Rigging the Game
Have you noticed it? Everyone is now out to “rig the game”. It seems to be part of our “end of history” survivalist psychosis. Rigging the game has become the game itself. “Risk-taking”, rather than the risk of innovation, has come to mean, more, flirting with the limits of propriety and law, or even overstepping them. “Rigging the game” is another aspect of hubris, and my question is this: how can a society survive in which everyone is out to rig the game?
Of course, we know the roots of this problem of rigging the game — the pursuit of self-interest now run amok, which we call “egoism” or “culture of narcissism”. But in one way or another, pretty much everyone is involved in it to some extent or another. Rigging the game is on the contrary extreme of what Rudolf Steiner would call “ethical individualism”. It’s the Shadow side. The contrary pole to “ethical individualism” is, of course, libertinism.
Just so, the contrary pole to Stephen Harper’s promotion and style of “executive democracy” is “participatory democracy”. That should be clear enough.
It’s not just the scandal of Volkswagen’s attempt to rig the game by using software to hide its true emissions. It’s things like “Deflategate“, “Watergate”, “Duffygate“, etc. It’s padding one’s resume and one’s curriculum vitae. It’s the work of ratfucking and the “ratfuckers” and their rat-race. It’s looking for “the loopholes” that will allow one to rig the game with impunity. It’s the occasional scandal of falsified data and research in science. “Rigging the game” is the meaning of “perception management“, spin, and propaganda. Rigging the game is the attempt to control and manipulate the market through trusts and monopolies, or is the work of lobbyists or “special interests” to win, curry, or buy advantageous legislation from politicians or bureaucrats. Rigging the game is the athlete’s use of performance enhancing drugs in the pursuit of honours, titles, fame, or wealth.
Rigging the game is the Conservative Party of Canada’s “Fair Elections Act“, which is so patently unfair that it had to be cast as being the opposite — as “leveling the playing field” rather than rigging the game through voter suppression tactics. Rigging the game is Mr. Harper’s muzzling of scientists in Canada and suppression of publicly funded research, data, and libraries and his “rewriting of history” all in pursuit of power, and of his attempt to turn Canada into “a more Conservative country” against it’s will. Rigging the game is the partisan expropriation of national symbols, history and the commonwealth for narrow partisan, private and ideological purposes, such as yesterday’s repudiation of the Conservatives by the Fox family for attempting to privatise, appropriate, and spin the legacy and status of Terry Fox. It’s part of the Harper agenda to turn Canadian history into a partisan conservative mythology by expropriating its symbols for partisan purposes. Working against Nature rather than with Nature is also part of trying to rig the game at an even broader level.
Rigging the game is the meaning of Samuel Huntington’s prescription for the exercise of power:
The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.
If some aren’t even involved in attempting to rig the game, everyone suspects everyone else of trying to rig the game. Organic farmers are suspected of secretly using chemicals and pesticides (and probably some are). Rigging the game has become the game in “the new normal”.
Rationality has become, in those respects, little more than cunning and the exercise of slyness, and this people confuse with intelligence. “Rigging the game”, though, is just another aspect of Gebser’s “mental-rational consciousness now functioning in deficient mode”.
“Rigging the game” really means, “the war of all against all”. Everyone is involved in it, or suspects everyone else of doing it. “Working the system” and “rigging the game” are pretty much synonymous terms.
And everyone has forgotten what the “game” actually is apart from that constant attempt to rig it.