Meditation and the Art of War
The Education Wars Part II
“I never let schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain
If you've never read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, you've surely seen it quoted. Maybe you've seen it on a shelf at the bookstore. Why have generals like Douglas MacArthur and Colin Powell, not to mention intelligence officials and business moguls, consistently praise the 2,500 Chinese relic in modern times?
Was that novel-sized book really written 2,500 years ago?
Those who have read the "book" already know the joke: The Art of War spans 13 short "chapters". And they're not really chapters: these were scrolls set up in a tent where a Chinese military general went to meditate on cultivated and curated. The books you see in stores are largely filled with one or another historian's perspective on the ancient texts.
Without ever reading the scrolls, you can fully understand how the English slaughtered a superior French army at Agincourt by picking the terrain that best leveraged the English longbows. It is unclear whether or not Prussian military minds who invented the goose step (Stechschritt) ever read a word Sun Tzu (or perhaps a collection of authors) wrote. There is nothing at all in The Art of War about stealth bombers or uranium-laden ordinance.
So, why do leaders who see themselves as part of---or potentially part of---battles still read The Art of War and express their appreciation for it like a religious text?
Because it's a religious text.
More accurately, The Art of War is mental software. The messages of the scrolls were succinct lessons collected from often tumultuous ancient Chinese military history. The goal of the general entering the tent was self-programming---lessons and reminders for overcoming personal failures to focus completely on the task of defeating their enemies. The Art of War goes beyond mere schooling. It helps the general to best know himself through meditation.
Deprogramming and Reprogramming People
Maybe the Prussian leaders read Sun Tzu after all. In 1763, by decree of Frederick the Great, all Prussian boys and girls aged 5 to 13 or 14 (presumably aside from the nobles whose children were mentored privately through classical training) were forced into tax-funded compulsory educational systems. The Prussian educational model is often described as being aimed at the economy-building needs inherent in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. But this is more a matter of the victors writing history than a complete description. Sure, the Humboldtian model of holistic study and research sounds like a platform for creative excellence, and surely it was to some who managed to maintain their agency, but the platform from which those students ascended was refined to ensure obedience and compliance to the state.
The history of warfare is one of military leaders solving a basic prisoner's dilemma. Each soldier facing a battle has a choice: to follow orders and fight---or to desert their post. The choice of one soldier would rarely affect any of history's battles, so defecting does little damage to one's comrades. Cooperation with one's own army in battle risks injury or death. So, military deserters have been historically harshly punished---even executed---to effectively regulate compliance. Commanders in ancient times threatened their own soldiers with swords to their backs during combat. During WW2, Russian barrier troops aimed machine gun fire behind the feet of charging soldiers. Cortez burned his ships so that his men had no choice but to defeat the Aztecs.
Frederick's solution was new to history. He wanted clockwork soldiers, following every order to perfection. The result proved to be deadly efficient military regimens as the hands of military puppeteers. The Prussian educational model ensured through a brutal disciplinary gauntlet that Prussian soldiers were incapable of conceiving of their own agency. Complete deprogramming resulted in the perfect soldier: ready for any program their commanders fed them. In tech-speak, Frederick's army was perhaps the first military computer network, and the first master-slave botnet.
Frederick the Great was a brilliant man in addition to being a monarch. That brilliance was necessary to elevate Prussia among the European nations that had grown rich through advances in trade via sailing technology. A musical composer, Frederick gained a reputation as an enlightened monarch. Perhaps this means something like, "Enlightenment for me, but not for thee."
Though lacking in the wealth of resources of the greater European nations of the time, Frederick's armies found a mixture of successes and failures over the course of dozens of battles. After a defeat at the hands of Napoleon, Frederick doubled-down on his educational system as a means of producing the best soldier drones. Prussian military successes grew and grew, and eventually Prussian forces succeeded in defeating Napoleon at Waterloo. Behind such military success, Prussia (eventually Germany) grew in stature among the world's most powerful nations.
The Enemies of Meditation
Every good American high school graduate and media consumer knows that meditation is that thing people in Asia do that makes them superior. Learning transcendental meditation from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is probably what made the Beatles so cool. Is 'meditation' from sanskrit?
Hold on there, young'un. This is exactly where your education went wrong. To begin with, the word "meditate" comes from the Latin meditari, passed through Old French and pretty much every other proto-European language. The definitions of verb and noun forms include thinking, contemplation, thought, idea, planning, devising, preparation, intention, exercise/practice, study, rehearsal, custom, and habit. And before Latin, there were other words that existed in every language of every civilization, and likely most every tribe that survived more than a generation or two.
Sounds sort of like...education, don't it?
Better: self-guided education. Self-design. To meditate is to be human, as in free to pursue learning about one's own interests. There are many forms of meditation, and some noteworthy forms specify abandoning one's [selfish] interests, but perhaps that is a game theoretic lesson for another day. I may not fully understand divine enlightenment, but I'm positive that I can't fit it into one article. What I do know is that the only way for humans to share this glorious space together is for there to be more than one self-guided human left.
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring. Get up and move to another room.
Train of thought disturbed? That means it's working.
Through the Prussian factory schooling model, most students largely stop thinking for themselves. Self-guidance is punished by those who tell you they love you as they beat you. It's the worst form of gas lighting. The students stop thinking that thinking is for them as a matter of self-preservation---to avoid traumatic dissociation. They learn to work at the behest of, and depend on, authorities. They are molded either in the image of the corporate army, or as consumers. The technocrats in Big Tech craft ever-more-precise levers to direct the human botnets handed to them by the system of public education. And that's why social media, like public schools, remain free of charge. Everyone inside is part of the product.
Nazi Right Educational Result
Disguised in the democratic language of "enlightenment" and "progressivism", the Prussian model made its way around the world. Through Horace Mann and a cadre of America's biggest oligarchs, the Prussian model gradually became the American model over a few decades, and in time also made its way to Japan. Is it any wonder that where factory-model obedience training went, the nations that dominated the Great War evolved?
Following WW1, a broken German nation of productive if directionless drones, in need of a programmer, fell into the hands of the dynamic Adolf Hitler. Though we're taught that Hitler was a painter, the young film buff sought a career in acting where perhaps he learned to hack into audiences in need of a program. He cultivated friendships with directors and other actors whose crafts laid the groundwork for the inventively evil propaganda machine with which the Nazi Party disguised its murderous conquest.
Perhaps the only possible result of deprogramming and reprogramming children is that they grow up to fall in behind whatever authority figure best controls the primary means of mass communication.
That Could Never Happen to Us
Can you imagine doctors telling people to stay home during a pandemic using no medicine at all until they get sicker despite hundreds of scientific studies pointing to an array of options of varying positive efficacy?
Can you imagine trusting a World Health Organization (WHO) not run by a doctor, but by a Marxist revolutionary?
Can you imagine any scientist or doctor looking at the design of the WHO experimental treatment protocols and concluding that those trials concluded anything about the optimal use of medicine?
Can you imagine the founder of one of the world's top medical research institutes not recognizing the conclusion of a paper stating the exact opposite result of the data?
Can you imagine a nonsense paper becoming one of the most influential during the entire pandemic without one single statistician or mathematician pointing out that it's nonsense?
Can you imagine a paper with so many wrong and seemingly made-up numbers jumping off the page getting published? And still not retracted?
Can you imagine thinking that during a busy pandemic that doctors have time to figure out how to use an antiquated and notorious clunky database to the point that data is not substantially underreported?
Can you imagine American medical authorities using the Nuremberg Code as toilet paper?
The problem is that either you missed it (falsely projecting your agency and sanity onto others) or else were too outnumbered to even talk about it. Directed insanity is precisely the result of our education system. It's a feature, not a bug. And the worst part about it is that the only people allowed in on the game are the willing tools of the Kunlangeta.
When It All Breaks Down, Who's Going to Fix It?
Make no mistake, totalitarian control or not, the system breaks eventually. The focus on asymmetric technologies of domination comes at the expense of economic growth. Chile found out quickly. The Soviets found out slowly. The Sino-American-corporate triad, however one might describe it, will leave a crater where it lands. But fall it will. The days of the dollar will come to an end. When it does, there will be a lot of feral drones let loose on the world. Perhaps that will be humanity's doom?
Not likely. So long as some people remain who can teach their children to meditate---to learn---a wealthier, more productive, and more free civilization will rise in the ashes of the old empire. How you participate in that is your choice.
But this isn't just another red pill moment. It's a collective action moment. A network will achieve more survivors than preppers in glorified backyard tin cans dotting the landscape. To be continued...