How can we fight back against people who control a vast military, financial, information, and surveillance machine?
Fiona Jenkins, via Off-Guardian
The problem is even worse than you suggest. Not only do they control a vast military, the whole financial apparatus, a massive and invasive system for information indoctrination and narrative control, and a sprawling inescapable system of surveillance, but, in addition to all this, we the people are entirely dependent on their system for our very survival. As it stands right now, there is no safe place in the world for anyone to escape this system. You are absolutely right to wonder, what can we do?
I disagree however with your proposal that a potentially viable solution is the one expressed by Moti Nissani in his article The Al-Sabbah Brigade. Anyway, his solution is not my solution. I will say, however, that his formulation of the problem we are facing is excellent. His analysis of the situation we find ourselves in is very good, and I encourage anyone who doubts the claims that a revolution is necessary to read the piece. I disagree with him mostly, almost exclusively, on his proposed solution to the problems we are facing.
First of all, setting the deeply troubling ethical issues with his proposal aside, consider the practical effects his solution would have. If some group of people started going around assassinating people, the main stream media would absolutely have heyday. The assassins wouldn’t stand a chance against the media firestorm that would surely follow. Not only that, but given the capabilities of the prevailing surveillance state, these individuals would be quickly located, rounded up, and made an example of. This solution simply cannot work.
The failure in his analysis, what leads to his adoption of this violent proposal, is a failure to see the progression that non-violent resistance movements have made over the years. Nissani writes,
Pacifist strategies are sublimely appealing, but they too are doomed to flounder. Jesus of Nazareth relied on them, as did Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and all three failed to unseat the villains or improve the human condition. Their appeal to non-violence merely led to their own violent demise. All three, and so many others of our best and brightest, were murdered because they had not seen that their enemies were compassion-less.
The Al-Sabbah Brigade, Moti Nissani
First, none of these three failed to improve the human condition. All of them, at the very least, shifted the Overton window. Even more, each of them inspired movements of peoples in their wake dedicated to principles of non-violence, peace, and brotherly love. While an argument can easily be made that there have been successful attempts to subvert the message of peace these individuals presented, one cannot deny that the principles they presented did indeed multiply and spread throughout the world.
Secondly, crucially, Nissani fails to recognize the progress the ideas of peace have made over the years. Where once a man was quickly and brutally killed for preaching principles of peace, love, and equality among men. Now the ideas these men expressed have become more and more mainstream, up to the point we find ourselves today where the majority of people are convinced that peace is the ideal. It is now accepted as fact, almost without exception, what was revolutionary in the times of Jesus Chris, that every human being is created equal. To suggest there is some “lesser” or “evil” race of people has been thoroughly debunked, and is no longer acceptable in modern discourse.
It is this trend that should give us hope. It is easy to see that progress is being made, even if it seems we are backsliding right now. It is true, the masters of the world are pushing back hard against the principles of peace and equality right now. They would very much like to go back to a time when people accepted their right to rule unquestioningly, but this cannot be. Peace will be established on earth, these evil rulers will eventually fall, this is an absolute certainty.
It is a certainty because it is actually, logically, better for people to live peacefully. The principles that Jesus Christ professed, taking care of the poor and the weak, of cooperation and working together, of being peaceful… These are the better way to live, and when people actually consider it, they recognize it is true. What the rulers have been doing for all these years is lying and covering up these truths. They have been working to cover up this truth because they know that if enough people catch on, then the game is up.
As I argued previously in my article, The Kingdom of Heaven is an Idea, when Jesus Christ prophesied about the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven, he was not talking about the magical appearance of a bunch of buildings falling out of the sky like space ships, he was talking about an idea spreading to enough of the minds of Humankind so that Humankind itself would be transformed. The transformation would take place within the hearts and minds of Humans, and would then manifest in the earth as a new and better form of living. This is the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. As Jesus put it,
He told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is an idea, like yeast spreading through dough, this idea is spreading through the minds of Humankind. When enough people become dedicated to the principles of peace and brotherly love, then the Kingdom of Heaven will come on earth. Then justice will truly be established on earth. This is what we are all waiting for, so this is what we must continue working for, to spread and implement these ideas.
However, supposing you agree with me about what I have said so far, perhaps you will complain that I have not offered much in terms of concrete actions. If I have persuaded you not to become an assassin, I have nonetheless offered very little in the way of a solution to the problems I noted at the beginning of this article, (other than the unsatisfying “spreading and implementing ideas of peace”). I will try to remedy that.
In my mind, the greatest problem we face right now is our absolute dependence on an unfriendly system. Right now people are very weak. Most of us are poor. We are required to work a lot, and we receive just enough pay to survive. Few of us have much of or any social safety net to rely on, which means we are effectively enslaved. Therefore, our first steps to freeing ourselves from this situation is to build a community. We need to network, get connected with other people, and we need to get organized as a group. We can find safety in numbers.
How do we do this? I will propose an algorithm for doing this, but first let me just point out the beauty of using such algorithmic solutions to these problems.
The first notable feature is that algorithms can spread. In fact, because we humans are all so well connected these days, an algorithm can spread really quickly. Think of the way a YouTube video goes viral, in a matter of days or even hours a new video can reach hundreds of millions of people. The same is true of an algorithm. It can go viral and spread to the whole world, practically instantly.
The second amazing thing about these algorithms is that they can be designed with decentralization in mind. They can be made general enough to work in almost any situation or location. Designed properly, they are a simple template, which anyone anywhere can implement. Done properly, their use frees us from typical constraints of organizing a movement. There is no need for explicit designation of leadership or of detailed long term planning. If we design this algorithm right, people should be able to simply start doing it, and in a matter of time a movement should materialize from the ground up.
Finally, before I propose an algorithmic solution to the problem, I want to admit that this may not be the solution, it is simply my first draft attempt at a solution. I hope people will consider this as a starting point which can be modified or improved upon.
Algorithm: Start A Revolution
If it’s Saturday:
- In the morning, get self and if possible the whole family ready to go to a meeting. Dress appropriately, if the only available meeting space is outside, dress for the weather. Pack lunch, bring extra for others.
- Go to the local meeting area if one has been established, or to a local park if one has not been established.
- If you’re the first one there, advertize your presence so others can find you. There are a number of ways to signal to others that this is a meeting place. If you’re really well prepared, maybe you put a sign up. If not, just put a flag, or really any bright colorful object, up high in a tree to get people’s attention, then set up a few chairs beneath it and wait.
- If no one arrives to the park: Check other local parks. Also check social media. The website Meetup.com could be a powerful tool for organizing meetings.
- At the park, begin networking. Talk. Let kids go play with kids, if necessary with some parental and teenage supervision, and parents talk with parents. Whoever happens to be there gets to work organizing.
- Initially people should break up into small discussion groups, groups of 5-10 people, where people discuss issues and potential solutions. Then each discussion group nominates a speaker to take part in a larger group discussion with the whole group. The whole group works to identify problems as well solutions to these problems.
- Prior to leaving the group decides on future meeting dates and locations. Members collaborate to whatever extent possible. Members work together to form a close-knit organization. People within the group collaborate regularly. This local group becomes a kind of safety net, eventually, hopefully, a tight-knit and reliable community.
- Finally, once meetings are established locally, the group continues work locally, but also begins to establish ties to other groups in the area. The group nominates representatives to attend other meetings in each area in order to establish an even larger and stronger network. Eventually members from local groups travel further to regional meetings, national meetings, and eventually, hopefully, global meetings.
The whole point of this is to bring people together and to establish a real, useful safety net. The long term goal of this, the ideal outcome, would be the development of a self-reliant and self-sustaining community. That goal will take time. It will almost certainly require people to relocate and to join together in a communal way of life where the community works together to sustainably provide for all its members. However, long before that goal is reached, this community group provides another crucially important function. It is shelter from the storm.
A storm is coming folks. There are a couple of events simultaneously occurring in the world right now. Either of them taken alone would be cause for concern, but together they will certainly create a terrible storm.
First, the global economy is going to collapse, it isn’t certain when, but it is now on the horizon. The “Everything Bubble” as many commentators call it, is about to pop, and when it does there will be an increase in social unrest worldwide. This event alone will make a community safety net worthwhile.
Second, there is also a geopolitical shift taking place, U.S. hegemony is being challenged, and is coming to an end. The leaders of the U.S. however are unwilling to accept this, and they will fight to maintain control. Unfortunately, the only real card they have left to play, their ace in the hole, is their military might, (as their economic might is fading). They will almost certainly attempt to utilize their military might to reestablish global dominance, however, in the actual multi-polar world we now live in, their attempt will be resisted and forcefully. This means war is coming, eventually, and this war will be a major one. This is Another reason a community safety net will be necessary. During the turmoil a war will certainly bring, having people to rely on will be priceless.
Also worth mentioning, it isn’t unrealistic to think that martial law will also eventually be established. Violence will likely be done at home as well as abroad. If there is economic collapse and a war, you can be certain that domestic measures will soon follow for “keeping public order”. This is a third reason you want to have a social safety net established beforehand.
Okay, one last thing to consider: How can we know when to start doing an algorithm? Well, suppose I never publish this article, but I nonetheless start going down to my local park every Saturday, hanging some bright colorful object from a tree there and sitting underneath it, I won’t accomplish anything. Though people may give me some funny looks.
Clearly, until enough people are both aware of this plan as well as willing to try it, doing the plan will be ineffective. However, if I do publish this article, it could go viral. At some point, when some minimum number of people have decided they like it and want to try it, then actually doing it will be effective.
What is this minimum number? I don’t know. I suggest we talk about it. Maybe some intrepid individual could do some formal calculations and try to reason about what kind of social media support is likely necessary before an algorithm might work. Maybe we make an educated guess, and then just try it out and see how it goes. Whatever the case, we can use social media popularity as a useful indicator of the likelihood any algorithm has of succeeding if tested. We can consider this factor, and at some point simply decide, “Okay everybody, on Saturday, let the meetings begin”.
Maybe this algorithm isn’t perfect, maybe it needs revising before enough people want to try it out. The point is, it is a start. This is a basic, first draft framework for how to start organizing ourselves into a resilient network. This is my hopeful first attempt at a plan to help us actively prepare for the troubling times ahead.
Thank you for reading, and God Bless you.
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The nature of the problem is still seen as in the ‘world’ and so it is enacted over and over upon the body of the world. Everyone contributes their part to such a ‘script’ – until the mind is released of its own negatively reinforcing feedback loop.
Definitions and core beliefs are the living Template of a distorted experience of relations. To ‘sweep out’ the interjection’ of false devotions from the ‘Template’ is to be restored to conscious unified purpose – that is a ‘single idea’ infinitely expressed which is already ‘given’ you in your creation – ie: is innate or inherent to your being.
The world you see is the world you share or rather teach and learn. Learning to see truly is learning to look at the mind that makes the world even while dealing with the world.
Fighting evil is not the same as standing in true witness – though it may seem like resisting or fighting evil to others. Evil and fear is to be undone – not destroyed by evil by forms of ‘good’.
Trying to escape or evade a feared outcome is not aligning in true desire. For the purpose we hold aligns the meanings we give and receive from our experience.
The purpose of fear or conflicted mind, denied and plastered over with narrative, is survival at cost of true and this is not the same as the conscious acceptance of truth and its expression as ‘our life’.
The mind will not challenge its own predicates until its world is undone – because its world is the reinforcement to the belief.
The creative nature of mind never stops.
Mind can create the true – as an extension of its own creation, or the false – as a limiting, filtering, blocking, distortion and substitution or usurpation for the true. None of which exist outside of the meanings and allegiances given then by believers – who know not what they do. Being afraid, in self-protective denial, and unaware of their own cock crowing.
The deconstruction of the self-illusion is not its destruction by ‘righteousness’ claimed or assigned by self-illusion as if to have the last word. But rather the undoing of the capacity to find support, and thus the necessity to choose to either question its own consciousness and world, or more and more consciously accept and align in stark insanity, self-betrayal and destructive belief and consequence.
The turning about of the face of the ‘Son’ to face the Father, is entirely predicated upon willingness or true desire – lost to the mind given to adaptation under a tyrannous dictate.
Eyes that see and ears that hear – refer to vision restored. Evil is its own destruction, or put less archaically, fear operates its own self-fulfilling prophecy. No one releases fear that is protected by being kept hidden.
No one accepts love for themself and keeps fear as their secret self.
Fear paints a world that love undoes and purifies, through willingness, not through dictates of judgemental ‘narrative’ control.
We are painted in a corner, by beliefs and definitions that seem unchallengeably real.
The mind is not as the mind paints itself to be.
Reality is not what we think.
In trying to escape or overcome the problem do we make it real for us in the forms of our personal strategy. But in abiding in ‘not knowing’ as the ground through which a true desire can rise of itself – are the predicates of our thought system opened to light.
But what we think runs as if an automaton, until awakening to that you both have and are a choice – now, and always now – for the mind never sleeps – regardless our conscious awareness of it.
Therefore it is not a question of whether to create – but what to accept as the ground or foundation of your own thought. Main stream media is a symbol in the world for the lies that support and protect vested hidden agenda – unwatched, unchecked, unaccountable purpose running in your own mind that loves you not!
The broom is the transformation of outrage to an inner cleansing determination. Willingness makes the shift from justified hate to a just love – that is with what is as the willingness to learn, recognize and extend truth – in what may seem loveless or painted in the forms of the wish to pass off as true.
The Answer waits only on willing acceptance that of itself communicates by demeanour and relational communication – beneath the problem – to where willingness needs to grow.
The world is a construct – and it is a physical experience – both. The re-contextualising of the experience of self and world as purposed expression is a shift within to a recognition that was covered over or forgotten amidst the struggle and drama of a conflicted self.
The world is a collective construct in which we play a part – both in its reinforcement as a ‘separated’ sense of self, and in the acceptance of the undoing of separation.
There is a shared world beneath the archeypal fears and power struggles. In any moment of willingness this can extend through us and find witnesses. But while we are only seeking answers in terms of the problem we set up and suffer – we see life not – though it is all around us.
Concept, curtains, carpets and blinds.
This is what makes sense to me now today
The Fatherhood of God
By a study of nature, that is, by trying to understand the laws of cause and effect, which govern all that is happening around us, we recognise that there is a creative force in the universe. This force, or energy, not only created the whole universe but life itself in its many forms and is continuing to create today, creating, not from nothing, but of itself, and the effects of this eternal creation can be seen around us today, even in the farthest reaches of outer space, as has been shown in its astounding grandeur by the remarkable photographs taken through the medium of the Hubble telescope. This leads us to acknowledge that God, the Creative Force, manifests directly or indirectly in all things. We know this power as God and, as we are a part of the life created by God, we acknowledge God as our Father.
The Brotherhood of Man
Because we all come from the same universal Life source we are, in effect, one large family. This means that all mankind is part of a brotherhood. A brotherhood is a community for mutual support and comfort; we are all members of the same divine family. We have to understand the needs of other individuals in order to assist them as part of our service to each other. As we learn to give, so must we also learn to receive, thereby achieving the necessary balance for our lives.
The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
Many Spiritualists consider this as the key Principle. All religions believe in life after death but only Spiritualism shows it is true by demonstrating that communication with departed spirits can, and does, take place. Spiritualist churches and centres provide many of the venues where communication, through mediumship, is possible and many loved relatives and friends take advantage of this opportunity to continue to show an interest in our welfare and us.
The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. This is an old scientific axiom which research continues to confirm. If we accept this, and there is no reason why we should not, we need to know what happens when the present form of energy reaches the end of its viability. The answer is, simply, that it changes its manifestation. Spirit is energy and is therefore indestructible. On the death of the physical body the spirit continues as an integral part of a world which interpenetrates our world in different dimensions: this other world is referred to as the spirit world. In spirit life we have a spirit body that is a replica of our earthly body but it is a much finer form. We are the same individuals in every way, with the same personalities and characteristics, and we change only by progression, or otherwise, as a result of our own efforts.
This Principle is the one which places responsibility for wrongful thoughts and deeds where it belongs, with the individual. It is the acceptance of responsibility for every aspect of our lives, and the use to which we put our lives depends entirely upon ourselves. It is not possible for any other person or outside influence to interfere with our spiritual development, unless we are willing to allow this. As we are given freedom of choice (freewill), so also are we given the ability to recognise what is right and wrong for our own spirituality. We are personally responsible for all our words, deeds and thoughts.
Compensation and Retribution Hereafter for all the Good and Evil Deeds done on Earth
As with all other Principles, natural laws apply; this one echoes the Law of Cause and Effect (‘what goes around, comes around’ ). One cannot be cruel and vindictive towards others and expect love and popularity in return. It should be understood that the compensatory or retributive effects of this law operate now, on earth: they do not wait until we begin to live our lives in the spirit world. With this understanding we can try to put right wrongs that we know we have done before we pass from this life.
Eternal Progress Open to every Human Soul
In most humans there exists the desire for progress and to every human soul belongs the power to advance in wisdom and love. All who desire to tread the path that leads to spiritual wisdom and understanding are able to do so. The rate of progress is directly proportional to the desire for mental and spiritual understanding. It is the realisation that our soul is a part of eternity and the road to progress is open any time we choose to walk it that can help us come to terms with the challenges of this world.
Jo, reminds me of Spinoza: viewing God from outside ourselves (cause and effect) as well as from inside ourselves (conscience). Two new ideas in philosophy / physics since Spinoza / Newton are:
1). Evolution, not only of creatures but of the entire physical (and spiritual?) Universe — Goethe, Hegel, Darwin, modern Cosmology.
2). Quantum theory: Matter as information, blurring the difference between Matter and Mind.
“Because we all come from the same universal Life source we are, in effect, one large family.” I heard a molecular biologist give a Keynote Speech on this topic. Our large family includes not only our cousins the chimps but our ancestors the microbes.Or, as St.Francis was fond of saying, “My brother the Ass”. He said Life on Earth is not so much a family as one giant living organism. Reminded me of the Sanskrit quotation by Schopenhauer: “Whatever thou seest, Tat twam asi (That art thou)”.
Cheers for the thoughts!
Violence works peace doesn’t. Theirs a reason the elite push Gandhi on us and hate on the likes of Guevara and Castro etc
It is correct to say that for many of us, some ideas presented here (perhaps especially in the comments section) could just as well be from another planet. “Peaceful revolution” is a term used in the 1970s to mean, “passive assimilation.” “If you want a revolution, get a protest permit and meet in the designation protest zone where, within the limitations of these guidelines, you may express your views.” There, we gather to have deep theoretical political discussions that, in the end, have no connection with everyday realities.
From there, we leap to the notions of a united push-back against what we can call “the corporate state,” or the “military-industrial complex.” Those in power. We’re way past the point where any of this makes sense.In the US, the bourgeoisie embrace the concept of, “the 1% vs. the 99%.” That’s a fantasy.Since the Reagan/Thatcher era, we have been rich vs. middle class vs. poor, workers vs. their “brothers and sisters” who get phased out of the job market.
Regardless, tomorrow’s another working day for the more fortunate. Figure out who and what your “revolution” is for, and just what you are pushing back against. Maybe we can resume the discussion next weekend.
” I don’t know where he lives, but there are absolutely loads of societies, clubs, and communities (groups of friends), where we live, open and welcoming to anyone of a similar interest from mother and toddler groups to (think of any common social interest)..”
But why not try joining the local Labour party? It might be dominated by bureaucrats, careerists or Blairites, but the chances are that it isn’t and in any case there will be people who will welcome those who like them, have ideas to contribute to making a better world. Maybe go to your Union meeting, many people are members of Unions but never dream of going to meetings-guess who benefits from that?
If that is too much to stomach and you still want to wander around parks looking for like minded folk, at least wear a yellow/orange jacket like the gilets jaunes. And take those cullotes off.
That’s not fair. You are in Canada, if I’m correct? When was the last time you were at a local CLP Meeting? It’s not all Jam and Jerusalem. I’ve offered you my personal experience before …I was ostracised. Plenty of others have had similar experiences: Tony Greenstein is one that can be verified. I’ve still got contacts within the movement. I don’t want to denigrate the entire movement, sufficient to say it’s not necessarily a family social outing either.
People are frustrated, a lot of them don’t trust the major political parties. Even the Greens are neoliberal. Where I live, for some strange reason (ley lines?) there is a significant environmental awareness …that mainstream policies can’t cater for. People don’t just require economic growth: they yearn for spiritual growth. The two are incompatible. Capitalism is anti-holism. Only broken people consume what they (often knowingly ) do not need. The local bio-dynamic community farm has to keep leasing more fields …no one wants Tesco’s milk: not when they can get (incredibly rarely available) raw, organic, bio-dynamic milk and products for only a slight premium (and no single use plastic cartons to dispose of).
So I’m all for not wearing cullotes (unusual slip for you, the sans-culottes were distinguished by not being able to afford silk trews), wooden sabots, Gilet Jaunes …I should be easy to spot! Now, where did I put that phrygean cap?
don’t forget your pitchfork.
I remember that in months preceding the Iraq war, at a meeting of our local Stop the War group, somebody said that we should all join the SWP to which somebody else countered that we should all join CND. Furthermore, it was assumed that anybody who did not consider themselves left wing could not oppose war and as the person responsible for the website, I was instructed that I should remove links to all organisations which were not left leaning. Despite considering myself left leaning at the time, I refused.
I have been a member of two political parties and each time, my membership has been brief mainly down to three factors.
1). The party line – that as soon as you become a member, you are expected to toe it. If you don’t subscribe to the party line, it is a struggle. If you surrender to it, you are malleable and will fit in. If you can go from door to door telling people that you support a party which stands for things you don’t believe in, I guess party politics is for you.
2). Nobody is interested in anything you have to say unless it advances the party line or butters up the person to whom you are talking. If you have strong ideas, they have ways of neutralising them. If you don’t sit at the top table, you don’t count.
3). Nobody is interested in anything you do unless it helps to swell the bank account.
This might sound like sour grapes but I actually feel extremely grateful that I had these experiences and especially that I was naive enough to try a second time because it made an indelible mark which will ensure it won’t happen again. I think and say what I believe. The first-past-the-post electoral system pretty much means that barring a cataclysmic change in public opinion, two party tag team politics will continue because minor parties with more specific policies cannot gain traction against the duopolistic table d’hôte platforms.
(P.S. Sorry if this appears twice, the first time it did not appear – it happens frequently so I always keep a copy!)
I think your experience is general.
Labour has seen a surge of enthusiasm with Jezza’s election, but who would want to wear out any shoe leather for the Blairite filth who make up 80% of the PLP?
I remember when the 2 main parties had memberships of 2 million each. When there were active Tory and Labour clubs in every town. When most working people were in trade unions. When churches and sports clubs and things like amateur dramatic societies were well attended. Most of the churches have been demolished or fallen down. The local cricket club used to get a crowd of 3-4,000. Now it is 150-200. People used to take part. Now they just couldn’t give a t*ss. They can’t be bothered. And you can’t blame them. Maybe they’re right.
General? You make general sound somehow irrelevant.
Labour’s membership peaked and is now falling – not unlike what happened for the SNP after the Scottish Referendum which saw all but two constituencies return an SNP MP. Now the SNP are being seen for what they really are, an authoritarian party with a bizarre understanding of the word independence.
But why would I want to have anything to do with Labour? The best thing about Jeremy Corbyn is that he is anti-EU but he leads a party which is pro-EU and has been forced to toe the party line from the ••••ing top.
You lament the demise of British culture yet fail to recognise that you are humming the tune of a Brexiteer.
You know, some on the left would call you a Nazi for saying stuff like that!
Yes, you have identified why the working class voted to leave the EU and why they felt betrayed by Labour.
The point was about participation, then and now. 2 million Tory party members then v. about 100,000 now, average age 85.
Thanks for your informative reply.
I certainly appreciate the overall sentiments of this article. However, the use of “Christianity” as some example of making the world a better place strikes me as patently absurd. I won’t be a buzz kill by pointing out the specifics of an almost endless list of genocides, slavery, torture and mayhem carried out by Mother Church and her various Protestant permutations over the centuries, but I dare say no other philosophic or religious doctrine in human history has been used to justify as much mayhem as Christianity based on “Christ’s teachings,” no matter how twisted those might have become.
So why not speak of the “values” that might bind us as human beings going forward, rather than turning to any of the Bronze Age patriarchal invisible sky god religions. I dare say it is “because of” Judism, Islam and Christianity, these three interrelated myth systems from the Bronze Age that humanity teeters on the precipice of oblivion.
We were all tribal once, even those of us from a European background. I’ll take typical indigenous myth systems any day. Interconnection, respect for and harmony with the natural world of which we are a part not a “dominator” of, the welfare of all over the wealth and riches of the individual, the realization we are of the earth and we return to the earth, rather than we are god’s authorized pillagers of this earth, etc. etc.
Personally I’m way too painfully well versed in Western historical mayhem to see any hope for our collective earthly “salvation” in the myth systems of Christianity or either of the other two heavily armed Bronze Age patriarchal sky god cults endlessly fighting for domination. Claiming one has the “true” interpretation of the Christian myth system simply adds up to yet one more of the endless post-Reformation varieties of these myths – hardly providing a firm footing to move toward a more humane and sustainable world.
Oh please. Yes, Christianity has had its bloodthirsty moments (A LOT of them) but seriously, what other culture has so enthusiastically supported scientific learning, campaigned for the abolition of human slavery, raised living standards for the average person beyond any utopian schemer of just 200 years ago. In my heritage, the Lutheran State churches of the Nordic countries helped turn Vikings into Scandinavians—who have created easily the most advanced social orders on earth.
I was born into a Lutheran parsonage and was educated by Mennonites. Nothing you say applies to me. I no longer attend devout observances and I most certainly do not believe the unbelievable, but I do still celebrate the Mennonites who have been pacifists since 1534 (I spent two years as a surgical orderly as my punishment for opposing the Vietnam War). As someone who was taught that “continuous revelation” included the discoveries of science—a teaching that put Newton and Darwin on at least the same level of prophetic importance. as Isiah and Jeremiah.
So kindly take your pig-ignorant virtue signaling and put it where the sun does not shine. I find it very offensive!
“Christianity has enthusiastically supported scientific learning….”
Tell that one to Galileo.
“campaigned for the abolition of slavery…..”
Tell that one to the 100 million exterminated American natives, enslaved and then slaughtered, the greatest genocide in history, “for the glory of God.”
“raised living standards….”
Scientific knowledge and human progress were contingent upon ditching absurd bloodthirsty dogma and superstition.
Celebrate the flat earth Mennonites as much as you like – so long as nobody else has to. Celebrate ignorance, superstition, dogma and backwardness and the evil they bring as much as you like. The progress that has been made is in spite of religious superstition, not because of it.
Look at any of the holy texts, Bible, Koran and Talmud, peddled by Christians, Moslems and Jews, and ask how their absurd and vile content can possibly be a model for humans to live by. They are all a blatant enthusiastic celebration of massacre, slaughter, genocide, racism, slavery, exploitation, injustice and human misery.
Baudelaire said that the Devil’s smartest move was to convince people that he did not exist. He was wrong. The Devil’s smartest move was to convince people that he was God – the God of these religious texts. If these gods do exist, they are the Devil. Worship your chosen Devil to your heart’s content.
Galileo?? I’m Protestant so don’t blame that craziness on us. In fact, I would challenge you to name one scientist that has ever been persecuted by us.
Texts. I came from a faith that declared fundamentalism to be a “theological error” in the 1940s. I would happily see that idea spread to all the other fields where fundamentalism has destroyed intellectual thought—most especially law and economics.
Flat earth Mennonites. What the hell are you talking about? The Mennonites I knew flew airplanes and owned ham radios (back in the 50s and 60s.) 1/3 of my grade school class wound up with PhDs.
Ditch your hate-filled ignorance and do some research.
Whether it was the good Catholic boys like Cortes and Pizarro and their clergy in the south, or the good cheerless Protestant hypocrite boys further north, it didn’t make an awful lot of difference to the hapless Redskins.
techno – Wow, seems like I touched a nerve there – eh. 500+ years of the Holy Inquisition, centuries of chattel slavery, the absolute genocide of indigenous peoples around the globe while we white Christians stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, the witch burnings, and two world wars last century fought primarily by Christian nations seems like a rather solid block of historical evidence in my book. How is it that a simple honest discussion of European christian culture and it’s colonies about the globe evokes such massive denial in people who claim “scientific” enlightenment? The world has yet to shake the yoke of the primarily christian Western nations which continue to pillage Africa, Latin America and Asia at every possible opportunity.
We may have moved on from earlier colonial rationalizations such as – “saving souls” and bringing “civilization” to the “lesser races,” but the mayhem from Western “christian” nations continues under “humanitarian interventions,” and illegal immoral “regime changes” and “economic sanctions,” etc. The U.S. of course being the leader of this barbaric pack of present day “christian nations.”
Of course christian mayhem consisted of much more than simple physical extermination of native peoples. In the U.S. and Canada at least the “boarding schools” typically run by various christian denominations forbad native children their native language and spiritual believes while subjecting them to the most horrific physical, emotional and sexual abuse in an effort to destroy their cultural identity. Cultural genocide by the Geneva Conventions. I give credit to Canada for at least undertaking a truth and reconciliation commission on this ugly almost unknow episode of cultural genocide that resonates through native communities to this day about the globe in the form of historical trauma.
There is as you say some “pig ignorance” and some “virtue signaling” going on in our exchange, but I dare say you’ve spent more time engaged in “projection” rather than “self-reflection” in this regard. If one had to make a brief synopsis of the last 500 years of planetary history it would involve christian Europe colonizing, pillaging and enslaving much of humanity while engaged in non-stop “pig ignorant virtue signaling” propaganda regarding our “virtue” and good intentions.
What has all this led to? The richest 26 people on earth now have as much wealth as the bottom half of the earth’s population over 3.4 billion people. I’ll let you guess if that half of humanity living in poverty reside in Europe, the U.S., Canada, or in the rest of the world formerly colonized by christian zealots. Your comment that christianity – “raised living standards for the average person” – is indeed rather obscene in light of this 500 year colonial history and current neoliberal economic mayhem, but I suppose it depends upon on who you are counting as your – “average person” when deciding who has benefited – eh?
Man! are you confused. Income disparities are most certainly NOT the fault of Christianity—the religion of the slaves of the Roman Empire. Try to name any societies more egalitarian than the ones created by the Lutherans. This holds trues not only for Scandinavia, but the states in USA where we dominate.
And do NOT blame the Inquisition on us Protestants. We were the TARGETS of that madness, after all.
I’m done here. As my mother would say, “Never debate fools—they will only drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Whitewash your bloodthirsty religion as much as you like, just so long as it makes you happy.
It’s my understanding that in Norway at least, the trade union movement was one of the major (if not the major) forces in raising living standards and forcing the elite in that country to share its wealth. During the 1930s and early 1940s, when much of Europe fell under the spell of fascism, even Norway was not immune: none other than Vidkun Quisling planned to sweep away parliamentary democracy and put the country under a fascist dictatorship.
George Lakey, “Did the Norwegians Have a Revolution?” (May 2012)
I do not know if other Scandinavian nations and Finland had similar experiences as Norway.
I am aware that Sweden had a eugenics policy that lasted some forty years from 1935 to 1975, during which time over 60,000 people (the vast majority of them women) were subjected to compulsory sterilisation on the grounds of genetic or mental inferiority. People suffering from mental illness, pregnant women seeking abortions, rebellious teenage girls or even young people judged to be “slow” by their families or schools were at risk of being sterilised. In some cases, neighbours could petition problem families next door to be sterilised and unfortunately the Lutheran church as well as the medical profession was also in favour of compulsory sterilisation.
Any discussion of how Sweden became a model society with a broad social welfare net, enjoying a long period of peace during the 20th century and a high standard of living and quality of life, has to address this issue of forced sterilisation.
“Sterilisation on Eugenics Grounds in Europe in the 1930s: News in 1997 but why?”
“… When child allowances – monthly payments to families for each child, administered by the tax-funded national social insurance scheme – were introduced in the 1950s, the number of forced sterilizations of the “undesirable” part of the population doubled. The Swedish concept of the “people’s home”, formulated in the 1930s and the most influential vision in Swedish politics, was based on the ideal of a closely-knit, [homogeneous] society – similar to a family – where all members would support each other. Each one would contribute according to one’s abilities and would receive according to ones needs. The folkhem – as the concept is called in Swedish – was to become the foundation of decades of peaceful labor relations, far-reaching social reforms and unprecedented economic growth.
The dark side to this model was the harsh demand for conformity. People who did not correspond to the ideal of this new society were not welcome. For example, a recent newspaper article reported the case of a girl in her late teens who in the late 1940s was sterilized against her will. The justification given in her journal was the comment that she had often been seen hanging around the town’s dancing hall …”
Dr Adolf Ratzka,”Eradication of “deviants”: the dark side of the Swedish Model.”
What Gandhi really said about violence and non-violence:
‘Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self defence, or the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman.’
‘Jesus was so filled with anger at the desecration of the holy place that he took some cords and wove them into a small whip. He ran about, knocking over the tables of the money changers, spilling coins on the ground. He drove the exchangers out of the area, along with the men selling pigeons and cattle. He also prevented people from using the court as a shortcut.
As he cleansed the Temple of greed and profit, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7: “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.” (Matthew 21:13)’
‘Martin Luther King, at the end of his life, was coming to understand the restrictions of nonviolence as a weapon against a violent oppressor who shows no moral compass. There are limits to how long one can attempt to quiet a fire. King’s transition from the summer of 1966 to the summer of 1967, was from hoping against violence to accepting it as a function of the society it operated in, as an inevitability for a people he had led to a promised land that did not deliver on its promise.
As violence becomes automated, we see a crowning of the misrepresentation of pacifism. It was not ever a blanket refusal of violent means, but a principled and consistent commitment to seeking resolution through peaceful means. There is a crucial difference.
I like this article, it’s appeal would be received by the vast majority of suffering and empathetic people, however it may just be that this appeal is what the coming Antichrist will capitalise upon. The pacifist as mentioned have had a profound impact on humanity and will continue to do so.
‘Go to the local meeting area if one has been established, or to a local park if one has not been established.
If you’re the first one there, advertize your presence so others can find you. There are a number of ways to signal to others that this is a meeting place. If you’re really well prepared, maybe you put a sign up. If not, just put a flag, or really any bright colorful object, up high in a tree to get people’s attention, then set up a few chairs beneath it and wait.
At the park, begin networking. Talk. Let kids go play with kids, if necessary with some parental and teenage supervision, and parents talk with parents. Whoever happens to be there gets to work organizing’.
Just tried this one out in the local park but must admit wasn’t sure if I was talking to a ‘cluster’ of Integrity Initiative or a revolutionary algorithm.
Seriously, I’m always in favour of ideas like this. That’s the only way we can go forward. My take is that the system and narrative will collapse suddenly. How exactly remains to be seen.
Eddison – if this idea doesn’t go viral keep writing the articles. I’m sure the name ‘Edison Flame’ will go viral all on its own.
A briliant name.
P.S as to the comment about writers here being depressive – I hardly think they are. They can just see reality but at the same time offer positive ideas to stop what seems like inevitable wipeout in a world now capable of destroying itself in seconds.
“As it stands right now, there is no safe place in the world for anyone to escape this system…, what can we do?”
Reminds me of a last letter from the ancient world, written by a Graeco Roman who had gone over to the Barbarians. He wrote: “Inside the Empire there is nowhere one can escape the Emperor. But over here, provided one joins in the raids and brings back one’s fair share of loot, they leave you alone.”
Thus Rome fell to German barbarians led by Alaric the Goth. And thus Byzantium’s New Rome fell to Frankish barbarians led by Richard Coeur de Lion.
Where are the Barbarians when you need them? Perhaps Cavafy was right: the Empire has grown dull but there are no more barbarians.
“Inside the Empire there is nowhere one can escape the Emperor. But over here, provided one joins in the raids and brings back one’s fair share of loot, they leave you alone.”
Who wrote this?
Yadvak, it comes from “Greek Civilization and Character” by Arnold Toynbee p.92; chapter heading, ‘The Renegade”. Reported by Priscius of Panium who interviewed the Renegade in 448 AD, as part of his diplomatic mission to Attila the Hun from the Roman Government at Constantinople.
Love the algorithm. Some of us (all of us?) already have networks. I like to think of them as attractor states or ‘basins of attraction’ (and yes, I do know that is a misappropriation of the science – but it is a cool metaphor). But there is no reason not to extend them. There is also the Transition Town network of loose local alliances. If there is not one locally – start one. The revolution starts when good people refuse to be bullied any longer. Assassinations not required. Only peace can bring peace. Peace is the most powerful ‘attractor state’ there is. The post-separatist internationalist state starts in a park nearby. If you are in East Sussex, I might see you there. Peace.
BigB, sounds like the barbarians are already among us, penetrating the Empire as far as East Sussex in a network of loose alliances.
Like GCHQ can’t locate me if they wanted to: Forest Row is near where I live. There’s some wierd shit goes on around here, I can tell you – talk about a geo-locational attractor. There’s the world HQ of Scientology (Neil Gaiman used to serve in his parents local shop selling ‘Dianetics’); the world leading Steiner School; and the UK HQ of the Mormons …all within a ten mile radius. We’ve got all sorts, mostly space cadets …but some genuine seekers, trying to find an alternative way out. (It’s not too far from Lewes and Brighton which seem to be geo-locational attractors of their own). It’s not all doom and gloom in the Empire!
[For the pedantic: social attractor states develop within a system, and when sufficiently formed cause the system to bifurcate into separate sub-systems. Over time – and multiple bifurcation events – the system atomises and dissipates.
What I really mean, then, is reverse polarity attractor states – or negentropic basins of attraction – that emerge into systemic autonomous unity (autopoiesis – self-regulating generative systems and nested sub-systems). Social systems are not necessarily entropic (they are open and dissipative – locally negentropic – living). Dualistic conceptualisation is causally socially entropic. Nonduality allows this to be time-independent and reversible. And acausal – subject to the formal causality of casual information exchange (meeting; having a beer and a sandwich!) – and not subject to the material and effective causation of physical force (state ideological and state repressive aparatuses – the Guardian or the paramilitary police!). In other words: the system is more quantum than Aristotlean. Bet you can’t wait to meet me! 😀 ]
99% of people, probably including yourself, wouldn’t have a clue what you are on about. However, I did like some of the article, but think the author needs to get out more. I don’t know where he lives, but there are absolutely loads of societies, clubs, and communities (groups of friends), where we live, open and welcoming to anyone of a similar interest from mother and toddler groups to (think of any common social interest)
I’ve never really been into Cults, but I do like the band The Cult.
Re where near you live, my wife and I very nearly spent an afternoon and evening at a music event, in the Grounds of the Scientology HQ. If they had allowed camping we definitely would have gone, and still very nearly did, planning to sleep in our car parked in a lane nearby.
Of course if we had gone, we might both have been sweet talked and converted to Scientology, and we would now be paying them 10% of our pensions to spread their faith. However, I think that somewhat unlikely, as we have both successfully escaped the Cult of The Roman Catholic Church.
People can believe whatever they like. I find it simply is not worth the effort to try and change their minds, and tell them what is really going on. Eventually they may work it out for themselves, and then we can agree.
To be fair, I did two versions – and the second was in brackets (bracketed out of the ordinary language conversation.) To keep is simple: I’m looking to change what we think is possible …even if just for a personal project. The ideas of huge military Frankensteins and nuclear Empires conjures an impossible enemy. But why do we have to define them in their own terms: using their own imposed propagandic definitions? We don’t. When broken down into its quanta – its minimum energy definition – or basic constituent process …there is a little homunculus man hiding behind a curtain of propaganda; projecting a big, scary, image on a screen; talking through amplified media. I won’t bore you with the details.
I’m not trying to convince anyone either. I’m just putting my POV. If that catalyses anyones thought, even by opposition, all well and good.
As for the technical stuff, it Dynamic Systems Theory and process philosophy. It really wouldn’t translate (that’s why it bracketed off). The upshot is: if we see ourselves as defeated or overwhelmed – we might want to update the way we frame reality. Away from duality to dynamic systems process. They don’t play fair in trying to perception manage us. Why can’t we change the parameters and redefine the way we describe reality? One day, the propaganda may fall on deaf ears. We don’t need their description of reality if we have our own. Which would be the fruition of Paulo Freire’s vision …as well as our own.
@BigB: “Why can’t we change the parameters and redefine the way we describe reality?”
That’s interesting; made me realize that I have passively been accepting the 19th century mathematical physicist’s definition of reality: A complex web of thought which intersects with objective events at many points, and can explain some points well enough to make verifiable predictions about the next point of intersection. This 19th century idea is still broadly true — but quantum theory has blurred our idea of a “point”, embarrassed our faith in “predictions”, and begun to erase our distinction between object and subject. Statistics rules, OK?.
“For I looked under the sun and saw, neither is the race always to the swift nor the battle always to the strong, but Time and Chance rule all things”. — Old Testament.
The parameters we have determined ourselves by are somewhat out of date. The system is scientific/empiric only when it suits itself. You mention the quantum, but there have been plenty of other parametric inputs into the system that have been and are being challenged. IMO, the system has degenerated into a regime of truth and power – based on ancient, outmoded abstractions and fabrications.
The foundational axiom of self and reductive materialist science is the pre-existence of an external objective reality – one that reciprocally confirms both itself and the independent subject (circular causality and subject/object duality). This is the traditional ‘bottom-up’ representational and cognitivist approach. More recent science confirms a transition (in theory) from bottom-up to ‘top-down’ emergence of consciousness. This would infer that spacetime is not an absolute container – but something that emerges with us. Which rather turns science on its head. As for sociology and political-economy – they are already centuries out of date, not fit for purpose, and violently restrictive. Which can be confirmed everyday in the news.
“The post-separatist internationalist state starts in a park nearby. If you are in East Sussex, I might see you there. Peace”
Exciting times ahead, (and I love the name).
‘Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans’
Spot on John.
The Peaceful Revolution
Finally some Armageddon free article! Then…
A storm is coming folks. There are a couple of events simultaneously occurring in the world right now. Either of them taken alone would be cause for concern, but together they will certainly create a terrible storm.
Are their any non depressed / non scare-mongering writers out there?
Evolution got thus far, who would a few “powerful” and egoistic Homo Sapiens be capable to seriously hamper the next phase & new species?
There are over 7 billion of us now. No-one is suggesting that Evolution will be halted – but many of us retain the hope of continuity with the human genome.
The kingdom of heaven is not an idea and certainly not an ‘algorithm’, it is reality itself, ‘spread out over the earth, but you see it not’. Jesus of Nazareth, unlike his Jewish predecessors and Christian followers, profoundly rejected a conceptual basis to life.
See here for more: