Breaking The Oath

I hear the level of hell devoted to oath breakers is so full that there are lines to get in.

On the serious side, if there is a hell of oathbreakers, they have an overpopulation problem, unless they give points for being an idiot who didn’t realize he was welshing on his half of a deal.

You see, we live in a time that what used to be a mutually understood obligation is no longer regarded as such. A side — usually the one awarded victimhood points by the current bien pensant, but not always — is given the right to break it at will.

In what is supposed to be a mutually beneficial association, one side routinely tries to stab the other in the back. This is called smart, and sharp business practices.

Frankly, I blame Karl Marx. (No, I don’t blame him for everything. I have yet to blame him for my cat pissing on my editing chair. Or a ton of other things. Come on, guys, it’s not like Marx is global warming.)

Being a bitter and angry autist, the thing Marx most completely missed in his system was human relationships and mutually beneficial UNDERSTOOD compacts. Instead, he saw only power relationships and “classes” that amounted to making humans into widgets.

It’s not his fault, to be fair, that his system was propagated by intellectuals that shared many of the same defects of perception, and a need to feel superior nor that it now forms the basis of all history and sociology. Probably. I mean, good thing it’s not up to me to judge the dead, eh?

But the fact that Marxism had infected everyone’s understanding of “how the world works” has done untold damage to old, understood, never spelled out contracts.

One of them is of course the relationship between men and women. Current feminism refuses to believe that men had their own issues and inconveniences and obligations throughout history, let alone understanding the past only through the lens of upper class Victorian England. Int he process they rush to turn women into the worst of men, because in their heads that’s giving women the upper hand.

Then there is the general “social compact.” The left seems to be intent on recreating feudalism without being aware that the rulers in feudalism had oath-bound-duties as well as rights. Yes, the system sucked, but it wasn’t as much of a hell as Venezuela or Cuba, or China and that’s not mentioning North Korea.

But the other part of it is that it encourages those who are supposed to be the “exploiting” class, like employers to take advantage because they legitimately think that’s the only way they can stay on top and that everyone who succeeds does it, and it’s “smart.”

Hence egregious bad behavior and bullying from various corporations. And underhanded financial shenanigans.

All while demanding utter loyalty and good behavior from subordinates.

This is particularly bad in systems where the market is controlled by gate keepers, as it was with Hollywood or traditional publishing. Your bosses have the ability to wreck you, and can demand everything. You can do nothing but behave at our best.

It was like that when I came in. You had to be polite, and if they said jump you said “how high” and if you caught them in irrationality, insanity or whatever, you shut up. Otherwise you’d never work in that town again.

So, a writer had to turn in the best work possible, and paint it purple if demanded, but they actually didn’t have to make any effort to sell your book, or give you an even mildly acceptable cover, or make sure it got shelved. And if, with everything against it it failed it was your fault. ANd you’d go along with it, or you’d never work in this town again.

Royalties and reports could be up to six months late, and you shut up, even though it was your livelihood, because — yeah.

This is not unique to publishing. this is obtaining more and more in every field of endeavor. Because people have grown to not even understand “mutual benefit” and “implied mutual obligation.” So, one or the other is always looking for the ‘advantage.’

The advantage in this doesn’t exist. Society is founded on mutual obligation. It is so, because otherwise nothing would survive.

Trad pub hasn’t run out of authors yet, but I know for a fact they’re hurting badly, because authors now have other alternatives.

The same will happen to other systems. All of them, I’d think.

As you go about your business remember mutual obligation and win-win. This makes for better businesses, families, groups and …. well, everything than any other system.

And the doomed institutions? Be sure to build under, build over, build around.

Because any institution/field/relationship where both sides don’t keep the oaths, implied or explicit will fall.

With an Earth Shattering Kaboom!

45 comments

      1. Great read!! Although I love (LOVE) vaudeville history, I’ve never actually had a chance to sit down and watch the Marx brothers–this makes me want to rectify that!!

  1. To a lot of people on the spectrum (myself included) the old rules seemed hypocritical and false and just…wrong. Wrong in so many ways.

    But, I also realized (unlike far too many of my fellows) that a lot of the rules had reasons for why they existed. Not the best of reasons, but they were reasons that worked-mostly. There were reasons why some transgressions were forgiven and some were punished harshly, and why some acts had to be taboo…or at the very least very discretely handled. And, why the rules existed the way they did. Being smart and Odd meant that you had a better sense of that you needed to break these rules, and why.

    Marx and Engels and a lot of his contemporaries…hated having to figure out how to get around the rules, so they just figured out every single way they could break them, and keep them broken, for their own purposes.

        1. I inherited a low view of unions from my dad. I know of one place they absolutely needed one (a chicken plant with very callous management). But I have my own low opinion of federal employees’ unions. They should never have been allowed.

          1. Unions are like any other tool-when used right, they’re good. When used wrong, they’re terrible.

            And, sometimes they’re even necessary. I know that several times, Dad would have been thrown onto city civil service medical policies (i.e. “take Motrin until you retire, unless you want to pay for it yourself”) for his back issues, if it wasn’t for the police union.

    1. To be fair, some of those old rules had reasons… but most of those reasons ran out ~10 years after they were made, but the rules stuck around. Then those industries slipped into the hands of other people, who when used those rules for other purposes…

  2. I would note that many of the “movements” do turn their adherents into the worst of the “other side.” Sarah notes the effect of “feminism” on all too many women. Watching a bit of, say, a Rue Paul “drag queen” shows, “LGBT” turns all too many male homosexuals into the worst examples of the “mean girls club.” Or, whenever a committed “Socialist” owner of a business these days gets even a whiff of their employees wanting to unionize – well, if they could still get away with hiring a bunch of Irish thugs with billy clubs to quash that notion, they undoubtedly would.

    1. Heck, unions weren’t shy about ‘discouraging’ the ‘ringleaders’ for industries that didn’t want to unionize!

      (They tried to unionize the lumber setup my grandfather worked at. They didn’t manage to kill any of the workers that didn’t go along with it before their thugs got run out of town, but…well, I never had a rosy view of unions.)

      1. I worked as a contract engineer in several what was then know as Big 3 automotive plants. So I wasn’t bargaining unit, nor was I management. I once questioned why, if they were as pissed off at their union leaders as their complaints indicated, some workers didn’t elect new ones. “People who do more than just bitch, like running against union candidates, tend to have serious accidents, like failing down the stairs and breaking their necks.”

  3. And at a certain point (often far earlier than management realizes) “put on your happy face” turns into “get yours and get out”.

    You just can’t keep going over the wall for someone who drops you off the cliff once you get there. Either you break or you stop.

    1. One company that I worked for had a slogan of “Retail is a People’s Business and we value our People”.

      The internal joke was “We aren’t People, we’re Associates”. 😈

      1. When I was on active duty, we had a bitter joke about the Air Force: “The Air Force will take care of you … so don’t you turn your back on it for an instant!”

        Speaking of building up, building around, and under – I posted this at Chicagoboyz today: a meditation on how we have been doing just that, and the various mainstream media creatures are just beginning to notice and get really huffy about it.
        https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/66971.html
        “… The Progs are indignant over this, of course, blaming so-called conservative billionaires and their wicked wiles, dominating a herd of ignorant and easily led proles. Never mind that many such social media sites, institutions, and occupations became actively hostile to conservatives. Why shouldn’t we walk away, if our presence is discouraged, and build a more tolerant and welcoming establishment elsewhere? In my own circles of authors, a good few decided to publish and market their books themselves, when the largely New York based Literary Industrial Complex publishers began freezing out all but the most liberally conformist.”

  4. Ditching “right” and “wrong” has really not helped.

    (and yes, trying to turn them into synonyms for “I want this to happen” and “I don’t want this to happen” is ditching ’em.)

  5. The reason behind a tradition often only becomes clear when the tradition is dead and the reason rises to punish the culture.
    Similarly, don’t take down a fence without knowing why the fence was put there in the first place.
    Old wisdom, forgotten today.

    1. As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
      I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
      Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

      We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
      That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
      But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
      So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

      We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
      Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
      But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
      That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

      With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
      They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
      They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
      So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

      When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
      They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
      But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

      On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
      (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
      Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

      In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
      By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
      But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

      Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
      And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
      That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

      As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
      There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
      That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
      And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

      And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
      When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
      As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
      The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  6. I normally go armed (in the manner and to extent the People’s Republic of Maryland will let me). A friend at my synagogue noticed me leaving my weapons in the car one Sabbath morning. He asked me what I was doing.
    “Well since we have a county police officer hired to stand guard, I prefer not to go armed in the synagogue on Sabbath.”
    “Why go armed at all?”
    “Two reasons: 1. Slaves go unarmed, free men carry weapons. 2. I swore an oath when I joined the Marine corps to protect the Nation and the Constitution. That oath is still in effect, and I can’t do that unarmed.”
    He looked at me like I had suddenly started speaking Urdu. The idea that I might still consider myself sworn to that oath was completely foreign to him.

      1. I have discovered that most people see ‘Marine’ and think ‘fancy soldier’. Even trying to explain the difference doesn’t work.

        1. I know quite a few soldiers, sailors and airmen no longer subject to reveille that still consider their oath to be active. It’s really not just a Marine thing.

          1. No it’s not just a marine thing. But as a soldier married to a marine (both no longer subject to reveille, both considering our oaths still active) there’s a difference in psychology between marines and soldiers. “Marine” stays with more folk longer than “Soldier” does. There are more soldiers than marines that are civilians the minute they have their DD-214. I spent my entire active duty time joint services, albeit support MOSes vs. combat. I saw the difference.

            It’s that ‘Marine Corps sticks with you long after’ that Foxfier and I were commenting on.

          2. Marines are just a bit more notorious for the whole “former Marine” NOT being how you describe someone whose term of active duty enlistment ended.

            It’s not that Marines are the only ones who Really Really Meant It when they made their oath, it’s just that they’re mimetically known for it.

  7. To be forsworn . . . that used to lead to being declared wolf’s-head and cast outside the protection of the law. Some days I wonder if that tradition ought to be brought back.

  8. “Come on, guys, it’s not like Marx is global warming.”
    Really?
    Come on now sweetie, AGW is just one in a long line of stobor* used by committed Marxists to strike fear in the hearts of the masses all in aid of them getting and keeping control over the great unwashed.
    There must always be some existential threat to wave over the heads of the people in order to justify their latest incursions on our rights and freedoms. Before AGW it was the coming ice age, since the bloom has fallen off both those fictions we now have a nasty virus with a 99.95 survival rate masquerading as a threat to all life on Earth.
    And as is always the case, as a modicum of truth wins out, most folks just get over the panic and move along with their lives to get through the trials and tribulations of existence. We do move over, under, around, and as needs must bulldoze straight on through the pundits just so as to make it through another day.
    * stobor was a device introduced by Heinlein in “Tunnel in the Sky” to represent any and all big bad boogiemen, because wherever you go there is always one, often coming at you from where you least expect it. And yeah it’s just robots spelled backwards. Hizself was never one to pass up on a good joke.

  9. That’s a good summary of why so much has gone wrong. With great power comes great responsibility isn’t limited to Spider-Man and other superheroes and these efforts to have power without responsibility – which they push off to the “lessers” – has been as damaging as you note to so many things. That collapse is going to be one hell of a mess but if anyone can survive it it’s those of us at places like this.

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