Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Kleptocracy /
Overview: Once upon a time the thief robbed the man. The neighbors caught the thief. The judge told the thief to give the money back. The victim, some of his wealth and some of his dignity restored, tipped the judge, maybe bought the neighbors a beer. Once upon a time, the surgeon told the nurse to give the patient a drug, then a little bit more, then a little bit more. Now the nurse injects the patient, then herself, then the patient, then herself, then herself, then herself … Now the judge takes the thief’s money and the victim’s money, and, his own throat in a state tourniquet, passes it into the maw of the state. No citizen could possibly have been injured as grievously as the state is injured at having such citizens! Then maybe the state takes the thief, and the victim too: and maybe the patient, and the surgeon, and the nurse: and the neighbors.
No opiate is as addictive as money. Agriculture’s first treasurer may have needed no salary: perhaps he had his own garden, his own livestock, access to a stream for fish, a wood, a still-natural field, for game. But kleptocracy, as old as the Bible says the world is, has never not bred rats in the treasury.
2005 08 06 Delicious parallel: I’m just reading Owen Parry’s Civil War adventures for the first time. The Cockney servant tells the Welsh Yankee how the Southron child-master stove-in the skull of the slave girl with the fire poker. The scandal was that the young master didn’t apologize. Oh, not to the slave girl, because
She didn’t signify.
No. The boy didn’t apologize to his father — the slave’s owner (and his own owner) —
who did signify.
Owen Parry’s Abel Jones novels
I started writing this note so well. Then, as it so often does, it became a mess. So I’ve added the above. I’ll post it and allow myself time to untangle and reorder the snarl that follows. More can then be added, as per usual, at any time.
Tolerance and being human go together only occasionally.
Had we accurate stats on rates of addiction to narcotics across the various state-approved professions I still bet that medicine would compete for the top spot. But it isn’t just the doctor who shoots the opiates into himself throughout a career ever degenerating toward dropping the scalpel into the wound: the nurse, the orderly, the director’s stenographer are scarfing all the pills lying around.
My favorite instance of addictions among the staff at hospitals is the anesthesiologist who’d sampled so much of her anaesthesia that in the operating theater, when the surgeon orders her to give x ccs more anaesthesia to the patient under the knife, she no longer gives .9 x to the patient and .1 x to herself, no longer gives .5 x to the patient and .5 x to herself, but gives 0.0 x to the patient and 100% to herself.
Early on in the history of public tolerance for politically administered justice systems, the judge arbitrated between contending parties, the state reducing the number of contenders to two. (The means were utterly artificial but courts wanted mélées no more than physicists want three-body problems.) It was understood from the beginning that some portion of the money at issue would have to go to the judge. Like Alexander’s treasurer, he’s not an independently wealthy volunteer. He didn’t come from heaven with a nuclear battery installed. The patient under the knife understands that not only does the surgeon have to make a living, so does the nurse, so does the janitor.
It’s recent in the pathogenic history of civilization that the judge is no more than a bird dog, fetching the prey for the state but eating none for itself or its family. The state feeds the judge and the judge’s family, but all of the compensation due to the victim of a crime, the state takes for itself.
The state’s indignation that a crime was committed within itself is far more expensive, far more grievous, than any possible injury done to any actual citizen. The mugger took $100 from the woman. The state will take $100 from the mugger, plus $5,000 penalty, and give it to itself: and take the mugger too. The woman can walk home from the court: she wasn’t even treated nicely while there: unless the state decides to take the woman also: for itself.
A parasite won’t live long once it’s become so pathogenic that it’s eaten its host’s gametes, its host’s gonads: its host’s ability to reproduce. And absolutely a parasite won’t live long once it’s eaten the very last bite of its host, no more host now existing. The nurse’s patient would start out the operation getting enough anaesthesia to go unconscious. It was as the operation progressed that the nurse would apportion more and more of the drug for herself. I believe that this particular nurse was caught before she’d taken 100% of the drug before the operation so that the patient never lost consciousness at all.
Opiates, notoriously addictive as they are, are paltry pikers compared to money. The breeding of instances like the anesthesiologist are recent. Money addicts — professionally attached to money matters — are ancient. The treasurer to Alexander the Great took for himself half the gold Alexander had stolen from Darius. Of course Alexander knew he had to give some of the gold to the treasurer: or he wouldn’t have a treasurer, Alex would have to guard the gold himself, millions of other gold addicts forever at his back, his life expectancy about that of a mayfly. But even a thief like Alexander was startled to discover how many other thieves he was surrounded by.
Once upon a time there may have been treasurers who needed none of the gold in the treasury for himself and none of the grain in the public barn. Maybe the treasurer had his own little garden, independent of the public land. Maybe the civilization hadn’t yet eaten the land’s
Whoops, lost some text here, long ago, or got distracted, ran out of gas … I’ll find, attach, or fix somehow another time.
2014 08 27 I just revisited a famous example, a wonderful example, Witness. Philadelphia pays cops. The cops also seize drugs, drug money, and drug ingredients from the druggies. The cops take the drugss, the money, try to top the criminals in running the crime, running mankind into the grave.
I Started This So Well:
2005 08 06 This piece may well have begun as part of another module: I no longer remember. I’m forever subdividing and reorganizing.