Authoritarianism….. Welcome Refugees!

Human Beings are weak.

We are weak because of one thing. Buddha called it attachment, I call it ….need.

Other than food, air, water, shelter, and the need to reproduce, other than and greater than….is our need to be loved.

That is all humans want, to be loved. Every human everywhere shares that need. It is the very core of the human condition. It is what drives us all. It is what drives every single thing that we do, from the best of us to the worst of our behaviors. Give me an example, any example of human behavior and i will trace it back to that human acting, sometimes in simply incredibly “illogical” and horrendous ways, back to the very root of all of humanity. The deep undeniable and driving need to be loved.

It is, in my opinion, (and I qualify that only because I don’t want to alienate anyone….and thus take the chance that they may not love me) because we are separate.

Some would say we are separate from the collective unconscious, some would say we are separate from the stars galaxies and the universe, that we are individual evolved life forms and thus can never really know true union with anything but ourselves…..some would say it is because we are separate from God or Goddess.

But we are separate and we…all of us…seek not to be.

Some of us seek union through religion or spirituality. Some of us seek union through love and marriage. Some of us….MOST of us also seeek union through belonging. To something. To anything. And very few of us, proportionately, seek union by overcoming the need to seek union.

But we are all seeking, and nearly all of us need to belong. To something. To anything.

We seek to complete the separation we feel, and so we join things, marriages, groups, political parties….blogs. We then begin to compete. We are not really competing against each other, though that is how it ends up being expressed. Damn that evolutionary biological imperative for competitive reproduction that colors all of our behavior! As we seek to fulfill our need. But we are not really competing against anyone or anything. We are competing, underneath it all FOR something. We are competing for love.

When we combine that….with the biological compulsion programmed into our DNA….there are stronger and weaker competitors that emerge. Evolution may dictate that the ‘best’ candidate ‘wins.’ But society doesn’t. The winners in societal competition are not the best, merely the strongest. The most mighty. And might, much to the chagrin of all those who are not mighty, makes right.

The strongest, some would say the most ruthless, become our leaders. And because we want to be loved, we follow them.

Below the leaders are the strongest of the followers. they become strong because they sense that being closer to the leader will make them more loved.

They become more loved by the leader (whose love is obviously the most valuable, because IT is presumably the strongest love) and to retain that love, enforce the leaders will. Or….what they believe the leaders will to be. Which just coincidentally, corresponds to what their will wants.

They then enforce this dynamic. They enforce it through the one thing that humans fear….the lack of love, or even worse, the public demonstration that they are unworthy of love. They are shunned.

This brands them and signals to the rest of the society that if you choose to love this person, who is deemed unworthy of societies love, that you risk losing love too. And there is NOTHING worse than that. Nothing.

The history of humanity is in a way, a way that is very important to all of those here, the history of the powerless banding together to create a might greater than the might of the strong leader, and the strong followers.

It is the history of banding together in smaller groups than the greater societal group dominated by the Leader, the Authority, and fighting against the dynamic of Might Makes Right.

It is fighting against the tyranny of Authority for the Rights of the individual. The Right of the individual, above all else….to be loved. Even if they don’t obey the Authority.

We, or we wouldn’t be here, believe that we have the right to be loved, to love each other, and to seek love. We believe that each individual has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of love and happiness…..despite what the societal authorities say.

We believe that no one size of love fits all, that societal love or the love of The State earned by compliance…is not the only love that matters, and that dammit, we will look for OUR love, where and how we please. And we believe that to maintain our right to do that, we must fight for, pass laws about, and Stand. The. Fuck. Up. for each individuals Right to seek love wherever and however that individual thinks s/he can find it.

We believe that there is love to be found outside of The State, outside of the conventions of society. Some of us believe that there is a greater love to be found than the love of our fellow humans. some of us are told that there are fellow humans we are not allowed to love because they are the same sex or have different coloring. Some of us believe that we shouldn’t have to be dependent on anyone or anything in our pursuit to love ourselves.

All of those examples and more indicate that a certain percentage of humans will always be looking for love outside of the context that society and Authoritarians dictate that we may.

IF…if…if, all of us could ever band together into a coalition….then, hahahaha…..WE could become the new Authority. And undoubtedly abuse our authority as we see Authority abusing the rest of us, the rest of the powerless, every goddam day.

But I digress.

Right now, we have just seen such a phenomenon. A group of the powerless, under the Laws and the Constitution of a nation that was founded in the fight against tyranny by men who wanted to love and be loved in a different way than the State said they could be loved, DID band together. In revolt against a tyrant. A tyrant and his Strong Followers who used their political and physical might to dictate what was right.

An Authoritarian who abused his authority so thoroughly that even the Weak followers of societal Authority turned against him, turned against Authority. For a moment.

We elected someone who very powerfully and eloquently spoke against the abuses of that Authority…and those Strong Followers (The Ruling Class) who took advantage of that Authority to grow richer and more powerful under it. We rebelled.

As much as we could, as much as we dared to, only as much as would not get us shunned. And for a bright shining moment, we hoped that this rebellion would be permanent. Alas. We gained, for a moment. We gained the love of working together for a common cause. We gained the Hope of love. We gained some Change in how we are allowed to love and be loved.

And some of those gains will be permanent. But now that moment is nearly over. The hand of Authority, the Authority that grants love… the small, cold form of mere comfort from not being shunned….is again closing it’s pale hand around the throat of the society. The status quo is enveloping Change, and choking it back down to a size that is……comfortable. To the status quo.

Only the paradigm has changed, as was, despite our Hopes, all that could really be expected. Human nature did not Change. We are now to be allowed to love and be loved a little more. Love is no longer outlawed, but just discouraged. This is despite its relative smallness…Progress.

And in this long historic fight of love against Authority, each and every small bit of Progress MUST be celebrated.

But, and my were we foolish to Hope for this Change, even for a moment….the vast majority of humans will still look to Authority for the small form of love it can grant. In the form of the comfort of belonging, of not being shunned. Instead of looking for actual love, of allowing themselves to actually be loved. Instead of saying fuck authority and loving each other.

The small love that Authority and Authoritarian society provides, the smallest love of not being actively shunned is, apparently, still more valued.

And of course, the best way to ensure that YOU are not shunned….is to preemptively shun another.

And thus does love die. Thus is it diminished for us all.

For though we do not know it, apparently, whatever Authority we hew to, whatever other groups we may belong to, we belong to one group above all….Humanity.

But …

When one member of the group of humanity suffers, we all suffer. When one member of the group is deprived of love, we are all deprived. When one member of the group is shunned, a piece of all of us is shunned. When one member of the group is tortured, we are all tortured. As long as one member of the group of humanity is in chains, we are all in chains.

Whether we know it or not. Because we are all one in our separation. We are all one in our need to be loved.

And Authority never really loves us. It only loves itself.


And so this long historic human fight continues. As it always has. As it always will. Until….

I guess….

We all evolve to where love is more important than not being shunned. Until we are all loved. Until we all love each other.

But then, at that moment, we won’t really still be what we now call ‘humans,’ will we?


We are ALL separate. We ALL want only one thing, above all else, to be loved.

And just as with politics, just as with Change…..only WE can do that. And we can only do it for each other, to each other…..with each other. NO one can do that for us.

And in the end, the love you take….is equal to the love, you make.


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  1. It is all the same thing. The only difference is….


    The Scale.

    • RiaD on May 18, 2009 at 8:07 pm

  2. Have to read it again, thanks.

  3. I want to be one of those specks of nothingness not indicated by your yellow line.

    I plan to enjoy my total meaninglessness while rebelling against the meaninglessness that is my existence and everybody else’s existence thus provoking conformity through rebellion.

    Wait. What did I just say?

    • Edger on May 18, 2009 at 9:04 pm

  4. individual, but it only when we group all these individuals together that I am willing to get off my ass to do anything about it.

    It is kind of strange, but while there are lots of people I love and respect, it is only in the abstract of all the people that I get motivated.

    No wonder that I get called bloodless and a cold fish….

    • TomP on May 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Many insights.

  5. and thats partly why I havent directly commented to you here. (I have a tendency to comment on other comments a lot. I dont know why I do that…)

    Its really hard to have The Big Picture in mind all the time. But I completely agree with you in this.

  6. ….to reread often. In a word, fabulous! Thanks so much for these insights.

  7. I’m spending some time with some pretty weighty ones myself.

    I’m wondering why we can’t seem to be able to disagree without demonizing each other.

    Is it because the stakes are so high and the passions run deep?

    Or is it because we’re afraid of changing our minds?

    Why are we so in need of being fucking RIGHT all the time? What purpose does that serve for us?

    It seems to me that we’re running in smaller and smaller circles to avoid that challenge. And the reality of that is weighing heavy on me today.

    I suspect that much of it goes back to the thing you talk about, which is wanting to be loved…to belong. And its very hard to have that feeling with people who disagree with you.

    So do we wall ourselves off in pockets of comfort and belonging while we demonize all of the “outsiders”? Or is there really a way to coexist and find the love in the midst of tension?

    I’m just rambling. So excuse my self-indulgence.

  8. I thought you meant this:

    funny pictures
    moar funny pictures

    but then realized you referred to this:

    funny pictures
    moar funny pictures

    And that second attitude is so sad.

    (Not my photo, but the second one looks like my fire escape cat: who is btw extremely sweet & friendly.)

  9. But what if we don’t come as refugees?

    Not all of us have been banned from DKos (just other places), but are getting sick of it again

    There’s been just too many reminders that DKos is all about Markos’ revenue streams and not really about public discourse. If they feel that way then maybe they should start paying the contributors!

    Nope, it’s just too easy to make that phat lewt off of the sweat equity from peons. Central American economics at it’s finest. Spectacle at it’s worst

    So now you have me here. With all the depression issues and schizotypal disorders that entails. Are the self-imposed exiles welcome?

    • quince on May 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    We make ourselves separate. It is an illusion.

    Dependent origination is, imo, the most amazing teaching of buddhism. I always believed in it as a child, before I had ever heard it uttered. I still believe it today.  

  10. tends to be stronger than my need for love…

    The timing of this essay is pretty interesting, considering that I’m over here right now because of my problem with authority elsewhere…

    No, I don’t have a point.  I do have a horrendous head cold, though.

    Hi, guys.  Mind if I stick around for a while, authority issues and all?

    • Nordic on May 19, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    and those who have been banned from there recently.

    I am/was Inky99.

    And I just got banned for recommending a book by a 9/11 Commission Report insider.

    Me and Tocque.  Who else?

  11. I don’t say much but I’m big on reading.

    Burned on dkos. Burned out on dkos.

    Tired of the insults.

    • dmc on May 20, 2009 at 6:28 am

    Wa-hoo! It’s great to be outside of the Big Orange.

  12. I am also new here and after two days realized I have not said hello to you…very rude of me. I feel embarrassed that after two years at Kos (not that I was there everyday…but) I never managed to read your work until today. You are amazing! You’re so amazing I had to read it twice….but then my head started to hurt when I tried to figure out where somebody like Cheney would fit in to all this. I think deep down, without having the words to express it this late at night, I really understand where your coming from. While canvassing for Obama during the primaries I learned (well I don’t know if learned is the right word, I’m always pretty nice) that when dealing with republicans, after letting them get out all their talking points and misconceptions and by simply listening and acknowledging their views and then rewarding them with kindness and goodwill in spite of it all, they instantly changed. When they would realize that I wasn’t going to argue back or be mean they then listened to my beliefs in kind. Much of what I discussed was Iraq (having family there) and why I thought Barack would be better for them. On election day many of them voted for Obama. Some had never voted for a democrat before. I still keep in touch with some of them on walks with my kids. Love and kindness can go along way. Am I being to simplistic about this???

    Anyways, this is a wonderful site! I am really looking forward to spending alot of time here. I think I have wrote more here in the last two days than I did on Kos in the last two years and sorry, this is like the third or fourth comment I have totally rambled in, I’m not usually this talkative. It’s a very comfortable place.  

    • edgery on May 20, 2009 at 8:25 am

    a very good dharma talk, nice to be reminded of the Sangha here.

    • Pi on May 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I was unfamiliar with this site until the latest purge over there.  Very good vibe here.

  13. for the heat. I always thought that cause of Authoritarianism was fear. Reading this makes me think that the fears that drive people to find protection in the guise of authoritarianism is a need to be loved. As one who has spent her whole life running from authority I see that my motivation is also fear. Leaning into ones fears and facing them gives us all common ground. Refugees come from all sides of the spectrum.    

  14. and a bonus tune

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