Kleptocracy’s Binary Monopoly
@ K. 2001 10 14
Both church and state dictate morality on stolen land
Church and State are presented to us (by Church and State) as rivals. The dominant ideal since the American Revolution has been to keep them balanced: the church mustn’t run the state; the state must not interfere with the church. Pick one of those positions to argue and you’ll have your Ph.D. at twenty-one and be dean of the graduate school before thirty. You may be running for the White House barely past forty-five.
I point out that Church and State are rivals the way Cain and Abel were rivals. One’s always killing the other but the other never actually dies completely. They’re brothers: almost as close as twins. They seem opposite only if you let them draw the distinctions for you.Church and State compete for an imaginary monopoly on playing God.Church and State are like different wings of one party: the kleptocracy party. To listen to the Democrats and the Republicans you’d think they were opposite: rather than almost twins. They’re just right and left wings of the one party of America: the Property Party (the stolen property party!) (Rule the NonPlusUltra: Hang On To It!)
Church and State are both magical entities, both offering salvation. The Church offers spiritual salvation, the State offers secular salvation. Whether you’re supposed to get pie in the sky when you die or you’re supposed to get pie next week (as soon as we’ve routed the opposition), you’re still promised pie in the future. The only pie you’re likely actually to get from either source is in the face.
Before Churches promise salvation shouldn’t they prove they can actually deliver? shouldn’t they show someone actually in heaven through their ministrations? (shouldn’t Satan have proved to Eve that he controlled any of the things that he promised?) shouldn’t the State have to prove that secular salvation is real, that they have it, that they control it? Otherwise are all entities for sale something like the Brooklyn Bridge? Maybe you have a piece of paper, but is the physical bridge actually yours?
So long as Church and State can maintain the illusion that kleptocracy is the only game and that they’re the only two legal players, they can go on till we run out of reality to delude ourselves in. (If we’re all drinking acid rain and breathing acid air till we can drink and breath no more, then no one will have won.) False dichotomies and false choices are the common fare of kleptocracies. Remember the “choice” we were reduced to in Vietnam? Not: Prove you belong or get out but When will our prisoners of war be released?
Something else they have in common, the promise is never delivered, and it’s never the promiser’s fault. It wasn’t Stalin’s fault that communism was never delivered: only worse and worse forms of tyranny. It wasn’t Washington-Jefferson-Nixon’s fault that democracy, education, a genuine prosperity … never arrived: it was the Catholics, the Irish, the Jews, the Communists, the N-s, the Terrorists … the workers, the owners, the Martians … that betrayed us. [Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 06, euphemizing the most popularly offensive words, so ironic for the freedom guy]
Funny thing is: if we just lived in small bands, and found a mate … or didn’t, and found food … or didn’t, and killed each other … or didn’t … nothing would be anyone’s fault: because no one would have promised anything: at least not with the weight of an institution.
If I say I’ll take you to the movies, and I don’t: I get drunk instead; big deal. It’s just me. Avoid me. Tell everybody. But if priest N, in a series of generations of priests, takes your money as he took your grandfathers … and you don’t wind up in heaven …? Isn’t that infinitely worse?
Wouldn’t it be better for no one to go to heaven after no one’s been sold heaven, than for everyone to have been sold heaven, with not one demonstration that anyone’s there?
The parent file, on pk’s childhood indoctrinations, was one of the first written for Knatz.com. A number of important themes were introduced there first: conflicts between freedom and coercion, between church and state, between individual and group, between faith and evidence, civilization and its discontents … Though only a half-dozen years ago, I carried a couple of handicaps in my first writings here that I no longer have: 1) I hadn’t yet encountered Jared Diamond’s all-encompassing coinage “kleptocracy”; 2) I was most practiced then at “creative” writing, not at exposition.
The digital drawings I did to accompany those early files characterize a ricocheting do-si-do (unfortunately non-cybernetic, not learning anything) between church and state for power over our minds. Another early file, my history of Magic, observes that church and state are siblings: offshoots of each other.