The Age of Universal Deceit

I’ve been preparing, in my usual willy-nilly and summary fashion, for what will be the first High Horseman of the Apocalypse podcast, scheduled to be recorded early this afternoon. The topic of this first podcast, I’ve decided, will be The Age of Universal Deceit.

This phrase entered into my lexicon at some point in the past, where (and I don’t know where exactly) I saw it attributed to George Orwell. It is perfectly appropriate that this attribution is false, as far as anyone can tell from the written remains of George Orwell. It’s different, though, from the typical fake Einstein quote, in that it’s the sort of thing that Orwell, in actuality, might have said. In fact, it may have begun in a reader’s honest attempt to summarize the message of 1984.

What’s more, the truth of the statement is not dependent on who said it. And what else is a revolutionary act but truth arising from outside the hierarchy of authority?

The whole authority of a hierarchy, outside of its effective monopoly on force, lies in its claim to be the best available apprehension of truth. A perfectly just hierarchy is the structure of necessity itself. Thus, the rationale of structures of privilege, and hereditary privilege, is dependent upon the ability of this structure, like a satellite dish tuned to a Cosmic Frequency, to track and communicate the requirements of reality. As Lao Tzu said long ago: What goes against the TAO does not last long. The hierarchical structure of a society is like a Deep Space antenna array, designed to track and receive, to resonate with, the inscrutable TAO.

But, this system breaks down over time, in the way a once great band degenerates under the weight of its own fame. It’s at this point, that revolution becomes necessary, so as to fix what’s wrong with the receiver and regain contact with TAO – which is the source of life, and without which life will certainly cease.

There are more radical approaches to revolution which we’ll deal with later. For now, though, I want to link this idea of the purpose of revolution with Jefferson’s notion of the aim and function of what was then called republicanism, which was a social organization that he regarded as a means of extracting a natural aristocracy of virtue, which alone was fit – by this virtue – to lead. This republicanism was opposed to systems of hereditary, accumulated, privilege, which lost contact with the TAO by the very presumption that they were its embodiment.

With this in mind – this being the idea of social hierarchy as a receiver of TAO – we can understand what the breakdown into a two-party state is fundamentally about. Each party presents itself as the true receiver, and figures the other as the pretender to authority.

This pretense to authority is the fundamental nature of tyranny. Tyranny is an illegitimate pretense to authority, where legitimacy comes by faithful connection to TAO, the Way beyond all names.

Within an amicable state, referred to as a Union, each party assumes the role of loyal opposition relative to the other. This loyal opposition plays a collective role like Socrates did on an individual level, as gadfly.

Within a state where this amicability is breaking down – a state headed toward Disunion and revolution – the tone of the opposition changes, becoming rancorous. The Apocalypse is Disunion realized.

But the specific thing I mean to get to, the specific starting point of the conversation I mean to initiate EP 1 of the High Horseman of the Apocalypse is the way that supposedly reasonable people can’t create accurate headlines.

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