The etymological root of the term “Archon”

How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
— Samuel Adams

Archon (Greek: ἄρχων, romanized: árchōn) is the Greek term for “ruler”. Cognate derivatives are, e.g., terms such as:

  • monarchy
  • dyarchy
  • hierarchy
  • patriarchy/matriarchy
  • gynarchy
  • autarchy
  • anarchy (etymology discussed subsequently in more detail)

According to Aristotle’s Constitution of the Athenians (78-c. 100), the power and influence of the king first devolved to the archons, and these offices were filled from the aristocracy by elections on a decennial basis.

Archon Eponymos was the primary magistrate, the Polemarch referred to the head of the armed forces, and the Archon Basileus was in charge of the religious aspects of society.
Various fraternities and sororities use the title of archon or variations on it. Some Gnostic sects used this term for demons associated with the planetspheres.

3-D computer rendering of an “archon”

The term anarchy is the negation of the term archon (i.e., the negatory prefix *a). It thus means “without a ruler/master”, i.e., human beings that do not accept a master and who do not allow others to rule over them (they are not slaves to anyone). Importantly, this derivation should not be confused with “chaos or without rules”. Anarchy simply is the negation of slavery.

Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein. ‘
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Transl.: None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.)

Human beings who are anarchists are thus literally beings that do not accept to be ruled by archons, i.e., they are free and cannot be ruled and suppressed by external forces (they only subordinate themselves to natural law, viz., the timeless universal metaphysical foundation of morality and ethics; cf. the Kantian categorical imperative).

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
— Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785)

Fulltext: archive.org/details/groundingformet000kant

In this context a quotation by the freedom fighter Malcolm X is of great pertinence.
He asked the following quintessential question concerning the highest of all virtues:

What is the price of freedom?

Answer
Death.

P.S. This does not imply that one has to die to be free, but it means that one has to be willing to risk once own life for the greatest of all goods, viz., the ultimate expression of human potential: Absolute Freedom.
If one is not willing to go “all in” one has lost the quest for freedom a priori because one is not willing to risk what it takes to achieve it. Fear is the inhibitor of freedom. Death is the mother of all fears. Ergo, overcoming the irrational fear of death is a condicio sine qua non for the obtainment of superordinate transcendental values.

Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Freedom comes with wisdom, intrinsically. They are inseparable, and no society wants people to be free. The communist society, the fascist society, the capitalist society, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, the Christian – no society likes people to use their own intelligence because the moment they start using their intelligence they become dangerous – dangerous to the establishment, dangerous to the people who are in power, dangerous to the “haves”; dangerous to all kinds of oppression, exploitation, suppression; dangerous to the churches, dangerous to the states, dangerous to the nations.

In fact, a wise man is afire, alive, aflame. He would like rather to die than to be enslaved. Death will not matter much to him, but he cannot sell his life to all kinds of stupidities, to all kinds of stupid people. He cannot serve them. Hence, the societies down the ages have been supplying you with false knowing. That’s the very function of your schools, colleges, universities.

They don’t serve you, remember, they serve the past, they serve the vested interests. Of course, they go on puffing your ego up bigger and bigger, they go on giving you more and more degrees. Your name becomes longer and longer, but only the name – you go on becoming shorter and shorter. A point comes where there are only certificates and the man has disappeared. First the man carries the certificates, then the certificates carry the man. The man is long dead.
~Osho

Simulacra and simulation (Jean Baudrillard, 1994)


Further References

Groom, N., Baudrillard, J., & Grant, I. H.. (2007). Symbolic Exchange and Death. The Modern Language Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/3734103
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Baudrillard, J., & Glaser, S. F.. (1994). Simulacrum and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism). The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism
Baudrillard, J.. (1994). Simulacra and simulation / by Jean Baudrillard ; translated by Sheila Faria Glaser. Idea

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S1359135500001081
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Nordin, A. H. M.. (2012). Taking Baudrillard to the fair: Exhibiting China in the world at the Shanghai Expo. Alternatives

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0304375412444816
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Croissant, J. L.. (2006). The new sexual technobody: Viagra in the hyperreal world. Sexualities

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/1363460706065056
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Butterfield, B.. (2007). Ethical Value and Negative Aesthetics: Reconsidering the Baudrillard-Ballard Connection. PMLA

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/463427
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Constable, C.. (2006). Baudrillard reloaded: Interrelating philosophy and film via the Matrix Trilogy. Screen

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/screen/hjl018
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Massumi, B.. (1987). Realer than Real: The Simulacrum According to Deleuze and Guattari. Copyright
Rennett, M.. (2009). Baudrillard and The Joe Schmo Show. The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies
Baudrillard, J.. (1972). Simulacra & Simulation* precession of simulacra. Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology

Sir Francis Galton (*1822;†1911): Hereditary Genius

Sir Francis Galton, was an English Victorian era statistician, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, and psychometrician. He was knighted in 1909.

Galton produced over 340 papers and books. He also created the statistical concept of correlation and widely promoted regression toward the mean. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence, and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies.

He was a pioneer in eugenics, coining the term itself and the phrase “nature versus nurture”. His book Hereditary Genius (1869) was the first social scientific attempt to study genius and greatness.

As an investigator of the human mind, he founded psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology and the lexical hypothesis of personality. He devised a method for classifying fingerprints that proved useful in forensic science. He also conducted research on the power of prayer, concluding it had none by its null effects on the longevity of those prayed for. His quest for the scientific principles of diverse phenomena extended even to the optimal method for making tea.

LibriVox

Hereditary Genius

A biographical summary of the pre-eminent men of Britain grouped by profession. The extensive survey draws from information including college graduation, reputation during career, fellowships, and even known relatives. Includes discussions on findings and observations as well as referenced appendices. - Summary by Leon Harvey
  • Preface
  • Introductory Chapter
  • Classification of Men According to Their Reputation
  • Classification of Men According to Their Natural Gifts
  • Comparison of the Two Classifications
  • Notation
  • The Judges of England Between 1660 and 1865
  • Statesmen
  • English Peerages. Their Influence Upon Race
  • Commanders
  • Literary Men
  • Men of Science
  • Poets
  • Musicians
  • Painters
  • Divines
  • Senior Classics of Cambridge
  • Oarsmen
  • Wrestlers of the North Country
  • Comparison of Results
  • The Comparative Worth of Different Races
  • Influences That Affect the General Ability of Nations
  • General Considerations
  • Appendix

Joseph Goebbels principles of propaganda

„We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with democracy’s weapons. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free railway passes and salaries, that is its problem… We are coming neither as friends or neutrals. We come as enemies! As the wolf attacks the sheep, so come we.“ — Joseph Goebbels

„The people’s community must not be a mere phrase, but a revolutionary achievement following from the radical carrying out of the basic life needs of the working class. A ruthless battle against corruption! A war against exploitation, freedom for the workers! The elimination of all economic-capitalist influences on national policy. Maintaining a rotten economic system has nothing to do with nationalism, which is an affirmation of the Fatherland.“ — Joseph Goebbels

A lesser known fact is that Goebbels stratagems were “inspired” by Edward Bernays (who authored the book entitled “Propaganda” in 1928).

Bernays stated the following in his 1965 autobiography:

They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.


Further References

Doob, L. W.. (1950). Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda. Public Opinion Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1086/266211
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Meyer, M., & Welch, D.. (2006). Propaganda and the German Cinema, 1933-1945. The History Teacher

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/493610
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Propaganda and mass persuasion: a historical encyclopedia, 1500 to the present. (2013). Choice Reviews Online

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5860/choice.41-2561
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Herf, J.. (2005). The “jewish War”: Goebbels and the antisemitic campaigns of the Nazi propaganda ministry. Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dci003
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Welch, D.. (1993). Manufacturing a consensus: Nazi propaganda and the building of a ‘national community’ (volksgemeinschaft). Contemporary European History

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S096077730000028X
DOI URL
directSciHub download

The Impact of Science on Society – Bertrand Russell

Take first the question of food and population. At present 
the population of the globe is increasing at the rate of about 
20 millions a year. Most of this increase is in Russia and 
Southeast Asia. The population of Western Europe and 
the United States is nearly stationary. Meanwhile, the food 
supply of the world as a whole threatens to diminish, as a 
result of unwise methods of cultivation and destruction of 
forests. This is an explosive situation. Left to itself, it must 
lead to a food shortage and thence to a world war. Technique, 
however, makes other issues possible. 

Vital statistics in the West are dominated by medicine 
and birth control: the one diminishes the deaths, the other 
the births. The result is that the average age in the West 
increases: there is a smaller percentage of young people and 
a larger percentage of old people. Some people consider that 
this must have unfortunate results, but speaking as an old 
person, I am not sure. 

The danger of a world shortage of food may be averted 
for a time by improvements in the technique of agriculture. 
But, if population continues to increase at the present rate, 
such improvements cannot long suffice. There will then be 
two groups, one poor with an increasing population, the 
other rich with a stationary population. Such a situation can 
hardly fail to lead to world war. If there is not to be an 
endless succession of wars, population will have to become 
stationary throughout the world, and this will probably have 
to be done, in many countries, as a result of governmental 
measures. This will require an extension of scientific tech- 
nique into very intimate matters. There are, however, two 
other possibilities. War may become so destructive that, at 
any rate for a time, there is no danger of overpopulation; or 
the scientific nations may be defeated and anarchy may de- 
stroy scientific technique. 

Biology is likely to affect human life through the study of 
heredity. Without science, men have changed domestic 
animals and food plants enormously in advantageous ways. 
It may be assumed that they will change them much more, 
and much more quickly, by bringing the science of genetics 
to bear. Perhaps, even, it may become possible artificially to 
induce desirable mutations in genes. (Hitherto the only muta- 
tions that can be artificially caused are neutral or harmful.) 
In any case, it is pretty certain that scientific technique will 
very soon effect great improvements in the animals and 
plants that are useful to man. 

When such methods of modifying the congenital character 
of animals and plants have been pursued long enough to make 
their success obvious, it is probable that there will be a 
powerful movement for applying scientific methods to human 
propagation. There would at first be strong religious and 
emotional obstacles to the adoption of such a policy. But sup- 
pose (say) Russia were able to overcome these obstacles 
and to breed a race stronger, more intelligent, and more 
resistant to disease than any race of men that has hitherto 
existed, and suppose the other nations perceived that unless 
they followed suit they would be defeated in war, then either 
the other nations would voluntarily forgo their prejudices, or, 
after defeat, they would be compelled to forgo them. Any 
scientific technique, however beastly, is bound to spread if 
it is useful in war— until such time as men decide that they have 
had enough of war and will henceforth live in peace. As 
that day does not seem to be at hand, scientific breeding of 
human beings must be expected to come about. I shall return 
to this subject in a later chapter. 

Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific tech- 
nique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov 
and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view 
that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure 
will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. 

I think the subject which will be of most importance polit- 
ically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically 
speaking, not a very advanced study, and so far its professors 
have not been in universities: they have been advertisers, 
politicians, and, above all, dictators. This study is immensely 
useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich 
or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, 
founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has 
employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a 
kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been 
enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of 
propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 
"education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; 
the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part. 

What is essential in mass psychology is the art of per- 
suasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of 
(say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been 
made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went 
wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man 
is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this 
hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band 
do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant 
train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will 
be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch 
the patient young and is provided by the State with money 
and equipment. 

Erich Fromm – Disobedience: A Moral or Psychological Problem (1962)

Professor-Erich-Fromm-Disobedience-as-a-Psychological-and-Moral-Problem

Secondary literature

Frie, R.. (2003). Erich Fromm and contemporary psychoanalysis: from modernism to postmodernism.. Psychoanalytic Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1521/prev.90.6.855.28785
DOI URL
directSciHub download

McLaughlin, N.. (1998). How to become a forgotten intellectual: Intellectual movements and the rise and fall of Erich Fromm. Sociological Forum

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1023/A:1022189715949
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Fromm, E.. (2004). 1929a-e Erich Fromm Psychoanalysis and Sociology. English

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1063/1.4810294
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Rasmussen, B., & Salhani, D.. (2008). Resurrecting erich fromm. Smith College Studies in Social Work

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/00377310802111946
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Brookfield, S.. (2002). Overcoming alienation as the practice of adult education: The contribution of Erich Fromm to a critical theory of adult learning and education. Adult Education Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0741713602052002002
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Davis, H. B.. (2003). Erich Fromm and postmodernism.. Psychoanalytic Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1521/prev.90.6.839.28790
DOI URL
directSciHub download

The British Raj in India

Dr. Tharoor delivers a lecture, entitled ‘Looking Back at the British Raj in India’, and discuses how the British empire ruthlessly has exploited and devastated India. He cogently argues that the British have to pay reparations to India.


Further References

Cohn, B. S.. (1996). Colonialism and its forms of knowledge : the British in India. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1525/ae.1998.25.1.82.1
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Smith, D. L.. (1999). English and the Discourses of Colonialism. Asian Englishes

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/13488678.1999.10801024
DOI URL
directSciHub download