“The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” ~Antisthenes
Raised, as most of us are, within nation states, it is extremely difficult to think outside the statist box. It’s tantamount to cognitive dissonance; Might as well ask a fish to breathe outside water, it’s so counterintuitive. But, and here’s the rub, we are not fish, and if we want to continue to be a progressively evolving species on this planet, we are going to have to think outside the box.
The thing is, it’s perfectly okay if “the box” is healthy, sustainable, and moral. But when it’s unhealthy, unsustainable, and immoral, like the statist box is, then it becomes imperative that we think outside of it. If we cannot do this, then we cowardly give in to indifference and ignorance, and we will be ruled by those who know how to gain power over indifference and ignorance. As Plato pointed out, “The price of apathy toward public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
In order to recondition our statist conditioning, we’re going to have to imagine a world without masters and rulers. No mastery except for self-mastery; no rulers except for self-rule. This seems counterintuitive to our statist conditioning, but it’s not. We simply need to be a little more imaginative about the ways in which we approach the ideas of leadership and rules. Leadership does not imply the need for masters, and rules do not imply the need for a ruler. We simply need a fresh perspective, preferably one that can see past statist driven propaganda. As Plotinus said, “We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing… a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.”
No Masters Does NOT Mean No Leaders
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
A good leader does not seek mastery over others but mastery over the self. It is through self-mastery that a leader leads by example. No masters means no seeking mastery over others (tyranny), and no bequeathing mastery over oneself to others (slavery). It does not mean no leadership. Rather, no masters implies leadership through self-mastery, without the master-slave dynamic muddying up the waters of liberty.
The problem with growing up thinking inside the statist box is that we are brain washed into thinking that the mastery of the state, with its hierarchical power constructs and vertical oligarchy, is leadership. We are conditioned to think that our obedience to the system (house slavery) is the price we pay to not be kicked out of the nation (house).
No masters means freedom. Not the pseudo-freedom espoused by the state, but real freedom. It means no slavery, whether soft or hard. It means the individual is free to discover his/her own self-mastery through the leadership of others and not through obsequious to others or the system. As Epictetus said, “No man is free, who is not master of himself.”
A good leader knows when to follow (obey) as well as when not to follow (disobey). A true leader will not blindly kowtow to the state, but wisely question it, knowing that the state is mostly made up of individuals who tend to seek mastery over others rather than self-mastery. It’s because of this tendency that most states dissolve into authoritarian regimes that rule by force (fear and violence) rather than leadership (honor and prestige). Lest we give into the inherent insanity of the state, we must remain self-empowered individuals seeking self-mastery through sound leadership rather than self-inured individuals blindly following the mastery of the system that keeps the state entrenched.
No Rulers Does NOT Mean No Rules
“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” ~Plato
As it stands, we are a nation within which the majority of us do not engage in politics. Is it any wonder we are governed by orange-faced bigots and dumb and dumber bipartisanship? Ad hominem aside, the powers that be only have power when we the people agree that they have power.
The problem is that the majority of the people are not proactively engaged in politics and tend to be ignorant to the ways in which power works. This bodes well for those in power, for the entrenched masters and rulers, but not so well for those seeking self-mastery, self-rule, and freedom and justice for all. As Lord Byron once said, “Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” Lest we allow ourselves to become bigots, fools, and slaves, we must be proactively engaged with our own freedom and aware of how the powers that be are working to keep us that way. “No masters, no rulers” is an extremely poignant phrase that keeps us circumspect and vigilant regarding our own freedom and liberty…
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article (No Masters, No Rulers – A World Without Statist Conditioning) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary ‘Z’ McGee and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.