A new interesting Pieter Stuurman's article on Power and Freedom.
The horrors of power
There is a search for 'culprits' almost everywhere. To dark, occult rulers who, behind the scenes, bend the world to their will, and aim to reduce the rest of humanity to an underclass of slaves serving them.
Blaming fingers are pointed at politicians, bankers and top people from the corporate world. In summary referred to as power elite. The criminal excesses of this elite are widely discussed. Rightly so.
Just read the Chronicle of Humanity and you can hardly see but that power an endless stream of misery has poured out upon that humanity since time immemorial. Wars, genocides, persecution, hunger, poverty are all symptoms of power and the hunger for power.
Since it is abundantly clear that all these horrors are the result of power, it is natural to blame the power elite. And that happens on a large scale.
What do rulers do?
No. They don't even move. They simply stay in their palace, villa or government building.
Yet stealing, killing, and other forms of deprivation of liberty are inseparable from power. All human history is full of it. Only, rulers don't do that self, but leave it others to do.
They sit where they are and leave the dirty work to their obedient tax officials, police officers, and soldiers. Tax officers, police officers and soldiers who are the prevailing norm among the population. Obedient individuals who are part of the same people who allow themselves to be oppressed and robbed by the ruler.
Those in power limit themselves to say things. And rulers therefore only have power when the things they say, believed to become. Only when those things are believed will people be willing to follow orders.
A ruler has power because he has the ability others to do the things he wants to do. He does nothing himself. At least, nothing else than say things.
In that sense, Hitler, for example, was not a criminal. He never shot or imprisoned anyone himself. It was the ones who made him believed and so he followed his orders which did so. It was the ones who were really willing to commit the crimes to be carried out, which gave Hitler power. Only by believing him and therefore following his orders.
Bankers have power only because we to believe that the money they make available has value. They do nothing but say that money has value, and because we believe it, we want that money and therefore it has value. And because they have control over money, they have control (and therefore power) over us. Not because of what they say, but because of what we to believe.
Strictly speaking, those in power do nothing criminal. They say only things. Things we believe. If we didn't believe them, they wouldn't have any power and so they wouldn't be ruler.
Ultimately it leads us to believe from the lies and untruths that the ruler tells, to our lack of freedom. After all, a lie only has an effect if that lie believed is going to be.
And that is exactly what rulers do. They say things. And with what they do, they kill or damage self no one. Others do.
So the only justification for imprisoning or killing rulers would be for what they did say. That we would find them it wrong say and that we think this is not allowed.
But that would mean that we believe that we should be free to say what we want, but those in power should not.
If we believe that those in power should be held accountable for what they say, then that should also apply to us. Then there would be someone must be the statements of all people (including yours and mine and rulers).
And that would someone to become the most powerful person in the world again. The existing rulers would lose all power. They would transfer that power completely to the controller because he then decides what they can or cannot say.
In other words: if we believe that freedom is a great good, then that should apply to everyone. Everyone must then be able to say what he wants. Otherwise, there would have to be someone who decides who can say what they want and who cannot. That would mean that everyone is dependent on them. And that everyone would then be unfree.
If we want freedom, then everyone must be able to say what they want. And whether what is said, believed become or not, is entirely up to those who believe it or not.
So rulers must, like us, have the freedom to say what they want. Their power does not consist what they say, but from us to believe of what they say. We (the believing non-rulers) are then the ones who actually carry out their wishes.
So they are not the orders that lead to the crimes and lack of freedoms, but it is to obey to those orders that lead to this.
The only way to finally stop the dire consequences of power that have plagued humanity for so long is to stop nurturing and sustaining that power, and only by stopping believing and obeying it.
Everyone is responsible for what he does himself. Because we (the non-rulers) are the ones who carry out what the ruler says (obey him), are we responsible for the results thereof. Not the ruler. That says just some. And in that he (just like you and me) is free.
Taking your own responsibility is therefore absolutely necessary for freedom. As long as we continue to believe that those in power are responsible for that, and point the finger of blame to them instead of ourselves, they have power. We thereby confirm that we believe that we dependent of them. And thus we create our own lack of freedom.
And whether we believe something or not, we are completely free to do so. Not until we to believe that we are unfree (if we believe that we must do what the ruler wants) we are really unfree. That is simply the result of our own beliefs and we are therefore responsible for it. Not the ruler.
Therefore you can say:
Non-freedom is nothing more than insufficient awareness of freedom
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