“Secrecy begets tyranny.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
“Thinking doesn’t pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
When I read quotes by men like H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein, I realize I’m not really a stranger in a strange land, even though I feel that way most of the time. These cynical, critical thinking, libertarian minded gentlemen understood government tended towards corruption and tyranny, the populace tended towards ignorance and distraction, and reality eventually teaches a harsh lesson to fools, knaves and dumbasses.
Sometimes we think the current day worldly circumstances are new and original, when human nature, politicians, and governments never really change. When Mencken and Heinlein were writing and providing social commentary during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, they observed the same fallacies, foolishness, lack of self-responsibility, government malfeasance, and inability of the majority to think critically, that are rampant in society today.
The quotes above, written during the 1950s, are even more pertinent today. As the ongoing Surveillance State attempted coup against president Trump approaches its denouement, the fabric of this country is being torn asunder. It is the secrecy in which the Deep State has operated without oversight which has led to government tyranny. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden exposed the secrets of powerful interests operating within the CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress and military industrial complex, revealing the malevolent disregard for the Constitutional rights of American citizens and wielding of power for power’s sake.
The collection of all electronic communications by Americans by all-powerful, unaccountable Deep State psychopaths is worse than anything conceived by Orwell in 1984. The fact Assange and Snowden are treated as traitors and criminals reveals the Deep State is still in control of our political and legal systems. Even though Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Clinton and Obama used their Deep State power to try and overthrow Trump, he still toes the company line by calling Assange and Snowden criminals. Government tyranny is still going strong.
Heinlein’s point about thinking is well taken. When you look at what is going on in this country and around the world with a critical eye, how could you not be discontented with what you see. We have government run schools inhabited by social justice engineers, teaching our children there are 47 genders, but not basic math or how to read and spell. We have the masses glorying in their ignorance as they worship silicone inflated shallow idols and vote for socialists and communists to provide them with free shit.
Meanwhile, the national debt just surpassed $23 trillion, annual deficits will never fall below $1 trillion again, the $200 trillion of unfunded unpayable welfare liabilities are ignored, the Fed and other central banks are printing at hyper-speed to achieve 2% GDP growth (at least the stock market is at all-time highs – making the .1% happy), and half the country despises the other half.
I find myself trying not to think because I just get angry about virtually everything I see. As a libertarian minded person who saw the vile mistreatment and abusive lies flung at one of the few decent human beings in politics – Ron Paul – there is absolutely nothing being done by the despicable dung merchants in Washington D.C. or the feckless financiers inhabiting the Eccles building which benefit myself, my children or future generations.
The raping and pillaging of the national wealth go on unabated, by billionaires, operating in the shadows, utilizing the mechanisms of the Deep State and carried out by highly compensated lackeys in NYC and D.C. The military industrial complex resists all efforts by Trump to extract U.S. forces from the Middle East, as never-ending war fills their coffers with profits. Even though we proclaim energy independence, we somehow seem to need Syrian oil. Even though everyone knows the Saudis are evil fuckers, we continue to kiss their ass for oil.
The vast majority of Americans choose not to think, not because it would cause them discontent, but because they are incapable of critical thought. Our joke of an educational system has taught generations of Americans how to feel, rather than how to think. Government controlled schools serve the purposes of the Deep State – dumb down the populace through social engineering, rewarding mediocrity, obscuring history, punishing critical thinking, feminizing boys and drugging those who don’t conform.
The dumbing down of the masses makes them pliable and easily manipulated through the mass media propaganda spewed from the boob tube and social media conglomerates. The unholy alliance between big tech, big media and big government keeps the masses uninformed, misinformed and distracted by meaningless minutia. The truth is hidden and obscured at all costs. A huge swath of populace will unquestioningly believe whatever they are told to believe, while millions more are so distracted with their iGadgets, they aren’t even paying attention.
The ruling class doesn’t want people thinking why they have used the military industrial complex in securing Syrian oil fields, supporting Saudi aggression, threatening Iran, attempting a coup in Venezuela, creating havoc in the Ukraine, occupying Afghanistan, and treating Russia and China as imminent threats, when their narrative is we are self-sufficient with regards to oil. The propaganda press peddles half truths about being a net exporter, when we still import 6 million barrels of oil per day.
The fracking miracle is really a miracle that hundreds of companies could issue junk bonds as they lose money on every barrel pumped out of the ground. The Fed’s easy money “solution” just blew another bubble in fracking. The oligarchs know it’s a farce, that’s why they are using the military to secure oil around the world by creating chaos and then making the world safe for democracy by bombing the shit out of the Middle East.
Heinlein published Stranger in a Strange Land in 1961, even though the original idea was conceived in 1948 as a modernized version of Kipling’s The Jungle Book, with the child raised by Martians instead of wolves. He didn’t think society was ready for the themes he tackled during the button downed 1950s. The cultural revolution of the 1960s saw a broader acceptance of questioning government power, organized religion, and what individual freedom and liberty meant in society.
The story focuses on a human raised on Mars and his adaptation to and understanding of humans and their culture. It is set in a post-Third World War United States, where organized religions are politically powerful. There is a World Federation of Free Nations, including the demilitarized US, with a world government supported by Special Service troops. Heinlein sure had a perceptive view of the future, as world government is still the goal of globalists and organized religions are more corrupt and powerful than ever.
Heinlein always considered himself a libertarian. In a letter written in 1967 he said, “As for libertarian, I’ve been one all my life, a radical one. You might use the term ‘philosophical anarchist’ or ‘autarchist’ about me, but ‘libertarian’ is easier to define and fits well enough.” The theme of personal freedom resonates throughout his body of work. Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought.
Much like Mencken, Orwell, and Steinbeck, as Heinlein aged, he became more cynical about government and society. He feared our culture and form of government was fatally flawed. Again, he foresaw where we are today – having lost freedoms, liberties, and rights as government laws, regulations and taxes have expanded.
“At the time I wrote Methuselah’s Children I was still politically quite naive and still had hopes that various libertarian notions could be put over by political processes … It [now] seems to me that every time we manage to establish one freedom, they take another one away. Maybe two. And that seems to me characteristic of a society as it gets older, and more crowded, and higher taxes, and more laws.” – Robert Heinlein
Government Power, Corruption and Tyranny
“Democracy is a poor system of government at best; the only thing that can honestly be said in its favor is that it is about eight times as good as any other method the human race has ever tried. Democracy’s worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents – a depressingly low level, but what else can you expect?” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
“Government! Three-fourths parasitic and the rest stupid fumbling.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
When I read Heinlein’s view of democracy, the American populace, and politicians from the 1950s, it makes me wonder whether my cynical pessimistic assessment of our country is nothing new. Has the country been wallowing in ignorance, lack of virtue, parasitic politicians and government incompetence for decades and my depression with the current state of affairs is nothing new among libertarian minded people?
Since human nature never changes, with a certain percentage of the population driven by greed, a psychotic thirst for power, craving for control over the masses, and unwillingness to govern while keeping the interests of future generations under consideration, I guess it’s just the level of intensity that matters. The cyclical nature of history is pointing towards the intensity level of discontent reaching a crescendo in the near future.
Even though corruption among government parasites has always existed, it currently permeates the system like a vampire squid on the face of America. It’s the invisible government of the Deep State which has sucked the life from our nation, extracting the national wealth in cahoots with its conduit – The Federal Reserve.
The Deep State, utilizing corrupted politicians and feckless bureaucrats within the halls of Congress and surveillance state agencies, have been conducting a three-year coup against a sitting president. The blatant disregard for the Constitution and rule of law shows the ruling class is convinced they have dumbed down a sufficient number of citizens so they can do whatever they please, while employing their corporate propaganda media to spin their coup as legitimate and rightful.
The oligarchs in control of our financial system have convinced the masses running up the national debt to $23 trillion, running annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion, and accumulating $200 trillion of unfunded pension and welfare liabilities are in their best interests. Not only that, the current crop of socialist presidential candidates wants to add tens of trillions more to the debt load by promising student loan debt write-offs, free college education, open borders, and Medicare for all.
The masses are onboard after watching the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, and Congress hand over trillions to the Wall Street cabal that almost destroyed the global financial system in 2008 with their criminal mortgage debt control fraud. If free shit is OK for wealthy bankers, why not free shit for everyone else?
Since September the Fed has been acting like we are in the midst of the 2008/2009 crisis, pumping over $200 billion (not QE) into the veins of the Wall Street junkie banks who were suffering withdrawal symptoms from a devastatingly high 2.25% Federal Funds rate. The result has been a soaring stock market, further enriching the .1%, while the average Joe wallows in $14 trillion of consumer debt and the Wall Street shylocks charge 20% interest rates on credit card debt.
Delinquency rates on auto loans exceed the levels of 2009. The housing market has hit a wall. When prices begin to fall, mortgage delinquencies will soar. The real delinquency rates on student loans exceed 25%, as degrees in lesbian studies lead to waitress jobs at Applebees. The narrative about best job market ever is a farce, as the growth has been in low paying, no healthcare benefit jobs in the service industries.
Heinlein’s view of politicians, their corruptibility, and ability to tell half truths which are really lies, is even more evident in today’s world. The candidates are hand picked by the corporate interests. Their salaries while in office are fairly modest, but they leave office as multi-millionaires and are paid handsomely on the Boards of the corporations they were supposed to regulate.
Bernanke and Yellen now make more giving one speech at a Wall Street bank than they made annually as the Federal Reserve Chairman. Every local, state and federal politician is bought off to some extent. They do the bidding of the vested interests who got them elected, not what is best for their constituents. We are lost in a blizzard of lies. A society addicted to falsehoods and bereft of truth will surely degrade and eventually collapse.
“He’s an honest politician–he stays bought.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
“The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Liberty, Freedom & Obligations to Society
“I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime. Yet for every criminal, there are ten thousand honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but it is a force stronger than crime.” – Robert Heinlein
Heinlein still believed in the noble decency of the majority of people back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The climactic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life captured the belief that even though there will always be cold hearted evil bankers like Mr. Potter (the Jamie Dimon of his day) feeding off the misery of others, most people are good hearted, kind and giving. Is Heinlein’s view applicable in today’s world? Bad news, bad people and crime produce views, clicks and eyeballs for the corporate media complex.
Stories about good people doing good things on a daily basis are boring to those controlling the narrative. The purpose of the propagandists supporting the Deep State is to keep the masses fearful and distracted. Scare tactics and keeping half the country at the throats of the other half is good for business. While the masses are distracted by trivialities, boogeymen (Russians), and impeachment porn, the ruling class absconds with what remains of the national wealth.
Based upon Heinlein’s definition of a dying culture, we have already crossed the Rubicon. The level of vitriol spewed on a daily basis on social media, by the propagandist media, by politicians, and by intellectual yet idiots is a clear indication of a culture gasping its dying breath. There are still good people in this country who can be counted on by their neighbors, friends and families. As the current culture dies and is swept away during this Fourth Turning, what kind of culture will follow?
Will decent, libertarian minded, freedom loving people arise to guide the country towards a better future? Or will totalitarian minded evil men crush the hopes and dreams of the good people and reign over an even darker period in our history. Goodness without backbone, wisdom and willingness to fight to the death will be overrun by evil.
“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” – Robert A. Heinlein
“But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
I still feel like a stranger in a strange land. But, based on my interactions with good people with hard, cold wisdom over the last ten years, I believe there is still hope for our nation. I think there are enough good people with common sense, critical thinking skills, and the courage and fortitude to stand up to the Deep State and defeat the evil permeating the current social order. Conflict against fellow Americans looms. Allying yourself with good people is essential. Maybe I’m being naïve believing good can win over evil, but it’s better than throwing in the towel and accepting our fate.
Epstein didn’t kill himself.
Photo by Dd-b, taken at the 1976 World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City MO USA, at which Heinlein was the guest of honor. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.