Ep27: Destructive Patterns
Patterns For Success Or Ill
Good intentions are not enough, yet all action begins with ideas. The burden of sifting and sorting through the myriad stimuli bombarding us on a daily basis, preventing us from gaining clarity in our goals, could be the most significant challenge confronting us on the path to success.
What is your definition of success?
If you've listened to our past episodes, you'll know that the real definition of wealth is material resources readily available for use in the furtherance of human well-being.
It's really a paradigm shift, and one that may seem counter-intuitive given the amount of indoctrination hitting us from all sides since the youngest age. It takes deliberate action to overcome these dysfunctional thought patterns, just like martial art training requires reprogramming our reflexive responses to physical attacks.
If it were easy, everyone could do it. Yet that is not reality.
The martial traditions often speak of needing at least 10,000 repetitions to embody a technique. That is, repeating a pattern over and over again.
Does this about right for your martial practice?
Modern technology and advanced learning systems have described accelerated learning practices or ‘deep work' that may shorten the curve in some areas.
As I've said on previous episodes, there are ways to get faster results by leveraging technology. One crucial area is in the practice of meditation, and I know it sounds contradictory to suggest that one can ‘hurry up' and meditate. Yet, the technologies in the Zen12 program enables you to get all the benefits of an hour's worth of meditation in as little as 12 minutes, just by listening with headphones.
Meditation is a great way to begin or end your day, whether it be gaining clarity as you set off on your mission or de-stressing after an arduous engagement, the benefits of meditation cannot be overstated, and in the confusion of the current era, the battle for liberty everyone is facing, you need to bring all your faculties online. So, get the most out of your mindfulness practice with Zen12 at: www.everydaysamurai.life/zen12.
My friend and teacher, James Williams of Nami-ryu Aiki Heiho highly recommends: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle as a primer on how to make the most out of your martial arts training time.
Yet even with modern science, Coyle admits there is no getting around repetitive practice to develop skill:
“There is, biologically speaking, no substitute for attentive repetition. Nothing you can do—talking, thinking, reading, imagining—is more effective in building skill than executing the action, firing the impulse down the nerve fiber, fixing errors, honing the circuit.”
Another crucial skill that every warrior needs to develop through repetition is the ability to recognize patterns of human activity. This is essential for identifying threats and mitigating them before they become acute as Sun Tzu advises.
To corroborate this truth, I'll turn to one of my favorite books: The Mission, The Men, and Me by Peter Blaber, a former US Army officer and key Delta Force commander during the initial stages of the Afghan campaign following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
He writes, “The ultimate goal of this book is to share what I consider to be life-saving and life-changing lessons that I was fortunate enough to learn as a key participant in many of recent history's most impactful events.
“The single most important lesson I learned, and the plain but powerful foundation that supports the entire book, is that the most effective weapon on any battlefield—whether it be combat, business, or life—is our mind's ability to recognize life's underlying patterns.”
“Patterns of thinking, patterns of nature, and patterns of history are just a few of the infinite examples of life's underlying patterns that inform the behavior of the complex world that swirls around us. Patterns reveal how the real world works. When recognized, they allow us to understand, adapt, and master the future as it unfolds in front of us.”
Excerpt From: Pete Blaber. The Mission, The Men, and Me https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-mission-the-men-and-me/id384941638?mt=11&at=1000lNCh
As our name implies, Everyday Samurai extols the duty of enlightened warriors to secure liberty, not for some ruling elite, but for everyday, ordinary people, because every individual is anointed by the divine and worthy of dignity.
Inherent to this duty is to first become an enlightened warrior in your own right, in other words a fully self-actualized human being. You've got to first perfect yourself before you can contribute to the good of others, and no matter what someone promises you, the pursuit of excellence relies upon personal effort.
No one can do your pushups for you. We are not at the technological point where we can plug into a machine and download physical skill or physical aptitude. We cannot make like Neo in the Matrix and open our eyes suddenly and declare, “I know Kung Fu”.
We have to make training, study, and practice part of our daily lives, and this is another reason why we call this everyday samurai life. Once steeped in our own confidence and capabilities we can contribute to the well-being of society.
To do this we promote the universal principles of justice expressed by scientific law: do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach upon other people or their property.
When people adhere to these universal principles, respecting people, private property, and adherence to contracts, a society flourishes. This is a pattern for success.
When people disregard private property, are derelict to their contracts, and disrespect the dignity of individuals, conflict and impoverishment result. Good law dispels with privileged status, such as the divine right of kings, and is based on contract as Henry Sumner Maine declared in his influential book Ancient Law.
The United States Constitution was the first clear attempt to create a government based on explicit contract, even though it was the inheritor of several hundred years worth of evolution aimed at limiting the status of kings and incrementally moving toward more precision in the contract for security and justice services.
Yet, evolution does not necessarily move in straight lines. Contrary to what Marxists claim, social outcomes are not inevitable. Just like the achievement of personal goals, groups of individuals, called a nation or a society, must have an objective in mind in order to guide their efforts toward success. In other words, it all comes down to making choices.
What would you choose if asked what government should be? What pattern would you suggest?
The founders of the United States were clear that personal liberty was their primary political objective. This is overwhelmingly evidenced in the writings, debates, and political discourse at the time.
One of the best books for illustrating this is Bernard Bailyn's Ideological Origins Of The American Revolution:
“…the primary goal of the American Revolution, which transformed American life and introduced a new era in human history, was not the overthrow or even the alteration of the existing social order but the preservation of political liberty threatened by the apparent corruption of the constitution [meaning the unwritten English constitution], and the establishment in principle of the existing conditions of liberty.”
Excerpt From: Bernard Bailyn. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-ideological-origins-of-the-american-revolution/id1276395678?mt=11&at=1000lNCh
The founder's examined patterns of governmental behavior throughout history to inform their development of a new, more explicit, written contract for governmental services so that people from different states could coexist and enjoy mutual security.
There are patterns throughout history and in contemporary times that show that doesn't work and there are also patterns that are more likely to work when followed faithfully. This relates back to the practice of martial art, which again, is what government, at its foundation, really is, the orchestration of security for people sharing a common affinity.
In samurai combat systems, based on edged weapons engagements, you have to have faith in the principles embedded and embodied in technique. A universal truth is that two physical objects cannot exist in the same space at the same time and a physical body, composed of flesh and bone, is no match for sharp steel (or hot flying lead for that matter). Therefore, high level samurai learned to shape themselves in relation to a force vector.
However, making one's movements too big or too early creates opportunities for an opponent to reorient on a new target, to adjust themselves and create a new problem to solve. This is why samurai took Sun Tzu's dictum that all war is based on deception to heart. Skilled samurai learned how to move in such a way that fooled their opponent.
They avoided being cut by razor thin margins, one paper thin or ‘hito e mi' as is said in Japanese, while moving into a tactically superior position. This is not avoidance in the sense of ignorance or neglect. It is not ignoring the problem but being solutions oriented.
Combat is really about problem solving. Its full on engaging, recognizing the danger, yet forging ahead and making complete use of one's higher faculties.
My aikido teacher once said that one has to offer one's life in order to properly deflect an opponent's attack. You have to move into a position where the attacker believes you can be struck in order to get them to commit. Like anything in life, prevailing in combat requires our own total commitment.
That's exactly what the American revolutionaries did by pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause of liberty. By the way, the ability to move with skill also requires constant honing and maintenance. The modern, stagnant lifestyle leads to decreased mobility and ultimately degraded physical abilities.
Perhaps you have your own flexibility and strength training routines, but let's be honest, who actually has time to get to the gym or dojo everyday? You want to have the ability to move when situations require it, such as during armed struggle, but more importantly, a healthy body is the gift that keeps on giving, so restore your ability to move how and when you want with the Ageless Mobility Reborn program, a follow along whole body system for development functional movement at any age.
Learn more at: www.everydaysamurai.life/reborn
Hey, you need mobility as a martial artist, and I consider everyone who wants to be free a martial artist, because that's the price of liberty.
Check out https://www.everydaysamurai.life/Reborn, today.
So patterns of failure inform the patterns of successful behavior. We can learn much about what to do by learning what not to do.
Dr. Edwin Vieira, a Harvard trained lawyer and PhD examined patterns of what leads to immiseration, along with a Constitutionally sound solution in what I will share with you now.
See if you can relate.
I'm going to get through the first half of his address this episode and finish up with more detail on the solution in episode 28, so this episode may appear to be mired in the problem or end on a sour note.
Take heart, the rightful remedy is at hand. So, stay tuned.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a certain nation was one of the richest countries in the world. [World War II] had left it a creditor nation. It was owed billions of dollars by Britain alone. The derelict state of European economies gave [this country] an assured market for its exports, while receiving very little imports from Europe, thus its industries were thriving.
After the neglect of the 1930's there was money for public spending and the country was absorbing a flow of immigrants who were not illiterate and unskilled, but scientists, skilled workers, and intellectuals.
What country was this? The United States? No—Argentina.
The whole world knows what has happened in Argentina since then, and is still happening there. Informed individuals also know why: Because Argentina's dysfunctional leadership classes adopted faulty economic and political principles.
Americans can expect much the same thing to happen here, if the same conditions procede along this familiar pattern. Although history may never repeat itself exactly, bad principles will bring about similar perverse consequences whenever and wherever they are put into operation. America's equally dysfunctional leadership classes have adopted the most dangerous of those principles.
So, absent a radical course correction, the Argentina-ization of the United States is very likely to take place. As in Argentina, America's present economic and political systems are controlled by arrogant men and women, steeped in avarice and ambition, and driven by their appetites for abusive power.
Simply put: Greed, accompanied by every manner of chicanery, both economically in the marketplace and politically in public office, has become this country's one and only “hard currency”.
Nowhere does this appear more starkly than in the political arena. Contemporary politicians recognize no limits to their raw power.
Observe that I do not say their “authority”—because to the extent that they act outside of the Constitution, they have no legal authority whatsoever. Yet most of them do imagine themselves entirely outside of the Constitution—at least in terms of the constraints it imposes on them to act under color of the law or in the guise of “government”.
Indeed, they openly express their disdain for the Constitution. Yet, the Constitution explicitly commands that public officials “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution”. So, every time officials treat constitutional limitations on their prerogatives as some kind of contemptible joke, they are in effect committing perjury.
America is saddled with governments, at every level, comprised largely of individuals for whom the willingness to commit serial perjury in furtherance of their own selfish interests appears to be a condition of obtaining and operating within public office.
Inasmuch as “Oath[s] or Affirmation[s], to support th[e] Constitution” are ultimately made to the American people as a whole, these rogue public officials plainly feel no sense of legal or moral obligation to the body of the people. Doubtlessly, they are strengthened in this malign conviction by their belief that the electoral system is so tightly controlled by the two major political parties, and their clients and partisans in special-interest groups and the big media, that the people can do nothing to change the situation in any event. In this belief, however, they are woefully mistaken. Political loyalties move on a two-way street.
Masses of economically deprived, socially dislocated, and politically disenfranchised, disgruntled, and disgusted people—who have next to nothing left and therefore almost nothing more to lose—are unlikely to entertain any obligation to the political system under which they happen to live, or to the political parties, politicians, and special-interest groups that run that system for their own parochial benefit.
(Now, notice the pattern he is predicting)
When America's economy slips into the free-fall of hyperinflation or depression, impoverished people will rebel. First, against ever-worsening conditions, by demanding that public officials correct the situation.
Then, when their protests accomplish little or nothing, they will rebel against incumbent officials at the next election. Finally, when they discover that the two major political parties are really one party with an empty cranium and a pair of duplicitous faces, and that changing the political personalities in office does not ameliorate the conditions that arise out of the government's hare-brained economic policies, they will rebel against this country's governmental institutions as a whole.
A general disdain for legality will become the order of the day.
After all, if public officials refuse to obey the Constitution, which is the sole source of their authority, what obligation has anyone else to obey any law that those officials enact or attempt to enforce?
As many as 200,000,000 to 300,000,000 firearms and an immense store of ammunition are estimated to be held in private hands throughout this country.
Can anyone believe that, in the midst of what promises to become the most severe economic crisis of modern times, perhaps of all time, this profusion of armaments—in the hands of people who have been rudely stripped of their financial security, disabused of their political illusions, and driven to the edge of desperation by homelessness, hunger, and loss of hope—will not come into play in the most direct manner possible?
Can anyone believe that these people's natural and justified antagonisms against public officials, politicians, and special-interest groups will not turn to rancor—rancor to hatred—hatred to an urge for revenge—and an urge for revenge into actual violent retaliation in more than a few isolated instances and in only a short period of time?
Of course, no sensible person wants this to happen; and yet no sensible person can deny that it could, and very likely would, happen under the posited circumstances. One can only speculate as to how widespread and intense such violent reactions could become in the course of a catastrophic economic collapse. The circumstances that provoked previous episodes of mass violence in America, however, pale in comparison to what should be expected from hyperinflation or depression today.
For instance: During the six days of the so-called “Watts Riots” of 1965 in Los Angeles, California, over 30,000 adults took to the streets as rioters. 34 people were killed, 1,100 were injured, and upwards of $100 million worth of property, including some 1,000 buildings, was destroyed, looted, vandalized, or otherwise damaged.
The riots were triggered by an altercation incident to a simple arrest for alleged drunk driving. Their suppression required more National Guardsmen and police than the total American Armed Forces President Lyndon Johnson deployed to take over the entire Dominican Republic in that same year.
Suppression of the rioters did not address, let alone alleviate, the riots' underlying causes, which were chronic in the community—including such socio-economic problems as high unemployment, miserable living conditions, poor public education, together with political grievances linked to racial discrimination.
Years later in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, again the triggering event was relatively trivial—the questionable acquittal of three local police officers on charges of using excessive force to make an arrest. Within hours of the “not guilty” verdicts, rioting broke out and then continued for three days, with live television coverage of arson, assaults, looting, and vandalism by rioters, along with suppression of the disturbances by National Guardsmen and police, being broadcast nationwide.
Overall, 50 people were killed; more than 4,000 were injured; and some $1 billion worth of property was destroyed or damaged. These events teach certain lessons that Americans can learn from:
First, each of the riots in Los Angeles erupted over a relatively minor event—but one which people on the spot linked to long-standing, widespread, and serious animosities derived from social, economic, and political grievances that public officials had failed, neglected, or refused to address.
In the course of a major nationwide economic collapse, such events—and many much more serious—will be frequent and even more severe. Second, the Los Angeles rioters obviously believed that mass violence could and should be employed as a justifiable form of political activism…because nothing else worked.
In this, one might note, they were in rough agreement with the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence. And the timeless wisdom of the Declaration—that “mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed”, but that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations * * * evinces a design to reduce the[ People] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government”—will surely gain many more adherents as insufferable economic catastrophe, caused by the nincompoops in the General Government, sweeps across America.
Third, very few of the participants (other than perhaps opportunist looters) expected to gain anything in terms of significant personal profit or meaningful social betterment as a consequence of the upheavals in Los Angeles. Most of the rioters could never have expected the riots to bring about any specific political reforms, but instead engaged simply to express anguished, despairing, and defiant political street-theater, the value of which inhered in the unmitigated violence through which the dialogue was communicated to a national audience.
People who find themselves in dire economic straits throughout America tomorrow may also be expected to turn to the red-curtained drama of mass violence in order to “send a message” across the national consciousness. This message, however, will not be sent from a very small part of the country to the rest of it, but from the entire country to the very small part that constitutes the failed economic and political leadership classes. So the level of violence will be far greater, and its focus far narrower and much sharper.
Fourth, although the territory in which they broke out was limited in extent, the riots in Los Angeles were so severe that they could not be put down with only the local police forces available. Instead, it required deployment of the regular Armed Forces (in the form of the National Guard). Major civil disturbances throughout the entire length and breadth of the United States will render this country ungovernable in short order, even if the entire National Guard were mobilized and none of it defected to the popular side.
Fifth, although those in positions of political power eventually suppressed the Los Angeles rioters with armed force, the cost was exceedingly high in relation to what might have been the bill for nonviolently correcting the worst of the underlying conditions that had spawned the people's grievances. Today, even worse shortsightedness is evident.
For nothing is being done by the political and economic leadership classes to lift the crushing burden of debt—much of it unconstitutionally incurred in the first place—from the American people's shoulders. Instead, more and more debt is being shoveled into the national account—eventually to be billed to common people through taxation and inflation—precisely in order to “bail out” the very institutions and individuals responsible for the present financial mess.
Sixth, the rioters in 1965 and 1992 were neither organized nor disciplined; and although some were armed, no concerted and systematic use of arms throughout the disaffected communities occurred. Neither did the rioters attempt to extend their violence into other areas, so as to attack the people they considered their oppressors in those people's own neighborhoods. Under similar circumstances in the near future, this almost certainly will not be the case.
And, Seventh, in general, the more extensive the underlying socio-economic dislocations, and the more callous the disregard for these problems exhibited by the political apparatus, the more likely the eruption of mass violence that the perpetrators will rationalize as their only effective means to protest, broadcast, and redress their grievances with petitions written in the harsh language of destruction.
This augurs ill for the present time, inasmuch as no one can believe that the socio-economic problems that underlay the riots in 1965 and 1992 in Los Angeles alone were anything but minor in comparison to the dislocations that full-blown hyperinflation or depression—or even the run-ups to those conditions—will bring about in contemporary society throughout America.
If Americans are to deal intelligently with this situation, they must understand the reasons for it. Basically, the reasons relevant here are that one vitally important constitutional principle has been flouted since 1913 and that another such principle is now being systematically disregarded.
We'll finish up with Dr. Vieira's detailed explanation of the antidote to the problems caused by political dysfunction next time, so be sure to stay tuned.
I will simply highlight the importance of recognizing the patterns that repeat, where bad policies cause immiseration, people eventually rise up and cause widespread destruction. We can recognize these problems and also recognize that the contract for government services is one of limited and explicitly delegated authorities.
When political actors act outside the authorities afforded to them by their office they are indeed, rogue officials. It is identical to the breach of any other contract and there are lawful remedies for those that break their agreements.
It is embedded in the principles of scientific or common law.
That most people are not aware of these remedies is the problem. So dispelling ignorance and increasing awareness is a big part of our work. That most people still believe in governmental authority, rather than viewing the Constitution as a contract for services is why this long train of abuses persists in our current reality.
We don't deny reality, but engage with it fully, moving skillfully to where we gain tactical superiority.
Fortunately, the law is on our side.
The solutions are found in the operating charter. Economic immiseration is caused by straying from Constitutional definitions of money, namely gold and silver, as well as the Constitutionally delegated enforcement mechanisms, namely the militia of the several states.
There is no room for the Federal Reserve or its debt instruments known as Federal Reserve Notes in the Constitution.
There is no space for a huge bureaucratic regulatory state in the constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15 clearly states that the militia executes the laws of the union.
So Constitutional money and militia are the two pillars of sound political economy, or the power of the purse and the power of the sword.
The legal enforcement of this contract for governmental services ultimately remains in the hands of We The People.
This is the final link in the circuit of self-governance. The pattern that actually serves human well-being.
This is why training in martial art, along the dual path of physical and scholarly disciplines (Bun Bu Ryodo in the samurai tradition) is so important for not only yourself, but for the good of everyone who values personal liberty.
We'll continue to flush out the details in future episodes, so we hope to see you next time.
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