January 30th, 2013
In the second part of our very first two-part episode, Jad and Kevin continue their discussion of whether or not people prefer being slaves. As we noted in the previous episode, the idea is pretty simple: there’s an almost endless supply of examples illustrating how people appear to be passive when any type of control structure takes over their lives. This can be applied to government, religion, education, and of course the literal notion of slavery as well.
In this second installment we pick back up exactly where we left off in the previous episode and consider topics of authoritarianism as it pertains to individuals being enslaved. The discussion opens with Jad and I considering the various abuses carried out by police during the occupy protests. We then bring some technology into the conversation before discussing whether the natural human tendency is to rebel against enslavement, or to embrace it. Of course our belief is that education (or lack thereof) plays a huge role in this process for better or for worse.
Kevin: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the JK Podcast. As always, we’re doing our best to ponder and pursue the grand ideas of liberty, humanity, and equality for all. And for those of you who haven’t yet been to our website, please take a look at www.JKPod.com. Before introducing our topics, we should point out that this episode is actually a continuation of episode number 13, with the warm and inviting title, “Do People Prefer Being Slaves”. In our previous installment of this episode, Jad and I open up with the idea of whether or not people prefer being slaves.
This isn’t necessarily the literal whips and chains type of slavery, but rather people being forced to participate in modern government without their individual consent. We pick back up exactly where we left off in the previous episode, and consider topics of authoritarianism as it pertains to individuals being enslaved. The discussion opens with Jad and I considering the various abuses carried out by police during the Occupy protests.
We then bring some technology into the conversation before discussing whether the natural human tendency is to rebel against enslavement, or to embrace it. Of course, our belief is that education or lack thereof, plays a huge role in this process, for better or for worse. The other voice you’ll hear in this episode is the co-creator, Jad Davis, I’m Kevin Ludlow, and welcome back to our show.
Immediately reminds me of the whole Occupy movement, right? You can love it, you can hate it, you can be one of those people who’s like, they have no agenda whatsoever, they’re just a bunch of college hippies that are just doing it for attention, they’re making a mess, et cetera, et cetera – maybe all of that is true, I don’t necessarily think it is, but let’s just assume for the record that it is. It doesn’t change the fact that it was broadcast as openly as can be, beating the shit out of them for no reason. I mean, we shouldn’t have police forces that are just walking around pepper spraying people, and then beating them with batons.
Even if the guy does take a piss in the street, maybe that’s not good for the general societal view, but it doesn’t change the fact that I mean, this violence is real. I was really hoping that there would’ve been a bigger counter-movement in the United States against that violence – and it definitely brought some attention for sure – but I still think that the majority of the people who it brought attention to were the people who were already on the side of it to begin with.
My classic circle jerk interjection, it’s just now a bunch of college liberals think that it’s wrong for the police to beat them for protesting, but they thought it was wrong two months ago. I don’t need them to think it’s wrong, I need the conservative to be like, “well, I don’t agree with these protests, but on the other hand, I definitely don’t agree living in a country where people are getting beaten down for protesting”, but those people are definitely not standing up.
Jad: Yeah, yeah. Well I just had a heart sinking feeling just now because I was putting together all of our conversations, and your point is always you know – which I think is – it sounds hilarious, but I’ve never really thought of – but like, the point that when you say to somebody like that, “oh man, that’s”, you know, this guy was just – he chained himself to a tree or whatever to avoid being moved and they you know, beat the crap out of him, pepper sprayed him, and now he’s in prison for six months for you know, resisting arrest –
Jad: – and they were like, “yeah, fucking deserves it”, or whatever. Like, there is no argument. Like, you can’t do anything about that guy, you know what I mean? And that’s – there’s no sitting on the fence, really. Like almost everybody is either like, “yeah, that’s awful”, and most people are like, “well, we should you know, pass laws to make that illegal”, or whatever. But there’s a category of person that – the person who thinks you’re crazy is the person who believes that you know, whatever the police do is right –
Jad: – and that person, you just gotta wait for them to die you know, because you can’t engage self interest with that guy until of course, the police van pulls up in front of their house and drags them out in the middle of the night, you know?
Jad: But by that point it’s too late for them, and that’s the only thing that’s going to convince them it’s a bad idea, you know? It’s just like a level of narcissism and lack of empathy that is just so far through the roof that unless they’re actually physically being harmed, they can’t bring themselves to conceive that something might be a bad idea.
Jad: The heart sinking feeling comes from not – there’s nothing for that, and that’s you know, that’s probably 20% of the population I would say, right?
Kevin: Sure. Well that’s why I thought that – again, I don’t know that I agree with it entirely – but I think that was interesting about creating the whole 1% thing is that in every one of these cases, what you’re doing is you’re creating a divide of people, right, that you’re creating this subcategory because that way it’s them, not you. So to your reference or to your point, in the 50s, the cops aren’t beating people, they’re beating black people – and that’s OK, so long as you’re white. And here we are all these years later, the cops aren’t beating people, the cops are beating these fucking degenerate hippy protesters that shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money in the first place, and that’s OK so long as you’re not one of them.
And the point is is that these are small groups you know – in any type of percentage that you look at – I mean it’s a small group of people who are actually protesting in the scope of the country, there’s a small group of black people that exist at all because even today, something like what, 10% of the country at most is black, so you’re talking about pretty small groups of people to begin with, and I think that’s kind of been one of the very strategic goals from the evil oppressors, if you will.
So long as you keep doing that, you keep creating this divide that people can go to, and I thought the interesting thing of the 99% [?] one percent is to say, “look, we’re all really fucking poor, and if we could just get on board with that, it doesn’t matter if you’re like, bible belting, far right leading sort of conservative, or the far left hippie – you’re still getting fucked by this corporate infrastructure that’s taking over this country, and that’s the whole 1% – you’re part of the 99%, so let’s get on board and lets us rally together so when you see us getting beaten down, just know that you’re part of that exact same group”, but of course, that message has definitely permeated the hearts and minds of this country just yet.
Jad: You’re right, that is probably the best you can do though, is to say, “Look, we’re the same”, and “look, I’m being put in prison”, but again, I just don’t – well and again, what you’re doing is you’re saying, “guess what, you’re a slave too”, you know? And it’s just like the thing with the property taxes, so many people’s defense mechanism is to be like, “no we’re not, you’re a dirty hippie and I’m a regular taxpayer, law abiding citizen.”
Jad: I saw a funny meme the other day that was like, “when someone says that they’re a taxpayer, get ready for them to be an asshole, or say something asshole-ish”. That’s pretty funny.
Kevin: Slightly a side point to these things we’re talking about, you’ve obviously seen my website before but I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this before, but the philosophy that I had of this website, if I could put every single thing available to me online, like, if everything was already exposed, then there would be very little that anybody could ever hold over my head. So kind of to this whole, the government’s indexing everything Google has, right? My take was years and years ago that I just assumed that everything you do, every keystroke you make, everything you say at some point is going to be on record somewhere – that’s just, I think that’s just inevitably going to happen.
So I don’t know if you remember or not, but we were talking about all the businesses that I’ve set up. I’m paraphrasing, but I remember you saying something to the effect of, “you know, I’ve spent all these years trying to ignore the government, I’ve really never thought about just setting up their own systems to play against them”, so I guess again, my whole idea was to say, “look, yeah there’s all sorts of embarrassing shit that’s out on my website, there’s videos and probably things that arguably shouldn’t be there”, but my hope is that at any point if somebody’s like, “here’s this video of Kevin having done this”.
I’d be like, “well, it’s been online for 20 years”, so it’s just kind of been this lesson of coming to accept the terms of the future to say there’s nothing that you can do that’s going to be private, so I’d rather just embrace that early on, and this way when somebody tries to hold something over my head I’d be like, “well, yeah it is a little embarrassing and it probably isn’t something that everybody needs to know, but since they’re going to know it anyways, I’d just as soon be the one to broadcast it to them” – that’s kind of the philosophy of where I was going with it.
Jad: Yeah, that’s a good thought. I like the idea of – well I can’t remember how you phrased it just now – but basically like, preparing yourself for the inevitable future – that was a good line, I like that. Yeah man, no, that’s pretty clever. That makes a lot of sense.
Kevin: Yeah, I don’t know if it will ever have any real impact, and in the meantime it allows me to enjoy having everything catalogued on my site.
Jad: Right, right. Yeah, it serves a multitude of purposes. I something similar I thought was kind of along the same lines where someone was saying that in the future at some point, people who don’t have an online presence, who don’t have a Facebook page or whatever, will be considered suspect.
Kevin: Oh, yeah.
Jad: Because if you’re not being open with information then you’re clearly hiding something, that kind of idea.
Kevin: Well there’s been some articles that I’ve read about recently with the job market, so now apparently there’s a lot of corporations who are looking at people that don’t have social networking profiles, and they’re being instantly turned away because it’s already suggesting that there is something irregular about that individual for not participating in the social construct of say, social networking or whatever the case may be.
Jad: Interesting. I know the conversation you’re talking about. My analysis of you – and [?] talk about with Elisa too – is that you have a natural anarchist tendency. I remember talking about this with Elisa because I always joke – I mean I’m only half joking – that she’s like you know, she’s from the hill people of Appalachia or whatever – it’s this clan-based thing, you know? There’s no like, first principle ethics to it, it’s just if someone fucks with the clan, then it’s all out war and you just devastate whoever the fuck it is and put them in the ground, and then you go back to your you know, you don’t fuck with anyone else, no one else fucks with you but you know, if someone does fuck with you then it’s holy war time.
So when I [?] and I’m like, “oh, well that’s this thing called non-aggression principle”, you know? And you agree with most of the militia groups around the country about their stance on this. You know, it’s a – I wasn’t previously aware of that – but I think yeah, you guys are both – have that natural – you’re natural anarchists. I think it’s all to do with – or [?], so there’s a genetic component, but it clearly has a lot to do with like, when you say something as a child, when you express an opinion, or a desire, or a personal preference you know, what happens? Are you free to pursue it, is your identification something you want, something that’s rewarded, you know, or at least respected, or is it crushed, you know?
And I think for most Americans, they have to spend a whole lifetime having all their personal preferences overwritten by authority figures that that’s what they’re comfortable – they’re uncomfortable in a situation where that’s not happening. Maybe that goes back to the slavery thing maybe, because – this guy has an analogy, it’s Stefan Molyneux again. It talks about a guy who’s a boxer – imagine like a Rocky Balboa character, right? So he grows up and you know, he’s fighting, he’s in like, the streets of Philadelphia or whatever just fighting, and then – you know, with schoolmates and all that sort of things, sort of a rough life or whatever – and then goes – when he’s like 10 or 11 – he gets into a boxing ring and he basically knows emotionally how to deal with physical pain.
He gets really, really good at that, right, so he’s – you know, that’s what a boxer is, right, is basically marshalling all your human instincts to you know, flee, or panic, or whatever when you’re getting the shit beat out of you, and control that and bring it into a place where you know – where you’re able to react appropriately, right? So he becomes an expert at getting the crap beat out of him and fighting back or whatever, but then he’s incapable – in a situation in which that’s not happening, there’s a lot of anxiety. He doesn’t know how to respond to somebody who’s not in that confrontational situation with him.
But if he can find somebody who will fight him right, then he’s like, “OK, now I know what I’m doing. Now I’m in my wheelhouse” or whatever. If you are used to a life in which authority figures, your parents or whatever are saying, “sit down and shut up”, you know, “do as you’re told”, and then maybe even like, “Oh, you did what we told you to. Here’s a candy bar”, you know, or whatever. You know that authority model of like, overriding your personal preferences and replacing them with somebody else’s in order to get their approval.
If you’re comfortable with that, then when someone’s like, “well what do you want to do? Let’s do what you want to do today. Go get the job you want to get”, or whatever – you don’t know what to do with that, right – it could be anxiety provoking. Whereas if someone’s like, “oh, go to this classroom, sit in this thing for a year, and then you’ll get a piece of paper. Take that piece of paper to that guy and he’ll give you a job, and he’ll tell you what to do next.” Then you’re like, “oh, cool”, like, “oh, thank God. I was afraid there for a second that I was going to have to figure out what I wanted.” From the outside, what that looks like is somebody who doesn’t want to not be a slave.
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely.
Jad: Because I guess being free is novel enough to be uncomfortable.
Kevin: A female friend of mine pointed this out to me just yesterday that I have a natural proclivity towards not ever wanting to be defeated in a challenge. I mean it’s like, clinical I think. I’d be really interested to talk to a psychiatrist about it. I don’t think it’s a healthy level. I mean, it’s to the point where it’s like, I don’t ever want to have been able to say that this person or this thing got the best of me, but it becomes irrational at a certain point.
Your average person would say that it becomes irrational at a certain point because you’re – think about what you’re giving up because you want to pursue the fight. But for whatever reason, the fight is what’s interesting to me like, it just truly drives me. And I just think that in all cases of governance that is actually what’s driving me to prevail. I don’t want some irrational force to have bested me for no particular reason. That is definitely how I was raised, and I guess it’s true that maybe not many people are raised that way.
When you asked me like, “how’d you know all the stuff with the city, and with the state, and how do you set up all this stuff”, well, I just fucked up a whole bunch of times, and I just – every time you lose, you learn a lot more and I’ve definitely lost way more times than I’ve won, but for whatever reason it just – it make it that much more interesting for me to pursue whatever that victory is. So I don’t know why it’s there, but it does.
Jad: Yeah dude. No, I think it’s very healthy. I hope that’s a natural part of human nature. To go back to the slavery thing, my argument usually is – or I shouldn’t even say my argument – my optimistic hope is that tendency that you have is a native human tendency, that all of our societal constructs – religion, school, and all that – are designed to get rid of that because that’s very inconvenient for someone who wants to control you, right?
Jad: So you know, for every industrialist or every ruler of any sort, somebody who does not want to be defeated and will go through any lengths to overcome a foe – even when it becomes self destructive – I’m not saying that’s the case for you, but –
Kevin: No, there is some truth to it.
Jad: So to that extreme though where it’s like you know, at this point it on principle that I’m going to defeat you, you know?
Jad: That’s – you can’t have 300 million people with that attitude and collect 50% of their income every year.
Kevin: No you totally cannot.
Jad: So I think that’s my – I really – I’m convinced by my own argument – which is not surprising – but that you know, that throughout all of history, everything is geared toward diffusing that spirit. I think that’s the native human tendency, and I think that the evidence that that is so is that you have to have this huge infrastructure whose sole purpose is to get rid of that tendency.
Kevin: That ties the whole question together then doesn’t it, because if you assume that that’s true – which I know you’ve made that point a number of times and I don’t think I disagree with you at all, I just – I’ve never thought about it I think quite as in depth as you have thought about it, but to be fair I have been thinking about it much more since we’ve started doing this – that in itself answers the people prefer to be slaves because it’s not necessarily that they do prefer to be slaves, it’s rather that this machine if you will, has become so large and so efficient at doing what it does – in that sense I mean breaking that spirit –
Kevin: – that the natural result is that people are of the mindset that they really prefer to be slaves. The danger though that maybe is worth examining at some point, is if there’s a tipping point to that. Let’s assume that inherently nobody wants to be slaves, and that everybody has that natural proclivity towards life that I was referring to myself about, that they’re just going to challenge everybody, it doesn’t matter – even if the person’s being nice – they’re just going to distrust them just on merit, and then it’ll work itself out.
But then that machine comes into place, and that machine starts breaking that spirit, and slowly, slowly, slowly, more people start getting on the wagon of saying, “I prefer to be slaves”. It’s internalized with, “this is OK, I’ve got a master, but I’m safe, I feel safe”, and it keeps going, and keeps going, and keeps going, but eventually you get to that bell[?] curve right in the middle of that, and now the danger becomes does it start chasing its own tail there, where now you’ve gotten a critical mass of people who believe – that prefer to be enslaved – that it then makes people like me look crazy because I’m the one challenging the system.
Maybe it is still a learned – a natural product of humans – to be willing to challenge their system, but the fact of the matter is that immediately when put in that society, there’s too many people that are going to tell you to the contrary where you can’t actually reverse that trend and if so, how do you go about reversing that trend.
Jad: Sure, yeah – no, absolutely. I think that’s right. Have we talked about this before, that the majority of enforcement of an authoritarian regime is not top to bottom, but side to side? So like for example, the government’s never sent you a letter saying, “we’d really appreciate it if you’d stop fucking with us you know, and stop making all these businesses and just go get a job somewhere”, right?
Secret police have not visited your house and said, “stop trying this construction project, and stop tying up city council with your requests for X, Y, and Z”, right? You know, the government has not had those messages toward – has not told you you’re crazy for trying to do what you do, it’s the other people who are slaves –
Jad: – to the government.
Jad: I’m not saying anyone has been malicious or whatever, maybe they have or haven’t, but like, they’re trying to make you feel crazy for trying to do what you’re doing – for trying to be a free person.
Jad: Right, so it’s interesting that they can save – that’s part of the system too – is they can save all their resources because everyone around you is going to tell you you’re crazy, and tell you you know, “you are free, shut up”, you know? They don’t even need to bother.
Kevin: Well you’ve heard me – I mean, that’s one of the little taglines that I’ve come up with I guess that you’ve heard me say probably in almost every one of our episodes now, pick your topic of choice, it doesn’t really matter. But it doesn’t scare me when the government tries to do something bad – bad can be anything – because I perceive that that’s what they’re going to do. Like that’s – I have already put them on that pedestal from the get go, that they’re going to be in favor of doing something that infringes upon me. But what scares the shit out of me is when the average individual supports their desire to do that, and that’s what I’m seeing an increase of right now.
HOA’s for example – and it doesn’t surprise me that there’s some governmental body that says, “we think that A, B, and C should happen” – that’s the power struggle, that’s the person who seeks power, who wants to tell you what you need to do. That doesn’t scare me at all if that person does it, I’m like, well of course there’s always going to be that guy who’s standing on the top of a mountain with a gun saying, “come and take it”, right – that’s the world. But what scares me is when the rest of the audience that’s at the base of the hill says, “no, it’s good that he’s up there”, and I think we’re seeing an increase of that.
Jad: Yeah, yeah. I was thinking about – if Tom was involved – having it as a topic because we’ve talked about it a little bit before. Your argument to somebody else is saying like, you know, “look, there’s this giant oppressive machine that you – in some ways at least – express favor for that is causing me tremendous financial detriment. It’s harming me, and not only that, but it threatens from time to time to destroy me or kill me.”
Jad: And if someone comes up and says, “oh, you drove your car through the front of my house and you killed my dog and you know, you’ve done all this damage to me”, like if you – and you look out your window and there’s your car or whatever – if you were to say, “oh, you’re crazy you know, you’re overreacting”, or whatever, that’s like what a sociopath says, right? If you generally didn’t mean to do it you’re like, “oh fuck, I’m so sorry, I must’ve been drunk, I must be”, whatever, I don’t know – if you have empathy for the other person – if you’re not a sociopath – then you listen to what they’re saying and it engenders in you a feeling of remorse, regret you know, that sort of thing.
So you know, any time you walk up to anybody and you have this discussion about what you know, the relationship you have with the government and their support of the government, you get the sociopathic response which is you know, “well fuck you you know, love it or leave it”, or “yeah, you can always move”, or you know – or, “you’re just crazy, like, that’s not a problem, you’re just a crazy person.” You get the sociopath from everybody, so is everyone a sociopath then, or is it just like a compartmentalized sociopathy, like everyone’s a sociopath with respect to this particular topic of conversation.
Kevin: So after some 40 minutes of discussion, that’s where we’ll leave the idea of whether or not people prefer being enslaved. As always, thank you so very much for listening, and we truly hope you enjoyed the content. As noted earlier, we do have our website up at www.JKPod.com, and we’d love for you to take a look at all of the episodes that we’ve released. If you have any ideas for our show, please reach us at our website or at either or our personal websites. Jad is at Jad-Davis.com – that’s J-A-D dash D-A-V-I-S dot com, don’t forget the dash, and I am at KevinLudlow.com, K-E-V-I-N-L-U-D-L-O-W dot com. Thanks again, and we’ll have another episode out very soon.