Text for Public Talk Given At Rajkot Nagrik Seva Samiti (Rajkot Citizen’s Service Council)
20 July 2009 (the 31st day of my paperless statelessness)
The following three quotations summarize the situation we face, and provide the commandments of two great men for what we must do to save ourselves.
The State can only survive as long as a majority [of the citizenry] is mentally programmed to believe that theft is not wrong if it is called taxation or asset forfeiture or eminent domain, that assault and kidnapping is not wrong if it is called arrest, that mass murder is not wrong if it is called war. ~ Bill St. Clair
It is time for people to understand that governments not only are not necessary, but are harmful and most highly immoral institutions, in which a self-respecting honest man cannot and must not take part, and the advantages of which he cannot and should not enjoy. ~ Leo Tolstoy
And from your own Mohandas Gandhi, who attended the Alfred School not far from where I am now standing:
He or she who supports a State organized in a military way — whether directly or indirectly — participates in sin. Each man takes part in the sin by contributing to the maintenance of the State by paying taxes. ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
The Corporate Warfare State
In the global war zone of the modern Corporate Warfare State — which has murdered an estimated 230 million people in the past century — please tell me which State is not organized in a military way, if only of necessity for self-defense against rogue nations like the USA? The economy of which major power today is not substantially driven by the armaments industry?
In my youth of 45 years ago, faced with immediate conscription for the Vietnam War, I chose the Navy and was commissioned as an officer in its Civil Engineer Corps. I served as a company commander in a Seabee outfit that worked as combat engineers for the Marine Corps in the vicinity of Da Nang and Chu Lai.
I saw too much, and heard of even worse depravities after my release from active duty — the My Lai Massacre, the secret and devastating fire bombing of non-combatant Cambodia which destroyed a nation and a culture based upon life in grass hut villages, and much more.
In my later work with Hospice, veteran’s groups, and Kubler-Ross Life Death and Transition, I participated in efforts to heal the minds and hearts of GI’s who had seen and done things which push a human being beyond the edge of sanity.
A Malaysian friend provided this eyewitness account of post-war naval actions at sea. The U.S. Navy was moving American war machines out of Vietnam after suffering defeat there. Vietnamese boat people were struggling in the open sea with their overloaded wooden vessels. One of them tried to wave down a U.S. destroyer for help. It steamed toward them, rammed and sank the vessel, and then turned away. Families of children and parents — more than 300 human beings — were thus drowned by the U.S. Navy, after the cease fire had been negotiated and the war was over.
Under the standards of the USA Patriot Acts and the Military Commissions Act of 2006, American legislation pretends to bind us to the notion that this kind of thing — as well as depraved acts of assassination and torture — is normal, circumstantially ethical and sane human behavior which we should dutifully finance with taxes on our bread labor.
Three Foundation Stones of State Evil
1.) Sovereign Immunity, Taxation, and Mind Conditioning
Out of sovereign immunity grows the power to impose legalized theft by taxation up to the point of outright insurrection of the citizenry. Most populations will suffer almost unbearable oppression before rebellion.
We are rendered doubly vulnerable to Power by the artificial “legal” construct of sovereign immunity which protects the wielders of power from the consequences of their actions. These men can execute the most heinous of crimes without fear of retribution — without fear, even, of being identified with the crime.
Thus it is that we face double vulnerability: once to the forceful application of raw power itself, and doubled because we cannot demand accountability of the sovereign as an individual person without resorting to violence. The sovereign is legally immune behind the shield of "Executive Privilege" and other euphemisms for tyranny. The whole game is run under a cloak of anonymity, secrecy, and lies.
The main tools with which the Establishment maintains its oppression are subtle methods of mind control and manufactured consent. Most of the public has been so brainwashed that most people don’t recognize State actions as crimes. In the words of George Orwell, slavery becomes freedom and war becomes peace.
Their other tool of people control is fear. A nation of 300 millions is held in quaking fear, its great traditions of civil rights are stripped away, and a pre-meditated world war is started on the basis of government edicts in response to the actions of 19 men armed only with box cutters. (Nine-one-one may have been merely a target of opportunity for the Project for A New American Century, but there is convincing evidence that the whole event was cunningly orchestrated from inside the government.)
I cannot believe that this fear psychosis could have been inculcated without the many preceding generations having been "educated" — means trained to respond to control stimuli — in a system of compulsory attendance in government schools. The award-winning New York school teacher John Taylor Gatto is a fearless writer and Truth warrior on this subject.
The temptations of money, power, prestige, and sex — all being among the political culture’s expectations of accepted “look the other way” perquisites of high government office — to be enjoyed irresponsibly is too great for the most greedy, psychopathic and evil among us to resist.
This explains why the worst and most immoral men of this character rise to the upper reaches of the power structure. What honest man would want to be involved in politics?
Are we ourselves not irresponsible to permit ourselves to be ruled by the depraved?
2.) Corporate Limited Liability & Wealth Transfer
Like sovereign immunity, this legal construct shields corporate owners and managers from the consequences of their actions. Look at the great death-dealing crimes of Union Carbide-Dow Chemical in Bhopal. No one responsible for this mass death will ever be brought to book.
The Corporation is a creature of the State, licensed and protected by the government. Most U.S. law is designed to benefit corporations and not human beings.
The corporation ends up both controlling the State and being its operating arm that is connected to the corruption known as Central Banking. Through the double bind of taxation and currency debauchment, we are now experiencing the greatest transfer of wealth from the people to the Power Structure in all of history.
Wendell Berry has defined in one line the whole truth of the corporation. It is a pile of money to which its owners and managers surrender their moral conscience. I would add that its employees are robot servo-mechanisms whose humanity has been lobotomized by corporate-controlled government compulsory public education.
3.) Secret Ballot Voting
The system of secret ballot voting means that no one is accountable to anyone. There is no “Face Shame” in this anonymous game. There is no agency and no responsibility.
Gullible people who vote do not understand that the “democracy” in which they are participating is only a front for the Establishment Power Structure, which wins every election no matter who is elected. The Americans Carl Watner and Butler Shaeffer, and the Canadian Wendy McElroy have written excellently on this subject.
There can be no contract of agency between parties unknown and unknowable to each other. This means that no one can be held accountable for actions of a government established by secret ballot. This structural irresponsibility is reinforced by the shield of sovereign immunity.
- The Ultimate Effect of Structural Evil
Protected from the consequences of their actions by these three “legal” constructs, evil people attracted by power will do anything for more power and more wealth.
The few people attracted by power in order to "do good" fail to understand that power itself — no matter in whose hands — is intrinsically evil, and will always become more evil through corruption.
Abstract legal constructs of social relations — such as constitutions and parliamentary laws imposed by representatives from outside the local community — become instruments of exploitation and oppression in the hands of the Money Power. A quick look at the death-dealing effects of Eminent Domain against indigenous peoples everywhere is sufficient proof.
Any law imposed by anyone who does not deal as a peer on a face-to-face daily basis with those affected by the law will become an instrument of domination. Thus any law imposed by any means other than the consensus of all concerned will end up causing violence.
The well-informed know that Statist democracy rides on a wave propagated by lies. Still, in order to protect their property and livelihoods, they choose to game the system. This leaves humanity in a situation pursuant to which it is subject to the rule of an inhuman machine which directs human affairs through institutionalized structural violence.
After many years of experience as CEO of a firm that contracted with the world’s major mining and oil companies — where I negotiated and worked with their top executives and board members — I came to understand corporate business as a cutthroat hybrid of war and sport. It is a merciless game that leaves only the quick and the dead in its wake.
Mixed with these human actions is no respect for human values or cultures, no love, no compassion, no even sympathy for the lives that are crushed in the endless grasping for profit.
The point is made by the following glimpse of the current situation of Indian villagers who are being forced off their traditional and legally entitled land to make way for big industrial developers, who buy off the land rights laws with bribes and political muscle. Many of the shattered and now homeless, landless villagers wind up dead, or forced to migrate to the horrible lives awaiting them in big urban slums.
You start with coal mining, then you move to steel plants, then you drink the river dry, all in the name of profit. It’s costing people their lives. ~ Ramkumar Aggarwall, Truth Force, New Delhi, 2003.
“Khareed Lo, Hatta Do, Mitta Do, Phasaa Do” — in English, this published creed and policy of U.K. based Jindal Power & Steel, one of the great despoilers of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, reads: “Buy, Remove, Eliminate, or Trap.” ~ Helena Drakakis and Simon Williams, Truth Force, New Delhi, 2003 (www.actionvillageindia.org.uk).
- You saw today how the State surrounded us. You saw how they wanted to suppress our peaceful action with violence. ~ Rajgopal Veetil, President of Ekta Parishad, a land rights movement which employs Gandhi’s method of Satyagraha and negotiation (www.ektaparishad.org).
The entire and sole reason for existence of this corporate economic machine is money profit for its owners. It is absolutely unnecessary for the fulfillment of human needs by people who are willing to undertake bread labor. It is devoid of all respect for life.
Continuing on this path of destruction will spell biological extinction of the human species. I carry the personal burden of the karma of having participated in this destruction. The work now is to correct myself.
Corporate industrial “civilization” is eating the sustenance of coming generations and destroying the physical basis of life on earth. This “civilization” is in fact cannibalism.
For just a few examples of past civilizations which have suffered massive die-offs because of environmental degradation, read Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse, and T.N. Khoshoo, Mahatma Gandhi, Apostle of Applied Human Ecology.
There is solid concern for the actual and the concrete in Gandhi’s saying that the sword is not the sign of strength, but the symbol of fear and weakness. Fear generates suspicion and sometimes even arrogance. The accumulation of fear results in the formation of complexes. Sometimes it may produce aggressiveness.
A greatly disturbing situation of our times is the growth of perverted and maladjusted personalities who are prone to being exploited by demagogues who raise bogeys and scares of different kinds and play upon the fear of the people. Gandhi teaches the psychological efficacy of fearlessness based on spiritual faith as the way to counteract the blighting influences of political coercion, group jealousies and rivalries, and individual appetites.
Gandhi wrote, “The truth is that cowardice itself is violence of a subtle and therefore dangerous type, and far more difficult to eradicate than the habit of physical violence. A coward never risks his life. A man who would kill often risks it. A nonviolent person’s life is always at the disposal of him who would take it. For he knows that the soul within never dies. The encasing body is ever perishing. The more a man gives his life, the more he saves it. Thus nonviolence requires more than the courage of the soldier of war. The Gita definition of a soldier is one who does not know what it is to run away from danger.
~ From Journal of Gandhian Studies, Vol IV, 2006
Mahatma Gandhi On Peace and Nonviolence, by Ashu Pasricha
An Obvious Situation, Patriotism, & Severance
If we care to look deeply — back then in history, and right now via the internet — we can see the obviousness of the truth of the State, and we begin slowly and slowly to perceive the obviousness of anarchy. See the essays of John Hasnas and others at the website of The Voluntaryist, and also at LewRockwell.com and FreeOfState.org.
Blind and dead laws made for the benefit of corporations, and constitutions imposed upon us by Power established outside and above, are the legalized tools of oppression.
This abstract institutional construct is the design drawing for a process of conditioning us to accept our status as prey for the Corporate Predator State.
It is not the power of the companies, but the power of concepts of an adverse nature, that is destroying the foundation of freedom. ~ Wilhelm Schmundt, 1972
We hide our personal responsibility for predations of the State behind words like "patriotism" and "protection of the general welfare." Patriotism is the scapegoat upon which we hang our moral conscience so that we can have plausible denial of our true responsibility.
The ground zero true meaning of patriotism is the legalized murder of women and children, and other unspeakable atrocities which turn us into some kind of cruel and mindless subhuman creature.
Finally, patriotism is the shield for liars and cowards who from the comfort of offices in ostentatious buildings direct others to die for their profit. See Marine Corps General Smedley Butler’s book War Is A Racket.
There is only one nonviolent way to deal with an abusive relationship in which you are the victim. And that one way is to leave it. Give up all hope that you can change the system toward justice and peace. When we participate in these efforts at change — for example by voting — we are acting in the role of enablers of a power-mad pathological abuser.
Seeing after a long time the only way open to me, I severed my relationship with the most destructive rogue abuser on the planet — the United States Government. It can no longer do anything in my name, because I have renounced my citizenship.
Your poster of the Serenity Prayer — attached to the wall over here on my left — describes both my choice and my decision:
The courage to change the things I can…
The one actual, real and direct action that I could take was to break the paper chains that were holding me as a slave to the Empire. I tore up my U.S. passport at the Gandhi Samadhi, Rajghat, New Delhi. Rather than arrest me, the Indian police told me that I was free to roam anywhere in India, and to call them for help if I ran into any trouble.
The great Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote, “Man is moral choice.” This is what I have been calling the Law of Moral Causation. By unilateral renunciation of my citizenship, I chose to assert my responsibility by denying that the U.S. government could act in my name and on my behalf.
For primitive man, the Universe as a whole is a moral and social order, governed not by what we might call natural law, but rather by what we might call moral law. [emphasis added] ~ A.R. Radcliffe Brown.
It is obvious that the Laws and Constitutions of the Corporate Warfare State are far, far away from moral law, natural law, or any system of thought and philosophy that promotes a moral and social order.
Questions of Relevance & Example
An immediate question perhaps arises for you. Of what relevance is the United States Government to the 700 million people of village India?
I answer that the USA is both the power and the symbol of the corporate globalization which is systematically destroying the earth’s ecology and its indigenous cultures. Its Central Bankers — with collaboration of client governments — determine the price of onions in the third-world. See Confessions of An Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.
Here is the quotation of a freedom fighter in Mexico which seems equally relevant to the India of today:
“Why is it necessary to kill and to die so that you should listen to Ramona, seated here beside me, tell you that Indian women want to live, want to study, want hospitals, want medicines, want schools, want food, want respect, want justice, want dignity? ~ Insurgente Marcos to President of Mexico Salinas after the cease fire in Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, February 1994 (Our Word Is Our Weapon, Seven Stories Press).
I plan to continue to present to the State and to humanity the question of whether we are ready to permit a peace-loving man to exist and to move about freely, without tracking tags and permission-to-exist documents. Or have we been so thoroughly conditioned that everyone except third world villagers and tribal people is destined to live in the big surveillance sheep pens constructed by states all over the world.
I conceive that the only “walk the talk” example that I can now attempt — in order to put my words into action — is try to live in the manner suggested by the Ancient Futures Way: chop my own wood, carry my own water, eschew electricity and the internal combustion engine, move about on my own legs, eschew telephone and internet (the mining of mineral elements contained in every computer stain the device with the blood of African women). It may not be possible for me to achieve all of this, but I am called to do my best, so that even in failure of result I will have succeeded in preservation of my own integrity.
Here is the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi, in a letter to Jawaharlal Nehru,
5 October 1945.
“I believe that if India, and through India the world, is to achieve real freedom, then sooner or later we shall have to go and live in the villages — in huts, not in palaces. Millions of people can never live in cities and palaces in comfort and peace. Nor can they do so by killing one another, that is, by resorting to violence and untruth. I have not the slightest doubt that, but for the pair truth and nonviolence, mankind will be doomed. We can have the vision of that truth and nonviolence only in the simplicity of the villages.” [emphasis added]
It is the complexity of an artificially constructed industrial “civilization” that is the breeding ground of lies through an anonymous hierarchical power structure. Lies arise from abstractions and arbitrary legal constructs.
As Gwich’in Elder Lincoln Tritt has written, living in raw nature leaves no room for BS. Your true human relationships are sustained on respect and truth, or you are out of the tribe. Lincoln further expounds: “Open your minds. Think beyond civilization.” (personal communication, June 2009)
The Future of mankind is with the Ancient Futures Way of indigenous peoples, or else there is no future for mankind.
The great land rights protests currently arising in your country are forcing the government of India, acting in the name of industrial development for the benefit of giant foreign corporations, to murder large numbers of its own citizens — tribal people that industrial civilization considers to be superfluous and expendable, fit only to be wasted — in order to force them off the land that has supported their lives since time immemorial.
These oppressive practices are stoking the fires of a huge social volcano that cannot be contained. This volcanic magma is heating up all over the world wherever traditional cultures still occupy land. Either the meek will inherit the earth, or there will be no earth to inherit.
…The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. We are many and they are few. They need us more than we need them. ~ Arundhati Roy, 2003
My recent experiences are teaching me that Satyagraha — strong adherence to truth — cuts like a sword through much of the rubbish which surrounds our lives. And further, that one’s property, honor, and body-itself-at-risk must be the sword, and not just words. This seems to invoke a Grace of Providence that serendipitously arises from unknown and unexpected sources, and which operates on a just-in-time system of Deliverance.
What Must Be Done
However insignificant Simplicity seems,
the whole world cannot make it submissive.
If princes and kings could keep to it,
all things in the world would of themselves pay homage.
Heaven and earth would unite to send down sweet dew.
The people with no one to command them
would of themselves become harmonious.
~ Lao Tzu
For a long time have we been violating the laws of nature, of ethics, of morality, of common decency, of respect. Whole generations are coming up without awareness that Man is governed by the Laws of Nature. We are well and truly lost.
We are not facing a crisis of climate change, or peak oil shock, or economic chaos, or social upheaval, or terrorism, or geo-politics. These are but symptoms of a disease which has much deeper roots. The vector of this disease is the Corporate Warfare State.
We are facing a spiritual and moral crisis. It is the culminating effect of manifold causes that go far back into human history.
We cannot go on like this and expect to survive. Our problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.
The great writer Eckhart Tolle points out that the modern State, were it an individual person, would be clinically diagnosed by its murderously violent behavior as pathologically criminally insane.
Tolle and other advanced beings such as Gopi Krishna and Ven. Thich Nhat Hahn flatly state that we must evolve to a higher level of consciousness, or face premature extinction as a species.
Ages of human experience testify that the only way society can be improved is by the method of each one doing his best to improve one’s self. This is the quiet or patient way of changing society because it concentrates upon bettering the character of men and women as individuals.
As individual members become morally fit, the fabric of society is woven with strong threads of ethics. Just as a good fabric requires good quality individual strands, so a good society requires morally fit individual members.
One of the great movements of India that is worthy of world attention in this regard is the Anuvrat Movement. Its Acharyas emphasize the importance of individual character in bettering the world. Information about its preksha meditation technique can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acharya_Tulsi.
The answers, my friend, are written deep within.
The Truth spoken of so often by Mahatma Gandhi is deep within every one of us. It is within ourselves that we must search. And as Truth flowers within us one by one, the society automatically will be transformed.
The linchpin is to Know Thyself, to be true to thyself. And then, as Shakespeare said, in being true to thyself one is bound to be true to others. This search for Self Knowledge requires quotidian introspection.
What one does with his body begins to count more than his words. One works to preserve integrity by making one’s thoughts, words and deeds become congruent. The inner work is crucial, and must be done first.
What Are We Here For?
Kurt Vonnegut’s line in Man Without A Country says it for me. We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.
For what do we live, if not to love and be loved? How many SUV’s, power mowers, snow machines, motor boats, TV’s, I-pods, and Play Stations does it take to be a lover and to be loved in return? A walk through the villages of India will show anyone that the answer is NONE.
In my deeply conditioned drive for American "success" — defined in purely material terms — I missed too many chances to love, too many walks in the woods with my kids, too much quality time with my siblings who were also caught up in the same rat race.
As a patient care volunteer in Hospice, I never once heard a dying man say that he regretted having not spent enough time at the office. But many and many at the end of their lives wept bitterly for the lost chances to love, for the absence of deep human relationships, for the alienation from their kids and their "ex’s," for the terrible loneliness of wandering the vast wasteland created by what we call "civilization."
No group or government can be a moral agent. Individuals alone have the capacity of moral agency. Thus only individuals can "help each other get through this thing, whatever it is." This help can arise only among free individuals acting in the absence of State coercion.
Compare the feelings associated with receiving in the mail an institutional check — one that you know was drawn on funds coerced from others by threat of State force — to the feelings of a helping hand from your neighbor, along with a smile and a hug.
Your moral conscience is inalienable from your being. You cannot assign it. Let no other pretend that he can represent you, or speak for you, or murder children in your name and financed with your money.
Whatever I have done by my act of renunciation and severance of citizenship, doesn’t matter. What you will do is what counts.
May you live long, live free. Love is the Law of God. Strive to be happy.
Jeff Knaebel [send him mail] is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995. He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines. Visit his website.