Jordan's Thoughts

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My mental map of society has not changed much as a result of the class, I believe that I had a pretty good picture of how society works that I found on my own, the class re-emphasized this picture.

In my view of society, there are two basic types of things-what is real and what is not. The real things are the things of consequence to the foundations of the lives of individuals, and all of the consequences and implications of the thing are understood by the individual. Also, the real must not be mass produced, because this often dilutes the meaning of something and makes it into just a commodity.

Video games for example, are not real. Playing them is entertaining, but they are of no consequence to the foundations of your life or somebody else's life. If, hypothetically however, you were to get an idea from a video game (I have gotten many ideas about military possibilities from playing Halo), and turn that idea into public policy, such as achieving power and implementing this into the military, that would have consequence for the lives of individuals and therefore would become real. Halo, however, in its present state is not to be considered of the real but of the unreal.

Earlier today, I watched a movie about the origins of AIDS, which inquired into the possibility that in the making of the polio vaccine, and using it in Africa (getting genes from local Chimphanzees t0 make the vaccine), may have unintentionally created the HIV virus from its ancestor, the SIV virus (which was already in monkeys at the time-1957). This movie is to be considered under the real because it details something that affects the lives of millions of people.

My view on entertainment is that it is perfectly fine as long as one knows that it is not real and has no implications into yours or someone else's life. If one has this knowledge, he can indulge as long as he likes in my personal opinion. The problem is that many people do not possess this knowledge. They take some ridiculous show like the OC or some stupid lyrics in a song as if they were real.

Under the unreal section, there is also the illusion-something unreal that is deliberately perpetuated as real. This is the unreal that is the hardest to detect. One cannot directly blame a person's ignorance for falling for the illusion, something that is constantly sunken into one's skull is hard to detect and purge as false.

For instance, in her book, the Deliberate Dumbing Down of America (which I have not yet had the pleasure of reading), Charlotte Thomson Iserbyte, the senior policy advisor to the U.S. Education Department under Raegen argues that the modern standard of education in America has been deliberately torn down from its previous position to teach the mindset of becoming compliant members of an all-powerful global government to children.

This explains to me why so few Americans know their constitution and the meaning behind it. They are being taught an illusion. Something unreal, but perpetuated as real, and is very hard to detect and unlearn. I should know. It took me 15 years to detect this illusion, and my process of learning what is real and unlearning the unreal illusion continues.

Another illusion that has been perpetuated that connects to the education cabal is that government is the solution to all problems and that the people in government are always good. When one looks back at history, one sees the real-that government causes more problems than it solves and most everyone in government is not to be trusted.

One of my favorite columnists, Devvy Kidd, who has dedicated her life to stopping the destruction of America and enlightening the American people about the real, likens this view on society to a Bull and Matador. The bull is the average joe. The matador is the hidden hand-which is real waves a cape that the bull routinely charges. The cape in itself is the unreal, but the cape has all kinds of designs on it (which she likens to stupidity on television and other such things). The cape is the unreal, but the designs that further distract the bull in my opinion are the illusion. She then goes on to say that if the bull (the American people) continue to be blind, the matador will one day plunge the sword into the bull's heart and he will die.

In my view, everything in society can be traced to one of these two categories-the real and the unreal. (The illusion is merely a deliberate extension of the unreal.) Everything else is a subcategory of the real or the unreal. In my opinion, looking to yourself, having faith in yourself, trusting yourself, and constantly inquiring to yourself is the best way to detect the real and root out the unreal from taking over your thoughts. If you are constantly inquiring to yourself and asking yourself the necessary questions, you can know what is real and understand what is really meaningful to your life, and to the lives of the population of the world.

I guess you could say that there is a third component to society, the individual. It is the individual who is the foundation of society. It is what the individual does that is reflective of what the society at large does. The individual starts out at birth and then must decide which path to follow, the real, or the unreal. It should be noted that I believe that an individual can change the course of his or her life any time he or she chooses to. Nothing is permanent in this ever changing world.

There are three basic components in this world. There is the individual, and the two basics of all things in this world, the real, and the unreal. Life is all about individual choice. It is up the the individual what he or she should do in life. Since the individual can follow the path of the real or the path of the unreal, society at large reflects which path individuals follow. My view on contemporary society is that most people are following the unreal. However, I have hope that this will end, and I hope to be a part of getting society back on the path of the real. Being optimistic is better than being pessimistic.

There are several types of organized resistance and revolutionary struggle. Most of these have persisted since ancient times.

Commonly, revolutions involve a group of peasents/citizens/common people resisting a state with a heavily disciplined, highly advanced, and exceptionally organized military/armed force. Obviously, it would be suicide for the common people to try and fight that organized force head on, they would get slaughtered.

This is where guerilla warfare comes in. Guerilla warfare is a tradition that spans millenia and while the weapons may have changed, tactics have remained largely the same. The Biblical hero Gideon fought in this way.

Gideon took a small 300 man elite band of soldiers and successfully fought opponents who had much greater numbers. These 300 would maneuver around, often fought at night, and attacked the enemy where they were at their most vulnerable position at their most vulnerable time. When the enemy chased them, they ran away.

While this may seem to be more of a special operations organization than a revolutionary movement, special operations troops are guerilla fighters.

Fight when the enemy is at his most vulnerable point and melt away, make him let his guard down, come back, fight again, retreat. These are the pillars of guerilla war. We saw the revolutionary movements of the American Revolution and the Vietnam War fight in this way, to as best as possible minimize their enemy's considerable technical and skill advantage. Both of these movements succeeded.

Guerilla warfare historically has worked. In fact, there was talk amongst the defeated Confederacy to wage guerilla warfare against the victorious Union army and neutralize the north's will to continue, thus achieving southern independence. This nearly happened, Robert E. Lee was against the idea, which is largely why it failed. The most critical component is will. The point of guerilla warfare is to neutralize your enemy's will to fight, and usually the guerilla force takes much higher losses than the organized force, so to wage guerilla war, the guerilla army must have near fanatical devotion to their cause. In Vietnam, for example, for every American soldier killed, twenty-five Vietcong, North Vietnamese, or other Vietnamese Communist soldiers were killed.

Another tactic for revolutionary struggle is...terrorism.

Nowadays, terrorism has a horrible image. But in reality, terrorism is merely a tactic. The "war on terror" is not really a war because you can't wage war against a tactic. Those who engage in terrorism seek to influence, change, or create policies under widely differing philosophies.

Terrorism has enjoyed some success as well. For instance, in 1983, when the U.S. Marine Barracks in Lebanon was bombed, American committment in that country quickly ended. Why is Israel clamoring for "peace in the Middle East?" Clearly it is not because of any inherent respect for the Palestinians. It is because they do not want to see any more of their people killed. Terrorism and guerilla warfare are linked. Look at Iraq for example. Both schools of warfare are being used, and while not very effective on the military front, on the political front they are working magically.

Both of these tactics are tools in systematic revolutionary change. Employ them effectively, and they have a fair chance of succeeding.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The so called "Weapons of the Weak" that may be used when the "weak" group is completely dominated by the stronger group is individually just that, a "Weapon of the Weak." For instance, an enslaved person in pre-Civil War Era American South could stop working when the Master or Overseer was not looking, or work less vigorously. Now this so-called weapon individually would not work very well. The enslaved person may be working less vigorously for their master, but they are still after all, an enslaved person, and this is not an effective tool in creating a social change effort to overthrow that system he is under.

However, if weapons of the weak are used in the correct manner, and in combination with the correct circumstances, and enough people use these "weapons" the effects can be dramatic and awesome in their scale.

For instance, in class we were discussing in class the slaves running away and setting fires during the time of the Civil War. Thousands, if not millions of slaves running north, and 200,000 of those slaves joining the Union Army had a devastating effect on the South's industrial war-making base because all of those who were manning that base were leaving for the north. The slaves setting fires to cotton fields had a devastating effect on the South's economic base. These actions collectively gutted the South's ability to wage war, and with the combination of the North attacking with its huge tw0-million man army, was unsustainable and led to ultimate defeat.

Reflecting on this, I also believe that for "Weapons of the Weak" to work it is necessary for a collective mass to use them at a time where the right outside circumstances are present. For example, the slaves using their "weapons" would not have gone very far were it not for the fact that the south had to concentrate most of its efforts on fighting the Union Army. Had the slaves burned cotton or ran away during another time, I am absolutely certain that southern state militias would hunt them down and either hang or shoot them on the spot. I believe that "Weapons of the Weak" must be used in combination with outside circumstances that favor the weak who will be using them.

Another example of this is the resistance to the Nazis during World War II. Such as uprisings in Ghettos and refusing to go along with the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The Jews who tried to resist in whatever way they could against the Nazis certainly would not have escaped their impending doom had the Allies not been engaging in warfare against the Nazis. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising, for instance, got crushed. Jews running away in 1945 would have done well, because the Nazis were being pressed on two fronts by millions of soldiers on each one. If they tried to escape in 1941 however, when the Nazis were doing quite well, the ending would not have been a pleasent or happy one.

Even armed bands of revolutionaries may not be able to succeed without some outside force intervening on their behalf.

For example, the American Revolution perhaps could not have been won without the support of the French fleet at Yorktown in 1781. The Vietnamese may not have been able to defeat the Americans without the Soviet Union helping them in a number of ways, including giving them weapons and training. The same case is true for Afghanistan. The Afghan militias would not have been able to defeat the Soviets without American military training and weapons, especially the Stinger shoulder-launched surface to air missile, which was used to shoot down so many Soviet helicopters that the weapon has been credited with having turning the tide of that war.

Outside circumstances and events have always been essential to the success of a revolutionary struggle or making a social change. The true gift of one who wishes to create social change is to exploit these circumstances in the correct way that would give them the advantage of a combination of their own ways and means and the favorable circumstances on the outside.

The slaves knew that they would be able to have sanctuary if they reached the Union lines. Furthermore, they knew that the Union was recruiting black soldiers for service in their armed forces. They also knew that soldiers were marching through the south, so why not burn the cotton? The Union army would soon reach them and they would be safe from their masters' whips.

The "Weapons of the Weak" individually are not very strong and are ineffective at creating a dramatic change in the society in which these weak persons reside. However, if used correctly, and in the proper way, and with supplementals to favorable outside circumstances, weapons of the weak can become weapons of the strong and be a way to turn society on its head.

“Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” -Aristotle

There are several common advantages with guerilla warfare and urban insurrections. The first of these advantages is that if you are on the insurgents side you do not have to win the war (at least not militarily). The only real objective is to inflict losses on your enemy to the point that they give up and go away. The enemy in such a war however, has to win the war, and root out the insurgency. This means that he is on the offensive in warfare, and while the offensive always commands the initiative of the battlefield, the defensive side takes much less losses because the defender must exert much less energy than the offender. The conventional force that the insurgents are fighting most likely want the war to be quick and decisive, which if the insurgents can make it as slow, painful, and indecisive as possible for the conventional forces, the insurgents can win the war politically where they can't militarily. This is how the United States was repelled from Vietnam, the Soviet Union was repelled from Afghanistan, and this is the same tactic is being used on American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the present moment. The basic rule of insurgent and guerilla warfare is to never take on the conventional army opposing you head on. The military skills of the insurgents are always inferior to those of the trained troops of the professional army opposing them. For example, in Vietnam, for every American soldier killed, 25 Vietnamese died. This type of warfare is all about will. The side that wants victory the most is the side that will win. Usually this side is the guerilla forces because they are fighting because they are motivated by a political or religious ideal, while the professional soldiers opposing them are fighting because they were ordered to do so by their political and military hierarchy. A highly motivated revolutionary force is a hard thing to stop, and history has proven this time and again. Several conflicts where revolutionary forces using guerilla insurgent warfare succeeded against the aggressor: Roman invasion of Germany, A.D. 9, American Revolution, 1775-1783, Vietnam War, 1965-1973 (in terms of American involvement), Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979-1989. In all of these conflicts, a revolutionary guerilla/insurgent force through out the invaders of their country. Guerilla tactics are timeless and will certainly be used in the future, it is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of revolution.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I have written a paper about the history of revolutions for the previous class's exhibition paper and it is available at In a sum, I argued that most revolutions have failed (meaning even those that were successful at overthrowing the system failed in the long term) because most revolutions have a utopian ideal in mind, usually based on the tenets of collectivism that allow for mass slaughter. (Collectivism is the basic principle behind both communism and fascism.) My basic strategy for revolution is to make sure that those who intend to lead the revolution are enlightened as to the cause of why they fight, the roots of the problem they are fighting, and to make sure that they are not power hungry bastards who will fight each other when the revolution is over. The people, likewise must also be enlightened as to the true root cause of the revolution and not be fighting it on the pretense of some present circumstance. In order for revolutions to ultimately make something that lasts, I believe that leaders must be of the highest virtue possible. I believe that the idea of the new society must be realistic and attainable, meaning that they must be in compliance with human nature. Most importantly, I believe that any branch of collectivism (Nazism, Lenninism, etc.) must be left out, because those ideas will ultimately lead to legalized slaughter at the end of the revolution. The example I would follow is the American Revolution. If you like, read my exhibition paper on this subject for more information.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Yesterday I went to central park with printed copies of the constitution and asked people if they have ever read it. Most said that they did not. Out of those that did I further asked them if they had taken the time to study the revolutionary period and read other writings by the Founding Fathers, because from a 21st century viewpoint, it is hard to understand an 18th century text.

Only a tiny fraction of the ones who said that they had read the constitution gave me an answer that they had studied the times in which the constitution was written and the people responsible for its adoption and ratification.

I began telling these people that their ignorance to the supreme law of our land is the very reason why our government is running amok now and breaking it on a daily basis, and that because of this the government is taking more and more power through stealth and we have no clue.

Most people responded with a surprise, telling my Bush is bad but most people in the government were serious about looking out for us, and the Supreme Court always strikes down unconstitutional legislation.

I laughed in my head and told them that the entire recent history of the Supreme Court is the court exceeding its mandate and legislating-creating new laws from the bench and bypassing congress. Besides I said, don't judge whether a law is constitutional or not if you have not read or tried to understand the document.

Some people thought that I was mean and walked away from me, others thought that I had made an impact and decided to take a copy I had printed out.

My action research project was to prove that the average citizen has no understanding of the supreme law of his country, and judging from the reactions of the people I spoke to, they proved me right. Even among those who have read it said that they did not study the period in which it was written or the people who crafted and adopted it, and thus do not understand it.

My understanding is that the people who took copies I had will read it once, and then never try to understand it and never read it again. I believe that the American people are too trusting of their government because they believe their rights are protected by the constitution, but as the government continues to break it routinely those rights are threatened, but the people will not know. They are too busy thinking about Brad and Angelina's baby or some other piece of crap in tabloids.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How can working on the self change society?

I think that by looking at philosophy and by studying history, you can change yourself in such a fundamental way that you will not recognize who you were before. This is what I have done. Over the past two and a half years I have been studying the ways of the world and developing my philosophy. Philosophy has become a huge part of my life. Through the study of history and philosophy my views on the world have become what they are, and consequently my desire to change it. I think that philosophy is a good way to change the world because it provides the individual with enlightenment. All social change methods (all politics for that matter) involve philosophy in one way or another. If one does not know philosophy how can one change something that has a philosophy behind it?

I believe that through individual enlightenment through philosophy, the world can change because the drive to change the world will be within the individual. This drive (and what is absolutely important is that the individual understand this drive and what he wants to do) will lead an individual to assault or take control of a power center, thus making change possible. I think that change must come through an understanding of what exactly should be changed, and therefore the study of philosophy is essential.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I helped my dad unpack a lot of the summer clothes today. And that is not something I normally would do. I'm usually a lazy asshole around the house and freely admit so. But for the sake of this class I did something. I don't really know what a senseless act of beauty is, so I could not engage in one or analyze such an engagement. As for my actions in helping my father unload summer clothing, I decided to help him even though I do not normally do any work around the house, perhaps for the sake of the class and getting the assignment done, or maybe some new thoughts made me conscious of the right thing to do? The back of my mind constantly tells me the so-called "right thing to do" by someone else's standards, but I do not usually heed such concerns. In any right I did not have a real opinion about the experience, I was neutral, but after we were done unpacking we came across a German officer's dagger from World War II that my father had obtained when he was in his 20's. This I found enjoyable because I am interested in military history, but I don't think that should be part of this discussion. As far as my opinion about the ability of a widespread movement to engage in random acts of kindess to change society goes, I think it is rather unreal. Sure, people can help each other in small ways and that is definitely a plus, but it would not cause any significant social change because it would not address any of the power centers that control society. The "be nice" movement would not actively assault or manipulate any power center of society, and therefore nothing would be able to change. Say someone is inspired by someone being nice to him, than that person decides to make a "change" in society. That person assumes power for himself and makes the desired change. It could be said that that change was because of that person's inspiration. I disagree because that person needed to be in power to make the desired change. If he was not in power, the change would not have happened. So the change resulted in that person's power position rather than in the inspiring "nice act."