Lead Us Not Into Perdition, by Robert Gore

…Besides, the almost beseeching way the men looked at him was irritating. Sometimes they acted as if they would forget how to breathe if he or Gus wasn’t there to show them. They were all resourceful men–he knew that, if they didn’t–and yet at certain times they became like children. All his adult life, he had consented to lead, and yet occasionally, when the men seemed particularly dumbstruck, he wondered why he had done it.

He and Augustus had discussed the question of leadership many times.

“It ain’t complicated,” Augustus maintained. “Most men doubt their own abilities. You don’t. It’s no wonder they want to keep you around. It keeps them from having to worry about failure all the time.”

“They ain’t failures, most of them,” Call pointed out.”They can do perfectly well for themselves.”

Augustus chuckled. “You work too hard,” he said. “It puts most men to shame. They figure out they can’t keep up, and it’s just a step or two from that to feeling that they can’t do nothing much unless you’re around to get them started.”

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry

With these few paragraphs, Larry McMurtry demonstrates more insight into leadership than scads of studies and tomes. There is a fascination with political leaders far disproportionate to their actual importance. Most of what importance they have is of the negative variety: they can and usually do mess things up. McMurtry dissects the psychology of the led, putting his finger on the human frailty behind the cult of leadership. Not bad for a cowboy novel.

Read typical history texts, newspapers and news-oriented websites and you’ll conclude that the only phenomena worthy of notice are the leaders’ personalities, bloviations, and machinations. Part of it is by design of leaders themselves, they’re always circulating their propaganda and versions of events. Part of it, as far as journalism goes, is ideology and temperament among the journalists. Most of them are statist to the core. Covering government and its leaders fits their view of the world and philosophical precepts. Besides, it’s easy. There are all those press releases and leaders makes themselves available to the media.

For historians, the most extensive archives available are usually those of political and military figures. (With the possible exception of writers, who often leave copious quantities of personal journals and letters. It’s why many biographies of writers make good doorstops.) Some of truly important and interesting historical figures leave no record at all, other than their works.

Who has had more effect on the lives of the average American, Presidents Eisenhower through Trump, or the inventors of the birth control pill, the microprocessor, and the internet? Most people will answer the latter. Why then, can they name the presidents but not the inventors? What hugely significant innovations are being birthed right now by obscure innovators while Trump hogs the headlines?

Noise is not usually important and it’s not progress. That’s often a quiet affair, conceived in the minds of innovators and furthered in laboratories and the like. Innovators work hard, think for themselves, and don’t doubt their own abilities. This, according to Augustus, separates them from the mass of people, crying for their leaders. Unfortunately, he’s right.

It’s that thinking for one’s self that’s most problematic. Thinking is often difficult. Confusion, with which every thinker must grapple, is stressful. People look to leaders to do their thinking for them: “It keeps them from having to worry about failure all the time.” Of course leaders often fail, and turning over responsibility for your life to one precludes individual achievement and success. However, being relieved of thought and responsibility makes it all worthwhile for those who find those burdens troublesome.

If you read between the lines of received “history”—the comings and goings, wars, depredations, and the all too rare wisdom and courage of aristocrats and rulers—you can discover those incremental steps that propelled humanity forward. Gutenberg’s printing press, invented in 1453, and Columbus’s voyage to America 39 years later had far more impact on humanity’s course than anything the mostly forgotten rulers of the time did.

The Industrial Revolution wrought more progress in a shorter time than any period before or since. Historians virtually ignore it, probably because the leaders of the time are no more than footnotes (see “The Magnificent Eleven,” SLL).

Piqued, shoved from the limelight by inventors and other innovators, leaders reasserted themselves, doing what they do best, engulfing the world in the war that brought the Revolution to a close. There were deaths in the millions, but the leaders were once again front and center, a position they haven’t relinquished since.

If you think of a society as a living organism, freedom allows every sensory, perceptual, and cognitive cell to operate. Information flows across the cellular network, enabling the organism to best adapt to and improve its environment. When the state and its leaders exercise control, the organism is essentially shutting off its own cells. The rulers become the only cognitive agents, doing most of the thinking, and only approved narratives can be communicated across the network. In totalitarian regimes, individuals even learn to “not perceive” anything that contradicts those narratives.

Most people in such societies become, in McMurtry’s words, dumbstruck children; it’s the safest course. They’re taken care of and not thrown in jail. But they’re also not questioning, thinking, experimenting, failing, succeeding, innovating, or progressing. One phenomenon is universal across unfree societies: decay. Having shut off so many of its own cells, gangrene sets in and the organism rots and eventually dies.

Left to their own devices, most people “can do perfectly well for themselves.” They take responsibility for their own lives because nobody else will. Doing well for themselves there’s a spillover: they do well for others. Each individual becomes a potential agent of perception, experimentation, discovery, and innovation for the organism as a whole. Through communication, trade, and myriad other voluntary interactions, networks are formed and individuals have choices and opportunities they never would have had on their own. This decentralized, dynamic, and ceaseless organic adaptation, when relatively unhindered, is history’s hidden theme and the true engine of progress.

The best thing “leaders” can do is let it happen, but that’s the opposite of where our leaders are leading and their dumbstruck children are following. Terminal gangrene is well advanced. Pacified by the media and distracted, surveilled, and soon, social-credit scored by their technology, dumbstruck children don’t protest the rot and stench. Thought, responsibility, and courage are just too hard.

Perdition is where the leaders are leading. Perdition connotes both death and damnation. Those who abdicate their minds and follow the leaders deserve no better. The collectively borne consequences of foolishness, venality, and evil can’t be avoided, but thinking, taking responsibility, shunning the lemmings, and speaking out are choices open to everyone. It’s not just a matter of survival, it’s a matter of soul.

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

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17 responses to “Lead Us Not Into Perdition, by Robert Gore

  1. Reblogged this on The zombie apocalypse survival homestead and commented:
    Take responsibility now, or kiss your ass goodbye. m

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  2. Great article.

    “In totalitarian regimes, individuals even learn to “not perceive” anything that contradicts those narratives.”

    Please don’t take this as nit-picking or quibbling, it’s just an observation … an opinion. The sentence is fine as, and where, it is. It seems to me, though, that the “learning to ‘not perceive'” is a necessary antecedent to totalitarianism, rather than a result of it.
    I think we see that today. Saw it yesterday. And will see more of it tomorrow.

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  5. According to the Yankee Army I was in, Leadership is the art of influencing and commanding men, through a combination of personal demonstration, and example, in such a way as to obtain their willing cooperation and obedience to orders. It’s probably close to that, if anything. I was a leader of men in the Army, and I was at first amazed, and then disgusted, at the attitudes of the leaders immediately over me. They always tried to steal my thunder, and minimized my successes. The whole schmears purpose being to inflate their own stature, since it was this they craved, not mission success, or professionalism of their troops. So leadership at best winds up a crapshoot, and if you are legitimately interested in what happens to the people under your leadership, you had better have a large slice of humility and altruism on your plate. Leadership ain’t about you. It’s about what can be accomplished for the good of the platoon, shop, shift, city, etc. Not the greater good at all. The survival and success of who you lead is what it’s all about. When the ball is over, like Cincinnatus (I think) you put off your laurels and go back to plowing. Few men can resist the siren call of tyranny. That’s why there are usually three thousand tyrants only a mile away. Robert, your blog is a light in the darkness. Thank you.

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  6. Thank you. I was hoping we’d hear from some people who had been in leadership positions.

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  8. Robert; You’ve done it again. As you relate, innovators don’t require leadership. Most often, I think it stifles them when it’s asserted or attempted. At the most, they need an environment of open ideas where failure teaches instead of punishes.

    But from the experience of managing 1,400 men, successful leadership and manpower management also relies on innovation. All the standard buzzwords of West Point and Annapolis such as motivation, assurance, demonstrated knowledge, realistic goal setting, and real time monitoring apply, but I’ll always think that the ability and desire to relate to the individual and provide personalized appreciation and responsibility, where and when deserved, are key. That brings out and rewards individual effort at all levels of the organization, whether it’s composed of McMurtry’s dumbstruck men or a group of specialized experts.

    It’s not about being liked or recognized like a politician or being feared like a tyrant, or worse, a combination of the two which seems to be what we have been saddled with this last century or two–it’s more about seeing and appreciating the unique talents, experiences, contributions, and potential of the individual, whether with the best of abilities or limited, both within and without the organism of the organization, even society.

    My strong suspicion however, is that we’ll never see such an environment in a country or society that encourages democracy and victims or that blames supposed ‘leaders’ rather than ourselves. I don’t think Marx was so brilliant in his writing, but he recognized within himself an extreme resentment and somehow managed to get it published to give the idea to the rest of the jealous and envious and lazy minded that through gaining power with their mass, that they could force equality of outcome. As Rand foresaw, their outcome needs to be the consequences of their fear and failures.

    Txs for the essay.

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  10. Invasive species, it is an invasion of illegal aliens, for which we need some roundup. There ought to be law, like a double aught buckshot. Still better would be to make law against the enablers of the invasive species. Want to guess just who may be the enablers??? The short answer is US and of course the UN. Yes US and UN have given the art official nod, wink and blink to the Illegal Aliens. I have seen the enemy and them are not US, but UN.

    Ill-Legal, ADJECTIVE
    1. contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.
    “illegal drugs”
    synonyms: unlawful · illicit · illegitimate · against the law · criminal · lawbreaking ·
    [more]
    2. NOUN derogatory NORTH AMERICAN
    Illegals (plural noun) a person present in a country without official authorization.

    Alien ADJECTIVE
    1. belonging to a foreign country or nation.
    synonyms: foreign · overseas · nonnative · external · distant ·

    aliens (plural noun)
    2. a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living.
    “an illegal alien”

    It is bad enough when the adult children blather on about the way it should be in their non-inclusive, non-tolerant, non-diverse, multi-cultures homo gelatinous mass of non-sapient, non-salient, non-sense, much less the children that know nothing rave on about a future they do not know other than the mind numbing madness of the adult children that have instructed them in the art-official stupidity in government schools. The adult children had a future and now there is less of it for them to screw up, while the children learn from the adult children that are screwed up. Isn’t the fun? Perhaps they should march and protest to ban the ass salt pussy hats, the presumed guilty until proven innocent of privilege in political cohesiveness of code pink, to ban and burn book and of course to stop global warning by stopping breathing, because there is just too much HOT AIR!

    INVASION TO SANCTUARY, may seem a bit oxymoronic, but that is what happening. Obviously, you are not ready yet. Sanctuary would be US, or as I like to say, not US, pretty soon. The real question is, what is US? Now that is the ballistic equivalent of extreme pressure, to the point that something could possible explode. The simple answer is US are not them and as you may recall them are Damn Communists! Want to be a communist? Go to the Heinz 57 varieties of the shit that don’t work in other countries run by Dick Taters.

    The little red library, Principles of Communism By FREDERICK ENGELS
    {Engels’ Original Draft of the Communist Manifesto]

    I skipped the bullshit and started on page 18 for the meat of the issue which is to say goodbye to demo crazy politics of democratic politics because you will be told whom will have what!

    The democracy would be utterly useless for the proletariat if it could not be used immediately as a means for the application of measures which attack private property and secure the existence of the proletariat. The most important of these measures which at this time already result from the existing conditions are the following:
    1. Limitation of private property by progressive taxes, heavy inheritance taxes, abolition of inheritance for relatives not lineal descendents—feuch as brothers, nephews, etc.—forced loans, etc.
    2. Gradual expropriation of land owners, factory owners, railroad owners, ship owners, party through competition with state industry and partly by direct compensation in form of assignates (paper money).
    3. Confiscation of the estates, of all emigrants and rebels who are against the majority of the people.
    4. Organization of labor or employment of the proletariat on national estates, factories, and workshops by which method, competition between the workers is abolished and factory owners, as long as there are any, have to pay the same high wages as the state.
    5. Compulsion for work applicable to all members of society until the time of the abolition of private property. Formation of industrial armies especially for agriculture.
    6. Centralization of the credit system and money movements in the hands of the state through a national bank with state capital, and suppression of all private banks and bankers.
    7. Increase of all national factories, workshops, railroads, ships; reclamation of all lands not yet under cultivation and improvement of all cultivated lands in the same ratio in which the capital, and the workers at the disposal of the nation, increase.
    8. Raising of all children in national institutes and at national expense beginning at the time the child has outgrown the first care of the mother.
    9. Erection of large palaces on the national estates as common shelter for communes of citizens working in the industry and agriculture and which combine the advantages of urban and rural life without at the same time suffering from onesidedness and disadvantages of both.
    10. Destruction of all unhealthy and badly built houses and sections of the cities.
    11. Equal rights of inheritance for legitimate and illegitimate children.
    12. Concentration of all means of transportation in the hands of the state.
    All these measures cannot, of course, be carried out at once. But the accomplishment of one will always create the basis for the accomplishment of the next. After the first radical attack against private property is made the proletariat will be forced to go further and further, and to concentrate in the hands of the state, all capital, all agriculture, all industry, all transport and all exchange. In driving toward the accomplishment of concentration, all these measures will be feasible and develop their centralizing consequences, in exactly the same ratio as the productive forces of the country are increased by the work of the proletariat. Finally when all capital, all production and all exchange is concentrated in the hands of the nation, then private property is abolished, money is superfluous, production is increased, and man is changed so much that even the last remnants of the old form of society can disappear.
    19. Question: Will this revolution be accomplished in one country alone?
    Answer: No. Big industry, by creating a world market has all the peoples of the earth, especially the civilized ones, brought into such close connection with each other that each nation is dependent upon what happens in the other. Furthermore, it has advanced social development in all civilized countries to a degree that in all these countries a bourgeoisie and a proletariat are the most important classes of society and the struggle between them has become the all-dominating struggle of the day. The Communist revolution therefore will not be a national one only, but will be carried on simultaneously in all civilized countries, at least as far as England, America, Germany and France are concerned. In each of these countries it will develop either faster or slower, depending upon whether one country or the other has better developed industires, bigger wealth or a greater mass of productive forces. Thus it will be slowest and most difficult in Germany and quickest and easiest in England. A Communist revolution in one country will cause considerable reaction in the other countries of the world and will decisively change and hasten the development there. It will be a universal revolution and, therefore, will claim universal territory. 20. Question. What will be the results of the final abolishment of private property?
    Answer: By taking the use of all productive forces, of all means of transportation and of all exchange and distribution of the products out of the hands of private capital by society itself, and by managing them according to a plan based on the needs of society as a whole, the abolishment of private property will first of all eliminate all the bad results which at present are connected with the running of big industry. [Page 20)

    And in the opposing, the collectivism, the Individual right, of the Bill of Rights, which are diametrically opposed to the damn communists!

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Amendment II
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    Amendment III
    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Amendment V
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
    Amendment VI
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
    Amendment VII
    In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
    Amendment VIII
    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
    Amendment IX
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    WE the people are not the collective!!!!!!!

    A ONE, does not establish a government religion, however there is no separation of church and state because the church is in your head not a building!

    Ten Commandments List (bibleinfo.com)
    1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
    2. You shall make no idols.
    3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
    4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    5. Honor your father and your mother.
    6. You shall not murder.
    7. You shall not commit adultery.
    8. You shall not steal.
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    10. You shall not covet.

    1911,,, words, or perhaps the right to keep and bear arms, like a 1911. And, of course all the arms of the revolution that has been going on for some time now. As you may not have noticed the communist disarm the people they intend to overthrow.
    In closing, the Mexican standoff at the border is not different than the Alamo!
    For what that is worth.
    JJJ
    PS, As for the non-believers, that was well established a very long time ago. It had to do with the forbidden fruit (the choice that was made for us and the choices we make) of which we have eaten for our knowledge of good and evil. Now you may ask why there is evil and pain and killing in the world. Such is the cost of knowledge. I believe.
    Needless to say, we could do with a lot less government, laws (that few understand) and all the trillions of wasted dollars on a few. What we have is no Republic and certainly no democracy (mob rule), what we have is theft! Like I said before, there is a fix. If you want it.

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    • “It had to do with the forbidden fruit (the choice that was made for us and the choices we make) of which we have eaten for our knowledge of good and evil.”

      Indeed.

      “Now you may ask why there is evil and pain and killing in the world. Such is the cost of knowledge.”

      Such is the cost of mans original decision to follow satan and not his Creator. It was the desire for knowledge and the promise of godhood attendant to it; beyond the perfection and Godly fellowship which God had originally imparted to man. The perfect Garden wasn’t enough… Man still wanted more, and satan exploited that. Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life. It effects us all.

      Romans 5:12… “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

      Fortunately…

      Romans 5:8… “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

      Y’all have an enjoyable weekend.

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  13. An interesting side of you anology, recent research indicates we have a much larger microbiome inside of us than we thought. It extends far beyond the gut and has substantial effects on mood and more.

    It makes the biology comparison so much more apt.

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  14. even if you are attacked by Federal Agencies??

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