GOVERNMENT: THE BORG ROBOT
Much has been said about the nature of government and how it “should” serve the interests of the “people” or the “public”. Unfortunately, I can think of no government on the planet that fits this description – and in fact I have come to the conclusion that the description itself is a mechanism intended to deceive the public, thereby hiding the true nature of government from those to be governed.
The description below is a parable or metaphor for government as it really is and always has been. Those who give faith more credence than truth will take issue with it; but those who love truth, and who won’t accept comforting falsehoods in the name of faith, will recognize its validity in the real world.
Origin of the B.O.R.G. “Robot”
Many years ago, some eight thousand to be precise – or not so precise – a group of kings and chieftains in Sumer (now southern Iraq), got together and decided they were tired of fighting with each other over local resources. The bloodshed for arable land, water rights, mineral deposits, seaport access, and slaves was just getting to be too much to bear the cost of. So they formed a cartel – a shared power monopoly – choosing to cooperate henceforth instead of continuing to compete. From a business standpoint you’d say their “product” was power over others – their industry, “power brokerage”. This was consistent with their ethic: “Might Makes Right” that was accepted by many in that era.
To accomplish their ends they traded specific segments of their power/authority to others in exchange for services rendered. For instance, they would appoint a Master Tax Collector, upon whom they would bestow the privilege of stealing from other (less powerful) people. In return for this delegated privilege they expected to receive the lion’s share of the taxes thus collected. The Master Tax Collector, in turn, was authorized to hire whatever thugs he wished to go out and do the dirty work of enforcing the tax collection – rewarding them in turn for their efforts. This process of delegating authority is what we today call hierarchy.
Through this invention of the power brokerage cartel “government” was born. And in the years that followed, the bigger businesses and organized religions adopted the very same model for their own development – and for their relationships with one another. Today, Big Business, Organized Religion, and Government (The B.O.R.G.), the institutions that most of us have been duped into believing exist to serve the public, are in fact the central causes of almost all societal problems.
On the Nature of Machines The most general and accurate definition of a machine is “any device, tangible or intangible, that augments or extends one’s intelligence” – where intelligence is defined as “the ability to predict or control events in one’s environment.” In this sense, government may be thought of as a machine designed to forever increase the power and wealth of those who own it. Today that machine incorporates modules and components in all of the world’s important institutions, be they social, financial, religious, corporate, educational, charitable, legal, or military. So it is technically correct to say that government, in this broad sense of the word, has become an evil robot.
Characteristics of the Evil Robot Like any machine, the robot of government can be characterized by its structure, its functions, and the behavioral rules that have been built into it. It is further characterized by its meta-rules – which is to say the rules about the rules. The meta-rules determine how the rules can be changed (or not), who has the authority to change them, and by what means and under what circumstances permitted changes can be made. There also exist meta-meta-rules that determine who may know about the details of the rules, what may be said about them in public, and which ones are intended to be kept secret from the public. The following section provides a concise specification of the more important characteristics of the robot we know as government.
Mission (The Robot’s Prime Directive): To serve the interests of its creators – forever increasing their wealth and power over others, in accordance with the Power Ethic (might makes right).
Awareness: The robot has a high level of awareness, but lacks awareness of its own awareness and has no conscience whatever. The robot’s awareness includes the determinants of its internal states and can evaluate the performance of each of its internal components.
Construction: The robot is highly complex and is comprised of many hierarchically organized components and modules, including perceptors, effectors, and both internal and external communicators. It also has “thinking” components that include memory storage and recall as well as logic and math. In addition, the robot has remote components that are not obviously part of it, yet which are controlled by the robot and/or its makers. Most of its components are people. Most of its modules are organizations comprised of people.
Control: The robot is run by an operating system, the “prime directive” of which is its mission. The operating system permits no component or module thereof to interfere with its mission – nor can the prime directive be altered by means of “parts” replacement. Only a very few elite individuals are able to directly influence the robot’s programming – and they are very careful about who gets invited to join their club.
Parts Replacement: Many, though not all, of the robots components and modules are replaceable. Some can only be replaced by the robot’s makers and their delegates. Some can be replaced by the robot itself. Others can be replaced by the public; but only using the tools and methods built into the robot for this purpose; and only at those times that the robot is programmed to permit such replacement.
Response to “Malfunctioning” Parts: The robot is able to tell if one of its parts, components, or parts is performing in support of the robot’s mission – or not – and, if not, it can repair itself.
If a particular part is not critical to the robot’s mission and is performing poorly or not at all, the robot will simply ignore the part.
If a part is performing in a way that threatens to hinder the robot’s mission, the robot’s first response will be to isolate the part from the rest of the system (without removing it), so the hindrance becomes ineffectual.
If the malfunctioning part continues to hinder the robot in its mission, the robot will remove the part from its system and replace it or have the public replace it.
If the robot sees the part that has been removed as a continuing threat to its mission, it will first attempt to isolate the part from the public, so no one can re-deploy it within the robot’s system.
Failing in this, the robot will take whatever steps are required to nullify the threat – often destroying the part removed without compunction. To this end it has killed millions of human people without the slightest remorse – and it will probably kill millions more. Success of the Robot The robot has been doing its job successfully for some eight thousand years! Although its makers are long gone, their (philosophical) heirs are still with us and the robot still serves their interests extremely well.
Since the robot is not aware of its awareness, it would be incorrect to call it a “person” and it would therefore be incorrect to call it “immoral” any more than it would be correct to call a sword immoral. Unfortunately, many of the robot’s components and modules are people, who choose to act on the robot’s behalf. Their behavior can be properly characterized as immoral.
Immoral or not, it remains to be seen whether the robot is immortal. If so, it can only be destroyed by its own actions – and this is a likely outcome, because the robot is parasitic, feeding on the public at large that is its host – while creating nothing of intrinsic value. Like most parasites, it will probably destroy its host and itself with it, since it cannot exist without those who nurture it.
I have no doubt of the truism that it is evil to nurture parasites. If you agree, then you must decide what you are willing to do to avoid nurturing this particularly destructive parasite. If no one nurtured it, it would disappear – but this is an unlikely outcome, because the lure of power over others is very seductive to those who have been dominated by others all their lives.
Make a decision. Take a stand. For much more on this subject, read Ethics, Law, and Government.