Bread and Circuses
10/ 24/ 2016
There are a lot of things we can discuss. Today it just happens to be the ‘bread & circuses’ mantra so many people like to discuss. Those in favor of government existence, the party politic advocates for getting involved in the system to change the system, invoke this idea just as frequently as do dissenters of government. And would you like to know a little truth neither group is going to like?
Both of them are often wasting their time and hurting their causes by destroying their credibility. Well, what do I mean by this? Simply put, it’s all about understanding what the idea of ‘Bread & Circuses’ is all about.
For starters this idea came from Rome. In Rome’s final years on the ‘road’ to collapse, its leadership invoked a series of games paid for exclusively by taxes. Gifts and food items were also commonly given out during these events or in alternating fashion with them. The games and gifts were designed to distract the crowds from what was going on politically. Essentially it was a bribe to garner favor with those of the citizenry whom were at risk of dissenting, and included the immigrated foreigners needed to fuel the empire in its later years. This tactic worked more or less for a while until the Roman population was all but over run by other cultures brought in to fill the city and surrounding area because local populations just were not enough anymore to sustain the overreaching arms and economic limits to maintaining the empire.
The empire was of course scattered around the world at the time controlling with less success each day the territories it had previously conquered. If you understand just a little about how important communication is, then about seven days by horseback is close to the limit of control where at 100% is still remotely possible. And this influx of bodies, less and less assimilated, was partly the cause for collapse because they needed more and more wealth faster and faster to keep up pretenses; thus the clipping of coins and creation of fiat currencies in addition to other issues encouraged its fall.
All of these things, immigration by invitation, monetary manipulation, conquest, economic regulation, and excessive government funded programs were all the main ingredients for causing Rome’s collapse. Now you can make parallels with the United States, but that is not what I am interested in discussing in this work presently. I only want to discuss the issue of ‘Bread & Circuses.’ I wish to focus on this primarily as it seems to have taken a turn for the worse concerning outright hating people and causing them intentional grief because they enjoy a particular activity that is not meant to be harmful to the hater or aggressor invoking the ‘bread & circuses’ mantra.
So now that we know what the ‘bread and circus’ mantra is based upon, it is important to note that they are exclusively tax funded ventures. That immediately separates the overwhelming majority of sports events in the United States and most other Western societies. Sports events presently are often some combination of tax funded and private enterprise ventures. They are done in part, but not to intentionally, distract the citizenry where these teams play though with intent to bring in revenue to the local businesses which in turn translates to tax revenue.
Just look at local town hall meetings. Where I reside at the time of this work’s creation, just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, the town hall meetings and local news broadcasts frequently discuss how renovations to local stadiums will bring in tourists and their money. These ventures are often partially tax funded or allowed to happen because of rezoning laws and the potential tax income they may bring based on local regulations. The goal is noble.
The goal for all government is noble in intent in so much as it is designed to protect. And the protection, while often arbitrary and subjective in nature, is the goal of all government. For Western societies it is about the protection and well being of the general populace. And that makes the promotion and creation of these stadiums about the local Cincinnati citizenry’s economic well being. It is meant to attract visitors, new residents, and their money! Taking a small step back from this, it is seemingly about tricking people to spend their money in the Cincinnati area instead of another area. And yes that is entirely what it is about. However this is connected to the larger picture of the unintended consequences of taxation’s noble intent. And I will discuss that at another time.
For now though, yes, it can be seen as a distraction but it is not the distraction. It is just a tactic by local governing leadership to assert its insufficient wisdom while ensuring they are to remain in power by recognition of their noble and good deeds. This isn’t meant for the average individual to consider the means to these goals as being hidden; that taxation is in reality theft making the goals tainted and philosophically inconsistent. It is merely a symptom of the local populace accepting government as legitimate.
Basically they, both the citizenry and the elected, appointed, and hired government agents choose to participate in the electoral process to get people in office and involved to vote yes on these ventures that will create some jobs through taxation to help out the locals instead going out and creating what is necessary to encourage jobs in the first place. In their limited defense such a task is often greatly hindered because of government regulations anyway. So it is merely playing by the rules which is easier than not and getting handcuffed and sent to jail by means of unregulated or unsanctioned activities. Digging deep enough, this is entirely about people being nescient, without real clarity and knowledge, concerning economics; for if these people truly understood economics while promoting these ideas of government existence they would then be evil and vile people. But I argue they have noble intentions, but lack the wisdom to understand the consequences.
Therefore, in order for sports teams to be full distractions and something to frown upon fairly, they need to be fully induced by politics. And what people celebrate on television in the United States and stadiums alike generally are not. But military recruitment centers are. Public schools are. Voting is. Roads are. Regulations are. Law and order is. Trials are. The constitutions of all the states and the Federal government are distractions.
Why is it important to make the distinction between government paid and privately funded? In short, because all government is doing is taking things that we already do and funded them for some of us at the expense of all of us, or sometimes just some of us, in order to gain political favor among some of the citizenry. This favor translates into division among us and the seeds of infighting are sown among those who do not understand how to think critically. Of course I believe it important to point out that the noble intent of government was not to be divisive but consolatory for protection and safety against other more violent societies, and nature which cannot be controlled
Now, this isn’t the purpose of government, to divide people that is. But it is the effect of government evolved and grown in strength and illegitimate authority based on acts of unwarranted aggression. Once again, the noble intent of government is to protect people from foreign invaders first, second to provide just legal systems. Although the latter is questionable which leads to a few realizing the potential to profit from the transactions of taking from many just a little and having to provide only lip service of a product to them in return. They hide their motives behind the reasoning of democratic bureaucracy.
By the time they have profited, their tenure in office is complete and they need not try any further if they are smart enough to avoid detection. Then there are those like the Clintons and Bushs. Years and years they stay in power profiting off the system directly and indirectly. They create scandals and legislation that takes years to sort out; and before we know it they are fantastically wealthy because we were too busy being distracted by the distractions used to stop us from realizing that their insistence that we play by the rules that make them rich are the distractions. But what are the distractions for?
Long story short; the issue is consent to being governed at all. That is and will forever be the issue.
A lot of people like to suggest when this issue is raised that it is a social contract. And they will fight you tooth and nail. But make no mistake, the issue is consent, not sports teams, what a politician did or didn’t do, what a celebrity did or didn’t do, who won a game or lost, who covered their heart during the national anthem, or prayed on a football field, or plays Pokemon Go, or even who is running for political office. What we made for dinner last night and shared all over social media is to be celebrated, not shamed. What we made for dinner should be celebrated because we who made that possible did so peacefully.
There is no shame in sharing what you created or made possible through peaceful and voluntary interactions. There should never be shame in that. Play your online games like Star Wars the Old Republic, World of Warcraft, and Lord of the Rings Online and let people who ridicule them as making you out to be stupid and ignorant eat dirt because they don’t understand their own philosophies well enough to clearly distinguish between real distractions and those hijacked by a few and made into tools for their profit. So just because government controls how some programming will be implemented on the television doesn’t mean that television is the problem or video games being regulated are the problems.
And this is where so many dissenters of government get it wrong. Advocates of government proclaimed not voting is the problem while cheering on their sports teams; but those dissenters of government often ridicule with such hostility those advocates of government for being ‘sheeple’ cheering on their favorite sports teams while not recognizing the fact that government is involved in their promotions. The distractions are the divisions between people that are hostile. The distraction is hostility and lack of clarity. Yet the dissenters of government and the advocates alike are being combative because they are suddenly seeing something they disagree with only encourage people with ill intent to take power more quickly and often.
And if these advocates of government bought the tickets and paid for the programming and worked in part for what they celebrate, then leave their sports teams alone. Such things bring them joy and it is Human nature to want to compete. There is nothing wrong with entertainment. The issue is always about how it is achieved. Instead ask them how much better their team or preferred medium of entertainment could be if government wasn’t involved! Ask them how much more frequent their grand dinner could be or how much better it might be if government wasn’t hindering them with taxation and regulation that is easily provided if they are customers make it known to their favorite merchants. Ask them what’s important to them and how it could be improved upon if government wasn’t in the way! But don’t shame people for enjoying what is generally peaceful save for the government deciding to intervene into it in order to take credit, manipulate it, or otherwise control it for their own profit and power increases.
What people enjoy in life that is entertaining is not the distraction anymore. They are hijacked ideas used to influence people into participating in something that would not exist if not induced by fear of invaders or fear of the gun employed to coerce compliance with paying taxes. The real bread and circuses are working within the system to affect a change, regardless of it being positive or negative. The distraction is obeying the gunman or government who robs your business or home and demands you fill out paperwork to show how much you owed to prevent them from robbing you twice so they can ensure they rob your neighbors equally along with you! The distraction is taking welfare or aid from the government or that robber instead of kicking them out. Taking such aid only encourages them to continue hurting others while profiting themselves for providing no legitimate and voluntary service.
And before it is considered, there is no peaceful way to bankrupt a government that can simply print and borrow and print more. To take welfare from the system while the populace is still growing only helps to soften the blows of accepting more welfare to hasten the collapse. If you understand basic economics then it will be clear what the issue is. In short, if there are 100$ and 100 people, increasing the population by one person or one dollar changes the value of those dollars. The increasing population only sees others taking welfare without understanding the purpose being to collapse the system, thus only prolonging it. But again, this is for another discussion about the unintended consequences of taxation.
So writing letters to your congressman or government representative is a distraction. However, voting is a distraction that is the most harmful since it silences your actual voice into the form of a checkmark or its kin on a paper or electronic note that will never be read allowed by another voice again with your passion and experiences. And even if you do consent to such a system, how long before the system does to you want you don’t consent to? Every four years, two years, or more!?
The distractions are the ways governments get you to not talk about why it is necessary to exist at all. The distractions are the means in which government directly silences you in the moment so it can have another moment itself to continue working. Once more, let me offer a little more clarity. The goal of government is supposed to be noble in its roots to protect. The problem is not the whole of government existence and participation. The problem is not even the minor intentional manipulation of government existence by a few like the Clintons and Bushs to profit enormously from.
The problem is the means in which the noble ends are achieved. That is always the problem. Government is the distraction from understanding the problem. If the goal is to protect then the means must reflect that. A gun pointed at someone not responsible for an unwarranted act of aggression simply because others think he or she should pay for something they want or need is not honorable if it is understood for being such at worst and at best it is philosophically inconsistent. It contradicts the goal of protection. Now the linguistic ninjas will ultimately suggest that the goal is protection from foreign invaders.
To that I will say: Then a new goal should be created as the protection is no longer required exclusively from foreign invaders but now also domestic terrorists. The goal should be universally applicable and no cherry picking favorites or groups over others should be allowed to maintain philosophical and moral consistency. However, that would require fully defining one’s philosophical and moral parameters. And how many people have done that in the world? Certainly not even a majority as the overwhelming present majority seems to abide by something they didn’t create but were taught.
It doesn’t matter that such terrorists, law enforcers, or whatever you’d like to call them redistribute a portion of the wealth they collect back to those they coerce. The roads can be built and their designated places agreed upon by those whom use them. The distractions are what government does directly to keep people divided on the symptoms which come with its existence. And those symptoms are economic restrictions and travel restrictions.
The distractions are all the emotionally hyped up solutions to get things done now which divert attention from the means used in achieving the goals. The focal points are the goals and the methods to accomplishing them. The distractions are all of the things we do that are not voluntary in nature and are not done so with a clear path of thought progression. Let me rephrase that last bit.
The focal points are the promotion of transparent philosophies which are universally applicable to all in order to ensure peace of mind so people will create infinite amounts of wealth instead of engage in coercive means which deter and often completely halt such creation. The distractions are all of the things that promote this but do not show their philosophical work to achieve it.
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