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Discourses on Social Order

Exchange Regarding Social Preferencing and Support of Participants in Offensive Military Action

The following is an exchange between Kitty Antonik Wakfer and a young woman, Kristen, who is a periodic commentor on the blog, A Soldier's Thought's. Kitty's summary comments follow the blog exchange.

Posted under the entry for September 20 2005, "On Killing":

Kristen said...
Like most people, I don't have alot of time to be as active as some who oppose the war, but I agree. If everyone just did one thing a week to demonstrate their disgust for the government and its actions, maybe the politicians would wise up. Unfortunately the recent natural disasters have taken alot of the focus off of Iraq and Afghanistan...again. Most Americans would rather devote their time to helping other Americans rather than the soldiers and the inhabitants of the nations we are occupying, and that's only the percentage of Americans who would help anyone at all. Like I said, between a full time job, sending staples to my husband, and taking care of our baby, I don't have alot of time, but I still find time to actively oppose this war. Instead of writing a response to this blog, write your congressmen or senator. If you truly want to see your loved ones or fellow Americans come home, do something other than writing condolences and sympathy letters to Zach and his family. One person rarely makes a difference, but an Army of us can.

September 28, 2005 8:16 PM

Kitty Antonik Wakfer said...
Rose, you are quite wrong that Zach (and others like him) can do nothing more than "to follow the orders of his superiors, whether he personally wishes to or not." As I wrote in response to a blog entry of his last June, he can "refuse to continue to abet the killing that [he] acknowledge[s] is wrong."

I agree with Hurria's response to you, Rose, and many of his points to others, though he has let these others distract him from the subject of responsibility for one's own actions. Intimately connected to that idea is a different kind of "support the troops" - an action by individuals rather than simply words and one that if taken by even a moderate number is highly likely to get all military personnel home relatively soon and stop the harm (initiating of force) being inflicted. From the beginning of my essay Social Preferencing - Evaluation and Choice of Association; A Method for Influence:
"What can one lone person do?"

"This is a question raised often, especially when the frustrations are against government actions that do particularly heinous harm, such as wasting billions of stolen dollars destroying the lives and property of people who are uninvolved with anyone posing a threat. In the society that is the goal of the Self-Sovereign Individual Project, with its basis in the principles of the Theory of Social Meta-Needs, there is no government - social preferencing is the major method for influencing others. However, even currently when governments are everywhere, the tool of social preferencing can be used against those who actually do the harm in the name of governments, and if practiced by enough people would be highly effective."

To Kristen, I empathize with your distress and I have more than simply words of sympathy to give you. Kristen, I suggest that you (and others) follow my recommendation of social preferencing against the real harm-doers and direct supporters (read the essay so that you understand the terms and reasoning *and* methods), rather than only write emails to your legislators and join protest demonstrations to legislators/White House occupiers/etc. I have detailed how these politicos can be rendered impotent and have actively begun my own social preferencing. And I will very soon publish online the response I am in the process of making to my AF (support role) pilot nephew's reply to the addendum message at the end of the above essay. I don't want to see my nephew come to harm nor anyone else suffer from the initiation of force.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer
MoreLife for the rational -
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project -
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

September 29, 2005 3:24 AM

Posted under the entry for October 4 2005, "Ghost of a Father":

Kristen said...
Kitty, I have finally gotten around to reading your Social Preferencing article and I couldn't disagree with you more. The mere suggestion that I turn my back on my HUSBAND( the man I married because I love and support him through thick and thin as he has done for me) and stop all conversation with him, his family, and all of my friends who are currently serving would not only be hypocritical of me, but is just plain absurd. If you can live with yourself for shutting out your own relative, then more power to you, but I am not going to abandon my husband to make a point. As heartless and callous as it sounds, once Rob comes home, I am going to try to forget about all of this and move on with our lives together. I won't stop protesting this war, but my activities will be cut back drastically as I attempt to reassemble my broken family. As I said before, if you feel no remorse for the alienation of your nephew, then keep on truckin, but you are marketing to the wrong person.

October 06, 2005 12:52 AM

Kitty Antonik Wakfer said...
Kristen, you either did not read my initial essay and the ensuing dialogue carefully or you choose to disregard the fact that I was and am eager to support my nephew and any other current enforcer or active direct enforcement-supporter to become a former of those roles. I again stated it even more clearly in my comments to Stephan's question here for Zach regarding a possible soldier's strike. I have continued to respond to my nephew's emails to me. Another more recent email I sent him contained the following:
"As to your parenthetical remark ['(Iíve wondered why you still continue to write me)' ], my first and major reason for writing you was, as I have already explained, to communicate to you the reasons why I and Paul had not come to visit you and your family even though we go right by your home 4-6 times yearly. A major part of my reason for continuing after you responded (and even still now) was to attempt to show you what was wrong with your response and your lack of reasoning and to attempt to guide/jog you into analyzing what you were saying and "push" you to give reasons for it. Instead, the dialogue with you following my initial email mainly benefited me by providing a demonstration of faulty/poor thinking that a person would be better to correct in order to maximize hir own lifetime happiness and promote a society whose members have the most possible available actions (maximal freedom) and the least possible restrictions (maximal liberty) who interact on the basis of mutual self interest. Exchange Regarding Social Preferencing and Participation in Offensive Military Action Had your responses been a demonstration of good thinking/reasoning, I would actually have been quite pleased to use them for that reason. Now however, I use them simply because they are a fact related to an active duty Air Force pilot with whom I have had moderate contact with the (otherwise) geographical possibility of more (and to whom I happen to be related) who is periodically engaged in direct active support of those initiating force on others and who consequently was the recipient of the email from me in the initial Social Preferencing essay."

So Kristen, I continue to support my nephew in the way I have stated above. I will not support by tolerating evil (the direct active support of the initiation of force on others) and pretending that it is not being done by someone I know, just because I happen to be related to him. Were Aaron to decide to resign his commission (the only way I know for him to absolutely avoid his periodic role of direct active support to enforcers) or simply refuse deployment to the Middle East or Afghanistan, I would assist him in anyway that I could that did not significantly reduce my lifetime happiness (or my husband Paul's) - my lifetime happiness comes first to me as anyone's should to hir (him/her). I would like nothing better in regard to my nephew than to have him remove himself from his current situation of actively supporting the doing of harm, increasing the possibility that he might directly initiate force himself on others (by way of an unplanned action on his part) or possibly being harmed himself. This is the kind of support I am recommending to others. Spending time writing Washington politicos to "stop the war" is a waste of time - the stopping can be done only by those who are holding the guns, manning the tanks, flying the planes, firing the missiles, etc, and those who fill the active support roles for those military actions. Each individual in those numerous roles can easily and quickly let it be known to hir friends and relatives "back home" that s/he is going to refuse to continue and then do just that. The family/friend supporters then widely disseminate that information to as many others as they possibly can as a protective mechanism for the ex-enforcer/ex-active force supporter against harm from the politicos and their remaining enforcers.

An entire military action (currently the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan) can be brought to a halt rather quickly once even a moderate number of the young men and women in the military come to realize that the Washington politicos are the equivalent of the emperor with no clothes (or maybe you like the analogy of the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain). The real power to wage a war or stop a war (though war has never actually been declared by Congress) is in the hands of the actual soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors. If these everyday people say NO and put down their weapons and cease initiating force or stop providing direct support to those doing the force, then all the orders/edicts/threats from Washington will be just so much hot air. This is what needs to be understood and acted upon by those in Iraq and Afghanistan and those "at home" wanting them to return.

Kristen, I can not tell from what you have written, if your husband, Rob, thinks that the initiation of force that he is a part of - either in direct performance or a support role - is in his best interest using widest view longest range reasoning. If he does but you have concluded that this activity of his in not in your best interest, then I do not understand how you could have great esteem for him - and love is the highest esteem possible. ("[S]support[ing] him through thick and thin" is proper when the "thin" refers to something on which you both agree and are united on principles against other people or the rest of reality beyond human interactions.) If both you and Rob think the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan are not in the best interest of you both (and others), then my suggestions above and elsewhere apply regarding the type of action best for him and you to take - his stopping and you both making the fact *and why* of his action known widely. (You would have my assistance in this for sure.) If however, both of you think that the initiating of force of which Rob is a part is correct (in the long range best interest of both of you) but you still want him home now, then you want to be able to "have your cake and eat it too". This last is a physical impossibility, though numerous people attempt it daily and consequently live varying degrees of fragmented compartmentalized unintegrated lives which can only diminish their ability to maximize their lifetime happiness.

BTW, I will be creating a new Dialogues page at for the messages exchange with Kristen since they have been quite good and I think others will benefit from seeing them.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer
MoreLife for the rational -
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project -
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

October 08, 2005 6:45 AM

There are many Kristens in the US (and allied countries) with husbands they want home rather than participating in some manner in the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition there are the husbands, parents, children, siblings and other relatives and friends who express very similar desires for their loved ones to be home. In almost every case, however, the ability to return home (or to stay there) is not seen as within the power of the actual participant in these military actions. The responsibility is instead laid entirely at the feet of the government administration - legislators who vote the funding (via tax - stolen money) to pay for a (non-declared) war decreed by a President (and defended by associates) who like many before him has a vision of the United States of America as the Righter of All Wrongs. (Whether this "vision" is a result of religious beliefs, a secular Manifest Destiny or an adherence to a view that democracy is optimum, is immaterial to the effect under discussion. For an examination of the nature of man and optimal social interactions, see "Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction".)

The most common pronoun used in all the rousing speeches by various politicos in support of government military action is "we" - "We have to fight terrorism over there" (or something similar). Lost in all the emotion is the fact that only individuals perform actions and think thoughts - preferably in the reverse of that order. Each adult is responsible for the views/ideas s/he holds and the consequent actions taken, no matter what teachings or orders are received from others; "the buck stops" at each individual! To think that responsibility can logically be shifted to others "up the chain" is to negate one's mental freedom and make one a mere appendage of others. To see human actions as arising in a collective (society) is to think of humans as equivalent to Borg (recall Star Trek and see "Collectivism in Language: Its Effects on Valid Reasoning"). A proper speech, instead, would have contained words such as, "I am going to do X .... Are there others here who will join me?" The speaker would rightfully be describing only his own intended action (initiating force or providing physical/monetary support), and then asking for volunteers. I don't remember reports of any such speeches.

No volunteer army was created for this misadventure into Iraq and Afghanistan, paid for and using equipment and supplies from funds voluntarily raised, rather than taken from the populace via taxes. Those who echoed the cry for this "war of/on terrorism" could either have volunteered to perform the actions or contributed the money to the level of their agreement. The real level of "support", at any time, for this military action could then be determined by the numbers of repeat and new volunteers (specifically for this action) and the amounts of money voluntarily raised - not by "appropriating" from funds already stolen (taxed) from citizens. Had the effort been entirely manned and funded voluntarily, the enthusiasm and numbers of those troops would likely have long ago withered and the funding slowed to a trickle, especially when the justifications were shown to be less than credible. This is how free markets works - but then government by its very nature is not part of a free market.

Instead of a pure voluntary anti-terrorist action, the US (like all other governments) has a legal monopoly on force to be enacted inside and outside its borders. It uses these forces to extract whatever funds an administration has succeeded in having legislated as "legal". These same administrators/legislators and all their countless assistants under various titles in numerous departments/agencies are well practiced at using emotional/evasive language to distort actual facts for the purpose of persuading the large numbers in the US who have never developed the ability to critically analyze or even question the statements of authority figures. It was fairly simple in mid-September 2001, and even at the beginning 2003, to convince tens of thousands of young men and women to join the military (or re-enlist) for the purpose of initiating force on others - worded, of course as "stopping terrorism". Letters, phone calls, emails and polls were reportedly strongly in favor of "tax money" being spent to "fight terrorism". Relatively few in the US at the time connected decades of past actions by the US government to the atrocious actions of certain individuals intent on revenge or deterrence by way of murder and destruction in New York City. (I wrote in Kitty Reflects on September 20 2001 of the association Paul {referred to by his then Internet name "Tom Matthews"} and I made between the history of US actions abroad and the horrors shown on the TV of the events nine days earlier.)

Now, nearing the end of 2005, with the fact that the majority of Iraqis are no longer pleased to have US (and allied forces) occupying their land and wreaking havoc - if the majority ever were, even to eliminate Saddam Hussein - the futility and error of this "war on terrorism" is still not acknowledged by the Washington politicos. It is not in the nature of politicians - elected or appointed - to give up the power that they have acquired of "deciding for others". The levels of power granted to government officials by ordinary people is considerable - but it is all given to them by agreement and/or cooperation of the victims/cooperators.

It is the enforcers of the edicts who make possible (enable) the power of the administrators and legislators. Without the enforcers (in all the countless forms of government force this covers), the politicians would be just so many pompous air bags, talking to themselves. In regard to the Iraq and Afghanistan military actions, the enforcers are those individuals on the ground, in the air and on the waters who do the killing, maiming, imprisoning and destroying. Those who provide active support functions, whether in the immediate area or at a distance, are enabling the enforcers. Without active support, the enforcers could not long continue their acts of initiating force.

The individual enforcers are responsible for their actions - they each have the ability to not take a particular action and/or to remove themselves from a position in which they initiate force. None are in circumstances where they would be killed by superiors if they did not initiate force on the designated enemy. (This is not a situation of a "declared war" - and rapid easy worldwide communication places a revealing spotlight on activities.) The enforcers and active support forces cannot claim that their families are being held physical hostages (as has been a valid claim by some soldiers in dictatorship/totalitarian armies.) Breaking a contract of enlistment is always possible; of course there will be negative consequences of such an action, but that action is certainly among the choices for each enforcer and active supporter of those enforcers. However, it does take a certain amount of courage for an individual to be among the first willing to stand up and shout out, "the emperor has no clothes" ("the leaders have no power without me and others like me doing their bidding") and become an ex-enforcer/ex-active supporter. This is where truly supportive families and friends can assist by widely disseminating information and providing more tangible support as needed. Even an initially only modest decline in the number of enablers of military action (actual enforcers and the active support forces) would encourage others to acknowledge that their activities in Iraq and Afghanistan are not in their own widest viewed, longest range best interest. And so "an Army of us" (as Kristen described above) of non-participants can really come about - and "stand down" from its activities and "come home". By large numbers of individuals realizing that fulfilling their life's purpose of maximizing their own lifetime happiness must include accepting responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of those actions, this "war of terrorism", supposedly against terrorism, can be ended.

So for all the Kristens out there, I offer support for your Robs - if they seek to become ex-enforcers or ex-force-enablers. However for those Robs (or Aarons) who choose to continue in such roles, I will not associate with (I will socially preference against) them and will urge others to do likewise. Toleration in support of offensive military actions is no virtue. Discrimination in order to terminate participation in destruction of innocent lives and property is no vice.

3/16/07 Note: A few weeks ago a friend and member of MoreLife Yahoo was visiting us and during one of many conversations throughout his 3 day stay he mentioned to me that he had been somewhat surprised at my strong approach to my nephew Aaron (contained within Social Preferencing - Evaluation and Choice of Association; A Method for Influence), by announcing to him that I was socially preferencing against him while at the same time trying to persuade him that remaining in the US Air Force was not beneficial to him or anyone when viewed in the wide and long range. This friend's comment, coupled with my many readings in the past several months (on cognitive therapy, discussed at MoreLife Yahoo) and thinking about it further, prompted me to compose a new message, one that I would send now if contacting Aaron for the first time on this matter, instead of what I sent 1 1/2 years ago.

Since the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq comes within a few days, I thought it most appropriate to tie my improved message to Aaron with this date. The essay, which includes the alternate and improved message to my nephew, is entitled "Incremental Approach - A Better Method for Effecting Change". The file itself has the name "smallsteps" - something I realized, belatedly in regard to approaching Aaron, is very necessary for many people all of the time and likely all people some of the time when faced with ideas that are radically different from what they hold to be true of reality.