By war I mean the society-wide war of all against all, as described by Thomas Hobbes. I do not mean literal military battles. War is good because it advances human progress, and the only morality is progress (in my opinion). I am hyper-progressive, with the term "progressive" having its original meaning as "one who seeks progress," and not the modern version which is the opposite.
It is the Anti-Puritan's position that real education is good, because war is good. But many disagree, and some want peace.
If one's goal is a peaceful, but stagnant civilization, then you want a great mass of illiterate idiots controlled by a state media and state indoctrination apparatus. The purpose of your free public "education" is not to produce educated people, but to de-educate people so that their minds cannot tolerate contradictory thought, or thought contradictory to the institutional needs of the powerful. The free education is a false economy; its purpose is to train a person to be inhibited in their ability to think, and to train conformity. The lecture-style setup bullies the person into not raising their hand and asking questions. The rote memorization of facts crushes original thought. The training in social justice conditions an hysterical reaction to uncomfortable truths, thus guaranteeing perpetual enslavement to state media and conformity.
State education is the educational equivalent of junk food; it worsens a persons mental health, and it acts as a substitute for a real thing that the body needs. It's purpose is to fill an economic demand in order to crowd out any superior alternative that threatens the interests of rent-seekers in positions of political power.
There are four forms of information.
1. offensive truthThe four forms of information are not treated identically by human agents. If you tell a polite truth you will annoy people because you are being completely obvious. Everyone knows the polite truth. That is things like "the sky is blue." In contrast, offensive lies are never told unless to insult someone.
2. polite truth
3. offensive lies
4. polite lies
Inoffensive lies are told all the time, since misrepresentation of reality, (or its hiding), is the key to maintaining power. Society has a bias in favor of the inoffensive and against the offensive, since the average man, having limited information, is not qualified to judge the truth or falsity of everything, and so merely favors the inoffensive. Politicians use a great pile of words to bury a small amount of lies, to minimize the chance of being caught, and confuse the public.
A nation becomes more deceitful over time, especially during a prolonged peace, which delays confrontation with nature's wrath. In a highly prosperous society consensus reality can lag behind the actual by decades. The longer peace lasts the greater the lag. Elites manufacture social stigma to conceal their parasitism. Therefore, whatever is offensive tends to be true, and whatever is polite tends to towards falsity. The unsurprising position of our elites is that internal conflict is evil, since it threatens their institutional power.
Now this brings up an interesting problem, because we live in an era of mass media, mass information, mass education, and mass protest. Every modern political adaption can be seen as an adaption to the political threat of mass power. Voting is not really intended to change things but to capture public discontent in order to give the people a semblance of change. The true purpose of the vote is to inhibit revolutionary energy rather than allow it. TV is the same way, creating a "society of spectacle" to capture human energy. Drugs, porn, elections, entertainment, bad education, and countless other outlets suck up the discontent of the individual in meaningless excesses in online bitching, virtue signaling, pointless protesting, masturbating, hysteria. We have become a jerk-off culture.
All revolutionary potential found in anarchist-enabling technologies like print media or the internet have been co-opted by state power to further their own ends. Every revolutionary act trains the state to get better at controlling people, censoring them, manipulating their news feeds, trapping them in filter bubbles, and controlling their thoughts through the subtle control of their perceptions, and fake news sources. You don't even have to oppress people when you can just control everything that constitutes their perception of reality. Perversely, every revolutionary anarchist technology has been counter-appropriated as totalitarian-enabling technology. Newspapers and guns, which won the American revolution for democracy, were later appropriated for mass indoctrination and genocide. Radio and TV had potential for challenging power, but were co-opted by PR men to manufacture consent. Now the liberating technology of the internet is being used to trap people in filter bubbles, and feed them fake news.
To control others, that is, to have power, you must first control yourself. Emotional self-discipline is the perquisite of political power, and that is precisely what a social justice education destroys. Those who say they want to empower you want power over you.
Struggle is an exercise in masturbation. It is theater designed to capture political energy. The result is a hyper-stable system; nothing gets in because every revolutionary appetite is provided for.
This brings us at last to the question that defines the title of this essay: how to gain power? The answer is that it is essentially a shakedown operation. First one has to invent a new technology that threatens elite power. A good example of this is Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter. The new tech threatens to disrupt the existing regime stability. The owner then "sells out" to the interests of power in a series of concessions that require payment by the elite to him, and elevation to a higher station of political influence. The developer goes from being an enabler of anarchism to an enabler of totalitarian control. As already stated, this pattern has been historically repeated in succession with print journalism, radio, TV, cable, internet, and social media.
1. Develop a politically disruptive technology.
2. Attack the elites.
3. Sell out slowly for the maximum price.
4. Become an apparatchik.
Not only does the Western state enable attacks against it, but it incorporates the attackers into itself as a new quasi-governmental department of ideological propaganda.
This is why the West is so successful.
Any actual threat that either refuses to be co-opted, or is structurally incapable of being co-opted, is simply destroyed, marginalized, or the founders are attacked in some other asymmetrical way. Maybe we can't get them because of free speech, so we get them through false sex crime accusations. Or maybe their taxes are imperfect, or they broke some other regulation. There is enough law on the books to make everyone guilty of something, and we want them to be guilty so they can be controlled.
"Gains" for freedom are also gains for totalitarianism. The essential function is to produce sublimation of conflict to some sort of game, or ideological conflict, or financial war. The war becomes a function of the state, incorporated into the state, whose rules the elite write. Or to make a joke, "the Borg is the ultimate user."
The synthetic culmination of the anarchist/totalitarian war will be a GAME who's rules the elite write with the assistance of AI, and who's very nature is the creation of a perfect illusion of freedom. By providing the individual with an unlimited buffet of choice, by allowing all revolutionary energies to be expressed, by producing a boundlessly customizable space for law and lifestyle, the state secures itself above reproach, ultimately secure, and infinitely stable. The elites will sit at the top, collect a percentage, bias the game, manipulate the outcome, and the individual will chose which game to live under defined by the rules of a particular Patch of territory.
Call it "algorithmic government."
Perhaps this is not what you had in mind when you wanted to know how to gain power. Perhaps you meant "how to gain power for the people," and that is an entirely different proposition.
Bitcoin is either exactly what it seams: a distributed ledger and private currency that successfully usurps the power of central banks, or it is a CIA opp. Assuming it is the former, then it is the only successful attack on power made by anarchism that has not been co-opted yet. It is also the only system where the founder has disappeared without a trace, and that is important, because as long as the founder is visible a system has a single point of failure that can destroy it. A human face attached to any project creates a an individual in meatspace that can be blackmailed into compliance. Secondly, Bitcoin performs a reverse co-optation of the elites, peeling off enough of them with its speculative nature, and profiting them sufficiently, to buy their relative, (and temporary) indifference. Regulation is always an attack by rent-seekers, regardless of whatever else it is, and if you do not enrich the people currently in power they will bury you.
This model shows the only way forward for anarchism that does not feed totalitarian pushback. Of course the blockchain may turn out to be totalitarian after all if it enables the tracking of all transactions in an entire economy.
Bitcoin is not destroyed by rent-seekers because it is;
Distributed (cannot destroy it without destroying the whole thing).
Anonymous (no meatbags to extort).
It survives because;
It is profitable to some elites.
It's destruction might destabilize the economy.
Government employees have invested in it.
It was allowed to grow to its current threatening size because;
It is difficult to understand the technology (exploits human laziness).An anarchist project succeeds when it is distributed, anonymous, profitable to elites, and difficult to understand, and when its threatening nature is not advertised.
It's threatening nature was not advertised (unlike Cody Wilson or Richard Spencer).
It's implications were not immediately understandable by anyone except its creators.
Trusted third parties are lawyer magnets. https://t.co/Qw20QEND9K— Nick Szabo⚡️ (@NickSzabo4) March 13, 2018