virus: Manipulation 101, Lesson #15

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 15:38:14 -0800

Lesson #15:
Use any opportunity to promote your case, while making friends.

The lessons are getting more and more advanced, so "keep an open
mind", please.

Tim wrote:
>I might, in such a situation, do what some of your more ballsy compatriots
>did, THINK FOR MYSELF! Have a strike (you've heard of those right?),
>stage a march, protest, force out the Govt and tear down a few walls. I
>don't know if these techniques work. I can't think of any examples, off
>hand, where it has worked to depose a Communist system, can you? (yes, I'm
>being a smart ass here)

Yes, "thinking for oneself" is the best way. Also trying new ways,
like strikes -- which were officially forbidden in Poland.
Protesting. Can you imagine that I *really* believed for some time
that there was "freedom of speech" in Poland? Officially you could
organize any manifestation, but you had to get a permission (you
know, "traffic regulations", etc.) so people who asked once, never
asked anymore (they were not all put in jail, some of them were
given "extras" for cooperating (like cognac and cigars, just
kidding, I can't stop myself...)).

When strikes started in August 1980, the main concept (or 'meme')
was to get enough people who can "think for themselves" (which was
not an easy job -- Walesa and people like him were in and out of
jail), some were afraid ("I have children to feed" quite a real
threat), some were opportunistic (and squeal on others), many
simply did not understand what the battle was about. At some point
Walesa said "now" and they all stopped working (lots of them scared
to death). "Why?" -- the management asks -- "Because you are
parasites" -- they say. Look at those party members who fool
around instead of working! We are fed up with them. And the
management is not making our work easier -- the tools are braking
down, everything is a mess...

Yes, that's one way of changing the world you live in. I chose
another way: I left Poland in 1981. I was hurt before: suspended
from the university for one year in 1968 and let go (after two days
of work) from my first job as a TA in 1971 at the same university,
because the party secretary found out about my "past" (officially
I was "never employed" there). I was never allowed to work at any
university in Poland. I did not contribute much to the changes in
Poland, when I left.

It took nine more years, but the parasites were peacefully removed
from power. It seems they are coming back, but now they know that
they have to work in order to stay in power, and some of them are
discovering, how exciting and rewarding real work can be!

I think, there is also a hope for this list. David R. called it a
war. Maybe it's more a revolution than a war (and I hope Dave P.'s
brother will not pretend to threaten us anymore :-)). Yes, it's
great we don't have to fear that much. I know, the parasites from
this list (if there are any) will go away or change. I know it
does not matter if I leave this list (like I left Poland), the
positive changes will occur regardless (the Objectivism will win!
:-)). But it's so much more fun to be a part of the change when it
happens (even if it hurts a little).

>Unfortunately, I get the impression that you may be a bricklayer by
>trade. You seem more interested in building walls than tearing them down.

Good comparison. I really think "building" is more important, but
I don't mind tearing down walls. Arn't "the lessons" tearing down
the egos?

BTW, comrade Tim, I will send you a cheque for $50 if you find
where I specifically called a person from this list a "parasite"
(not that I think that there arn't any).

Wait a second -- and avid student of the "Manipulation 101 Course"
may say -- who is manipulating here?

I am. Well, I agree we should rather call it "influence" in *this* case.

A note for all students: I was badly bitten by The Chief Viral
Engineer last night. I was trying to write something to bite him
until 2.00 am (he's good, oh, he is excellent, his sword moves so
fast and makes invisible cuts). Then I said "tomorrow is another
day" and this morning I see miracles: Richard is speaking as
"Richard" again (quite a gentle one too) -- I knew, no name calling
will move him, but the "truth" button made him speak! I want to
write a longer post to him (and find out more about the viruses who
keep stopping his book from being published in Polish, it's not a
joke). Glenn wrote two interesting posts I want to say something
about. But "first things first". I don't want to stop my best
friend David R. with lesson 16 (amazing, we never heard of each
other a month ago and now he is so dear to me).

I am exhausted, so this will be my only post for today. My memes
are in good health, even those viral ideas of attacking other
people are well tamed now as new *memes* (not viruses) in my

The question how to honestly deal with parasites was buried under
skilful manipulation and lots of debris must be removed. The three
axioms can wait a little. The new big threat of post-communism,
pardon me, post-rationalism has entered the scene according to the
master-plan: with a heavy artillery bombardment on both sides, so
nobody will notice this mind-mine.

But this is not a real war. Good. Those things can wait. I am
going for a walk now. Life is beautiful.

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159