1.1 Self-empowerment and disempowerment

This subsection contrasts self-empowerment and disempowerment. A later section on self-empowerment goes in considerable detail how self-empowerment works and how it is related to personal development. Also the section on disempowerment addresses complex and institutionalized structures designed to cap the intellectual development and empowerment of the masses.

Self-empowerment

Self-empowerment is something that you do to yourself. Others can facilitate self-empowerment in others, but eventually everyone can only empower oneself. It is like freeing a caged animal. You can open de door, but if the animal is too terrified to leave the only environment it knows, it will not take the freedom you allow it. So freedom is never given, it is essentially taken (and often without a door conveniently opened). The same holds for empowerment, it can only be developed by taking matters in one’s own hand. It requires the self-acquisition of experience and confidence and it demands ample interaction with a wide range of known and unknown aspects of the world.

A safe “home-situation” to return to after success or failure and support during the process of learning to take matters in one’s own hand is very important. It is also important to be challenged to select your own decisions and to follow your developing conscience, to be stimulated to learn to understand the world, and be helped to develop a sound judgement. So a stimulating context is important. But in the end it is still you that have to experience all these facets and you have to synthesize all these experiences into a coherent and reliable understanding of the world. The result of self-empowerment is that you and your environment are structurally thriving.

Disempowerment

Disempowerment is something that is done to others. Disempowerment it is typically aimed at removing the factors that facilitate empowerment. These include corrupting the safety of the home situation, reducing the breadth and usefulness of experiences, ensuring that people are not or minimally exposed to positive role models and exposing them to false role models, punishing people for independence, individuality, and explorations beyond the norm, forced and uniform education/training (instead of curiosity guided and learner adapted education), representative democracy (which boils down to giving control away), etcetera, etcetera. Whatever form disempowerment takes, it leads invariable to you and your environment dwindle, perish, or otherwise struggle.

Empowering yourself

Except for extreme social suppression there is nothing but ourselves that keeps us [trapped][traps] in situations we subtly or profoundly undesirable or even outright exploitative: we can educate ourselves out of pretty much all dependence and any societal trap. There is nothing in humanity that prevents it from aspiring and realizing self-empowerment well exceeding the average corrupt aristocrat. In fact uncurtailed curiosity and [openness to experience] will do just that; and it is an innate ability, and — if not suppressed — a strong one.

Dependence was never a natural end-state of mammalian development: as long as an animal is not utterly dispirited (i.e., has learned to believe in its own helplessness) it will escape from an environment that prevents or curtails its development and keeps it dependent. Self-empowerment is not uniquely human: it is a deep biological drive that can be suppressed for some time, but that will always resurface. The aristocracy (both as a group and as mindset) were simply the first to discover that they could use their own self-empowerment to disempower other by promoting pathological, deeply unfair, and highly unequal societies.

Self-empowerment is essentially driven by curiosity and playful interaction with the real-world in the safety typically provided by secure and loving home-situations (with home in the sense of where you feel at home). Positive and diverse exploratory and playful childhood experiences are highly beneficial and adverse childhood experiences are highly effective in preventing or curtailing self-empowerment.

Stimulating self-empowerment
Methods Examples Section
Safe explorative childhood Secure attachment, widely aimed playful exploration of real world [Two modes of being]
Learning to think High quality education, committed teachers allowing exploration and self-expression [Intellectual development]
Healthy habits Automate healthy essentials of life [healthy living environments]
Sustainable natural environments Prefer co-construction over control Co-creation
Media Media for empowerment Alternative media
Positive role models Focus of healthy psychology and wisdom in role models [Positive role models]
Separate needs and wants [Media and PR]
Resource security Grow your own food [Localization]
Social diversity Multiculturalism as resource
Wise leaders Stimulate stimulate holistic leadership [Power vs Wisdom]

Disempowering others

Because self-empowerment is generally hindered by adverse childhood experiences, it is quite logical to expect [child-abuse] to be associated with strongly hierarchal organizations such as the clergy, intelligence agencies and the military, the political elite, and the aristocracy. And evidence involving all of these groups in child-abuse is not difficult to find: in fact [child-abuse networks] have been reported on extensively.

Animals (including humans) adapt to what they consider normality. This entails that they in principle can adapt to a deeply unhealthy and undesirable situations as long as they consider it “normal”. Individuals who are so adapted to a pathologically situation that they cannot even envision the non-pathological situation can be called pathologically normal.

Self-empowerment is not only hindered by adverse childhood experiences. Preventing curiosity, play, and exploration, regimented education and ideologies, and bad role models or the absence of good role models have similar results and work complementary. This can be achieved via for example child-abuse, fostering bad (drug-crime infested) neighborhoods, perpetual fear and frustration, poverty and other forms of structurally unfulfilled needs, boring living environments, no contact with nature, economic depressions, forced education, and fundamentalist religions.

Stimulating disempowerment
Tool Examples Section
Lock in problem solving mode Child abuse (by pedophile clergy, aristocracy, politicians, or loveless or inadequate parents) [Two modes of being]
Suppress curiosity and undirected learning Boring and tightly regimented schools, many obligations [Forced schooling]
Uncouple from nature Urbanization, industrial grade food,
Suppress playful interaction with the real-world Stimulate boring environments (uniform cities, destroy nature), stimulate computer (virtual-world) dependency (pervasive games, transhumanism) Co-creation
Instill fear and anxiety Terror theatre (controlled terrorism), stimulate crime (war on drugs) [Strategy of tension]
Lifelong frustration Reduce education to training (outcome-based education), disempowering media (only negative role models), pervasive corruption (no accountability) [Media and PR]
Unfulfilled needs Change wants to needs (consumerism), impossible social/personal standards (beauty, wealth, career, American Dream) [Media and PR]
Resource problems Debt, wars, economic recessions [Money]
Social problems Multiculturalism as problem
Bad leaders Stimulate bureaucrats, technocrats, and psychopaths in defacto leadership positions [Power vs Wisdom]

By stimulating disempowerment in a variety of ways, the aristocracy can remain at the top of any society. In fact they to not need to represent any genuine ‘nobility’ of any kind. They just need to be more self-empowered, and determined to remain in power than the average Joe. Helping to create a facade of ‘nobility’ (whatever that means) helps to distance commoners and discourage them from realizing their own potential because they find their dependence normal. In a truly hierarchical society the commoners are so disempowered that they cannot control and curtail the aristocracy. This entails that it is the aristocracy that determines the environment in which the rest of society lives. This makes the aristocracy — per definition — the stable authority of these societies.