/ Social Order / AgainstHierarchy / NYU /
2006 10 11
First I must establish my symbols.
By February 1972 my Free Learning Exchange was going as well as it ever got to go. It looked like Illich deschooling had a chance, that gradually, with Illich’s design for data-basing grass roots information and my efforts to actually realize the design in this world, an anti-hierarchical libertarian anarchist internet might emerge from the public without too much pushing and shoving from its designers. Evolution and design could coexist. Meantime of course I had a sharp eye out on the state.
The “1960s” had NOT stopped the war in Vietnam. Complaints about tyranny had only stimulated the tyranny to be more tyrannical. The public didn’t have a clue: and couldn’t be clued. The major media were major players in the conspiracy of the state against all decency.
Somewhere prior to 1972 I had heard President Nixon “promise” that he might have American troops out of Vietnam by — get this — “election time,” IF something or other. Then sometime around 1972 I again heard Nixon say that maybe, if something or other, he’d have American troops out of Vietnam by election time: only this election time was not the same election as that first mentioned. This second time he was referring to the election in which he himself would be running for reelection: reelecting, if you remember, “The President.”
Notice: there was no promise to cease the killing, bombing, shooting, napalming … of Vietnamese; it was a sort of promise to maybe involve fewer American soldiers in the slaughter. It was in that context that I read an article in the NY Times suggesting that the Constitution should be amended to lengthen the term of the presidency to six years but to limit service to one term. All presidents would be slated six years; no more time blocks of four years with a possibility of eight years: two four-year terms being then the limit.
Here was Nixon hawking an illusion of shortening American participation in Vietnamese slaughter while actually lengthening it: all without any promise to actually cease American involvement in that particular slaughter or in slaughter in general. I immediately composed a letter to Nixon suggesting that he change the Constitution by executive fiat to extend his term to six years, thus moving “election time” another two years into the future. I suggested that he act outside the Constitution, against the Constitution, to change the Constitution: much the way Lincoln did with his Emancipation Proclamation. I suggested that Nixon make his anti-democratic tyranny even more obviously an anti-democratic tyranny that it already was.
Kleptocrats play-acting at rules, and order, and legitimacy … make quite a spectacle.
Zeno argued that if the arrow went half way and then another half way and then another half way, the arrow could never reach its target. Everyone, including Zeno, knew that arrows did reach their target (or miss it), and swiftly. All his talk about “halves” was balderdash, a comic demonstration of how humans easily “reason” themselves out of all sense. Nixon had found a Zeno-like way to lengthen the war while talking about shortening it.
If nature required humans to recite π for a circle to form, there would be no circles. It’s a good thing that gravity doesn’t wait for Newton to figure it out in order to mutually attract things. Infinitesmals operate with or without the calculus.
By the way, I hope the NYU-related visitor will visit that link and read my Nixon satire of 1972. The persona of the writer of the letter was representative of my satires of that period. I cast myself in the role of an eager, semi-literate half-wit. All of my scholarly references are wrong, involve malapropisms, misspellings … In all my letters to the White House I routinely — but not always — got the President’s own name wrong, typically with an intruded T: Johnston, Nixton …
[Someone else did that around that time: Pat Paulson? We all borrow: it’s stealing when we won’t acknowledge it.]
2015 01 13 And there I got interrupted, again. NYU sicced the FBI on me, FBI enlisted the help of the Highlands Co sheriff.
So what was I about to say? Probably to point out, for the zillionth time that the concept of wikis was implicit, often explicit, in my Free Learning Exchange, my offered internet of 1970: use computers (mainframes, there were no PCs in 1970) to digitize and data-base volunteered public resources.
Jesus came, offered us wisdom, as a gift; we knocked him down and stole it: but the value of the gift depended on it being given (and received); not stolen. Violence destroyed value. You dono’t have the internet God, Jesus, Illich, and I offered!
Supreme Instant Justice
If you’re a government bureaucrat and you do something forbidden in the Constitution, when does it become unconstitutional? The instant you do it? When the Supreme Court agrees to hear it? When the Supreme Court officially finds that your action was unconstitutional?
If you bugger your daughter and God doesn’t judge and punish you until Judgment Day, and Judgment still hasn’t arrived 2100 years AD, can justice be anything but a sick joke? Shouldn’t justice have to be near instantaneous to be justice?
Once again, an institution saying we have something is typically evidence that we don’t have it.
And Thou Shalt Not writ o’er the door.
Commissioning a stone mason to chisel J-u-s-t-i-c-e is easy and cheap; delivering justice hasn’t yet been possible.
Nixon, pk, & the Commie