NSPIC = Neuro-Semantic Political Illusion Complex

Freespeak (f-prime@activist.com)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 07:37:53 -0700

With this message I'm launching a debate on NSPIC.
NSPIC =3D Neuro-Semantic Political Illusion Complex.
Later in this message I give a brief description
of what I mean by NSPIC.

NSPIC could be regarded as an extension of many
of the ideas expressed in the article "Deep
Anarchy" by Max More -- Extropy magazine #5,
Winter, 1990. "Deep Anarchy" is available at:


(Please use this article as an example to buy
back issues of Extropy magazine -- info at=20

My reason for wanting to conduct this debate
with other extropians is that I presume that
among extropians there are many thinkers pretty
advanced in their ability to question and
challenge what most people would regard as
incontestably "beyond question."

But first some background. In the early seventies
I read Lysander Spooner's 'No Treason: The Constitution
of No Authority.' Spooner argued that the pretended
"US Constitution" was never signed or adopted by
anyone in a manner that would make it a legal or valid
contract. He was an attorney and argued convincingly
that the pretended "Constitution" was really a scam
that was never legally binding on anyone. Hence the
supposed "US Government" was a sham and those pretending
to act as "government officials" authorized by the
pretended "Constitution" were imposters and liars.
He extended this argument to apply to all other
pretended "countries."

Later I read Nietzsche and Stirner. I was particularly
impressed by Stirner's principle of going beyond just
challenging God/authority/government/law, and challenging
the very *idea* of "God"/"authority"/"government"/"law."

I also read Robert Ringer's 'Restoring the American
Dream,' Chapter 8 titled "Keeping It All in Place,"
where he argues that the political system is kept
in place by certain words, including "government"
and "country."

I was also influenced by Jeremy Bentham ('Bentham's
Theory of Fictions' by C.K. Ogden), Hans Vaihinger
('The Philosophy of As If'), Orwell ('1984'), Alfred
Korzybski (General Semantics), Gustav le Bon ('The
Crowd'), Rose Wilder Lane ('The Discovery of Freedom'),
Harry Browne ('How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World'),
and quite a few others.

After considerable thinking, reading, discussing,
writing, and debating, I eventually came to the
conclusion that political systems are kept in
place at the deepest and most fundamental level
by a number of illusions and the unwitting use
of words that hide and perpetuate these illusions.
(There are also some other importanr basic factors
that contribute to the perpetuation of political

Most humans, including many libertarians and
anarchists, suffer from these illusions and at
the deepest level help to perpetuate political
systems by the unwitting ways they use certain
political words -- they help spread and reinforce
the basic political memes which form part of the
bedrock of statism.

In the last few days I decided to call this
combination of illusions and words that, in my
opinion, constitute a major part of the bedrock
of statism, the "Neuro-Semantic Political
Illusion Complex" or "NSPIC."

My experiences with the ideas of "Deep Anarchy"
and NSPIC over several years have led me to
realize that I need expert assistance to further
develop these ideas and any practical implementations
that may result from them. That's why I'm launching
this debate with other extropians. The debate could
have several purposes:

1. Improve the formulation of NSPIC.

2. Identify all the elements of NSPIC.

3. Identify the barriers to understanding NSPIC.

4. Identify the thinking skills or mental
mechanisms individuals need to have or develop
in order to understand and transcend NSPIC.

5. Outline the benefits individuals may gain
from understanding and transcending NSPIC.

6. Identify a series of steps individuals can
take to systematically gain an undestanding of
and transcend NSPIC.

7. Develop the means to communicate about NSPIC
to extropians, libertarians, anarchists, and other
freedom lovers in a manner that will lead them
to make an effort to understand and transcend

At some point the debate could be extended to
cover any other factors that may constitute part
of the bedrock of statism. We could think of
NSPIC together with the other factors as the
*causes of statism* or the *factors that perpetuate
political systems*.

What I hope to achieve with this debate is the
eventual creation of an informal unorganized
network of freedom activists who have an
advanced understanding of the phenomenon of
statism. I expect that this advanced understanding
will eventually lead to more powerful and effective
freedom strategies being practiced by a steadily
growing number of advanced freedom activists.

This message is posted in the spirit of seeking
expert assistance. I think I'm in the early stages
of developing a major breakthrough in how to think
about and act in relation to political systems, but
so far I've only been able to communicate effectively
about NSPIC to a handful of people. With expert
assistance... who knows what we individuals can

Frederick Mann

[To distinguish messages related to this debate from
all the other threads I suggest we always put NSPIC
in the subject.]


I have used variations of the above as well as the
message below to promote the NSPIC debate to people
on a few other lists, and I've invited them to subscribe
to the extropy list.

Following are some early responses to my initial
announcement of the debate, and my replies.


>"I've really enjoyed your articles. The three TL reports I mentioned
>in my email to the LRT really changed me in a profound way. I'm looking
>forward to your coming debate on Monday. I don't know if I'll be able
>to add anything to the discussion but hope to be further enlightened!"
>Jim Morris <nosacredcows@juno.com> - http://home.onestop.net/nomad/

[Jim's Nomad website has links to the "three TL reports."]

[LRT =3D Liberty Round Table -- see http://home.lrt.org ]

I'm glad you found the articles useful. The best is
still to come!

Jim, I expect that you'll be able to help others to
also change profoundly in how they perceive political
systems, and possibly in other beneficial ways as well.

Frederick Mann


>"Your post is intriguing. You articulate something I have tried to
>express, but have never been quite able to put into words: the idea
>that all governments are somehow "bootstrapped" into existence.
>I'll try to contribute to this."

You've already contributed more than you may
realize! The notion "bootstrapped into existence"
is extremely important. I expect that this will
become an important theme of the debate.

Once we understand just what it is that was
really bootstrapped into existence, and the
elements used to perform the bootstrap, we'll
understand better how to do the "unbootstrapping."

JD, I look forward to your participation in the



>"I don't know if this has anything to do directly with NSPIC, but what I=
>really amazing is how people treat me now as how they treated me=
>years ago. For example, if I want to eat sweets and breakfast cereals for=
>evening meal, I am free to do so. If I wanted to do the same thing
>twenty-five years ago, it would have come to physical violence and some=
>nasty arguments. It never ceases to amaze me how people treat me different
>than they did a long time ago because they perceive me differently.
>I will participate [in the debate] if I can offer something useful to it."

I'm sure you'll be able to contribute a great
deal because you've followed a largely experiential
path to overcoming NSPIC, whereas the rest of us,
who've made some progress in transcending NSPIC,
have followed largely intellectual paths.

Let me tell you why your experience above may be
related to NSPIC. I'll jump the gun on the debate
by suggesting that what's really "bootstrapped into
existence" may be *thought/communication/behavior
patterns of domination/subjugation/exploitation,
contributed to and perpetuated by both tyrants and

In transcending NSPIC to the degree that you have,
you've risen above thought/communication/behavior
patterns of domination/subjugation/exploitation.
Not only do people perceive you differently because
of this, you also perceive them differently. You're
not a victim and they're not tyrants. In a sense,
you've "unbootstrapped" yourself from thought/
communication/behavior patterns of domination/



>"The insight that habits of expression/thought perpetuate the cancer
>which is external govt strikes me as both true & crucial. I think we
>need to look at the concept very closely; if we don't free ourselves
>first of all, where's freedom going to come from? But I'd caution,
>however, against allowing the discussion to get bogged down either in
>jargon or indeed verbiage of any type."
>Victor Mil=E1n <vicmilan@ix.netcom.com>

According to Robert Pirsig in 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance':
"But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid
repairs of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather
than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is
possible. The true system, the real system, is our present *construction
of systematic thought* itself, *rationality* itself. And if a factory is
torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then
that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution
destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought
that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will
repeat themselves in the succeeding government..." [emphasis added]

During the NSPIC debate we'll explore the systematic
patterns of thought/expression/behavior that keep
political systems in place. We'll discover that
certain expressions are memes that tend to empower
tyrants while tending to disempower victims. We'll
have to develop powerful new memes to knock out old
harmful memes, as indicated by Don Tiggre below.

Some of the new memes, being new expressions/concepts/
words, will be jargon. The debate will almost certainly
generate enormous verbiage. Some people may get
bogged down. I'm reasonably confident that we will
be able to continue the debate to the point that we
produce worthwhile results.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you say,
"if we don't free ourselves first of all, where's
freedom going to come from?" I expect that during
the debate we'll learn a great deal about just what
we need to free ourselves from, how we might go about
freeing ourselves from these things, and how we could
learn to persuade others to also free themselves from
these things.

Victor, I hope you'll participate in the debate.



>"The circulation of powerful memes that can knock out old harmful
>ones is central to what LRT is all about, and an idea Mr. Mann has
>espoused for some time."
>Don L. Tiggre <don-tiggre@utah-inter.net>

[LRT =3D Liberty Round Table -- see http://home.lrt.org ]

Consider the possibility that without certain memes
(words), political tyrants would be powerless. If
so, then if we can succeed in knocking out the old
harmful memes, the terrocrats (terrorist bureaucrats
or coercive political agents) would be history.
Maybe the time will come when they can be laughed
out of power! (But before this can happen, we'll
have to make a great deal of progress in countering
all the other factors that keep statism in place.)

Don, I hope you'll participate in the debate.


>"The NSPIC announcement sent to this list earlier sounds intriguing!
>I've SUBSCRIBEd to explore the topic(s). It definitely shows promise
>in seeking the "roots" of HUMAN PARADIGMS!
>... Ergo, the construction of human systems to fill the void:
>Collectivist-Statist-Fascism with its collateral fantasies of
>Royalty (e.g., Di... Oops! Almost!! <g>).
>So simple, it's stupid!?!
>... So - who can we find to discover a therapeutic cure for it? <g>

Maybe the debate will bring together some properly
deprogrammed, and then well-reprogrammed, necktop
computers who will, in effect, form a parallel-
processing mega-brain of such stupendous power
that we'll be able to out-think the brilliant
bureaucrats, who have so far consistently beaten
us -- even demoralized some of us -- with 95% of
their brains in neutral! <g>



>"I'm no expert, but I do have days where I feel as if political systems
can be
>toppled with just a push from my index finger. I feel as if I can get my
>arms around this problem, but it is just out of reach. I do feel as if the
>answers are very close."

To topple political systems it may help to identify
and debate *all* the factors that hold them in place.
Then we need to implement strategies in respect of
each factor. I expect that major breaktrhough answers
will emerge from the process of the debate.

In my opinion, the neuro-semantic factor is one of
the most important. At the neuro-semantic level
most freedom activists actually support political
systems because they share the fundamental political
illusions and they use, reinforce, and spread the
basic words (memes) on which the fundamental power
of the tyrants depends.

The primary weapon tyrants use to control and keep
their victims in subjugation and exploit them is
*words*. They use *words* far more than guns. No
terrocrat has ever used or threatened to use a gun
against me. They've used only words against me.

That I stopped buying into the terrocrats' word
game 25 years ago, and relieved myself of the
basic political illusions, have much to do with
why it's been possible for me to live effectively
free from political systems for 25 years.

The intention of the debate is to eventually cover
not only the neuro-semantic factor, but all the
others as well. As a result of the debate we'll
gain a better understanding of all the factors
that keep political systems in place. We'll also
learn what steps individuals have to go through
in order to understand all the factors. And
we'll learn how to commmunicate effectively about
all this.

Sometimes a huge problem is like a massive rock,
apparently solid and immovable. The very idea of
getting our arms around it seems a pipedream.

Think of this massive rock as, in a state of balance,
resting on a number of pinnacles (each pinnacle being
one of the factors causing statism). Maybe, prior
to this debate, most freedom activists have attacked
the rock -- but in ways that have actually strengthened
and reinforced some of the pinnacles.

Some freedom activists have indeed attacked some of
the pinnacles, but not sufficiently to threaten the
balance of the structure.

How stable is the structure? And what happens if
the rock gets too big for its pinnacles?

(And what if the rock is really a toy balloon?
Remember what Vonnegut said about a granfalloon!)

Maybe, during the debate, we'll discover some clever
little shoves, pushes, and pricks that might set in
motion a number of self-perpetuating snowballing
processes, that will combine to eventually bring
the entire structure crashing down -- or just pop
it into oblivion!

Buckminster Fuller has described the "trim-tab
principle." A huge ship has a large rudder. At
the back of the large rudder is a small rudder
called the trim tab. The trim tab moves the
large rudder, which changes the direction of the
huge ship. Leveraged leverage. The little push
from your index finger that topples political

Wishful thinking? Who knows? Let's find out!

Frederick Mann

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