hygienic dark retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham

formerly darkroomretreat.com

politics: distributed and centralized

2022 December 22

Politics is the set of principles that guides the official use of force in a society. There are two kinds:

  • individualism, which is distributed in nature
  • collectivism, which is centralized in nature

This post will explore and contrast them.


Individualist politics respects individual life and choice. It uses the force of a dsitributed state to uphold the rights of each man to his life, liberty, property. That is, his body, movements, and possessions.

Individualism entails self-valuing social dynamics. Everyone is a statesman and seeks the values life requires—its normal conditions—protecting himself along the way, sometimes with help.

An individualist form of government is distributed: in the hands of the individuals whose rights are at stake in any given case. The right to self-defense is the basic principle involved. A man makes his own laws with contracts, protects himself with the help of security services, and settles disputes using independent adjudicators.

Individualist government is possible by two things: knowledge of philosophy and law, and sufficient personal power. This power is a function of vitality which comes from health. If power is low, it is from a mixture of bad ideas and poor health. By alternating profound rest and study, this can be fixed.

The basis for contracts is The Precepts, a 200-word, non-binding statement of rights, meta-political principles, and basic crimes. Traditional Maxims of Law further aid everyone’s understanding of law.

We all have an individualist, distributed form of government in various ways. We use it every time we handle a matter of life and limb ourselves. It might be a moment of heroism or routine use of a traditional system we take for granted. It is also in the actually voluntary nature of systems we think are compulsory. The right of contract is operating against us there.

We have been blinded to it through traumatic conditioning (brainwashing). This happened through medical birth, parental absence, screen technology, factory food, laws limiting children’s liberty, and school. Most of us are only obliquely aware of our participation in the distributed state. Our facility with it is damaged and atrophied. But this can be fixed.


Collectivist politics denies individual life and choice. It posits a super-organism of which everyone is but a cell with only an illusion of will or choice. It uses a centralized state to enforce total physical control over everyone through the means of his body, movements, and possessions.

Collectivism entails self-sacrifice by everyone. Statesmen sacrifice by seeking the fake value of control over others. The more others are controlled, the less value they produce. The value of the control dwindles. The brutality necessary to get it increases. Citizens sacrifice real values, often by force, to pay for the insane process.

A collectivist form of government is centralized: in the hands of central bodies. These include legislatures, courts, executives. Executives control police forces, armies, spies, and various agencies. They are supposed to do everything for us. We are supposed to keep our heads down, work, pay for it, and obey.

This is the kind of government we are aware of. The loudest voices in society give it their exclusive attention. It is how their position is ensured. Media would have little place if each of us dealt with his political affairs directly.

Central bodies exist because people delegate their power to their member representatives by writing constitutions, voting, and paying taxes. The central bodies then handle political issues. People give up their power through delegation this because they are damaged, afraid, and misinformed.

Delegation makes the members of the central bodies responsible for everyone else’s well-being. It is inherently altruistic and collectivist. It is imbalanced. People in the central bodies are driven power mad. They become part of a psychopathic system. If you find that your country is mad, you are in the grips of a collectivist state.

People outside the central bodies have lost their power, so they become desperate for power. They become beggars or criminals for it. We see the craven behavior of the public toward the state and others. Everyone scrambles for resources inside an intensifying vacuum.


Society, like the world, is naturally a plenum. It can be again. Nature provides a way back to that state. Once a few individuals recover their living power, they will move others to recover theirs. Nothing conducts faster through people than life force. Capacity for correct ideas about politics will return. The disastrous situation of the last several millennia can begin to turn around within months and be totally reversed within a few years.

I found the way back and developed it into a practical method. It requires a place and a team. It will take three years. I have described the process. I discuss the politics further in two other recent blog posts, individualism and scene: freedom, and notes toward an individualist distributed hyperstate. The overall method is simple, quick, cheap, pleasant, and rational. Read my book, try it, and see the plausibility of it for yourself.

< tarzan