Ayn Rand's opposition to the 'Priests of Religion' and to the 'Priests of War' is covered in many essays; she also used the terms 'witch doctors' and 'the Atillas of history' in the essay "For The New Intellectual", and the terms 'the mystic' and 'the dictator' in John Galt's speech in "Atlas Shrugged".
Both these systems are derived from fear, primarily a fear that others have been accorded Some Quality, some natural Value, that the Priests & Prophets of Religion and the Priests & Prophets of War have not that the only access to such an absent, mysterious Quality is by seeking command over others who do seem to have such an inherent Quality (or Value): the only way to obtain the Power of such a Quality or Value is second-hand.
Their belief is that others have Something which can only be obtained thru control of those others: control either by mysticism or by military force.
But much has changed since 1961 when "For The New Intellectual" was written and published. Computers and satellites and cable channels galore have radically altered the ways that Individuals operate, in even the poorest countries.
The means of communication have expanded. But the content is still attuned to the policies of the Culture Structure, which chooses virtually all of what the Citizenry see and hear and yes indeed, even what you do or do not think.
(You think that you Think, but you do not: If what you are doing is Thinking, then how come you cannot halt the automaticity of the Little Voice In Your Head, your personal version of the Culture Structure-induced False Mind? How come new ideas are always outside the Main Stream, never inside, and always presented as the Radical Fringe? unless and until the Culture Structure co-opts the concept for commercial consumption, of course.)
So a new set of fears has been established it's the economy, stupid! and the newly-anointed Priests and Prophets of Commerce will solve the problem for you. All that you have to do is give them obedience sound familiar? and all will be well, into Eternity. Pay extortion to the Oligarchy, give fealty to the Culture Structure, and they will grant you the right of servitude.
Sacrifice your inherent and natural Value as an Individual, adhere to the reactionary rules of Political Correctness, hype any crap that the Oligarchy-owned corporations produce in Third World sweatshops, speak not a murmur of curiosity about why nothing ever changes for the better in short, do not question their authority and the Priests and Prophets of Commerce will, out of the kindness of their shriveled hearts ta-da! prevent economic collapse.
The Oligarchy has increased their possessions by forty percent in the fifteen years since Dr. Ravi Batra defined the problem. Such money-value diversion can only occur by reducing the possessions of the remaining 99% of the population, which includes every single reader of this essay.
Fifteen percent of all assets in America changed hands during this time, ownership moving from the 99% to the Oligarchy: They have a bigger piece of the pie, and you, oblivious reader, have that much less.
...all for the purpose of protecting the Holy Bottom Line.
The Oligarchy orchestrates policy in corporate boardrooms, the Culture Structure supports the Oligarchy by declaring, "What's the problem you have a job, don't you?", meanwhile diverting attention to the latest Washington sex scandal or foreign guerrilla war.
The result? Once-trusting employees suffer shell shock and scramble to get back into the good graces of the Culture Structure, back into the evil Economic Game of the Oligarchy: "Please, please, let me back on the team!"
Where the Culture Structure has the Citizenry by the proverbial 'short hairs' is that until masses of Individuals stand outside of this lethal Economic Game, the fear-ridden slaves of the Culture Structure perpetuate the problem by their obedience.
Every time that you purchase some product whose purpose is 'Conspicuous Consumption' [see Thorstein Veblen link below], then the Oligarchy and the Culture Structure benefit. Not you, cuz you don't even own that product: you bought it on credit!
Meanwhile there remains a vast backlog of work in merely attempting the survival of Mankind, of the species Homo sapiens. Such work would create direct Value, both physically and economically (as opposed to paying extortion to the Oligarchy): replacing the deteriorating infrastructure creates jobs; education creates jobs and produces a population of Individuals, ready to live productive lives; healthcare creates jobs and provides Value.
In fact, the benefit of jobs that create Value, of productive work for a legitimate portion of the economic pie, is two-fold: actual money-value is created by employment (all Value is created only by the Individual), and the Culture Structure cannot extort a piece of any Value created at the level of productive work. The extortion by the Oligarchy occurs after the Individual has produced such money-value.
Yet jobs are being eliminated in every industry, while profits paid to the Oligarchy are increased. The Oligarchy runs the show, the 'ticket in' is giving fealty to the Culture Structure, the Individual produces wealth, but does not get to keep any.
Or on Education [see WMail Issue #6].
Folks outside academia may not think of Education as an industry the Culture Structure does not want you to entertain such a concept but such is indeed the case. The same Oligarchy policies and Culture Structure strategies apply: takeover and-or bankruptcy, liquidation of assets, setting up operations elsewhere (the purpose of school voucher proposals).
The policies of management in use by the Priests and Prophets of Commerce produce shoddier goods at greater cost by ever-larger corporations obliterating free enterprise. In academia, the product is so worthless that 25% of students drop out before completing high school, since school is a waste of time. And as in other industries, union agitation for responsible management results in lockouts, so you dare not rock the boat one little bit.
Forget notions of disobedience. Even non-obedience in academia is dealt with harshly: teachers transferred to the ghetto, denial of tenure, negative performance reviews. The vicious circle of Fear leads to worsening results, but if you sign up for slavery, the Oligarchy will provide you certainty of survival as a slave!
Pick your industry, it is the same.
Across the Culture Structure, from country to country, from nation to city to village to farm, the benumbed masses are willing to abrogate all Responsibility to the Priests and Prophets of Commerce, in the blind hope of attaining crumbs of profit or security. The marginally productive are kept to perform any actual value-producing labor, while the most-capable any self-actuated Individuals who live inside of an empowering Objectivity-based Personal Purpose in Life are treated as heretics, eventually removed as a threat to the Culture Structure. Open your mouth to question authority and your chances of feeding yourself become limited.
Do you know any business or organization or governmental body today that does NOT use fear and intimidation as the primary relationship with its employees and vendors and customers?
Where there is a steady state of Fear, the Priests & Prophets of Commerce and the Priests & Prophets of Religion and the Priests & Prophets of War rule a complicit mob.
The preceding is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, "Working Minds: A Philosophy of Empowerment".
For the full contents of this issue of the free 'WMail' exine, click here.