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.

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8 responses to “Rigging the Game”

  1. donsalmon says :

    “Fair elections act”

    as in

    “Compassionate conservative”

    or George W Bush’s “Clear skies initiative”

    or “Operation Iraqi Liberation” (acronym for oil – hmmm, maybe that one was not quite so duplicitous)

    • Scott Preston says :

      My favourite one is “principled conservatism”. If you scrutinise those “principles” behind the rhetoric and the mask of sanity, they evaporate just like Mr. Huntington’s “power”. I mean what could be more “Wizard of Oz” like than Mr. Huntington’s prescription for the exercise of power?

  2. abdulmonem says :

    I see in all these phrases a mask of the truth that can not be hidden. We are heading toward the uncovering of the lie and start calling the things by their names and stop being misled.

    • donsalmon says :

      NY Times columnist Paul Krugman recently wrote about this. He started by saying he was glad that journalists were starting to use the word “lie” instead of hiding behind being “fair and balanced”. If I recall correctly, I think it was Carly Fiorina’s in-your-face lies about the Planned Parenthood doctored video (don’t know if you folks outside the US know about this – for some reason the extreme right wing that controls Congress doesn’t care at all about climate change, utter corruption of the government by big business, 40 million people in desperate poverty, etc but the idea of an organization helping women with breast cancer and other related health issues is so onerous to them that they have to make up a video of lies to attack the organization).

      Krugman noted that he first started calling out this journalistic practice back in the 2000 election, when he wrote that if George Bush said the earth was flat, the front page headlines would read, “Controversy Erupts About the True Shape of the Earth,” (rather than, “George Bush is a raving lunatic”). I remember – though Krugman didn’t reference it – an article he wrote thanking at least a few journalists for saying that McCain was lying about Obama back in 2008 – when he said Obama wanted to teach sex to Kindergarten children.

      So, perhaps a glimmer of light – a few mainstream journalists saying that public figures lie – who would ever have though it possible!

      And ABC news just published a piece on 10 ways in which Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders are alike.

  3. Dwig says :

    And then there’s the Wall Street gamesters who say “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying”.

    • Scott Preston says :

      An article in The Guardian this morning — the UK, Germany and France apparently lobbied to keep “loopholes” in the tests just so firms like Volkswagen could use them.

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/24/uk-france-and-germany-lobbied-for-flawed-car-emissions-tests-documents-reveal

      Loopholes — a favourite ploy by our legislators who want to appear to be doing something about addressing our problems while doing nothing at all.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        From the Guardian article:

        “The UK, France and Germany have been accused of hypocrisy for lobbying behind the scenes to keep outmoded car tests for carbon emissions, but later publicly calling for a European investigation into Volkswagen’s rigging of car air pollution tests.”

        That article, from top to bottom, reeks plotting, scheming, and backstabbing by Money Changers against the rest of the world. It is as if “The UK, France, and Germany” actually represent entire nations and their intensions- not individuals who were involved in the game, which are now using the country’s name to hide who they really are – and what their roots are.

        “Leaked documents seen by the Guardian show the three countries lobbied the European commission to keep loopholes in car tests that would increase real world carbon dioxide emissions by 14% above those claimed.”

        Who leaked the documents? With which organization or secret group were they affiliated? What were their intensions? By the way, that’s a classic way of setting up someone or some entity: First provide incentives (hush money, etc.) to “keep loopholes in car tests,” and then leak that this was done.

        “Just four months before the VW emissions scandal broke, the EU’s three biggest nations mounted a push to carry over loopholes from a test devised in 1970…..”

        You see? These people don’t waste time. It’s not possible to investigate and convict “the EU’s three biggest nations.” But these were individuals who were doing this – in an obviously coordinated manner (just like the terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda on 9/11) – in three countries at the same time. Who do we know with such embedded power and global network (that always operates from the dark and behind the scenes) but the ancient and global network of Money Changers?

        “It is unacceptable that governments which rightly demand an EU inquiry into the VW’s rigging of air pollution tests are simultaneously lobbying behind the scenes to continue the rigging of CO2 emissions tests,” said Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at the respected green thinktank,”

        But WHO within these governments are doing this? What is the extent of their network? Surely, it’s not the entire government. Surely, ordinary self-serving individuals would not be able to pull this off by themselves.

        No one, no matter how successful in their career, would be able to accumulate enough power and knowledge of these various governments in order to cause this scandal. This is the work of a powerful and well-established (centuries old) malicious network within the EU. Heck, the European Union (EU), and on this side of the Atlantic, The United Nations (UN) is their brainchild to begin with.

        Unfortunately, it is a sure thing that the global media are owned by that same network that is rigging the game on a global scale. So, if the architects of power are to see the sunlight, it won’t be before it’s too late.

  4. LittleBigMan says :

    “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.”

    Excellent!! Not only that goes straight to the heart of the matter and the kind of game that’s being played but also it is the very foundation of this ancient trick of “rigging the game.”

    “Organic farmers are suspected of secretly using chemicals and pesticides….”

    No question about it that some of them do. I don’t know if you have COSTCO stores up in Canada, but I once bought some “organic” fruit in one of their stores here in Cali, and four months later the fruits were still edible. The fruit just refused to perish and die! Never again, I bought any kind of food product from them.

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