Power and Freedom

A new interesting Pieter Stuurman's article on Power and Freedom.

The horrors of power

Currently, there is a growing awareness among many people that we "may not be as free as we thought after all." In recent years, the number of alternative media on the Internet has grown significantly. And almost all of them have the concept freedom highly valuated.

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?

What is it that rulers to do, and that gives them power? What are they doing to force us to do the things that she want us to do? And so we can no longer do what we do self want to do?

Do they go through all the doors in the country with a gun to force everyone to do what they want under death threats? Do they shoot people who disobey? Do they take disobedient people out of their homes and then lock them up? Do they come to you and me to steal our belongings?

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 themselves never touch a weapon and never handcuff anyone personally.

To believe

Are we the problem and not the elite?

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.

Politicians only have power because we to believe what they say. Because we to believe that they represent us and that they take responsibility for us. That is why we continue to obey them and only for that reason do they actually have power over us. Not because of what they say, but because of what we to believe.
Do you have ideas or do ideas have you?

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.


In freedom we want to be able to say and do whatever we want, as long as we don't rob or kill (or otherwise harm) others.

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.


And with that we (the non-rulers) responsible and accountable for both the crimes (we after all, they carry out), as the power of the ruler, as our own lack of freedom.

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

Related articles and information:
-) pieterstuurman.blogspot.nl

48 thoughts on “Macht en Vrijheid”

  1. As far as I am concerned, the core of the above:

    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.

    What I realized a while ago is that 'the' 1% (which the Occupy movement is talking about among others) is actively supported by the approximately 10% below, the performers.
    For example, as a police officer you will suddenly realize that there are very strange things going on around Vaatstra, Demmink, rolodex, construction fraud, IRT affair and a whole series of other very suspicious cases.
    Or you are a journalist, know that the official 9/11 story is wrong but you are not allowed to write about it.
    As soon as enough people realize that they are being faked, screwed and nudged, then you hardly dare to go out on the street anymore, as part of that 10%?
    So you keep quiet and let things go ...
    It's up to bloggers to raise the issue.

    Interesting video in that regard:
    Ex CIA agent explains how to delete the elite

    1. Interesting video and good to hear that he thinks it is of the utmost importance that bloggers continue to raise these crimes. And it is exactly as he says if we were to use the money that is pumped into wars to make parts of arid land green again, using permaculture techniques, to roll out renewable energy and to give everyone access to high-speed internet. be a much nicer place. 

  2. @ Pieter

    Non-freedom is nothing more than insufficient awareness of freedom

    Theoretically, I agree with you, but from a practical point of view, disobeying people who can exercise violence or other forms of control over you has often serious disadvantages for your own survival. 

    Slavery or racial discrimination would never have ended without active resistance. Is the message of your story that as a Negro in the US and you felt unfree that was because of an insufficient sense of freedom? 

    Ultimately people take their survival into account to come up with a strategy for that survival and as long as you are allowed to live as a slave and if you strive for freedom you can afford this with your life ... Then from survival freedom as you describe it is not just some kind of realization or state of mind. Then that is something that, when we look at the past, is really something that must be fiercely fought for. Especially when there is a visible oppressor, as was the case with these people.

    I am curious how you view this and how you exactly mean your message. 

    1. @Douwe,
      As I already write in the article, it is not the rulers who force people to do something. The ones who actually carry out the compulsion are the obedient. They do this because they to believe that they have to do. They do this because they don't realize they are not can do. In other words, insufficient awareness of freedom.
      Slaves in America also suffered from the same problem. Relative to their slave drivers, they were in a great majority. If they wanted to, they could have simply stopped obeying at any time. But that realization was not there. Ultimately, they were slaves to their own belief that they were unfree.
      Fighting those in power is counterproductive because it confirms that the insurgent thinks  dependent to be of the ruler. And if he thinks so, then is he that. At most, the existing ruler is expelled, and then his place is immediately taken by a replacement. This does not change the situation of the oppressed.
      That is also what history teaches. No revolution has delivered the intended result (freedom for the people). Bad replacement of one ruler by another. The lack of freedom remained.
      Looking at history, slavery has never been abolished. There is simply a more efficient one management manent technique found and applied.
      Those in power do not force anyone to do anything. They have power because they succeed people make things believe. It is those who actually believe these things who give the ruler his power.
      So if we want to oppose power, we must oppose those who generate it. And those are the 'believers'. They give power to the ruler, and they are responsible and accountable for the consequences. Not the ruler.
      We find those 'believers' among the same people who must endure the horrors of power. Power that the tormented people generates themselves. Since she are the ones who do it, they are also the only ones who can stop it.
      The reason they don't stop doing this is because they don't realize they have the freedom to do so. Because she to think that they are powerless. While they are the only ones feeding power. ALL the power of the ruler comes from the people. So if we (the people) are fed up with our lack of freedom (and therefore the power of the ruler), then there is only one solution: stop feeding that power.
      The only reason people have to obey is because the majority of the people thinks to obey (lack of awareness of freedom). Not because the ruler enforces it. It does nothing at all. It stays where it is.
      So we are not unfree because of the ruler, but because of those who think they should obey the ruler. And they think that because they insufficient awareness of freedom to have.

  3. To come back to the slave and and the slave driver. You say:

    If they wanted to, they could have simply stopped obeying at any time. 

    That is true, but there was a consequence, namely being whipped or even killed. And history shows that this happened regularly. You seem to ignore that obedience is often physically forced by the oppressor and that when a group wants more freedom, the person who exercises power over them often steps up oppression to maintain their own position. After all, when the slave ran away, the settler suddenly had to pick the cotton himself. 

    Gandhi showed this beautifully, England said you must not win salt because that makes you independent of us. Gandhi then said bullshit and I am going to win salt en masse with the people themselves. However, these people were all happily beaten up by the English.  

    You get my point a little bit what I'm trying to make clear ... 

    By the way, that doesn't change your theoretical point, Gandhi also said that, after all, it is I who have the freedom over my life and if that costs me my life, I am willing to pay that price. But there is a survival aspect and a risk associated with a certain degree of freedom. 

    But to bring it to the Netherlands. If I no longer want to feed the monetary power I can choose to stop paying my mortgage eg like these people do: http://www.visionair.nl/politiek-en-maatschappij/nederland/nederlands-gezin-dacht-bankensystem-uit/ Maar Taking your freedom is often not entirely without risk, as these people who stop paying the mortgage do run the risk of being evicted from their homes. So again your freedom does not come naturally. It's something you have to fight yourself. And in this case, that fight is between the bank and these people. And in such a freedom struggle there are always risks because you have two parties with different goals that are not compatible with each other. 

    You seem in your play to ignore that confrontation where the interests of the “ruler” over the “power less”. Or not, am I just misunderstanding you?

      It is never the rulers who wield the whip (or any weapon whatsoever). It is always obedients who do this. They do this because they to think that they have to do this (not having enough sense of freedom).
      Those in power never use physical violence. It is always the obedient who do this and are therefore liable for it. So if someone needs to be 'fought over', it is the obedient. They are really to blame. Not the ruler. It does nothing. Which zegt only things.
      The obedient are the ones who actually perform the compulsion. And therefore be responsible and liable for the consequences thereof.
      It was the obedient English soldiers who beat up the people of India. They were responsible for that. Not the rulers.
      If you say to me: kill Kees! and I do that, who is then responsible for the death of Kees? You or me? The one who gives the order, or the one who carries it out?
      If many people carry out the assignments of one person, then one person has power. But that does not change the liability of the executors. The only reason that one person has so much power is because so many people obey him. And that is what they obey self.
      Indeed, as a loner, it is not good for your health to stop obedience. That can break you up badly.
      But that does not change the fact that the obedient are responsible for our lack of freedom. That we must obey only because the majority obey. So if you need to focus your resistance on something, it's on those who are causing the misery really cause: the obey, and not the ruler. It gets its power only from those who obey.
      When the majority stop obeying, the ruler has no power. His power consists solely of the obedience of the majority. That majority gives the ruler his power.
      That that majority will not stop obeying one two three seems likely. But that doesn't change the fact that that obedient majority (and only them) is responsible for all lack of freedom. And that there also the only one there is a possibility to change this.
      Power (and therefore lack of freedom) consists of nothing but obedience. It may be difficult to reverse that obedience of the majority. But just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's a good idea to focus on something where the root of the problem isn't.
      (That reminds me of an old joke:
      In the middle of the night a man is looking for something under a lamppost. A passer-by asks, "Have you lost something?"
      The searching man says: 'Yes, my bicycle key'.
      To which the other asks, "Where have you lost him?"
      “Thirty meters away, but I can't see anything there because it's pitch dark there”).

      1. Okay, I think we are in agreement about that, which is why I strongly believe in raising awareness and explaining to people as well as possible how our current economic system works and that it systematically works to the disadvantage of the participants' 90% because of, for example, interest. And that this system concentrates money in the top.

        And I understand that it is best to inform the police and the military about the current banking system? :-)

        In any case, I think it is useful that people take a good look at the work they do and that they look at it from the light of survival.

        1. Indeed, the only way to change is awareness. Information can help. But information and belief are sometimes at odds with each other :-).
          People are quite... Attached to their belief systems. Even if those belief systems spoil their own freedom and life.
          I summarize the piece in the last being with:
          Non-freedom is nothing more than insufficient awareness of freedom
          The only way to change this lack of freedom is: generating awareness of freedom.
          We are only unfree because we to think to be unfree.
          Therefore to think we must obey. And that is why we obey. And because we obey, the one to whom we obey gains power. And that is why we must obey.
          The thought: we are unfree, is thus a self-affirming thought.

        2. Yet again back to the slave driver and his slave. There the balance of power was direct. And that unequal balance of power is initially created and maintained by physical violence or the threat thereof. If the slave does not listen, his survival must believe in it. The slave then listens to the slave driver not because he believes he is not free but because he knows that if he does not do what he is told his life will become even more sad than it already is or even end. And then you make the rational choice based on your survival to work in the system anyway, because with that lack of freedom you still have more chances of survival than confronting the system with the points with which you actually do not agree.  

          In short, I therefore miss the factor of survival, and fear and physical pain in this story. Faith does play a role, but you need physical intimidation at some stage. 
          Watch this video again from The Liberty Academy from minute 3:30 you see that every society actually sets a kind of hierarchy and actually the same layers can always be distinguished. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HllnWwsLTW8&feature=share&list=PLNK_isA40yp2CR-6WDHrIPRIP5lDQYJs

          If you look at this almost standard pattern across times and cultures, you will see that the ruler often makes use of both. At the top you have the ruler then below that often a class that manipulates the thoughts of the masses, formerly religion, for example, now entertainment and mainstream media. At this level people's thoughts are controlled and if they believe what you want to be able to do, you don't have to physically control them. So I totally agree that making the common people believe falsehoods that are actually to their disadvantage is completely true. 

          But then you see in this pattern below these thoughts manipulate elite a physical control mechanism. And they work purely with physical intimidation and fear. The army, police, etc. are all part of this. Like if I can't manipulate your thoughts in such a way that you do what I want fine, but if you don't do what I want you will be physically punished with caning or whatever. Just look at Greece. When the people no longer believe the lies of the state and media, the riot police and police are deployed to physically suppress them.  

          And below there is often a kind of hierarchy in labor so that you play the working people who do everything against each other in a kind of class battle against each other.  

          I have the impression that your piece describes thought manipulation very well, but that by not also mentioning the physical control mechanism of violence and intimidation, you are presenting it a bit too rosy. 

          Just look at how a hierarchy is established in great apes, that is mainly through violence and the threat of it downwards. Man has not outgrown that either. It is the bullies who are willing to use physical violence against others who are often in charge in the schoolyard and later when people start to use their minds it is also important to check with faith but it always goes together. 

          Anyway, that's how I look at it. I think faith alone is only half the story. What I am particularly curious about is how the top above then maintains their position the royals and the bankers above it… do you have any idea. You won't be able to keep it up with faith alone. Wouldn't blackmail etc also play a major role there, etc.

        3. @ Douwe,
          Relationships of power are never direct because of the simple fact that power only exists when there are few rulers and many powerless. The more that relationship diverges, the more power the ruler has. That ruler is simply physically incapable of personally controlling all his subjects by force.
          So there is no direct relationship of power between ruler and slave. Only an indirect one. Just as there was no direct relationship of power between Hitler and the people in the concentration camps. In fact, I think Hitler never personally saw a concentration camp. It was the obedient clamp torturers who had the horrors on their conscience. They were the ones who did them. Not Hitler.
          Physical control of the slave is therefore never carried out by the ruler, but by those who obey him. And they themselves are part of the impotent people. They are the ones who DO it in the end. And who are therefore responsible for it.
          Of course, it is the current reality for us that disobedience leads to reprisals. And that fear keeps people in line. But that reality is maintained by the (obedient) people. Not by the ruler.
          It is not Beatrix who delivers the blows, or Rutte. It is the obedient police and tax officers who do that. And they are part of the same group of powerless as we are. It is the powerless who (by following the orders) keep the powerless powerless.

        4. That is not necessarily necessary, but that mechanism that the top monkey always has a means to enforce obedience over the monkey a step lower in the total pyramid is everywhere in that pyramid. That could be violence, bribery, the loss of the position, blackmail, something that some say child abuse comes into play among the elite. etc.

          In my opinion, leverage is always needed in addition to faith, in survival, so to speak. Faith alone is not enough. There must be a survival advantage to serve the ruler, or the monkey one step above you in the pyramid and / or there must be a survival disadvantage to disobey that monkey. And vice versa, you must be able to manipulate the monkeys below you in other ways in addition to believing you, in that they follow you. Often it is both, if you play your role well you will be rewarded, if you do not participate, your life or that of your loved ones will suffer a survival disadvantage. The caviar or the bullet so to speak. This is also discussed in detail in John Perkins' story of how he had to bribe the top people of governments in the third world. Join the system and you will earn billions and your children will receive the best education. Don't participate and we'll kill you or steal your country. Something that happened in Iran in 1953, among other things.

          And that is not just faith. That's harsh physical rewards or reprisals. And that system works on every layer and so you can enforce this via a number of layers as a ruler. That network is always under tension, by the way. If something is unhealthy, it is becoming a grand ape. Presidents and kings are on average far from the longest age. And the psychological pressure is enormous. Look at how a Mao and Stalin went down completely. Or a Bush and a Balkenende :-)  

          As far as I am concerned, this is just pure divide and conquer on a slightly more complex level as you see with monkeys (the monkeys that help the boss are allowed to eat earlier, etc.) but I see faith as one of many factors and not as the decisive factor . And in this article I get the idea from you that you see faith as the deciding factor and that is not the whole story in my opinion. Despite playing a hugely important role in the overall game. 

          But in the end it both comes down to total divide and conquer if I understand correctly, right?

          To then ask a little more constructive questions. ;)

          What in your opinion is the most effective to solve this? In your opinion, how can we most effectively break free from our current social, political, economic paradigm and transition to one that would better serve the survival of all people? 

          I personally think that many of those hierarchical control mechanisms are now very hard eroding away and as a result the whole pyramid structure will collapse. Also not bad at all, but I am curious how you personally think that we can take the positive steps for a better world as quickly as possible in practical terms. 

          I know that it is very difficult and it is always coffee grounds, but I am just curious if you have any ideas for that. 

        5. Put yourself in the place of someone who is at the top of the power pyramid. You are the top ruler.
          What do you to assert your power and maintain yourself?
          Do you threaten your direct reports with violence? Do you aim your gun at the top executives, the presidents you control?
          No. You don't touch a gun, you don't strike. You let them to believe that it is to their advantage to obey you. Only then will they execute your orders. And only because they actually do your orders do you have power over them. And that is why those top managers and presidents are also completely unfree. After all, they have to do exactly what you want.
          And those top managers and presidents do the same at the layer below them.
          So every layer has an interest in obeying the layer above it. Otherwise they will lose their position.
          But what matters is the people at the bottom of the pyramid of power. That is the layer that provides all the labor, and that makes everything that everyone wants to enjoy. That is the layer that produces everything and makes everything that has value. That is the real stake of the game. Who will have access to the value supplied by the people?
          That people is in the bottom layer of the pyramid and therefore has no position to lose. The only reason the people are willing to give up the proceeds of their labor is because they believe they are powerless.
          Once that people realizes that they are the only ones who deliver the value, and that they are in charge, there is no more reason to obey those who do nothing themselves but only give orders to take advantage of the value they receive. contributed nothing.
          So the only way to change is by generating that realization. Once that realization sets in, the power pyramid will collapse.

        6. You ask: Do you threaten your direct reports with violence? Do you aim your gun at the top executives, the presidents you control?

          If I have to believe John Perkins, it does idd. Presidents of countries were (and are?) Said literally, or you cooperate with us and then we reward you big. And otherwise you can say goodbye to your current position. If necessary, they were killed. He also cites concrete examples of this. Panama and the president of it, who he could not bribe and when he died in a very unfortunate helicopter accident or the like… it needs no further explanation, I think his successor was a lot more cooperative…

          So to answer your question yes there is certainly sometimes a direct threat of violence between these layers of the power pyramid, even lethal violence. Very high rewards and very high penalties. (You can also see in monkeys, or the challenger becomes the new alpha man and wins a lot, but if he fails it could take his life.)  
          -) Confessions of an economic hitman  

          You actually see the same story of the Economic Hitman confirmed in the story of John Pilger. He shows that the US has corrupted or simply deposed around 50 regimes around the world over the past century through direct murder at the top of the country or even a war against the country. Look at, for example, Iran where they put down a fully democratic regime in 1953.
          -) The War on Democracy 

          And finally, you also see that real bribery is very real as a means to faith. Especially from politicians. 
          -) Corruption explained by ex-lobbyist 

          Not for nothing that secret services are developing a whole range of mind control and power strategies. That goes much further than just faith. Also see these two articles.
          -) 100 years of mind control experiments
          Controls of the 1%

          Anyway I agree wholeheartedly that faith is a very important tool, but you will always have to have real leverage on survival to enforce obedience over the layer below you.

        7. Douwe,
          'What I am particularly curious about is how the top above will maintain their position with the royals and the bankers above it ...'
          That is the result of the pyramid structure of power. Every layer of the pyramid obeys the layer above it (except the top, which has no layer above it).
          Someone who is anywhere (except at the top) in the pyramid obeys the layer above and has power over the layer below. If he does not obey the layer above, he loses his position, and thus his power over the layer below.
          For example, a police officer has some power over the civilians, as long as he obeys his commander. That commander has power over the police officers as long as he obeys the regional chief. The regional chief has power over the commanders as long as he obeys the mayor. The mayor has power over the regional chiefs as long as he obeys the minister. The minister has power over the mayors as long as he obeys the royal family. The royal family has power over the ministers as long as it obeys its lender (the bankers).
          So in the end it is always the will of the top that seeps through this system to the bottom of the pyramid.
          So if the bankers want something, the royal family must obey to maintain its position. So the minister must obey the royal family. So the mayor must obey the minister, etc.
          Of course the bottom lament (the 'common' people) does not have a layer under it, and therefore cannot lose a position of power. That is why that people are kept in line under the claim of the loss of property and life.
          The real (physical) threat does not come from the top, but from the immediate layer above the people: police and civil servants. Those policemen and civil servants do this because they believe they would otherwise be screwed. They are threatened by their supervisors, and they do so because they believe they would otherwise be screwed. Those chefs are again threatened by their bosses because they believe… .. etc.
          The pyramid thus maintains itself. By believing it is necessary to follow orders. It is that belief that maintains this reality.

        8. Okay, this is very clear and now I also understand that the money system must be a centralized monopoly because that seems to be what eventually builds this whole pyramid because that law gives the bankers the power over all layers below them. Once you pull out that centralized monopoly you have nothing to motivate people to want to move in this pyramid hierarchy… Hmmm very interesting. Think a little longer about whether I understand all this correctly. It is actually so childishly simple in design ...

          By the way, your story here made me suddenly think again of a picture that passed by in the occupy movement a few weeks ago, I also included it in the article. :-) 

          And I have to admit that I am also part of this problem. But acknowledging a problem is the first step to solve it, they say. ;)

        9. You could then consider the money pyramid and the power pyramid (hierarchy) as globalized pyramid schemes. In which monopoly (also a game by the way with a bank with a monopoly on money creation with competition between players with winners and losers to get monopoly over as many streets as possible to catch money; very nice metaphor for the current capitalist system) of money creation is key and so ultimately it's all about trust. They are globalized belief systems or trust games in which we are all an actor.

  4. Scams also work this way: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oplichting Maybe those in power are the biggest scammers in existence. In any case, fraud seems to be very difficult under criminal law. After all, the victim often carries out the act himself and has done it of his own accord. Just show that you did this under the influence of someone else. That's the difficulty of showing it.
    The crook and the victim

    A scammer can take advantage of various human weaknesses. These can be bad qualities such as vanity, dishonesty, carelessness, or greed. However, the plan can also take advantage of such qualities as honesty, gullibility, pity, ignorance, loneliness, or falling in love. A scammer also often makes use of 'weak spots' in an organization. Creative individuals with less business qualities who are inclined to outsource all business-related activities are a rewarding target for a scammer.

    Intelligence has virtually nothing to do with this. Doubts are dismissed by the fraudster and explained away by the victim himself afterwards. Some victims continue to believe in the dream that the scammer told them, also against your better judgment. Sometimes even the crook believes (in part) in his own stories, such as with the mental illness pseudologia fantastica. For example, Charles Ponzi believed that his Ponzi fraud was only a temporary fix, and that he would eventually recoup all the money for his investors with a mega investment. Many health fraudsters condone their actions in a similar way: "One day their revolutionary treatment method will catch on and the medical profession will recognize them." While most scammers are obviously purely for financial gain, a pseudologia fantastica patient can come across as extra convincing, precisely because he believes in his own fantasy.

    The scammer is usually socially skilled, has already devised his plan in advance, and often executed dozens to hundreds of times. Usually speed and psychological pressure are used so that the victim does not have the opportunity to think or react appropriately. The victim only gets this chance once in his life, it is now or never and a decision must therefore be made immediately. Speed is critical in most scam plans.

  5. The big joke is that a pyramid scheme is also considered a form of scam. And that you could consider the current money system as a great pyramid scheme. Bankers would then be legal crooks who can be saved even if they are a systemic bank.  

    1. The only reason the money system pyramid scheme (because it indeed is) works is because we to believe what we are told, namely that money value has.
      That alone makes us want it all and willing to work for it. And that gives the owner of the system power over us. The power to actual to appropriate the underlying value (our labor).  
      Without us faith in the value of money, it would all be impossible.

      1. True, it is not called fiduciary money for nothing: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiduciair_geld
        Fiduciary money is money that does not derive its value from the matter from which it is made or that it represents (such as gold and silver coins), but from the confidence that it can be used to purchase goods and services. The word fiduciary is derived from the Latin word for trust.
        What should a cashless world look like?

        1. Could you also write a visionary article about what a moneyless and hierarchyless society might look like? And how to achieve this step by step? So that there will be a world that again values what has value.

        2. See "time trading a solution" (other article), or perhaps a world full of Venus projects.

  6. Pieter,
    All well and good, but the money system has indeed brought prosperity to the Netherlands.
    Money is certainly the lubricant of the economy.
    Are you proposing to trade independently of the system? Are you independent of the system but as poor as Job.
    Several monetary systems simply have to be set up. Interest tax should also be prohibited.

    1. Whether the money system brings prosperity depends entirely on the owners of that money system.
      And of course they ensured that the money system initially brought prosperity. Otherwise we would never have embraced that system and would never have become dependent on it.

  7. it will be my stupidity, I think, but Mr. Stuurman's argument does not cross my mind, even with his '100 times' repetition of the same thing.
    For me, power has nothing to do with faith, but with sanctions, reprisals, retaliation. Does that word occur anywhere in his argument?
    When our soldiers had to go to the Indies, they did not go because they believed in something, but because they themselves were shot if they did not go. That's how it went with the Krauts in the war. This is also the case with my tax form: not well done? then claps! On the road; unnecessary honking? Key-key: € 340 fine, agree or disagree.
    I lacked the slightest military sense, I was once told. I believed that too. Yet sometimes I had to participate in exercise; the dumbest form of conditioning I've experienced in my life. When I then turned after 5 times to the right and 4 times to the left from the flank ars, just continued to the vreetschu… excuse me restaurant, they started acting crazy at me.
    Fortunately our captain was a spiech graduate, otherwise I would have had to eat bread with nails often in prison, I assure you. So sanctions.
    And that those sanctions are carried out by the 10% below the 1% is also because they are paid for them and not because they believe in something.
    And if they don't do their job (they might be too stupid for something else [construction?]), They don't get their money themselves; so sanctions.
    You know, because I Believe in good and evil (not everyone does that here, I know) and that the good will one day be rewarded (is nice) and the evil punished, (is not nice) ever sanctions so, I act for as good and evil as a Christian can. But joining an overconsumption society with the Grote Graaiers at the top has nothing to do for me at all with believing in it, but just with survival. Didn't Douwe already say something like that?
    “He that trusts in God, and keeps His laws, finds great reward in it,” says a psalm line. And so of course I have experienced it, because He makes no mistakes (He cannot even) So what tension could there be between my Faith and your information, suppose you are right? Nor do I attach to belief systems, but to Truth! (This includes, among other things, that the grass is green, the sky is blue, the water is thin, God is good and infinitely handsome (just look around you at creation!) and so many more things. What would my life and my freedom, which Christ fought for me, can spoil? (as I read)
    In the summary “that lack of freedom is nothing more than insufficient awareness of freedom”, I do not recognize anything from decades of daily life.
    That would be possible if I open the canary cage and the animal does not understand that he has the space to be free. But if I don't, the yellow animal will have no chance.
    So I cannot release myself from the tax through consciousness; if they put me in the cap, it doesn't get me to my imagination; the interest on my mortgage is not subject to my sense of freedom or freedom; ……… I really don't know a sensible example, do you?

    1. Yes, then you have to think of revolutions where you do not stand a chance on your own, then those words / things that you think have to do with power have no effect whatsoever.

    2. @ Ben bd db
      Who gives you that fine? Who comes to arrest you if you don't pay that fine? Is that Beatrix. Is that Prime Minister Rutte? No. They are obedient police officers who do that. And they do that because they believe they should.
      Who shot refusing soldiers? Was that Queen Wilhemina? No. It was obedient fellow soldiers who did that.
      Of course, it is the current reality that disobedience leads to reprisals. But that reality is maintained not by the ruler, but by the obedient people themselves.

  8. @ Plato: according to what I once taught, you are a very wise man, right?
    But your first statement strikes me because of the great improbability.
    I totally agree with your last 2 sentences! Let's keep promoting that!
    But for me money is also a wealth-bringer, but for the wrong group: for the parasites !! They do (almost) nothing else than just grab unjustified interest. The neat bank attendants aside!
    And at the top of the pyramid, where you are now talking about billions, a pair of % is already astronomical in the money warehouse.
    That money has to be generated by the real economy, that is to say, earning something from useful things.
    Money is worth infinitely less than grain to me. So shuffling money that is worthless in itself doesn't come close to growing grain or potatoes by my neighbor, in terms of social utility.
    Yet half of the economic profit comes from the 'earnings' of the banks, I recently read.
    Then I don't think: 'well done', but: badly played.
    That farmer and the rest of the manufacturing industry should have made double the money and thus paid the workers better wages and pay off their idiotic loans and buy out the greedy shareholders.
    My son-in-law has his own company; a contracting business. All around us we now see hundreds of contractors dying because of the debts. However, he does not have a penny in debt and is therefore almost invulnerable in this crisis. He could safely shut down his business for a year without any real damage. That is a solid basis for me.
    Due to the current money system, we are now breaking down with interest debts, which I also include interest on shares. This "lubricant" is nothing less than a usurious weed to me, isn't it?

  9. According to what I once taught, you are a very wise man, right?
    Oh well you have to fill in a Name, don't you, but I think you have more wisdom in terms of life experience alone.
    I totally agree with your last 2 sentences! Let's keep promoting that!
    Good proposal!
    Due to the current money system, we are now breaking down with interest debts, which I also include interest on shares. This "lubricant" is nothing less than a usurious weed to me, isn't it?
    I totally agree, therefore, as far as I am concerned, more lubricants should be introduced and indeed without interest / usury. I thought there are also several opinions / prohibitions in the bible about usury. In any case about greed for money Timothy 6 2b-21: For the root of all evil is the love of money, and that's true :-)

  10. If I look at it that way, there are still far too few people who read or take alternative news seriously. On which site do you see more than 100 responses? And those responses are not from 100 different people. Where is everyone I wonder when we are MILLIONS? (let alone billions around the world). Do people only read?

  11. in this context another beautiful piece of text:
    The Eternal Soldier
    Baudouin de Groot.
    He is small in stature and he is big and sturdy
    His weapons are made of steel and stone and wood
    He is thirty years old or more and he is only seventeen
    He is centuries old as a soldier

    He is a Muslim, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jew
    Catholic and Mennonite, Reformed
    And for a thousand years he's been killing me for you and you for me
    And yet he knows very well: killing is wrong

    He fights for Great Britain and for America
    He's fighting for Portugal and Pakistan
    And he fights for the Russians too, and he thinks while he fights
    That he can end war like that

    And he fights for communism and for the monarchy
    He says it is for the peace of every country
    He who has to decide who dies and lives on
    And yet he never sees the writing on the wall

    But if he hadn't been there, Hitler never had a chance
    Without him, Caesar would have just stood alone
    He makes himself a weapon to be used in battle
    And through him all that killing will continue

    He's the eternal soldier and he really is to blame
    His orders don't come from that far
    He gets them from here, from you and me
    We are its leaders
    In this way we will not end the war suffering

  12. @Peter Mate
    There will always be people who obey the Hitlers. Because the Hitlers know how to deceive the people. And if you only get critical mass, there is no stopping it. You can see this in Greece at the moment. An organization like the Golden Dawn jumps into the power vacuum that is there. Now Greece is a gnome from a military point of view, but when things like this happen in big countries, the turnips are done. When the critical mass is reached, opposition no longer makes sense. Anyone who opposes will be eliminated. Only gross violence is what remains, see WW2
    This is a simple principle that you can read hundreds of times in the first history book.
    So you are quite right that it is ultimately “the people” that decides. But if evil forces are not stopped at the beginning, there will be no stopping it in the end. The only remedy is to prevent a certain power from becoming too great. Power must be shared. But for this realization a certain national character is needed. In Russia we see that, after some hesitant democratic reforms, people have already quickly reverted to an authoritarian regime. the people apparently do not want anything else there, or it is in the national character if you like.

    1. @ Myself,
      It is completely correct what you say. That's the way it is in today's reality, and it has been that way for a long time.
      Those who long for more freedom therefore want one Others reality. And for that a different way of thinking is necessary.
      It is the manageable way of thinking (what you call the 'national character') that determines that reality (as you aptly sketched about Russia in the example). A different way of thinking therefore results in a different reality. And another reality is what people who long for more freedom want. So if we want more freedom, we will have to think differently than before.
      In addition: in order to stop 'evil forces' in the beginning, they must be recognized as such. And if they are recognized at that stage and it is clear that it is an 'evil force', why should you conform to it? If people don't conform to it, then that force cannot become power.

      1. Recognition of evil forces is a tricky issue. Because what I call an evil force is for another ideology. Or rather: often an evil force begins as an ideology or movement. Revolutions are often hijacked by others.
        In my opinion, we must transform that national character, that culture. Which fortunately in Western Europe is not as strong as in Russia. Our approach should be that ultimately every power corrupts to a greater or lesser extent. And so no power should dominate the public domain.

  13. @ Myself,
    I share your vision. In order for power to stop dominating it is necessary that we think differently about it. Only then will we conform to it less easily and that automatically means that less power can arise.
    Actually, that's (thinking differently) what I'm trying to do with the piece.

  14. what a nice discussion, with an author who continues to participate in the middle of the debate!
    Mr. Schuurman, I think I understand your meaning, if I now place within your expression 'believe' the evil powers you have mentioned, which you say must be stopped from recognition.
    You certainly do not blame me if I call "evil forces" lying spirits with evil intentions? Yes, you can start to believe in that and then it will go in the wrong direction, I also say.
    The point is that I Faith, hook up, always seek contact, with good, creative forces, of which I know and have experienced for a long time that their influence is beneficial on our thinking and acting and therefore also on the results.
    It is known here that I find that within the Christian faith.
    A problem then, I think, is that we (the Christians) know in Jesus that we have found our freedom and that here in the forum the idea prevails that we are locked up within our faith.
    The latter is not surprising, where in many churches there are oppressive obligatory cultures.
    But those cultures have nothing to do with Christ, I say. They were invented by people who themselves are hungry for power within the churches. (wrong)
    Yes, God's Word also teaches that if, let me say, we fall away from the good, we will fall into the sphere of influence of the evil, because we do not stay floating. (From 'lofty' thinking and acting we eventually fall into low lusts and greed.)
    And hopefully you will understand that we no longer count that as belief.
    That can turn out to be super religious, but that is a completely different chapter.
    Then I can't help thinking of all those poor, pathetic Muslims, those submissive ones! (to Sharia and such), as the word Islam means. Yes, that is then counted among the faiths.
    As a 'heretic' on this forum, I even count a lot what science should pass under belief.
    If I could give an example of the latter in terms of freedom, I would mention planning and urban development. Perhaps heavily off-topic here, but I have been able to study that for years outside of the universities along the edge of my construction trade study, where I would otherwise be heavily conditioned by the faculty leaders.
    Well through the literature, and I came to completely opposite conclusions from what was poured into the academies. Obviously, there is no living with that and I can be glad that 'missionaries' today are only 'eaten' in a figurative sense and 'prophets' thus 'stoned'.
    By the way, it remains my thesis that the cat, and also whatever I would like to call the stupid crowd for a while (not disparagingly), does not act badly out of religious conviction, but that usually still applies: 'for the sake of the grease, the cat licks the candlestick '.
    @ kindred spirit Plato: just closing your very last parenthesis should have been an opening parenthesis for me, resulting in a different face, because we are talking about a sad thing here.
    And while you already know that I am pretty worn out, I also dare to quote my late old father, who taught us: 'Whoever is rich would like to have a penny on the side. Anyone who is rich for a quarter wants to have another quarter. But those who are rich would like to have a tenner '. (a progressive series)
    How much more would the richest 1% want? 
    (which she has been doing great for decades too ?!) :-(

    1. Thank you for sharing your vision.
      Apparently I use a slightly different definition of the term 'believe'. In my definition it goes beyond belief in the 'higher', although there are also similarities. By believing, I mean taking an offered thought or statement. Like, for example, believing a statement made by a politician.
      The question I've asked myself is, is it necessary to base your own thoughts on what others say? Does believing in that meaning have any meaningful function at all? I perceive that in many cases this makes us vulnerable to untruths, to lies. After all, a lie only has an effect if that lie is believed.
      So the question is: is belief necessary or useful? Or rather (in relation to what we prefer, such as freedom or peace) counterproductive? Basing our thoughts on belief is a good idea?
      Human thought can only come about in two ways: by to believe (copying a thought or statement from another) or by perception (and form your own idea about it).
      The latter certainly does not exclude the 'higher'. To cite the Bible as an example, in this the God character says: "I am the Creator." But he also says: 'I am the All. I am All That Is'. He is thereby saying that he is not only the Creator, but also the Creation (All that is). So Creation is the Creator, and vice versa. It's the same thing.
      So that God is perceptible. Creation (everything there is) is constantly around us, and we are part of it ourselves. It IS (according to the Bible) that God. So you don't have to believe in that, you can just perceive that. By perceiving it, you make it knowledge along. So by observing you make knowledge with God. And for that, belief is superfluous.

  15. Pieter: Could you also write a visionary article about what a moneyless and hierarchyless society could look like? And how to achieve this step by step? So that there will be a world that again values what has value. Thanks in advance for your response.  

  16. @ Uncle T.
    That is in the pipeline, but I cannot promise when it will be ready. While that may not be noticed by everyone, I always pay close attention to what I write and try to do it as carefully as possible. That is not always a guarantee for a good result, but I do my best as much as possible :-)
    I can certainly say that changing society, in my opinion, will not be gradual or step-by-step. THAT major changes are imminent seems inevitable to me. HOW exactly they will look is not entirely clear yet.
    It depends entirely on the mindset of all people, and how it will be affected by the deadlock in the current world structure (global crisis) and what decisions that will lead to. The sooner the current structure will collapse, the faster we will (have to) start thinking differently.
    So the need to think differently will arise from the inability to keep thinking as we did. In my view it is therefore useful to formulate and offer possible new ideas now. Whether people want to be inspired by it is entirely up to the people themselves :-)
    So soon more.

    1. I already realized that you are a thoughtful writer and take the time for it. The same applies to writing as to cooking: Properly prepared takes some time. And a guarantee of success? If you do not make mistakes, you cannot improve and thus increase the guarantee of success. Incidentally, success is also a subjective concept. :-)

      I think I already have certain suspicions in which direction it could go. But I'll wait and see.

      I also agree that change is not gradual. Just look at the French Revolution or the Two World Wars in the last century. These are very important turning points that have had an enormous impact and were certainly not gradual.

      I am very curious about your fantasies that are still in the pipeline. :-)     

    2. Peter on his Russian Pjotr, know that you have seen my full respect for your subjects. Also how you substantiate your thoughts and compile them based on that fact. Much to read about this between the lines, that many forget to also read between the lines, unfortunately. My mentor of Life would have said; well done kid, keep it up. Mvg Paul. :-D 

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