Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Things will never change, politically, until Statism is viewed as a "religious belief"

  1. #1

    Default Things will never change, politically, until Statism is viewed as a "religious belief"

    I've been thinking for some time about how the State, and its followers, are psychologically able to carry out varies forms of violence day in and day out. The only equivalency are the irrational actions of religious extremists. Since logic is not used in the mental preparations needed for a religious extremist to carry out various forms of violence across the world and throughout time, neither do the ruling classes. The ruling classes use the same sort of mental gymnastics, or BELIEFS IN SUPERIORITY, to carry out various crimes against humanity. But until the rest of the world learns that Statism in itself is a RELIGIOUS BELIEF, nothing is going to change politically. The various political parties are nothing more than the various factions within a given religion, i.e. Catholic vs Lutheran, etc. The existence of an underlying belief that is neither based upon reason or evidence is what gives Statism its power. In order to correct a problem, we must first properly educate ourselves about the true nature of the problem. If you don't agree with a certain religion, you wouldn't try to work from within it to change it or end it. You would call it for it what it is, ignore it and then go about your business. Political conventions are nothing more than mega-churches with a preacher at the helm. Statism, at any level, is veiled religion.
    Last edited by RCA; 07-27-2012 at 12:25 AM.



  2. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  3. #2

    Default

    I'm gonna get this out of the way and say that, yes, I am a Christian. I've read the Bible, most of the Apocrypha, and a few other assorted texts.

    Having said this, there are a few points I need to make.

    Whether we're dealing with religion or government, let's think about to our evolutionary history as a species. Let's imagine a village of primitive humans, sitting around a fire, maybe 50,000 years ago. Somewhere along the line, humans (along with most other mammals) learned to organize themselves into a hierarchical system with the alpha male on top.
    (Make a note of this because it's important)
    In time, schmoozing up to the alpha male granted other males the privilege to do things they couldn't get away with by themselves. Having the biggest, fastest, and the strongest member of the tribe backing you in a fight can have its advantages. It also grants easy access to females, who already flock to the alpha male. With this in mind, let's hop in the proverbial time machine and travel to around 10,000 years ago. Civilization is in its infancy. But the specter of generations gone by remains. Religion, as an institution, set itself up in a manner similar to tribes of yester-millenium. But who's the alpha male? It's none other than the supreme deity. God, Zeus, Jupiter, etc. If you're a human, being on God's good side is the ultimate ace in the hole. After all, who better to have your back than the Creator of Everything!? But just as citizens today fight to the death over which nation's ideals are greatest, so too did people fight over whose God was greatest.

    And this brings me to my final point. Individuals who claim that ending religion will somehow improve the lot of humanity are lying to themselves. Statism predates religion. It is the foundation of all religious belief. Statism is the original ideology. So, to the OP I commend you for your analysis. But the point I must emphasize is that statism isn't just a religion; it appeals to an even deeper fear of the human psyche. Fears that are millennia-old. Fears that will never die until fear, itself, is conquered.
    Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. -James Madison

  4. #3

    Default

    Your historical analysis does shed needed light on the origins of Statism. However, in order to solve the current problem of State violence, we need to alter our way of viewing Statism. The fact that Statism is a BELIEF system (and the alpha-male concept is also a belief system) rooted not in fact, or even fairness, but illusion and deception makes it akin to religion. And I'm not trying to attack any specific religion in this analysis, I'm merely pointed out the similarities with violence caused by religious extremists and those at the controls of the State. In other words, any political problem we face today: taxes, murders, privacy, etc. can all be traced back to the psychology of the wrong doers.
    Last edited by RCA; 07-27-2012 at 01:26 AM.

  5. #4

    Default

    Having just finished reading Brave New World, Farenheit 451, and 1984 all back to back, I have to disagree. Statism is incredibly logical. When you want to seize power, absolute power, which is best defined as the ability to inflict torture and death on anyone you want, whenever you want, then statism is the perfect answer. It focuses all power into the hands of a select few, if not into one person. It provides a system of philosophy that justifies its actions. It provides the means to seize power, and to use it. Some of its forms may seem religious, charismatic leaders and such. But those aren't strictly religious conventions, but rather conventions common to all social movements, religious, political, or otherwise. I think Orwell really explains the cold, hard, pure logic of statism well in 1984 when O'Brien explains why the Party seeks power and why it does what it does.
    “Maybe I forgot to mention something to you: I don’t believe in queens. You think freedom is something you can give and take on a whim. But to your people, freedom is as essential as air. And without it, there is no life. There is only darkness.” -Zaheer

    "A man chooses. A slave obeys."-Andrew Ryan

    "There are three things the parasite hates: free markets, free will, and free men."-Andrew Ryan

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PierzStyx View Post
    Having just finished reading Brave New World, Farenheit 451, and 1984 all back to back, I have to disagree. Statism is incredibly logical. When you want to seize power, absolute power, which is best defined as the ability to inflict torture and death on anyone you want, whenever you want, then statism is the perfect answer. It focuses all power into the hands of a select few, if not into one person. It provides a system of philosophy that justifies its actions. It provides the means to seize power, and to use it. Some of its forms may seem religious, charismatic leaders and such. But those aren't strictly religious conventions, but rather conventions common to all social movements, religious, political, or otherwise. I think Orwell really explains the cold, hard, pure logic of statism well in 1984 when O'Brien explains why the Party seeks power and why it does what it does.
    Those are all great books, but keep in mind that Statism is defined as a monopoly on the use of force. While Statism is LOGICAL TO THOSE IN POWER, it's highly psychotic in the same way serial killers use "logic" for their crimes and the same with religious fanatics. The religious aspects of Statism comes from not only those in power who BELIEVE they are in some way superiors, alphas, masons, or whatever, to justify their behavior, but also the blind "faith" of the followers of the ones in power. Orwell does great at illustrating the detrimental aspects of Statism as a whole, but he does very little in the way of first defining what Statism is and then giving logical ways to solve the problem.

  7. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Madison View Post
    And this brings me to my final point. Individuals who claim that ending religion will somehow improve the lot of humanity are lying to themselves. Statism predates religion. It is the foundation of all religious belief. Statism is the original ideology. So, to the OP I commend you for your analysis. But the point I must emphasize is that statism isn't just a religion; it appeals to an even deeper fear of the human psyche. Fears that are millennia-old. Fears that will never die until fear, itself, is conquered.
    I agree, because the absence of a state would not mean an absence of hierarchy--if it is a natural human tendency, then a hierarchy would still likely develop, in some shape or form. Some kind of elite or aristocratic class would still develop. They would just have to work harder to compete and defend their status, or else lose it to another. So elites would be more subject to change over time, as they would not have the vast state apparatus to use to protect their position in society, at the expense of others who might be naturally stronger or better skilled.

    Now the thing with religion, there is a view that it was precisely because of the emergence of a strong religious institution/church in Western Europe, competing for power directly with the state, that gave rise to classical liberalism and the idea of individuals being separate from the state-- of there being a separate sphere outside of the state, and something "higher" than even the kings. In contrast, in societies where religious institutions were blended into the state, or under state control, such ideas did not easily take hold. This is why totalitarian states tend to fight to either suppress religion, or control it.

    So I think maybe, it's not so much that the state is a religion, but that states will use religions and religious-like belief systems as a means to control and justify state authority. Which is why in modern social democracies, we see the emergence of secular humanism, environmentalism, and science (or scientism) being given a sort of religious-like veneer. So states always seem to have some sort of auxiliary.

    If you really boil it down, sure, the state is like a religion in the sense that it is an idea--a conception. People can have illogical faith and reverence for ideas.
    Last edited by July; 07-28-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  8. #7

    Default

    This. Not much else to add.

    Conquer fear and statism dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Madison View Post
    I'm gonna get this out of the way and say that, yes, I am a Christian. I've read the Bible, most of the Apocrypha, and a few other assorted texts.

    Having said this, there are a few points I need to make.

    Whether we're dealing with religion or government, let's think about to our evolutionary history as a species. Let's imagine a village of primitive humans, sitting around a fire, maybe 50,000 years ago. Somewhere along the line, humans (along with most other mammals) learned to organize themselves into a hierarchical system with the alpha male on top.
    (Make a note of this because it's important)
    In time, schmoozing up to the alpha male granted other males the privilege to do things they couldn't get away with by themselves. Having the biggest, fastest, and the strongest member of the tribe backing you in a fight can have its advantages. It also grants easy access to females, who already flock to the alpha male. With this in mind, let's hop in the proverbial time machine and travel to around 10,000 years ago. Civilization is in its infancy. But the specter of generations gone by remains. Religion, as an institution, set itself up in a manner similar to tribes of yester-millenium. But who's the alpha male? It's none other than the supreme deity. God, Zeus, Jupiter, etc. If you're a human, being on God's good side is the ultimate ace in the hole. After all, who better to have your back than the Creator of Everything!? But just as citizens today fight to the death over which nation's ideals are greatest, so too did people fight over whose God was greatest.

    And this brings me to my final point. Individuals who claim that ending religion will somehow improve the lot of humanity are lying to themselves. Statism predates religion. It is the foundation of all religious belief. Statism is the original ideology. So, to the OP I commend you for your analysis. But the point I must emphasize is that statism isn't just a religion; it appeals to an even deeper fear of the human psyche. Fears that are millennia-old. Fears that will never die until fear, itself, is conquered.

  9. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    Conquer fear and statism dies.
    Pretty much. Which just so happens to be the objective of a lot of religions--to explain and eliminate suffering and teach how to obtain salvation, enlightenment, peace, etc. So no wonder states fight to mimic, suppress, merge with, or control religions.

  10. #9

    Default

    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by July View Post
    Pretty much. Which just so happens to be the objective of a lot of religions--to explain and eliminate suffering and teach how to obtain salvation, enlightenment, peace, etc. So no wonder states fight to mimic, suppress, merge with, or control religions.

  11. #10

    Default

    You're pretty much correct RCA.

    Telling someone they shouldn't believe in statism because it's a religion, is just telling them their beliefs are illusions. Yes, it's correct, but you have to get people to see why it's an illusion. I guess you just started the OP because you had an epiphany, not because the OP is a good way to convince someone.

    Keep learning, keep teaching, and keep learning how to teach.

  12. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Madison View Post

    And this brings me to my final point. Individuals who claim that ending religion will somehow improve the lot of humanity are lying to themselves. Statism predates religion. It is the foundation of all religious belief. Statism is the original ideology. So, to the OP I commend you for your analysis. But the point I must emphasize is that statism isn't just a religion; it appeals to an even deeper fear of the human psyche. Fears that are millennia-old. Fears that will never die until fear, itself, is conquered.
    The bolded is false. Religion is older than 6,000 years old. Religion has been proven via anthropology to predate the state by far. Only 3% of human civilization (roads, trade, voluntary govt, defense, law) has had a state...the other 194,000 years was stateless. Religion invented states, and when religion was decentralized and became more voluntary (against its will) in the Enlightenment (a 2-3 century process), the state took over as the most dominate and tyrannical institution. Before that no nation-state had leaders not first sanctioned by religions.

    Also, statism is a religion...civil religion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_civil_religion

    The American Revolution was the main source of civil religion. It produced a Moses-like leader (George Washington), prophets (Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine), apostles (John Adams, Benjamin Franklin) and martyrs (Boston Massacre, Nathan Hale), as well as devils (Benedict Arnold), sacred places (Valley Forge), rituals (raising the Liberty Tree), flags (the Betsy Ross flag), sacred holidays (July 4) and a holy scripture (The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution).[14]
    The pledge is a prayer, the anthem is a hymn, the flag is the cross. It goes on and on.

    BTW, I'm not an atheist. But religion is found in caveman culture...the state, even Empires and Dynastic society, before nation-states, was not in existence for the vast majority of human civilization, let alone pre-civilization. Locke and Hobbes were wrong (it wasn't their fault, they didn't have the benefit of modern discoveries in anthropology).
    Last edited by ProIndividual; 08-18-2012 at 06:56 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post

    Yes, I want to force consumers to buy trampolines, popcorn, environmental protection and national defense whether or not they really demand them. And I definitely want to outlaw all alternatives. Nobody should be allowed to compete with the state. Private security companies, private healthcare, private package delivery, private education, private disaster relief, private militias...should all be outlawed.
    ^Minimalist state socialism (minarchy) taken to its logical conclusions; communism.

  13. #12

    Default

    This short-take has Dr. Farrell - an Oxford scholar with a Ph.D. in Religious History called "Patristics." Here he is discussing various apocalyptic and redemptive scenarios on the human stage and how - underneath - they are all basically the same meme. This is true whether one is discussing the Yahwehist fundamentalisms or communism, or even evangelical extremes.

    Here also he calls upon the religious, political, and financial elites around the world to recognize the unique nature of the current period. He stresses that the current period has no parallel in modern time - including the rise and fall of the Roman Empire or the Renaissance or Reformation, and indeed that one must return to the Tower of Babel moment to find as significant a period in human history as the current time.

    Dr. Farrell urges us to consider the opportunity in these times for transformation in a positive sense. He also urges political elites to understand that "old" practices are counterproductive and that memes and manipulations no longer function as they once did.

    Interesting 20 minutes of discussion. Perhaps not for everyone but I found it interesting at the very least. Only because...well...things are changing. Folks just don't see it where it really counts. And perhaps that's the beauty of it.

    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 08-28-2012 at 06:41 AM.

  14. #13

    Default

    bump
    The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

  15. #14

    Default

    Things will never change, politically, until Statism is viewed as a "religious belief"
    Insofar as this statement (and the supporting text in the OP) conveys that Statism coming to be regarded as a "religious belief" would somehow operate to undermine Statism in any significant way, I must respectfully disagree.

    Even an open, explicit and universal admission and acknowledgement of Statism as a "religious belief" would of itself do nothing to impair the "faith" invested in the State.

    In fact, if anything, an explicitly "religious" conception of Statism might quite well serve to increase and strengthen the grip of Statism on peoples' minds ...






Similar Threads

  1. Bush, "There are like 10 things I would change in the Constitution..."
    By pao in forum 2016 Presidential Election: GOP & Dem
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 08-18-2015, 11:42 PM
  2. Bundy, Assange, Manning, and prog "principles." - "Do you see what statism does to you?"
    By Lucille in forum Political Philosophy & Government Policy
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-10-2014, 01:16 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-27-2012, 12:20 AM
  4. Top Ten Things That Won't "Change" Under Obama
    By escapinggreatly in forum Election 2008
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11-06-2008, 04:46 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •