however, increasing power always means increasing evil. With religion, also, all that happens must be for the good – thus, fighting encroaching political power is fighting the will of the deity.

[...]people generally make two errors when confronted with the idea of dissolving the government. The first is the belief that governments are necessary because evil people exist. The second is the belief that, in the absence of governments, any social institutions that arise will inevitably take the place of governments. Thus, Dispute Resolution Organizations (DROs), insurance companies and private security forces are all considered potential cancers that will swell and overwhelm the body politic.

This view arises from the same error outlined above. If all social institutions are constantly trying to grow in power and enforce their wills on others, then by that very argument a centralized government cannot be allowed to exist. If it is an iron law that groups always try to gain power over other groups and individuals, then that power-lust will not end if one of them wins, but will continue to spread across society virtually unopposed until slavery is the norm.

The only way that social institutions can grow into violent monopolies is to offload the costs of enforcement onto their victims. Governments grow endlessly because they can pay tax collectors with a portion of the taxes they collect. The slaves are thus forced to pay for the costs of their enslavement.

[...]It is very hard to understand the logic and intelligence of the argument that, in order to protect us from a group that might overpower us, we should support a group that already has overpowered us. It is similar to the statist argument about private monopolies – that citizens should create a governmental monopoly because they are afraid of private monopolies. It does not take keen vision to see through such nonsense.


The Lesser Evil

An objective review of human history would seem to point to the grim reality that by far the most dangerous thing in the world is false ethical systems.

If we look at an ethical system like communism, which was responsible for the murders of 170 million people, we can clearly see that the real danger to individuals was not random criminals, but false moral theories. Similarly, the Spanish Inquisition relied not on thieves and pickpockets, but rather priests and torturers filled with the desire to save the souls of others. Nazism also relied on particular ethical theories regarding the relationship between the individual and the collective, and the moral imperative to serve those in power, as well as theories “proving” the innate virtues of the Aryan race.

Over and over again, throughout human history, we see that the most dangerous instruments in the hands of men are not guns, or bombs, or knives, or poisons, but rather moral theories. From the “divine right of kings” to the endlessly legitimized mob rule of modern democracies, from the ancestor worship of certain Oriental cultures to the modern deference to the nation-state as personified by a political leader, to those who pledge their children to the service of particular religious ideologies, it is clear that by far the most dangerous tool that men possess is morality. Unlike science, which merely describes what is, and what is to be, moral theories exert a near-bottomless influence over the hearts and minds of men by telling them what ought to be.

When our leaders ask for our obedience, it is never to themselves as individuals, they claim, but rather to “the good” in the abstract. JFK did not say: “Ask not what I can do for you, but rather what you can do for me...” Instead, he substituted the words “your country” for himself. Service to “the country” is considered a virtue – although the net beneficiaries of that service are always those who rule citizens by force. In the past (and sometimes even into the present), leaders identified themselves with God, rather than with geography, but the principle remains the same. For Communists, the abstract mechanism that justifies the power of the leaders is class; for fascists it is the nation; for Nazis it is the race; for democrats it is “the will of the people”; for priests it is “the will of God” and so on.

Ruling classes inevitably use ethical theories to justify their power for the simple reason that human beings have an implacable desire to act in accordance to what they believe to be “the good.” If service to the Fatherland can be defined as “the good,” then such service will inevitably be provided. If obedience to military superiors can be defined as “virtue” and “courage,” then such violent slavery will be endlessly praised and performed.

The more false the moral theory is, the earlier that it must be inflicted upon children. We do not see the children of scientifically minded people being sent to “logic school” from the tender age of three or four onwards. We do not see the children of free market advocates being sent to “Capitalism Camp” when they are five years old. We do not see the children of philosophers being sent to a Rational Empiricism Theme Park in order to be indoctrinated into the value of trusting their own senses and using their own minds.

No, wherever ethical theories are corrupt, self-contradictory and destructive, they must be inflicted upon the helpless minds of dependent children. The Jesuits are credited with the proverb: “Give me a child until he is nine and he will be mine for life,” but that is only because the Jesuits were teaching superstitious and destructive lies. You could never imagine a modern scientist hungering to imprint his falsehoods on a newborn consciousness. Picture somebody like Richard Dawkins saying the above, just to see how ridiculous it would be.

Any ethicist, then, who focuses on mere criminality, rather than the institutional crimes supported by ethical theories, is missing the picture almost entirely, and serving mankind up to the slaughterhouse. A doctor who, in the middle of a universal and deadly plague, focused his entire efforts on communicating about the possible health consequences of being slightly overweight, would be considered rather deranged, and scarcely a reliable guide in medical matters. If your house is on fire, mulling over the colors you might want to paint your walls might well be considered a sub-optimal prioritization.

Private criminals exist, of course, but have almost no impact on our lives comparable to those who rule us on the basis of false moral theories.

Once, when I was 11, another boy stole a few dollars from me. Another time, when I was 26, I left my ATM card in a bank machine, and someone stole a few hundred dollars from my account.

On the other hand, I have had hundreds of thousands of dollars taken from me by force through the moral theory of “taxation is good.” I was forced to sit in the grim and brain-destroying mental gulags of public schools for 14 years, based on the moral theory that “state education is a virtue.” (Or, rather: “forced education is a virtue” – my parents were compelled to pay through taxes, and I was compelled to attend.)

The boy (and the man) who stole my money doubtless used it for some personal pleasure or need. The government that steals my money, on the other hand, uses it to oppress the poor, to fund wars, to pay the rich, to borrow money and so impoverish my children – and to pay the salaries of those who steal from me.

If I were a doctor in the middle of a great city struck down by a terrible plague, and I discovered that that plague was being transmitted through the water pipes, what should my rational response be – if I claimed to truly care about the health of my fellow citizens?

Surely I should cry from the very rooftops that their drinking water was causing the plague. Surely I should take every measure possible to get people to understand the true source of the illness that struck them down.

Surely, in the knowledge of such universal and preventable poisoning, I should not waste my time arguing that the true danger you faced was the tiny possibility that some random individual might decide to poison you at some point in the future.

[...]The violations that I experienced at the hands of private criminals fade to insignificance relative to even one day under the tender mercies of my “virtuous and good masters.”


Human Farming

The Matrix is one of the greatest metaphors ever. Machines invented to make human life easier end up enslaving humanity - this is the most common theme in dystopian science fiction. Why is this fear so universal - so compelling? Is it because we really believe that our toaster and our notebook will end up as our mechanical overlords? Of course not. This is not a future that we fear, but a past that we are already living.

Supposedly, governments were invented to make human life easier and safer, but governments always end up enslaving humanity. That which we create to "serve" us ends up ruling us.

The US government "by and for the people" now imprisons millions, takes half the national income by force, over-regulates, punishes, tortures, slaughters foreigners, invades countries, overthrows governments, imposes 700 imperialistic bases overseas, inflates the currency, and crushes future generations with massive debts. That which we create to "serve" us ends up ruling us.

The problem with the "state as servant" thesis is that it is historically completely false, both empirically and logically. The idea that states were voluntarily invented by citizens to enhance their own security is utterly untrue.

Before governments, in tribal times, human beings could only produce what they consumed -- there was no excess production of food or other resources. Thus, there was no point owning slaves, because the slave could not produce any excess that could be stolen by the master. If a horse pulling a plow can only produce enough additional food to feed the horse, there is no point hunting, capturing and breaking in a horse.

However, when agricultural improvements allowed for the creation of excess crops, suddenly it became highly advantageous to own human beings. When cows began to provide excess milk and meat, owning cows became worthwhile.

The earliest governments and empires were in fact a ruling class of slave hunters, who understood that because human beings could produce more than they consumed, they were worth hunting, capturing, breaking in - and owning.

The earliest Egyptian and Chinese empires were in reality human farms, where people were hunted, captured, domesticated and owned like any other form of livestock. Due to technological and methodological improvements, the slaves produced enough excess that the labor involved in capturing and keeping them represented only a small subset of their total productivity. The ruling class - the farmers - kept a large portion of that excess, while handing out gifts and payments to the brutalizing class - the police, slave hunters, and general sadists - and the propagandizing class - the priests, intellectuals, and artists.

This situation continued for thousands of years, until the 16-17th centuries, when again massive improvements in agricultural organization and technology created the second wave of excess productivity. The enclosure movement re-organized and consolidated farmland, resulting in 5-10 times more crops, creating a new class of industrial workers, displaced from the country and huddling in the new cities. This enormous agricultural excess was the basis of the capital that drove the industrial revolution. The Industrial Revolution did not arise because the ruling class wanted to free their serfs, but rather because they realized how additional "liberties" could make their livestock astoundingly more productive. When cows are placed in very confining stalls, they beat their heads against the walls, resulting in injuries and infections. Thus farmers now give them more room -- not because they want to set their cows free, but rather because they want greater productivity and lower costs.

The next stop after "free range" is not "freedom." The rise of state capitalism in the 19th century was actually the rise of "free range serfdom." Additional liberties were granted to the human livestock not with the goal of setting them free, but rather with the goal of increasing their productivity.

Of course, intellectuals, artists and priests were - and are - well paid to conceal this reality. The great problem of modern human livestock ownership is the challenge of "enthusiasm." State capitalism only works when the entrepreneurial spirit drives creativity and productivity in the economy.

However, excess productivity always creates a larger state, and swells the ruling classes and their dependents, which eats into the motivation for additional productivity. Taxes and regulations rise, state debt (future farming) increases, and living standards slow and decay. Depression and despair began to spread, as the reality of being owned sets in for the general population. The solution to this is additional propaganda, antidepressant medications, superstition, wars, moral campaigns of every kind, the creation of "enemies," the inculcation of patriotism, collective fears, paranoia about "outsiders" and "immigrants," and so on.

It is essential to understand the reality of the world. When you look at a map of the world, you are not looking at countries, but farms.

You are allowed certain liberties - limited property ownership, movement rights, freedom of association and occupation - not because your government approves of these rights in principle - since it constantly violates them - but rather because "free range livestock" is so much cheaper to own and so more productive.

It is important to understand the reality of ideologies. State capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism, democracy - these are all livestock management approaches. Some work well for long periods - state capitalism - and some work very badly - communism.

[...]The recent growth of "freedom" in China, India and Asia is occurring because the local state farmers have upgraded their livestock management practices. They have recognized that putting the cows in a larger stall provides the rulers more milk and meat.

Rulers have also recognized that if they prevent you from fleeing the farm, you will become depressed, inert and unproductive. A serf is the most productive when he imagines he is free. Thus your rulers must provide you the illusion of freedom in order to harvest you most effectively. Thus you are "allowed" to leave - but never to real freedom, only to another farm, because the whole world is a farm. They will prevent you from taking a lot of money, they will bury you in endless paperwork, they will restrict your right to work -- but you are "free" to leave. Due to these difficulties, very few people do leave, but the illusion of mobility is maintained. If only 1 out of 1,000 cows escapes, but the illusion of escaping significantly raises the productivity of the remaining 999, it remains a net gain for the farmer.

You are also kept on the farm through licensing. The most productive livestock are the professionals, so the rulers fit them with an electronic dog collar called a "license," which only allows them to practice their trade on their own farm.

To further create the illusion of freedom, in certain farms, the livestock are allowed to choose between a few farmers that the investors present. At best, they are given minor choices in how they are managed. They are never given the choice to shut down the farm, and be truly free.

Government schools are indoctrination pens for livestock. They train children to "love" the farm, and to fear true freedom and independence, and to attack anyone who questions the brutal reality of human ownership. Furthermore, they create jobs for the intellectuals that state propaganda so relies on.

The ridiculous contradictions of statism -- like religion -- can only be sustained through endless propaganda inflicted upon helpless children. The idea that democracy and some sort of "social contract" justifies the brutal exercise of violent power over billions is patently ridiculous. If you say to a slave that his ancestors "chose" slavery, and therefore he is bound by their decisions, he will simply say: "If slavery is a choice, then I choose not to be a slave." This is the most frightening statement for the ruling classes, which is why they train their slaves to attack anyone who dares speak it.

Statism is not a philosophy. Statism does not originate from historical evidence or rational principles. Statism is an ex post facto justification for human ownership. Statism is an excuse for violence. Statism is an ideology, and all ideologies are variations on human livestock management practices. Religion is pimped-out superstition, designed to drug children with fears that they will endlessly pay to have "alleviated." Nationalism is pimped-out bigotry, designed to provoke a Stockholm Syndrome in the livestock.


[...]Like all animals, human beings want to dominate and exploit the resources around them. At first, we mostly hunted and fished and ate off the land - but then something magical and terrible happened to our minds. We became, alone among the animals, afraid of death, and of future loss. And this was the start of a great tragedy, and an even greater possibility...

You see, when we became afraid of death, of injury, and imprisonment, we became controllable -- and so valuable -- in a way that no other resource could ever be. The greatest resource for any human being to control is not natural resources, or tools, or animals or land -- but other human beings.

You can frighten an animal, because animals are afraid of pain in the moment, but you cannot frighten an animal with a loss of liberty, or with torture or imprisonment in the future, because animals have very little sense of tomorrow. You cannot threaten a cow with torture, or a sheep with death. You cannot swing a sword at a tree and scream at it to produce more fruit, or hold a burning torch to a field and demand more wheat. You cannot get more eggs by threatening a hen - but you can get a man to give you his eggs by threatening him.

Human farming has been the most profitable -- and destructive -- occupation throughout history, and it is now reaching its destructive climax. Human society cannot be rationally understood until it is seen for what it is: a series of farms where human farmers own human livestock.

Some people get confused because governments provide healthcare and water and education and roads, and thus imagine that there is some benevolence at work. Nothing could be further from reality. Farmers provide healthcare and irrigation and training to their livestock.

Some people get confused because we are allowed certain liberties, and thus imagine that our government protects our freedoms. But farmers plant their crops a certain distance apart to increase their yields -- and will allow certain animals larger stalls or fields if it means they will produce more meat and milk. In your country, your tax farm, your farmer grants you certain freedoms not because he cares about your liberties, but because he wants to increase his profits. Are you beginning to see the nature of the cage you were born into?

There have been four major phases of human farming.

The first phase, in ancient Egypt, was direct and brutal human compulsion. Human bodies were controlled, but the creative productivity of the human mind remained outside the reach of the whip and the brand and the shackles. Slaves remained woefully underproductive, and required enormous resources to control.

The second phase was the Roman model, wherein slaves were granted some capacity for freedom, ingenuity and creativity, which raised their productivity. This increased the wealth of Rome, and thus the tax income of the Roman government - and with this additional wealth, Rome became an empire, destroying the economic freedoms that fed its power, and collapsed. I'm sure that this does not seem entirely unfamiliar.

After the collapse of Rome, the feudal model introduced the concept of livestock ownership and taxation. Instead of being directly owned, peasants farmed land that they could retain as long as they paid off the local warlords. This model broke down due to the continual subdivision of productive land, and was destroyed during the Enclosure movement, when land was consolidated, and hundreds of thousands of peasants were kicked off their ancestral lands, because new farming techniques made larger farms more productive with fewer people.

The increased productivity of the late Middle Ages created the excess food required for the expansion of towns and cities, which in turn gave rise to the modern Democratic model of human ownership. As displaced peasants flooded into the cities, a huge stock of cheap human capital became available to the rising industrialists - and the ruling class of human farmers quickly realized that they could make more money by letting their livestock choose their own occupations. Under the Democratic model, direct slave ownership has been replaced by the Mafia model. The Mafia rarely owns businesses directly, but rather sends thugs around once a month to steal from the business "owners." You are now allowed to choose your own occupation, which raises your productivity - and thus the taxes you can pay to your masters. Your few freedoms are preserved because they are profitable to your owners.

The great challenge of the Democratic model is that increases in wealth and freedom threaten the farmers. The ruling classes initially profit from a relatively free market in capital and labor, but as their livestock become more used to their freedoms and growing wealth, they begin to question why they need rulers at all.

Ah well. Nobody ever said that human farming was easy.

Keeping the tax livestock securely in the compounds of the ruling classes is a three phase process.

The first is to indoctrinate the young through government "education." As the wealth of democratic countries grew, government schools were universally inflicted in order to control the thoughts and souls of the livestock.

The second is to turn citizens against each other through the creation of dependent livestock. It is very difficult to rule human beings directly through force -- and where it can be achieved, it remains cripplingly underproductive, as can be seen in North Korea. Human beings do not breed well or produce efficiently in direct captivity. If human beings believe that they are free, then they will produce much more for their farmers. The best way to maintain this illusion of freedom is to put some of the livestock on the payroll of the farmer. Those cows that become dependent on the existing hierarchy will then attack any other cows who point out the violence, hypocrisy and immorality of human ownership. Freedom is slavery, and slavery is freedom. If you can get the cows to attack each other whenever anybody brings up the reality of their situation, then you don't have to spend nearly as much controlling them directly. Those cows who become dependent upon the stolen largess of the farmer will violently oppose any questioning of the virtue of human ownership -- and the intellectual and artistic classes, always and forever dependent upon the farmers -- will say, to anyone who demands freedom from ownership: "You will harm your fellow cows." The livestock are kept enclosed by shifting the moral responsibility for the destructiveness of a violent system to those who demand real freedom.

The third phase is to invent continual external threats, so that the frightened livestock cling to the "protection" of the farmers. [...]



Mythological Love

Our whole lives, we are surrounded by people who claim to love us. Our parents perpetually claim to be motivated by what is best for us. Our teachers eternally proclaim that their sole motivation is to help us learn. Our priests voice concern for our eternal souls, and extended family members endlessly announce their devotion to the clan.

When people claim to love us, it is not unreasonable to expect that they know us. If you tell me that you love Thailand, but it turns out that you have never been there, and know very little about it, then it is hard for me to believe that you really love it. If I say that I love opera, but I never listen to opera – well, you get the general idea!

If I say that I love you, but I know little about your real thoughts and feelings, and have no idea what your true values are – or perhaps even what your favourite books, authors or movies are – then it should logically be very hard for you to believe me.

This is certainly the case in my family. My mother, brother and father made extravagant claims about their love for me. However, when I finally sat down and asked each of them to recount a few facts about me – some of my preferences and values – I got a perfect tripod of “thousand yard stares.”

So, I thought, if people who know almost nothing about me claim to love me, then either they are lying, or I do not understand love at all.

I will not go into details about my theories of love here, other than to say that, in my view, love is our involuntary response to virtue, just as well-being is our involuntary response to a healthy lifestyle. (Our affection for our babies is more attachment than mature love, since it is shared throughout the animal kingdom.)

Virtue is a complicated subject, but I am sure we can agree that virtue must involve some basics that are commonly understood, such as courage, integrity, benevolence, empathy, wisdom and so on.

If this is the case, it cannot be possible to love people that we know very little about. If love requires virtue, then we cannot love perfect strangers, because we know nothing about their virtues. Love depends both on another person’s virtue, and our knowledge of it – and it grows in proportion to that virtue and knowledge, if we are virtuous ourselves.

Throughout my childhood, whenever I expressed a personal thought, desire, wish, preference or feeling, I was generally met with eye rolling, incomprehension, avoidance or, all too often, outright scorn. These various “rejection tactics” were completely co-joined with expressions of love and devotion. When I started getting into philosophy – through the works of Ayn Rand originally – my growing love of wisdom was dismissed out of hand as some sort of psychological dysfunction.

Since my family knew precious little about my virtues – and what they did know they disliked – then we could not all be virtuous. If they were virtuous, and disliked my values, then my values could not be virtuous. If I was virtuous, and they disliked my values, then they could not be virtuous.

And so I set about trying to create an “ethical map” of my family.

It was the most frightening thing I have ever done. The amount of emotional resistance that I felt towards the idea of trying to rationally and morally understand my family was staggering – it literally felt as if I were sprinting directly off a cliff.

Why was it so terrifying?

Well, because I knew that they were lying. I knew that they were lying about loving me, and I knew that, by claiming to be confused about whether they loved me, I was lying as well – and to myself, which is the worst of all falsehoods.
Love: The Word versus the Deed

Saying the word “success” is far easier than actually achieving success. Mouthing the word “love” is far easier than actually loving someone for the right reasons – and being loved for the right reasons.

If we do not have any standards for being loved, then laziness and indifference will inevitably result. If I have a job where I work from home, and no one ever checks up on me, and I never have to produce anything, and I get paid no matter what, and I cannot get fired, how long will it be before my work ethic decays? Days? Weeks? Certainly not months.

One of the most important questions to ask in any examination of the truth is “compared to what?” For instance, if I say I love you, implicit in that statement is a preference for you over others. In other words, compared to others, I prefer you. We prefer honesty compared to falsehood, satiation to hunger, warmth to cold and so on.

It is not logically valid to equate the word “love” with “family.” The word “family” is a mere description of a biological commonality – it makes no more sense to equate “love” with “family” than it does to equate “love” with “mammal.” Thus the word “love” must mean a preference compared to – what?

It is impossible to have any standards for love if we do not have any standards for truth. Since being honest is better than lying, and courage is better than cowardice, and truth is better than falsehood, we cannot have honesty and courage unless we are standing for something that is true. Thus when we say that we “love” someone, what we really mean is that his actions are consistent, compared to a rational standard of virtue. In the same way, when I say that somebody is “healthy,” what I really mean is that his organs are functioning consistently, relative to a rational standard of well-being.

Thus love is not a subjective preference, or a biological commonality, but our involuntary response to virtuous actions on the part of another.

If we truly understand this definition, then it is easy for us to see that a society that does not know truth cannot ever know love.

If nothing is true, virtue is impossible.

If virtue is impossible, then we are forced to pretend to be virtuous, through patriotism, clan loyalties, cultural pride, superstitious conformities and other such amoral counterfeits.

If virtue is impossible, then love is impossible, because actions cannot be compared to any objective standard of goodness. If love is impossible, we are forced to resort to sentimentality, or the shallow show and outward appearance of love.

Thus it can be seen that any set of principles that interferes with our ability to know and understand the truth hollows us out, undermining and destroying our capacity for love. False principles, illusions, fantasies and mythologies separate us from each other, from virtue, from love, from the true connections that we can achieve only through reality.

In fantasy, there is only isolation and pretence. Mythology is, fundamentally, loneliness and emptiness.

Imagination versus Fantasy

At this point, I think it would be well worth highlighting the differences between imagination and fantasy, because many people, on hearing my criticisms of mythology, think that they are now not supposed to enjoy Star Wars.

Imagination is a creative faculty that is deeply rooted in reality. Fantasy, on the other hand, is a mere species of intangible wish fulfillment. It took Tolkien decades of study and writing to produce “The Lord of the Rings” – and each part of that novel was rationally consistent with the whole. That is an example of imagination. If I laze about daydreaming that one day I will make a fortune by writing a better novel than “The Lord of the Rings” – but never actually set pen to paper – that is an example of fantasy. Imagination produced the theory of relativity, not fantasizing about someday winning a Nobel Prize.

Daydreams that are never converted into action are the ultimate procrastination. Imagining a wonderful future that you never have to act to achieve prevents you from achieving a wonderful future.

In the same way, imagining that you know the truth when you do not prevents you from ever learning the truth. Nothing is more dangerous than the illusion of knowledge. If you are going the wrong way, but do not doubt your direction, you will never turn around.

As Socrates noted more than 2,000 years ago, doubt is the midwife of curiosity, and curiosity breeds wisdom.

Fantasy is the opposite of doubt. Mythology provides instant answers when people do not even know what the questions are. In the Middle Ages, when someone asked “Where did the world come from?” he was told: “God made it.” This effectively precluded the necessity of asking the more relevant question: “What is the world?”

Because religious people believed they knew where the world came from, there was little point asking what the world was. Because there was little point asking what the world was, they never learned where the world came from.

Fantasy is a circle of nothingness, forever eating its own tail.
Defining Love

If people fantasize that they know what is true, then they inevitably stop searching for the truth. If I am driving home, I stop driving when I get there. If people fantasize that they know what goodness is, they inevitably stop trying to understand goodness.

And, most importantly, if people fantasize that they already are good, they stop trying to become good. If you want a baby, and you believe that you are pregnant, you stop trying to get pregnant.

The question – which we already know the answer to – thus remains: why do people who claim to love us never tell us what love is?

If I am an accomplished mathematician, and my child comes to me and asks me about the times tables, it would be rude and churlish of me to dismiss his questions. If I go to my mother, who for 30 years has claimed to love me, and ask her what love is, why is it that she refuses to answer my question? Why does my brother roll his eyes and change the subject whenever I ask him what it is that he loves about me? Why does my father claim to love me, while continually rejecting everything that I hold precious?

Why does everyone around me perpetually use words that they refuse to define? Are they full of a knowledge that they cannot express? That is not a good reason for refusing to discuss the topics. A novelist who writes instinctually would not logically be hostile if asked about the source of his inspiration. He may not come up with a perfect answer, but there would be no reason to perpetually avoid the subject.


Unless, of course, he is a plagiarist.

What We Know

This is the knowledge that we have, but hate and fear.

We know that the people who claim to love us know precious little about us, and nothing at all about love.

We know that the people who claim to love us make this claim in order to create obligations within us.

We know that the people who claim to love us make this claim in order to control us.

And they know it too.

It is completely obvious that they know this, because they know exactly which topics to avoid. A counterfeiter will not mind if you ask him what the capital of Madagascar is. A counterfeiter will mind, however, if you ask him whether you can check the authenticity of his money. Why is this the one topic that he will try to avoid at all costs?

Because he knows that his currency is fake.

And he also knows that if you find that out, he can no longer use it to rob you blind.


If I own a store, and take counterfeit money from a con man, but do not know that it is counterfeit, then I am obligated to hand over what he has “bought.”

In the same way, if I believe that I am loved – even when I am not loved – I am to a degree honour-bound to return that love. If my mother says that she loves me, and she is virtuous, then she must love me because I am virtuous. Since she is herself virtuous, then I “owe” her love as a matter of justice, just as I owe trust to someone who consistently behaves in a trustworthy manner.

Thus when somebody tries to convince you that they love you, they’re actually attempting to create an obligation in you. If I try to convince you that I am a trustworthy person, it is because I want all the benefits of being treated as if I were a trustworthy person. If I am in fact a trustworthy person, then I must understand the nature of trust – at least at some level – and thus I must know that it cannot be demanded, but must be earned. Since earning trust is harder than just demanding trust, I must know the real value of trust, otherwise I would not have taken the trouble to earn it through consistent behaviour – I would have just demanded it and skipped all the hard stuff!

If you demand trust, you are demanding the unearned, which indicates that you do not believe you can earn it. Thus anyone who demands trust is automatically untrustworthy.

Why do people demand trust?

To rob others.

If I want to borrow money from you, and I demand that you trust me, it’s because I am not trustworthy, and will be unlikely to pay you back.

In other words, I want to steal your money, and put you in my power.

It’s the same with love.

Love and Virtue

If I am virtuous, then virtuous people will regard me with at least respect, if not love. Corrupt or evil people may regard me with a certain respect, but they will certainly not love me.

Thus being virtuous and refusing to demand love from anyone is the best way to find other virtuous people. If you are virtuous and undemanding, then other virtuous people will naturally gravitate towards you. Virtue that does not impose itself on others is like a magnet for goodness, and repels corruption.

The practical result of true virtue is fundamental self-protection.

If my stockbroker consistently gets me 30% return on my investments, is there any amount of money that I will not give him, other than what I need to live? Of course not! Because I know I will always get back more than I give.

It’s the same with real love.

If I am virtuous, then I will inevitably feel positively inclined towards other virtuous people – and the more virtuous they are, the more I will love them. My energy, time and resources will be at their disposal, because I know that I will not be exploited, and that they will reciprocate my generosity.

If you and I have lent money to each other over the years, and have always paid each other back, then the next time you come to me for a loan, it would be unjust for me to tell you that I will not lend you anything because I do not think you will pay me back. Your continued and perpetual honesty towards me in financial matters has created an obligation in me towards you. This does not mean that I must lend you money whenever you ask for it, but I cannot justly claim as my reason for not lending you money a belief that you will not pay me back.

In the same way, if you have been my wife for 20 years, and I have never been unfaithful, if a woman calls and then hangs up, it would be unjust for you to immediately accuse me of infidelity.

A central tactic for creating artificial and unjust obligations in others is to demand their positive opinion, without being willing to earn it. The most effective way to do this is to offer a positive opinion, which has not been earned – to claim to love others.

If, over the past 20 years, I have rarely paid back any money I have borrowed from you, it is perfectly reasonable to refuse me an additional loan. I may then get angry, and call you unfair, and demand that you treat me as if I were trustworthy, but it would scarcely be virtuous for you to comply with my wishes. Indeed, it would be dishonest and unjust for you to ignore my untrustworthiness, because you would be acting as if there was no difference between someone who pays back loans, and someone who does not.

When we act in a virtuous manner towards others, we are creating a reservoir of goodwill that we can draw upon, just as when we put our savings into a bank. A man can act imperfectly and still be loved, just as a man can eat an occasional candy bar and still be healthy, but there is a general requirement for consistency in any discipline. I could probably hit a home run in a major-league ballpark once every thousand pitches, but that would scarcely make me a professional baseball player!

If I act in a trustworthy manner, I do not have to ask you to trust me – and in fact, I would be very unwise to do so. Either you will trust me voluntarily, which means that you respect honourable and consistent behaviour, and justly respond to those who do good, or you will not trust me voluntarily, which means that you do not respond in a just manner to trustworthy behaviour, and thus cannot be trusted yourself.

If, on the other hand, I come up to you and demand that you trust me, I am engaged in a complex calculation of counterfeiting and plunder.

The first thing I am trying to do is establish whether or not you know anything about trust. The second thing is to figure out your level of confidence and self-esteem. The third thing is figure out if you know anything about integrity.

An attacker will always try to find the weakest chink in your armour. If I demand trust from you, and you agree to provide it – without any prior evidence – then I know that you do not know anything about trust. Similarly, if you do not require that your trust be earned, then I know that you lack confidence and self-esteem. If you are willing to treat me as if I were trustworthy when I am not trustworthy, then it is clear to me you know very little about integrity.

This tells me all I need to know about your history. This tells me that you were never treated with respect as a child, and that you were never taught to judge people according to independent standards, and that every time you tried to stand up for yourself, your family attacked you.

In other words, I will know that you are easy prey.

I cannot create an obligation in you unless you accept that I have treated you justly in the past. As in all things, it is far easier to convince a weak person that you have treated him justly, than it is to actually treat people in a just and consistent manner. If I can convince you that I have treated you justly in the past, then you “owe” me trust and respect in the present.

“Love” as Predation

Imagine that we are brothers, and one day you awake from a coma to see me sitting by your bed. After some small talk, I tell you that you owe me $1,000, which you borrowed from me the day of your accident. I tell you that because I am a kind brother, and you are in the hospital, you do not have to pay me back the thousand dollars – I would just like you to remember it, so that the next time I need to borrow $1,000, you will lend it to me.

You might look in the pockets of the jeans you wore the day of your accident, and you might look around your apartment to see if there was $1,000 lying around, but there would be no real way to prove that I had not lent you the money. You would either have to call me a liar – an accusation for which you have no certain proof – or you would feel substantially more obligated to lend me money in the future.

If you call me a liar, I will get angry. If you accept the obligation without ever finding the $1,000, you will feel resentful. Either way, our relationship is harmed – and by telling you about the $1,000, I have voluntarily introduced a complication and a suspicion into our relationship, which is scarcely loving, just or benevolent.

This is the kind of brinksmanship and deception that goes on all the time in relationships – particularly in families.

When our parents tell us that they love us, they are in fact demanding that we provide for them. They are basically telling us that they have lent us $1,000 – even if we cannot remember it – and thus we owe them trust in the future, if not $1,000 in the present!

In other words, our parents spend an enormous amount of energy convincing us that they “love” us in order to create artificial obligations within us. In doing so, they take a terrible risk – and force us to make an even more terrible choice..


When somebody tells you that they love you, it is either a statement of genuine regard, based on mutual virtue, or it is an exploitive and unjust demand for your money, time, resources, or approval.

There is very little in between.

Either love is real, and a true joy, or love is false, and the most corrupt and cowardly form of theft that can be imagined.

If love is real, then it inflicts no unjust obligations. If love is real, then it is freely given without demands. If a good man gives you his love, and you do not reciprocate it, then he just realizes that he was mistaken, learns a little, and moves on. If a woman tells you that she loves you, and then resents any hesitation or lack of reciprocation you display, then she does not love you, but is using the word “love” as a kind of hook, to entrap you into doing what she wants, to your own detriment.

How can you possibly know whether the love that somebody expresses towards you is genuine or not?

It’s very, very simple.

When it is genuine, you feel it.

What happens, though, when a parent demands love from us?

Well, we must either submit to this demand, and pretend to respond in kind, or we must confront her on her manipulation – thus threatening the entire basis of the relationship.

Would someone who truly loves us ever put us in this terrible position?

Society and Religion

The principle of inflicting a good opinion in order to create an unjust obligation occurs at a social level, as well as at a personal level. Soldiers are supposed to have died “protecting us,” which creates an obligation for us to support the troops. The mere act of being born in a country creates a lifelong obligation to pay taxes at the point of a gun, in order to receive services that we never directly asked for. John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country,” is another way of saying, “One of us is going to get screwed in this interaction, and it ain’t gonna be me!”

The same thing occurs in the realm of religion, of course, as well. Jesus died for your sins, God loves you, you will be punished if you do not obey, Hell is the destination of unbelievers etc. etc. etc.

All of these emotional tricks are designed to create an obligation in you that would not exist in any reasonable universe.

“Sacrifice,” in other words, is merely demand in disguise.


Parrents attitude toward children


Integrity can be defined as consistency between reality, ideas and behaviour. Consistency with reality is not telling a child that daddy is “sick” when he is in fact drunk. Consistency with behaviour is not slapping a child for hitting another child. The value of this kind of integrity is also well understood by many, even if imperfectly practiced, and we will not deal with it much here either.

It is consistency with ideas that causes the most problems for families – and the most long-term suffering for children throughout their lives.

When you were a child, you were told over and over that certain actions were either good or bad. Telling the truth was good; stealing was bad. Hitting your brother was bad; helping your grandmother was good. Being on time was good; failing to complete chores was bad.

Implicit in all these instructions – moral instructions – was the premise that your parents knew what was right and what was wrong; what was good, and what was bad.

Do you think that was really true? Do you think that your parents knew what was right and wrong when you were a child?

When we tell a child that something is wrong – not just incorrect, but morally wrong – there are really only two possibilities. The first is that we actually know what is right and wrong in general, and we are applying our universal knowledge of right and wrong to a specific action committed by the child.

This is how it is always portrayed to the child. It is almost always the most dangerous lie in the world.

The second possibility is that we are telling our child that his actions are “wrong” for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with morality whatsoever.

For instance, we might tell a child that stealing is wrong because:

1. We are embarrassed at our child’s actions.
2. We are afraid of being judged a poor parent.
3. We are afraid that our child’s theft will be discovered.
4. We are simply repeating what was told to us.
5. We enjoy humiliating our child.
6. Correcting our child on “ethics” makes us feel morally superior.
7. We want our child to avoid behaviour that we were punished for as children.

... and so on

Assuming they are not terrified, most children, on first receiving moral instructions, will generally respond by asking “why?” Why is stealing wrong? Why is lying wrong? Why is bullying wrong? Why is hitting wrong?

These are all perfectly valid questions, akin to asking why the sky is blue. The problem arises in the fact that parents have no rational answers, but endlessly pretend that they do.

When a child asks us why something is wrong, we are put in a terrible bind. If we say that we do not know why lying is universally wrong, we believe we will lose our moral authority in the eyes of our children. If we say that we do know why lying is wrong, then we retain our moral authority, but only by lying to our children.

Since the fall of religion, we have lost our way in terms of ethics. As an atheist, I do not mourn the loss of the illusions of gods and devils, but I am alarmed at the fact that we have not yet admitted that the fall of religion has not provided us an objective and rational moral compass. By failing to admit to the fact that we do not know what we are doing ethically, we are perpetrating a grave moral error on our children.

Basically, we are lying to them about being good.

We tell them that certain things they do are right or wrong – yet we do not tell them that we do not know why those things are right or wrong. If our child asks us why lying is wrong, we can say that it causes people pain – but so does dentistry – or we can say “you don’t like it when someone lies to you” – which would be an incentive to not get caught, not to refrain from lying – and so on. Every answer we come up with leads to more questions and inconsistencies. What do we do then?

Why, then, we must bully them.

This does not mean hitting them or yelling at them – though sadly all too often this is the case – because as parents we have a near-infinity of passive-aggressive tactics such as sighing, acting exasperated, changing the subject, offering them a cookie, taking them for a walk, claiming to be “too busy,” distracting or rejecting them in a million and one ways.

These kinds of innocent questions about morality represent a kind of horror for parents. As parents, we must retain our moral authority over our children – but as citizens of modernity, we have no rational basis for that moral authority. Thus we are forced to lie to our children about being good, and about our knowledge of goodness, which transforms virtue from a rational discipline into a fearful fairy tale.

In the past, when religious mythology was dominant, when children asked “Where does the world come from?” parents could reply that God made it. Despite the superstitious ignorance of those who even now make the same claim, most modern parents provide the scientific and rational explanation of where the world came from, or at least send their children to the Web, an encyclopaedia, or the library.

There was a time, though, when the question of where the world came from was very difficult to answer. When religious explanations were becoming less and less credible, but scientific explanations had not become completely established, parents had to say – if they wanted to speak with integrity – “I don’t know where the world came from.”

By openly expressing their lack of certainty, parents not only acted with honesty and integrity, but also stimulated their children to pursue a truth that was admittedly absent from their world.

Alas, we suffer similar difficulties today, but about a far more important topic. The religious basis for ethics has fallen away from us, and we lack any credible or accepted theory to replace it. For a time, patriotism and allegiance to culture had some power to convince children that their elders knew something objective about ethics, but as government and military corruption have become increasingly evident, allegiance to a country, a state or a military ethos has become an increasingly fragile basis for ethical absolutes. Even our cherished theories about the virtues of democracy have come under increasing pressure, as gargantuan governments continue to separate themselves from the wishes of their citizens and act in a virtual “state of nature.”

Religious explanations of virtue have failed not just because we no longer believe in God, but also because it is now completely self-evident that when most people refer to “truth,” they are really referring to culture.[...]

Too Harsh?

I have often been accused of being too harsh on parents. “Parents do the best they can under difficult circumstances; you cannot judge the practical instructions of parents according to some abstract and absolute philosophical standard. My parents were not philosophers – they were simply telling me the truth that they believed, that they thought was accurate.”

The wonderful thing about applying philosophical concepts to our own lives is that theories are very easy to test. Discussing a philosophical theory about the causes of the decline of the Roman Empire is a largely theoretical exercise, since we cannot go back in time and test it.

Theories about our families, however, are very easy to test, assuming that we have access to the relevant family members.

It is my firm belief that most human beings are absolutely brilliant. I have come to this conclusion after decades of studying philosophy and having the most amazing conversations with countless people. I am now certain that parents know exactly what they are doing – and a relatively simple test can prove this to the satisfaction of any rational person.

A Practical Exercise

Sit down with your parents and ask them what the capital of Madagascar is – or some other piece of trivia that they are unlikely to know. They will very likely smile, shake their heads and say, “I don’t know.” They will not avoid the question. They will be more than happy to help you look it up. It will be a trivial fact-finding interaction.

After you have established what the capital of Madagascar is, ask them: “What is goodness?”

I absolutely guarantee you that there will be an instant chill in the room – there will be an enormous amount of tension, and your parents – and probably you – will feel a very strong desire to change the subject, or drop the question.

Why is that? Why is it that when you ask your parents to explain what goodness is, the tension in the room spikes dramatically?

Well, for the same reason that Socrates was introduced to a grim libation called hemlock.

There is terror in the face of the question “What is goodness?” because authority figures claim the right to tell us what to do based on their superior knowledge. If we decide to learn karate, we submit ourselves to the judgment and instruction of somebody who is an expert in karate. If we become ill, we submit our judgment to a doctor, an expert in the field. In other words, when we lack knowledge, we defer to those who claim greater knowledge.

Our parents claimed the right to instruct us on good and bad based on their great knowledge of ethics, not based on their power as parents. Our fathers did not say to us: “Obey me or I will beat you.” Although that terrible sentence might have come out of their mouths at some point, the basis of their ethics was that we owed them obedience as a just debt, and thus could be punished for failing to provide it. “Honour thy father and thy mother” is a staple of moral instruction the world over, both religious and secular. However, the honour that we are supposed to bestow upon our parents must be based upon their superior knowledge and practice of virtue – otherwise the word “honour” would make no sense. If we were thrown in jail, we would obey the prison guards because they held power over us, not because we “honoured” them. If a mugger presses a knife to our ribs, we hand him our wallet – obey his wishes – not because we honour him, but because he has the power to harm us.

By using the word “honour,” parents are claiming that we owe them allegiance due to their superior knowledge and practice of virtue.

Currently, the foundational “ethic” of the family – the entire basis for the authority of adults – is that parents know right from wrong, and children do not. Metaphorically, the parents are the doctors, and the children are the patients. Parents claim the authority to tell their children what to do for the same reason that doctors claim the authority to tell their patients what to do – the superior knowledge of the former, and the relative ignorance of the latter.

If you are unwell, and put yourself in the care of a doctor, and follow his instructions, but find that you do not get better – but in fact seem to get worse – it would be wise to sit down with that doctor and review his abilities – particularly if you cannot change physicians for some reason. Since following his instructions is making you worse, you must ask: “Why should I follow your instructions?”

It would be logical to begin by asking the doctor to confirm his actual credentials. Then, you might continue by asking what his definition of health is, to make sure that you were both on the same page. Then, you would continue to drill down to more specific questions about the nature of your illness, the nature of his knowledge of the human body, and his understanding of your ailments and the methodology by which he came up with your cure.

This is the conversation that you must have with your parents regarding the nature of virtue and their knowledge of it. Your parents were the moral doctors of your being while you were growing up – if, as an adult, you are happy and healthy, full of joy and engaged in deep and meaningful relationships, it is still worthwhile to examine the knowledge of your parents, since you may have children in time, and will yourself become a “doctor” to them.

If, however, you are not happy and fulfilled as an adult, then it is essential that you examine your parents’ ethical knowledge. If your health regimen has been established by a quack who has no idea what he is doing, you will never be healthy as long as you follow his instructions, since one can never randomly arrive at the truth.

If a madman passes himself off as a doctor, when a patient asks for his credentials, he will smile, spread his hands, and say, “Well of course I don’t have any!” His openness about his lack of knowledge and credentials establishes his relative innocence.

However, when the patient asks for a doctor’s credentials, if the doctor evades the question, or becomes hostile, or dismissive, then clearly the “doctor” is fully aware of what he is doing at some level. A man who commits a murder in a police station may claim insanity; a man who murders in secret and then hides the body has the capacity for rationality, if not virtue, and thus cannot claim to be mad.

The fact that your parents will do almost anything to avoid the question “What is goodness?” is the most revealing piece of knowledge that you can possess. It is the fact that blows the cage of culture wide open. It is the horrifying knowledge that will set you free.

You will not just benefit from examining your parents. You can also sit down with your priest, and examine him with regards to the nature of the existence of God (this is a useful conversation to have with religious parents as well). If you are persistent, and do your research in advance, you will very quickly discover that your priest also has no certain knowledge about the existence of God – and will become very uncomfortable and/or aggressive if you persist, which you should.

Is it wrong for a priest to say that he only believes in God because he “has a feeling”? In terms of truth, not exactly – in terms of integrity, absolutely.

The fundamental problem is not that the priest claims the emotional irrationality of “faith” as his justification for his belief in God, but rather that the existence of God was presented to you as an objective fact, and also that you were not allowed the same criteria for “knowledge.”

These two facets of the falsehoods you were told as a child are essential to your liberation as an adult.

Fiction as Facts

[...]A counterfeiter necessarily respects the value of real money, since he does not spend his time and energies creating exact replicas of Monopoly banknotes. The counterfeiter wishes to accurately reproduce real money because he knows that real money has value – he wishes his reproduction to be as accurate as possible because he knows that his fake money does not have value.

Similarly, parents present their opinions as facts because they know that objective facts have more power and validity than mere opinion. A “doctor” who fakes his own credentials does so because he knows credentials have the power to create credibility.

Recognizing the power of truth – and using that power to reinforce lies – is abominably corrupt. A man who presents his opinions as facts does so because he recognizes the value of facts. Using the credibility of “truth” to make falsehoods more plausible simultaneously affirms and denies the value of honesty and integrity. It is a fundamental logical contradiction in theory, and almost unbearably hypocritical in practice.

Thus it always happens that when grown children begin to examine their elders, they rapidly discover that those elders do not in fact know what they claimed to know – but knew enough about the value of the truth to present their subjective opinions as objective knowledge. This hypocritical crime far outstrips the abuses of mere counterfeiting, or the faking of credentials, because adults can protect themselves against false currency and fake diplomas.

Children have no such defences.[...]

Is Ignorance Hypocrisy?

The argument is often made that parents are not aware of all the complexities of their own hypocrisies, and thus are not morally responsible for their inconsistencies.

Fortunately, there is no need for us to rely on mere theory to establish the truth of this proposition.

If I tell you to take Highway 101 to get to your destination, and it turns out that this takes you in the exact opposite direction, what would be a rational response if I were truly ignorant of the fact that I was giving you really bad directions?

Well, I would first insist that they were the correct directions, since I genuinely believe that they are. However, when you sat me down with a map and pointed out exactly why my directions were so bad, I would see the truth, apologize profusely, and openly promise never to give out bad directions again – and buy a whole bunch of maps to boot, and spend some significant amount of time studying them.

However, if I got angry the moment that you brought up that I had sent you in the wrong direction, and refused to look at any maps, and refused to admit that I was wrong, and kept changing the subject, and kept distracting you with emotional tricks, and got more and more upset, and refused to tell you how I came up with my directions – and ended up storming out of the room, you may be unsure of many things, but you would not be unsure of one thing at least.

You would no longer imagine that I was ever interested in giving good directions.

In the realm of the parent-child relationship, this realization comes as a profound and terrible shock. This realization lands like a nuclear blast over a shantytown, radiating out in waves of destruction, smashing down the assumptions you have about all of your existing relationships.

The moment you realize that your parents, priests, teachers, politicians – your elders in general – only used morality to control you, to subjugate you – as a tool of abuse – your life will never be the same again.

The terrifying fact that your elders knew the power of virtue, but used that power to control, corrupt, bully and exploit you, reveals the genuine sadism that lies at the core of culture – it reveals the awful “cult” in culture.

A doctor who fakes his credentials is bad enough – how would any sane person judge a doctor who studies the human body not to heal it, but to more effectively cause pain?

A fraud is still better than a sadist.

What can we say, then, about parents and other authority figures who know all there is to know about the power and effectiveness of using moral arguments to control the actions and thoughts of children – who respect the power of virtue – and then use that power to destroy any capacity for moral integrity in their children?

In movies, terrorists almost invariably kidnap the wife or child of the hero in order to enforce his compliance with their wishes. His virtues – love and loyalty – are thus turned into the service of evil. The better he is, the worse he must act. The more he loves virtue, the more he is controlled by evil.

And thus do the best become the worst.

And thus are children raised.

And this was your instruction.


The Contradictory Appeal

When your father says, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” he is invoking both a principle and a person. The principle is that all mothers and fathers are honourable, and so deserving of respect. The person that he is invoking is himself and your mother specifically – thy mother and father.

Logically, this makes no sense.

Saying, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” is like saying, “Honour all the women who are my wife.” If I must honour all women, then I will automatically honour your wife, since she is a woman. If I must honour your wife, then there is no point saying that I must honour her as a woman, because that would involve honouring all women again. It’s one or the other.

If you must honour the category “father” and “mother,” then you must respect all mothers and fathers equally. Showing preference for your own parents would be unjust.

If you must show preference for your own mother and father, then the category of “mother” and “father” is irrelevant. It must be for some other reason, then, that you should honour these particular individuals.

If you should bestow honour upon your mother and father as individuals, and for no objective principle, then what is really being demanded is not honour, but obedience towards individuals in the guise of honour as a principle.

This basic logical contradiction, while complicated to discuss syllogistically, is something that every child instinctually understands. When our mother demands that we respect her, do we not feel contempt, frustration and despair? Demanding respect is like demanding love, or hijacking an aircraft. It is commanding a destination, rather than respecting the free choices of individuals.

We cannot imagine someone hijacking an aircraft on its way to Vladivostok and demanding, “Take me to Vladivostok!” People hijack planes because the plane is not going where they want to go.


The Open Cage…

I’d like you to imagine a man standing in the middle of a large meadow. You spend some time watching this man, and it doesn’t take you very long to notice that he paces back and forth in a small square, about 10 feet on either side. That’s all. Just 10 feet.

After a few hours of watching him do this, you walk up to him. When you reach forward to shake his hand, however, your fingers are burned by a strong electrical shock from an invisible barrier.

Startled – and hurt – you cry out. The man looks up.

“What’s the matter?” he asks.

“I just ran into this invisible wall which gave me a hell of a shock!” you cry.

He frowns. “I didn’t see anything.”

You blink. “Really? You’ve never heard or seen or felt this invisible barrier?”

He shakes his head slowly. “What invisible barrier?”

“The one that surrounds you – the one that keeps you penned in this little 10 foot square!”

“What little 10 foot square?” he demands. “There’s no little 10 foot square! I can go wherever the hell I want!”

“No you can’t!”

“Who the hell are you to tell me where I can and cannot go? I decide that!”

“I’m not telling you where you can and cannot go – I’m just telling you what you are actually doing!”

“What on earth are you talking about?”

“Well, I’ve been watching you for the past few hours, and you’re standing in the middle of this great big meadow, and yet all you do is pace back and forth 10 feet.”

“I can go anywhere I damn well please!” the man repeats angrily.

“You say that, but all you do is pace around and around in a little 10 foot square! If you can go anywhere you please, why don’t you just try taking one extra step?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he growls. “Now get the hell off my damn property!”

“Wait – I can show you!” You reach down and pick up some grass. You throw it towards the man. A few feet away from his face, the blades of grass burst into flame and evaporate. You do this several times, proving definitively that there is in fact an invisible force field that surrounds him, roughly 10 feet by 10 feet.

“Do you see?” you ask eagerly. “Do you see that you are in an invisible cage?”

“Get the hell off my property, you madman!” he cries, shaking with rage.

“But you must know that you are in an invisible cage,” you cry out. “You must know that, because you never try to go outside these walls. You must have at one time tried to break free of this cage, and were burned by the electric shock, which is why you never take more than a few steps before turning around! Don’t you see?”

He pulls out a gun, screams that he has a principle of shooting trespassers, and, quite sensibly, you run away.

This is the great paradox of attempting to teach people what they already know. Everybody claims complete freedom, but paces back and forth, trapped in a little square. Everyone is surrounded by the invisible cages of culture and mythology, and denies it completely. The evidence of these cages is very clear, because people always turn back just before they hit them. But then they deny that these cages exist.

Everybody acts as if they are perfectly free, and perfectly enslaved at the same time. Nobody admits to being in a prison, but everyone shuffles around in an invisible 10 x 10 cell.

In the same way, everyone tells you that they are free, but in fact everyone is trapped in little tiny cells of allowable conversation. Everybody tells you they love you, but strenuously avoids talking about what love is, or what about you they love.

Everyone tells you to be good, but they have no idea what goodness is – and will savage you for even having the temerity to ask the question.

Everybody talks about the truth, but the real truth is that nobody can talk about the truth – what it is, how it is defined, how it is verified, and its value.


If the man in the meadow were put into his cage when he was a toddler, he would have discovered the limits of his confinement – painfully – when he was very young. It is entirely conceivable that he would end up just avoiding his invisible prison bars, to retain his illusion of freedom, and repress the pain of imprisonment. If you cannot escape your prison, then you might as well imagine that you’re free.

The man is not responsible for being put in the cage when he was a toddler, and he is not responsible for his resulting repression, and he is not responsible for not testing the bars of his cage, but instead turning away before he touches them.

There are two things, however, that he is responsible for.

The first thing that he is responsible for denying is clear and tangible evidence that contradicts his belief. There are two primary pieces of evidence: the grass that bursts into flame, and the fact that although he says he is free, he never takes more than a few steps in any direction before turning around.

The second thing that he is responsible for is shutting down the conversation when it makes him uncomfortable.

The essence of wisdom is learning the value of “staying in the conversation,” even when it makes you uncomfortable.

Especially when it makes you uncomfortable.

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