Tuesday, July 12, 2022

What Are Dead People Now?

A man named Joseph Galambos once changed his name to start with his middle name, Andrew, if I remember correctly.  He had a lot of great ideas, and he expected those with whom he shared (or, as he would prefer, to whom he contractually disclosed) them to abide by the agreements he made with them.  Those agreements precluded ("promiscuous") disclosure regarding his great ideas.  Then he died. I never paid for and never learned much about the ideas.

There is a group of people called the trustees of the Galambos Estate.  Legally, I believe those trustees are what Mr. Galambos has become.  They have legal control of what he would be controlling had he not died.  Do they have moral control?  What does that mean?  The distinction between legal and moral is one imposed on us by governments and contracts.  Personally, the distinction imposed by governments seems immoral to me.  I have no respect for others who pretend to develop my conscience.  That is my responsibility and I guard it viciously.  I recommend the same strategy to others.

As far as I know, most of the people who have received the great ideas of Mr. Galambos signed a contract in which they agreed not to share (disclose, Mr. Glamabos would qualify) the ideas.  Of course, if he gave them permission to share the ideas, as he gave to Jay Snelson and others who accepted the role from Mr. Galambos of teaching the material, then, of course, sharing the ideas with those who paid for the classes was not only acceptable, but required.  My impression of Mr. Galambos is that he rather liked the moral imposition that either you must do or must not do a thing.  I am the opposite.  I prefer the position that you may choose as you please, but I recommend putting a lot of effort into developing your conscience, and then obeying it.

Mr. Galambos is no longer around to give permission to share disclose his great ideas, but it makes sense that there would be some way to get it, and this leads to the question in my title.  There is the legal answer, but if the legal answer is different from the moral answer, then it isn't a useful answer, at least not as I see things.  Morality, in my view, if you can't tell, is entirely based on the development and obedience to your own conscience.

I recently listened to a friend give a speech about the word "objective" and its use as an adjective for the word "morality."  What he pointed out is that as a noun, "objective" means goal, and if you view morality as having a goal, then you can call it "objective morality," but then it doesn't mean what most people hear, which is "universal morality."  I don't think it can be universal, except in relation to the idea of a conscience.  You have one.  Obey it.  That is as universal as morality can get, as far as I can see.  But what is the objective?

If the objective is to honor Mr. Galambos through the great ideas that he shared with disclosed to those who agreed to his terms, then those ideas will have to be disclosed even after he is no longer around.  I am intentionally ignoring the trustees.  I believe they are well within their legal rights to ignore requests for permission to disclose the great ideas, but the moral question remains for everyone else who also has learned about those ideas.

This exploration of what dead people are now that their bodies are corpses was inspired by a request for audio recordings of lectures.  The requestor heard some of them already and wishes to listen again, but there are some he hasn't heard and would like to hear.

A friend with whom I consulted before announcing this article to the voluntaryist email group pointed out that Mr. Galambos (and my friend, I gather) view morality as "an absolute," and simply means the absence of coercion. Depending on how you define "coercion", such a simple definition may work for you. I do not share Mr. Galambos' confidence regarding the use of my words to universalize my sense of morality. The best I can expect of others is that they develop and obey their conscience.

Lastly, I'd like to call attention to a situation which arises from time to time because of extreme circumstances.  Some may say "when push comes to shove," to introduce the circumstances in which we pay less attention to our consciences and solve a problem which we previously left unsolved in the hope that a morally acceptable solution would materialize, by doing something we normally consider immoral.  We stop attending to that distinction because "life interferes." We may be judged by others for it, and so we must be prepared to make restitution for our transgressions in case the full analysis shows that we were in the wrong.  Sometimes the important thing, the thing more important than obeying your conscience, is to solve the problem.  Steal food to avoid death by hunger, please, for example.

Monday, July 11, 2022

How to Lose Authority

Genuine authority comes to be because human beings are good at critical thinking and sometimes use that skill to judge the advice of particular people.  Political authority lives parasitically off of this tendency, replacing the critical thinking with the (often hollow, useless, and even counterproductive) judgement of other people, also known as voting.  That is ultimately the fault of those adhering to the advice (or, more often, demands, laws, mandates, rules, etc.) of political authorities.  They suffer for it too.

In any case, if you have authority, either kind, you can lose it by making the simple mistake of pretending that you are creating reality with what you say.  This is the opposite of what genuine authority does, and the reason it causes you to lose any authority you may have had.  The most dangerous part of the process for you is not, actually, the loss of your authority.  Lots of people don't have it, and they are doing fine.  Rather, your efforts to "use authority" often boil down to creating fear in those who might defy you.  This is the primary role of legislation and punishment, to create fear.  That is your problem to solve.  Perhaps paying more attention to natural (also known as "free") consequences of the behaviors you require or prohibit, and pointing them out to those who "defy" you is a better way.  It certainly costs less.

I call it a problem for you to solve because what you do when you use fear to create your vision of how things should be, is to motivate people who can see through your error (a demand, for example, to do a thing they realize is counterproductive, like maybe wearing a mask, because it traps exhalations and feeds stuff meant to be out of the body back into it) to start ignoring you.  You rely on the size of the population adhering to your advice for your living.  As that group shrinks, so does your standard of living.  This is why I call it the most dangerous part of the process for you.

For the rest of us, the essential skill is to avoid that replacement of critical thinking with the judgement of others.  People have been doing that for two years right about now, because the COVID-19 thing motivated a lot of authorities to make the mistake I just described.  There are more critical thinkers now than there were before.  I hope this trend continues, but I'd also like to see an increase in genuine authority.  You're in a position to help with that.  It requires you to repudiate all parts of the system that are designed to make people follow your advice (legislation, punishment, policy, etc.).  Just speak the truth, and stop making "laws."

Another way to see this is to consider how you feel when you are threatened.  Every time you create legislation, lots of people feel threatened, and they feel it too.  It creates a spirit of defiance, and that spirit will be strongly exhibited in some of us.  Think a lot about this, and whether or not you want to help people by explaining what you see.  This will help inform your choice between making more threats through legislation, or speaking out with the truth so that more people understand and your perceived authority grows.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dear "Authorities"

Your "authority" is fake.  Real authority doesn't come from pretending you can make decisions about reality, or forcing people to behave in certain ways.  It comes from understanding reality, and helping others understand it too, and thanking them for any corrections they offer regarding your representation of how reality works.  It's unfortunate for all of us that you confused reality with your dream world where everyone acts according to your rules.  It's time to stop.

Abdicate.

Admit that nearly everyone will handle their lives better if you stop threatening them.  Perhaps they need guidance and healing, and limits to what they can expect from you and others.  We all need that, and we all provide it to others.  Please consider joining us.  Your power is an infection in the minds of the masses, perhaps a "mass formation psychosis," and the best way for us all to heal from it is for you to let it go and find your way to some faith in other people.

We all come from long lines of ancestors who were successful enough to survive and breed, and evolution got rid of most of the poorer designs along the way.  Conscience and consciousness, when respected instead of threatened, comprise the best way forward, however successfully you have hidden them, but you, with your fake authority and pretense to excellence, are in a great position to show us, simply by abdicating.

Lead by good example, or set a shitty example by ruling.  It's your choice, and I recommend the former.  In your case, that starts with abdication.