The intoxicating effects of power on humans have been observed and analysed for centuries.
Plato considered that the measure of a man is what he does with power; Charles Caleb Colton noted that “power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads.”
An in a letter to Mandell Creighton (5 April 1887), John Acton famously wrote:
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely./…/There’s no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”
If modern scientists often compare the sensation of omnipotence to effects caused by drugs, it’s because power, amphetamines and cocaine do have similar effect on human brain: they increase the levels of dopamine…and are equally addictive.
Dopamine leads to euphoria through higher levels of energy, self-confidence and alertness, but its build-up is linked to anxiety, psychosis and pervasive distrust and suspiciousness.
In “How Power Affects the Brain,” Professor of Psychology Ian H. Robertson remarks:
“When power is unconstrained by democratic controls or good systems of governance, then power-holders may show undesirable distortion in judgement, cognition and behavior as a result of its drug-like effects on the brain.”
In several studies, the correlation between a feeling of dominance and ruthlessness has been shown to be a significant factor in the abuse of power. Delusions of grandeur turn relationships into transactions, and fellow human beings become viewed as a faceless crowd of disposable pawns.
Power junkies will inhale ovations, sniff flattery and shoot themselves up withcompliments in order to maintain the illusion of the timelessness and limitlessness of their reign. High on hubris they are no longer willing or able to camouflage their true, inevitably fading colors.
The mainstream media lullaby aimed to sedate the commoners lulls also politicians into “eternal power” state of mind. Journalistic stenographers have no problem writing about “Oppositional Defiance Disorder,” apparently detected in unruly citizens or “dysfunctional” homeless Veterans who lost their limbs for our freedom. Quite ironically, journalists turned compliance professionals, and advisers turned sycophants follow politicians’ own rule: taking care of own business only; they will never risk their 30 pieces of silver to heed Plato’s warning to political peacocks: “The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction.”
When abuse of power is a fact, the fault lies not only with natural, hubristic tendency of particularly ruthless and vain human beings, but mostly with the lack of accountability unnatural for our society. It’s our time to draw the line. As envisioned by Thomas Paine: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
Such propaganda is never subtle, since there is no subtle way to tell the Zombies that (supposedly) they cannot trust their own sensory perceptions, and they certainly cannot trust their own “thinking”. However, the piece of trust-us-don’t-trust-yourself propaganda from TheStreet below is particularly lame and obvious.
And the Liars call a “strong economy”.
. That’s all that the Shill could say in favor of this “strong economy”, two pieces of particularly absurd propaganda. The rest of this piece of pablum was devoted to “explaining” the civilian participation rate (the chart above). And for those who read the propaganda piece below, it will quickly become apparent that the Shill doesn’t even what the chart is telling us.
The “No Go” zones now travel two ways: law enforcement avoiding gang-controlled city blocks where their lives have been threatened, and private landowners being locked out of public and permitted land use. The question is… on which side of the equation does the individual stand?
In the aftermath of rioting and protests in Ferguson, MO, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, and numerous sympathy demonstrations across the nation, cities are plagued with rising levels of violent crime. Groups siding with the Black Lives Matter movement that arose out of false testimonies and allegations against law enforcement, painting police as commonly hostile to minorities, have transformed urban neighborhoods into “No Go” zones.
These are neighborhoods operating under their own form of justice that is contrary to that country’s laws.
Now, in America, the same phenomenon has occurred, only the communities suffer under the thumb of gang “justice,” which amounts to criminally controlled coercion of residents.
The other side of the BLM coin is the government agency (Bureau of Land Management). However, to the BLM can be added numerous state and federal bureaucracies known by their alphabet titles—EPA, F&W, USFS, USDA, IRS, etc. And every one of them has regularly employed strong-arm tactics to divest individuals of their wealth, land and livelihood. Much to government and media chagrin, the confrontation in southeast Oregon’s Harney County is a harbinger of citizens becoming more vocal and active in invoking their inalienable rights.
No matter where one stands on the involvement of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the fact is that they are the ones who made this egregious miscarriage of justice front page news. Before their investigating and stepping in, very few knew of the Hammond family railroading or how such engineered legal action furthers government assaults on private land ownership.
Story after story has since been filed where only one side of the facts have seen print or video, the details of the whole Hammond “arson” tale set aside in favor of building demon status for individuals protesting while wearing firearms in an open-carry state.
Facts can be inconvenient for media insistent on spinning their own yarn—one that news editors think is more apt to grab attention, and depicting ranchers as black hats is high on their list. Though, to be frank, it’s an odd choice of character casting to take the very people who feed the nation (including media and government types) and criminalizing food production. But then, perhaps all those camera-ready anchors don’t really need to eat, keeping their svelte figures of paramount importance.
The real story is not yesterday’s archived broadcast or the one now lining a birdcage. There are those who actually did their homework before writing or producing their stories. Carrie Stadheim, managing editor of the Tri-State Livestock News was diligent with her story, “Where there’s smoke.” For another detailed chronicling of events that led to Dwight and Steven Hammond being branded “terrorists” for using proper methods to protect private range from invasive species and lightning fires, read this account. Be prepared, however, to be appalled in reading and watching video of eyewitness accounts of BLM terror tactics (here, the term applies) to oust ranchers who have stewarded the land with care and wisdom for generations.
What must be noted in this Malheur Wildlife Refuge standoff, as media has it tagged, is that, as in every situation where the feds are involved, the landowner is saddled with fines and the government agencies are never held accountable for the destruction they incur by irresponsible action.
The EPA mine fiasco in Colorado that turned the Animas River putrid with toxic orange minerals. In the Hammond’s circumstance, they were held liable for $400,000 damage to the refuge for burning less than 140 acres that saved the grassland on and off refuge. How the U.S. attorney determined that setting these backfires constituted terrorism when applying the USC Title 18 definition under which she charged them:
After familiarizing oneself with the facts, it is a beyond-the-pale stretch of the imagination to tag the Hammonds terrorists. Unfortunately, common sense held no sway with a U.S. attorney whose lack of judgment became evident in her stalking a former colleague. However, the justice system is riddled with feckless federal bureaucrats bent on depicting farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs as right-wing extremists (likely based on this 2009 DHS assessment which I covered then1) when their actions are wholly instigated to preserve the land, not block usage of it. And the usage includes the wildlife the refuge was intended (or was it?) to protect, in that Fish and Wildlife saw fit to destroy water holes that has forced fowl to flock to water on private land, where they compete with the livestock—and the ranchers’ livelihood. Planning makes perfect in the world of government land management… perfect in forcing private landholders out at firesale prices. (Pun intended.)
Many in Harney County appear to be urging the Bundys and company to vacate the otherwise empty visitor center at MWR, where they are doing no real harm, unlike liberal teachers’ unions who trashed the Wisconsin state capitol for unearned raises in 2011.
Should the sheriff decide to take on the federal government’s fight and oust the squatters at gunpoint, there will be unnecessary violence over what is truly a people’s land rights issue. It must be remembered that the refuge is public land, which, by definition, means it belongs to the People, not the government.
There are no real grounds for stamping the campers as trespassers, nor for forcing them out of an otherwise closed and vacant building except to rattle spears and make a show of force. Were anyone to look at this situation from an economic standpoint, they’d have to concede that the Bundys’ entourage has brought a business boom to Harney County during otherwise dry winter months.
The point being made by all this brouhaha is that the landowner is being forced to close up shop and sell to the first buyer in line—the government. There are administrative avenues that must be exhausted by those landowners victimized by government officials in this and numerous other instances3 before law enforcement flexes muscle as front men for illegitimate federal claims.4
Although nothing for or against the Malheur Wildlife Refuge building camp-out will be stated here, the dilemma of true stewards of the land (farmers, ranchers, lumbermen, etc.) has been given headlines due to a few willing to step outside of their comfort zone.
The Ottoman Empire started its decline when the sale of offices, bribery and corruption became widespread. Indeed:
Most historians point to “degenerate Sultans, incompetent Grand Viziers, debilitated and ill-equipped armies, corrupt officials, avaricious speculators, grasping enemies, and treacherous friends.
In addition, widespread corruption leads to runaway inequality. Specifically, one of the biggest causes of runaway inequality is that the big banks are manipulating every market, and committing massivecrimes. Fraud disproportionately benefits the big banks, makes boom-bust cycles more severe, and otherwise harms the economy … all of which increase inequality and warp the market. These actions artificially redistribute wealth from honest, hard-working people to a handful of crooks. And corrupt government officials have aided and abetted this.