1. The Mandate of Self-Command

December 5, 2019

by Eric Chaet

While carefully attending to the most reliable information I can find, regarding current events & most-recent causes, I mainly I concern myself with long-unresolved issues, conflicts, & possibilities of improvement & resolution — with the harmonized skill-set of most-possible fitness, wisdom, effectiveness, justice, & kindness, as well as the harmonized spectrum of specialized knowledge, techniques, & tools.

I try to become less incompetent & oppressed. I struggle to understand, & become adept.

I try not to deal in glib satire, scandal, or advertising — except for advertising my own campaign, to stay alive & to become capable of changing the world forever for better, & to be part of the doing of it, while I’m still alive — at least, creating what will, some actual irreversible time, be part of outlasting & prevailing over the regime of injustice & its consequences, & misunderstanding & pretense, & the basest motivations & behavior.

I try to refrain from pandering to the defense mechanisms of anti-intellectuals or the delusions of intellectuals — who speak what they have been led to believe is truth to those they imagine to be at the dead-center of Power, rather than using their lives to prepare themselves for, & whole-heartedly, wisely, & effectively to compete for, & use power, themselves.

I try to make myself competent to assume the mandate of power, &, tho I am among those at the least-esteemed base of the pyramid, I am competing for the mandate of power, myself.

I try not to let my frustration or anxiety defeat me. I try not to be drawn into conflicts that only make matters worse, & make me less capable. I try not to sell out what I’m doing — from fear, lust, impatience to be relieved of anxiety, or greed for wealth or glory.

I don’t wish to control others’ behavior by violence or threat of violence or of destitution — tho I am occasionally tempted, in moments of fury.

I appreciate that there are many people willing, to the best of their ability, to reason with me & anyone, in order to reach an improved situation — but I am all too aware that there are plenty of people who prefer to & intend to neutralize or murder anyone who interferes with their efforts to gain or keep real or imagined domination — including plenty who imagine or pretend that they are among the reasonable ones.

I try to face what seems, at first, overwhelming, & make myself, at least, its equal.

Appealing neither to this nor to that faction, neither to this nor to that one who claims the mandate of heaven or the mandate of the people — that’s me — now nearly fatally upset, now composed, now nearly spent, now refreshed, now fast & struggling to catch a breath, now slow but deliberate — climbing up from way behind.

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2. Beyond Civilizations

December 5, 2019

by Eric Chaet

People identify themselves & behave per circumstances they didn’t create.

The dominant ones, well-fed, sheltered, favored ethnicity & physique & complexion & affect, connected via family to coteries of those sharing & taking advantages for granted — & thru coteries to networks of wealth, all sharing a celebratory narrative of history — & served & encouraged & driven to win at the game of parlaying their wealth — & others’ aggregated surpluses — & power over others, tho this is frequently unconscious — tend to glorify themselves — & to seem glorious to one another, & to those aspiring to become one of them.

Those who begin dominated — insufficient benevolent connection with those with money & know-how with which to launch successful campaigns to fulfill their ambitions — &, so, sharing disabling resentment — & likely indoctrinated, simultaneously, to believe that they are among this or that chosen people — resentment & indoctrination working against one another, wasting precious energy — spend almost all their genius merely surviving, or competing for consolation prizes, which are often “on sale” — occasional relief from anxiety & frustration — &, maybe, competing for acclaim, for having transcended their initial disadvantages & their association with those they “rise above” — a high-wire act ending in disaster with any single moment’s relaxation from vigilance.

Wolves are kind to other wolves in their packs, but cruel to wolves of other packs. Non-wolves are prey.

Likewise prides of lions.

I suppose it is approximately the same for deer, rabbits, mice — those dodging the packs & prides.

For a long time, I guess, there was no life on Earth, & maybe no life anywhere.

Then, for a long time, there was life on Earth, but nothing like humans or what humans do among one another.

Then, for a long time, humans wandered the Earth in packs, I guess, hunting, approximately like packs of wolves or prides of lions.

Then, so I’m told, began metallurgy, animal husbandry, agriculture, formalized religion, writing, commerce, government, & taxation — & armies & wars.

What comes next I don’t know.

What is called Civilization or civilizations — which almost everyone, whether dominant or dominated, is loyal to — must be a stage of whatever is developing, rather than final.

What is developing could be the cruel, terrible collapse that always seems imminent, foreshadowed by various wars, small & great acts of bigotry, & unsustainable exploitation & misallocation of resources, with partisan rationalizing.

Or it could be what those of us who manage sometimes to work honestly with our kindest (not just our own kind) & most righteous (not self-righteous) aspirations (not pretending we’ve already done what we hope, against great odds, to do) will manage to make of it.

Early achievements along this line are bound to seem approximately negligible, relative to the job to be done.

The first seed or zygote created by a new species is a tremendous achievement, but is unlikely even to survive in its earliest stages of competition for survival.

If & when such a species has emerged sufficiently to be noticed, the creation of that first seed or zygote will be lost in pre-history. It won’t have been noticed. It won’t have been recorded. There will be no accounting for it.

But it will be, & it will have effects. It will be effective.

How effective will depend on other, similar, unnoticed achievements — as well as on the evolution of civilizations & “Civilization.”

This is so, too, of the emergence, first from the struggles of one person — here & there, & now & then — of new species of thinking & behavior, their survival, & their effectiveness.

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3. Most Effectively Kind

December 5, 2019

by Eric Chaet

New-born babies cry — whether born in poverty & squalor, or in luxury. Death, disappointed expectations, disappointed hopes, winter, illness, injury, aging — we suffer.

But so much suffering is the consequence of injustices perpetrated either opportunistically, by those who can get away with it, or who think they will be able to get away with it, or by those oblivious to the suffering they cause — oblivious to others’ feelings, situations, reasonable or unreasonable goals — unable or unwilling to conceive of others’ lives.

Sometimes, what is legal & what is just are the same thing, but nowhere near always. Sometimes, what is illegal & what is unjust are the same thing, but nowhere near always. I’m talking about justice & injustice.

I must struggle even to get enough of what I need, just to go on living — I’m no exception — let alone for what I want besides.

How shall I profit sufficiently & soon enough, from reducing injustice — to zero?

I don’t want only to attend to victims, & I certainly don’t want to be a victim myself.

I don’t want to be one more ineffective do-gooder, certainly not one more martyr, whether celebrated or pitied or unnoticed.

How can I be most effectively kind — that is, how can I be realistically righteous — with results otherwise impossible — & not just precious little victories in the midst of the great defeat that history has chronicled so far — & that is all too evident all around us?

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4. How to Reduce Injustice to Zero Without Destroying Individuals’ Freedom

December 5, 2019

by Eric Chaet

How to reduce injustice — to zero — without destroying individuals’ freedom?

On purpose.

I don’t propose that it be the state’s or the church’s or the party’s business to reduce injustice to zero. I propose that it be my business, & your business, & others’ who also entertain the idea, & disabuse themselves of the idea that it is impossible.

Computers are sometimes described as universal machines, because, per different programs, they can solve any & all problems.

That’s a nice metaphor.

Actually, it is you & I who are universal machines, because, per different programs (i.e., plans, detailed plans, sequences of operations toward goals, e.g., reducing injustice to zero), we can solve any & all problems.

We are souls. We learn to master our bodies, to the extent that we learn to master our bodies. (Others compete to master our bodies, to kill them because they don’t want their competition for food, sex, property; or via slavery or conscription; or employing our bodies, the terms of employment reflecting disproportionate power.)

Our brains, part of our bodies, create our minds. We learn to master our minds, to the extent that we master our minds. (Others compete to master our minds, tho.)

We master our physical & social environments, to the extent that we learn to master them.

Many mistakes are made by many people, & often what people do makes matters worse rather than better. Justice seems about as abstract ideal as can be, unrealizable.

Many mistakes will have to be corrected along the way — with our bodies, minds, interacting with our physical & social environments — each of us beginning, & continuing — on purpose — til it’s done.

No freedom lost, only less & less injustice.

Of course, in the meantime, you’ll have to struggle — amidst predators; competitors; well-meaning but deluded friends, family, & do-gooders; & parasites — & with your own negative character traits & the consequences of earlier traumas & bad programming — just to survive.

I’m not talking about escaping from what must be transformed, from within it.

I’m saying that it’s what we’re made capable of doing, & that it is what makes all that we go thru worth going thru.

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5. What About Joys?

December 5, 2019

by Eric Chaet

Everyone, sometimes, & a lot of people once & for all, decide that dealing with injustice is someone else’s business, that their business is enjoying life.

They’re right! If they didn’t commit the injustice, it’s not their business!

However, it might happen to them. If they live a while, some of it will happen to them! Whether it happens to them or to someone else, it interferes with just enjoying life (& suffering occasional winters, illnesses, injuries, gravity, & aging, & being misunderstood & having to compete for nutrients & shelter).

And joys don’t last, you may have noticed. It’s their nature to peak, then ebb.

But they’re still joy! Where would we be without joy?

But where are we without turning & facing & dealing with injustices & injustice?

Injustice won’t easily be eliminated. It will be necessary to be very efficient. Even more, it will be necessary to choose the right intermediate goals & steps to achieving the goals, in the midst of so much misunderstanding & injustice & suffering & oppression. It will be necessary to be effective.

Meanwhile, there need not be the slightest sacrifice of joy. Only the joys will be different joys than the joys of those around you, who do not turn & face & deal with injustices & injustice. Or, to the extent that they are the same joys — say, spring-time, the development from seeds & youths to excellent specimens of plants & animals, music (Beethoven’s symphonies!), waking up feeling well & grateful & hopeful, understanding something long beyond you, solving this or that problem, love — they will be juxtaposed with other activities, per transformed schedules & regimes.

And sometimes — real progress!

Ah, joy! — spark of perfect success!

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I volunteer to take on responsibility for the suffering due to injustice, & to use myself to eliminate the injustice. That doesn’t mean I take the blame for it!

If, as I do, you take on the responsibility, you will, again & again, remember how hard it is to do anything about it.

It’s a bigger task than making a fortune; or winning the acclaim of millions; or gaining a role in a clique; or managing a household, farm, hospital, school, factory, or government; or working as the subordinate of any such manager.

You still must manage your health & fitness. In fact, you must do a great deal better job than previously. You don’t belong to yourself alone any more.

You must manage your time & attention — more so, now, not less.
You must manage your body, your emotions, your thoughts, your behavior.

The sequence of operations which you perform will be the sequence of operations that you plan to perform, & learn to perform. You will be the planner, & the one who executes the plan. You alone will have to learn to perform each of the operations, without becoming stuck at the level of one particular sort of operation.

You still must deal with the constant war for money you don’t have & money you do have.

You will have to fund your operations, & allocate the funds effectively. Financial advisors are unlikely to be able even to believe what you are doing, let alone to be able to help you much. Even more so, investment bankers, loan officers, etc.

Insects & mice & people who have targeted you still want to invade your rooms, & you still must keep your rooms warm enough to survive the winter.

The authorities will still be as stubborn & negligent as they have been. Those who are in perpetual, irrational rebellion will continue to be so. People who have not managed their minds well will continue to attempt to distract you, will misunderstand you, & will want to engage you in useless — or worse — dramas, etc.

You volunteer, but you begin with the full complement of habits of thought & behavior that are inappropriate to achieving any progress.

The first step, they say, is the hardest. And the first step is transforming yourself.

It is also said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Meanwhile, as you would have mercy on anyone else, have mercy on yourself.

To drive yourself to despair, sickness, exhaustion would be cruel, unnecessary, & counterproductive.

You need to sleep well. You must enjoy yourself sufficiently, or you won’t be able to go on.

You have at least as much right & necessity to treat yourself well as anyone trying to struggle out of any bad situation — certainly as much as anyone trying to parlay an advantageous situation into an even more advantageous one.

You have as much right & necessity to enjoy being alive, as anyone who does not take on any responsibility, or who takes on a significantly lower level of responsibility.

But I say, from experience — often feeling overwhelmed & defeated — that if you take on the responsibility, & do all that you can, from time to time, as you make progress, you will win some enjoyment that those who don’t make that commitment won’t experience.

You have to persevere, but you have to forgive yourself a lot, too.

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