The main illness in first world societies is that they think they have achieved “freedom”. They think they have the best of all possible worlds, flawed as it is and favoring the ruling class as it does. Every revolution that ushered in modern “democratic” capitalism was dominated by interests that had two priorities in mind, neither of which was freedom or democracy for the masses.
The first and primary goal of these revolutions was to replace the existing ruling class with itself as the new master of society. The second goal follows naturally from the first: prevent these newly gained social and economic advantages from inevitably trickling down to those below them. The prioritization of trade and commerce over aristocracy and birth was an inherently progressive movement in society. It did “liberate” the masses from the direct control of their masters. It relaxed their grip on the them for greater flexibility. Thus, the lower orders were “liberated” from feudalism.
But the same chains that bound the masses to their masters under the old system were also the basis of their security and ancient common rights. The lower orders were freed from their chains but not their condition. The new masters, for their part, did what they could to prevent as much meaningful freedom as possible from spilling out onto the greater masses. There was no concern for the material discrepancies that remained and put the lower masses at a disadvantage from the more fortunate middling classes. The grand merchants and very rich, in turn, tried to prevent as much of their gains trickling down to the middle sorts. Consider, the necessity of keeping the “liberated” masses down was the primary cause for bringing slavery to the U.S. (see The Anti-Democratic Origins Of Capitalism: Colonial Virginia)
The leaders tell their masses that liberalization is meant to liberate the individual and the productive forces of society. The masses mistake this for true freedom, and they are encouraged in this delusion. But there is more going on. The logic of the great spirit of the ruling class, The Supreme Executive, dictates that “liberalization” also says, “why should I pay for the up keep of my servants, when they sleep half the time, complain the other half and will slit my throat the first chance they get? Why let them occupy valuable land, which could make me much richer?”
The masses are the ruling class’s are naturally enemy. We are always threatened by the violent hordes. The lower orders do not seem to register this aspect of their relationship with the ruling class, if they really do acknowledge the ruling class’s existence in the first place. Evil deeds of the higher orders are attributed to evil individuals, or their corrupt democracies that merely need tweaking. But then, many of the same individuals accept endemic corruption as a part of civic life.
The masses are bred to believe that corruption, which is a preventable thing, is human nature, while usually taking for granted that they themselves are decent people. The the ruling class remains in the background. But what if the masses en masse began to consciously process the fact that the ruling class was their real enemy, their murderer, their jailer and the very real limitations that on their “liberated” individual lives. The Preservation Society shudders at the possibilities that such realizations might have, but the masses desperately need awakening if Our society is to survive, weather permitting of course.
At the very least, the existence of a ruling class ought to tell the comfortable masses of higher consciousness that they are de facto accessories in the criminal zeitgeist that is ruling class society, the crimes of which often hurt those who supported it in the first place. Did middling Conservatives want a massive tax break for Trump’s friends (including Liberals)? Did Liberals who voted for him think Obama was going to abandon homeowners who were foreclosed on while bailing out the criminal bankers? Many Conservatives like to think homeowners were guilty of irresponsibility, rather than the bankers who perpetrated illegal schemes. Obama is still considered a deity by many today. A testament to the success of ruling class breeding.
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No doubt had the smaller middling classes of the English Revolution succeeded Western “democracies” might be much freer than they are today. This is very difficult to convey. The ruling class has carefully cultivated liberalization as freedom from religious obligations, medieval structures, and the the coercion of others. Liberalization is freedom divorced from questions of individual autonomy and “political” power. Liberalization as freedom is the illusion of liberation from these institutions. But the “liberalized” individual does not automatically gain materially nor in status, and it is this lack which deprives the individual of freedom in the first place. “Liberalization” is abstract freedom. At its best, from the masses’ perspective, it can be incrementally positive.
During the English Revolution many lower order individuals were liberalized, that is, they were freed in the abstract but they remained in their same basic condition. This can be okay for the middling class, who can use their modest assets for their own advancement. The poverty, material and social depravity caused throughout the ages by the ravages of ruling class supremacy were never truly addressed by the two parties that came to dominate the Revolution.
The middling sorts who made up the democratic body of the New Model Army and their political counterparts, the Levellers being the most prominent. Their opponents were their allies against the King: many of the senior officers known as the grandees and the large rich merchants who controlled parliament. Neither group wanted to extend the political franchise to servants, beggars or “criminals”. Nor was there a significant proposal of land reform. At the top the large merchants and landowners wanted a much more limited franchise. Henry Ireton, speaking for the bigger interests of the country, gave the game away when he said:
No person hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing of the affairs of the kingdom, and in determining or choosing those that shall determine what laws we shall be ruled by here — no person hath a right to this, that hath not a permanent fixed interest in this kingdom.
John Jay, the first Supreme Court Justice of the United States, agreed “Those who own the country ought to govern it.”
And on and on . . .
Can anything be more clear?
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Expecting the masses to accept the reality that they have not achieved freedom but a mere liberalization that expanded the ruling class’s reach and capabilities, is like asking them to throw away all that they hold dear in life. It is easy for the well-bred masses to mistake their gilded cages for the dream of democratic liberty. Being largely limited to the ability to willfully open a beer, sit on a couch and watch TV and not think much further is the gold standard of a liberalized society, not a truly free one.
Asking the masses to accept that the ruling class plays an incalculable part in shaping their thoughts and tastes and hatreds, would be like asking them to part the seas. Ask them to admit that the blood, sweat and tears are all for the ruling class! A lifetime chained to a mediocre interest called a career! The very thought would shred the little individual’s identity and the self-respect they had built over a lifetime of work. The success of the deluded middling classes does much to dampen the uphill struggle for an as yet abstract freedom compared to their real comfort in “success”.
Yet liberalization has opened doors. No one can deny that. The individual can earn respect and be “independent”. The liberalization valve transforms energies into ruling class benefits through the illusion of freedom. In return the liberalized individual is left more or less alone in their little lives, “protected” by their “rights”. They can earn more money and gain a title, professor, doctor, Senator. Then they may even retire with distinction or at least in modest comfort. These are the lucky ones, making it easy to deceive oneself. The illusion is powerful, for movement seems to be occurring.
The possibility exists that you can be “free”, which is what underlines the use of words like “successful” and “independent”. Wealth is “success”. It is “freedom”, and you too can be “free” if you just work hard enough and dedicated enough. This is the subtext in the struggles of the lower orders: the better off are “freer” than the less better off. But We don’t say that in the context of the ruling class. The masses have been bred to understand freedom and power in in terms of justice and rights.
We may speculate what a truly free society might look like. But the possibility must first be there. Are there things that prove the existence of the ruling class directly affecting lower order lives? Many of Us at the Preservation Society still cannot fathom why with technology today why the masses don’t mind toiling so much? Why haven’t the extraordinary efficiencies produced by combustion engines and computers eliminated unemployment, eliminated basic wants, eliminated destructive fossil fuels? Why do “democracies” constantly engage in wars that are pointless from a lower order perspective? Why do they always elect to transfer wealth from unprivileged labor to the already privileged rich? What if the masses processed this in an intelligent way?
Aside from ideologies that tell us we “can’t”, and especially when reason does not necessarily exclude these possibilities, what is stopping the masses from knowing they are dogs on a leash held by the ruling class? Their breeding? When will it dawn on them that they are not truly free, but have merely been liberalized? Perhaps when they deserve to be free?
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