hygienic dark retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham

formerly darkroomretreat.com

Mechanics of Mass Slavery

a drive-by analysis

We begin with The Edukators, an excellent German film from 2009.


Twenty-something JAN and his two anarchist accomplices are hiding with their captive, the bourgeois HARDENBERG. Like his kidnappers, Hardenberg was once a young radical.


How can someone with your past live the way you do? You must have had ideals.


My father told me, “Under 30 and not liberal, no heart. Over 30 and still liberal, no brains.”


Yeah, right. But I don’t believe that crap. It’s the standard excuse of guys like you.


It happens slowly, gradually. You hardly notice it.

One day, you abandon your old car. You want a dependable car, with air conditioning, a warranty.

You get married, raise a family, buy a house. The kids need a good education. That costs money. Security! You create endless debts so you need a career to pay them. So you do like they do.

Then one day, to your surprise, at the polls, you vote conservative.


In this little myth, which today, billions live out (or want to), Hardenberg gives a neat summary of the mechanics of mass slavery in global industrial collectivism, especially in its developed economies.

Though every item he mentions serves a necessary function of life, its form is corrupt, inapt, artificial. All of these forms arise from the mass psychosis of civilization in its modern mode. Life presents no objective demand for these psychotic forms. All of them (column 1) can be retired and replaced by sane, natural systems (column 2) that are cheaper, easier, more effective, and more enjoyable by 2-3 orders of magnitude:

psychotic sane
car walking, backpack, rolling suitcase, handtruck, bicycle & trailer, pack animal, car co-op, bus, boat, train, zepellin
marriage love
nuclear family extended family
house shelter
education freedom & adult availability
centralized bank notes mutual credit, cryptocurrency, frugality, natural abundance
security sociality
debt simplicity, foraging livelihood
career pursuing multiple interests and genuine talents
selling out selfhood
centralized state distributed state*

Throughout my writings, I have tried in various ways to expose the artificial forms and present the natural ones, eg, Tribal Housing. Since the house is the most expensive and isolating item above, it anchors our slavery within this system. The house necessitates the other elements. If you have a house, you must get a job to pay for it. To get to work and psychically buffer oneself against its impositions, one likely requires a car.

The trap is set. The house becomes nothing more than a personalized prison cell entailing 30 years of indentured servitude. Observe that “mortgage” means death pledge. Servitude, in the form of a job, leads to time-scarity and parental neglect. The car is the gateway drug of consumer financing and global devastation (as well as a portable Russian Roulette game for the whole family).

Social isolation erodes security. Fear leads to credit card shopping sprees. Debt engenders dreams of freedom, at least for one’s children. Ironically, parents force these dreams on their offspring. Thus, we arrive at education and selling out. One ends the fiasco at the polls, where one tries to compensate for this lifestyle with a indignantly righteous opinion about who should be left holding the bag.

Inasmuch as these are all more or less corollary factors arising from pandemic psychosis, I suppose the causation could be switched around. One fellow I talked to recently said it is college debt that leads to everything else. Not even a career, but the pursuit of a career does it due to everything a career entails and makes one feel entitled to these days. Perhaps because I was raised by an architect, I’m thrifty, and I avoided college, I’m biased towards the house argument. Maybe it would be better to start with conformity. Or something not on Hardenberg’s list, like a family disaster: a death, catastrophic illness/accident, or bankruptcy. That’s fine, but all these elements of the trap come into play in our lives one way or another. And radical analysis leads to the same conclusion: no one needs any of this crap.


*See Ayn Rand’s work, the Tannehills’ Market for Liberty, and Heinlein’s Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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