New is the planetary nature of the conflict, whose local precedent lies in the Socratic resolution to value a plant higher than an empire, resp. his awareness of the consequences of willful collaboration in the latter – which makes even Plato almost appear like human given that out of his remainder there speaks the undigested Socrates. Of course, by all standards of rational ethics the fact that precisely this had been intended by doing so is to be described as barbarian hypocrisy. The repetition brings out the farcical aspect of the precedent – that he did not do what was told to him, or the opposite thereof, but what he knew was best to bring about the failure of the empire. This allowed nothing but the worst self-accusation of all to smear his memory – that his last no to imperialism would have been obedience to it, to repress the perception that the plant had originally sent him on the mission it reportedly called him back from later. Socrates had found no way how to turn the projected death wish against its originators, hence the plant recalled him, and his enemies claimed it as their idea just like everything they had stolen from him before.
The weapons of logic can only bring about the failure of empire but not directly make it happen, and not neutralise its destructive forces. To do so there would have to be a purpose in imperialism, but in a planetary disease obviously there is not, at least not as long as it is still there - and anyone it chose against will as its philosopher king can only live on the death row of imperialist exploitation for so long. In the case of ancient Greece the death of Socrates, who might have preferred to live to see it, brought about the end of that instance of empire beyond his life expectancy, which is still preferable to the continuation of empire by collaboration.
Today, if there was such a person whom the planetary empire chose as its main enemy, the technological factor would make the most significant difference. The time span for the causality between the individual choice of the leading intellectual opponent to make no half things, and rather die entirely than partially with the rest of the existence living on for an empire (which might not only make that empire appear more humane, but also have less incentives to actually behave more humane), and its philosophical consequence, the end of that empire, is no longer determined by a fixed minimum. The technological factor sets the minimum effect time to approach zero, but it also increases the potential for continuation of the empire by false speculation.
Whether this time span is above the remaining individual life expectancy is no longer determined by the pace of technology but a matter of political will. When there is consensus to bring the empire to an end before the main enemy dies, then the implementation thereof is no less likely than any other historical progress. If the precondition for that required by consensus is the intellectual failure of the empire, then such choice for that case opens a way for the main enemy to survive as whole and not be called by the plant to return to the philosopher kingdom in her shadow.
The project is therefore to create the technological automatism which transforms the intellectual failure of an empire into its actual end. From the view of the philosophical opponent empire failure is the case when it cannot be convinced by rational argument that its life expectancy as a social entity is limited by political will, and responds to rational challenges by the means of an individual with ad hominem attacks by the means of an empire. Philosophically, the ending of empires is an external administrative task with a deliberate advance of total immunity and anonymity and no imperative or representative power at all.
It would be a bottleneck designed to leave through nothing but the intellectual challenge, especially provide no channel for ad hominem attack against anyone. This is necessary to ease the imperial temptation to compensate its lack of imagination with disproportionate material efforts. Such an empire would probably receive the advice how to end with minimal or no damage to individuals in its grip and avoid the gruesome symptoms of continuation by false speculation. The according philosophical interface would have to be untouchable for that empire by fundamental principle, because if it was not entirely outside of its infighting then the abolition process could be gravely complicated by recursion problems such as ad hominem attacks e. g. resulting from ignorance of the necessity of abolition.
An entity which takes away from the messenger of abolition the very rights that person is working to preserve beyond its existence completely nullifies any legitimation to exist, if it ever had one. It might be abusive, for otherwise it would not have become an empire, but once it is so towards the actual or expected messenger of its nonlethal abolition it signs its own death warrant, which it can only try to postpone from thereon. To end in a nonlethal way, empire would be required to have blind respect of the individual preset and implemented if not in its political life then at least for any response to rational challenge outside conflicts of interests. If this is not the case, and it remains without any serious precedent, empire is lethal and the philosophical intention to minimise death leads to the effort to end the empire in the first place.
Once the intellectual failure of the empire comes to the awareness of anyone who had not been concerned before, usually there is a backlog of false speculation and ad hominem attacks it had been using to delay that moment, and which require to be discontinued immediately. If the main intellectual opponent has been deliberately exploited by the empire then the time span thereof has accumulated a number of perpetrators who cannot coexist with the philosophical opponent or vice versa, because with their total rejection of independence they have already deprecated any other form of coexistence than exploitation.
While in the Socratic precedent there is no choice for anyone confronting an empire which does not know respect of the messenger of abolition, because the technological factor delays consequences too far, in the planetary empire the choice of giving death instead to the perpetrators of such attack is a matter of political will and analysis. Death as such is irreversible, and when total exploitation continued for too long then it cannot be discontinued without it anymore, but if there is political will to value a plant and its followers more than an empire then the main intellectual opponent still has a chance to survive. The alternative is not coexistence but the death of that opponent and the continuity of that empire against any political will, because any compromise was excluded by the exploitation.
When an empire dies of intellectual failure it can take a very long time. If political will and technological possibility are available to accelerate the process, by doing so it is possible to minimise death. When the possibility of zero death by no more exploitation of the main philosophical opponent from the moment of the intellectual defeat of the empire onwards is already lost, the number can still be brought to a minimum by discontinuing the empire as soon as anyhow possible. This would be tiny numbers in comparison to the risks in the continuity of its destructive forces or the world population, about one percent of which amounts to a country of the size of Germany, to provide a rough idea, although planetary empire does not draw its perpetrators from one nation alone.
Probably a political development recognising these facts would lead to knowledge of smaller and more specific numbers of irreversible perpetrators. Not because they have become intimate enemies of the targeted individual who tried to end empire without death, but because by doing so they are irreconcilable enemies of everyone interested in it to end.
At this point the question might come up for the role of the masses as a political element in a situation framed as a conflict between individual and empire. It must be assumed that the efforts made by the empire to chose mortal hostility with specific individuals and how it makes such selections will only be transparent in all their gross disproportionality when it has been ended. By definition, empire is an entity which produces masses, but at the same time does not allow any masses to be independent, i.e. it is interested that individuals are keeping each other dependent from it, and which therefore can only be intellectually challenged aside from the masses, because that is the only position possibly independent enough to allow to build the momentum to do so.
The dilemma of the masses is that mass struggle, as far as any is possible at all, cannot be led by any philosophical opponent – because challenging the very foundations of empire does remain without face, coming out of and returning back into the masses without any ambition for celebrity, fame and status – but must rise out of their common conditions towards the ambition of abolition as the only possible consensus after every smaller goal has failed. It is a philosophical challenge however to build such political will within the dependency from empire and exposed to its efforts to continue to exist against any reason.
The denial of any possibility of independence, of any imaginable alternative, the hollow principle of imperialism which has no other purpose than its own denial, has been mirrored in the same sense as imperialism is plagiarising its philosophical opponents, which probably is the cause for religious monotheism and the concepts of rigid jurisdiction linked to it. This is as little or as much of the so-called barbarianism as the imperialist claim for universalism, the promise to end empire if not possible without then with death, trying to keep itself up with proxy aggressions. The religious anti-imperialism with all its small-minded restrictions against everything it can somehow try to culturally associate with empire is precisely such an attempt to provide a solution against the lethality of imperialism, establishing the potential to end it in the only way that does really end it after it had gone that far.
If religious law is being applied against empire, as it should when it does not respect any vital needs for independence, the implementation thereof must not replace it with another such as in the case of ancient Rome, but make it entirely go away. Of course it can be necessary to cut off the heads of imperialists, but once they are all dead there is no longer a lack of alternatives which would require permanent death penalty. Once empire ends such law has a specific purpose to clear the legacy and get done with the perpetrators, but when that is achieved there is not any more purpose in it than in any empire.
Instead of a permanent replacement, religious law is a material claim for removal thereof which has forgotten its own origins and purpose because empire already has been around for too long. Once it is universally understood that ending empire always has been the only purpose of it all, this dream of so many generations of humans but not only them becomes a possible reality. Only when the last empire is abolished once and for all, humanity is as free as it was in its tribal life, until that has been achieved it remains as unfree as it was there.
Counter Assassination Underground