The Sword and the Demon

I was at the movies the other night and I saw a trailer for a lame samurai movie with Keanu Reeves. He’s trying to kill some evil woman with his samurai sword, but she turns into kind of immaterial dragon demon.

“Dude”, I’m thinking. “You can’t fight a demon with a sword. It’s useless for that.” A lot of what people are trying to do in fighting the system is trying to fight a demon with a sword. The genius of the system is it does not rely on the sword, and so the sword is useless against it.

So what do you fight a demon with? A magic spell of some sort? No. We know that Satan is a murderer and a liar, and has been a murderer and a liar from the beginning. But he murders by lying, so fundamentally he’s really just a liar, as are all his subordinate demons.

Any lie is simply countered by the truth. It’s useful to communicate the truth, but simply knowing the truth is enough. The demons receive some partial and conditional satisfaction from keeping you from expressing the truth, but that’s only a temporary victory for them. They have to destroy the truth altogether.

The best they can hope for is that the truth may be realized in the human mind, but this thought will be quickly dismissed before becoming fully formed. This is the crimestop that Orwell talked about. The person exercising crimestop is still a despised thought criminal though, the truly elite hold their holy status not by having pure thoughts- those are for fools- but by exercising power over those who are intelligent enough to see the truth, but not brave enough to hold it fully in their minds.

Freedom is found in the truth. One of my primary character defects has been to see myself primarily in relation to other human beings, and not in relation to the truth. If they don’t acknowledge my truth, if only to recognize my experience as legitimate, I’m not a legitimate human being. But liars are never going to acknowledge the truth on any level, because they can’t.

The truth, known on a conscious level, is the weapon that slays the demon.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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4 Responses to The Sword and the Demon

  1. PA says:

    I like this post. It reads like something anti-communist dissidents wrote decades ago.

    It’s been fifteen years since I read “The Captive Mind” by Czeslaw Milosz. It is time to reread it.

    • Hizzle says:

      “The God that Failed” is a good book, featuring various essays from former communists who had become disenchanted. Andre Gide’s conversion was the most stark. His position essentially went from “Communism is the only thing that can save humanity” to “Communism is the most evil thing in the world.” It takes guts, though, to admit you were spectacularly wrong. The worst kind of person (*cough* David Frum) never admits they were wrong.

  2. Hizzle says:

    Once you know the truth, and state the truth, and the other party acknowledges it, you may feel temporarily vindicated and sane. But, lo and behold, the next morning that same person who acknowledged your point yesterday is now repeating their same lies with renewed force. This happens all the time when I extract partial concessions from friends by merely stating the truth, that the Neocons were really Left Wing, that Wall Street and the investment/financial services sector are mostly democrats, or that immigration hurts working class people economically. They’ll all admit it, and then start up with the same lies the next day, as if they never heard me or even remember acknowledging I was right.

    The demon wins through attrition. Eventually you become exhausted screaming truth into a chasm of lies too large to hold the sound of your voice.

  3. CivilMadman says:

    In my own cosmology, the demon can be defeated with the sword,provided that sword is imbued with the power of light through means of prayer,incantation, or as you put it, “a magical spell of some sort”.

    The sword can become a vehicle for the power of God, every religion says so, and thus imbued may be stronger than the sum of its parts.

    My surefire demon-slaying technique is to hold my energized sword aloft, summon all my courage and faith, and bring the sword down with a mighty cry of ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”. And then, to make that statement a reality, should I be forced to.

    I’ve found the truth to be of limited utility. Our foes make up whatever truth they hold to as they go along. If they got it into their heads that they could breathe unassisted underwater, and you held their heads down in a toilet bowl for a while and let them splash around for a bit, they’d come back up for air with a list of reasons why they’re STILL “right” and you’re STILL “wrong”.

    However, they are cowards and when you bring the forces of God’s or Nature’s righteous and undeniable power to bear on them, they run and hide behind the nearest badge-shaped object.

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