Essays on America: The Game

I’m taking the unprecedented step of reblogging a post from a complete stranger, because it is so chilling.

The stranger is Peter Ironswood, and his essay is about the 1% who are so powerful, they could be demigods in our supposedly enlightened world.

This is a must read.

petersironwood

The Game

man in gray suit playing chess Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The Game has no rules. Not really. I suppose you could say that the one rule is that there are no rules. 

Not everyone can play The Game. So, that might count as a rule about entering and leaving The Game.

To Enter the Game, you need to be a Player. 

And, to Leave the Game, you need to die. (You can’t “quit.”)

dog and house toy on monopoly board game Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Those are the two rules about whether you can play, but there are no rules within The Game. 

But how does one become a Player? 

Fame is not enough. Wealth is not enough. Good looks, or sharp wits, or intelligence, or encyclopedic knowledge, or special talents? No, that is not enough. 

What is important is that you have Power and that you will execute your Power without regard to…

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

16 responses to “Essays on America: The Game

  • flawedman

    You are right men still instinctively think the world revolves around them , they pontificate and stroke their beards , but remember they are not so keen to get home to the kids.
    I’m 77 and had four children now all flown to the fast lane , we did our best to raise them but it was far from easy . I shudder now that the oldest is past 50 and our future is getting ever shorter.
    Cooperation for tribal gain is no doubt part of our history but the human species is unique in that it appears to engage in true altruism and Mother Theresa is a fine example.
    Recent climate change has made many question whether we are in control of our own destiny as it appears we have shot ourselves in the foot with technological advances.

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    • acflory

      lol – yes, I did notice that. Trophy kids?
      You know I’ve often thought that we created both angels and demons in our own image. I doubt that any other species is as conflicted as we are.
      All I can hope is that climate change gives us time to get our act together before it hits with both hands. My fear is that we’re the frogs in the pot and the water’s getting hotter while we frolic. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • flawedman

    Women are up in arms about gender disparity now they want the opportunities that men have successfully denied them for centuries. They too seek to climb that pyramid independently of men.
    We are tribal by nature and not blank slates as Mr Pinker has pointed out we inherit a huge evolutionary baggage built in for our survival. Sam Harris , the well known atheist , makes it clear we have an evil side as well as a good one in his book ‘ The Moral Landscape ‘.
    The vast majority of us are family centred and then friends and neighbours. Psychopaths are the exception and in fact they have a different brain scan. The worrying thing about them is that the population may contain up to 1% according to Robert Hare , most of whom are are large.

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    • acflory

      I agree about women wanting a share of the power but, we want it on /our/ terms. What are those terms? We want to be productive rather than simply making work to appear productive. Having worked in large corporations, I know how little real productivity there is. Most of the ‘work’ revolves around creating mini fiefdoms within the corporation.
      As a woman, I’d prefer to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible and then go home to my kids.
      The current structures are all meant to make climbing the pyramid easier for men…who have wives to take care of the boring stuff.
      Historically, human societies were not always patriarchal as they are now. In fact, in indigenous culture, lineage is still passed on through the mother.
      I agree that the vast majority of us are empathic, at least to a degree. Without empathy we would not be able to cooperate long enough to protect our ‘tribes’. In fact, in nature, cooperation is just as important as competition in ensuring the survival of the species.
      I suspect the role of sociopaths is to do the jobs that ‘normal’ people don’t want to do. Most of us would baulk at being as ruthless as many modern CEOs and leaders appear to be. Not saying they’re all sociopaths, and the whole thing is on a continuum anyway, but I don’t think there are many Mother Theresa’s in the boardrooms of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  • flawedman

    I think if push came to shove and your livelihood was threatened you would react to defend your situation just like the rest of humanity.
    There is an idea spreading especially among the left wing that some people are above human nature and the villain of the piece are the rich.
    The top 1% in income globally consists of 76 million people most of whom live in the rich nations. A qualified nurse in the National Health Service is in the that top 1 %.

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    • acflory

      lol – apologies if I came across as a latter day Mother Theresa. I’m not, and I have no problem with defending myself. My comment was more of an existential one about the meaning of true happiness.
      Philosophy aside though, I’m baffled by your comment about a nurse being in the top 1%. I assume you’re talking about he UK, but here in Australia that would be like comparing a nurse to Rupert Murdoch. Or maybe an ant to an elephant.
      As for being left wing, when did empathy and caring about people become a pejorative? If so then guilty as charged. But. I don’t actually see /most/ rich people as villains. I don’t think that most of them ‘do’ much of anything at all. Like the nobility of feudal times, I think most are born to a level of wealth that’s virtually self-perpetuating. The ones that make it into the gossip columns just seem…rather pathetic.

      No, for me, the villains of the piece are the mega corporations that control how the wealth is accumulated and distributed.
      They have become so good at ‘defending’ themselves that they set the agenda for whole countries.
      Are they controlled in turn by Players? I’m starting to think that maybe they are. But even if they’re not. Even if they’re just financial machines, I think we have to ask whether they haven’t run amok.
      As a species, our biological imperative is to reproduce and ensure the species continues. If corporations turn us into lemmings, then we have to question their ultimate value.

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      • flawedman

        Thanks for your reply let me explain my attitude to wealth.
        Every country has a wealth pyramid even those that claim to be socialist or communist. The global population is also a pyramid of wealth.
        These have existed since the year dot and if we could level it out it would be back as it was in a hundred years. The reason is the ambitious nature of man which enabled him to survive and conquer. The average Joe Bloggs in the rich nations today is incredibly rich compared to most of the global population. There are twenty million Indians with no toilets or any hygiene but I have an electric shower and central heating although I’m below the poverty line in the UK.
        So I see the left wing in rich countries as fighting for those already very wealthy in global terms. I might need a heart transplant while the blindness of millions could be cured with a simple operation.
        Science is busy getting us to Mars while the poor need flood defences , they have spent billions building a hadron collider and gaze endlessly on the furthest reaches of space.
        The truth about human nature is evident when we see the scramble to climb to the next platform on the pyramid , the whole of our education system is bent on getting better jobs more money .

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        • acflory

          I can’t disagree with you about that pyramid, but I don’t agree that ALL humans behave in the same way. For starters, look at the gender disparity in those who are actually climbing up that pyramid.
          Empathy tends to soften the more aggressive tendencies of human nature. Psychopathy/sociopathy is at the other end of the spectrum from empathy.
          Is the pyramid inevitable?
          I don’t believe so, but I am a glass half full type of person so…-shrug-

          Liked by 1 person

  • Mick Canning

    Let’s play ‘spot the 1%’.

    Like

    • acflory

      From my end of the world I’d have to say Gina Rinehart.

      Not sure whether to count Rupert Murdoch any more or not. Technically he’s not one of ours any more, but we probably have to take some of the blame. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • flawedman

    The forgotten reason that we all play this game is ambition to maintain our own position on the pyramid of wealth.
    One man receives a heart transplant another has no toilet.
    We all day to ourselves I’m not that wealthy and besides those much wealthier than I are to blame they are the greedy ones. So there is a sense we all , except the destitute , maintain the status quo.

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    • acflory

      There’s some truth in what you say. 😦 We all have ambitions, and we all have an ego. But…even way down the foodchain, the power game doesn’t do the one thing we want it to do, and that’s make us happy. To do that, we have to become the best /we/ are capable of being. To be brutally honest, I’m really glad I don’t have the wherewithall to become a Player in the Game. :/

      Like

  • Bette A. Stevens

    Chilling tale… How sad that it is not fiction. Thanks for sharing, AC.

    Like

  • ecellenb

    Brilliant! Accurate. Wish it weren’t true. Will massive uprising work?

    Like

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