January 17

Ep. 0091: Assassination Ruminations

I’m back to work after Christmas break, and so fittingly I’ve got an episode recorded while commuting in The Silver Bullet (my silver Hyundai Accent hatchback.)

How should we think about the deaths of famous and/or influential people?  Are all deaths of such people suspicious?  I don’t have all the answers, but here are some of my thoughts on these complicated matters.  It’s time to do something very difficult: Moderate conspiracy theorizing, wherein one neither believes the official story nor jumps to outlandish conclusions based on shaky (or nonexistent) evidence.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • An overview of all presidents who’ve died in office, whether from natural, unnatural, or disputed causes
  • A few words about other assassinations of important people in relatively recent history, such as Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • A few words about recent deaths of important media figures that at least some people find questionable
  • How, in order to be intellectually honest, we have to be willing to accept a degree of uncertainty on many of these deaths and assassinations, and we must be willing to accept “I don’t know” and/or “we’ll never know for sure” where appropriate
  • How assassinations rarely result in any significant change to the track that the state is on when they occur, and how, more often than not, assassinations simply accelerate existing trends

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October 15

Ep. 0082: The Alliance of Throne & Altar

Here is the first mobile DHP episode in a while, recorded over the course of my commute to & from work. (BTW, the audio is much improved over previous in-the-car recordings!)

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • The basic concept of this alliance, including its origins and the symbiotic nature of it
  • How religion most effectively fulfilled the legitimizing function for the rulers for most of history
  • How “intellectuals” now increasingly fulfill that function since religiosity has declined in many parts of the world
  • A few of the ways in which the modern state is aspiring to be god-like in terms of omniscience & omnipotence
  • The possibility that the standard liberal/conservative split is at least partially explained by a split between people who prefer their rulers to be legitimized by secular intellectuals & those who prefer their rulers to be legitimized by clergy

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(Note: The first two items in the Amazon links below today are the digital recorder & headset I used to do this episode, giving me the best audio I’ve gotten while in the car yet. Use these if you want to start a mobile-guerrilla podcast of your own. Thanks to all the listeners who’ve helped me upgrade & improve things!)

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July 9

Ep. 0067: The New Counterculture?

Is there a New Counterculture movement?  If so, what is it?  Can we define it, or at least describe it?  Might you be a part of it, even if in a small way, even if you don’t realize it?

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Why cultural, artistic, and/or intellectual movements are often hard to identify without hindsight (either after they’ve fizzled out entirely, or at least jumped the shark)
  • What the Old Counterculture was, and its problems
  • Defining what the New Counterculture is (as CJ sees it) by describing a nonexistent, archetypal New Counterculturalist individual in terms of his or her age, religiosity, career, political views, lifestyle, etc.
  • CJ’s take on the degree to which he himself (at least somewhat) fits the mold
  • Reasons why the New Counterculture has more potential to achieve lasting, positive change

(image Revolt Submit Switch Stock Photo courtesy Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net)

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April 9

Ep. 0057: Banksters & Control Freaks

Two distinct groups of people — banksters and control freaks — between them account for most, if not all, of the evil in the world in the past, present, and presumably (and unfortunately) for the foreseeable future as well.

“Look Ma — no hands!”:  This is a guerrilla episode done in the car with absolutely NO NOTES!

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • What he means by ‘Banksters’ and ‘Control Freaks’
  • The symbiotic relationship between these two distinct species of statists
  • How control freaks use “wedge issues” to split the non-elite people against each other (for the purposes of getting votes), and how this has the effect — whether intentional or not on the part of the control freak in question — of making it easier for the banksters to maintain their position vs. everyone else

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April 4

Ep. 0056: Fun with Fascism!

This is not a historical narrative of any particular fascist regime or regimes.  Instead, it’s an exploration of what fascism — arguably the most slippery of modern “isms” to define — really is.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  •  Some quotes from the father of Fascism, Benito Mussolini, to get things started
  • Why fascism is tougher to nail down than other isms
  • What fascism is and isn’t, including some criticism of the standard “Left-to-Right” political spectrum
  • A look at some of the defining elements of fascism, using John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching (1944) as a starting point
  • An excerpt from the Nazi Party’s platform dealing with their economic planks, and possible American parallels
  • A few words on fascism post-World War II

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March 30

Ep. 0055: Save Yourself

Join Prof CJ as he discusses historical examples of people saving themselves, such as:

  • The story of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries who were left stranded in the heart of the Persian Empire & had to fight their way home
  • The story of Frederick Douglass, who liberated himself from slavery, educated himself, and became a top abolitionist activist
  • The Russo-Finnish Wars that took place during World War II, and the contrast of how Finland fared with how states such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, & Estonia fared
  • Jews who either escaped or fought against the Nazis during World War II
  • [NOTE:  I accidentally said “the Soviets suffered fewer than 100 casualties” while conquering western Poland in 1939; it should have been “fewer than 1,000.”]

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January 24

Ep. 0049: Historical Lies By Omission

Telling untrue facts often doesn’t work effectively as a propaganda technique, because it’s relatively easy for people to fact-check you (especially in these crazy times of smartphones & Google.)  However, strategically omitting inconvenient facts from your narrative can be much harder to detect, especially if the recipient has no idea what facts were left out — you can’t easily look for those ‘unknown unknowns.’

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • What he means by ‘historical lies by omission,’ and how these are frequently the most effective ways to manipulate history for one’s own ends
  • How ignoring the histories of marginalized groups was for a long time an example of this, but is less of one today (at least among academic historians)
  • Some examples of historical lies by omission still commonly present in popularly believed historical narratives, including the supposed necessity of the ‘Civil War’ to end slavery in America, the sinking of the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the atomic bombing of Japan, and more recent instances of blowback

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January 14

Ep. 0048: Introduction to Taoism & the Scholar Warrior Ideal

And also Prof CJ’s modern adaptation of the ideal:  The Guerrilla Scholar Warrior — a possible way to make yourself freer in this not-so-free world of ours.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The basics of the origins and meaning of Taoism
  • Some of Taoism’s similarities to other philosophies, ancient and modern
  • What the Scholar Warrior ideal is
  • Some examples of Scholar Warriors from history
  • Prof CJ’s lifehack on the concept — “the Guerrilla Scholar Warrior” — and how it can apply to modern-day life

External Links

Alan Watts lecture “The Taoist Way”

Bruce Lee “Be Like Water”

Bruce Lee “The Art of Fighting Without Fighting”

Murray Rothbard article on Taoism in Ancient China

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(Photo “Businessman with Sword” courtesy Vudhikrai/freedigitalphotos.net)

December 2

Ep. 0043: “Knowledge Is Power” — Not Just a Cliche

Or if you prefer the Latin:  “Scientia potentia est.”

Either way, there’s more depth to the old cliche than there might appear at first glance.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Some of the earliest known usages of this phrase in print
  • Some examples from history from ancient to modern of this principle in practice, including the more ‘culty’ religious organizations, laws against slaves learning to read, the connection between literacy & slave uprisings, and the modern US government’s love of keeping its own actions secret while spying on everything you do

Empower yourself by pursuing knowledge!

(“Knowledge is Power” pic courtesy Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net)

November 15

Ep. 0040: Alexis de Tocqueville & Prof CJ on Democratic Despotism

No, this isn’t an interview — but it’s not that far off, either.

Prof CJ reads excerpts one of his favorite sections of Tocqueville’s famous Democracy in America, and also gives some of his own take on Tocqueville’s description of democratic despotism.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • A little bit about who Alexis de Tocqueville was and how Democracy in America came about
  • Tocqueville’s take on how despotism might come about and operate in a democracy
  • Prof CJ’s take on the relationship (or non-relationship) between democracy and freedom

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