Joy is a fleeting emotion. Ever noticed that? Like a shooting star, it rises fast and lights up the gloom before it disappears at the height of its glory. Pain, on the other hand, if we are to allow it, will set up house like an unwanted lodger. Joy will always leave us wanting more, but pain will persist long after the cause of complaint has retired.
There’s a good reason for this: adversity helps to create the conditions necessary for growth, whereas the moments of rapture along the way, albeit important, are of an inhibitive quality. They can be weakening and debilitating. The brief loss of consciousness post orgasm, for example, is what the French call, la petit mort – the little death. So, as a tree will grow towards the light, with its branches extending outwards to cast a larger net to catch the rays of the sun, humans seem to do the same for adversity, hardship and injustice. We are biologically predisposed to desire and strive, and it’s only possible to do so in the middle – and not at the end – of an arduous journey.
All life enhancing endeavours will have a weight of energy behind them. Confidence in one’s own powers; belief in the virtue of a desired outcome; a measure of enthusiasm to overcome the drudgery in our path – these are just some of the mental faculties needed to successfully navigate through life. Though maintaining a sense of direction is far from easy, especially in such turbulent waters, the alternative is to merely drift downstream for a long time; perhaps forever. One course entails hardship and privation, the other, ease and comfort.
On the face of it, the latter appears more appealing, but it’s simple physics that energy requires some resistance, some push back, some sort of deficit to be redressed, some goal to be attained. And what are humans but little pockets of energy? Paradoxically, then, a state of perfection is a bad thing, perhaps the worst of things, because in a perfect world there would be no reason to do anything. A protracted period without resistance presages aimlessness and lethargy, and there truly is nothing to fear as much as aimlessness and lethargy. Pent-up energy will eventually make the mind suffer cruelly.
Therefore, resistance can be a blessing because it heralds life affirming qualities and results. Any kind of adversity – affliction, torment, loss, injustice – can give us focus, a reason to go on, a target for all our efforts. Certainly, there are positives dormant inside every negative if we only awaken them and give them expression.
Problems arise when we cease to use the basic building blocks of life as material for experience and development; rather, allow them to become all-consuming. As if the concentrated anguish from a wardrobe of circumstance clothes our existence and turns our life into a continual waking nightmare. Here, what makes us suffer is not that there’s unpleasantness and there’s likely to remain unpleasantness – it’s the tyrannical nature of the thoughts and feelings that arise from the unpleasantness.
Too often we behave as if we were the audience and not the director. We must realise that a large part of life is not really about what happens to us, of which we can have little control, it’s about how we react to what happens to us, of which we are in full control. Once we establish that the sickness of adversity is a natural human state, we are better to diagnose a cure. Instead of trying to avoid the kind of maladies that drive us to bury our virtues in a grave of oblivion, they should encourage us to erect such a monument that casts a noble shadow of a life well lived.
When you turn diamonds in the light, they change colour, but they are still the same diamonds. Our perceptions are like this. They can always change, if not the things themselves. It’s a great comfort to know that almost anything in life can be transformed with a change of outlook. What sense is there to be like Sisyphus and labour on the things that blight us or to throw our efforts into interminable struggles? Much better to turn the tables: to embrace, work with, and use the things we can’t change for personal growth. After all, we can see that all sorts of foul and abominable things can be necessary in life, for in the course of time, the way manure is converted into fertile earth, they can become useful.
There’s somewhat of the gambler’s paradox about us: it’s only the possibility of disappointment that will make something so compelling. If everything went our way, all the time, our existence wouldn’t be so much of a page turner, it would be at once the most high flown and stalest of fictions. When we lament misfortune, we fail to see this bigger truth: that there is no hope without despair, no thrill without risk, no heroine without a villain. Absolute justice is empty of everything.
While the boundaries between things are largely illusory, abstractions are inseparable. In the Sisyphean attempt to eradicate grievance and injustice and danger it follows as a corollary that we go some of the way to eradicate the antithesis of grievance and injustice and danger. To sieve an environment of all harm is to sterilise it of all life. Can anything more absurd be imagined? Yet this is the spirit of the age. For example, unless we suffer from a morbid fear of salt, it’s quite impossible to be brave sitting on the sofa eating potato chips. How unfortunate it is that it takes danger to be brave! But what are we to do, outlaw bravery? Only a society of wimps would do such a thing.
There is a tremendous amount of latent power in adversity waiting to be unlocked. It has the capacity to both create a potential life we want as well as destroy the life we have. When we reflect on our lives, we should see that it was the trials and tribulations that make us who we are, for better or worse. To fulfil our potential, we would be wise to not wallow in fears and tears.
I’m increasingly finding myself being sucked into the murky world of politics, where subjects so reliably produce a kind of hysteria it’s like everything is covered in plutonium. It almost seems foolish to add my voice to this largely unedifying din. Do we really need one more hand nurturing a cultural Marxist monster which feeds on division and conflict? I’ve answered that in the positive, or the negative, conditional on the tint of glass each of us sees the world through. I’ve resolved to speak and write openly and respectfully about truth, reason and justice, simply because it seems incumbent on the little people to shoulder that burden, such is the duplicity of the forces above us. Though we can forget about politics and those who wield the sceptre of power, that doesn’t mean power and its agents – some known to us and some not – will forget about us.
In society fear and consumption are the offspring of power. An analysis of human relations in the light of “the new normal”;
A dissection of the role of “the new normal” in the global economy, how and why it is being implemented;
Why in a technocratic system science, politics and money become the same;
A discussion of the constitutional validity of universally mandated medicine;
The nature of market economics in the light of “conspiracies” and “the new normal”;
The rise of the age of transhumanism;
The simple peaceful solution to reduce an unhealthy overreach of power
The paradox of safety
In many places the COVID-19 outbreak has been witness to the worst interference with personal liberty in history. Authority has either enforced a qualified house imprisonment, applicable, in principle, to the whole population; or it has imposed unprecedented restrictions on the day-to-day affairs of ordinary people. What has been particularly inexplicable about this is that whatever your position on COVID-19, this has, by historical standards, not been a serious pandemic.
As we established in Tyranny by numbers, the severity of the disease has been proportional to media hype and manufactured data. Indeed, the closer the country has been to the US, UK, EU power axis, the worse it has been affected. Global pandemics should touch populations equally, with perhaps seasonal differences, population density, healthcare infrastructure, and various other pertinent indices all having the effect of either reducing or aggravating spread and recovery rates. But the “first wave” of this virus has been discriminate of wealth and power far more than the standard of healthcare and population density. It has been targeting the richest nations with the most freedoms far more than poorest nations with the least freedoms, save for a few examples far away from the hub of western power, such as Iceland, which has scarcely been impacted at all.
The body politic in many nations has been so tyrannised by the disease that the people have been convinced to trade their freedoms for safety. Which begs the question, if safety is the number one consideration, why on earth are people paying any heed to the corporate state apparatus? It seems quite the leap of faith to presuppose its benign intent; to presuppose its honesty and competence. It also tragically ignores the paradox of safety and thus fails in its own aim.
The paradox here is that to earn something valuable one must risk not having it; to keep something valuable one must risk losing it. While an individual who shuns risk summons concomitant risks, a society that shuns risk is one that forfeits freedom. To do so invites a narrow, ugly, grovelling existence on the one hand, and the most prosaic form of human life on the other, in which every single object suggests a vast sum of qualified conditions. In such a world absolute control is universal, and therefore safety is conditional.
Even so, the modern imagination is now stooping to the misery of trying to abolish the danger of things by abolishing the things themselves. In order to preserve the enjoyment of parks and beaches, the logic has it, one must temporarily abolish the enjoyment of parks and beaches. This twisted logic is especially dear to authority because it is depressing.
The public are being encouraged to wear masks. It appears the modern imagination is craven enough to try and mitigate the danger of human interaction by circumscribing human interaction itself. This twisted logic is especially dear to authority because it is dehumanising.
Social distancing is an oxymoron – being social is the opposite of being distant. But the modern imagination yearns to keep people apart so that they can ultimately stay together. This twisted logic is especially dear to authority because it is anti-social.
The public’s disenfranchisement is especially dear to society because, being conditioned to live in fear, the people are paralysed by fear, and thus safety becomes the paragon of human aspiration. Once accustomed to living within small enclosures of self and mind, people welcome the transition to a sterilised space. It seems that the modern spirit wants to slowly snuff out life itself in order to preserve it. This is especially dear to authority because it is ugly, it is controlling, and it is misanthropic.
Governments have bound the public’s ability to walk freely into the future in the same manner men in certain cultures used to bind their women’s feet. In the public’s interest generational wealth has been squandered and stolen in a matter of months, increased overt state surveillance and control has been introduced and people have even been encouraged to “snitch” on lockdown rule-breakers. In Britain, a ritualistic nationwide clap for carers and the NHS cringe-fest has been observed every Thursday evening because hero-worshipping state institutions is not creepy at all. All of this has been especially dear to authority because it is Orwellian.
The British state propaganda arm, the BBC, epitomises the post-truth world so succinctly in a recent self-adulating fluff-piece. Having perhaps done more to promulgate dread, distortion and deceit than any other British entity, which has helped to wedge loved ones apart, many permanently, with people who did not even have the ‘virus’ being forced to die alone to combat the threat of the ‘virus’, the BBC describes its role as: “Bringing us closer”.
COVID-19 has ushered in these new norms, which have been enforced in many places by a police service doing its best impression of an occupying force. To keep people safe by stamping out their freedoms is one part of this “new normal”. Though these measures are ostensibly temporary, the “new normal” is in fact a catchphrase to help condition a new reality. It is of course a euphemism for permanence.
A new philosophy is most often a rebranding of some older vice. For instance, sophists will defend vanity and call it the liberty of the self. They will defend self-indulgence and call it personal truth. They will defend cowardice and call it considerate and safe. Similarly, it seems to me that the “the new normal” is simply the promotion of a much older normal. It is this: through fear and division the few will have dominion over the many.
One of life’s cruellest paradoxes is that the many are superior to the few yet appear always at their mercy. The good news is their subjugation does not exist in the material; it exists in the immaterial.
There are two illusions at play here. The first is that the government is in control. The truth is that the people are always in control, hence the elaborate ways in which their consent is engineered.
Take the easing of restrictions. In many places the restrictions were easing well before a formal state ruling because mass civil disobedience was effectively negating enforcement. On the back of this recalcitrance the state issues an order to slowly lift restrictions and thereby the illusion of state control is maintained. Had disorder in the UK continued to be isolated, I expect full lockdown would have continued in place for the planned 12 weeks, and even more damage would have been inflicted on the economy and public health.
The second illusion is that in a democracy the government is accountable to the people and is set up by and for the people. The truth is that the country and its government function like a company. It is answerable to the shareholders, all of whom are transnational entities, and will actively work against the interests of the nation and its people whenever there is conflict between those interests.
Take the imposition of restrictions. In a free society people must be trusted to behave in a sensible and responsible manner, otherwise it is not free. By definition. The prudent action, in the case of a slightly more severe seasonal flu (at worst) openly acknowledged many months ago, would be to make the public aware of the danger, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised, which appear the only demographic significantly touched by this outbreak, and allow people to use their own discretion. People will generally be circumspect when it comes to immediate precaution in matters of their own health.
The imprudent action, what we have in fact seen on an almost global scale, is for all arms of the body politic to work as one to distort and sensationalise the threat level. It has cultivated a kind of strange theatre of omnipotent fear, which has reduced minds to a primitive state of panic and confusion. The collapse of the economy, the violation of rights and freedoms, increased anxiety, and stress, all of which are disastrous for public well-being has been the harvest. The irony is not lost on most, but it is lost on those whose opinions are the symptoms of irrational impulse, position, or privilege.
This strange theatre of omnipotent fear, which characterises society generally – with the COVID-19 pandemic merely being the latest manifestation – is the product of our relationship with authority. Power is flaccid without control. Which is why in the secular age of industrial globalism, which has redefined the world through the lens of materialism, there has been a concerted effort to keep people on a hamster wheel of fear and consumption.
Power and control in the age of industrial globalism
In the past power was asserted through force and self-sanctification. Human relations were throughout of a divine order, and power placed itself at the terrestrial head of that divine order. In the modern world, however, in which rapid economic growth has been the direct result of the liberty of self, power is asserted through secular mechanisms of manipulation, namely science, technology and the state. We have essentially deified our appetites – the need for food, sex, status, shelter, comfort, security and so on – and the powerful simply tap into those appetites and use them against us.
“A change has come over our democracy. It is called consumptionism. The American citizen’s first importance to his country is now no longer that of citizen but that of consumer”
– Unkown American Journalist, 1927
Once machine technique was perfected it was necessary to transition from a needs-based economy to a desires-based economy. Because it is impossible to have economic growth in an era of mass production without also having mass consumption. These new economic modalities gave rise to the age of consumerism.
The apple never falls far from the tree. Everything depends on the surroundings and proceeds from those surroundings, and no person can be entirely independent of them. In the public arena, in which the multitude fights for position and vies for prestige, material wealth and comfort has therefore been both outwardly and tacitly preached as life’s main aim. People have in effect been turned into passive consumers whose function is to use goods and services in a system of planned obsolescence.
In a consumeristic culture the public are not necessarily sovereign, the public’s fears and desires are sovereign. The people themselves exercise little decision-making power. Because humans are primarily driven by instinctual or unconscious fears and desires, it is therefore possible to persuade people to behave irrationally if a product or an idea is linked to those unconscious fears and desires. Certainly, people generally buy products to feel good about themselves, often as an act of self-expression. It is self-evident, then, that in a system in which material possessions are being used as a palliative, choice is indissolubly connected with the unconscious.
In a system of planned obsolescence, if people are stimulated often, it follows as a corollary that their stimulation cannot be protracted beyond certain limits. Their attention span will not allow for it. Thus, a large proportion of the political economy is organically reduced to the lowest common denominator. But in the case of democracy itself, there are more contrived efforts to limit the average person’s democratic agency.
It has long been thought that an “excess of democracy” leads to a “crisis of democracy”. The central idea is that if the political system is overloaded with participants and demands it will become ungovernable and make a society dangerously unstable. To prevent this from happening ordinary people must be marginalised from a decision-making capacity. They simply can’t be trusted to make decisions on a rational basis for the greater good of society.
The dawn of this age of “consumptionism” witnessed an enormous amount of local and global political instability; primarily because, it was thought, mass groups were over stimulated. Political theorists in the 1920s like Walter Lippmann argued that an urgent re-think was needed for democracy. If human beings were driven by unconscious irrational forces, and not information, it was necessary for an enlightened elite to apply scientific management to tame what Lippmann called the “bewildered herd”.
The public, in Lippmann’s view, could pick from a pre-selected choice of elected officials, but that those officials would receive guidance from the technocrats, who would essentially manage public affairs by proxy.
In ‘The Public and its Problems’ written in 1927, John Dewey identified the main flaw in this model. He wrote: “The very ignorance, bias, frivolity, jealousy, instability, which are alleged to incapacitate them from sharing in public affairs, unfit them still more for passive submission to rule by intellectuals”. Dewey’s insight correctly deduced that Lippmann’s analysis contained a hidden paradox. If the public were too incorrigibly backward and obtuse to take part in public affairs, then this backwardness would make them even more insubordinate to a ruling technocratic elite, however well-intentioned. It was necessary, therefore, that if these ideas were implemented, without inviting insurrection, the plutocrats would have to work behind the scenes with the experts.
This is essentially the model of democracy still in place today. At its core, democracy was about changing the relations of power which had governed the world for so long. The Chartists, the Suffragettes, various grassroot socialist movements had fought tirelessly to better working conditions and to liberate the ordinary man and woman from oppressive, antiquated systems of power. The elite eventually had to cede ground to mollify the mutinous swell. But universal suffrage ultimately resulted in the dilution of democracy.
It demoted it from something which presumes aparticipative civic duty, to something that resembles more of a product to be consumed. A kind of placebo, if you will. The democratic system will give the illusion of responding to a complaint or yearning but will not really change the objective circumstances at all. Indeed, we even have a disparaging term for an elected official or policy uncouth enough to treat democracy as a non-placebo: “populist”.
For democracy to be a turned into feel-good medicine is, I suppose, a foreseeable consequence of a consumeristic culture, in which people have grown so accustomed to depending on the guidance of others, they are happy to have everything chewed up for them first before they swallow.
Every election campaign evinces as such. The balloons, bunting, cheap sloganeering, repetitive mantras, create an atmosphere of childishness, which has the effect of removing the public from the arena of meaningful democratic action. With the public’s role as passive consumers, plutocrats understand that if you can stimulate their irrational impulses, in the manner of big business, it is possible to steer a majority in the desired direction.
In the lives of most people, it must be said, the ratio between the irrational and the rational is very much in favour of the irrational. They are liable to clothe feelings in erroneous ideas. What is true of the individual is even more true of groups, which are distinctly more volatile and malleable. In a nutshell, leadership manipulates and manages those feelings and clothes them in the correct ideas.
”The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda
Persuasion and conditioning, rather than physical coercion, has up until now been sufficient to exert control over a society. Those with means have essentially reduced those without into emotional puppets. They manipulate them by stimulating desires and fears. We should add that this method of population control has been more pressing in an age of industrial globalism where contractual obligation is prized high above a sense of abstract fidelity to national sovereignty. When nationhood itself has become a dirty word, it becomes necessary to entice the public toward hidden objectives, by inciting their emotions, rather than to demand allegiance on patriotic grounds.
There may in fact be particularly good reasons for a stated policy but to explain it rationally to the public would cause insurmountable difficulties. Because they are not rational – those who stand to lose everything from said policy will be even less rational. So, it is necessary to excite their inner fears and manipulate them in the interests of a higher truth. Edward Bernays, the founding father of public relations – a euphemism for propaganda – called it the “engineering of consent”.
To uncover that which is intended to remain hidden will always involve a certain amount of conjecture. But we can say that in a world of finite resources the “consumptionism” that has been the order of things in the west and elsewhere for the last century cannot realistically continue. The lockdown, which has purportedly been triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, is in fact coloured by the same brush as the fallacious fears aroused over climate change. It is to impede the western and global economy to bring it in line with a more sustainable future – a controlled demolition of its productive capacities.
This requires more state interference and the destruction of the middle-class. The “second wave” of the pandemic – which sounds like more of a threat than a warning – will be another step in the ongoing process of centralisation, increased global integration and authoritarianism.
The dominant ideas are the ruling ideas
It is only natural that the system we are in has left a profound impress upon our thoughts and opinions. When a story is fabricated, one which goes on to dominate social discourse, such as WMDs in Iraq, many of us assume that it can’t be ideologically framed because we wrongly believe that our mass media is independent and objective and would filter out fact from fiction. In this sense, a story’s monotonous dispersion confirms its authenticity. The exact reverse, of course, is true. Consider the ultimate source.
Marx also wrote that the dominant ideas are always the ruling ideas. The more dominant a theme, therefore, by implication, the more likely it will be a falsehood because it will derive from the source which has the most to gain and the most to lose. These ideas will also be ostensibly in service of the highest good: the preservation of state and the social order. But since the truth is often anathema to the preservation of that social order, and since the state is nothing more than a consortium of vested interests which direct the resources of government, actions and the ideas behind them will usually be performed in service of power and ambition, not in service of the truth and the people.
The problem here is that if the truth does not act as a brake to power, what will? The Roman poet Juvenal put it best: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Who will guard the guards themselves?). Hence why a commitment to the truth is perhaps the most important value in any free society. In fact, we could go further and insist that Truth is oxygen to Freedom’s lungs. When the general atmosphere is so starved of air or is an airless vacuum, freedom must suffer. Dictatorships can only emerge and be sustained once the truth and the people have been sidestepped so ingeniously.
A people committed to freedom must be committed to truth. But “the new normal”, of which so much has already been written, most of it in the bland, lifeless style of the new normal itself, is evidently not a commitment to truth, it is a commitment to social order. It is a means to turn the whole of human existence into a crisis that demands state intervention. In such a world, it must be said, the truth will be an unwelcome intrusion. It already is.
There’s more chance of dying from a bolt of lightning
If we are to take our lessons from history, we would observe that control over human behaviour is never, on the face of it, introduced with totalitarian intention. Each new step in the assertion of control is invariably taken as a rational response to a pressing need. As Aesop put it, “a tyrant will always find a pretext for their tyranny”. Those that lived under dictatorship know this only too well, though many others would have certainly internalised these pressing needs to have been quite unconscious of the manipulation. This unthinking obedience, if not essential, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.
It is certainly curious, considering the rich history of political manipulation across all societies, that when you openly question the truth of claims it will invariably attract venom and condemnation. Even a moderate position will do so. One that, say, questions the continuance of a lockdown in the light of new information from the Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), which estimates the COVID-19 fatality rate to be 0.4% for symptomatic people. This means the true lethality rate is 0.26% because it believes 35% of cases will be asymptomatic.
As one commentator pointed out, given that these numbers are inflated by care home deaths, which account for about half of all deaths in most western countries, that would mean the fatality rate for the rest of the population would be under 0.1%. Though this of course includes people of all ages and all health statuses. Since nearly all deaths are accompanied by comorbidities, the chances of a person in good health dying are therefore extremely slim. Remember, the above figures are also predicated on contracting the virus. It is thought that anywhere between 40-70% of the world’s population may do so. When you factor the chances of contracting the virus with the chances of dying of the virus, a study from Canada found that COVID-19’s individual rate of death for people under 65 is 6 per million, or 0.0006%, or 1 in 166,000. There is much a greater chance of dying from a road traffic accident (1 in 14,053); there is a much greater chance of a young person with no underlying health conditions dying from a lightning strike (1 in 1,107,143).
Detractors will rightly point out that Canada has been on lockdown and that will purportedly reduce spread and case mortality; but as we saw in Tyranny by numbers, countries that haven’t been on lockdown, such as Sweden, are reporting lower mortality rates per capita than countries that have. And how is the CDC’s fatality rate of under 0.1% for those infected, when adjusted for non-care home members of the community, something that justifies such draconian measures if the point of the exercise is to protect public health?
The rigid nature of social hierarchies
Is the mainstream media reflecting this information or is it propagating senseless fear? Fear has the effect of anesthetising portions of one’s brain. So, while those who question the legitimacy of a lockdown which has already caused incalculable damage to public health are often ridiculed, the rest of society, like soldiers answering the drill instructor, appear to group themselves automatically into regimented formation. But one must always be on guard to not be one of a number, especially at times of acute insanity. Something that unfortunately seems antithetical to human instinct.
All humans are endowed with the propensity of bolstering their postulates with the beliefs of those around them, with the presumptions of the immediate surroundings, and whatever the distance one may remain from any presumption, moral or social, one is partly influenced by them and will even adapt their life to them. Psychologists and social anthropologists call this process ‘socialisation’. This predilection to presumption and conformity is the glue in social cohesion but the enemy to truth and reason.
We can also note that only those who accept or tacitly accede to the prevailing illusions can survive in a demanding workplace. Opposing views invariably find little traction, while a failure to conform to the standard practices and attitudes results in eviction by the typical mechanisms.
When the whole of society presents itself as a hierarchy, with a top to bottom chain of command, the multitude existing at the lower levels of that chain of command, one can see how a society can be steered in certain directions. For instance, since most mass media outlets are owned by a handful of mega-corporations, it’s very easy for those at the top of that command-chain to saturate the airwaves with a specific message. Certainly, the uniformity and synchronicity we are witnessing is typically not a symptom of objectivity, but of hierarchical order.
The problem with centralisation is that it can create opacity as to who are making the decisions and the rationale behind them, and it can make the whole of human civilisation subject to the goodwill of a very few people. In the next article, The Common Enemy of Man (which will be published later in June), I will explore in further detail the origins of global centralisation and the forces behind it. The purpose of the present discussion has been to demonstrate that the lockdowns have not been put in place to mitigate the effects of a deadly virus, but for other reasons, the contraction of the global economy being an obvious starting point.
Aldous Huxley was right. But he was beaten to it
The two great novels of the 20th century in the English language that depicted a dystopian future were Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, by Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, respectively. One presents a totalitarian society which has attained total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology, the other a totalitarian society ruled by censorship and violence. Upon publication of 1984, Orwell sent a copy of the book to Huxley, who, as chance would have it, was his former French teacher at Eton. Huxley wrote back to him. He praised his book as being “profoundly important”, but added:
“Whether in actual fact the policy of boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World……Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. This change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency”
This vision of a futuristic technocratic rule aligns closely with the writings of influential political theorist and social commentator, Walter Lippmann, who, we recall, advocated for an enlightened elite to apply scientific management to tame the “bewildered herd” a decade before the publication of Huxley’s dystopian classic.
This scientific management has extended to arousing desires and fears by stimulating the public’s irrational impulses, such as the deliberate exaggeration of threat levels, whether they be those posed by a foreign dictator or COVID-19. By ramping up fear, or in some cases even inventing a story, you can convince a populace to support a policy in spirit, the underlying reasons for which has nothing to do with those stated.
Brave New World was published in 1931, but in the 1920’s a new template of how to run a society was already beginning to emerge. At its core was the all-consuming self, the promotion of which was not only necessary for economic expansion in an era of mass production, it also stimulated the populace, and made it docile, so created a stable society. President Hoover,in a speech in 1928 to a group representing the nascent Public Relations industry, stating: “You have taken over the job of creating desire. And have transformed people into constantly moving happiness machines. Machines that have become the key to economic progress”.
But when the goal is to contract and not expand the economy, in an era of “sustainable development”, this century old vision of population control, modelled around the all-consuming self, is clearly no longer viable. “The new normal”, therefore, is one modelled around sustainability and a kind of oligarchical collectivism, in which the all-consuming self is constricted and subordinate to the greater interests of the collective.
A world where science, politics and money become the same
Hitherto the freedom enjoyed in the west and many other parts of the world has been contingent on economic freedom. Because the freedom to make money entails the freedom to spend it. As we know, before the 1800s the dominant economic order was feudalism, a world in which individual freedoms were curtailed in line with a divine order and hereditary entitlement. It saw little to no economic growth. Life was “nasty, brutish and short”.
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution. This will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change…..It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation”
Climate change is in fact as pertinent to the discussion of “the new normal” as COVID-19. Because both are fuel in the engine to a reach a new “sustainable” economy, and not important in and of themselves. For instance, according to the 2019 BP Statistical Review of World Energy (you can download it here), the Chinese economy, which is heavily reliant on coal-fired power, as of 2017, emits more carbon dioxide than the US and the EU block combined (about 9.428 billion metric tons to 9.394 billion metric tons [page 59 of the report]). While the US has decreased annual carbon emissions by nearly 800 million tons over the last decade, and the EU block by 681 million tons, Chinese emissions continue to soar by a 235 million ton increase per year. The Chinese primary energy consumption (commercially traded fuels, including renewables) per capita is 96.9 gigajoules (page 14), by way of contrast in the UK it is 120.9 gigajoules. But because the Chinese economy is a lot more dependent on fossil fuels, this means the carbon emissions per capita in China is higher than it is in the UK. As of 2018, the UK produces about 5.88 tons of carbon emissions per capita and China, 6.73 tons. That’s about 14.5% more emissions per person every year.
It’s certainly very curious that in a world apparently on the brink of climatic and ecological collapse the world’s worst carbon emissions abuser can continue to increase emissions with global bodies seemingly doing very little to intervene. Indeed, the Paris Agreement of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed by 189 countries in 2016 places much stricter measures on the US and Europe than China. The former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christina Figueres, from whom the quote is taken above, said in 2014 that China was “doing it right” while stating that the U.S. Congress was “very detrimental” in the fight against global warming.
Again, my next article, ‘The Common Enemy of Man’ will delve deeper into global centralisation and the reasons for these palpable inconsistencies in global policy. Many argue that China has infiltrated these institutions and is engaged in an economic attack on the west, creating, through climate policy, a climate of unfair competitive advantage. This is of course nonsense. The reasons why the UNFCCC and huge combinations of transnational capital place stricter controls on the West is because China already has a system of oligarchical collectivism. In other words, it already has “the new normal”.
In reasoning one must not place the cart before the horse. This is important to understand: climate change and COVID-19 are pretexts for sustainable development and “the new normal”, sustainable development and “the new normal” are not a response to climate change and COVID-19.
A technocracy is a system of governance in which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their perceived expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with regard to scientific or technical knowledge, and who select other decision-makers on the basis of their perceived expertise. There is surely no better example of a technocracy than unelected people sitting atop global command-chains. There surely is no better example of a technocrat than somebody who has no qualifications in the related field but who has the power to advocate for, say, a mandated global medicine because he monopolises global medicine – we know them as professional philanthropists. A technocracy is essentially a world in which science and politics and money assimilate into one. Which is in fact tacitly implied by the term“technocratic”.
So, in a technocracy whatever the 0.1% wants is what the politicians and the politically approved scientists and medics say we must do.
“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by the elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities”
The problem with collectivism, and what so many seem to forget, is that Civilisation was developed for Humans and not Humans for Civilisation
It appears there is a number among us who want to create a society in which every movement is controlled with the regularity of clockwork. But “the new normal” is such a sterilised vision of life, it’s as if living creatures will be required to become like a machine; and now, as though the corner of our clothing has got caught in the flywheel of that machine, we are beginning to be drawn toward that vision.
Clockwork order is only acquired with a great deal of effort; it doesn’t just magically fall into place. You can’t radically transform society and have a completely new economy, with new forms of food, power, construction and transportation, without having a police state already in place. Order on this magnitude wears a uniform and a pair of boots. As we can already observe in China.
The harmonious individual, it needs to be said, hardly exists at all; a regimentally harmonious society, therefore, if it can exist, will only be oppressive. It will suffocate learning, development, thought, invention, ambition, reason, excellence, and every field you can think of. In short, it will suffocate the human experience itself. Destiny will be plucked from the soul, depersonalized, remodeled, and then enumerated on some spreadsheet.
Every human being is infinitely precious. They are not things to be catalogued, recorded, and chipped. They are not numbers on a graph. They are not just a random assortment of atoms to be corralled into medicinal concentration camps in which all meaningful choices in their life will be mandated.
If you have goals, and you want to convince others of their merits, there must be good reasons to implement them
“Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible”
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs, published in 2015 in UN Resolution 70/1, are part of UN’s Agenda 21 program, which was re-labelled UN Agenda 2030 in the same year as the aim is to have the foundation of these sustainable development goals in place by 2030. The SDGs include 1. No Poverty. 2. Zero Hunger. 5. Gender Equality. 12. Responsible Consumption and Production. 13. Climate Action.
This is how these goals are being sold to the public, but it should be stressed that the ultimate destination, by definition, is always different to the route taken to get there. Moreover, the 17 SDGs is also a classic case of public relations. We have all these problems, which are universally considered to blight the human species, and global governance implementing the right changes can provide the solutions to these problems. Likewise, we have a terrible virus which is apparently ravaging through the global population on the one hand, but on the other, we have “One World: Together at Home”, and as “global citizens” we can get through these hard times and build a better and brighter future for all. If it has the framework of a classic marketing campaign, it’s because it is a marketing campaign.
Another important component of UN’s Agenda 2030 is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030). The WHO is a branch of the UN and this initiative, which is funded by all the usual titans of banking and industry, is a “new global vision” “to extend the benefits of vaccines to everyone, everywhere” and is a “strategy to address these challenges over the next decade”, pledging to “leave no one behind”. Immunization is considered to play a key role in achieving the SDGs. So much so, IA2030 literature states that its initiative is linked to 14 of the 17 SDGs.
We can say with confidence that for IA2030 2021-2030 to achieve its ambitious goals of universally mandated vaccines which leaves “no one behind” there would have to be compelling reasons for the “compelling arguments of the value of vaccines” to be propounded. So, to implement this “new global vision” by 2030, if presently a deadly and infectious virus did not exist, it would be necessary to invent one. Similarly, to implement UN Agenda 2030 and its attending 17 SDGs there would have to be compelling reasons for the value of sustainable development and increased integration under the auspices of global institutions. So, if presently the world was not on the brink of climatic and ecological disaster, it would be necessary to invent reasons why it is.
As we have already touched upon, in our hybrid market system, the producers, which are few and highly organised, attempt to stimulate the emotional response of the consumers, which are innumerable and scattered. In fact, when you really think about it, society itself is just a protracted advertisement. The SDGs, IA2030, everything that comes out of the UN is precisely this: an advert. Of course, that means the pandemic is also an advert for “the new normal”, which will apparently include universally mandated medicine.
The legal validity of mandatory vaccination
How this fast-tracked universally mandated medicine will be achieved in practice given the Nuremberg Code, which protects the individual from bodily intrusion, and, say, the US Constitution, remains to be seen. In the context of the latter, this paper from the American Journal of Public Health via the National Institutes of Health explores questions about the legality of the federal government forcibly administering a mass vaccination. In Jacobson v Massachusetts 1905 the US Supreme Court upheld the local health board’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic. This was after the claimant challenged the state’s authority to place mandatory restrictions on personal liberty for public health purposes. What would be constitutionally permissible today?
“A law that authorizes mandatory vaccination during an epidemic of a lethal disease, with refusal punishable by a monetary penalty, like the one at issue in Jacobson, would undoubtedly be found constitutional under the low constitutional test of “rationality review”
With the Johnson case as precedent, If it can be demonstrated that there is an epidemic of a lethal disease, and if the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it would not be unconstitutional for the federal government to impose a compulsory vaccination program with “physical restraints and unreasonable penalties for refusal”, unless people can show “contraindications to the vaccine” (reasonable grounds for exemption).
The government can’t legally force compulsory vaccination, but it can suspend personal liberties, such as impose a full or partial quarantine on those who are recalcitrant, if it is considered that the severity of the epidemic warrants it. It can make participation in society very difficult without compliance. And the same will probably be true elsewhere. As we know, before this ‘pandemic’ many countries and states in the US were already fast-tracking involuntary vaccine mandates for school-age children. Such as in California, where children can’t enlist in state schooling without producing a certificate proving immunization. Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, said in September 2019 that the UK government was “looking very seriously” at doing the same.
In the jaws of the coronavirus scare there may well be an appetite for involuntary vaccine mandates to become the norm for children and adults; with “digital certificates”, according to one professional philanthropist, “to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it” (7th answer on the thread). As chance would have it, the ID2020 Alliance, largely funded by the same professional philanthropist, and working in partnership with the UN, has been inaugurated just in time to meet these challenges.
“We live in a digital era. Individuals need a trusted, verifiable way to prove who they are, both in the physical world and online”
I’m aware that I have and will no doubt continue to attract aspersions of being a “conspiracy theorist”. Aspersions that ring out from lips in the manner of Pavlov’s dog salivating at the sound of a bell. Quite aside from the fact that this a classic logical fallacy – an argument from false analogy – the conflation of disparate topics under one all-encompassing crackpot umbrella, and that conspiracies are merely two or more people colluding together for personal gain at the expense of others (in my mind, a fitting partial definition of private enterprise); it feels incumbent on me, before we proceed, to talk about the market system, so important to our way of life and the controls placed upon us, many of which voluntarily imposed, in the light of these“conspiracies”:
In the classic barter both parties lie; each pretends to be telling the truth and makes the effort to persuade the other they are telling the truth. Watching the ignoble process, we see that neither ends up being sure how far their own lies are being accepted. Nor are they sure what part of the other’s lies conceal a modicum of truth, because the best lies are always superficially packaged in truth.
In the process of industrial evolution, there have developed so many complexities to this simple process. As soon as we came to the point where we started exchanging a universal currency for goods and services the balance of power shifted to the Seller. They came to specialise in the selling of one thing; and the more complex the society, the more products the Buyer must buy, therefore they remain a novice to each. Moreover, the Sellers grow in power and learn to combine: they form partnerships, companies, firms, alliances, global bureaucratic institutions; they donate to associations and non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to protect their interests; they pour money into Research and Development to advance said interests in some future market; they avoid taxes by pouring money into science and charities, which become dependent on that funding, and which also open up future markets; they establish front organisations to protect the interests of the Buyers; and in advanced industrial societies there is also the emergence of professional philanthropists who act as front men for the Sellers – these people can batten on to the public purse and bend all they touch to their own interest, to such a degree that they can bring the entire cause they ostensibly support into disrepute.
The object of shell companies is to obscure tax liabilities. Equally, a plethora of proxy organisations enables the Sellers to obscure the fact that governmental policies are being influenced by the same corporate behemoths which have funded entire networks of charities and NGOs to interact with government and its institutions. NGOs and charities are considered more benevolent and less corrupt than their sponsors, and the media presents them as such, even when a cursory look at their staff and finances evinces a total financial dependence to the corporate sponsors they campaign on behalf of.
The Buyers, meanwhile, remain disorganised and isolated and helpless. They’re completely surrounded by huge fortresses of lies mingled with truth which have been built up over time. They don’t fund any of the research, and they’re not privy to the development of products they’re cajoled and coerced into having. They don’t even know the components and ingredients that make up each product. But despite these stark inequalities in the trading process, we have many disparaging terms for when a Buyer, so brazen as to break from the flock, asks more probing and critical questions of the Seller. One such term being: Anti-vaxxer!
Human society is in the image of Influence; therefore, it is in the image of the Seller.
There are generally several phases to a marketing campaign, so if “the new normal” were a product it would certainly have a soft launch and a hard launch and possibly even a beta launch, as would the developing vaccine. If the “first wave” and the lockdowns were, say, a beta launch or a hard launch, what would be the soft launch? A soft launch is when a business gradually introduces a new product to market to test for weaknesses. It generates little to no buzz, and its purpose is to prepare in advance the hard launch for maximum effect. The soft launch was of course the now infamous, Event 201.
In an honest and sane world, it would certainly be of note if it were discovered that a group in society funded a simulation for a coronavirus pandemic a month before patient zero in a real coronavirus pandemic. Held in New York City on October 18th, 2019, ‘Event 201’ was a multi-million-dollar coronavirus pandemic exercise which brought together the leading figures from the banking, pharmaceutical and media industries.
Now, if the global economy was someone called Mrs Brown and a novel coronavirus was the instrument of death, an honest investigation would certainly investigate the beneficiaries of her estate if it transpired that they planned her demise in mirror detail weeks before. This goes without saying. But unfortunately, we don’t live in an honest and sane world. Apparently, while there’s zero tolerance of petty crime, inveterate corruption in banking and big business is allowed to continue with impunity.
Event 201 was funded and dominated by the banking and pharmaceutical industries, and perhaps this is why the simulation of a global health crisis, which you can watch in full on YouTube, was almost exclusively focused on finance, the need to increase centralisation and global integration, and the importance of controlling media and communications, which included “trusted voices” and leaders “within the community”; to “flood the zone” with the“narrative”, it being “central to the co-ordinated response”.
Hours into this exercise a truly extraordinary exchange took place. Brad Connet of Henry Schein took the floor and said: “In 1918 16 million people died [the influenza outbreak is actually thought to have killed between 17 and 50 million]. That was more than the two great wars. And one of the impending results was a massive shortage of physicians, care providers. I don’t see that on the list….. The shortage of physicians is looming anyway in the United States. That’s something that should be considered in this”.
In this multi-million-dollar pandemic tabletop exercise hosted by The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization, an exercise which included experts in disaster planning, it seems none of them thought about physician and care provider shortages. It was an afterthought several hours into the simulation.
Please, if we brought together the leaders of the catering and event planning industries to simulate a multi-million-dollar banqueting extraordinaire, would it be credible if hours into the exercise someone said: “Uh, have we thought about the cooking? Will we have enough chefs after the first course?”. Ask yourself, was healthcare the primary concern?
The timing of Event 201 so close to a real coronavirus pandemic was obviously just a coincidence. As it is obviously just a coincidence that the timing of the coronavirus pandemic fits in with the global policy targets already mentioned, such as the 17 SDGs, of which 14 can be linked to the global Immunization Agenda. Incidentally, the Event 201 logo, as seen above, was redolent of the Earth Summit’s Agenda 21, the former name of Agenda 2030, the UN action plan under which the SDGs fall.
Rocinante has lost his Don Quixote
The SDGs – the soft sell of “the new normal” – are, I suppose, the product of the age of rationalism, one which vainly attempts to codify and control and carry everything under the sun, apparently for the betterment of mankind, but then neglects to take mankind along for the ride.
Even if we were to make the cardinal of errors and take them at face value, in a world in which everything appears as it is not, they are insanely logical, whereas humans are sanely illogical. We are wayward; impulsive. We are Don Quixote in search of a windmill, not a fenced in horse at the trough. To attempt to reduce everything to a mathematical brickwork and shape and fit the human soul inside the rooms and corridors of that asylum is a recipe for misery; it is a recipe for exploitation.
In fact, it is this image of materialism, which is ironically the product of the age of rationalism, that we are just some temporary coalescing of atomic particles which have randomly complexified but soon those atoms will disperse and become nothing more than plant fertiliser, that is the optimum mindset needed for exploitation to work guilt-free.
Furthermore, this priggish allegiance to social order will completely rub away the romance of life. Because individual liberty, which unfortunately seems to be a value and not an instinct, will be contracted in proportion to the sustainability envisioned. Ultimately, it will require the fashioning of a new kind of human, at least in the west and elsewhere, because the human soul is not obedient to the laws of mechanics. And the engineering of bug people – easily led and easily crushed – in a regimented system of collectivism, requires the human soul to be obedient to the laws of mechanics.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
“There are today people who are still actually anti-science. A whole movement called the anti-vaxxers. Who refuse to acknowledge the evidence that vaccinations have eradicated smallpox, and who by their prejudices are actually endangering the every children they want to protect. I totally reject this anti-scientific pessimism. I’m profoundly optimistic about the ability of new technology to serve as a liberator and to remake the world wondrously and benignly….Nano technology is revolutionising medicine by designing robots a fraction of the size of a red blood cell, capable of swimming through our bodies, dispensing medicine and attacking malignant cells like some Star Wars armada”
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is said to be characterised by a range of new technologies that are “fusing the digital, physical and biological worlds”, and “challenging ideas about what it means to be human”. As an introduction to the topic, the World Economic Forum’s 2016 effort: What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution? offers an overview. The same billionaires at Davos that brought you ‘Event 201’ have commissioned a short film in which it is stated at the outset: “The very idea of human being some sort of natural concept is really going to change”. And “Our bodies will be so high tech we won’t be able to really distinguish between what’s natural and what’s artificial”. The film offers a glimpse into the near future of human biology being integrated into digital technology.
A brief recap. In the feudal world power was asserted through force and self-sanctification. Human relations were throughout of a divine order, and power placed itself at the terrestrial head of that divine order. It spoke on behalf of God. Because God’s word was beyond reproach, so intelligent rulers exercised their power in the name of God.
Post Enlightenment, as humans gained full control over their environment, it was necessary in a competitive world to liberate the self from prior constraints. Power is asserted through secular mechanisms of manipulation, namely science, technology, and the state. Appetites are deified and power taps into them and uses them against us. Science and democracy speak on behalf of power. Because when the word of science and democracy is beyond reproach, intelligent rulers exercise their power in the name of science and democracy.
In the feudal world power was visible, in the modern world it is largely invisible. In the past the Serfs suffered from the pride of Kings. Today those same Serfs suffer from the anonymity of Tyrants. Who are happy to trade the appearance of power for the reality of power. Whenever there is a public backlash to a policy the politicians and technocrats take the brunt of the flak, and will be replaced to appease the masses, leaving the institution and those who actually direct its power unharmed.
Both these systems of population control are built around controlling perception.
But in an uncompetitive world where power has spread over the entire globe, and has merely left the shell of the various forms of nationhood intact (more on this in the Common Enemy of Man), and where advances in technology allow for it, it is more efficient to not only commoditize the human being, but thought itself.
As we recall, Huxley wrote to Orwell after the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four. He said that “the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience”. That a boot-on-the-face society was “destined to modulate” into one in which dissent becomes physiologically and psychologically impossible as the result of a need for “increased efficiency”. As a side note, Huxley’s brother, Julian, was a forerunner of the global technocratic movement in the 1920s.
Question: What is the only thing power wants and doesn’t have? Answer: More power. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is an upgrade of power relations in society along the lines presaged by the works of Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell and many early technocrats of the first half of the 20th century. It is a world of transhumanism. A world where people love their servitude and love to stay safe:
“Up until know the conversation we’ve been having is around freedom of speech. Once we can (my emphasis) access people’s thoughts and access people’s emotion…we have to create a space that enables people to think freely, to think divergent thoughts, to think creative thoughts. And in a society where people fear having those thoughts, the likelihood of being able to enjoy progress is significantly diminished”
– excerpt from the World Economic Forum’s, ‘What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?’
There seems every intention to make President Hoover’s “constantly moving happiness machines” literal.
In the age of consumption plutocrats understand that if you can stimulate the public’s irrational impulses, in the manner of big business, it is possible to steer a majority in the desired direction. They understand that if you can trigger desires and fears of target groups their frustrated need for power or need for security can be redirected and controlled within definable boundaries.
These have been the most stable methods of population control in the world of industrial globalism – fear and distraction and division. Of course, most people bolster their postulates from the presumptions of the immediate environment, digesting them with no more conscious thought than the digestion of his or her food, so have absolutely no awareness of the manipulation. That they are in fact unwitting participants in what is essentially a reality tv show. Indeed, the media says jump. And the public say How high? It is mere emotional puppetry.
In the future this form of population control will no longer be necessary. Because it is inefficient. People will come to love their masters and will “enjoy progress”. The infrastructure for this future is being put up as you read this, on the ground and from above: “Smart cities will pullulate with censors all joined together by the IoT” (Internet of things) and there will be “nowhere to hide” (Excerpts taken from the same Boris Johnson speech referenced above). Every inch of the globe is going to be blanketed with this technological control grid.
Agenda 2030 and the SDGs plan to move people into cities – for increased efficiency – with a centralised global bureaucracy having total control over the food, water and energy supplies. The transnational power that controls these forests of global bureaucratic institutions (more on what that is in the Common Enemy of Man) ultimately intends to completely colonise geographical and human resources with no possibility of resistance. This is, I’m afraid, “the new normal”.
Just think about what is happening. The asymptomatic neighbor has suddenly been turned into a walking assassin. Those who don’t comply with governmental mandate are perceived to be threatening other people’s health. Human interaction is being circumscribed by social distancing and by the compulsory wearing of masks. And track and trace programs are not only gathering DNA at an unprecedented rate, but will restrict people’s movements in accordance with stopping the spread of a virus which is a lot less likely to kill a young healthy person than a bolt of lightning. All of this is dividing and dehumanising and controlling.
It is also illogical because stopping the spread of the virus is not the agenda. The agenda is to remodel human behaviour along the lines of Agenda 2030 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is merely one grooming phase. Its purpose is to inculcate new norms – for example, technology being a safer medium for social interaction – with the end destination being transhumanism.
Look around and you will see that this grooming phase has been in the works for some time. Young people absorbed by their phones, living their life through their social media accounts, addicted to the little “pseudo-dings of pleasure” of social credits.
The trans movement has also taken off largely because it is necessary to introduce the notion of malleability of gender and the fusion of the sexes in a new era of androgynous automata. This has come about from the conflation of gender – etymologically, gender derives from the Latin genus meaning classification, kind, or sort (as in general or generalise) – with sex. So, the postmodernists have bequeathed us the mental gymnastics of having dozens of different genders, which are all pliant to personal caprice, but only two options in a permanent sex change surgery. Of course, it is silly. The trans movement could be respected without this conflation of gender with sex. But the UN still feels it necessary to ban all gendered language in relation to sex at a time of a global health ‘crisis’ because the agenda is to make people confused, sexless, sterile.
Wherever you stand on these developments – and I’m sure not everyone will concur with my sentiments – we can all appreciate the challenges ahead that lie in wait. The COVID-19 pandemic is evidently a contrived piece of theatre, the sustainable development goals cannot be reached without a massive winding in of human economic freedom, and technological advances pose a huge threat to the integrity of the human being, the future of the human race. Not that you would ever see that expressed. With the news being completely awash with COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, climate change.
This is what illusionists do. They divert your attention, then perform the secret of the trick when your gaze was averted.
With the yet to be developed vaccine containing nano technology, round-the-clock surveillance, and, for example, new cryptocurrency patents based on brain activity, we are living at a time when we could easily be overtaken by technology and be at the mercy of an unscrupulous power which will always be ready to take advantage. We only need to take our lessons from history to establish that maxim – what comes after is always in affinity with what went before.
Global depopulation has been on lips for some time. On a planet with finite resources exponential population growth and increasing consumption is undoubtedly a big issue. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology and Artificial Intelligence, in a world of automation a few can maintain their luxurious lifestyles without drawing on the labour of the human population sprawl. So, no longer being of use, but now a burden, the abject many will be at the mercy of the privileged few.
Certainly, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution the population crisis could potentially be solved with a flick of the switch. I suppose if that were to happen, an amalgam of humanity, Artificial Intelligence and digital technology would be the optimum circumstances for a mass genocide to work guilt-free.
“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge”
– Winston Churchill
It may be tempting to think that these deeds are being inflicted on us rather than committed by us. That when it comes to such matters, we have little to no agency. It may also be tempting to think that there are people among us who are more responsible than we are for the present circumstances. But this is the mindset of a victim, in which other people are blamed for everything, while we find excuses for oneself. Nothing good in life was ever achieved with such a mindset. In fact, it is exactly this kind of outlook that gravitates toward oligarchical collectivism.
The economist Joseph Schumpeter likened society to a hotel where the rooms were always full. As soon as one room is vacated, a new guest arrives. I think this is largely true. So, when the ship is sinking, it is better to attend to the hole in the hull than to merely focus on removing the water. If you focus on just the water, eventually you sink.
For this reason, I have deliberately not focused this article on those in the public eye who seem to have been so good as to leave their fingerprints all over the crime scene like common thieves. It’s counterproductive when others have already done it so brilliantly, and I’m sure, at this stage, we all know who they are.
Certainly, when we consider the actions of those involved in the minutest detail, and become fond of retracing our steps, we become drunk on their power at the same time as we do our own subjugation. Like someone who takes to drink because they consider their situation to be hopeless, and then the situation becomes even more hopeless because they drink.
It is perfectly legitimate to behold ugliness provided one does not end up in awe of it. Nor is it wrong, on occasion, to descend into the pits and look down at the Gates of Hell. It’s when you’re continuously looking up at Hell that a grave error has been made.
It may sound paradoxical, but those in power are not responsible for the chaos we see around us. Because every individual is sovereign. Every individual has the power. And their future is yet to be decided. The nature of fear and influence is to strip the individual of their innate sovereignty and to impose an alien future upon them. But these controls have no power over us; only a belief that they have such a power can bestow them upon you. Because power and powerlessness is always a two-way relationship.
Here is the uncomfortable but liberating truth: me, you, everybody is equally to blame.
Because society is merely the sum of its parts. As are all groups. It is like trees and forests. A forest is only an abstraction. It is merely a label for a conglomeration of individual trees. The individual trees exist independently of the forest, the forest does not exist independent of the individual trees. Every single tree that makes up a forest has a role to play. If there is a fault with a forest, it will be because of the trees; if there is a problem with society, look in the mirror – the world is most often a mirror, a mirror of the most transparent kind.
In the Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn considered his own actions in the lead up to his determent in the communist forced labour camp system, and concluded that he was ultimately responsible for his incarceration – he took part in a society that lied all the time. Despite being held in a brutal labour camp for many years, in which many did not make it out alive, especially political prisoners – Solzhenitsyn’s crime was an intercepted letter mildly critical of Stalin – he took ownership of his grim circumstances. By doing so, he made himself the architect of his life. This gave him the strength to survive and write one of the most important political works of the 20th century.
If this is true of Solzhenitsyn who had every reason to despair and complain and give up, then it’s infinitely true of all of us. The lesson here is that when we are sovereign, we write the future; when we play the victim, the future is written for us. Something a certain power mad ideology knows only too well.
In life problems don’t just magically disappear unless we take ownership of them. The first step in this process is identification. This can have a jarring effect – I’m afraid this is quite unavoidable. Now, there will be some of us who have been so lobotomised by consumption – material and ideological – that they may not be able to even discern a problem, least of all identify it, and will stick determinedly to their impressions. As in all minds in which impulse predominates over thought, their perception will remain firmly to what it was in the first instance. As harsh as it may sound, these people are irrelevant. Because this type of person, it must be said, are not the ones who set the course, they are merely the stepping-stones which carry us through the mud.
As for the rest of us, which is in fact the largest group, it may be easier to choose comforting lies instead of a Medusa-faced truth. It may also be easier to sit on the fence when it comes to the truth – to speak it only when it is expedient for us to do so and ignore it when it is not. What’s in it for me, we ask? But there is nothing in this cowardice that is not self-serving at the cost of our own well-being and at the cost of everyone else’s:
At the foot of every throne, men and women crowd in order to grasp their small portion of power. At their feet, crowd others who grasp still more at smaller portions. Social hierarchies are compartmentalised and comprised of persons who are impotent with those above them, and, within the limits of permissible authority, are omnipotent with those below. The higher up the ladder, the farther from the Truth. Because this hierarchical framework is reinforced by a mixture of fear and obsequiousness; neither, of course, can endure in the cold light of day.
It’s true that privilege will defend privilege. If necessary, it will even get its hands dirty. Professions with a veneer of respectability often share much in common with the “oldest profession”. Because beneath the respectable veneer is invariably to be found a moral quagmire, and sinking feet, legitimised only by the forces of habit and time.
Hitherto this strategy of unreasonably defending one’s position and class and the system in which they are embedded in the face of reasonable claims made against them has been a successful one, at least from a personal perspective. No longer. Crushed in a vice in which the chief interest is profiting from contracts, thereby escaping economic hardship at the same time as being seduced by the many material advantages of position, we are all racing towards the cliff edge where all the power will be invested from above and independence from below will be impossible.
In buying freedom in the short-term, money is buying enslavement in the long-term. As the last few months have painfully demonstrated, everything is interconnected. This forest fire will spread and consume all the trees unless it is extinguished. If society is taking a broad path to destruction, it can only be averted if enough people take the narrow, rickety path that leads to life.
As I wrote earlier, power is flaccid without control. Society requires consent and participation, hence the extraordinary lengths taken to engineer that consent and participation. No agenda is enforceable without mass participation.
Indeed, Gulags were largely run by the prisoners. In Solzhenitsyn’s time, most prisoners, after time served, would move up the administrative ladder and become trustees, which afforded them more luxuries and responsibilities than the new inmates. The prisoners who became guards were invariably more brutal than the civilian guards. Compromised, and burdened with guilt, they had established with their instigators the bond of complicity, and so, for the want of self-justification, the infliction of unnecessary violence was easier than retreat. As it was a wish to retain their flicker of privilege at the expense of those without privilege.
All the prisoners could have escaped at any moment if they had just realised they were the ones running the joint; if they had just realised they were being played against one another; if they had just realised their shared brotherhood and mutual interest.
This is even more true of the establishment of a much larger prison. In our case, the only thing required of us is to not exaggerate still further something that is already utterly exaggerated – resist mindless conformity. And to foster a more faithful relationship with the truth. The methodology is simple enough:
Fear and lies. They are as instinctual to the human spirit as it is for the mother to scold her child for sitting too close to the television, frightening them to not do so again, and the child to pretend, having been caught, that they were not. Over the course of human history fear has been the main weapon of influence, and lies has been the main method to evade guilt and responsibility. As such, all is a theatre, of sorts. It would almost feel gauche to write this, if not for people having the propensity to staunchly believe in the performance.
Fear feeds itself. Once a picture appears to the human mind, it seeks to paint it in more vivid colours. So, we too, if we surrender to fear, will find much in each detail to nourish it. It will assume other forms, and life will lay them across our path, for the spirit that animates those forms has been enkindled by our heart. They are ghosts of ourselves.
Power controls us through fear by inviting us to enkindle that spirit. Without fear power is impotent; it will brandish a blunted sword. Though it’s equally important to not be naïve, as it is to not be prostrated by fear, in the latter case it is us who are inhibiting our potential to live a full and prosperous life.
How do we put to an end our role in this strange theatre of omnipotent fear? We simply leave the performance. All dramatic spectacles will cease for want of an audience.
There are many ways of doing so. I think a belief in God is actually a good starting point. Because this has the effect of subordinating the ego to something much higher; it cultivates humility. This, it must be said, should be a direct relationship to something higher, and not through the medium of those who speak on behalf of God. Alternatively, an understanding that we are pure energy floating in a sea of energy so are an important component of a fundamental unit of existential solidarity. As such, lies and exploitation are not only injurious to others, but ourselves.
In the Hebrew Bible – the Old Testament – God’s main instruction to humanity was: Do not fear. Quite aside from what we may think about the other moral lessons in the Bible, I think this is a good one. Fear will ultimately kill the wretch that feeds off it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been described as fighting a war, just against an invisible enemy. But the real war is a spiritual one. The battlefield exists inside every human heart.
The individual is sovereign – and the future is yet to be written. Whether this is a sunrise or sunset is entirely up to us…
(Thanks for your patience. At the risk of sounding fatuous, this is obviously only my take on the current events. Not fact. Uncovering that which intends to remain hidden will always involve a certain amount of conjecture. Again, this article probably raises a number of questions. I’ll hopefully address some of these in the concluding part of the series).
Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, along with many other world leaders, have all described the plight we are in and the peril we face as fighting a war, just against an invisible enemy. To my knowledge this has been the only truthful thing which has escaped the lips of the leading choir in what has been a global chorus of mendacity.
War and invisible. Remember these words. In a series of articles, I will debunk the coronavirus scare, purport to show why it is happening, the mechanics of how, dissect what and who is responsible, and crucially, what we can do about it. Though the narrative presented will be linear, each part is self-contained and can be read amputated from the body of argument.
Part 1 – Tyranny by numbers
“There are three kinds of falsehoods, lies damned lies and statistics”
– James Arthur Balfour
Every single case thus far has not reliably tested positive for any infectious disease; the test in question is a non-binary test with an arbitrary threshold which merely identifies DNA material common to a family of viruses classified under the rubric of coronavirus;
Because this test is not looking for the entire sequence of COVID-19, merely a nucleate common to all coronaviruses;
We all have this DNA material in our bodies. The human body houses around 380 trillion viruses, with one of the most common types being the coronavirus;
Authorities are conflating every respiratory condition with COVID-19;
Coronavirus deaths in at least 6 different countries are being inflated by extraordinary new audit practices;
The official COVID-19 numbers are completely meaningless;
In the countries listed, all-cause mortality is consistent with the averages in previous years. In the UK deaths are now being counted more than once;
Alarmist models that predicted significant excess mortality have all been withdrawn;
The lockdown is catastrophic for public health.
Some necessary background. The common cold and influenza, aka the common flu, are viral infectious diseases. Hundreds of known viruses cause the diseases which fall under the common cold and influenza umbrellas. The main difference, although there is a degree of overlap, is that the common cold is typically a milder respiratory illness than influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) distinguishes the two here. The type and severity of symptoms varies on a case by case basis.
Both the common cold and influenza can be caused by viral strains that can transmit from animals to humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that Coronaviruses are “a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans”. Two examples: ‘HCoV-229E’, which is described as one of the viruses responsible for the common cold; and ‘HCoV-NL63’, which a recent study estimated to be present in 4.7% of common respiratory illnesses.
Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, a prominent professor of pulmonology in Germany and former Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has estimated that about 5-14% of all flu and common cold cases are caused by existing coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel strain. COVID-19 is the disease this strain can, but not necessarily, will cause.
The first coronavirus was discovered in the 1960s. But they have been circulating for time unknown. Perhaps forever. For example, though only discovered in 2004, it is thought ‘NL63’ mutated from ‘229E’ about 1,000 years ago. So, science is far behind nature in terms of detection.
Current science can’t even test for the presence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus or its disease in the sense that it can’t reliably differentiate it from other coronaviruses. It is assumed that science has established that COVID-19 is an infectious disease under Robert Koch’s 4 postulates and subsequent adaptations, such as the Bradford Hill Criteria – identify and isolate biological matter in a petri dish and demonstrate a causal link between a presumed cause and an observed effect (this has in no way been publicly demonstrated) – butthe tool medical professionals are using to test for the disease does not distinguish between coronaviruses and it does not determine whether someone is infected by a coronavirus.
The test in question, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), looks for a piece of nucleate in the body by magnifying biological material and tries to match that biological material to a coronavirus nucleate. The test is based upon a formula for DNA magnification, and the concept of “reiterative exponential growth processes”.
“PCR detects a very small segment of the nucleic acid which is part of a virus itself. The specific fragment detected is determined by the somewhat arbitrary choice of DNA primers used which become the ends of the amplified fragment”
– Kary Mullis, inventor of the PCR test
The inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993, emphatically argued against using PCR as a diagnostic tool. Because it is, in his words, a qualitative and not a quantitative test – “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron”. The results are entirely contingent on the level of multiplication.
For example, the official American version of the PCR COVID-19 test, which is named with characteristic technocratic drivel – the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel – uses what is called a “Real-Time” modification of PCR, described as a “major development of PCR technology that enables reliable detection and measurement of products generated during each cycle of PCR process”. But the “threshold is an arbitrary level of florescence chosen on the basis of the baseline variability”. And “Threshold can be adjusted for each experiment so that it is in the region of exponential amplification across all plots.
In other words, the degree of amplification is discretionary. And the degree of amplification, of course, will ultimately be the deciding factor in the end result. Hence Mr Mullis’ – and many others – impassioned pleas for it not to be used as a diagnostic aide.
Though it is an indispensable technique with a broad variety of applications, such as biomedical research and criminal forensics, it is unreliable in terms of establishing infection. Because it is non-binary and relies upon formulas with arbitrary thresholds of magnification. It doesn’t reliably distinguish between positive or negative, like with a pregnancy test. It doesn’t determine whether you have something or you don’t. I suggest this is why so many asymptomatic people are testing positive for this ‘disease’. They are not infected. They merely have slightly more of this DNA material than others.
Indeed, depending on degree of amplification, everyone, irrespective of condition, can test positive or negative with the PCR test. Because practically everyone has these DNA strands in their bodies. Astonishingly, the PCR test is not looking for the entire sequence of COVID-19, merely a nucleate common to all coronaviruses. Quite remarkable when you consider that the human body contains around 380 trillion viruses, with one of the most common types being the coronavirus. The ‘NL63’ coronavirus strand alone, remember, is present in significant quantities in up to 5% of all respiratory illnesses.
Whatever your preferred origins theory, our immune system is perfectly calibrated to operate in this environment. It is adapted to co-exist with viruses and other parasitic biological material. Viruses actually work with the immune system to keep us healthy. Infection only occurs when a virus starts to use our own cell machinery to replicate itself, and the immune system is unable, at least initially, to supress that viral replication. Symptoms then develop when the immune system attacks the pathogen and by doing so, attacks all the tissues the virus is in, damaging cells in significant quantities. This is when a virus triggers an inflammatory response – an infection.
But just testing for the existence of piece of nucleate in the body by magnifying biological material and then trying to match that with a coronavirus nucleate does not establish infection. And it certainly does not establish whether it is contagious. And I must repeat, the test doesn’t even look for the entire COVID-19 sequence, only a nucleate common to all coronaviruses, which we all have in our body in very small quantities. Amplify the DNA material enough and everyone tests positive.
According to one paper this degree of amplification has an “indeterminate” range. So, it’s quite possible that different hospitals across the world are all using different sensitivity standards of the PCR coronavirus test. Because being “indeterminate”, there is no gold standard. Indeed, the WHO has left the diagnostic specifications to the discretion of the medical practitioners. Not just with the PCR test, which is merely one of two diagnostic codes they have set.
The second diagnostic code, as dictated by an organization with all the gravitas of having World in its name, is that well, if it sort of looks like COVID-19, you can diagnose it as COVID-19. Quite extraordinary. COVID-19 symptoms, of course, are so generic as to be completely indistinguishable from a huge number of other respiratory illnesses.
The WHO has stated that those who have had the ‘infection’ are not immune from re-infection. Which begs the question, if you had the infection and were cured, why didn’t your body develop the antibodies to stop you being re-infected? Perhaps because that would mean you wouldn’t need some mandated medicine in the form of a magic concoction called a “vaccine”? I digress. But it is self-evident that a positive diagnosis does not establish any positive coronavirus infection. Least of all, a COVID-19 infection. And this is actually tacitly admitted in WHO’s bizarre claim that those who have been ‘infected’ can be re-infected by the same viral strain.
Kevin Ryan’s excellent blog, ‘Dig Within’, reported that a peer-reviewed study about the first COVID-19 cases was published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology on March 5th, 2020. Its data-driven conclusion was that “nearly half or even more” of patients testing positive for SARS-COV-2 did not actually have the virus. Therefore, half the results were false positives. The study was later mysteriously withdrawn a few days after publication. It was apparently, according to the lead researcher, a “sensitive matter”.
Another study out of China, which is still available online, though the English abstract has now been withdrawn from the PubMed database, found that up to 80% of asymptomatic people who tested positive for coronavirus were false positives.
Remember, there are people who have tested dozens of times for this ‘disease’, test negative every time, then eventually test positive, in what is a non-binary test, and all the negative tests don’t matter, the positive test is definitive. The extent of the quackery here is truly something to behold.
This is not some abstract point. Some major public policy decisions are being made on the back of an inherently flawed ‘diagnostic’ tool. Soberingly, the second in command of the the WHO, Michael Ryan, has suggested that individuals could even be “removed” “dignifiedly” from their families and quarantined should they test ‘positive’. And the test is not the only enumerator. Authorities have given themselves the mandate, with the full support of WHO, to conflate countless respiratory illnesses with COVID-19 from only a vague account of the symptoms. As we know, there are no trademark clinical features of a COVID-19 infection.
As if the testing is not bad enough, official coronavirus fatality figures are being accidently or more likely, deliberately padded by authorities across the globe by questionable and unprecedented practices.
There is a phrase you may be hearing in the media a lot of at the moment: “she/he died after testing positive for coronavirus”. Not, “as a result of” or “because of”, but “after testing positive”. The official guidelines across 5 jurisdictions provide some context to this peculiar framing of words.
For example, the worst affected country in Europe is said to be Italy. But the Italian Institute of Health (ISS) surveyed the first several hundred COVID-19 deaths in northern Italy and concluded that “maybe 2-3” of those first several hundred deaths were caused by COVID-19. And the survey wasn’t sure about one of those “2-3” because apparently their history “wasn’t available”.
A more recent official report from Italy has surveyed thousands of coronavirus deaths. The average age of people dying in Italy from coronavirus is 81 – 82 is the national average – and 99.2% have at least one co-morbidity. Most have multiple co-morbidities. Professor Walter Ricciardi, advisor to the Italian Minister of Health, explained these statistical curiosities were caused by the “generous” way the Italian government has been tabulating coronavirus deaths:
“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with[my emphasis] the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus”.
In other words, the Italian government does not differentiate between those who have been killed by a coronavirus and those who merely have any coronavirus in their body (but not necessarily infected).
In case there is any lingering doubt about this the President of the Italian Civil Protection Service made the following comment about Italian fatality figures in a morning briefing on 20th March:
“I want you to remember these people died with the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus”
The German health agency is engaged in a similar practice. The President of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute confirmed on the same day that Germany counts:
“Any deceased person who was infected with coronavirus as a COVID-19 death, whether or not it actually caused death”
In the US they are not even confining confirmed cases to a ‘positive’ test. This briefing note from the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System states:
“It is important to emphasize that Coronavirus Disease 19, or Covid-19, should be reported for all decedents where the disease caused or is [my emphasis] presumed to have caused or contributed to death”
The picture is the same across the UK. Northern Ireland’s HSC Public Health Agency defines a COVID-19 death as:
“Individuals who have died within 28 days of first positive result, whether or not COVID-19 was the cause of death”
In England and Wales, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), on account of a “rapidly changing situation”, have reserved the right to include COVID-19 deaths “in the community” in their statistics. Including “those not tested for COVID-19” and where “suspected COVID-19 is presumed to be a contributory factor”.
Not only for cases “in the community”, the official guidelines are leaving the door open for practitioners to list COVID-19 as a death even when a patient has not tested ‘positive’ (in a non-binary test that doesn’t distinguish between COVID-19 and DNA material we all have in our bodies). Here is the official NHS guidance for doctors filling out death certificates:
“If before death the patient had symptoms typical of COVID19 infection, but the test result has not been received, it would be satisfactory to give ‘COVID-19’ as the cause of death, and then share the test result when it becomes available. In the circumstances of there being no swab, it is satisfactory to apply clinical judgement”
Before recent changes to the law any death attributed to a “notifiable disease” had to be referred to a coroner. This would have included COVID-19 cases. But the Coronavirus Act 2020 alters the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 to specifically exempt COVID-19 deaths from jury inquests.
And it gets worse. According to the office of the Chief Coroner, the new legislation means that these deathsdo not have to be referred to a coroner at all. (Page 3):
“….there will often be no reason for deaths caused by this disease to be referred to a coroner”
The Coronavirus Act 2020 means that any deaths wrongly attributed to COVID-19 will never be corrected. It gives medical practitioners the power to sign off a cause of death for a body they have never seen, provided they “suspect” COVID-19 after using their “clinical judgement”.
There’s a pandemic! COVID-19 is everywhere. But under such prejudicial testing conditions, and diagnostic practices, it of course will be. The official figures across the world, whether confirmed cases or confirmed deaths, are at best, statistical noise, which do not even have the merest semblance of reality, and, at worse, are a very dishonest and devious attack on public health and well-being.
Indeed, the data demonstrates there have been a huge number of coronavirus deaths in Italy, Germany and US this year but in proportion to there being far fewer deaths from other causes. It’s the equivalent of saying we are inundated with a flood of new people named ‘Roberto’, ‘Jurgen’, ‘Brad’ etc after renaming 5% of those populations respectively. It is merely a re-tabulation of deaths which would likely have happened anyway.
In England and Wales, there isn’t a huge drop in deaths from other causes primarily because in the Office of National Statistics (ONS) weekly audit deaths can have more than one cause:
“Note: Deaths could possibly be counted in both causes presented. If a death had an underlying respiratory cause and a mention of COVID-19 then it would appear in both counts”
Clearly, given the statistical chicanery at play for all matters pertaining to COVID-19, in which it seems quite impossible to glean anything of value, what is especially significant is the all-cause mortality figures. They make for interesting reading.
EuroMomo, a central database which publishes “all-cause mortality levels [per country] for 24 European countries”, including Italy, Spain and France, reports no additional deaths over the last few weeks in almost all countries compared to previous years, and no significant increase in Italy.
The EuroMomo database addresses this anomaly in a weekly bulletin:
“The mortality figures for the most recent weeks must be interpreted with some caution. Although increased mortality may not be immediately observable in the EuroMOMO figures, this does not mean that increased mortality does not occur in some areas or in some age groups, including mortality related to COVID-19”.
What an extraordinary statement. Where overall mortality figures haven’t increased, if they have significantly increased in some areas and in some age groups, it must mean they have significantly decreased in other areas and in other age groups. So, if COVID-19 has caused a public health crisis in some sections of society the likes of which we haven’t seen for generations, that must also mean that COVID-19 has been absolutely fantastic for the health of other sections of society the likes of which we haven’t seen for generations. In other words, the explanation is total nonsense.
This week (week 15) there has been an increase in the EuroMomo figures in some areas, but we should definitely “interpret” this sudden rise in all-cause mortality with “some caution”.
As the graph shows, up until week 13 the overall deaths recorded in England and Wales was quite normal. Then in week 14 there was a sharp increase, the highest weekly total recorded in 10 years, and hugely unusual for this time of year. Definitive proof of a public health crisis? Well, in a word, no.
For the last 10 years the ONS has counted, not the number of people who die every week, but the number of deaths registered per week. This obviously leads to some delay in the accurate audit of numbers as the registration process can take more than a few days.
In week 12 the ONS made a special mention of COVID-19, explaining that because of a national health ‘emergency’ and a “rapidly changing situation” it will change the way it will report the numbers in future weeks:
“To allow time for registration and processing, these figures are published 11 days after the week ends. Because of the rapidly changing situation, in this bulletin [my emphasis]we have also given provisional updated totals based on the latest available death registrations, up to 25 March 2020. These deaths will be included in the dataset in a subsequent week”
This amendment to the procedure, which did not exist at any time prior to week 12 this year, gives the ONS scope to count the same deaths twice – provisional deaths the previous week “will be included in the dataset in a subsequent week”. It explains the big jump in deaths.
Naturally, the media made no mention of this change to the ONS methodology of collating data when it reported the huge spike in deaths. There were only hysterical reports replete with statistical gibberish terrifying the public afresh with yet more fearmongering. A common theme. Though it may be hard to imagine, apparently as a class journalists can’t read or, at least, don’t bother reading.
Frankly, the true number of overall deaths are, at this stage, anybody’s guess. In the UK – everywhere for that matter – the goal posts are constantly changing like shifting dunes in a desert. But what we can say is that the numbers are a pure political product; they are judgement calls completely unrooted from sound empirical data.
In fact, it is certainly questionable whether there is a public health crisis at all. Despite a daily deluge of public statements from Health ministers, the ongoing media hysteria, and unverifiable and unsubstantiated testimony, there’s every reason to suspect that hospitals are not overflowing. Many citizen journalists, in the absence of investigative work from the cartel of media organisations which dominate ‘news’ dissemination, have shown discrepancies between the official line and local hospitals.
Fresh reports are emerging in the UK of “sinfully empty” private hospitals, which have been commandeered for specialist COVID-19 use by government mandate. Furthermore, London’s “underused” specialist unit Nightingale Hospital, purpose built for the COVID-19 outbreak, had, according to a recent leaked report, 19 active patients over the Easter weekend in a facility with 4,000 beds.
Now, if I had to say which was telling the truth about society, a speech by a minister of health or the actual activity in the hospitals, I should believe the hospitals. And we shouldn’t conflate that activity with mainstream media’s reports of that activity. The two are not the same. In times of ‘war’, the media are no strangers to total fabrication, especially when it comes to charting worthy victims who support a governmental position.
If the empirical data is so suspect, both the diagnostics – which can’t reliably determine infection and can’t distinguish COVID-19 from some of the most common infectious diseases – and the fatality figures, then how are we to trust the mathematical models and their alarming projections which precipitated this entire crisis? Well, we can’t. Because, remarkably, they have already been withdrawn.
Several days before the UK went on lockdown COVID-19’s status as a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) was downgraded by the government. Not upgraded but downgraded. The government’s extraordinarily heavy-handed approach of enforcing an open prison, coincided with the government saying:“As of 19th March, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK”. Yes, you did read that right.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a veritable giant among men in the field of immunology, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has stated that the virus could kill millions of US citizens. But recently he’s had this article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. He slyly states: “….the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza”. In other words, it’s not anywhere near as serious as what his public statements have led us believe; public statements uniform with the grim outlook upon which the current draconian measures are being based.
“I am somewhat reserved and skeptical about models because models are only as good as the assumptions that you put into the model. And those assumptions start off when you don’t have very much data at all or the data you have is uncertain, you put these assumptions in and you get these wide ranges of calculations of what might happen….but then you start to accumulate data….data, in my mind, always trumps any model”
Dr. Fauci very helpfully confirming what all of us unqualified idiots already knew. Models are not worth the paper they’re written on.
Dr. Neil Ferguson, the Professor behind Imperial College London’s study that UK government strategy has been predicated upon, as well as other governments around the world, also admits he got it wrong. I’ll repeat that. The professor of the study instrumental in the current lockdown has remodelled the data and concluded that they got it wrong. Not a bit wrong. Not somewhat wrong. Not even largely wrong. According to Dr Ferguson’s new model they got it 98% wrong. It’s been scaled back to about 2%-4% of the original findings. He said that experts are now expecting around 20,000 deaths in the UK, although it may even turn out to be “a lot less” than this, rather than the 500,000 deaths originally predicted by the study.
20,000. Where have we heard that before? Ah yes. That’s roughly around the average deaths in England and Wales alone (18,000) every year from the common flu (bottom of page 51). The common flu, an illness caused by viral strains that the official COVID-19 test can’t differentiate COVID-19 from. (Incidentally, the revised US figure of 60,000 is also the typical fatality rate of the common flu).
The study’s retraction has quietly gone through the news media (in a country that’s currently in lockdown largely as a result of its predicted model) without so much as raising an eyebrow. To point out the significance of this retraction, other studies, like the one commissioned by Oxford University, have run models estimating that 50% or more of the population have already had the virus. Which would obviously completely debunk the lethality of the virus (that’s really quite apparent anyway) and render the lockdown egregiously unnecessary; implemented only on the basis that over 99% have yet to contract the virus.
Dr. Ferguson has since taken to Twitter to clarify the revision. Essentially, but for the extreme controls enacted by the UK government the figure could be a lot higher than the revised total.
For example, there’s no evidence the lockdown is even an effective strategy to combat the spread of the virus. Countries with fewer restrictions or no restrictions, such as Sweden, are faring better than countries who have established an open prison. As of 23rd April, the official UK coronavirus deaths are 18,738 and Sweden’s are 2,021. The UK population is about 6 times larger than Sweden’s (approx’ 67 million to 11 million). Meaning there are less deaths in Sweden per capita than in the UK. Sweden is a very urbanized country, so a more sparsely populated territory doesn’t explain the discrepancy. That’s not to legitimize the numbers, they are, as demonstrated above, total bunk, but even by the official figures, the imposition of a lockdown is highly suspect.
Could is certainly the favourite weapon of those whose business is fear. What is human history but thousands of years of people being entrapped by a form of bio-debt, created by those who simulate every conceivable thing that could happen, yet hasn’t? It seems to me that current science here is effectively the secular version of a very old scam, perpetuated generation after generation by those who wish to control the rest of society. Create a scare and then save people from that scare. The capricious serpent god will come down and swallow the sun unless we do some magic ritual and save everyone. The mechanics of this is no different.
While a new dawn will always rise in the east, Farr’s Law states that “the curve of cases of an epidemic rises rapidly at first, then climbs slowly to a peak from which the fall is steeper than the previous rise”. Both phenomena occur irrespective of human intervention. But in both cases human intervention is presented as the causal factor, bereft of any empirical support.
The irony is that those who are so eager to reject religion as superstitious hogwash are invariably the first in the queue to sign up for scientific catastrophizing. For these people it is considered objectionable if religion encroaches on personal freedoms, yet when science does the same, they embrace the restrictions, never querying the saintly priestly class in lab coats. They never question their financial incentives, because naturally, these people will never have any reason for skewing results or for making anything hyperbolic and alarmist in order to scare people into accepting various policies, except of course for all the times when they have demonstrably done exactly that.
Thus far, COVID-19 is doing a much better job of attacking our liberties than attacking our bodies, with the body politic succumbing to the disease, as intended. Speaking of which, without a shred of irony, The Guardian described the Belarusian president, who has kept business going as usual in Belarus because, in his words, “this is just the flu”, as a “dangerous authoritarian”. Meanwhile, in the UK little old ladies are being pursued by drones, are shamed by the police for walking their dogs alone in national parks and are barked at to stay at home.
Lest we forget how beneficial fresh air is for the lungs. You don’t need to read many classic Russian novels to know how it is a great antidote to respiratory illness, which is why sanatoriums were in the countryside or the mountains, with consumptive patients (TB) kept largely outside. In a world of lies reality is often inverted to such a point where the truth is considered an aberration.
The public are on lockdown, yet airports remain open, with people coming in from supposed crisis spots without being molested. Airports are a breeding ground for illness. In a country on lockdown, passenger travel, especially from highly infected regions, would be suspended or rigorously monitored. The authorities are therefore either lying about the level of emergency, they’re completely incompetent or both.
It’s yet another incongruity. But this isn’t unusual. A dysfunctional society is forever teeming with incongruities. Because there are many ways of telling a lie, but only one way of telling the truth.
I’m not saying there is no novel virus because there are novel viruses every year. I’m not even saying that this virus isn’t a nastier strain of the more common variety, though that argument can definitely be raised. But clearly there must be a damned good reason for shutting down a country. There’s nothing in the official data that comes anywhere close to justify this approach, alarmist studies full of mathematical masturbation have since been slyly retracted, and the World Health Organization’s 3.4% estimated mortality rate is an outrageous lie.
But what do you expect from an organization with a former Marxist revolutionary as a Director-General? Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whose career highlights include covering up a cholera outbreak in Ethiopia, and nominating Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe for a humanitarian award. Award-winning journalist, Reeyot Alemu wrote in 2017 that “[He is] one of the top human rights violators making life miserable to the people of Ethiopia”.
All of this is being done in the interests of public health. Which begs the question, when has power ever shown so much concern for public well-being? If it did, it would shut down the fracking industry, permanently; 5G installation, which is apparently classed as “essential” work because masts are surreptitiously being erected in countries on lockdown, would be halted until studies could show it was a safe technology; fluoride would no longer be added to the water supply; clean and organic food production would be supported.
The effects of shutting down the economy, on a private level and at a national health level, are absolutely devastating. Services require funding. If the country is not generating wealth – this really is rudimentary – in the medium to long term the system will be debilitated, and that will lead to catastrophic consequences the economists are already ominously describing as “the greatest depression”. The destruction is incalculable.
In the UK, a government report estimated that 150,000 deaths could result from the shutdown, which is significantly more deaths than the government’s revised total for COVID-19. Though we’ve discovered that government forecasts are often spurious and drafted by errand boys and girls taking orders from above, this report’s predictions are at least grounded in extraordinary circumstances that will have consequences, as opposed to merely claiming the circumstances are extraordinary.
The notion that governments care about public health is simply preposterous. Fear induces stress which is one of the main inhibitors of the immune system, our number one tool in counteracting viral replication and staying healthy. When a threat is perceivedcortisol is secreted by the adrenal gland and this triggers the body’s fight or flight response. Blood is pumped away from the core to the peripheries – the arms and legs. When this happens regularly the body’s energy is unevenly distributed, suppressing the normal functioning of the immune system. The truth is that terrorizing the public hourly with tall tales of bogeymen and pathogens is a bio-attack.
The number one cause of good health and longevity? According to a study published in 1988, it is physical interaction and outside activity. Social isolation was found to be worse than high blood pressure, worse than obesity, worse even than smoking. Dr. Steven Cole’s research with monkeys paints a similar picture. When you socially isolate monkeys, at the gene expression level, genes that are inflammatory are upregulated, and genes that are anti-inflammatory are downregulated. The research found that social isolation in monkeys and humans leads to an increased chance of viral infection, cancer, and other diseases. Everything in this world is upside down.
“Hang on, Eddie’s Blog isn’t an accredited source. And just who is Edward Black and what qualifies him to have his say? I’ll listen to the experts, not some random blogger on the internet”. Every fallacy is largely based upon assumption and this is no different. It’s the assumption there is a consensus among the experts, and, in the absence of a large consensus, that the political economy is faithfully following the best advice. There are no grounds for making either assumption. Who I am is also irrelevant. Rationale and evidence are relevant. Though proven expertise is a good starting point, what matters is the end point. The Truth is not discriminate of starting points, which are manifold, but it is discriminate of an end point, which is singular. What you’ll find is that typically, those interested in pursuing Truth, play the ball, those who are not, play the man.
Here is an excellent compilation of experts who have vehemently disputed current policy from the outset, and here is another compilation. They are more erudite and eloquent on the matter than I could ever be.
“We are afraid that 1 million infections with the new virus will lead to 30 deaths per day over the next 100 days. But we do not realise that 20, 30, 40 or 100 patients positive for normal coronaviruses are already dying every day….
(The government’s anti-COVID19 measures] are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous […] The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on the world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound. Already services to patients in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling. All this will impact profoundly on our whole society.
All these measures are leading to self-destruction and collective suicide based on nothing but a spook”
– Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi. A former professor of microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, and one of the most cited research scientists in German history.
I started with this astute quote attributed to James Arthur Balfour: “There are three kinds of falsehoods: lies, damned lies and statistics”. On the whole I think this is largely true. Standing on the shoulders of his insight, I’ll humbly add that there are three kinds of liars: standard liars, damned liars and politically approved experts.
They’re soldiers for a global technocratic system. Soldiers in the real invisible war.
The novel Coronavirus, aka SARS-CoV-2, has completely saturated the airwaves of the world’s mass media in recent weeks and months. As ever, governments and the corporate media appear to be fathoms ahead of the actual story. But that’s alright. Because those who are paraded before us know that they’re often afforded total impunity to say and do as they please. If they incite hysteria, so be it.
Let’s apply some basic logic to this ongoing farce. Reports of this lethal virus first emerged from China back in late December. But by then, of course, it was very likely to have been spreading through the population undetected for several weeks and months. Because experts have claimed that:
This novel strain has an incubation period of up to 3-4 weeks;
Up to 20-30% of people infected will be asymptomatic;
Asymptomatic carriers can still infect others;
It would obviously take a number of serious cases in an identifiable cluster before the local health authority would have suspected anything unusual.
Allow for the usual delay for testing, results, conferring with higher orders, and so on and so forth.
We should also allow for the inevitable delay of the Chinese authorities admitting to the wider world that its population is being ravaged by a pathogen it’s struggling to contain.
A conservative estimate, then, would be that at least 4 months have passed since first transmission.
The World Health Organization (WHO), its virologists and medical experts, and those from affiliated organisations, repeatedly tell us that this virus is highly contagious, far more so than just the ordinary flu. And that it’s deadly. Researchers and public health officials determine how contagious a virus is by calculating a reproduction number, or R0. The R0 is the average number of people that one person will infect, in a completely non-immune population. WHO believes the R0 to be around 2.5. And of those infected, they estimate the mortality rate to be 3.4%, with risk increasing with age and for all those who have, for whatever reason, compromised immune systems. But if the WHO’s figures are correct, as of early to mid-March, we would surely expect to see more cases of COVID-19 and more deaths.
Wuhan is a travel and trade hub of 11 million people. In 2018 Wuhan Tianhe International Airport served about 25 million passengers. It was shut down by the authorities on January 22nd. So, in those key months at the onset of community transmission, millions of passengers were travelling unrestricted from the outbreak’s epicentre to all 4 corners of China, and to destinations in neighbouring countries and major airports around the world. This at a time when traffic was higher than usual on account of the Chinese New Year.
With all that in mind, let’s look at the latest global figures of this ‘highly’ contagious and lethal virus (as of the morning of 12/3/2020):
Total confirmed cases: 125,851; Total Deaths: 4,615
China cases: 80,921; Deaths: 3,046
Italy cases: 12,462; Deaths: 827
Iran Cases: 9,000; Deaths: 354
Then comes Republic of Korea with 60 deaths, Spain with 54 and France with 48.
The first recorded SARS-CoV-2 death in China was on 13th January. Italy’s was on 22nd February. Iran’s on 12th February. So, to clarify:
China have had 3046 deaths in just under 2 months (53 deaths per day);
Italy, 827 deaths in 18 days (46 deaths per day);
Iran, 354 deaths in 28 days (13 deaths per day).
I stress again that these are the countries worst hit by the outbreak. (All figures are subject to positive tests and presumably, some sort of Coroner’s report – in the UK all deaths are subject to a post-mortem if the individual has not seen a doctor within 2 weeks of death. It’s highly likely infection figures are much higher than recorded. In which case, WHO’s claims of a 3.4% death rate are questionable from only a cursory look at the current data).
For some perspective, let’s compare these to the mortality rates of the common flu (influenza). Which comprises strains that are said to be far less contagious – lower R0s – and far less deadly – 30-40 times less deadly than SARS-CoV-2 according to WHO figures (the studies will be linked below):
The WHO estimates that globally between 290,000 – 650,000 die every year from influenza, with 3-5 million severe cases. This is obviously including deaths that have been precipitated by influenza (as the SARS-CoV-2 deaths have been precipitated by contracting the virus – which is why the elderly with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable). Influenza’s peak months are winter through to spring. The death toll changes every year, some years being worse than others. In many places this figure is quoted as being around 500,000 deaths annually.
The global population is estimated to be 7,800,000,000.
China’s population is estimated to be 1,439,323,776 – about 18% of the world’s total population.
We would therefore expect that about 90,000 people, which is 18% of 500,000, will die every year in China as a result of contracting influenza.
We recall that China has had 3046 COVID-19 attributed deaths in just under 2 months (53 deaths per day). At that rate there would be around 19,345 deaths over the year, significantly under what we would expect from the far less contagious and deadly common flu.
People will say that because the country is in lockdown mode, it has been somewhat successful in averting much higher numbers. This is self-evident. However, because these measures have no precedent, we have nothing to compare them to. We don’t know the impact, for example, these measures have had on seasonal influenza numbers. (In fact, throughout all of this current seasonal influenza numbers are conspicuous by their absence).
Others will say that the Chinese authorities have suppressed figures and there’s every reason to believe that they are much higher than reported. I agree. But with that being said, why should we believe anything coming out of China? Including ‘leaked’ footage of swelling hospital wards, women being pulled out of houses by their hair by men in biohazard suits, and tenement blocks being welded shut in efforts to contain the virus. Meanwhile, international airports remain open across the country. What’s wrong with this picture? (Similarly, Italy is currently on “lockdown”, yet its airports remain open).
China is ruled by an authoritarian regime. Very little comes out without the government’s say so. They have their own social media platforms, and a social credits system, with those displeasing the government losing social points. Lose enough and they can be denied travel, basic provisions and will be named and shamed in public places. We should therefore not apply western standards to a country which is alien to them. As a side note, I should add that another key difference is that, though all countries will be hit by an economic crash, China will benefit in relative terms because western nations are saddled with far more debt.
Over the 4 annual reports in Britain between 2014-18, 84,622 deaths attributed to influenza and “extreme temperatures” were recorded. That’s an average death rate of 21,155 persons per year – equating to an average of 58 deaths per day, with obviously higher prevalence during peak months.
We recall that Italy’s death toll since the first fatality equates to an average of 46 deaths per day. The UK population is estimated at around 67 million. Italy’s, 60 million. The Italian figures are therefore unremarkable. In fact, like China, you could argue that we would actually expect to see more deaths in Italy from the common flu in what is currently peak season, than what has been listed as a result of COVID-19. Especially when you consider that Italy has an older population than the UK. Again, the argument will be that the Italian authorities have probably been successful in suppressing the severity of the spread; but, I repeat, we have nothing to compare these extraordinary measures to, and what may have been their effects in suppressing seasonal influenza.
Short of having the Italian figures, let’s compare Italy to another Mediterranean country. In Spain for the season 18/19, 6,300 influenza deaths were recorded. That equates to 17 deaths per day over the year – with prevalence being higher in winter and spring. Its population is estimated to be 47 million. 78% of Italy’s 60 million. We recall that at an average of 46 people are dying per day in Italy. 78% of 46 is just shy of 36. Significantly higher than the Spanish figure. But nothing out of the ordinary. Because this is peak season and the Spanish figure was a yearly average.
It’s argued that influenza was already endemic when the flu season started, giving it a huge head start on SARS-CoV-2. And unlike influenza, we are dealing with a single geographic origin. There have also been efforts to contain its spread. But we don’t know how successful those efforts have been to also contain influenza’s spread. Because those figures are not being released. Moreover, given that there are obviously far more cases of SARS-CoV-2 than what is being reported, but not necessarily, significantly more deaths, the WHO’s 3.4% mortality rate of those infected seems scarcely credible.
We should also stress that the common flu spreads in a population where many people have either partial or full immunity from previous flu seasons. And for which many others will be partially immunized by taking a vaccine (interestingly, this somewhat aligns with the reported 20-30% asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases). This will keep numbers down. However, we can’t say the same for SARS-CoV-2. This highly contagious and lethal virus is purportedly spreading through a population with no immunity and for which there is no vaccine. This should unfortunately raise numbers significantly. Are we seeing this reflected in the current data?
In fact, none of the data looks in any way remarkable when compared to seasonal influenza. Of which there are many different mutating strains of varying severity. So, if this is a crisis, perhaps we should add it to the crisis we experience at this time every year, where hospitals are invariably swelling with patients suffering from the effects of the common flu.
Richard Hatchett, CEO, ‘Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations’, said recently on a television interview that SARS-CoV-2 was “here to stay”. It will apparently rear its ugly head periodically. Still sounds like the flu doesn’t it? He also said that “war is an appropriate analogy”. As has the Italian Health minister. Who has been quoted as saying that “we are at war”, and “a bomb has gone off in Italy”.
This analogy should make us pause for thought. War, and more importantly, the threat of war, has been used since time immemorial to keep the structure of society intact. Former president James Madison said it best:
“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded…War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes…and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few…No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
Most wars are entered into under duplicitous means. So, why should ‘this’ war be any different? In a world where politics, science and money can become the same, we should be careful not to be swept up in manufactured hysteria. (I will explore these points in further detail in a follow up article).
I see no convincing data that would support the conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 is radically different to the common flu. But, of course, everyone should still be prepared and should still take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their family. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones in recent times.
Stay safe and God bless.
*Figures are accurate as of the morning of 12/3/2020. We should expect figures to go up. But we are a long away from fears of exponential rises, despite claims that SARS-CoV-2 is spreading rapidly. As stated, after 4 months or more it is currently underperforming typical seasonal influenza figures.
Courage and nobility. Today those words often perish on our lips. But from 1940 in the Warsaw ghetto, in the midst of the dehumanisation and appalling degradation of hundreds of thousands of people, their meaning was still fresh and invigorating. Words Irena Sendler had, to a supreme degree, the power of making visible.
Irena Sendler, née Irena Krzyżanowska, was a Polish social worker who helped save thousands of Jewish children’s lives during the Holocaust. It is thought she was personally responsible for saving at least 450. It’s difficult to reconcile such heroism with the commonplace job of social work; but sometimes it’s only through periods of implacable difficulty that we’ll discover our powers. When human will and moral fortitude is adjusted to the scale of emergency. Extreme conditions have a way of evincing both the best and worst of what humanity has to offer. And Irena possessed the courage, the constancy, the enthusiasm, and the emotional energy to find a way of surmounting the will of a nation.
A rabid central European anti-Semitism took political root in the most horrifying of ways in Germany in the 1930s. The Nazis were one of several political parties that took advantage of a period of political and economic instability following the end of the First World War. Once in power, they brought matches and flammable materials to a place only too ready to blaze out into wickedness, exploiting people’s prejudices and fears by presenting Jews and communists as common enemies against whom the German people should unite. These groups, it was said, were an existential threat to the Aryan race. The culture was soon saturated with a grand doomsday narrative, cynically spun to manipulate the minds of the population. Pernicious ideas that were as diffuse as the light that fills up a room.
This met with such perverse success that by 1942, the Final Solution, the Nazi’s secret plan to kill all the Jews of Europe, was in its advanced stages. It was a plan that first deprived Jews of their humanity, marking them out as a people inferior to their Aryan counterparts; then liberty, isolating them from society by forcibly herding them into ethnic ghettos; before it, in millions of cases, deprived them of their lives. A plan that enlisted relatively few active participants, there being many more by-standers, unwilling or unable to help. The Nazis deceived their intended victims as they deceived the rest of society. Many did not believe that the Jews were doomed until it was too late.
One person who did believe was Irena Sendler. She saw the emergency and she helped make all the people around her see it; rekindling the flailing hope and courage in all those who were exhausted by hardship and privation. Passing through like a whirlwind, she purified the moral atmosphere, as a storm purifies the physical atmosphere. Her very presence was a fumigation of evil.
When Germany invaded Poland in the fall of 1939, Irena Sendler was a senior figure in the Warsaw Social Welfare Department. She soon joined the Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organised by the Polish underground resistance. Under the code name “Jolanta”, she headed the children’s division and, obtaining a pass from the Warsaw Epidemic Control Department, she smuggled food, clothing and medicine into the Warsaw ghetto. Efforts initially seemed futile. 450,000 souls had been packed into a small 16-block area and disease was spreading. Up to 5,000 were dying a month.
Slowly the ghetto was getting empty as the Germans were starting to transport the Jews to the concentration camps. Irena was desperate. Heading a division of 25, she hatched a plan to try and save the children. Many years later she recalled, “When the war started Poland was drowning in a sea of blood. But most of all, it affected the Jewish nation. And within that nation, it was the children who suffered most. That’s why we needed to give our hearts to them”.
In a race against the clock Irena and her team organised to smuggle out as many children as possible from the ghetto. Not only did they have to get the children out undetected, they had to find non-Jewish families who were prepared to hide them in their homes at great risk to their lives. No small matter for all involved. It’s estimated that 700 Poles were executed as a result of harbouring Jewish children.
A young mother herself, Irena found it tremendously painful trying to convince parents to part with their children. People thought that Treblinka, the next destination for many Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, may have been a relocation settlement, when in fact it was even worse than Auschwitz, containing little more than gas chambers and ovens. Irena and her team tirelessly pressed upon them the urgency of the situation, persuading thousands.
Small children were sedated to keep them from crying, then hidden in sacks, coffins, boxes, or in bags of old clothes, which were donated to convents and orphanages. Other children pretended to be ill so they could be taken out in ambulances. They were also smuggled out through sewers, underground tunnels, and through a secret passageway connecting the old courthouse adjacent to the ghetto. Irena even had her dog trained to bark on command to drown out any noise coming from the fugitives.
Irena buried a list of the hidden children in a jar under an apple tree in a friend’s backyard in order to keep track of their original and new identities. The goal was to reunite the children with their parents, if they survived the war. Sadly, of course, most didn’t. And on the night of October 20th, 1943, it appeared extremely unlikely that Irena would survive the war.
The operation had been compromised. She was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in Warsaw’s infamous Pawiak prison. Irena was subjected to weeks of torture by her captors. Both her feet and legs were broken. Her arms were fractured. But at no point did she betray her confidences – not a single word passed from her lips. No amount of suffering would make her shrink from the course which she believed it to be her duty to engage in.
She was sentenced to death by firing squad. But on the day of her execution a colleague from Zegota managed to bribe one of the guards and Irena was smuggled out in a similar fashion to the many children she had saved. Though the guard listed her as one of the those who had been executed, the Gestapo later discovered the subterfuge. They sent the guard to the Russian front, a punishment considered worse than death, and Irena spent the remainder of the war in hiding. She continued her efforts to rescue Jewish children; but by this time the ghetto had been completely purged.
At the start of the second world war more than a million and a half Jewish children were living in Europe. By the war’s end fewer than 1 in 10 had survived. Irena was head of a network that saved at least 2,500 children from near certain death. The injuries she sustained during captivity were such that she required the use of crutches and a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
Today, we are incredulous at how such extreme conditions could have developed in a modern industrial society; but history informs us that large numbers of people across the social milieu will remain unconscious of distortion and manipulation. Typically, those who reside in the upper echelons of societal success or in the lower echelons of intellect will maintain a high moral and self-righteous tone in the face of conflicting information to dominant narratives. One contributing factor is an overwhelming desire to think well of ourselves, our institutions and our leaders. A kind of patriotism, if you will. That we’re all in this together. We see ourselves as righteous, so therefore the corporate state apparatus functions in accordance with the same benign intent, a supposition that is common even if it is a transparent non sequitur.
Even so, one would think that such cruel and iniquitous conditions should have led to popular indignation calculated to bring down the strong arm of the law. Yet for most in Germain occupied territories, fortitude proved too weak for cowardice; sympathy too weak for fear; reason too weak for credulity. It’s to be expected. Cowards, whose fear of death and social ridicule is greater than their self-respect, can generally console themselves with the thought they are doing the right thing even when it is plain that they are not.
But Irena Sendler was different. Instead of an ordinary life of sensation, she lived a deeper life of reflection, which has the effect of unanchoring us from the negative thoughts and opinions of others. Her independence of character and strong powers of thought stirred within her, instilling a predisposition to rebelliousness that is the lot of every proud and passionate nature. This was merely raised to the surface when outward conditions contrasted sharply with her inner moral conviction. Nazi power amounted to such a tyranny that Irena’s conscience insisted she be placed as victim rather than inadvertent inflictor.
She understood that as a moral being, we’re morally powerless if we depart from our own conception of life and character. Indeed, if we are to surrender our own judgement and unthinkingly adopt the standards of the day, we’re no different to a brute animal, which reacts to stimulus instinctively. As such, individual morality is quite superfluous to collective morality. We cease to choose our moral path; we have our path imposed upon us. With the system paving all the broad paths which led to the same destination: an extreme agenda. Irena, however, did not suffer from vertigo, so she went along the narrow path across the cliff edge to see what had hit the rocks below.
As a Pole, her ability to distinguish between the reality of Nazi power and its outward appearance wasn’t especially remarkable; what made her extraordinary was that she possessed the courage to act on it, notwithstanding the consequences. She had the singular vision and tenacity of purpose of someone who was impressed with the truth of what she was doing, and who had no dread of consequences. Thus, she conquered every fear out of necessity. She subdued every weakness by simply understanding that we can do all things if we will.
For decades the enormity of her actions lay hidden from wider public attention. It remained just one of many footnotes in a period of history awash with yarns. But I suppose recognition and acclaim themselves are not impactful, merely an echo of actions which may or may not have been. Irena to her eternal credit saying: “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory”. Her heroism was matched only by her humility.
Still, justice did eventually prevail. Her story was picked up in one of the most unlikely places: a high school in Kansas. The students were so struck with her story they were inspired to write a play based on her life. ‘Life in a Jar’ was such a phenomenal success that it spilled out of Kansas and propelled the now the 90-year-old great-grandmother to national attention. In a hyper-individualistic generation starved of heroism, and one rightly mindful of the historical suppression of female empowerment, it was such that, in the years following the play’s premiere in 1999, Irena Sendler was in high demand. She achieved such fame that a movement began that aimed to put her name forward for the Nobel Peace Prize. And so it came to be that at 97 years young Irena Sendler was nominated for the 2007 addition.
She didn’t win.
The prize instead was shared by Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for their work in raising public awareness to the dangers of rising greenhouse gas emissions. It seems the world is faced with a new great peril; one that poses an existential threat to every living thing on this planet. Evidently, the Nobel panel thought that this “climate emergency” was more current than the astonishing heroism of a Polish woman 65 years previous and thus, more deserving of the accolade.
Time has been kinder to Mr Gore than it has to the wild predictions he made in his 2006 film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, which led to him being awarded the Peace Prize. They’ve proven spurious, alarmist, fantastical; far removed from the mundane reality of the actual temperature readings post 2006. But present needs have seen to it that a collective amnesia has swept over the world of polite opinion, as if it a were a storm purifying scrutiny, as well as apparently resetting the doomsday clock. Mr Gore and his backers have emerged from this storm quite unscathed. Some of the critics, however, must always be braced for backlash, often facing slurs against which there is little recourse, an inhibiting factor which dissuades many from entering the fray.
Like many high-profile people, Mr Gore, in spite of his proud claims of being carbon neutral, regularly uses private jets. What he really means by “carbon neutral” is that he ‘offsets’ his emissions – compensating for his extensive carbon footprint by donating money to reduce emissions elsewhere. One wonders about the efficacy of ‘carbon offsets’, which can take up to 30 years to take effect, in a world “on the brink of environmental collapse”. But carbon offsets are essentially a rich man’s fancy. Rich being the operative word. Mr Gore’s investment company, Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offset opportunities, is the largest shareholder of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). His estimated worth is $325 million. Most of which he’s accrued since leaving party politics and taking on the mantle of international climate change guru.
From such a position, when he speaks of the common good, you should immediately feel a haughtiness and coldness in the air, as if he were an imposing statue made of metal, high above the day-to-day affairs of ordinary people.
The Nobel Peace Prize was steeped in irony in 2007. In fact, it’s steeped in irony every year. Alfred Nobel, the benefactor behind the Prizes which takes his name, made his many millions from his invention of dynamite, the manufacture of war munitions and from his family’s investment in oilfields along the Caspian Sea. At the time of his death, his business, one of the principal suppliers of both sides during the Crimean War, had established more than 90 armaments factories. Mr Nobel was as hypocritical in life as he is in death. Said to be an unassuming pacifist, he bequeathed his entire estate to institute the Nobel Prize, which, according to an impressive bronze plaque I remember seeing at the ‘Nobelmuseet’ in Stockholm, was “for his legacy”.
It is true that in lionizing things – people, groups, institutions – we’ll assume the presence of qualities that are in fact not often to be found in them. Take honesty. It may seem inconceivable that large numbers of people could be involved, say, in a movement ridden with lies. But this a childish misapprehension, which assumes honesty is commensurate with prevalence. Indeed, honesty is one thing and society is another. It’s the same as in farming: the beauty of nature is one thing and the income from fields and crops and animals is something quite different. This also has its truth, as it were, but only insofar as it profits the farm. And clearly if the pigs discovered that their role was to provide bacon it would jeopardize the whole operation. But as we know, it’s easy to dupe animals which are occupied not by what is but by what it appears to be.
Only animals and idiots are totally sincere. Once civilisation has introduced into life the need for duty and responsibility and economic dependence, and once resources are unevenly distributed, for instance, then sincerity is quite out of place. Yet so many of us go on as if sincerity is that ungovernable force that guides human relations, when all the world tells us, if we start to think for ourselves, that it is a governable force subject to necessity and expediency. If everyone was sincere the present system would quickly fall to rack and ruin. Because plainly there is little room for sincerity in a world where a narrow class of individuals hoard almost all the wealth and resources.
The onward march of humans is to rise above the mental level of the generation before them. And the onward march of democracy is one that moves inexorably toward reform of a system of extreme inequality. Because such inequality breeds resentment, which must constantly therefore be co-opted by those with everything to protect. Power and authority has always presented narrow interest to be in the wider interest. It doesn’t take more than a cursory glance at history to establish this basic axiom.
Social organisation depends entirely on the goals of the system and the individual characters of the rulers. A competitive and avaricious system regulated by the winners clearly holds latent dangers. In theory, therefore, one should not yield to the edicts from on high before a thorough examination of their content.
Indeed, surrendering personal judgement is attended with reduced consciousness, and obedience, the partial sleep of thought, amounts to the gradual submergence of our own personality by another, which could indeed be an abusive spouse or an abusive political system. In the latter case, we find that this isn’t the exception but the norm. In fact, it’s the glue in social cohesion. So, for depressingly large numbers of people, authority’s ideas will be their ideas. If it thought Jews were an inferior race and posed an existential threat to the German people, they thought the same. If it believes the world is on the brink of environmental collapse because of carbon emissions, so do they. And how are we to forestall this pending catastrophe? By increased taxation and the further centralisation of resources.
The introduction of every new financial liability, under present conditions, merely serves the cause of entanglement in a system controlled by a wealthy class. The people are entangled in a great chain, and when you introduce new impediments and restrictions you are not cutting through the chain but entangling them still more by addition. New standards increase the number of needs, on top of those that already exist. Control comes closely on the back of needs, and power comes closely on the back of control. We really don’t have to follow that many breadcrumbs to understand who benefits from an increasing financialization of the economy.
We are apparently sitting on the verge of a precipice; but this, immediately, instead of being a call to action, should be a reason for circumspection. The claims of establishment science, detached from accurate, testable predictions, are too closely pressed upon by necessity to be prudent. Its pervasiveness inducing a kind of mania that has turned many a nation wild. In history, without exception, all points of uniform extremity have more than a hint of menace. With perhaps no better example than what took place during Nazi Germany. We should therefore take our lessons from the past and be ever watchful that we are not consumed by the folly with which all ages unfold.
Al Gore is one of a small class of people who’ve not been discouraged from combining the so-called climate emergency with personal pecuniary advancement. Nor is he, for that matter, inhibited by any sense of false modesty. Whereas Irena Sendler was a paradox of great humility in the matter of her accomplishments merged with great ferocity in the matter of her virtue. I would suggest, therefore, that a Nobel Peace Prize means much to the character of the former, and little to the character of the latter.
Moreover, it should be obvious by now that awards – especially prestigious awards – are not awarded for moral qualities or even abilities, but for service to the arbiters. As in journalism, they are explicitly a political job. In fact, it’s the same in all fields that have the capacity for a large audience. The primary purpose is to push cultural orthodoxies. And since most mass media outlets are owned by a handful of mega-corporations, it’s very easy for an elite to saturate the airwaves with a specific message.
Society is set up for us to follow and glorify leaders who’re often least deserving of exaltment, while those who are most deserving can be neglected and sometimes even, chastised. No matter. Truth and goodness always shine. Similarly, though a cloud and shower may pass by, the sun is behind, always existing. In such a dishonest and cruel world, then, where truth and goodness can remain hidden, for morality to have any real meaning, it is this: to live a virtuous life even when you know nobody is watching.
The world is more tolerable for all of us if we’re witness to the kindness in others. It’s infectious. Each kind act can and will multiply exponentially; its lasting effect, which is invariably unseen and unheard, can hardly be tabulated. Take Irena’s case. Her father was a physician who raised her to love and respect all people irrespective of their ethnicity or social status. When she was 7 a typhus epidemic broke out in some of the poorest Warsaw districts. Irena’s father risked his life to treat the afflicted, the only doctor in the area to do so. He was one of many to cruelly succumb to the disease. As he lay dying, Irena later recounted, he told her, “If you see someone drowning, you must jump in and try and save them, even if you don’t know how to swim”.
She didn’t forget.
After his death, the Jewish community in Warsaw, many of whom had been treated by Irena’s father, offered her mother financial assistance. She proudly declined the offer, though one feels that Irena certainly took notice of the gesture.
Again, she didn’t forget.
We can all be delicate and sickly to painful impressions. Children are particularly susceptible. The pictures, ideas and conceptions of character assimilated into the mind of the child, are destined to be reproduced in deeds many years afterwards. What the Jewish children of the ghettos went through can scarcely be imagined. A piece of suffering stamped into their very existence. But Irena was at least an unfading light in the darkness. Not only did she help save their lives, but through her courage and compassion, she had shown them, in the midst of evil, humanity at its very best.
Though the history books haven’t recorded much of her exploits, they were certainly memorable enough for those whose lives she touched.
Irena’s story is one that should make each individual conscious of his or her powers as a complete moral being. That in service to others an otherwise ordinary person can achieve the extraordinary. Changing the world for the better one act of kindness at a time.
Whether Aesop’s personage is of history or legend, the Greek fabulist, which legend dates to the 7th century BCE archaic Greece, is credited by posterity with numerous allegorical tales, known collectively as ‘Aesop’s Fables’. These fables represent wisdom thousands of years old; probably long predating Aesop, and certainly long predating their current truncated form.
The fables are characterised by animals that take on human characteristics; they interact, solve problems, and are used as a vehicle to impart fundamental truths, not merely about what it is to be human, but, more pertinently, what it is to live in a society constructed by humans. Over thousands of years the context may have changed, and the technology, the wizardry, the gadgetry has certainly changed, but the types of methods used by the predators who live amongst us, against the naïve, have not.
There are a number of fables that really do pertain to our political situation. I thought I’d share one of them today and cogitate a little on how it reflects on our current reality.
There was once a house that was overrun with Mice. A Cat heard of this, and said to herself, “That’s the place for me,” and off she went and took up her quarters in the house and caught the Mice one by one and ate them. At last the Mice could stand it no longer, and they determined to take to their holes and stay there. “That’s awkward,” said the Cat to herself. “The only thing to do is to coax them out by a trick.” So, she considered a while, and then climbed up the wall and let herself hang down by her hind legs from a peg and pretended to be dead. By and by a Mouse peeped out and saw the Cat hanging there. “Aha!” it cried, “you’re very clever, madam, no doubt; but we will not trust ourselves with you, even if your skin was stuffed with straw.”
Moral ~ If you are wise you won’t be deceived by the innocent airs of those whom you have once found to be dangerous.
In our personal lives we tend to observe, to judge, and if it so happens that we should fall foul of some trick, we will generally not trust that person again. The above fable speaks of that. But when we apply this basic wisdom more abstractly, say, to an entity or an institution, the whole of society seems to be at odds with it. Take statism and all those who participate in the sacrament of voting. Politicians have rarely if ever shown themselves to be trustworthy, the entire political system even less so, but people will still queue at the voting booth, ready to have their good faith be taken advantage of.
Ironically, the more cynical amongst us, who rightfully question the legitimacy of this process, by way of an answer, invariably endorse a politics that will extend and not subdue the powers of the state. They seem to forget that in a society where power is proportional to wealth, and not official position, and where power is an extreme state of inequality, extending the powers of the Cat is therefore something entirely different to extending the powers of the Mice.
On countless occasions the official version of events has proven bogus. Indeed, a complete inversion of reality. Often at the direct expense of all those most caught up in the entanglements and iniquities of social life. Yet when we question and probe such matters – as we should – we are usually met with condescension and scorn. Immediately, our abilities are questioned, and we’re associated with names that have a bad smell. In light-hearted scenarios, the term “conspiracy theorist” is aired, in more serious ones, an ‘ist or ‘ism or ‘obic is thrown, forever to our detriment.
But if we were to ask the name-callers to prove some official dogma, without a referral to higher authority, they would be quite dazed, like somebody who was asked to defend their name. Because they haven’t really thought about it at all. Their knowledge is built upon taking things for granted; when in fact, if we’re being more observant, there’s every reason to not take things for granted. As long as honesty is rare, suspicion should be common.
To doubt the truthfulness of those who show themselves not to be trusted is wisdom so basic even a young child can grasp. But we need not be surprised if it’s repudiated by upper society and its sycophants; like an abusive lover repudiating a spouse’s well-grounded concerns by deceitfully flipping them on their head. Because it is simply gaslighting to denigrate timeless human wisdom as peculiar. As strange. As hateful. As suggestive of paranoia or even psychosis. Of course, gaslighting doesn’t work on all people. But it does work on enough of them to keep the Cats in business.
Honesty will always rankle with dishonesty. Whenever power is corrupt – and it is an abiding feature that it is – innocence and integrity are sure to be targeted. Such attacks will deter the thin-skinned amongst us who are unduly stung by opprobrium. But the thick-skinned, who are impervious to rebuke and ridicule, know that an attack on the person is never a reliable barometer of ultimate truth.
Nor is the schooling system and the various institutional frameworks through which society works itself, for they are in the image of Cats, and not in the truth which is independent of them. During an arduous, prohibitively expensive and time-consuming period of re-education, each Mouse is trained to think like a Cat and to be one that pretends ignorance when it comes to the threat of the Cat.
They no longer have the wisdom of the uneducated Mouse, which thinks for itself. They begin to have too much of the knowledge of the half-educated Mouse, which allows the Cat to do its thinking for them. Put together, they are no longer unsophisticated Mice that are sceptical of the Cat’s entreaties, they are sophisticated Mice that are trusting of them.
But whether the Cat is harmless or not is almost always to be ascertained. It requires an intellectual autopsy to see whether its skin is indeed stuffed with straw. If we are really to find out what power intends, we will surely find it, not in the self-examined fur which is sold to the public, but in the innards which the public examine.
Aesop’s tales still have relevance and meaning, and can impart wisdom all these thousands of years after they were first conceived. That probably says something; something about the immutable fabric of human organisation and management, and something about the type of things that are excluded from our attention, and the reasons why they are kept at a distance. Instead of being swept up in the hysteria of new political movements, we should take pause and reconsider what humans have always understood.
The shockwaves are still reverberating around Britain after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement that they intend to step away from their current role within the Royal Family. Though there’s understandably a measure of scepticism about the importance of the movements of, in truth, minor royalty, ‘Megxit’, as it has not-so-creatively been dubbed by the press, is in fact as culturally significant as Brexit, if not more so.
Despite all the extraordinary trappings and privilege a Royal life has always been one that has existed inside the stillness of a gilded cage. It’s a life of public service, handsomely rewarded. But in the modern world few want to be imprisoned in anything but the limits of their own nature; they want no guides other than the sometimes-wayward choice of their own passions. In such a world, if the Duke and Duchess consider freedom more important than service, frankly, who are we to argue, if they grow the wings to fly beyond the days and weeks and months of stuffy protocol. And to sing their own tune of brave self-reliance. Meghan – the feminist diva; and Harry – the artist formerly known as Prince.
The problem, however, is that this flight of freedom is dependent upon the buoyancy of that which they seek to renounce. In what is an astonishing act of sheer chutzpah and ignorance, they are unilaterally plotting to effectively commercialise the Family’s legacy, and by implication, the country’s heritage, in order to feather their own nest. It appears to be an act of treachery which has been brewing for some time.
It has emerged that back in June 2019 the Sussexes applied to trademark ‘Sussex Royal’. Under intellectual property law they will have the option to attach this brand to an eclectic mix of goods and services, ranging from magazines to sports goods. It also didn’t escape notice that back in July, Meghan Markle was guest editor of the September edition of Vogue magazine, where she was described as a “changemaker” who “is breaking barriers and setting the agenda across the globe”. “Changemaker” is the United Nation’s speak for globalism, which is essentially the gradual dissolution of national boundaries, power centralised under a network of regional bureaucratic proxies, with huge combinations of transnational capital operating behind the curtain.
On their plush new website, which, judging by its polish, has clearly been in the offing for several months, the Sussexes have spoken of wanting to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter”. In other words, keep the privilege and relinquish the duty.
That they “intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent”. But, of course, by this they mean only independent of the Sovereign Grant, which accounts for about 5% of their income, and not independent of the allowance from the Duke’s father, the Prince of Wales, who gets most of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall. This is estimated to be several million pounds a year, not a dime of which originates anywhere other than the public purse because it is money made from commercial activities off land that the Royals hold on trust. They also don’t want to give up their round-the-clock security which the British taxpayer pays to the cost of £7.6 million a year, and it will surely only increase if their activities bestride continents.
Perhaps the most symbolic statement of all is that they want to “carve out a new progressive role within this institution”. A progressive monarchy, however, is an oxymoron. Responsibility, duty, and tradition are anathema to modernism. By definition.
Let me explain. It can be summarised as the contrast between the classical world – the world of antiquity from which Monarchy is derived – and the modern world of industrial globalism – from which Liberalism is derived. In the classical world the fundamental question of self was how to conform one’s soul to the divine meaning and purpose embedded in the world, and thus be drawn up into eternal life. The answer was through prayer, virtue and wisdom. That was the central concern of pre-modern, or what we may call, classical man. They believed that the world was full of divine meaning and purpose, and thus every person was born into a world of divine obligation. We were all obliged to conform our lives into a harmonious relationship with that divine meaning and purpose.
For the modern person, however, the question is completely inverted, because they have redefined the world through the lens solely of science, which reduces the great human drama to nothing more than biological, chemical and physical properties. The modern person asks how one conforms the world to one’s own desires and ambitions. And the answer involves tapping into those institutions that operate by the mechanisms of power and manipulation, namely science, technology and the secular state.
That’s the key difference between the traditional world and the modern world, the religious world and the secular world, and the nationalist world and the globalist world.
What’s happened as a result of this paradigm shift is that we’ve gone from a communal life, centred on the moral obligations inherent in family and church and community; and instead moved more into a contract based life, where we have no moral obligations apart from those we enter into through self-interested, rational contracts.
The notion of the modern autonomous self is that it has no more obligation than what the sovereign individual imposes on his or herself. This stance clashes with the classical world of duty and self-sacrifice – to subsume oneself within tradition and culture and divine obligations, of which the Monarchy is an embodiment. It was this sense of the divine that was the axis on which revolved all other elements – the relations of child and parent, of husband and wife, of brother and friend; life was, in its essential relations, throughout of a divine purpose. But in the world of industrial globalism the social framework is moulded by the character of the sovereign individual. It breaks prior boundaries.
It’s no secret that Meghan Markle is an ultra-liberal: she’s a self-avowed feminist, she’s pro-abortion, she hates Trump. And she’s on board with all the typical liberal talking points. Woke, in a word. It seems evident that it’s this self-identified left-wing liberalism that is clashing with the traditionalism of the Royal family. The clash is of our times. It is fundamentally irreconcilable.
Within the framework of the institution every possible concession had been made to make the couple happy. The Royal Family facilitated glamorous tours to Australia and Africa. The Queen allowed them unprecedented privacy for the birth of their child, Archie, far more so than any other royal birth in the past. And her Majesty accommodated their request to move from Kensington Palace to Windsor. Frogmore Cottage – more of a mansion than a cottage – which is owned by the Queen, cost the British taxpayer £2.4 million to renovate to the couple’s specifications. At the property, which they fully intend on keeping, “so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom”, they had a housekeeper, two personal assistants and two palace orderlies, before public pressure led to them dropping the staff and, in a recent development, repay the public purse for the refurbishment. But one must ask, will they be paying any rent on this multi-million-pound crown property other people had to vacate for their accommodation?
“What Meghan wants, Meghan gets” is the Duke’s now infamous refrain to orderlies, many of whom were reportedly dispatched by the Duchess’ high-handedness as quickly as they were summoned. For a minor Hollywood actress she has certainly taken to the role of difficult and spoilt princess with considerable aplomb. And I’m sure that had this sorry affair been dramatized she would have been in line for several prestigious nominations. The one position in the household that did appear safe from the axe was that of chef, as it was reported that the Duchess preferred to prepare her own meals. Now, there’s a surprise. Often is the case that in the curious compound of character the flavour is sometimes disagreeable in spite of excellent ingredients.
Prince Harry was one of the most popular members of the Royal Family. Blessed with the common touch, like his mother, he has the ability to bring people together. He is human. Approachable. And it’s been evident that behind the bravado and charm is a damaged and sensitive young man for which the public has every sympathy. But since Harry fell for an American actress, he’s undergone a radical transformation. From a boyish, emotional, wayward, fun-loving Prince; to a boyish, emotional, wayward, subjugated Duke.
Harry is the moon-struck slave of Meghan. Not merely deeply in love with her, but completely steeped in her, as if she were his place of refuge in a lifetime of distress. Because his love seems to be attended by a despondency hitherto, we have not associated with him. It’s almost as if some dim unrest has been brought into vivid consciousness by her influence.
To understand the man, we must follow his growth. A love paradoxically mingling with his peculiarly tense and gloomy character seems to derive from the fact that Harry is reliving his life with his mother through his relationship with his wife. An Oedipal transference of a son’s love to a man’s love. Meghan, who is an independent and successful woman three years his senior, appearing to provide him with the Jocastian fusion of conjugal love and maternal belonging. And perhaps after winning the ring, Meghan was pregnant with not only Archie, but Oedipus and Jocasta’s offspring, Antigone. Because the struggle between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Royal family mirrors the struggle between Antigone and Creon. It represents the struggle between elemental tendencies and established customs by which the outer shell of self is painfully being brought into harmony with its inward needs. Indeed, this is rather unravelling like a Greek tragedy – immutable causality and inexorable development are fundamental aspects of this tale.
Meghan is calling the shots. Not only has Harry learnt the lexicon of Woke, her introduction into his life has led to the breaking of boyhood friendships, many of whom weren’t invited to the wedding or evening reception, apparently their much-valued place being taken by more photogenic international celebrities. These are the aristocrats of the modern day. A-listers mingling with one another as the blue-blooded Royal households of the past forged alliances by intermarrying. It’s a hierarchical network of publicised friendships, each feeding off the other; with lesser lights, in a pitiful pecking order, scavenging after resource rich targets like seagulls circling as they search for food.
International super stardom is essentially all the obnoxious elements of monarchy shorn of its redeemable features. And it seems that the Sussex’s plan for modernising the monarchy is for it to essentially be all the obnoxious elements of celebrity shorn of its redeemable features. Exactly what talent are they selling?
The more they flog their Royal titles for personal gain, the more they devalue it. Even if they have now lost the HRH, they still plan to crassly trade off the back of the Dukedom of Sussex, which is part of the country’s history and legacy. This destroys the whole raison d’être of Royalty. It breaks the divine bond with the public which will therefore owe them no favours and no obligations. And, of course, the liberal world owes the Sussex’s no favours and no obligations – with incessant exposure the appeal of a picture-perfect lifestyle will fade with time, like a photo left out in the sun. By flying the nest in this manner, they are cutting off the branch on which the nest was built.
The reason for their departure is that this lavish lifestyle they’ve enjoyed to date has made them rather unhappy. On the couple’s tour of Africa, the Duchess confided to a Royal reporter that “it’s not enough to just survive”, that you have got to “thrive”; that she has “really tried” to adopt the British stiff upper lip before concluding it is “internally really damaging”. Apparently, nobody asks her how she feels. The Duchess was speaking just after attending a centre which caters for children who have had their limbs blown off by landmines.
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, and who you’re with, in our society if you say that you’re not ok suddenly you become the centre of attention. You’re irreproachable if you play the mental health card. It’s classic narcissism, born of an inherently narcissistic ideology. And it speaks to the extraordinary levels of an entitled and self-absorbed victimhood culture that these comments can be uttered without shame and, more to the point, taken seriously. But liberalism is essentially a parasitic ideology, seemingly immunizing many people to their own self-awareness.
It is certainly the crowning glory of liberal civilisation – the sight of somebody who has everything in grief. Naturally, the Duchess received some criticism for these comments. But since the Sussexes have announced that they intend to step away from Royal life left-wing liberals are claiming that the press have hounded the Duchess out of the country. Because the country is racist. Apparently. On the contrary, apart from a few examples in this regard – which doesn’t make the country racist – the public have been very welcoming to Meghan Markle. Had she been white and British the coverage would have been brutal. She’s escaped much of that on account of being a “woman of colour”, which increasingly people wear as some sort of Woke shield, protecting them from legitimate criticism. People are just so frightfully worried of being called “racist”, they’re hesitant to ‘go there’, even when criticism is deserved. Because as soon as that word is uttered you become a kind of social leper.
So, you can trash a country’s culture, its heritage, disrespect and threaten the Queen, by suggesting that you will do a candid interview if you don’t get your way, and help to turn one of its most precious, historic institutions into a crass circus, but left-wing liberals will still present you as the victim. To which the public get no right of reply.
Presently, moral obligations don’t exist prior to the sovereign individual having chosen them. Unless of course you happen to be a white man. In which case you’re obliged to walk on eggshells; where a special set of moral obligations exist in the present as a result of choices made by people hundreds of years ago in the past based upon shared skin pigmentation and sex. Other groups inherit concomitant grievances in proportion to these moral obligations. So, liberals will reject the idea of inheriting responsibility or duty or loyalty, but they’re eager to inherit some abstract grievance. This aspect of Woke culture, the ranking of groups in ascendant victimhood, is not liberal; it’s neo Marxist. The moniker Liberalism is merely a smokescreen which hides the guilty.
The entire ideology is rife with contradictions and phoniness, which is primarily why many high profile, self-identifying liberals are insufferable hypocrites. Preaching, say, to everybody about the importance of making lifestyle changes to counter the purported perils of anthropogenic climate change, while regularly going off on jaunts in private, carbon guzzling planes. And nothing says environmentalism quite like intending to set up a lifestyle that has you flying across an ocean on a private plane multiple times per year! But irrespective of the claims of hypocrisy, to hold court and flaunt your moral virtues as the Sussexes have done, is simply vulgar; like flaunting the fact that you are wearing the latest designs from New York. Something the Royals have always commendably avoided.
The Sussexes are essentially part of an elite class of individuals who proselytize to each other in what is little more than a fanciful game. In truth, they are the enablers of all that they oppose. They take as a mistress the very lavish lifestyle they advocate against, and yet they act as though they have moral superiority. It’s shallow; transparent. Mostly because in the liberal world of industrial globalism words carry little burden outside of contractual obligations. Thus, words and actions and combined endeavours are often debased to such a point where only their outer shell is left, which remains intact for the sake of appearances.
Of the two, Harry’s conduct has been far more abominable. It is, after all, his family, and his country. He is still, though, in spite of everything, very much a product of his environment. It seems the duty he had to family and country has merely transferred to the woman he loves. This chivalry towards his wife has strong and deep roots, derived from a background of duty and piety, and no doubt wanting his marriage to succeed where his parents’ marriage failed; but the double-irony is that this chivalry, in his own search for love and happiness in a wider world, has effectively severed him from his roots, and it will most likely lead to the breakdown of his marriage.
Chivalry relies upon the purity and chastity of its recipient – a state of utter subjection to the will of a disdainful lady is clearly not a wise approach. And especially not if the object of the devotion is a left-wing feminist with history. As soon as this lady had the child, she had the leverage to change a situation she chose to participate in, and to take Harry along for the ride. It seems feminists are so miserable that not even a Prince is good enough. In fact, nothing will be. Ever.
Harry will find that his wife will keep turning the screw. The more he yields, the more he’ll weaken their relationship and reduce their sexual polarity. They’ll grow to resent one another. If he doesn’t yield, she’ll think he’s being unreasonable because she’s become accustomed to getting her own way. It’s a catch-22. In the meantime, Harry will grow resentful of being removed from his station in life. That would be a kind analysis. If we’re being unkind, we would say much worse.
Either way, the marriage has no future. Which is fine. Because marriage has essentially been degraded into being little more than a social contract. Certainly, it’s this sense of having a retreat which sterilizes much of the meaning of the vow and its significance. Everywhere in the liberal world there is this dogged effort to obtain gratification without paying for it.
The great flaw of Liberalism is that it unanchors people from a sense of allegiance; a unifying principle. The ideological by-product of industrial globalism, which has broken down barriers to trade and growth, it has taken the very basic idea that we are born into some fundamental unit of existential solidarity, from which we derived meaning, and replaced it with an inordinate patchwork of contractual reciprocity.
It is devoid of the sense of the sacred. Tremendous economic growth has not been matched by individual, social and spiritual growth. Everywhere people running about with nothing firm beneath their feet. With no law but the inclination of the moment. No warrants for treachery and cruelty. No sense of social shame. Not a great deal binding people to the past or to each other. Liberalism is an ideology where selfishness takes possession of a culture.
On the other hand, lives simply woven together by divine trust and love isn’t enough to keep a civilization alive. Because it mostly depends on a small, static society that never looks outside or beyond. Such as ancient Sparta, which in anxiously trying to hold on to its own social order, was already imploding before it fell to the Macedonians. Successful societies have never drawn a curtain; instead, have invariably looked outward, never ceasing to develop.
Megxit does in fact reveal this clash between core values – one which we can trace as far back as the 13th century when the church became part of the international banking system. It’s the clash between monarchy and liberalism, traditionalism and secularism and of course nationalism and globalism. And it’s precisely these kind of tensions that we can expect to see more of as that clash only promises to intensify.
It takes all sorts make the world. There are those walking quite calmly in the sunlight, who appear to be at home in the environment, and there are those pacing quite angrily under a cloud, who appear to loathe everything about the environment; their deepest disdain, rather poetically, often being reserved for themselves. If we want to know from whence such differences spring, as far as anybody can know it, we must begin at the sources of the river, and not merely dilly-dally in the swamps where it straggles away into a final confusing, labyrinthine delta. We should observe simple origins, not complex conclusions; thoughts, not things. For readily understood but quickly forgotten, it’s our thoughts that shape the world, not the world that shapes our thoughts.
We are the master storytellers. So, we should take great care over the stories we tell. Events take on added significance when they converge with the narrative within. It’s from this convergence where we take the materials to build our reality. Palatial retreats or squalid slums – where we reside in our heads is entirely up to us. The world will ultimately be in alignment with it, as the planets are in alignment with the sun.
We therefore should regularly reflect on what ideas are in our heads at present, and in what way they are likely to mould the future.
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”
– Hosea 8:7
Commonly, we dwell on the unpleasant, the irritating, the ugly; on the unfair and the unfortunate; on what we’ve lost, on what we can never have. We can spend inordinate time complaining, moaning, whining; often, we’ll only begin to appreciate something by bemoaning its loss. But we should remember that every mind is like a God. We create our reality by bringing it into existence. Only playing the bad hands would not make for an effective poker strategy. The same is true of life. A lifetime of tolerating or resisting that which we perceive to be doing us wrong, while ignoring that which is doing us good, is sure to lead to ruin.
Instead of a persistent, nagging recognition of all that blights us, we should be grateful for the blessings within our reach, and not take them for granted. When we do so, we’re at ease with the world, not at odds with it. Gratitude is the gift of levity, without which we can be weighed down, carrying our sullen impressions about like a lumbering stone statue.
By being grateful we are arming ourselves with a cheerfulness, a lightness of touch, an exuberance, which will allow us to hurdle obstacles as if our feet were kissing the ground. Successful people, who seem to enjoy the fruits of happiness and good fortune, have not faced an absence of problems, they’ve merely acquired the ability to deal with them. Optimism – a child of gratitude – is common to all. And frankly, if we’re not practising gratitude, there’s nothing much to be optimistic about.
Hardship is universal, but there’s no doubt some of us have been fated to endure more than others. Still, I’ve never met anybody who hasn’t got things to be grateful for. And what could be better, artistically speaking, than an optimism breaking through anguish like a fiery gold encircling the edges of a black cloud. To be grateful in a world constantly trying to bring you down, is truly one the greatest accomplishments, and always rewarded. Because it is through an honest, sincere appreciation of the blessings in life where we start to calibrate ourselves to a more favourable future. Indeed, if our lives are beset by difficulty, even more reason that we adjust the settings on our metal detector, for the thing we find will invariably be of a kind with the things we sought.
We are governed by what we choose to think about. If we commit ourselves to every doctrine of insanity and despair, we give Torment the keys to our life, and make it sovereign. But we have the power to take the reins, at any moment, by independent action from within, and not mere reaction to without. To act positively and to desist from reacting negatively is the difference between being the architects of our daily experience, and not merely being the instruments of the things that happen to us.
But the ungrateful appear to imagine that affliction was a yoke mysteriously imposed on us by life, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all of us on ourselves.
To take the proverbial phrase, is the glass half empty or half full? If it is half empty your thirst will never be quenched; but if it’s half full, truly, you’ll never want for a drink. Thus, when we are being grateful, we always have enough; when we’re being covetous, we never have what we need. And so, a grateful person can be the richest person in the world with very little, but no amount of wealth and riches will make the ungrateful anything other than wretchedly poor.
To sit in the driver’s seat, and to tip the scales in favour of abundance, simply, we must be more grateful than ungrateful. We must focus more on the positive than the negative. If a loved one, for instance, is suspicious of a kind gesture or of being the subject of our sincere appreciation, it’s probably a good sign that we should make more of a habit of practicing gratitude. It will change our life.
One observation of modern society is to note the increasing infantilization of its culture. It almost seems as though everything is designed to be loud, shiny and short lived, as if intending to capture rapidly diminishing attention spans. It is of a narcissistic character: attention-seeking, selfish, demanding, self-centred. Indeed, personified and it would be a child – there’s no demographic more narcissistic than children. But, in fact, in many ways it would be too high and hopeful a compliment to say that our culture is becoming more childish. For one of its main flaws is to undervalue the wisdom of children, at the same time as over emphasising the intelligence of adults.
It is in paradox that we see life smiling back at us, and this, one of the strangest paradoxes is, by lived experience, one of the most reassuring. It is that often the more we look at a thing, the less we see the world, and the more we learn a thing, the less we know the world. Those who study something and practise it every day will see less and less of the significance of other things. In the same way, many of us will be so bonded by daily routine that, unless we make a habit of goading ourselves into gratitude, we’ll see less and less significance of the trees, the birds, and the sky. We become obsessed with trivial things and quickly forget the beauty of consequential things.
However, children are full of awe and wonder for the things that typically induce awe and wonder, and they’re rightly bored by the things that typically induce boredom.
When we are asked to perform certain tasks, we overestimate the significance of those tasks and, by inference, underestimate the significance of others. As if we were carrier pigeons with blinkered vision, we become immersed in detail and therefore our outlook is narrowed by detail. Because with age comes a degree of specialisation. We start to know more and more about less and less, until we know close to everything about nothing. There’s little room for mystery.
But children generally cast their net further and further afield. They know less and less about more and more, until they know close to nothing about everything. The world is full of mystery.
Our imagination is limited by social mores and conventions. When we reach a certain age many of us think we have all the answers and talk at great length about things we know little about. But much of the time these are merely socially reinforcing statements. For we don’t dare speak out of turn, knowing that there are certain opinions of certain things that we must take. We are proverbial gardeners tending to flowers in somebody else’s garden.
Children’s imagination isn’t limited in the same way. They are full of questions and have few answers. They are unshackled from the opinions of others; the pull of social conformity does not exert as strong an influence. And so, their opinions grow naturally, like flowers in a field.
Socialisation is the process by which children turn into adults. It’s the internalisation of behaviour deemed acceptable in society. Naturally, there’s a correlation between societal success and degree of socialisation. The more successful in society tend to be the most socialised and the least successful the least socialised.
The drive to fit in and be popular is at core a game with rewards and punishments. In social groups you generally score better the more you assimilate. Because despite all the cultural clamour for “diversity” smaller social groups always gravitate to uniformity. We mix with people we share commonalities with or share common goals with and we clash with those we don’t. That clash will either be respectful or belligerent.
The adoption of social masks is essentially a compromise between individual and society of what a man or woman should appear to be. We grow so accustomed to wearing masks we wrongly believe it to be our authentic self; when in the design of which others invariably have a greater share. Of course, unlike adults, when children wear masks, they understand that they’re playing; that they are becoming someone else. And indeed, as they grow older, they do become someone else. They compromise. They conform.
Without conformity civilisation is impossible – it’s the glue in social cohesion. Certainly, it’s always been an important quality to help us get through this life; for one thing, there’s often little sympathy for those who go on to act upon their own intuition. Society will soon crush into submission all those with a rebellious streak. Most of the time this is quite unnecessary. Youngsters quickly learn that a happy life involves doing what your fellows do. Going against the crowd risks social alienation; or worse, draws a conspicuous target over one’s head.
As we grow older, we lose what it is to be a child. Indeed, it’s largely through socialisation. Much of that intoxicating blend of awe, excitement, wild abandon, unbridled imagination, freedom from judgement, dies when we reach a certain age. Letting go can be hard.
Adults hankering for their childhood is an incongruity in the sense of a contrast. But perhaps the contrast is deceptive. For we humans have only recently developed the upper lobes of the brain and cannot stand using them all the time. It is necessary, therefore, when opportunity arises, that we let them rest and animate the lower centres. In other words, it is necessary that we take a step back into childhood and play. As for those who play all the time, we do have a word for such people: morons.
The problem, however, as mentioned, and as Shakespeare put it so eloquently, is that the world presents itself as one large stage full of players (actors), and though children can generally distinguish between work and play, adults have become so accustomed to games that they fail to make this basic distinction in their work and private lives. As children innocently play in the garden, full of joy and wonder at the world around them; adult play is tedious, cynical and downright dishonest. There are whole industries that are presented in the aspect of enormous fortresses of lies. The automatic result of economic forces, like all our behaviour, the individual strategizes their ascension through the ranks with no more conscious thought than the digestion of his or her food. It is in such a way that the game of self-preservation is won and lost.
The multi-generational winners of this game that own and run the world wish everything to remain as it is. In fact, their sole motivation is to amass more power. As one of the functions of ownership, these winners control culture and determine taste. They glorify the moron – the man or woman who has emotions and not brains – and thus much of the culture is directed toward the creation of an artificial childhood. By debasing the culture, to put it starkly, their goal is to weaken and degrade those upon whom they prey, like a thief who gets their victim drunk before they rob them.
Children are far easier to control than adults, which is why people are increasingly acting and behaving like children. There’s an entire generation of adults who’ve been socially engineered to be emotionally incontinent wrecks; not wishing to relinquish their grip on their reassuring childhood, presumably because of their sheer terror of adulthood. It can be seen right across the cultural spectrum, from movies, popular music, tv shows. It appears as if popular culture is becoming more and more low brow to meet the needs of an audience frozen in a state of arrested emotional development.
Equally, the cultural advancement of personal truths over objective truths is the cultural equivalent of throwing a cold bucket of water on the burning fire of reality. Like children, many people are increasingly incapable of dealing with their own problems and are being encouraged to seek the solace of comforting illusions, safe spaces and, if all else fails, are redirected to the safe harbour of prescription medication.
Incessant escapism is a survival tactic for people who haven’t learned how to survive. Pain can never be released; real growth can never therefore be attained. People become trapped in self-destructive circles which, in the temporary alleviation of pain, makes them dependent on the very pain that they are trying to alleviate.
These cultural developments are somewhat organic but coexist in a rich ecosystem which is managed and engineered by the class that owns it. The intention behind them is akin to the one behind the emasculation of men. It’s for people to embrace their weaknesses. Power wants us confused, emotional, subordinated and child-like.
Socialisation is the process by which children transition into adulthood but ironically, in many ways, it’s also the process by which adults are regressing back into childhood. I think society would be greatly improved if it really embraced its inner child, rather than be comprised of adults who merely act like children. Because children are always engaging with a world that adults are increasingly escaping. They love their childhood whereas many adults are progressively fearful of adulthood. And as children are free to choose, adults are compelled to imitate. It’s a voice in the valley as opposed to echoes in a cave.
“Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions (perceptions) without concepts are blind”
In ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’, Prussian German philosopher, Immanuel Kant outlined his theory of perception. He propounded that our understanding of the external world has its foundations not merely in experience, but in both experience and a priori concepts (reasoning that proceeds from theoretical deduction rather than from observation). In a nutshell, he said that the external world provides things that we sense. Our mind processes this information and gives it structure, enabling our comprehension; in part, because space and time are pre-conditions of the mind. Therefore, in what he called the “transcendental unity of apperception”, “the concepts of the mind (understanding) and perceptions or intuitions that garner information from phenomena (sensibility) are synthesized by comprehension”.
He maintained that without this synthesis of understanding and sensibility the world would be quite unintelligible. Which is to say that abstractions without perceptions are nondescript; perceptions without abstractions are featureless and unrelatable.
In a Kantian sense, our understanding of objective reality is tinted by our intuition. There’s no way of separating objectivity – the external world – and subjectivity – the internal world. Both are dependent upon one another. Because awareness of the external necessitates the internal. And so, in simple terms, perception of our surroundings is akin to wearing green-tinted glasses. All our experiences are filtered through them. We therefore cannot reliably conceive of an outside world that’s truly independent of the way we perceive it, just as someone who unknowingly wears green-tinted glasses would not be able to conceive of a non-green colour. The thought would be alien to them.
The summation of Kant’s ideas on perception can be found in his doctrine of transcendental idealism. He said that space, time and causation are mere sensibilities. Unlike George Berkeley’s subjective idealism, Kant’s theory maintains that the external world ‘does’ exist, but that its objective nature is unknowable.
Kant’s transcendental idealism concerns metaphysics (a branch of philosophy that examines first principles and the nature of reality). But we can surely apply much of his ideas on perception to how we process information in a more practical sense. In terms of personal preference and bias.
It seems all humans crave certainty – our unconscious abhors message incongruity. When a message is not internally consistent or does not fit surrounding information, a clash occurs. This clash can cause psychological discomfort. We will instinctively try to remove this discomfort by either eliminating dissonant thoughts or by incorporating them into our current belief system. Psychologists call this process ‘cognitive dissonance’. In other words, a mind with disunity of thought is a mind at war with itself. Sooner or later one side wins and imposes its tyranny.
Similarly, if a new message does not match preconceptions it will hit a defensive wall of incredulity. But if it does, it will be let through the gate of credulity. Psychologists call this ‘confirmation bias’, which is one example of ‘cognitive bias’.
All of us are prone to bias of every shade. We’re all guilty of having our opinions colour and shape our thoughts to such an extent that what we wish to see can hardly be differentiated from what we end up seeing. So, in some ways, the green-tinted glasses metaphor, which clarifies the Kantian position on perception and the interplay between understanding and sensibility in a metaphysical sense, can equally be applied to all of us in a cognitive sense.
Our mind can be rather like a cookie cutter tray making the same shapes and designs. These tried and tested cognitive patterns have the allure of being able to be used in every circumstance, which has the effect of whittling the vastness of the world down to a more manageable size.
In fact, I’m quite sure life would be unnavigable without an inner compass pointing to our north star. It gives us certainty which cultivates action, whereas uncertainty cultivates inertia. The problem, however, is that reasoning requires inertia, and action negates reasoning. This paradox has been the bane of the human experience; for while the wise tend to be full of doubts, the foolish tend to be full of conviction.
Perhaps there are none more foolish than those who are locked up in the prison of ideology. In the cognitive sense, this is the ultimate manifestation of Kant’s green-tinted glasses. A one-stop shop for every problem, every situation. Ideologies feel good because they are familiar to us; they appeal to sentiment, not reflection. A kind of turbo-charged certainty fuelling a basic psychological need.
One method to unravel ideological thinking or extreme bias is to use somebody’s own argument against them. Because often every reason articulated to discredit an opponent’s position is one that will discredit their own. Essentially, an intellectual boomerang. Such as accusing somebody of indulging in conspiracy theories before proceeding to indulge in a conspiracy theory. Or saying, for instance, that women are exactly the same as men, but then insinuating, by effectively invoking special status for women, through the support for some diversity quota, that they’re different.
Thus, the ideological will naturally protect their ideas with huge impenetrable fortresses of doublethink (self-contradictory positions). Only that by some accident of arrangement the fortresses’ pieces of artillery are almost always set up with the tails pointing at their adversaries and the mouths pointing at themselves. This is most unfortunate because the most ideological are always the most defensive, and the greatest line of defence, of course, is to attack. Commonly, attacks are projecting and self-deceiving. Such as accusing somebody of being hateful while screaming at them. Or accusing them of being science deniers but maintain a position, on other fronts, that denies basic human biology.
To be ideological is to think in a general way, wanting to tackle complex social and economic issues with a broad sweep of the brush, rarely going to the trouble of being specific. This is because specificity requires a high degree of cognition, whereas ideology allows you to remain in that state when you are not thinking of anything and yet your thoughts come into your head by themselves, each more pleasantly self-affirming than the last, without even causing you the trouble of chasing after and finding them. In other words, ideology not only provides us with the comfort of certainty, but also the ease of laziness.
To find faults with ideological thinking, therefore, it is not so much through the Critique of Pure Reason, but merely through a critique of poor reasoning.
This is by no means to point fingers and declare myself immune. On the contrary, to a lesser or greater extent, we are all ideological. We all wear Kantian tinted glasses. Because what we see and hear are always pre-conditions of our mind. That’s how we make sense of the world. And of course, to make any kind of sense of it we must be confident in our own ability to do so.
Certainly, confidence is at the heart of it. As is optimism – ideologies invariably offer the reward of idealism. To metaphorize appropriately, then, we should say that we wear rose-tinted glasses. For often we are pretending to know a lot about things we really don’t know enough about, believing that to blindly follow these ideas it will lead to a future more advantageous than the present.
Whether everything is tinted in red, green or blue, or every hue in between, we can only begin to dim this tint by challenging and testing our own opinions at least as much as we challenge viewpoints which are at variance with them. This is the only antidote to ideological thinking that I know of.