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(US Congress)   U.S. Government calls for citizens to pray and fast so God will help win the war   ( divider line
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227 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Mar 2003 at 10:36 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-03-28 04:00:27 AM  

I said people are a combination of cooperation and competition

You said See i regard voluntary trade as cooperation. You regard government coercion as cooperation. See the diference. Your in contradiction again. The fact that it is taxes means its not cooperation. If it were cooperation you wouldn't need laws i.e. force.

Voluntary trade is not able to be entered into equally by people. Some people are disabled. Some are dumb. Some are physically weak. Some may not be gifted in any particular area of value.

Those people still deserve to have all of their basic needs met, and to be able to live not totally unequally as compared to any other person. In your system those people are massively disadvantaged. If the voluntary labour of all people was fairly weighted (very high minimum wage to allow all needs to be satisifed) and the market always provided enough jobs, your way might be fair.

Since we know neither is the case, it won't work.

And now I am going, and will respond to what you see tomorrow - tomorrow :)
2003-03-28 04:08:27 AM  
</b> one for you, </b> one for you, </b> one for you.
2003-03-28 04:19:21 AM  
jesus!! You guys are still verbally jousting this late in the mornin?
HELP! Allergies are kicking my ass, cant sleep and my alegra pills aren't doing shiat. I love/hate spring.
any suggestions? should i take a shot of Jack?
2003-03-28 04:54:36 AM  
Yeah, they should get a room or something.

Since the original topic is long gone (odd, how this turned into an Ayn Rand debate)..

Take a shot, absolutely; I'll have one for you myself (only not Jack but Canadian Mist). And while I'm at it--
Vrax's post about "That sneaky God!"--wasn't that from the Simpsons? Cuz I can just imagine Homer saying that.
2003-03-28 05:44:41 AM  
America, you'll going to wake up, but the hangover will hurt.
2003-03-28 07:10:49 AM  
*attempts to unbold thread*
2003-03-28 09:10:52 AM  
Remember: This is your

'Prayze the Lard!'

<Starts Digging Bunker In Yard>
2003-03-28 09:12:01 AM  
OK, so HTML link failed..

Let's try again
2003-03-28 09:39:07 AM  
-the difference, friedsilicon, is that everything jesus stood for and sacrificed all for was peace and love.

he is the one.

good friday farkers!
2003-03-28 09:55:30 AM  
03-28-03 12:55:56 AM Xtremehkr
"Nothing should be banned" is a flawed statement.

"There are plenty of things that everyone agree's should be banned."

-i totally disagree. name one and you are in contempt with someone.

what you are defending is the heart of collectivism.


* hey...who turned on the heavy. nos fer ratu !?~
2003-03-28 10:01:27 AM  
War is slowing down ?
Government short of ideas ?
No problem! Here comes the Congress with
Operation "FAST and FURIOS": fast and prey at home so US soldiers can be furious killing machines in Iraq.
2003-03-28 10:19:44 AM  
why is everything bold? does that fix anything?
2003-03-28 10:29:15 AM  
Note correct spelling of "separation"

Separation of Church and State does not mean to absolutely, intolerably strike all reference of a religion from State function. It means that no State should sponsor a religion or become a central element of religion.
2003-03-28 10:47:53 AM  
Gsuffa, thanks for your personal and flawed interpretation.

Good thing your opinion doesn't count for shiat when it comes to important things like laws.

2003-03-28 11:06:26 AM  
I should have attributed this quote to M.C.PeePants, 400 posts earlier. By "State" of course, we are not explicitly referring to our 50 states, but Federal and local govts.
2003-03-28 11:14:17 AM  
Crazy Eddie and others.
We are not talking about laws, but the first amendment to the Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This house resolution respects the First Amendment, which never mentions any SEPARATION.
2003-03-28 11:33:31 AM  
WTF? My apologies to "Bauer" and "Objectivist" for the craziness above. I appear to have been hacked by a psychotic 16 year-old.

The real DOI
2003-03-28 12:33:10 PM  
Gsuffa your argument is old and tired.

There is no mention of 'right to privacy' in the constitution, either, jackass. Does that mean you don't have that right?

The first amendment to the constitution is one of the most highly debated and interpreted documents in the world (losing out only to the bible, which isn't nearly as good of a read)

As I said, thanks for YOUR personal interpretation. Too bad people who matter (ie half of the former presidents, the founding fathers, and Supreme Court Justices) don't agree with you.

Don't spend my tax dollars making a government imposed prayer, ok? Is that so much to ask?


As a technical writer, I would have expected a slightly more pointed argument. Your ramblings reveal how obtuse your true feelings are.
2003-03-28 02:04:55 PM  

Don't spend my tax dollars making a government imposed prayer, ok? Is that so much to ask?

Why should my tax dollars go to a secular state that ignores (and frequently dishonors) God?
2003-03-28 02:21:40 PM  
03-28-03 02:04:55 PM Bevets
Why should my tax dollars go to a secular state that ignores (and frequently dishonors) God?

Now HERE'S a good question.
Son, you need to find yourself a nice Christian theocracy, and move there immediately.
I think that you and the framers of the US constitution would have a pretty serious disagreement about the fundamental purpose of government.
2003-03-28 03:14:56 PM  
did somebody break the html? Everything is bold after a certain point....
2003-03-28 03:19:09 PM  
haha the place is farked. what if i use the bold tag this is rather amusing.
2003-03-28 05:53:26 PM  
i have to....LAST POST !

-in bold.
2003-03-28 07:38:44 PM  
I am quite 'bold' for stating the obvious -

2003-03-28 08:03:28 PM  
Rape we can all agree should be banned.

Does God condone rape?
Grand Theft

there are quite a few things worth banning.
2003-03-28 08:06:52 PM  
u know

that did not sound like something Bauer would post.
2003-03-28 08:08:03 PM  
Or maybe it does, are you an Anarchist of some kind Bauer?
2003-03-28 08:22:21 PM  
God help us! I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone.
2003-03-28 09:46:48 PM  
This post is preceeded by a ton of close-bold tags. Just curious.
2003-03-28 10:02:57 PM  
Wouldn't it be really funny if Bevets was really an atheist who loved to start flame wars? It's kinda like the thought that SharkSandwich is really one of the creators of Strongbad.

2003-03-28 10:26:09 PM  
MODS: Would it be OK for me to post the Unabomber Manifesto instead of just linking to it? I'm just a psychotic 16 yr-old that happened to hack cheeseburger's account, but I felt I should still ask permission first.

Not the real CB
2003-03-28 11:52:03 PM  
No objections? Great..

ndustrial Society and its Future


1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have
greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in "advanced" countries, but they have
destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to
widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted
severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation.
It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world,
it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased
physical suffering even in "advanced" countries.

2. The industrial-technological system may survive or it may break down. If it survives, it MAY
eventually achieve a low level of physical and psychological suffering, but only after passing through a
long and very painful period of adjustment and only at the cost of permanently reducing human beings
and many other living organisms to engineered products and mere cogs in the social machine.
Furthermore, if the system survives, the consequences will be inevitable: There is now way of reforming
or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy.

3. If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows
the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down
sooner rather than later.

4. We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system. This revolution may or may not make
use of violence: it may be sudden or it may be a relatively gradual process spanning a few decades. We
can't predict any of that. But we do outline in a very general way the measures that those who hate the
industrial system should take in order to prepare the way for a revolution against that form of society.
This is not to be a POLITICAL revolution. Its object will be to overthrow not governments but the
economic and technological basis of the present society.

5. In this article we give attention to only some of the negative developments that have grown out of the
industrial-technological system. Other such developments we mention only briefly or ignore altogether.
This does not mean that we regard these other developments as unimportant. For practical reasons we
have to confine our discussion to areas that have received insufficient public attention or in which we
have something new to say. For example, since there are well-developed environmental and wilderness
movements, we have written very little about environmental degradation or the destruction of wild nature,
even though we consider these to be highly important.


6. Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubled society. One of the most widespread
manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can
serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.

7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th century leftism could have been practically
identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be
called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists,
"politically correct" types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But
not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in
discussing leftism is not so much a movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection
of related types. Thus, what we mean by "leftism" will emerge more clearly in the course of our
discussion of leftist psychology (Also, see paragraphs 227-230.)

8. Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there
doesn't seem to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do is indicate in a rough and approximate way
the two psychological tendencies that we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. We by no
means claim to be telling the WHOLE truth about leftist psychology. Also, our discussion is meant to
apply to modern leftism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion could be
applied to the leftists of the 19th and early 20th century.

9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call "feelings of inferiority" and
"oversocialization." Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while
oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly


10. By "feelings of inferiority" we mean not only inferiority feelings in the strictest sense but a whole
spectrum of related traits: low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies, defeatism,
guilt, self-hatred, etc. We argue that modern leftists tend to have such feelings (possibly more or less
repressed) and that these feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern leftism.

11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with
whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is
pronounced among minority rights advocates, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose
rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities. The terms
"negro," "oriental," "handicapped" or "chick" for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman
originally had no derogatory connotation. "Broad" and "chick" were merely the feminine equivalents of
"guy," "dude" or "fellow." The negative connotations have been attached to these terms by the activists
themselves. Some animal rights advocates have gone so far as to reject the word "pet" and insist on its
replacement by "animal companion." Leftist anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything
about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the word
"primitive" by "nonliterate." They seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any
primitive culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply that primitive cultures ARE inferior to
ours. We merely point out the hypersensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)

12. Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect" terminology are not the average black
ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of
whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from privileged strata of society. Political
correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with
comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual, white males from middle-class families.

13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of groups that have an image of being
weak (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals), or otherwise inferior. The leftists
themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit it to themselves that they have
such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their
problems. (We do not suggest that women, Indians, etc., ARE inferior; we are only making a point about
leftist psychology).

14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong as capable as men. Clearly they
are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.

15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate
America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that
leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they
hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same
faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he
GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly
exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are
not the leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because
they are strong and successful.

16. Words like "self-confidence," "self-reliance," "initiative", "enterprise," "optimism," etc. play little role
in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to
solve everyone's needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense
of confidence in his own ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is
antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.

17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftist intellectuals tend to focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or
else they take an orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were no hope of accomplishing
anything through rational calculation and all that was left was to immerse oneself in the sensations of the

18. Modern leftist philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that
everything is culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the foundations of
scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is
obvious that modern leftist philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians systematically analyzing the
foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They
attack these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for
hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More importantly, the
leftist hates science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior)
and other beliefs as false (i.e. failed, inferior). The leftist's feelings of inferiority run so deep that he
cannot tolerate any classification of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or
inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility
of IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior because such
explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give
society the credit or blame for an individual's ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is "inferior" it is not his
fault, but society's, because he has not been brought up properly.

19. The leftist is not typically the kind of person whose feelings of inferiority make him a braggart, an
egotist, a bully, a self-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has not wholly lost faith in
himself. He has a deficit in his sense of power and self-worth, but he can still conceive of himself as
having the capacity to be strong, and his efforts to make himself strong produce his unpleasant behavior.
[1] But the leftist is too far gone for that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot
conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel
strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.

20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles,
they intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be effective, but
many leftists use them not as a means to an end but because they PREFER masochistic tactics.
Self-hatred is a leftist trait.

21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principle, and moral
principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle
cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior;
so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to
the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action
is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms?
Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at
least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates
against them. But leftist activists do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their
emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for
them to express their own hostility and frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black
people, because the activists' hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.

22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to INVENT problems in order to
provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.

23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be an accurate description of everyone who
might be considered a leftist. It is only a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.


24. Psychologists use the term "socialization" to designate the process by which children are trained to
think and act as society demands. A person is said to be well socialized if he believes in and obeys the
moral code of his society and fits in well as a functioning part of that society. It may seem senseless to
say that many leftists are over-socialized, since the leftist is perceived as a rebel. Nevertheless, the
position can be defended. Many leftists are not such rebels as they seem.

25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that no one can think, feel and act in a completely
moral way. For example, we are not supposed to hate anyone, yet almost everyone hates somebody at
some time or other, whether he admits it to himself or not. Some people are so highly socialized that the
attempt to think, feel and act morally imposes a severe burden on them. In order to avoid feelings of guilt,
they continually have to deceive themselves about their own motives and find moral explanations for
feelings and actions that in reality have a non-moral origin. We use the term "oversocialized" to describe
such people. (2)

26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of
the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of
behavior or speech that is contrary to soci ety's expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is
especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. Moreover the thought
and the behavior of the oversocialized person are more restricted by society's expe ctations than are those
of the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a significant amount of naughty
behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate
someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. The
oversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of
shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt, thoughts or
feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality; he cannot think "unclean" thoughts. And socialization
is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to confirm to many norms of behavior that do not fall
under the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leash and spends
his life running on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a
sense of constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest that oversocialization is
among the more serious cruelties that human beings inflict on one another.

27. We argue that a very important and influential segment of the modern left is oversocialized and that
their oversocialization is of great importance in determining the direction of modern leftism. Leftists of the
oversocialized type tend to be intellectuals or members of the upper-middle class. Notice that university
intellectuals (3) constitute the most highly socialized segment of our society and also the most left-wing

28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off his psychological leash and assert his autonomy
by rebelling. But usually he is not strong enough to rebel against the most basic values of society.
Generally speaking, the goals of today's leftists are NOT in conflict with the accepted morality. On the
contrary, the left takes an accepted moral principle, adopts it as its own, and then accuses mainstream
society of violating that principle. Examples: racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poor people,
peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedom of expression, kindness to animals. More
fundamentally, the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty of society to take care of the
individual. All these have been deeply rooted values of our society (or at least of its middle and upper
classes (4) for a long time. These values are explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed in most of
the material presented to us by the mainstream communications media and the educational system.
Leftists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually do not rebel against these principles but justify
their hostility to society by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not living up to these

29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocialized leftist shows his real attachment to the
conventional attitudes of our society while pretending to be in rebellion against it. Many leftists push for
affirmative action, for moving bl ack people into high-prestige jobs, for improved education in black
schools and more money for such schools; the way of life of the black "underclass" they regard as a social
disgrace. They want to integrate the black man into the system, make him a busi ness executive, a lawyer,
a scientist just like upper-middle-class white people. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want is
to make the black man into a copy of the white man; instead, they want to preserve African American
culture. But in what does this preservation of African American culture consist? It can hardly consist in
anything more than eating black-style food, listening to black-style music, wearing black-style clothing and
going to a black-style church or mosque. In other wor ds, it can express itself only in superficial matters.
In all ESSENTIAL respects more leftists of the oversocialized type want to make the black man conform
to white, middle-class ideals. They want to make him study technical subjects, become an executi ve or a
scientist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove that black people are as good as white. They
want to make black fathers "responsible." they want black gangs to become nonviolent, etc. But these are
exactly the values of the industrial-technological system. The system couldn't care less what kind of music
a man listens to, what kind of clothes he wears or what religion he believes in as long as he studies in
school, holds a respectable job, climbs the status ladder, is a "responsib le" parent, is nonviolent and so
forth. In effect, however much he may deny it, the oversocialized leftist wants to integrate the black man
into the system and make him adopt its values.

30. We certainly do not claim that leftists, even of the oversocialized type, NEVER rebel against the
fundamental values of our society. Clearly they sometimes do. Some oversocialized leftists have gone so
far as to rebel against one of modern socie ty's most important principles by engaging in physical violence.
By their own account, violence is for them a form of "liberation." In other words, by committing violence
they break through the psychological restraints that have been trained into them. Because they are
oversocialized these restraints have been more confining for them than for others; hence their need to
break free of them. But they usually justify their rebellion in terms of mainstream values. If they engage
in violence they claim to be fighting against racism or the like.

31. We realize that many objections could be raised to the foregoing thumb-nail sketch of leftist
psychology. The real situation is complex, and anything like a complete description of it would take
several volumes even if the necessary data were ava ilable. We claim only to have indicated very roughly
the two most important tendencies in the psychology of modern leftism.

32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problems of our society as a whole. Low self-esteem,
depressive tendencies and defeatism are not restricted to the left. Though they are especially noticeable in
the left, they are widespread in our society. And today's society tries to socialize us to a greater extent
than any previous society. We are even told by experts how to eat, how to exercise, how to make love,
how to raise our kids and so forth.

More? Sure
2003-03-29 12:07:13 AM  
WTF? My apologies to all that were hoping for a complete "manifesto".


33. Human beings have a need (probably based in biology) for something that we will call the "power
process." This is closely related to the need for power (which is widely recognized) but is not quite the
same thing. The power process has four elements. The three most clear-cut of these we call goal, effort
and attainment of goal. (Everyone needs to have goals whose attainment requires effort, and needs to
succeed in attaining at least some of his goals.) The fourth element is more difficult to define and may not
be necessary for everyone. We call it autonomy and will discuss it later (paragraphs 42-44).

34. Consider the hypothetical case of a man who can have anything he wants just by wishing for it. Such
a man has power, but he will develop serious psychological problems. At first he will have a lot of fun,
but by and by he will become acutely bored and demoralized. Eventually he may become clinically
depressed. History shows that leisured aristocracies tend to become decadent. This is not true of fighting
aristocracies that have to struggle to maintain their power. But leisured, secure aristocracies that have no
need to exert themselves usually become bored, hedonistic and demoralized, even though they have
power. This shows that power is not enough. One must have goals toward which to exercise one's power.

35. Everyone has goals; if nothing else, to obtain the physical necessities of life: food, water and whatever
clothing and shelter are made necessary by the climate. But the leisured aristocrat obtains these things
without effort. Hence his boredom and demoralization.

36. Nonattainment of important goals results in death if the goals are physical necessities, and in
frustration if nonattainment of the goals is compatible with survival. Consistent failure to attain goals
throughout life results in defeatism, low self-esteem or depression.

37. Thus, in order to avoid serious psychological problems, a human being needs goals whose attainment
requires effort, and he must have a reasonable rate of success in attaining his goals.


38. But not every leisured aristocrat becomes bored and demoralized. For example, the emperor Hirohito,
instead of sinking into decadent hedonism, devoted himself to marine biology, a field in which he became
distinguished. When people do not have to exert themselves to satisfy their physical needs they often set
up artificial goals for themselves. In many cases they then pursue these goals with the same energy and
emotional involvement that they otherwise would have put into the search for physical necessities. Thus
the aristocrats of the Roman Empire had their literary pretentions; many European aristocrats a few
centuries ago invested tremendous time and energy in hunting, though they certainly didn't need the meat;
other aristocracies have competed for status through elaborate displays of wealth; and a few aristocrats,
like Hirohito, have turned to science.

39. We use the term "surrogate activity" to designate an activity that is directed toward an artificial goal
that people set up for themselves merely in order to have some goal to work toward, or let us say, merely
for the sake of the "fulfillment" that they get from pursuing the goal. Here is a rule of thumb for the
identification of surrogate activities. Given a person who devotes much time and energy to the pursuit of
goal X, ask yourself this: If he had to devote most of his time and energy to satisfying his biological needs,
and if that effort required him to use his physical and mental facilities in a varied and interesting way,
would he feel seriously deprived because he did not attain goal X? If the answer is no, then the person's
pursuit of a goal X is a surrogate activity. Hirohito's studies in marine biology clearly constituted a
surrogate activity, since it is pretty certain that if Hirohito had had to spend his time working at interesting
non-scientific tasks in order to obtain the necessities of life, he would not have felt deprived because he
didn't know all about the anatomy and life-cycles of marine animals. On the other hand the pursuit of sex
and love (for example) is not a surrogate activity, because most people, even if their existence were
otherwise satisfactory, would feel deprived if they passed their lives without ever having a relationship
with a member of the opposite sex. (But pursuit of an excessive amount of sex, more than one really
needs, can be a surrogate activity.)

40. In modern industrial society only minimal effort is necessary to satisfy one's physical needs. It is
enough to go through a training program to acquire some petty technical skill, then come to work on time
and exert very modest effort needed to hold a job. The only requirements are a moderate amount of
intelligence, and most of all, simple OBEDIENCE. If one has those, society takes care of one from cradle
to grave. (Yes, there is an underclass that cannot take physical necessities for granted, but we are
speaking here of mainstream society.) Thus it is not surprising that modern society is full of surrogate
activities. These include scientific work, athletic achievement, humanitarian work, artistic and literary
creation, climbing the corporate ladder, acquisition of money and material goods far beyond the point at
which they cease to give any additional physical satisfaction, and social activism when it addresses issues
that are not important for the activist personally, as in the case of white activists who work for the rights
of nonwhite minorities. These are not always pure surrogate activities, since for many people they may be
motivated in part by needs other than the need to have some goal to pursue. Scientific work may be
motivated in part by a drive for prestige, artistic creation by a need to express feelings, militant social
activism by hostility. But for most people who pursue them, these activities are in large part surrogate
activities. For example, the majority of scientists will probably agree that the "fulfillment" they get from
their work is more important than the money and prestige they earn.

41. For many if not most people, surrogate activities are less satisfying than the pursuit of real goals (that
is, goals that people would want to attain even if their need for the power process were already fulfilled).
One indication of this is the fact that, in many or most cases, people who are deeply involved in surrogate
activities are never satisfied, never at rest. Thus the money-maker constantly strives for more and more
wealth. The scientist no sooner solves one problem than he moves on to the next. The long-distance
runner drives himself to run always farther and faster. Many people who pursue surrogate activities will
say that they get far more fulfillment from these activities than they do from the "mundane" business of
satisfying their biological needs, but that it is because in our society the effort needed to satisfy the
biological needs has been reduced to triviality. More importantly, in our society people do not satisfy their
biological needs AUTONOMOUSLY but by functioning as parts of an immense social machine. In
contrast, people generally have a great deal of autonomy in pursuing their surrogate activities. have a great
deal of autonomy in pursuing their surrogate activities.


42. Autonomy as a part of the power process may not be necessary for every individual. But most people
need a greater or lesser degree of autonomy in working toward their goals. Their efforts must be
undertaken on their own initiative and must be under their own direction and control. Yet most people do
not have to exert this initiative, direction and control as single individuals. It is usually enough to act as a
member of a SMALL group. Thus if half a dozen people discuss a goal among themselves and make a
successful joint effort to attain that goal, their need for the power process will be served. But if they work
under rigid orders handed down from above that leave them no room for autonomous decision and
initiative, then their need for the power process will not be served. The same is true when decisions are
made on a collective bases if the group making the collective decision is so large that the role of each
individual is insignificant [5]

43. It is true that some individuals seem to have little need for autonomy. Either their drive for power is
weak or they satisfy it by identifying themselves with some powerful organization to which they belong.
And then there are unthinking, animal types who seem to be satisfied with a purely physical sense of
power (the good combat soldier, who gets his sense of power by developing fighting skills that he is quite
content to use in blind obedience to his superiors).

44. But for most people it is through the power process-having a goal, making an AUTONOMOUS effort
and attaining the goal-that self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of power are acquired. When one does
not have adequate opportunity to go throughout the power process the consequences are (depending on
the individual and on the way the power process is disrupted) boredom, demoralization, low self-esteem,
inferiority feelings, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse,
insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior, sleep disorders, eating disorders, etc. [6]


45. Any of the foregoing symptoms can occur in any society, but in modern industrial society they are
present on a massive scale. We aren't the first to mention that the world today seems to be going crazy.
This sort of thing is not normal for human societies. There is good reason to believe that primitive man
suffered from less stress and frustration and was better satisfied with his way of life than modern man is.
It is true that not all was sweetness and light in primitive societies. Abuse of women and common among
the Australian aborigines, transexuality was fairly common among some of the American Indian tribes.
But is does appear that GENERALLY SPEAKING the kinds of problems that we have listed in the
preceding paragraph were far less common among primitive peoples than they are in modern society.

46. We attribute the social and psychological problems of modern society to the fact that that society
requires people to live under conditions radically different from those under which the human race
evolved and to behave in ways that conflict with the patterns of behavior that the human race developed
while living under the earlier conditions. It is clear from what we have already written that we consider
lack of opportunity to properly experience the power process as the most important of the abnormal
conditions to which modern society subjects people. But it is not the only one. Before dealing with
disruption of the power process as a source of social problems we will discuss some of the other sources.

47. Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of
population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the break-down of
natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.

48. It is well known that crowding increases stress and aggression. The degree of crowding that exists
today and the isolation of man from nature are consequences of technological progress. All pre-industrial
societies were predominantly rural. The industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the
proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible
for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before. (Also, technology exacerbates the
effects of crowding because it puts increased disruptive powers in people's hands. For example, a variety
of noise-making devices: power mowers, radios, motorcycles, etc. If the use of these devices is
unrestricted, people who want peace and quiet are frustrated by the noise. If their use is restricted, people
who use the devices are frustrated by the regulations... But if these machines had never been invented
there would have been no conflict and no frustration generated by them.)

49. For primitive societies the natural world (which usually changes only slowly) provided a stable
framework and therefore a sense of security. In the modern world it is human society that dominates
nature rather than the other way around, and modern society changes very rapidly owing to technological
change. Thus there is no stable framework.

50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they
enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them
that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society with out
causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably
break down traditional values.

51.The breakdown of traditional values to some extent implies the breakdown of the bonds that hold
together traditional small-scale social groups. The disintegration of small-scale social groups is also
promoted by the fact that modern conditions often require or tempt individuals to move to new locations,
separating themselves from their communities. Beyond that, a technological society HAS TO weaken
family ties and local communities if it is to function efficiently. In modern society an individual's loyalty
must be first to the system and only secondarily to a small-scale community, because if the internal
loyalties of small-scale small-scale communities were stronger than loyalty to the system, such
communities would pursue their own advantage at the expense of the system.

52. Suppose that a public official or a corporation executive appoints his cousin, his friend or his
co-religionist to a position rather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. He has permitted
personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to the system, and that is "nepotism" or "discrimination," both of
which are terrible sins in modern society. Would-be industrial societies that have done a poor job of
subordinating personal or local loyalties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient. (Look at Latin
America.) Thus an advanced industrial society can tolerate only those small-scale communities that are
emasculated, tamed and made into tools of the system. [7]

53. Crowding, rapid change and the breakdown of communities have been widely recognized as sources
of social problems. but we do not believe they are enough to account for the extent of the problems that
are seen today.

54. A few pre-industrial cities were very large and crowded, yet their inhabitants do not seem to have
suffered from psychological problems to the same extent as modern man. In America today there still are
uncrowded rural areas, and we find there the same problems as in urban areas, though the problems tend
to be less acute in the rural areas. Thus crowding does not seem to be the decisive factor.

55. On the growing edge of the American frontier during the 19th century, the mobility of the population
probably broke down extended families and small-scale social groups to at least the same extent as these
are broken down today. In fact, many nuclear families lived by choice in such isolation, having no
neighbors within several miles, that they belonged to no community at all, yet they do not seem to have
developed problems as a result.

56.Furthermore, change in American frontier society was very rapid and deep. A man might be born and
raised in a log cabin, outside the reach of law and order and fed largely on wild meat; and by the time he
arrived at old age he might be working at a regular job and living in an ordered community with effective
law enforcement. This was a deeper change that that which typically occurs in the life of a modern
individual, yet it does not seem to have led to psychological problems. In fact, 19th century American
society had an optimistic and self-confident tone, quite unlike that of today's society. [8]

57. The difference, we argue, is that modern man has the sense (largely justified) that change is
IMPOSED on him, whereas the 19th century frontiersman had the sense (also largely justified) that he
created change himself, by his own choice. Thus a pioneer settled on a piece of land of his own choosing
and made it into a farm through his own effort. In those days an entire county might have only a couple
of hundred inhabitants and was a far more isolated and autonomous entity than a modern county is.
Hence the pioneer farmer participated as a member of a relatively small group in the creation of a new,
ordered community. One may well question whether the creation of this community was an improvement,
but at any rate it satisfied the pioneer's need for the power process.

58. It would be possible to give other examples of societies in which there has been rapid change and/or
lack of close community ties without he kind of massive behavioral aberration that is seen in today's
industrial society. We contend that the most important cause of social and psychological problems in
modern society is the fact that people have insufficient opportunity to go through the power process in a
normal way. We don't mean to say that modern society is the only one in which the power process has
been disrupted. Probably most if not all civilized societies have interfered with the power process to a
greater or lesser extent. But in modern industrial society the problem has become particularly acute.
Leftism, at least in its recent (mid-to-late -20th century) form, is in part a symptom of deprivation with
respect to the power process.


59. We divide human drives into three groups: (1) those drives that can be satisfied with minimal effort;
(2) those that can be satisfied but only at the cost of serious effort; (3) those that cannot be adequately
satisfied no matter how much effort one makes. The power process is the process of satisfying the drives
of the second group. The more drives there are in the third group, the more there is frustration, anger,
eventually defeatism, depression, etc.

60. In modern industrial society natural human drives tend to be pushed into the first and third groups,
and the second group tends to consist increasingly of artificially created drives.

61. In primitive societies, physical necessities generally fall into group 2: They can be obtained, but only at
the cost of serious effort. But modern society tends to guarantee the physical necessities to everyone [9]
in exchange for only minimal effort, hence physical needs are pushed into group 1. (There may be
disagreement about whether the effort needed to hold a job is "minimal"; but usually, in lower- to
middle-level jobs, whatever effort is required is merely that of obedience. You sit or stand where you are
told to sit or stand and do what you are told to do in the way you are told to do it. Seldom do you have to
exert yourself seriously, and in any case you have hardly any autonomy in work, so that the need for the
power process is not well served.)

62. Social needs, such as sex, love and status, often remain in group 2 in modern society, depending on
the situation of the individual. [10] But, except for people who have a particularly strong drive for status,
the effort required to fulfill the social drives is insufficient to satisfy adequately the need for the power

63. So certain artificial needs have been created that fall into group 2, hence serve the need for the power
process. Advertising and marketing techniques have been developed that make many people feel they
need things that their grandparents never desired or even dreamed of. It requires serious effort to earn
enough money to satisfy these artificial needs, hence they fall into group 2. (But see paragraphs 80-82.)
Modern man must satisfy his need for the power process largely through pursuit of the artificial needs
created by the advertising and marketing industry [11], and through surrogate activities.

64. It seems that for many people, maybe the majority, these artificial forms of the power process are
insufficient. A theme that appears repeatedly in the writings of the social critics of the second half of the
20th century is the sense of purposelessness that afflicts many people in modern society. (This
purposelessness is often called by other names such as "anomic" or "middle-class vacuity.") We suggest
that the so-called "identity crisis" is actually a search for a sense of purpose, often for commitment to a
suitable surrogate activity. It may be that existentialism is in large part a response to the purposelessness
of modern life. [12] Very widespread in modern society is the search for "fulfillment." But we think that
for the majority of people an activity whose main goal is fulfillment (that is, a surrogate activity) does not
bring completely satisfactory fulfillment. In other words, it does not fully satisfy the need for the power
process. (See paragraph 41.) That need can be fully satisfied only through activities that have some
external goal, such as physical necessities, sex, love, status, revenge, etc.

65. Moreover, where goals are pursued through earning money, climbing the status ladder or functioning
as part of the system in some other way, most people are not in a position to pursue their goals
AUTONOMOUSLY. Most workers are someone else's employee as, as we pointed out in paragraph 61,
must spend their days doing what they are told to do in the way they are told to do it. Even most people
who are in business for themselves have only limited autonomy. It is a chronic complaint of
small-business persons and entrepreneurs that their hands are tied by excessive government regulation.
Some of these regulations are doubtless unnecessary, but for the most part government regulations are
essential and inevitable parts of our extremely complex society. A large portion of small business today
operates on the franchise system. It was reported in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago that many of
the franchise-granting companies require applicants for franchises to take a personality test that is
designed to EXCLUDE those who have creativity and initiative, because such persons are not sufficiently
docile to go along obediently with the franchise system. This excludes from small business many of the
people who most need autonomy.
2003-03-29 12:14:27 AM  
OMG - half of Fark are Unabombers.

+ all of the freepers. I'm surprised they jailed him instead of making him president.
2003-03-29 12:15:41 AM  

I'd like to apologize to those that I once doubted. It's true. My account was hacked (see above). Bastards.

The really real cheeseburger.
2003-03-29 12:40:08 AM  
Tadlette: I know what you you mean. When I lived in Phoenix, there was a bum that used to climb into the dumpster by my apartment, scrounging for aluminum cans. I used to give him mine. Each time I'd hand him a big Glad bag full of Budweiser empties he'd smile and thank me. Poor guy had a speech impediment, though. His "Thank You" sounded like "No blood for oil". I knew what he meant.
2003-03-31 03:43:32 AM  
Just seeing if I can close the rouge tag...
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