Monday 8 November 2021

Pre-emptive compliance versus "It will only happen when it has happened"

In my time working in the UK universities and National Health Service - these functions were brought under managerial control, and integrated into The System which (since early 2020) is now global. 

The almost complete surrender of power by academics and doctors happened almost entirely without coercion. Why? 

Essentially, deeply, due to the lack of motivation and courage from living as godless-expedient hedonists (i.e. regarding mortal life as wholly about 'utility'), on the basic of incoherent (increasingly inverted) Leftist values. 

Lacking any positive transcendent values (truth, beauty, virtue, coherence...); modern people, especially Westerners, are easier to control than any group I have heard of throughout history. 

But how did this control operate proximately? The answer could be termed pre-emptive compliance

The management (whether national or local) would announce what was going to happen - some new scheme to strip autonomy from academics and subordinate teaching, research, scholarship under administrative control; or some new, extra, unpaid and harmful bureaucratic tasks...

And always the mass reaction was 1. to assume that this was inevitable and that 'resistance is futile'; and 2. therefore to comply instantly and with feigned enthusiasm. 

There was essentially zero mass resistance, yet those individuals who did refuse to comply were - for many years - left alone; showing that mass resistance would likely have been effective. 

In other words - the mass of people responded pre-emptively to threats: threats were made, and people obeyed... Obeyed even before threats were implemented, obeyed even when threats were not implemented! 

Scaled-up this has been the story of The West over the past several generations. Coercion to enforce totalitarian tyranny was very seldom needed or used, because compliance was automatic and instant - despite that there has been very widespread cynicism concerning the motivations of the bureaucracy and politicians whose instructions were being so slavishly obeyed. 

This is a measure of our spiritual malaise - the West has quietly, obediently and pre-emptively complied with each step of a now System which covers all nations and regions, and claims authority over all aspects of human existence including family, church, and a Man's private thoughts - i.e. a global totalitarianism. 

And there has been extremely little need for coercion, because the world has complied automatically and instantly; which is evidence of an extreme level of human demotivation due to gross insufficiency of any inner and positive convictions that might provide a basis for, even conceptualized a need for, resistance.

That is the point. We are not seeing merely a global 'failure' of resistance; but a global failure to recognize any need for resistance: that is, a failure to have any reason for resistance of a totalitarianism which is evil both intrinsically (in that universal control is of-itself evil) and also evil explicitly, in its agenda.  

Our spiritual malaise is therefore much, much worse than most people seem to realize. People talk as if what was lacking is means to resist evil (they usually mean some kind of organization); but the much deeper problem is a lack even of the basic desire to resist evil. 

And this stems from a false basic understanding of the nature of reality - false metaphysical assumptions about the world - consequence of generations of apostasy from Christianity combined with a pervasive 'materialism' that by-now permeates traditional Christianity.

If, on the other hand; you are personally motivated Not to comply - because you have strong positive motivations with which compliance interferes and/or because you regard totalitarianism as evil by nature and/or intent - then you do not need a plan for non-compliance. 

One simply does not comply - and wait to see what (if anything) happens. Sometimes nothing happens.

If there are threats (and there will be) they are ignored. Often they lead to nothing. So one waits to see if the threats really are going to be implemented - sometimes they are not.

If the threats are implemented - which is relatively rare, because resource-consuming; one may still refuse to comply.

Or one may delay complaince: comply as late as possible (to make Them make extra effort - sometimes they will not)

One may continue to disobey except when specifically told to obey - that is: refuse to self-police... make Them do it (so They must expend effort); behaviour is adjusted reactively, not pre-emptively.

Evil plans and threats are cheap hence innumerable - an accurate response is that each will only happen when it has happened.

And even then evil will only continue happening either due to continued effort and resource expenditure from those who want it to happen - or else because of the chosen surrender to evil of pre-emptive compliance and self-policing. 

In sum - resistance to evil has many levels and degrees - most are 'passive' (a matter of non-compliance); most are about delaying in hope of unforeseen providential assistance, not all require heroism and some at least are possible even to the most timid. 

Enough delay, from enough people, for the right motivations; will provide God with everything He needs to make a cohesive, positive, alternative, better future. 

God helps those who help themselves is both true, and exclusive: God helps only those who help themselves. 

If individual people do not make choices, for good and against evil - then God cannot pursue good ends in this mortal world. But when some people do know and choose the side of God; then by the invisible working of providence (possible to The Creator) then an unknowably great deal can be achieved by combining and sequencing these individual acts. 

Any individual who is motivated to do good or resist evil, will find sufficient discernment and some courage. And then each such act can be woven-with other such acts, by God, into a divine plan of scope far beyond the wit of Man. 

But what all require is motivation - and motivation is based on an understanding of reality that identifies and distinguishes between good and evil, and the capacity to discern this for oneself (not relying on 'authority' to inform you) - it requires a perspective that we are each responsible for our own choices, and that individual choice is of genuine significance, and makes-a-difference.  

In other words, resistance needs a transcendental perspective - one that is larger than this mortal life; and it also needs a personal perspective - that regards an individual's as able to make choices and those choices as having cosmic significance. 

I don't know of anything other than Christianity - and even then only some kinds of Christianity - that can (even in principle) lead to such a combination of personal and transcendental motivations; and therefore sustain even the desire to resist totalitarian evil.   


William Wildblood said...

Excellent analysis and advice. In the absence of any higher system of values, i.e. a spiritual one, most people just allow themselves to go with the flow, and those that seek to coerce rely on this to a greater extent than we might think.

Bruce Charlton said...

Todd has left a comment:

"Such a good essay, and I'll have to re-read later today.
Pre-emptive compliance. Yes.
Regarding the peck, for example, I know someone who I thought I had convinced to not get pecked. His employer isn't mandating it.
He was concerned about the info I told him.
But he pre-emptively complied, because he was afraid that at some future date, it would be mandated.
I didn't understand it at the time - it didn't make logical sense to me.
But it's not logic. It's a lack of any motivation other than fear and anxiety."

"Question: are there ANY other religions or faiths that might provide resistance?"

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Thanks!

@Todd - "Question: are there ANY other religions or faiths that might provide resistance?"

I don't know of any religions - all seem to have obediently shut-down, and none seem to have repented.

Among particular groups, I have heard (via mass media, for what it's worth) that (after initially complying) the Amish have since said no.

Stephen Macdonald said...

In my province the Mennonites have remained quietly but firmly noncompliant despite government efforts to vilify and gaslight them. The government tried to stir up resentment against them among the larger population because the Mennonites refuse the peck. The predicted "overwhelming of the hospitals" due to the "negligent cult" of course never materialized. As with the Amish, covid swept through the Mennonite community. None were hospitalized, and within two weeks all were again healthy and back to their Christ-centered simple lives.

Pletho's Ghost said...

In regard to the System's control over individual thought I'm reminded of something Steiner said about how in the year 2000 a kind of proclamation or law would go out from America which would essentially forbid thinking. This law wouldn't be a formal law but would nonetheless take effect as a law and masses of men would follow it.

I believe that once again, Steiner is *essentially* right. These days, many men and women act as unthinking automata. I've been in conversation with people and when I bring up a certain subject (Those ol tin foil hat subjects) the fellow I'm having the conversation with will more or less *stop thinking* and enter a sort of fugue state and begin regurgitating stock phrases and responses which have been inculcated in his mind since childhood. *All critical thinking ceases*. I do believe this is where that NPC meme comes from.

I have many many reasons to actively resist the forces of evil. Aside from the many profound spiritual reasons, on the physical plane I'm a diabetic and I'm not looking forward to the grotesque death awaiting me when the insulin runs out. I let my blood sugar run up to over 500 last night to get a foretaste of this end and it's *not pleasant*.

Ideally before I pass through the gate of death I'll be an old man laying peacefully in bed deep in prayer to Christ Jesus and radiant with the Holy Spirit.

Bruce Charlton said...

@H "Steiner is *essentially* right" - I know the kind of thing you mean. Steiner is often wrong in the specific way he made prophecies (but not always - since the 1918 'Work of the angels in the astral body lecture is extremely accurate in its predictions) - yet there is often something 'essentially' right that is worth pondering.

If I were you, I would not engage in that line of thinking about specific personal potential horrors to come - once started there is no end to the bad possibilities and no possible reassurance.

Such fear is a sin - because it comes from lack of faith in God's providential care for our immortal soul - so we ought to repent it.

Dynamic said...

This is an excellent insight. One can see this pre-emptive compliance throughout the birdemic, from churches that closed without any government compelling them to do so, to following peck mandates that don't currently exist. I think most people are looking for someone else to resist evil first before they'll start resisting; otherwise they would be "weird" and "wouldn't fit in". I agree that it's important to simply start not complying, even in the absence of anyone else doing so.

Todd said...

Regarding Steiner's prediction on the "law" that would forbid thinking: that's very interesting. I need to read more of Steiner's predictions.
Regarding your observations, I've noticed the same thing. People literally start to recite a script when you hit certain subjects. I say literally, because the answers or responses are rote. We've all heard them numerous times. It's uncanny, and almost supernatural - or maybe it is supernatural, as though our interlocutors are tying in to a body of responses/scripts that are available when the System is threatened.
I purposely experimented last week by casually threatening a system shibboleth. It's doesn't really matter which one, but the responses were uncanny - confused looks, anxiety, followed by a sudden relief when the script was recited. Fascinating.

St. John the Great Sinner said...

I only have to say, "no I won't," one single time more than they can say, "yes you will."

Joe said...

I've been not-complying for a few months now, recognizing how easily all this could be resisted if just enough people stopped complying; viewing my own non-compliance as, hopefully, one of the first who will, maybe, be joined by others as things go on, and as it becomes more and more difficult to deny the obvious absurdity of the stated justifications for the evil rules.

But I've pretty much given up on that. I don't think there is any hope that others will join, or at least it's not reasonable for me to have any expectation that they will. So now I have to decide whether to continue not-complying and endure the abuse and isolation (which is admittedly very mild in comparison to what others have endured, historically) solely for moral reasons, and not because it might lead to any alleviation of these conditions.

Bruce Charlton said...

@J - The test of these times is at the level of individuals.

Gary said...

This is an incredible article. It is painful watching billions comply today, having learned nothing from history. They are blinded by the materialism of their existence. If this is what is happening now, imagine what will happen when they enter the Metaverse. God help us all!