Slave Nation - Nature or Nurture?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

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chinawholesaler's picture

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Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

It makes me grumpy to have to admit all this but:

At the first pass of this article I only got as far as the link to the Manufacturing Consent documentary. Did not know previously that there was such a doc. Had not ever actually read the book. Had felt satisfied with my "Cliff Notes"-understanding of Chomsky's thesis for many years previous. Tonight watched ~35+ minutes of the doc, but felt like moving on and coming back to it later, if at all.

Eventually made a second pass at this article. Got into the first-person story (fiction?). Thought it was a good story, of really high caliber, more so than any previous fiction writing I had seen from CD.

Scrolled past one of the pictures. Saw the text go on in another person's voice (non-first-person). Judged at a glance that the next part of the text was about a different subject than the first-person narrative was. Started to get mad. Started to feel like CD is just being needlessly labyrinthine again, like he/she is frequently accused of being. Started to wonder if I shouldn't bother reading more.

Scrolled down. Saw it was nearly done. Relieved, I read the whole thing in a third pass.


This is a pretty good piece all together, I would say.

Some of the things you were saying in the last part made me feel really angry, because I felt like I have been saying the same things to people myself for a long time now -- although I had not been actually saying the same things to people all this time. I had just been feeling it, but been unable to find an avenue of communication with them to be able to express it. Either I or the other person proved intractable every time -- and we never got close to being able to talk about what this is about.

Now I have your essay here to talk about with people willing to listen in the future. Thanks. This will help me express myself to people who are open to talk along these lines. After they read it, we can talk about it.


I have been on something of a "vacation". I notice that you made another essay with a title that more-or-less asked if/when we would be ready to forgive others. By the title alone, I know it's also going to be about something that I feel like I already have wanted to communicate with people about, but been unable.

Because one of the very first things I realized when I saw the awful "world order" for what it was, was that we would all have to do a lot of forgiving of the past, if we would make it through to the future to something not awful.

If we must evolve, then let us evolve into something good. Not something evil.

janus's picture

hope you got it, guy.

janus will never post such secrets again.

all the best,


blindman's picture

the shelf life of this entry is yet another abomination.
but check this out.
Snooks Eaglin and George Porter Jr

blindman's picture
Army Widow Calls for Recognition of Husband’s Service After He Commits Suicide Ahead of Redeployment

blindman's picture

lots to think over. and speaking of advertizing, i hope
the tyler dude is financing his children's future educational
expenses by allowing the advertisements to run over into the
contents of his pages; if not i think he needs to renegotiate
the milieux is the master and is a demanding local reality.
the slave masters have become the owner's of the milieux
via technology, infrastructure and law, fiat. this is what we
are born into, the world of man, right or wrong. and let it die!
when it displays the tendency to kill itself let it be. peace
so "culture", or lack thereof, has replaced nature as the
prevailing milieux, environment, this is what it is all about,
power, and all power is an expression of the original and universal
essence. weird balance in weird space.
man become god via the capacity to claim ownership
and control over the man made environment, the milieux and
infrastructure. funny. the legal authority to comodify the
symbolic essentials, "regal",
artificial and virtual, but real
non-the-less, in conceptual mankind mind space.
aka bullshit, this is what we know and love.
i see the people walk and work the street; no one knows
them or what they are, not even themselves. sometimes i
ask them and they have nothing to say, just addicted to
confusion and trivial yet monumental insignificance. life
but we still don't know where babies and money come from?
but what pisses me off is that youtube has let someone
use my channel name and has now reset my view count, confused
it, or is posting random numbers,i believe, because i did not respond
to the request to allow advertising on the page. ego, there ya go....
ongoing advertising is on the rise.(master) fiat money dictated, what a sad
sack of shit excuse for motivation and purpose.
the bankers and their system are sick and
demented fools culling the populations, torturing the life forms
for their own perverted amusement, debasement and profit, what a shit headed life
form this species has become. beware them at the top, the top shit heads !
"i sleep now" . the lost skeleton of cadavra
the lost skeleton of cadavra

Use of Weapons's picture

Regarding the earlier mention of Rifkin - the source is the RSA talks [direct link1]. I've mentioned it before, and you probably should be aware of what the function of the RSA is. You'll want to look at this talk by a Stanford psych prof 2 [and boy, does he push that book of his] to see the political message a bit clearer: there are definitely the eloi and the morlocks, and the RSA is about defining a cultured lefty upper middle caste. It isn't a centre for freedom, despite the veneer of civilisation - and it certainly is both socially policed to be on message and carefully vetted (speakers' content) to be on message. Watch the questions at the end of this talk3 - it helps to know that she is now a Guardian op-ed writer, and was pegged as a brilliant newcomer, and she's being hosted by Mathew Taylor who is the chief executive of the RSA, and was involved with #10. Her position is anti-State, his probably isn't.  I'll let you decide on what happens during the questioning... perhaps I'm overly sensitive to nuances. Perhaps I'm not - I'd be interested at a second opinion on it.


Regarding the 'nature vrs nuture' part, I'm reminded of this: -- I don't think you can escape the game that easily - you might just be trading up to a classier type of predator. But noted - I should probably get the hell out of ZH, before the scent of my virginal blood arouses the old ones here.


Anyhow, I'll leave you with this: Its a map of the 147 companies 'that run the world', networked, with the nodal power points highlighted. It isn't complete by any means, but it provides a very nice intro into the topic - much better than that other network mapping site. It is also a bit out of date, given that some of the bigger ones are no longer in existence. or a precise

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thank you for re-visiting this stale link to update it.

Use of Weapons's picture

Please unpack that a little for me - genuinely apologetic if I've offended. This is only a day old, after all.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm giving you a genuine Thank You.

Most people don't even visit an article for the first time after it is a few hours old, never mind a day old. But the regulars often come back to see who responded to their posted comment so I appreciated that you added new info. No insult intended.

Thank you. 

Use of Weapons's picture


Old adage - if the reading wasn't worth the effort to analyse, then it wouldn't get done.

Pro tip: The intarweb (for those who've spent extended periods in it) is a zero sum game, emotionally speaking. i.e. Amongst the geeks & the younger generation, there can never be emotive content - there's lot of good reasons for this, and actual papers, research et al. Not to mention ten years of /b/ and so on. Anyone emoting on the intarweb is either trolling you, psyoping you or so fucking naive they need to get off the web before they get hurt. Or caming.

This isn't to say that intarweb content cannot generate emotive responses - it merely means that you can NEVER communicate proper emotions over the intarweb <1--1> [barring skype, and even that's a little dodgy]. Thus if you codify it in 'meta' language, you can get there, if through filters. People treat the web like a conversation, when the emotional impact has to be [through physics] like a book.


Look at #3 vid, and the comment section - you'll hopefully see what I mean. And I say this will a lot of goodwill towards you. Keep plugging away, and good luck.

scratch_and_sniff's picture

Did no one ever tell you CD...don’t smoke the merchandise.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

My friend, all I was ever told was don't bogart that joint.

pazmaker's picture

Cog great article, Thanks. Truth is freedom if you act upon it.

Did you notice the third person on the steps? Probably the mom. You can see her arm on the girls shoulder and just a glimpse of her head.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You may be correct.

There is no mention of a mother or third person in the caption; though the editor may have decided it would have confused the issue to mention someone so well hidden. I did see what looked like a hand and part of an arm on Erin's shoulder and the caption mentions Billy comforting Erin, though that didn't seem to make physical sense from his body position. Since it clearly is not Billy's hand on Erin I surmised it must have been some clothing or towel around Erin's neck.

Thank you for the different perspective. Either way it is a monster of an image and the inspiration for this essay.

pazmaker's picture

The image, for me is very profound, regardless if there is a third person.  Your words, eventhough you may be writing to yourself as you have mentioned, spoke volumes to me.



Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Cog Dis,

Nature or nurture seems to be a false choice.

Do you have an email or method of contact if I was to send you a MS word file in a week or so? There is a short story regarding perceptual redemption that I've been working on that I'd like to get your opinion about.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Please send all hate mail and any checks, money orders, FRN fiat or Gold and Silver offerings to......

ZHcognitivedissonance at gmail dot com


Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

It'll blast it out to you in a few days. You may be amused and perhaps... slightly entertained, since the soul of Mr. CogDis himself possesses one of the characters (you'll also find others you recognize).

oldman's picture

Have a cup of tea, CD?

Something to write about, I suppose and well-written as usual, but how many times can you tell this story?

I'm certainly tired of telling it, but I admire your tenaciousness-----good luck, CD     om

BTW heard anything about Portsmouth Island? My family came from there to bootleg-boating in the last depression; maybe, it was washed away---no more family reunions---pues


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

.....but how many times can you tell this story?

A reasonable question and one that deserves an answer from me. Initially I thought I would tire of saying the same thing a dozen different ways. But rather than falling in exhaustion or frustration I gain strength with each telling.

The secret is that each time I write the intended reader is me and no one else. I am telling my stories to me in the energizing act of cleansing and healing. Since this is an endless task it can never grow old. Thus instead of being drained by each recitation I am reborn and ready for the next incantation. My writing is my ritual, my centering, and the intended audience (me) my energy source.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :) more family reunions......

Hopefully your annual ritual will just be delayed and not extinguished.

plata pura's picture

You blokes needs to understand the saeculum.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sadly a word that has fallen into disuse, and even out of favor, now that the one true unifying God is Science.

indio007's picture

Seems like you guys have never heard of the No STATE project. Stop reinventing the wheel. JUST FUCKING OPT OUT. 

williambanzai7's picture

That's the Stairway to Debt Heaven...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And once again it looks filled to the brim. Please use the left lane for willing servitude since the right lane is to Nirvana.

Stairway to Debt Heaven

Tompooz's picture

When I had that Jake moment and enough FU-money some 30 years ago, I left a country where slavery was still legal up to 1952 and where all foreigners, no matter how well paid, were regarded as slaves by both authorities and populace.

The trigger for the epiphany was a public beheading..

As a free man I moved around the world,  rented a house in that country of "salarymen" and observed...

All were "slaves" and even the ones with enough FU-money seemed to be happy in their roles of "ShaCho" or enslaved slave-driver.  Only very few in that society were different enough to drive a motorcycle through Asia, marry a Frenchman or give acupuncture lessons in Phuket. Kindred spirits, raised nails mercilessly hammered down if they had stayed in Japan.

And then I moved to my tropical paradise and noticed how enjoyable it is to exploit people who ask to be exploited. 

You can feel so good, doing them a favour...

russki standart's picture

 I had my Jake moment in 2007, after making an tremendous amout of money selling a business. I looked around, saw how my friends were really living, and decided to bug out to a  supposed 3rd world shithole.  Never regretted it for an instant: low taxes, nice weather, plenty of beautiful women, house staff, very fresh fruits and vegetables, privacy, no militarized police. It is actually amazing how once you get rid of the clutter and junk in your life, the degree of freedom that you can experience.  

blunderdog's picture

The good news is you can experience that same freedom without a bunch of money and a trip to a new homeland.

It's all there on the INSIDE.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Something I often harp on in my essays. It all begins within.

Though a pile of fiats and Escape from New York doesn't hurt. Snake tells me the weather is great in paradise.

Coldfire's picture

You think you've got the Philippines by the tail? Good one.

Tompooz's picture

At least it never had me by the tail...  It's a good country for adventurous enterprise. But it's also good for withdrawal from the mad, mad world.   

Coldfire's picture

I guess what I'm saying is that certain Filipinas have had me by the tail. Still plan to retire there when I withdraw - or am withdrawn - from the mad, mad world. Difference now is that I've got family there.

Dr. Gonzo's picture

What were you doing Cog? Pimping ho's, shy-locking or making book?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'll never tell, mostly because there are still several outstanding wants and warrants. :>) 

But you're missing several other choices that I can think of off the top of my head.

Implicit simplicit's picture

...and to think Its practically legal on the left coast now. Sorry, had to guess.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I love guessing games. It appears that once again the Left Coast is leading the left brain out of the darkness. It must be the water out there. :)

Lower Class Elite's picture

I'll take "Pool Shark" for a thousand, Alex...

gookempucky's picture

The answer is both, nature and nurture.

 If you dont mind CD I would have to say the answer is YOURSELF period. Mankind has developed into a let others do our thinking for us. Many a modern man rely on others to think everything out, to give it form ( major media outlets) and then man relies upon the thing produced. VIOLA ...the producer becomes more and more capable and the dependent one becomes more and more dependent .

 Emerson said to the fact that what we gain on one hand we lose on the other. Man has watches but has lost the ability to tell time of day ourselves. How many of us here at ZH know many that cannot travel without a GARMIN=many a lost soul. To neglect the development of self through dependence upon anything outside yourself is to weaken your own nature.

Another great mental influence CD

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If you dont mind CD I would have to say the answer is YOURSELF period.

I don't mind at all. Later in the piece I admit to using the whole nature/nurture question as a diversion so I didn't really want to dwell on the actual answer.

And I tend to agree with you, particularly your views on how it can be seen as a zero sum game with something lost each time something is gained.

johnnynaps's picture

Not sure what type of music you appreciate? But, Queensryche's latest album boasts a song called "Retail Therapy" that you might want to check out. It also has a comical part that makes me laugh everytime I hear it.......but so true. I'd attach a link, but been drinking and getting real lazy! 

rsnoble's picture

I'm not a slave. And I know just enough to be dangerous. Fuck the elite sideways.  While I think the net is the elites greatest fear, I still don't think we are using our full ability to combat the rotten motherfuckers that have screwed us over.  I don't know about you guys.......but my anal lube bucket is fucking empty.

Blankman's picture

"While I think the net is the elites greatest fear"


All I have to say is this -


The internet is just another control tool fool.  Easier to track the nutjobs because they don't understand that they are being tracked.

Cdad's picture

But brother Cog,

I...I don't want to be a wholly owned mule.  

Very tight, very true, and very prescient.  

It seemed to me that our collective Jake moment was 2008, but it passed too quickly.  And now we have the Jake and all of you moment close to hand.  The second is the one for which there is no conventional recovery...not for a long, long time. Confidence will not be rebounding any faster than employment, and mindless rituals are going to be very hard to maintain soon.  I hear folks are really irate over that Netflix fee jump.  That Congress raised the debt ceiling again...not so much.  Good grief.

The nation will soon be staring into the headlights again, that deer, that comical deer pic that Tyler puts up...but no one will be laughing at that moment.  Some because their multiple prescriptions long ago killed their funny bones, and their tear ducts, and their conscience.  Some because the accumulation of laziness will have killed off intellect and they simply will not know what is happening. Shattered illusions, crumpling tin foil will, poverty and joblessness, emptiness, and slave taxes are all now descending on the rest. And the selling...the selling of everything will continue, stocks, bonds, houses, cars, souls.

We are a nation sitting on that staircase to nowhere surrounded by the sea of our neglect.  And for the last thirty years, we have been sitting there, looking at the beautiful sea, without the faintest idea of its gathering power.

I don't want to be no wholly owned mule.  Let the truth descend already.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Very tight, very true, and very prescient.

You were bouncing around in the back of my mind as I wrote this piece. There were a few times when I asked myself if you would approve and when the honest answer came back that you would not I took out the meat cleaver and cut away some of the fat. I probably could have cut a little more, but I figured it was a good first effort.

 I hear folks are really irate over that Netflix fee jump. That Congress raised the debt ceiling again...not so much. Good grief.

Netflix is a real reality that is direct debited from their checking account or credit card. The debt ceiling isn't real, but just another boogie monster the politicians bicker over. Until it isn't. The Netflix debit happens monthly rain or shine but the boogie man never seems to show. So who's afraid of DC's national debit if there's never any direct pain.

I don't want to be no wholly owned mule. Let the truth descend already.

I suspect this is gonna be just like a nasty bear market where everyone gets clawed and you're lucky to get away with your life. Free the wholly owned mules brother Cdad because I don't want to be one either.

Cdad's picture

A moment together, we two grieve for your lost words.  I leave to you whether or not they died in vain or for the cause. But this one maintained really good momentum.  Less iterations of thought...I sensed.  Hat tip, brother Cog.  

Indeed, let them be free from the illusion of this false economy, this false prosperity, trading their days away, trading their family away for payment in a diminishing currency.  Let them rise, awaken, and begin the Revolution of the Closed Wallet.  Let them learn to do things other than trade their lives for money to buy useless things.  Let them shake off those shackles. 

Gardens.  Canning.  Animal husbandry.  Fermenting.  Smelling flowers.  Straw hats and catfish.  Corn cob pipes.  Last year's movie for a dollar on a Tuesday.  Old pickup trucks and soup can muffler jobs.  Worn jeans and one good suit for Sunday.  Old books.  Garage sales.  Charity.  Homemade bread.  Sewing.  Truth.  Neighbors.  Swapping recipes.  Raising babies.  Odd jobs.  And so on and so on...and so on and on...poo tweet [blatant Vonnegut rip]

Embrace the revolution.  Let it come...for the sake of our once good and great nation.  And enjoy every damn minute of it!

I refuse to be a wholly owned mule!

your brother,


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A moment together, we two grieve for your lost words. I leave to you whether or not they died in vain or for the cause.

Definitely for the cause. If the written word has no reason to live was it ever alive to begin with? I am slowly getting over the lust for my own words and beginning to pay attention to other's desire to even read them. Some would call that growth, even maturity, others just plain sobriety. Like mama always said, often time's sweet honey is more effective than dry bread.

You're compassionate words and offer to help was the honey I needed to conduct an honest appraisal. Once I realized I was in a negative equity situation I hitched up my pants and dug in. I'm greatful you didn't offer dry bread instead.

Cdad's picture

The recognition of your audience is doubt.  As I said before, as you play with reduction, your confidence in your writing will grow.  At some point, you will probably go too far...and you will realize it.  And then you are in the sweet spot.  That is when your voice, your style, your rhythm will be more comfortably to hand.  Then, you will intuitively know when some flourish or repetition can be inserted without encumbering the work.

I am here for the brotherhood, Cog.  I am here for the truth.  We cobble ourselves together in these dangerous times for a reason and a purpose.  I think what you are writing about matters to this greater cause, and as such I am at your service.  I am with you.

Nice crisp and gritty article.

RockyRacoon's picture

What puzzles me is the posting of comments by those who even admit that they didn't read CD's piece, complain that it is too long, yet spend the time to expose their obvious ignominy.   The apparent dichotomy is probably worth an article in its own right.