June 26th, 2013
This week Jad and I consider the idea of how a government forms – essentially out of thin air.
Once a government gets up and running, we go on to consider how people are convinced to accept the various ills that any government in existence is known to partake in (of course we consider this from the point of the United States). We consider various outlets of marketing and how governments amplify the rampant violence around the world.
Kevin: Hello and welcome to another installment of the JK Podcast, an antiauthoritarian free speech zone dedicated to the pursuit of liberty, humanity, and equality for all. This week, Jad and I consider the idea of how a government forms essentially out of thin air.
To go back to our story, if you had 20 people on an island or whatever the case may be, what happens? How does a government form? How does a leader come about from that?
Once a government gets up and running, we go on to consider how people are convinced to accept the various ills that any government in existence is known to partake in. Of course we consider this from the point of view of the United States. We also consider various outlets of marketing and how governments amplify their rampant violence around the world. I’m Kevin Ludlow and as always, joined by my co-host, Jad Davis. Welcome back to the JK Podcast.
To go back to our story, if you had 20 people on an island or whatever the case may be, what happens? How does a government form? How does a leader come about from that? And I think we poignantly and I would assume accurately conclude that what happens is is that you’ve got a guy who’s able to perform whatever the responsibility of defense or offense is for the group and you need that guy and if it were you and me and a bunch of other guys and one of those guys is well armed and a real good shot, I have a feeling that we’d have to pair up with him a little bit and say, “well, I’ll go fetch apples for you, just keep killing the bad guys because you’re the leader”, and I think that’s kind of a parallel or really kind of just a metaphor for exactly what we’re talking about in these types of situations.
Kevin: I think.
Jad: Well I think the interesting thing – and I’m not just trying to say that that’s not how it happens or whatever – but that is the story, right, of how it happens. So the question then is is that a story that you’re told so that whoever is in charge now is like, “oh yeah, well back then, what happened was my ancestors protected your ancestors and now you owe me”. Like I mean, it’s not quite that simple. But the story is that we have to have those guys there –
Jad: [?] the key part of the story is that in some weird magical way we have asked for them to do what they do, right?
Kevin: Right. Right. Right.
Jad: It implicitly – either God put them above us, or we have a social contract, or whatever it is, but somehow – and this is interesting, I was gonna write an article to do with that crazy sniper who got shot in Texas, his narrative that he tells is about how horrible it is that he had to take this burden of butchering women and children upon himself so that the rest of us could be free. So it’s a complete immersion in that story whereas what actually happens is the guy gets on a plane, travels 10,000 miles, and kills a bunch of people that are defending their homes. The story is that he’s protecting us, right?
And even the story that most Americans believe is that that guy’s protecting us, which kind of makes me wonder if that whole narrative of the reason that these people are in charge is because this is just the natural way that things evolve is real or just part of that same story.
Kevin: Yeah. I don’t even have a good response to that. I completely agree with that, I mean we’ve discussed it countless times as well, but of course I always just bring it back to marketing because I guess it’s been around a lot longer than I give it credit for, obviously, but I think if I could inject it again I think we’re just becoming increasingly good at the manipulation and marketing of people and I think that’s really all you’re doing there is that you’re just selling this narrative in such a way by using modern psychology, varying tricks, emotional tricks, we just know how to play to people’s emotions so well now and so much better than we did before and we shouldn’t be ignorant.
I mean there’s a lot of information that we have available to us, we shouldn’t be ignorant people and yet I think the majority of people absolutely still very much are. And so you sell that type of story that you’re talking about like the sniper, why is it that that story is able to permeate the minds of people so successfully? Why is it that when you hear something like that that this guy – when you’re told, “well he’s doing what he does because it protects you, you wouldn’t be safe if he didn’t do the things that he’s doing”, and I think unfortunately, most people are happy to accept that and I don’t understand why. I don’t know where the compulsion is to just not even say, “How does that protect me? How was I endangered to begin with?”
Jad: Right. I mean I don’t know the source of it either and it’s one of those art imitating life or life imitating art things or whatever, but can you tell me a story that involves violence that doesn’t have that same pattern to it, any story from childhood on? Like you said, Robin Hood, right, a classic tale. It’s somebody who’s outside the bounds of morality for the greater good, I guess is the shorthand of it, and like every story to do with violence, every superhero, every narrative that has violence in it has that component to it.
Jad: The underdog trying to do things peacefully, trying to do things the right way, but the evil is just too much and takes them too far and takes too much from him, or kills a loved one or whatever, and finally he’s had enough and now he just fucks everything up, you know what I mean? Like [?] wasted evil, you know? Karate Kid even, you know, like that whole thing is like – every story has that element to it. I mean, that’s what a hero is, you know?
We’re very, very primed I think, to try to fit that template over whatever’s going on, and that’s why you see people, immediately they’re just applying that template there like you know, carrying that lens and they’re scanning the news and here’s Chris Dorn and here’s the LAPD and because of the way they feel about those two entities, it fits the narrative, right?
Jad: And there’s other people I’m sure who look at the exact same things going on, they look with their lens and they’re like, “oh, there’s this ultimate evil guy. Good thing the heroes of the LAPD will shoot the shit out of everything in order to get rid of them.”
Jad: You know, objectively the exact same story, exact same set of facts, but just that there’s coming up with the counter-narrative, or the opposite narrative or whatever.
Kevin: Well you have no doubt that’s happening. I’d be really interested to know if they did a poll right now – a real poll – how many people would really support his position versus how many people would support LAPD. I’d just be curious to see 20 interesting polled questions there. Is it wrong – pick your word, I don’t know what the word is – but is it wrong that the Los Angeles Police Department is doing what they’re doing to capture this person, for example.
I would be curious to see what public sentiment on that is. I tend to think that the majority of people would say, “No, they’re doing what they need to do.” Obviously people like us would say, “well yeah, it’s fucked up beyond belief”, but I just don’t know how large of a market that actually is in this case. I think it’s bigger than it normally would be. I think it goes well beyond your conspiracy theory group and your alternate media sources sort of groups, but I doubt it’s very large still.
Jad: Yeah I think you’re right. I was reading an article today that was saying that, I mean it something ridiculous, like 85% of Americans are happy with the drone thing.
Kevin: Holy shit.
Jad: Yeah. And like 60% support the use of drones domestically to kill domestic terrorists or whatever. So yeah, it’s still pretty epically stacked against sanity.
Kevin: Well then let me go right back into my marketing lines because I mean, I don’t know how the fuck else you do that other than you market the shit out of something. You convince people – you don’t convince people that something’s good, you let people convince themselves that something’s good. That’s the only way you’re able to accomplish that, I think, and I just think that that’s what’s been done.
Jad: Yeah, sure.
Kevin: I don’t know – I wanna sit down with the guy who says, “I think it’s a great idea that we have militarized planes flying around, targeting people who do bad things.” I don’t know if I could have the conversation with him. It’s not that I’d lose patience, I just feel like he wouldn’t be interested in discussing it rationally because I feel that the premise is just so irrational to begin with that I can’t imagine what the narrative in his head might be.
Jad: Yeah. Well I think that the thing that may be waving you off from that is you’re talking about having a conversation with people – with a person, a hypothetical person who I’m sure is instantiated a few million times in the country that wants to kill someone because they disagree with them, fundamentally – they’re totally cool with that – so having a conversation with someone you disagree with under those circumstances becomes a lot more whatever. I mean that guy would probably be okay with you being killed, which is not really the most pleasant conversation to have.
Kevin: Yeah. No, it’s true. That takes us right back in to that – a couple of conversations we’ve had about therapy and the human experience, and people unable to communicate with one another. I mean, that’s really what it is, right?
Kevin: I feel that you or I could sit down with somebody who felt that way and probably have a very meaningful – I think we could have as meaningful and rational of a conversation as could be had with that particular person, but it doesn’t change the fact that at the end of the day that person probably doesn’t feel that way, and so it’s still kind of fruitless. So it’s just interesting to think – just interesting to tie it in to the actual psychology behind them – why is that? Why is it that people are unable to communicate at that particular level because if you can’t discuss the problem, I think it’s gonna be very difficult to correct the problem.
Kevin: And I think most people would agree that’s probably true, so even that guy would probably agree that’s true.
Kevin: But his notion of communication is just that I tend towards his side and that’s obviously not what communication is.
Kevin: Anyway, a little tangent.
Jad: Yeah, yeah, but I think the other thing is that there’s – a lot of people don’t think there is a problem and that’s part of the issue, too. You know, the problem is people who say there’s a problem, because otherwise they’re fine, you know? Otherwise they’ve got their story in their head and like I said, they’ve got a lens through which they’re filtering the news and somehow they’re fine with the way things are, except for the fact that there’s these people out there who keep bitching about it all the time, and I think that’s you know, the psychology of it is very interesting.
But the defense of one’s world view by smashing people who challenge their world view or by discounting them one way or the other as the enemy of everything that’s good or what have you [?]. I’m not really sure what level you have to be at to be like, “yeah, I’d like to see people who disagree with the government have missiles come to their windows and blow up their entire family.”
Kevin: Well the easiest one I guess – it just occurred to me when you were saying that – I mean it’s a religious argument, right? I mean it’s the exact same thing, so I mean it’s sitting in a room with a guy who says, “well, if you do this, you’re gonna be tortured for all of eternity”, and he’s okay with that.
Kevin: I mean, do you think that’s a good thing? I don’t believe it’s true to begin with, but do you think it’s a good thing? He’s like, “well, you’re the one who’s not obeying the law that’s written down right there and”, it’s that conversation I mean I don’t need to play it out.
Jad: No, you’re right. You’re totally right. I think you’re absolutely correct, that is that conversation. Actually we talked about this before too, but after Waco, you had that same dialogue – it was an actual dialogue or whatever. The consensus was if you don’t wanna get burned then don’t be a crazy anti-government lunatic – that was the answer, not due process or any of the quaint legal formalities that the Constitution guarantees you, and that was 20 years ago and now we’re 20 years on and I think it’s just worse.
Kevin: I think it’s worse, too.
Jad: The same mentality is here, it’s just amplified.
Kevin: But I think the problems are large though, and I think it speaks to some of the stuff that I’ve said before. I think as the problem gets larger just like when I say the death toll gets larger, I think it becomes more difficult for your average person or even your intelligent person to wrap their head around that and it just – I think – it’s easier to throw your hands up and just say, “to hell with it, what can I do?” A case like this I think we’re actually – I think there’s probably more people on the side of it because I think most people can relate to driving down the street and seeing police and the notion that there’s just one guy who’s committed a few murders which we’re fairly immune to in our brains in this culture.
There’s murders that happen every single day all over the place, hundreds and hundreds of them, and we don’t think twice about it. But for some reason this particular one draws a little bit more attention and I think it has to do with the fact that it’s such a smaller, it’s something that we can all wrap our head around. I think anybody can imagine driving down the street, having their car shot to pieces, and we think that that’s wrong. You take a more extreme example – I don’t know, like flying planes into buildings – and I don’t think your average person is able to sit there and say, “okay, where’s the pros and the cons in what we’re about to do here? Is it really the right response that we launch a full global invasion to 15 different countries using that as the pretense for the whole thing?” I don’t think people want to try to think about that, it’s not relatable to them in any way, shape, or form.
Kevin: And you just – something bad happened, we have to do something bad in return, ra, ra, ra, America go – whatever you think is best, do it, you know?
Kevin: I really don’t think people form opinions, I think they – at that point – just go with whatever the message is.
Jad: Sure. Well that’s fundamentally why you can’t have peaceful institutions like a government, right? Because they amplify that there are people that have an agenda, and then when something like 9/11 happens they’re just like, “oh, what we need to do is – all these 10 awful things that I would never be able to convince people to do except that we’re in this particular state and we have this particular political system where I can take your money and go do it if I can whip you into enough of a frenzy.” I mean that’s just an awful – that’s just not a sane way to have – you can’t do that.
Kevin: And that’s where we leave the conversation this week. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for the show, please contact us at www.JKPod.com. You can also contact either of us through our personal websites. Jad is at Jad-Davis.com, and I am at KevinLudlow.com. Thanks again, and we’ll be back next week.