Posted: January 2nd, 2011 by Militant Libertarian
by Tom Baugh
One thing that distinguishes each of us from the monkey is the willingness to admit when we’re wrong. I’ve been wrong about something for a while, and it’s been bubbling around in my head as one of those subconscious things. I hate to think that I’ve participated in leading anyone astray, and need to set things right.
It’s human nature to want to believe in someone, or something, larger than life who “gets it” and is kind of a champion that can help us fight our battles (or in the case of the monkey, to do all the fighting while monkey puts in some good sofa time). That tendency is one of those compliance mechanisms I write about in “Starving the Monkeys”: get us to believe in someone or some thing and it becomes much easier to be led around by that concept.
Even when we start realizing something is wrong, it is tough to give up on that belief, because it makes us feel foolish. It’s important to understand that this is an important tool of the con-man. Fear of having to live with that foolish feeling can be used to hi-jack your judgement, causing you to ignore the warnings your subconscious mind is giving to alert you to danger.
Before I get to what I need to admit and apologize for, let’s discuss an example of how the con-men who are running the country can hijack our judgement. Let’s consider the real-estate crisis for a minute.
Before this crisis cost me huge bucks, essentially wiping out what I had spent my whole life working for, I was wandering around in the same fog most people are immersed in even today. In that particular case, those of us who fell victim were going along with the status quo “work hard, don’t take on risky investments, and put your money somewhere solid and stable.” For me, that was real estate. This wasn’t even speculative real estate, such as “flipping”, or “liar-loan” kind of things, just a nice house for my family to live in and a nice office to run my business from. After all, they aren’t making any more land, are they?
In my case, losing all that money shook me awake, and made me start to question some of the basic principles about modern life and how we’re all being herded into oblivion. Ergo, Starving the Monkeys and strategies for oblivion-avoidance for those few who might make it to the other side.
We’ve also been programmed to avoid admitting being wrong about something, because monkeys see that as an opportunity to try to discredit everything else someone has to say. This is a mechanism created by powerful suit-monkeys to ensure that no one has an original thought: as long as all you do all day is parrot the official line, you can never be wrong. At least in monkey eyes.
Oblivion-avoidance requires intellectual honesty, however, and that is why we’re here today having this little talk.
So here it goes.
I’m sorry about the good things I wrote about Sarah Palin in “Starving the Monkeys”. Admittedly, it was only a line or two out of the whole book, but wrong nonetheless. I, like so many, had high hopes for her as an important force for the future, and even put the “mccain PALIN” signs in my yard running up to the election. And, even though the real estate collapse and banking crisis hammered me shortly after that election, prompting me to write “Starving the Monkeys”, I didn’t put her in the same monkey bin to which so many others had earned entry by their participation in this grand-scale thievery.
Shortly after publication I began to get a few inklings that my praise for her was misplaced.
My first inkling of being wrong about her was the whole “notes on hand” thing. I thought it a bit odd that a former Governor of Alaska would need the word “energy” to remind her about an important talking point during an interview. I would think she couldn’t have a conversation with anyone for more than a few minutes without that coming up. But, after all, I take notes for myself while preparing for speaking, particularly when squeezed for time as in Greensboro, NC in August this past year.
Readers of STM know how important I think energy is for civilization and how it can be used as a manipulative tool to herd the citizenry around. Even so, I didn’t want to give her too much of a hard time about this (which is exactly the point of the con-man’s manipulative toolbox). I just looked the other way, hoping that this was just an issue blown out of proportion by the media. How much, Mr. Con Man, did you say that bridge is selling for, again?
My second inkling was when she quit her job as Governor. There is hardly any better position to be in to promote liberty and limited national government than as a state governor, especially of one as important to the future, and as capable of a successful threat of secession, as Alaska. I saw this as a warning sign that she cared more about the speaking circuit and media promotion than about the people who counted on her as their Governor. It was also an indication that she didn’t really understand that the states aren’t supposed to simply be the farm league for national government. Fifteen to twenty powerful, willing and determined governors, backed by their respective legislatures and populace, could solve this problem overnight. Score one for the bad guys when she left, I thought.
The third inkling was on the heels of the second. After the campaign was over and she quit as Governor, she became, technically, a political outsider. Regardless, she still received a lot of press as an opinion-maker, even outside the Fox News faux-alternative New York banker-backed propagandist sphere.
The fourth inkling was the leveraging of that attention into some billion-dollars-a-plate fund-raising takeovers of the Tea Party events, effectively crowding the individual activist out of his own movement.
There’s been more since, but I kind of lost track and slunk away from that foolish feeling, until the most recent one.
Enter the Palin opinions about Wikileaks, in which she claims that Julian Assange is effectively a terrorist and worth being hunted down. Come on. And forget the nonsense about him being “treasonous”, which can’t, of course, apply to someone who isn’t even an American. As fans of Lysander Spooner will recognize, that label is even spurious when applied to Americans with conscientious objections (especially in the general sense).
We’ve been taught that our Constitution guarantees us freedom of speech. And we’ve also been taught that this right applies to all persons, regardless of where they happened to splatter on day one. Out of all the problems that this country has, whether or not Assange is embarrassing us for misguided policies is pretty low on the list. If we wanted to hunt down people for being terrorists and trying to destroy our (imagined) way of life, international bankers would probably top that list. But again, that doesn’t happen because those people own all the lists. And then use media figures, like Palin now, to sell them to you.
So she didn’t quit as governor in hopes of becoming the Vice Most Powerful Puppet In The World, but she did quit to become an “alternative voice” media personality. And now she thinks that an alternative voice media personality should be hunted down (please Julian, don’t make me one day apologize for supporting you, too). More disturbing is the fact that this controversy isn’t really about Assange and Wikileaks. No, it’s about setting the stage in the mind of the street monkey for hunting down the rest of us genuinely small-fry who might get in the way. Sadly, our once-favorite liberty chick is carrying the banner for that.
So there. I’ve said it. I’m sorry for the couple of lines of praise for Palin in “Starving the Monkeys”. Once the current distribution channel flushes, I’m going to start penning an oopsie in the margin of that page when I get a chance.
Now, one beneficial side-effect of facing one’s error is that you get to then learn from it and form a more accurate model of the world.
That model is that the world sucks right now, and that suck is the result of suit-monkeys manipulating finance, power and opinion to herd all the entitlement monkeys into keeping you in your place to feed all of them. No surprise there, of course. But the real lesson for me is that I, too, was sucked into the champion mentality. I should have known better. After all, I write at length about this all the time: most champions who come into your attention are merely puppets there to lead you astray. Trust your gut and your own judgement, I always say. And yet, I did it myself.
But it isn’t just Sarah Palin. Our televisions and radios are swamped with them. We only get to hear what the script allows us to hear. Any alternative you think you are hearing, is probably just a different side of the same multifaceted coin. Worse, too many people are willing to abandon their own judgement to merely parrot what they are told is good. And unwilling to admit when they’ve been had.
This is what makes uncritical faith in people like Glenn Beck so dangerous to actual liberty. Back when he was just doing his radio show, I really liked him, too. He was quirky, but had a down-to-earth quality I really liked. Even when, in the waning days of 2008, he was backing the first bailout (the “soft-landing get-out-the-lifeboats” speeches), I thought he was misguided on that issue, but still in general a good “champion”. I had not yet woken to the possibility that, by then, he had been bought and established as a puppet mouthpiece for the express purpose of selling that trillion-dollar theft. All it took was for the bad guys to figure out that his brand of quirky was a product that could be twisted to their purpose. Welcome to the big leagues, champ. Dead to us now was the outsider voice, long live the banker puppet. Does anyone really think that an outsider can get a position as a major media New York propagandist? Stop putting that foolish feeling at bay, and come to grips with it.
It’s not really these individuals to blame, either. Instead, it is the fact that our system is designed to corrupt the good, the honest and the decent, and turn them to the monkey way, to then use their credibility for evil purposes. Then, when their purpose has been spent, toss them aside and find another willing puppet. There’s always plenty more. This is why we have to stop counting on champions, and instead fix the underlying problems. The hard way, if we have to. And we do. Because champions can be bought, and even they have a hard time seeing it happen. It’s been like that for hundreds of years now.
Readers of “Hologram of Liberty” can better understand why Glenn Beck spends so much time deifying the Founding Lawyers. And, in the “Starving the Monkeys” model, his purpose is to get you to see those sainted lawyers as champions, so you don’t doubt anything about their system, which exists to bleed you dry. A system which counts on your patriotism and sacrifice, while bankers, who caused this mess, get richer by enslaving your descendants with their national debt. A system which was created with the express purpose of protecting the powerful and evil from people like you when you’ve finally had enough.
A system which promotes contemporary champions, so then those champions can parrot evil things like “don’t complain when bankers are given more money stolen from you”, or “hunt down anyone who exposes our international plundering”.
So, yes, I should have known better. Especially since Glenn Beck introduced us to Sarah Palin on his CNN show back in the early months of 2008.
If they, and those like them, just presented twisted opinion, or parroted evil things, that would be bad enough. But what makes these “champions of liberty” so dangerous is that, when the time comes, they, and those others like them, will be able to herd millions of unthinking people into hunting you and me, too. Or at least ensuring that those millions are sympathetic with the system when one of us gets Wacoed.
We have to be willing to abandon our champions when we see that they are leading us to oblivion. That’s hard to do, because it’s hard to come to grips with the idea that we have to solve this problem all by ourselves, without help from someone larger than ourselves. But, ultimately, the only champions we need are those we see in the mirror. That is how we’ll win. And it’s the only way we can win.
So, for allowing myself to get sucked in and dragged along by this web of Palin, even for only a few written sentences, I apologize.
I still stand behind refereeing the whole Sarah Palin versus Michele Bachmann bearskin rug fight, though. It’s just that now I think Michele Bachmann should be doing a lot of slapping, in addition to playing kitten.
Now don’t you let us down, too, Michele, or we’ll drop you like a hot Palin.
Tom Baugh is the author of Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter. He is also a former Marine, patented inventor, entrepreneur and professional irritant.