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Brexit ‘crisis’: political theatre & the demonizing of democracy

Catte Black

“It’s a coup!” – “Oh no it isn’t!” – “Oh yes it is!”

We already know democracy is currently a sham. A lip-service. And nowhere more so than within the EU.

Time and again this has been revealed. EU referenda exist only to rubber stamp oligarchical decision-making. And when they fail to do so they are rejected, or held again and again, until the ‘right’ result is obtained, by whatever means.

The Brexit ‘crisis’ is providing a great opportunity to take this further.

A decent Brexit could have been negotiated months ago if anyone had wanted it. But no one did. Not because Leave would be a disaster for the PTB. We’ve always argued the choice between Remain or Leave was in real terms no choice at all and that it would make little practical difference to the 99% which particular set of neoliberal mobsters was our interface with the IMF – the real string-pullers for all western economies.

No. The reason a decent and sane Brexit has been opposed from the outset is because a Brexit ‘crisis’ was always the desired outcome from the moment Leave so unexpectedly won, if not before.

Crises are always useful political tools. They facilitate rapid change and seismic shifts in public perception. They can be very handy when you want to normalise the unthinkable.

With this in mind consider how the push from the centrist media has been to use the supposed ‘insanity’ of the Brexit vote to pose the suggestion that voting is or can be dangerous. That it can lead to disaster, social breakdown. That sometimes voting can even be undemocratic, if not actually evil.

The concept of suffrage is the target of the Brexit manipulations. The aim is to pry the public mind away from the idea that ‘one person- one vote’ is the lynchpin of democracy.

BoJo’s job, whether he knows it or not, is to become the living symbol of a popular vote as the antithesis of itself. A bloated, uber-white, uber-privileged posho that everyone can despise. He’s been cast as The Heel in this particular little show-fight.

His function is to represent everything ‘we’ (the ‘civilized’ center-thinking people) are supposed to deplore and reject, up to and including bullfighting.

His posturing and gesticulating, his absurd protestations, his even more absurd ‘coup’ (which of course was no such thing) have done nothing but discredit him and – by association – the 17 million who voted Leave.

His major achievement – to permit neoliberal warmongers such as Hillary Benn to surge into positions of leverage, demanding the overturning of a democratic vote on the back of ‘#DefendOurDemocracy’ hashtags.

Handy or what?

It follows of course that if voting can be undemocratic then ‘democracy’ can exist without a vote. As a nebulous concept in the mouths of centrists or yet another hashtag aimed at driving the populace toward yet another policy box canyon.

It’s the separation in the public mind of voting from democracy that the Brexit ‘crisis’ is aimed at. And – for the chattering classes at least – the ploy seems to be working.

Meanwhile, manipulated into a position approaching powerlessness by a series of ‘strategic’ cave-ins,Corbyn is now so estranged from his own Left roots he’s considered almost eligible by investment bankers, and is actually facilitating this anti-democracy move.

His final defeat will be obeying calls from his PLP (and other remainers) to refuse a General Election if Johnson offers one. Why? Because Johnson may “sneak Brexit through” during the campaign.

Yup, can’t have any of that pesky voting getting in the way of ‘defending democracy’ can we?

Right now people on the ground seem more clued in to what’s really going on than a lot of the alt-media, many of whom are busy running down rabbit holes or dying on strategically unimportant hills.

Don’t bother with BoJo hate. Of course he’s a malign buffoon. He’s supposed to be.

But while the crowd is baying and screaming at him they aren’t noticing that ominous cloud looming at their backs.

It wears Hillary Benn’s face and has Jess Phillips’ sense of whinging entitlement, Owen Jones’s virtue-signalling hypocrisy, and is painted a disarming shade of corporate-sponsored, carbon-credit Green.

And it’s going to eat us all alive unless we wake up. Whether that happens while we’re in the EU or nominally outside looking in will matter very little.

OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

Filed under: Brexit, latest, UK, UK domestic politics

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OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

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JPH
JPH

After a rejection in the Netherlands in an advisory referendum of the EU-Ukraine association agreement the Dutch government after more that a year delay choose to ignore that rejection with Merkel directly intervening to get support from her Dutch sister party.

To add insult to injury The Dutch Prime minister Rutte pretended to know why the Dutch electorate rejected that association agreement. Out of thin air he alleged that Dutch objected to this agreement because it might be a first step towards full EU membership for the Ukraine. So he produced a small addendum to the agreement that denied that. However this agreement was part of the EU European Neigborhood Policy aimed at creating an EU sphere of influence consisting of dependent non-member states being obliged to follow EU regulations without having any say on these. So that addendum actually didn’t add anything because it was already part of that agreement. That Ukraine didn’t have to sign that addendum confirmed this state of affairs.

But this was not enough and Prime minister Rutte decided that referendums as an ultimate democratic mandate could not be accepted by the meddling representative democratic parliamentary structure. We can’t have the electorate’s direct mandate upset those cozy corrupt parliamentary compromises resulting in our fine neo-liberal EU arrangement.

So the citizens right to call for a advisory referendum on any legislation passed by parliament within six months of being accepted by parliament had to go. Even more disgusting was that D66 (also part of ALDE just like Rutte’s own party VVD) was so happy to cooperate on killing that right to call a advisory referendum notwithstanding the fact that a full referendum had been part of that party’s kernel program since its inception in 1966. The ultimate betrayal of its voters indeed.

Those incumbent mostly right of center EU fanatics and Neo-liberals are quite at ease killing democracy. The law proposal requiring the very same safeguards for transfers of sovereignty to the EU as applicable for changes to the constitution had been languishing since 2006 and was also killed in 2019 by those very same party thus facilitating continuing transfers of sovereignty by stealth with simple majorities.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

Crises are always useful political tools. They facilitate rapid change and seismic shifts in public perception. They can be very handy when you want to normalise the unthinkable.

Remember that folks, next time you read “Climate Crisis”.

William
William

Given that the fixed term parliament act means that the next GE shouldn’t officially be until 2022, the best thing labour can do is ignore the jibes calling them chicken[bloody overgrown schoolkids]……because unfortunately the Daily Heil reading British public are likely at the moment to return a tory majority government to westminster…and keep the tosser tories in place but without any power for the full term. We’ll see soon enough during that time whether brexit has been a success or not…and in the interim it’ll curb the worst excesses of the tory twats!

Dissidents_unit
Dissidents_unit

Well said William

Steve Hayes

“…can’t have any of that pesky voting getting in the way of ‘defending democracy’ can we?”

The motivated reasoning of the Remainers is blatant. But it does not matter because the arguments are not intended to persuade by reason and evidence. The arguments are intended as loyalty tests, with those who do not parrot the Remainer line being cast as ignorant, uneducated racists, who are unfit to vote on public policy and should be excluded.

Chris Rogers

Thanks Catte for an articulate article that determines our Brexit farce is indeed pantomime, in or out of the EU the neoliberal roadshow goes on virtually unchallenged – challenge it, and we get accused of being some kind of extremist, be it ecofascists, Trots or Bots for Putin.

As with others, I must admit I too have fallen for this ‘Bait & Switch’ and been too focused on UK political events at a Westminster level, than looking at other issues of import at the global level.

So, thanks to reminders from Posters on Off Guardian, critiques and all, for forcing me to visit other Blogs I’ve ignored for far too long. And what a shock I had.

Suffice to say Geobbels would have blushed at some of the manipulative games the global elite are playing to further feather their own nests at the expense of the global commons, which is to be finacialised in order to save it allegedly.

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man

Many pertinent observations in this article.

Rolling back neo-liberalism is the real task of democratic politics.

Of all the arguments posited to invalidate the result of the 2016 poll, the booby prize goes to a poster on an Oz website who cried foul because it was held on a Thursday which, he thought, would have stopped some (presumably mostly remainers) from voting!

As for any re-run, ‘neverendums’ are the EU’s preferred strategy for getting electorates to deliver the ‘right’ result, as the article indicates.

surreal
surreal

I fail to understand why the masses in Briton have not created for themselves a new constitution and circulated it to the masses for a vote to ratify it?

Ratification transfers the possession of power from the old government to the possession of the newly ratified government That of course, is what the wealthy and powerful in America did when the democratic Articles of Confederation Government (1776-1789) expressed itself so strongly in favor of human rights and democratic principles that the PTB decided they had to dispose of the truly troublesome American government that had defeated the British and surveyed the land west of the Mississippi and managed the affairs of America since the British were removed.

BTW the first President, after the predecessor government(1776-1789) to the USA (1789 to present) defeated the British in America, was John Hanson (1781) whose title was President of the United States in Congress Assembled (not George Washington<=who was elected in 1789(to the USA), not by a popular vote of the people, but by 69 electoral votes (see Article II of the Constitution of the USA).

Ratification seems to be a catalysis, it seems to work much like catalyse enzyme in the lung::blood transfer (oxygen inspired into the lung is exchanged across the lung membrane for carbon dioxide from the blood and Carbon Dioxide is removed to the lungs from the blood for expiration). Ratification seems to move into power a new government and to remove from power the old government/ Instead of facilitating a take over by the wealthy as the USA constitution did, ratification could just as easily facilitate a people's movement, exercising their right to self determination, in that to ratify something a majority needs to vote for it.. Just my two cents worth.

FrankSpeaker
FrankSpeaker

Good idea, but at an early stage of their plan they’d possibly be identified as “Domestic Extremists” and thrown into Belmarsh never to emerge again?

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

Let’s face it, so would Jesus Christ (had he really existed…).

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate

” it’s going to eat us all alive unless we wake up”

the stage is set – and the self- proclaimed global deities look over their doings with glee ….because again, the audience is captured, spellbound under that fundamental part of the Play that keeps them busy, distracted, squabbling with naughts, and easy to toss around the chessboard , building their own playground of division.
And then, as all good conditioned Serfs are , who’er sick of the waiting, they’ll be wishing on the next reset/ re-invention, and content again under the rule of the dominating overlords.
So, isn’t it time to break the Spell folks, to Trust your own Divintiy, anything but give these succuba offspring another turn of the wheel.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

The EU have a vested interest in making Brexit as painful as possible “pour encourager les autres” — “toe the line, or else”. That said, the whole EU project has had the enthusiastic support of generations of UK politicians, they were quite happy to overlook its creeping federalization provided there was something in it for them. They stood by while what was a sensible customs union thing among western European nations of similar economies and cultures morphed into a latter day version of Europa complete with the expansion into Russia (“from the Atlantic to the Urals”), morphing the customs union into a latter day German empire. Once this became obvious then suddenly its “Brexit”, a sudden call to turn the clock back. But you can’t — there’s no such thing as recovering the past, you have to move forward, and the sensible route would have been to recognize that the EU is a fact, its political “boots on the ground”, and stop messing around and actually try to use it to improve the lot of the British people (for a start by not slavishly agreeing to every proclamation and regulation coming out of it — if the Germans have figured out how to work around anything they find inconvenient then the British should have been able to).

Anyway, its rock and hard place time. Crashing out of the EU and expecting the Rest of The World to come to your rescue isn’t going to fly (and only a fool would trust the Americans to do anything that doesn’t directly benefit their corporate interests). Remaining — real or virtual (aka “the backstop”) — isn’t a particularly attractive option either since crow doesn’t make good eating. But this is the bed that politicians have made — particularly that crowd of public schoolboys who’ve been calling the shots for years — and so the British public will have to lie in it. Maybe with some improved leadership that is actually somewhat competent for a change.

RobG

Well put, Catte; and I’ll add that the Brexit fiasco is a bit like Building 7.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

consider how the push from the centrist media has been to use the supposed ‘insanity’ of the Brexit vote to pose the suggestion that voting is or can be dangerous

No Cate, it’s not the Centrist media, it’s another one, it’s the Corporatist and Fascist media. Huge difference. Don’t tarnish balanced, common sense people with such disingenuous insults.

Avivartika
Avivartika

This apparently is the technique now – make an initial premise founded upon insulting others, employing sophisticated verbiage, and then fabricate a narrative to justify it. And, by doing this dear Cate, you cement yet another brick in the wall of the very totalitarian fascist state you claim to oppose, whilst blowing smoke in faces of others. And I hereby claim and own all the “thumbs down” that will inevitably show up under my comment here. . . . .

ZigZag Wanderer
ZigZag Wanderer

You can also claim and own ” most pretentious bullshitter ” ever to post here.

avivartika
avivartika

Exactly your style – go out of your way to insult others, you have absolutely nothing – nothing to offer in terms of discourse or debate other than to throw your poisoned darts at others – well, thank you, because your despicable smear is something I will wear as a badge of honour – have a nice life.

ZigZag Wanderer
ZigZag Wanderer

Nutter Alert

Elementor
Elementor

Who is this ‘Cate’? How come you and the guy you’re replying to both make the same spelling error? (It’s ‘Catte’). And why are you both being so aggressive to her?

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

In all honesty I’ve never come across the name Catte anywhere else and it’s a genuine error on my part.

As far as my comment, I am not trying to be aggressive, it’s just frustration at someone who writes a good piece, but often resorts to polarised political thinking: or barbs, e.g. all to the right of Trotskyism is bad, fascist…

It’s like those writers on Breitbart who claim anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is a Marxist.

It’s a shame because Catte often makes some great points. I normally ignore the polarised references but recently they’ve wound me up because it spoils a good point she is trying to make.

Admin
Admin
Admin

You are the one accusing people of extremism. Please check your previous comments.

FYI – I am removing your earlier complaint as the comments in question are published.

Please try to remain polite to the site, its admins, authors, editors and other commenters. You are a guest here. Remember that.

We don’t censor opinions but we do sometimes remove trolling, ad hom or blatant thread hijacks.

See our comment policy here:

https://off-Guardian.org/comment-policy

Dissidents_unit
Dissidents_unit

Aviva, so true. Why is it that the public cannot see BoJo is acting or has assumed even, the role of a Dictator. We are on the 5th/6th rung of a Fascist Totalitarian State. His performance at PMQs was the worst ever in parliamentary history resorting to hurling insults at the Leader of the Opposition. He cannot answer honest questions because he isn’t interested. Bojo has little or no interest in politics and more in gaining and manipulating power. For what its worth, I think the opposition very cleverly out manouvered BoJo and he is reeling. Unfortunately, the MSM are on a deliberate misinformation campaign to the public trying to make him look like a strong decisive Leader. He is not, he is ignorant, a fascist, dangerous, a pathological liar and a charlatan. It seems from evidence provided to the Scottish Court that since August it was always his intention to prorogue Parliament to push Brexit through.

Although Corbyn is being much maligned he’s the only that has his focus on the right strategy and in the right place.

Mucho
Mucho
crank
crank

IMO this is key

Refraktor
Refraktor

More prosaically parliament’s blocking a No Deal means the EU simply has to refuse an extension to make revocation of article 50 the new default.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar

parliament has not yet blocked it. the HOC has progressed a bill such that it is sent to the Lords.

Steve Hayes

“More prosaically parliament’s blocking a No Deal means the EU simply has to refuse an extension to make revocation of article 50 the new default.” This is just wrong. If the executive requests an extension and the European Council refuses to offer one, the United Kingdom leaves on exit day, 31 October. Incidentally, The UK could request an extension and then veto it at the Council, as any extension would have to be unanimous, and the UK has all the rights and responsibilities until it leaves, which includes a vote at the Council.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

The UK could request an extension and then veto it at the Council, as any extension would have to be unanimous, and the UK has all the rights and responsibilities until it leaves, which includes a vote at the Council.

Nice, idea, but I suspect it hasn’t that right, at least not in that case. Don’t think they’d get away with it anyway.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

The most ‘amusing’ thing about Brexit is that the Marxists and Trotskyists are relying upon the Neocons and their right wing loons and brown-shirted jackboots to suspend Parliamentary democracy, i.e. instigate a coup.
Their naive plan is then to somehow swing the public who are fed Murdoch’s and Dacre’s Neocon dogshite each and every day into somehow siding with the far left.
Naive? No.
Dangerously stupid? Definitely.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

What a jumble. Translation: ”Marxists and Trotskyists” People who I don’t like and who are nasty and devious.

Here’s another pearl of wisdom

”Neocons and their right wing loons and brown-shirted jackboots to suspend Parliamentary democracy, i.e. instigate a coup.”

Translation: names which I have heard bandied about but have really limited understanding of.

Well neoconservatives are an American/Zionist political movement which have been in the ascendency of US foreign policy since the early 1990s. Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Kagan, Kristol et al. See ‘The Wolfowitz Doctrine’ ‘Plan for a New American Century’, and ‘A Clean Break’

As for brown-shirted jackboots. Again this troll doesn’t know what he is talking about and is obviously out of his depth.

Brown-shirt(s) refers to the militant Nazi movement paramilitaries (SA
SA, abbreviation of Sturmabteilung (German: “Assault Division”), byname Storm Troopers or Brownshirts, German Sturmtruppen or Braunhemden, in the German Nazi Party, a paramilitary organization whose methods of violent intimidation played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933 the leadership of the SA mainly Ernest Rohm and the leftists faction the Strasser brothers Otto and Gregor, were assassinated by Hitler’s Preatorian Guard the SS along with the rest of the SA leadership on the Night of the Long Knives.

I think their ‘jackboots’ referred to their footwear.

George
George

Indeed -this “Frank Speaker” is indulging his usual left baiting here. From previous posts, he seems to envisage some “normal” “average” person enveloped in blessed purity and rising above the twin evils of left and right. Even if I were to accept this wretched notion of “balance” (which rests on the assumption of a restrained capitalism – an assumption that has now been blown to hell through the experience of the last half century) the words of Leon Trotsky still apply – that the ruling class has never yielded as much as an inch unless they were being held by the throat. So – is Frank Speaker’s sensible middle man going to hold the bastards by the throat? Of course not. Frankie will be stuttering his pathetic little centralist platitudes as the vicious overlords trample him to the ground.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

I came here a few year ago because of the crap on the Guardian. This site was great then, but has since been hijacked be far left loons. You on the far left are hypocrites and in many ways the history of your parties has been as appalling, or even worse, than the right wing nutjobs.
Thank God there are still sensible people in the centre right and centre left that can see and call out you nutters on both the far right and left.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

This site was founded–not hijacked–by the very far-left ‘loons’ you decry in order to escape The Guardian’s censorship.

George
George

Then I suggest you go back to your centrist saintly Guardian who will tuck you in at night with your self-serving little platitudes in praise of a phoney “moderation”.

FrankSpeaker
FrankSpeaker

Polarized and zealous thinking there. Why would I be attracted to the Guardian, especially as departed it a long while ago and during which it’s even become more right wing? It’s not in the centre of politics at the least.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Huh? I think you got the wrong impression. I am definitely not a centrist and I absolutely will not go near The Guardian anymore. I was just criticizing those who flee The Graun because of its ruthless censorship, then get all uptight because–gasp!–not everyone here agrees with them. That’s all …

George
George

So you’re not a centrist, nor are you on the left. Presumably not on the right either. So which little space have you managed to squeeze yourself into? Or are you here to ensure that someone always disagrees with every view? (In which case you are neither here nor there but a bit everywhere.)

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

I think this could be a case of mistaken indentation.

George
George

Yours?

George
George

“ far left loons….even worse, than the right wing nutjobs.”

Now you reveal yourself FS. Pronouncing the old plague on both their houses while standing in for those “sensible people in the centre right and centre left that can see and call out you nutters on both the far right and left.” But your particular grievance against the left shows where you really stand.

And I have seen the world that has been manufactured while you virtuous centrist saints direct your pious glances towards the heaven of self-congratulating nullity. You think you can maintain this sacred central ground and yet have no awareness that the carpet is moving under your feet all the time. Indeed – this moving carpet IS “the centre”.

As a consequence, I have seen vital services absolutely decimated under the infringement of “the third sector”, the increasing intrusion of “charity” to throw sops at those who desperately need support while vast reams of money are thrown at the latest brain dead trinkets and an increasingly tiny amount of super-rich get super-richer. THAT is your blessed “centre”.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Yep, a good example of extremism of the centre. You can always spot a troll, they are usually sub-literate, cliche-addicted, and know absolutely nothing.

FrankSpeaker
FrankSpeaker

Oh dear Francis, more ad homs from you.

As I commented above to George, it’s quite a remarkable state of affairs that the far left have now gone so far left that you now regard a traditional Labour voter like myself, and who would vote for Corbyn and McDonnell at the next election, as being a right winger!

Like I keep saying, UK politics are now utterly polarised and the poles are getting even further apart. I’m happy to remain in the traditional territory of old school social democracy.

George
George

“… the far left have now gone so far left that you now regard a traditional Labour voter like myself … as being a right winger!”

That’s the first time you mentioned being “a traditional Labour voter”. Up till now you have been frothing against “the far left” and “far left loons”. Is this frothing the sign of “a traditional Labour voter”?

But what is this?:

“I’m happy to remain in the traditional territory of old school social democracy.”

Ah – there’s that comfortable word “traditional” again. Like we were still in the mid-70s when it was still possible to believe in that nice little arena with a left there and a right here and we can have a cutesy little fumble between them! Well – here’s how it is, Frankly. You are playing to “maintain the centre”, to “steer a middle path”, to “be reasonable”. But guess what? That lot up there – i.e. the Right wing, the vested interests, the powers that be – they are playing to win. And they intend to win everything.

But you don’t want to upset them, now.

FrankSpeaker
FrankSpeaker

But your particular grievance against the left shows where you really stand.

It’s quite a remarkable state of affairs that you in the far left have gone so far left that some of you now regard a traditional Labour voter like me who would vote for Corbyn and McDonnell at the next election as being a right winger.

Meanwhile, the Liberal and Conservatives and Bliarites have gone way over to the right.

Like I keep saying, the UK is utterly polarised and the poles are getting even further apart. I’m happy to remain in traditional territory of social democracy.

MLS
MLS

Politics as a whole has traveled so far to the Right that Edward Heath’s 1970 government policies would now be regarded as ‘Left wing’.

Nationalisation is now radical where once it was centerist.

The welfare state, free university tuition, social security for everyone out of work. These were all ideals supported by both major parties until the Thatcher era.

In this context the far Left you now deplore would have been somewhere to the Right of Tony Benn circa 1975!

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

I wonder whether he has ever read the 1945 Labour Manifesto?

http://labourmanifesto.com/1945/1945-labour-manifesto.shtml

John Thatcher
John Thatcher

There are indeed small sectarian groupings on the left,but they have little or no influence.Far more dangerous to the body politic is the sectarianism of the “sensible centre”

PSJ
PSJ

As an American (yes, I apologize) – I have no points of reference for what you term ‘far Left’ and ‘far Right’ in UK politics. Can you supply names or ideologies to help provide context?

And where do we find the ‘center’? Is Jeremy Corbyn the ‘center’?

I used to be a Republican but abandoned that position after waking up to 9/11. I find now I have a great deal in common with many on the so-called ‘Far Left and also the so-called Libertarian Right. It seems to me these two ‘extremes’ often embody similar ideals of freedom and justice, anti-war and anti-fascism.

Where can we find these things in the ‘center’? If not, what, exactly does the ‘center’ you value offer as alternatives to the centralized authoritarianism we are currently enduring?

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

I can help out here being both American and British. The UK Labour party has socialist roots but in practice none of its governments have been socialist. (That includes the post 1945 government — check out the bios of people like Ernest Bevin to get an idea what a typical Labour politician is like). It gets tarred with the ‘socialist’ brush in much the same way as the GoP tars Democrats (who, as you know, are not in the slightest bit socialist). Its both a handy meme and the result of using the same political consulting companies.

Both the Democrats and Labour parties include left wing elements but they don’t tend to influence policy. Typically these parties gain power as a result of hubris by the conservatives leading to crashed economies so their ability to act is severely constrained by the economic circumstances they have to cope with (and the latent hostility of capital markets that typically want to have their cake and want to eat it too).

(From an investor’s perspective value based investments tend to do much better in a Democratic / Labour environment whilst speculative investments tend to be the way to make a lot of money with a conservative administration — despite the contrarian propaganda!)

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“The UK Labour party has socialist roots but in practice none of its governments have been socialist.”

The UK Labour party has its roots in an alliance of socialists and trades unionists (quasi syndicalism), two–although, at the time, unrecognised as such–semi opposing forces. Problems, problems…

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

I dislike your metaphor of being “tarred with the socialist brush”, as if this were such a terrible thing. Perhaps this is a peculiarly American attitude.

Until Blair, most traditional Labour people proudly called themselves socialists. Anyway, sorry for the repetition, but as I have the link handy, this is exactly what Attlee’s 1945 Labour Party stood for:

http://labourmanifesto.com/1945/1945-labour-manifesto.shtml

(There is an old saying that traditional Labourism owed more to Methodism than to Marx. There is a grain of truth in that, but only a grain).

Vexarb
Vexarb

@PSJ, yes Corbyn represents the centre for UK: mildly welfare mildly socialist mildly broad church, generally ‘Draw it mild’. The centre for the USA seems to me more a matter of individual integrity and respect for justice: Scott Ritter, Virginia Senator Richard Black, The American Conservative, possibly Congresswoman Gabbard, possibly your good self?

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

“centre-right” = right wing
“centre-left” = right wing. Maybe not quite so much. Maybe.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

1950s Moscow is where I think you’d feel most comfortable Mr Lee. Stalin was a really nice bloke, he would have looked after you very well.
The point I am making is that you on the far left are hypocrites and in many ways the history of your parties has been as appalling, or even worse, than the right wing nutjobs.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

Mr Lee, I like some of your articles bit not all of them. For the ones that I disagree with you, you resort to troll factory tactics by accusing me of being a troll.

I won’t let bullies of the far left nor right deter me, call me whatever pleases you.

OffG used to be such an open and welcome place for Guardian refugees, but some of you ultra leftists are hijacking and ruining the site.

Admin
Admin
Admin

No more of this please. The abuse/content ratio is not conducive to productive discussion. Try to accept people can hold different opinions without having to resort to rage and abuse.

avivartika
avivartika

Forgive them, dear Admin, for they know not what they say. . . . . .

George
George

I think they know perfectly well what they say.

crank
crank

Tending to agree with you.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

What the fuck does that mean? “Black here white add I’ll that’s kettles not why something polly them very did I pot calling like. There! I’ve said it.”?

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

All the ersatz Sturm und Drang has of course been a diversionary tactic used by the PTB to confuse, frighten, muddle, and stampede the electorate into a second referendum. This was always plan B if a straight Remain vote (Plan A) had not gained the majority, and plan B has been pursued quite ruthlessly with all the powers and resources of the elite establishment . This seems so obvious that it doesn’t really bear repeating. Looking into the future, my feeling is that the UK will be dragooned into a second referendum which will see a Remainer win seeminly probable. However politically things will have changed quite significantly. The position of the Labour party – the de facto Remainer party – will have been disastrously compromised. Nearly all of the Leave votes were in Labour voting areas. That doesn’t bode well for a Labour vote at national elections in the near and not so near future. Given what has happened to social-democratic parties in Europe – Syriza, (Greece), PS (France) Pasok (Greece) SPD (Germany) there is ample reason to believe the Labour party, which is pro-NATO, pro-Trident, pro-Remain, pro-IHRA/Zionist, pro-open borders which involves free-movement of labour, capital and commodities – Thank you Mr Soros – provides any positive reasons to be electable? After all liberalisation of Capital Account isn’t going to cut much ice in Sunderland, Stoke, or South Wales.

Let us further assume that if UK does remain in the EU, the issue of joining the Euro could well be raised. After all the Brussels bureaucracy will now have the wind in their sails and they may well wish to extract their pound of fresh in terms of the special and privileged position of the £. The £ at least does give the UK some room in terms of monetary policy; membership of the euro does not and we might find ourselves having monetary policy determined by the ECB and the unprepossessing Madame Legarde.

The other really toxic effect of this whole brouhaha is the deep hatred which is at the moment pent up but will be released when the majority have realised how mistreated and insulted they have been by the Remainer bloc. It’s going to get very ugly, I fear.

As G.K.Chesterton once wrote. Final part.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

The £ at least does give the UK some room in terms of monetary policy;

And even more importantly Fiscal policy.

We must not join the Euro, whatever happens. Remember Greece comrades, remember Greece.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=42699

crank
crank

We already know democracy is currently a sham. A lip-service. And nowhere more so than within the EU.

Is that so ? Nowhere more so than in the EU ? What about the USA ? The US system is an outright plutocracy, largely run by a foreign power. And what about China? It proclaims itself as ‘a socialist democracy’, though few here would agree.
The EU is not ‘rule by the demos’ that is for sure, but I think you over egg the pudding Catte.

We’ve always argued the choice between Remain or Leave was in real terms no choice at all and that it would make little practical difference to the 99% which particular set of neoliberal mobsters was our interface with the IMF – the real string-pullers for all western economies.

I think that is an oversimplification. The most obvious example would be healthcare, and clearly there are significant differences between healthcare systems between Europe and the US. Food standards are another, something that gets a fair coverage on OffG. If there is no difference at all for the 99% and the IMF is unencumbered in imposing the same Neoliberalism the world over, then why are there still different school systems in Finland to here? Why do Italians get much more holidays? Why are there liberal drug laws in the Netherlands, yet hundreds of thousands in jail for pot in the US…..etc. ?
There are differences, and they still are significant, and I think you brush over them to try and make an argument stick.

Corbyn has made clear that he refuses an election without legislation stopping a NoDeal. This is consistent with his position (stop No Deal) all along. Why are you ignoring that crucial detail ?

I would agree that the Remainers in the legacy media have cooked up an hysterical reaction to Bojo, but there are many more sober voices that agree with the core arguments. Power resides in parliament, the monarchical establishment, the people, the business class, the executive. All these elements can interact in a number of different ways, and there is a strong argument to say that current developments seem to be disempowering parliament. (You know the people we VOTE for !).
I don’t buy the theory that Brexit has been cooked up as an elaborate theatre to usher in the post democratic era.
That era may be coming for sure, but if so it is because of large scale trends to do with declining resources and slowing growth all grinding Neoliberalism to a halt. This is what has driven Brexit – through the post 2008 non-settlement, the impoverishment of the working classes, the immigration rates and the accompanying scapegoating, the rise of UKIP threatening the Tory Right…

There is another massive recession starting. Brexit can only be understood in the context of these wider changes.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

I don’t remember Corbyn particularly emphasising “no no-deal” in the early post-referendum days. People at that time seemed to be falling over themselves to assure us they would implement Brexit (even if they didn’t mean it).

Corbyn seems to have changed his tune relatively recently. He’s obviously been leaned on.

ThereisaGod

Quote: “…. It wears Hillary Benn’s face and has Jess Phillips’ sense of whinging entitlement, Owen Jones’s virtue-signalling hypocrisy, and is painted a disarming shade of corporate-sponsored, carbon-credit Green. …”

Well put. Enough to make anyone stare at their wrists or the nearest gas oven.
Modern UK horror in a nutshell.
I’ve just been watching the BBC News Channel and your way with words captured my feeling perfectly.

Maybe paying too much attention to this stuff induces a sense of disproportion. Are our lives really dominated by careerists and fools fronting for fiends? Hmmm. On second thoughts … better keep paying attention.

BigB
BigB

Excellent, Catte. Deal or no-deal makes no difference to Broken Britain. Any short-term perturbations in the dynamics of capital distribution will be just that …short term. We are not returning to growth: ever. The pretensions that we are belie the fact that the real world bio-physical economy and the conceptual, if mathematically elegant, political economy are diametrically oppositional flows. In the time the Politicians want us to believe that we will have transitioned to a net zero optico-techno-futurism – with no disruption to the passive consumer/spectator’s rates of consumption (by either GND or BAU ‘natural capital’ means) …instead of a clean transition and doubling of renewable energy and economic activity – we will in fact have half the net energy available.

That is my extrapolation from recent data published by Leeds Uni’s Sustainability Unit. I can’t be bothered to write it out again. Here is Dr Tim Morgan’s latest piece that says much the same thing. Takeaway: we have been declining in prosperity for twenty years …due to declining national level EROI (which Tim calls ‘EcoE’). Prosperity has already stopped growing: due to the decline in surplus energy …the amount of energy available for economic growth and prosperity. Which I would call ‘exergy’: if anyone ever bothered to relate to this conception.

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2019/09/02/155-the-art-of-dark-sky-thinking/#comments

Therein lies the rub. Those who wish to conceive of the economy as bio-physical – as an economy of bio-energetic and bio-physical source to sink flows …where ‘exergy’ is the amount of flow available for economic activity and infrastructure maintenance, arts, welfare, etc – already get that whatever the ‘BoBo-bot’ or ‘Corbyn-singularity’ says makes little or no difference to the underlying bio-physical econometrics. The UK is declining toward lights out: deal or no-deal.

The rate of decline can be measured in national input/output EROI value ratios: as being a 23% decline in a 13 year period (1997-2012). Which is a rough halving in a 26 year period. Against which we can assess either the Labour GND or the Tory ‘natural capital’ proposals of the CCC (the Committee for Climate Change) report. Whilst they do do stress growth: both outline Sustainable Growth of the Millennial Development Goals (SDGs). Which at a constant 3% per annum CAGR (Compound Annual Rate of Growth) is a 23 year doubling.

Someone is lying. The econometrics cannot provide both a doubling and a halving. Even accounting for my ‘back of a fag packet’ extrapolation: the trends are clear and correlate to Tim Morgan’s SEEDS econometrics. In economics: the buzzword is ‘decoupling’. Decoupling the economy from reality and jettisoning those pesky bio-econometric flows. Like food, warmth, education, healthcare, welfare, etc. Those biological and bio-physical superfluities that hold the economy back in reality. This is the ‘free consumption’ and ‘mining the sky’ vision of techno-optimists like Mason and Bastani …and his ‘fully automated luxury communism’. These are science-fiction. As is the GND and BAU major energy and domestic policies of the two major parties. Deal or no-deal: they are still lies.

If a concerned electorate want a future of relative prosperity: it is not the economy of lies that must be decoupled from. The decoupling must be from the political perpetual growth econometric lies spun by the political class. We cannot double our economy: unplug it from hydrocarbons and plug it intact into renewables. We cannot create energy from nothing and ‘consume for free’. Everything has a bio-economic ecological footprint that must be second law compatible. Which means that energy will tend to decrease in quality and quantity: which is what the underlying science is telling us.

Instead of going from a national level EROI of 6:1 (in 2012: ie it has already decreased) and doubling to 12:1 …according to political negentropic GND hopium. In more likelihood: we will be decreasing to around 3:1. In fact: the rate of decline is exponential – not linear. If you want to know what a society with an EROI of around 3:1 will look like: at 2:1 you can take oil out of the ground and look at it. At 3:1 – you can take oil out of the ground and drive it to where you want to look at it …according to Charles Hall.

Someone is lying: and it is not the bio-physical econometrics. We are rapidly approaching lights out: deal, no-deal, or Green New Deal. To avoid a long term loss of prosperity: we need to decouple from political economics and start to think in terms of an economy of bio-flows. And if we want to mend democracy: it has to be based on real world econometrics: not political negentropic hopium. Voting for science-fiction won’t make it a reality.

vexarb
vexarb

BigB: “In [the present Fictional Economics]: the buzzword is ‘decoupling’. Decoupling the economy from reality and jettisoning those pesky bio-econometric flows. Like food, warmth, education, healthcare, welfare, etc. Those biological and bio-physical superfluities that hold the [Fictional Economy] back [by tying it to biophysical] reality. ”

Brexit, Nexit, Schmexit what’s the difference to Britain’s real problems? It’s just a power struggle between Camoron’s mob of Fictional Economists who want to infiltrate China by Brexit Britain joining the BRICS, versus the classical Aristocracy of Fiat Money who want to conquer China by remaining as a part of NATZO’s “irresistible armed might”.

I am forwarding your post to a student of Ecology. Ecology = Economy = Ecumenical; from the Greek word Eikos “the household”

BigB
BigB

Vex:

Eikos/Oikos makes for a very interesting metaphor. Not least that the household had gendered division of space – based on a patriarchal hierarchy. The Father figure – ‘Lord’; kyrios (also a synonym of Christos/Christ) – was the representative in the agora – the open space of democracy – and part of the ecclesia …the assembly of citizens. So we have the whole model of illiberal Western Democracy …drifting away from its open, direct, and ecological roots (the city-state – the polis – being an agroecological and organic rooted economy). To which – shorn of the patriarchal hierarchy and gendered division of roles and space – it must return (to real representation anchored in bio-physical economy of flows) in order for it – and us – to survive?

As for the so-called decoupling: we have experienced a ‘weak decoupling’ – which translates as a seeming rise in productivity and efficiency of conversion. How much of this is real and how much is cosmetic – produced by debt monetisation – is up for debate. If we just calculate using fake GDP figures: it masks the underlying trends. Which is why Tim Morgan’s database is crucial – because he is accounting for that.

Also, the Leeds papers are far more hopeful than they perhaps should be …perhaps down to academic discretion and human bias. No one is going to fund or publish policy research that more or less says we are fucked on the current trajectory. So their conclusion supports the SDGs and fiction of ‘sustainable growth’ …seeing the current low national energy EROI as an opportunity to painlessly switch to renewables.

Problem: if we were – by some economic miracle – able to double our economy …we have to double the doubling in the next 23 year period to maintain ‘sustainable growth’. Nevermind the putative doubling: in real world terms – each ‘doubling’ is in fact a staying still …due to the underlying entropic conditions. I call this the ‘Red Queen effect’: when we have to run faster and faster to stay still.

There is another problem that no academic or policy maker will touch. In an entropic world: energy and resources are a zero-sum equation. If we have: someone else has not. In that way: the current global poverty regime will become even more polarised. We can only maintain our standard of living by green imperialism: entailing actual increased death and misery of those less fortunate in their geographical luck of the draw. That I am not prepared to countenance. If we are all going to be poorer: then we all have to be poorer together: globally. In that way there is a new sense of richness to be attained. One which is spiritual and presently in short supply.

If the coming financial and ecological Apocalypse is to have a silver lining – and we do not kill ourselves out of greed and delusion – perhaps poverty will be the making of the Oikos of humanity? And the meak shall inherit?

vexarb
vexarb

BigB: “perhaps poverty will be the making of the Oikos of humanity?”

Poverty starts in the mind. Two anecdotes:

1. Economics Prof.Stephen Leacock wrote a funny piece (“Who are the Rich”?) in which he interviewed people in successively wealthy layers of society but never found one who admitted to being rich. Finally he came across one of the rich by hearsay: Leacock’s cleaning lady told him she had an uncle who was rich and owned his own house.

2. A worldwide survey gave out one simple question: Are you happy, Yes or No? In the world’s monetarily poorest countries (earnings $1 per diem) 50% answered Yes, I am happy. In the monetarily richest countries at that time (earning 100 times more) 70% answered Yes, I am happy. From which it seems that money really does bring happiness, but hardly pro rata.

PS Librivox has a book (1923) on “Feminism in Ancient Greece” which made my hair stand on end. Apparently the nearest modern equivalent to the treatment of women in democratic Athens at the height of its Power and Glory would be Saudi Barbaria — burkhas and all. One can see vestiges of this ancient Greek harem mentality (which the author thinks the Greeks must have picked up from the Middle East) in St.Paul where he is recommending a Logo for his new version of the Jewish religion: “Other Jews wear hats as a sign of respect, therefore to distinguish ourselves we must take off our hats as a sign of respect. _Except our women, because it is not decent for women to reveal their cranial hair in public”_.

BigB
BigB

Completely agree: who are the rich. Answer: we are, if we want to be. Reliance on material props and digits on a screen to endow richness is, in fact a sign of weakness and poverty of spirit. ‘Rich’ – and powerful – is a culturally agreed phenomena. One that has led to a kakistocracy of an upside down value system. What is ‘rich’ about values that potentially challenge the integrity of the earth system. Nothing much can survive our definition of ‘rich’ at current rates of ‘richness’.

There is nothing to stop us redefining ‘rich’ in a more socially inclusive way …bringing the global poor into the fold of an overarching humanity. A capitalist has been defined as someone who knows the retail cost of everything …but the value of nothing. It is time for us to value that which is really real – love, companionship, community, cooperation, family, friends, etc – in a sense that extends to the whole biotic community. Value life: wouldn’t that be a novelty?

Toby Russell
Toby Russell

Yes indeed, and yes to BigB’s response as well. Which is why how we culturally define and understand value is pivotal, a first step in creating a sensible economics that can embrace and develop steady-state cultural evolution.

I heard somewhere that the very rich – multimillionaires and above – would like maybe another 30% ‘wealth’, just to be safe. Then there’s all that data on lottery winners…

Toby Russell
Toby Russell

Perpetual economic growth is impossible, we should all know this by now. But that’s not bad news, because perpetual growth of what? Buying and selling. Does anyone really believe that consumerism and buying more and more stuff forever is the be-all and end-all of human existence? Maybe a few deluded enthusiasts but not many of us who prefer to see clearly.

I’ve been reading through the article you link to, BigB. It misstates the role of money somewhat as something invented to make barter easier; this has been roundly disproved in ethnography for some times. E.g.:

“No example of a barter economy, pure and simple, has ever been described, let alone the emergence from it of money; all available ethnography suggests that there never has been such a thing.” Caroline Humphrey, quoted on p29 of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”, David Graeber, 2011.

And this example of how economists tend to avoid the issue:

“My preference is to start with a fully fledged monetary economy. … I simply assume that the set without money is wholly contained in the monetary set. Here I short cut the detailed comparison between barter and monetary exchange.” Frank Hahn, quoted on p43 of “Property, Interest and Money”, (Eigentum, Zins und Geld) Gunnar Heinsohn and Otto Steiger, 1997

This is an important point, because it disproves – somewhat circuitously – that value is solely about trade, money and accumulation, which is what Adam Smith-lite would have you believe with his oft quoted assertion that human nature centres on trucking and bartering. It does not. We are far richer and more complex than that cartoonish insult to our nature, homo economicus.

But as Tim Morgan correctly states, “In fact, economics – as currently practised – may or may not be “gloomy”, but it isn’t a “science”.” I see orthodox economics as one of many propaganda tools used cynically but effectively by money-power interests. Its high priests so studiously ignore the bleeding obvious I cannot believe it is anything else. But its demise is inevitable. The ‘power’ of money is illusory, albeit persistent (for a while). Reality will catch up with us, as you so tirelessly point out. And that’s good, an opportunity.

Morgan points this out:

The ECoEs of renewables are falling, just as those of fossil fuels are rising exponentially. This is a topic that we’ve discussed before, and will undoubtedly return to in the future, but it seems unlikely that a full transition to renewables, utterly vital though it is, is going to stabilise overall ECoE at much below about 10%. For context, back in the 1960s, when real economic growth was robust (and when petroleum consumption was growing by as much as 8% annually, whilst car ownership was expanding rapidly), world trend ECoE was less than 2%. [My emphasis]

Technology is not bad. Renewables are a sensible way forward, but into what? Not more consumerism, that’s for sure. Towards a sensible way of living that includes in its core principles the certain knowledge that healthy living is a component of healthy ecosystems and that service to this simple truth maximises happiness, to borrow from phrasing and terminology that turns my stomach. We are about to be divested of false hope, real sickness and stupid cultural reflexes. What we need as the waves of this reality check crash down on us is a sense that something far, far healthier is available to us. Steady-state (non-growth) economics is what we need, and want. We don’t consciously know we want it, and yet we nascently do by a kind of logical default. We would not knowingly choose our sick addictions to the endless distractions of our current insanity.

You know this. I’m telling you nothing you don’t know. Forgive me for wanting to ride on your coat tails a little to point people’s attention towards the positives. Healthy outcomes are the better outcomes. We need people more aware of that. There’s so much potential here, so many wonderful opportunities. Yes, the going will be very tough, but not aimlessly so if enough of us see the potential in this transition.

BigB
BigB

We speak with one mind: I just said the same to Vex …there are opportunities here if we can contend with the extend and pretend current economic trajectory. I agree with what you say about Tim. Also: if I am interpreting him correctly – then any growth we have is offset against underlying entropic trends …the Red Queen effect of a negative steady-state economy.

We have begun this exchange of views before: but money is a proxy unit of consciousness. We exchange labour time for ‘money’ as a symbolic commodity exchange in a token economy. The ‘money’ buys back time and material that are in fact surrogate consciousness. We empty ourselves (alienation) in order to fulfill ourselves ‘later’ …when we get were we are going or can become who we want to be. But we can short circuit this rather spurious exhange by realising ourselves in the moment. Then the splitting off of consciousness – invested in the spurious and putative externalised object (material or ideal) – becomes an unnecessary part of the economy. Capitalism is dead: and an economy of flows only has to deal wirh our extended physical needs for comfortable shelter, nutritious food, real living education, healthcare, welfare; etc. Which shrinks the economy by ? …well over 90%?

It is too late to lament just what an amazingly rich and rewarding life we could have had with this mentality. My concern for the future is that almost 100% of the developed world think differently. All their hopes, dreams, and aspirations are perpetual growth dependencies. Which is why capitalism is so alluring: the dream is the crock of gold at the political rainbows end. They who concoct the most plausible faery tale that leads us uver the rainbow get legitimated by enough – in a minoritarian democracy – of the popular vote to implement their version of the growth plan – be it the GND or natural capital BAU.

Another minority fell distressed because they think their growth plan is better. And a growing minority are becoming increasingly disaffected to the point of not giving a fuck. Amongst this: a tiny percentage of Cassandras are increasingly worried that the entire ethos of growth is wrongthink. And will people come to this conclusion sensibly? Trying to explain that there is no inside or outside to consciousness is perhaps three hundred years too soon?

[To whit: I am well up to speed with Donald Hoffman – and am presently reading ‘the case against reality’. There is much to discuss at some future point. He is wrong about much: but he knows that from the outset. Between Hoffman and Karl Friston’s Free Energy Principle we have our first global theory of consciousness. Remarkable and genius men, both.]

Toby Russell
Toby Russell

That Hoffman knows there is much to learn is one of the reasons I respect his work so much. He goes at it with a great combination of honesty, humility and intelligence. I shall look into Karl Friston, hadn’t heard of him. I still rate Tom Campbell very highly as someone who is getting better and better at communicating via the backdoor of physics what consciousness/love is about. He is about to conduct some observer-effect, double-slit experiments in partnership with a West Coast university that may very well profoundly upset the apple cart.

In the end, this isn’t about how many avatars ‘survive’, but the quality with which we proceed and how our efforts affect the whole.

BigB
BigB

Good luck with Friston! He is notoriously difficult to understand – unless you are cleverer than Einstein …like he undoubtedly is.

The essence is that we constitute our own species-specific reality by ‘active inference’. The ‘free energy’ part is a statistical measure of how we update our perceptual lifeworld to minimise ‘prediction error’ (Bayesian ‘surprise’ in the lingo). It sounds a bit dry and academic: but it has the potential to be extended to cover all action, conception, and perception. It is also a model of health (minimised free energy) but also disease (maximised free energy: distress; anxiety; fear-first response and systemic shutting down.)

The thing for me though is that both he and Hoffman are compelled to describe and interpret their own data through the Cartesian Method they are bound to, as first class scientists. The same data and mathematical models are also open to interpretation through an emergent nondual conceptual framework …one we have not invented yet. One that will be rooted in the co-arising of cause and effect we have mentioned before …*pratitya-samutpada*. In other words, the maths is pure zen. In a robotic trial of paradigms: the ‘old’ self-maximising reward based model turns out to be less robust than the ‘new’ free energy based programme. It’s just robots: but the implications are clear.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2660582/

[All of this is validating Francisco Varela’s and Humberto Maturana’s ‘Santiago’ interpretation of cognition and cognitive science. It is now robustly modeled and there is a mass of later data that confirms that we ‘put forth’ our reality (active inference) – in symbiosis with the environment. The Santiago interpretation also ties in immunology as ‘cognitive’. Which makes *pratitya-samutpada* – interdependent co-arising; co-evolution – the most important principle of 21st century ‘spiritual science’.]

http://www.combusem.com/CAPRA4.HTM

Toby Russell
Toby Russell

Reading via Fritjof Capra Maturana’s and Varela’s “World and mind arise together”, then looking much more deeply into Santiago-school systems theory, really turned my thinking around. It’s been a little over ten years since I was expose to their thinking, which is roughly how long it took me to deeply change mine, to actually see reality differently; as information/meaning/experience we co-create. So now I prefer the phrase “Perceiver and perceived arise together.” “World and mind” suggests for me a dualism.

Modern physics would more or less agree that ‘matter’ is in fact 100% space, and does not know what ‘space’ is, so we really are clueless about the foundations of our reality while glued to the materialist mindset. Information has the beautiful property of being a necessary, mutually inclusive property of consciousness; information is data become meaningful via the interpretation consciousness must perform on its data by virtue of being awareness itself. Speaking metaphorically, the argument that consciousness has a ‘granularity’ or ‘resolution’, i.e., is itself the ‘bits’ that are the data it interprets or renders into information/meaning, is very powerful in my view. This perspective unites perceiver and perceived into a necessarily complex and evolving whole we all are, and ends dualism. This, in a very crude nutshell, is the model Tom Campbell propounds. I find it powerful and elegant, and easy to convey.

[“we ‘put forth’ our reality” happens to be how Seth explains it in Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts. Most people would dismiss her works out of hand – all by Seth channeled through her as medium – but I was impressed by how elegant and profound the writing is.]

Anyway, thank you for the links. Weather permitting I shall dive in soonest!

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood

Perpetual economic growth is impossible, we should all know this by now.

Not if you admit of an increasing population. The birthrate may be slowing down, but the population is still increasing, for now.

As always, what counts are real resources. If you have (or can command) those, what you do with money is entirely secondary.

James Porteous

Great item.

I have to confess, I am addicted to Brexit coverage. It is compelling and entertaining and of course madding.

As you say, the Buffoon is the perfect mouthpiece for the final acts of this Marx Brothers comedic opera.

Still, as someone who has worked in tv media for decades, it drives me truly insane to watch May and now Buffoon and their underlings repeating over and over again the same inane statements.

For ages I kept thinking that someone in the media would confront Maybot and say, hey, we don’t give a shit what you say, but you need to come up with a new tagline.

But they didn’t. And now we have to live with Boris and his 31 October do or die sequences.

Ah well. Perhaps I am being overly nostalgic but I used to think the UK was better than this sort of caustic new wave Trumpism.

Brian Steere

Democracy presumes educated choices within a freedom of information and the ability to process or discern its nature, but its ideal touted as a cover story for the unwillingness to share in power is the corruption and weaponisation of the forms and structures of communication.

Behind the scenes are conversations and thought that dare not be spoken and which the drama of polarised identity make easy to keep from the mind and the possibility of debate.

Some of what is not allowed to be said is effectively induced by the show of power to break those who refuse to get on board but may protect and reward those who actively extend that power as proxies.

But more of what cannot be said, cannot be imagined or given faith within the frame of the narrative reality consensus – which as is perhaps becoming obvious is neither consensual or a result of true discernments – but serves invested and established themes that attract allegiance and support as the currency of accepted idea.

The capacity to leverage the narrative is not really a power possessed but an unrecognised power given away in return for a narrative identity set over personal conflict or fears.

The unfolding of the insanity as insanity is in my opinion part of the revealing of us to ourself.
Revelation is associated with catastrophe and destruction, but its core function is the restoring of wholeness to an awareness of its recognition. Clinging to a sense of possession and control must interpret change as destructive and suffer the pain of resistance. “I Want It Thus!’ is not unique to those perceived as powerful in terms of seemingly getting what they want.

There are two ways in principle of seeing the loss of consciousness, voice and power to denial.
One is of a dominant and effectively alien or inhuman power set over the world, and the other is of the inevitable progression of fear in denial in generating such a reality OF fear under denial.

It is in the nature of logic that something can only extend or develop along the premise of its nature.
It is the nature of magic to imagine false premises as the basis of an escape from or change of the true by taking the forms of truth out of context. (Creating imaginary contexts or reframing to private agenda).

The wish to become other than what we are sets the measure of an invested identity set over and as if against the true – although only in the capacity to distort or deny a direct awareness by giving priority to a ‘consensus reality’ that is more an indicator of where we are ‘stuck’ in our own conditioning than an actual condition. Allowing that tramlines operate in the mind and its brain just as on rutted roads.
Saving an insane world is itself insane – unless reflecting its insanity as in the realm of choice even if currently running as a fear-conditioned habit, Because in the noticing of the meaningless AS meaningless is its falling away from currency of usefulness to us. But if we merely engage in judgements of others as insane we are still seeking and finding meaning in the meaningless and thus more participant than our thought perceives. That doesn’t mean Boris is in his right mind – but that while we hold him to his illusions, we share and strengthen them in ourself.
The power of illusions is in the willingness to hold them dearer than truth.

The nature of truth is revealed in its felt and shared qualities and not by its definition in thought.
Honesty and trust are essential to a just or honouring communication or exchange. To curse those who give false witness to shoehorn dodgy deals, is not to become more ‘right’ or justified in our own dealings.
But that is the carrot and stick of identity driven politics that essentially identifies by what it is not.

Identity is recognisably shared in truth and not in asserted image but in worth made tangible by the quality of our thought, word and deed. We have it because we give it or perhaps more accurately because we choose not to block the extension of worth by private judgement given priority over living presence.

Identity theft is the result of phishing ‘attacks’ that are deceits that often emulate fear of attack to induce reaction. Whatever we invest our self in, we defend and protect as our self. Recognising a poor investment is the freedom to release it to a better one. No shame in learning – regardless the noise of others judgments. I note Norman Lamb will stand down in order to better serve those whose rights are trampled by powerful vested interests than can be effected as a member of Parliament. Circus animals are trained to jump through hoops or indeed swing from wires!
This is intended to undermine faith in political process so as to more readily succumb to a systemic technocracy of guilting and credit for narrative compliance. That is not creating the conditions in which life flowers. But a stagnation, regardless how many shades of grey in ritualised combat are programmed in.