The God Fetish, the God Phobia, and the Fetish of Words: Or, The Idolatry of Ideology

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2021 by jtoddring

There are some who will read my writing and think – he’s a dangerous right-winger! But if they read more, they will realize that is obviously untrue. Others will decide I am a dangerous leftist extremist; but if they read on, they will understand that I advocate non-violence, freedom, democracy and constitutional rights – and if that makes me a dangerous extremist in the minds of some, then I would say they are dangerously delusional.

Others will read my writing and declare that, while they may agree with some of it, or maybe most of it, they lose me when I venture into the realm of spirituality or religion. To them I would say, keep an open mind. “There is more to heaven and earth than is contained in your philosophy.”

And then there are the religious fundamentalists, the sectarians, and the religious conservatives, who will feel that I am dangerously open to foreign, exotic influences. To them I say, I don’t think God has a fetish of names, and He, or She, cares little for our cherished ideologies, dogmas or sects. She is far beyond such narrow confines of little minds.

As the Tao Te Ching says, “Naming is the mother of the ten thousand things.” “The Tao thaat can be spoken is not the true Tao.”

Keep your cherished ideologies, philosophies, theories or beliefs, if you wish, but hold them lightly, or you will see nothing at all.

As always, “There is more day yet to dawn.”

JTR,
January 10, 2021

Primary Influences

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 10, 2021 by jtoddring

What are my primary influences? Among them: Buddhism, Taoism, the perennial philosophy, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Thoreau, along with the values of the Enlightenment: liberty, equality, solidarity – which I would like to see lived up to, and the sooner the better.

In short, we are our brother’s keeper. But if we fall either to callousness, or to authoritarianism and illusions of control, then there will be hell to pay, for we will make a living hell on Earth. That is the crux of what I believe, and what I have to say. The power is in our hands, as always. It is up to us how or whether we will use it.

There are myriad other influences; I’ve cited them in extensive footnotes and references, bibliographies and reading lists. But these are some of the primary ones. A quick search of my blog for “reading”, “philosophy”, and the like, or the short article, Flash-Drive Revolution, will provide a great many resources, along with my first two published books: Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite.

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“I fear no truth, and fear no falsehood.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
– Thomas Paine

JTR,
January 10, 2021

The Definition Of A Warrior

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2021 by jtoddring

Here is a good working definition of a warrior. Chogyam Trungpa, or the 13th Dalai Lama, can explain it better. I am just a student. (See, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, and The Bodhisattva Warrior) Nevertheless, I think the following thoughts are worthy of reflection.

A true warrior commits to compassionate action, for the benefit of all sentient beings, and commits to pursuing the truth, and speaking the truth, to that end. There is no other summary or definition of what it means to be a warrior that I feel has any merit, or at least, any real depth. That includes speaking the truth even when it is unpopular, even when it is dangerous to do so. To do otherwise means that you are not a warrior, nor even, a decent human being, but a hollow shell, a sham, morally bankrupt, and a coward.

When Chomsky said, quite rightly, “If the Nuremberg Trials were held today, every US President since World War II would be hung”, that was an unpopular thing to say, but it needed to be said. The same is true for the covid hysteria. The crisis is real, but widely misunderstood. Worse, the crisis is being cynically used by elites to advance their own agenda, and as always, it revolves around greater power and wealth for themselves – and a good 70-80% of the people are silently acquiescing to the new gospel narrative and the power grab which it covers, or are actively, though unwittingly, aiding and abetting it.

A few people question the official narrative, but not many. Most are either subjugated into unthinking obedience by indoctrination and propaganda, or are cowed into silence, fearing to raise their voices, lest they incur the wrath of the obedient herd. They are cowards, and they are endangering us all, far more than would ever dare to imagine.

Speak the truth. Seek the truth, and speak the truth, no matter how uncomfortable or unpopular that may be; or else surrender to the new normal, of vacuous obedience to power, and docile conformity, even at the expense of your own sanity and capacity for rational thought – even at the expense of your freedom, your dignity, and your soul.

The majority of people are motivated by ego and the pursuit of comfort. They imagine themselves to be moral and decent, but, at least in this decadent age, it is largely a ruse, and a self-deception. They have basically decent impulses, as Chomsky said, but no courage. When their conscience or compassion conflict with their desire for comfort, or to be liked, they choose the latter. But as Gandhi said, “Cowards can never be moral.”

They herd are terrified of being driven out of the herd. The herd instinct makes them strong, in that they naturally tend towards compassion, empathy, solidarity, cooperation and mutual aid; but it also makes the majority cowardly, because they are afraid to risk losing the perceived safety of the herd.

This is why all significant positive change in human society has always come, and will always come, from a small, dissident minority. It was the small minority that led the movements for democratic revolution in America and France, the movement to abolish slavery, to gain universal suffrage, to end child labour and racial segregation, and on and on the list goes. Only when the brave minority, through tireless action, and tirelessly speaking the truth, reach a tipping point in terms of getting their message across to the broader society, do the majority decide, and usually rather quickly, that they are now on the side of the right and the truth, and they join in, as late-comers, in the drive for positive social change.

So, keep up the fight. Non-violently of course. Seek the truth, and speak the truth. There is more day yet to dawn. The revolution has only begun; and so too, the new renaissance.

Freedom and compassion must be united, just as the people must be united, or our future is dark. This is the central principle upon which an enlightened democracy is founded. But in order to achieve that end, we must speak up. We must question more, think for ourselves, and speak the truth, as best we understand it. This will lead us to a better world. Nothing else will – certainly not technocratic plutocracy and fascism, which is what we have now.

J. Todd Ring,

January 10, 2021

#covid, #covid-19, #coronavirus, #propaganda, #Warrior

Rescuing Plato, Rescuing Ourselves

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2021 by jtoddring

Despite the fact that Western civilization (sic) has greatly venerated and virtually worshipped the ancients of Greece and Rome, in reality, they had little to offer in terms of philosophy. (I will qualify and elaborate on this broad statement in a moment.) That being said, modern philosophy, from Descartes through to the currently fashionable fascism and post-modernism – both of them being based in dangerous nihilistic delusions – is in general a dung hole, and should be suitably flushed, or at least, set aside for a couple of hundred years, until we can see it with fresh eyes.

In that context, it would be most helpful to rescue Plato and the ancients from the memory hole. Though the ancient Greeks and Romans have been overly emphasized, as well as dimly understood, they still have important things to teach us – if we have ears to hear, eyes to see, and, an ability to think critically, and do not simply worship at someone’s feet, or alternately, glibly reject them out of hand.

(I like rigour of thought; but I am not a fan of the narrow-minded and blinkered, authority-worshipping, pseudo-intellectual, prickly scholasticism that has come over Western society in these past few centuries since the Council of Nicaea, particularly within academia and “intellectual culture”, and which gilds the mind-forged manacles, as Blake so aptly called them, which we have come to worship in the place of knowledge, wisdom and truth, or any other sensible values. There are glowing exceptions to the general decline in Western philosophy since the Renaissance. Let Montaigne and Etienne de La Boite, rather than Newton, Bacon and Descartes, be considered the foundations of the modern world from hence forth, and we will be on far better and more sure footing. If you insist on a canon, which is always a risky thing to do, but valid enough, and useful, if done with intelligence, let these bright lights be among them: Spinoza, Hume, Emerson, Thoreau, Kropotkin, Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, Erich Fromm, Joseph Campbell, Allan Wallace, Joanna Macy, Ken Wilber, Rianne Eisler, Murray Bookchin, Noam Chomsky, Morris Berman, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and the writings and speeches of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Is there room for democracy, freedom, constitutional rule, human rights, tolerance and diversity, and science and spirituality both, along with philosophy? Naturally, and these things should be considered to be fundamental – which they are. Maybe with a fresh perspective, in this new millennium, we can actually begin to live up to calling ourselves a civilization.)

Aside from Socrates, who asserted little of his own views, but instead urged us to question everything, and Plotinus, who was the last of the ancient philosophers, and the best, there is no single philosophy from ancient Greece or Rome that can, or should, be taken off the shelf and accepted as a complete, ready-to-use philosophy, on its own. Aside from Plotinus, all of them offered defective and confused philosophies, and the best we can do with them, is to take what is valuable from each, and leave the rest behind. That includes Plato and Aristotle, the two most influential of all.

Plato was rabidly anti-democratic, and urged a totalitarian elite rule, by what he called philosopher kings. This should strike any sane person as an extremely dangerous idea, destined to create tyranny and a nightmare society. (My first essay in philosophy, in year one of university, was to rebut Plato’s philosophy of benevolent dictatorship by philosopher kings.) But this idea of wise and benign dictatorship has been glowingly and eagerly embraced by generations of self-deluding elites, for centuries and millennia; just as it is again today, with the Davos/Bilderberg billionaire oligarchs, who literally call themselves the masters of the universe, insanely, thinking themselves to be on a messianic mission to save us from ourselves, through bringing in a benign, highly scientific, technocratic fascism (which Huxley warned us about) – ruled by themselves, of course.

The Western power elite seem clearly to be ruled by a set of delusions elaborated by a bastard hybridization of Plato – the idea that the wise and benevolent ruling elite, as philosopher kings, should rule; Machiavelli – power is the only value, and any means are valid to achieve it; Hobbes – centralization of power is is necessary and good, or, more delusions of self-justifying and self-serving elite rule), Neitzsche – yes, he fell into nihilism, and yes, the elite are nihilists, as well as egomaniacs and sociopaths, as all power-mongers are; post-modernism – polysyllabic psychobabble based in nihilism and relativism), Malthus (yes, the elite are neo-Malthusian, with all the grim horrors that implies), and above all, Spencer (the godfather of Social Darwinism, who put forward the view most beloved by elites ever since: the view that extreme inequality, and extreme concentrations of wealth and power, are natural, normal, and good – the view that the might makes right, and the powerful are justified in devouring the planet, the poor, and everyone else.

*

Aristotle was more sane, with regards to political philosophy, arguing for democracy and equality. But Aristotle leaned toward a materialist reductionist worldview, and hence, was also partially crippled in mind, and not at all to be embraced uncritically.

If, however, we approach philosophy, not as a canon, but as a body of thought, then we can perhaps think critically, and look at what is valuable, if anything, in various works of philosophy, and not be so naive, or unduly deferential and mousy, as to believe that it is impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff, or, heaven forbid, to synthesize and combine the best elements from various philosophies and thinkers.

For example, and chiefly, perhaps, we need to look at Plato and Aristotle more critically, and not simply embrace or reject them, but embrace and reject what is suitable to be embraced or rejected.

If we take Plato’s metaphysics, or ontology, if you prefer the term – which assert a unity of being, echoing the perennial philosophy, to use the phrase of Leibniz, or, the mono-myth, as Joseph Campbell called it – and reject his elitist call for totalitarianism; and we take Aristotle’s very sensible and prescient observations asserting that democracy is best, despite its flaws; but reject his materialist reductionism; and instead, combine Aristotle’s sensible love of democracy with Plato’s metaphysics of the unity of being: then we have an intelligent philosophy, based in the ancients, but not blindly bound to their mistakes, which can guide us well through the 21st century and beyond.

Aristotle, we should note, had the good sense to recognize that both wealth and economic power (which of course inevitably follows from wealth) tend to concentrate in a market-based economy: and if this trend is not checked, and policies put in place to redistribute wealth, then the rich will take over, and it will be a plutocracy, an oligarchy, not a democracy – and democracy will collapse, be eaten alive by the rising oligarchy (then as now), or alternatively, implode under the weight of civil unrest.

Aristotle presaged FDR. Roosevelt understood that if some measure of redistribution of wealth, and some measure of aid and protection for the poor, some degree of intelligent responsiveness to inequality, are not undertaken, then revolution would be the result. He was right. As JFK said, Those who make non-violent revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. For those who fear or are averse to revolution (I am not one) this sage advice cannot be ignored.

In 2020 we were beset by a new problem, which is really an old problem, in a new form. A crisis is being cynically used by powerful individuals for personal gain. Hardly anything new. (See The Shock Doctrine.)Powerful elites are seeking more power. This is also hardly anything new, but as dangerous as ever – and more dangerous than ever before, because the power of the global elite is now far greater than that of the Nazis, the fascists of the 1930s and ’40s, or any of the kings or emperors of the past 5,000 years. If we cannot learn from history now, at this critical juncture in time, and learn from philosophy as well, then we are indeed headed, and in fact plunging, into an extremely dark and dystopian world.

*

The Stoics deserve a brief mention only, and only because there is a growing new fetish for that grim philosophy of complacency. Stoicism is indeed a grim philosophy. It is the valuing of silent acquiescence and servility as the highest value. How dismal and pathetic. It echoes Confucianism in the East – which is the still-reigning religion, in truth, of modern 21st century China: “Know your place. Shut up and do what you’re told.”

No wonder the Taoists have mocked the Confucianists for over two thousand years – as they should. Stoicism, old or new, as with Confucianism – or the neo-Confucian/Maoist/Leninist/neo-feudal corporatism of contemporary China – deserves to be mocked, and to be rejected entirely.

Of course, even in a sewage pit, you can sometimes find little treasures. It is no different with regards to philosophy. There are elements of Stoic philosophy which are valuable, though the whole is a stinking bog, and a cesspool of the mind. The valuing of inner calm and composure, resilience and inner peace, are of course appealing to many people. But the Buddha offered a sure path to these goals, without the self-castration or self-evisceration entailed in Stoic deference to power and the status quo – whatever that happens to be; and without the perverse worshipping of repression as a pinnacle value, or the deranged notion that anything good can come through the staunch refusal to feel either pain or pleasure, sorrow or joy, or any human feelings at all. No, if you want inner strength, inner peace, inner calm, composure and resilience, there are better places to look, and better approaches to take, than to submit to the eye-gauging and soul crushing philosophy of the Stoics. Buddhism is just one option which infinitely supersedes this dismal quagmire. (Taoism and Liberation Theology are two more, among many.)

Post-modernism, and the ever-fashionable fetish among elites which is fascism – both of which being forms of nihilism – have resurrected the rotting corpse of ancient Sophism. Let’s just say that if nothing matters, in our deluded minds, then the holocaust, and the killing of millions of people, was a perfectly acceptable act, and not a crime of any kind. Of course, most people have a basic sanity, and therefore, they recognize that mass murder is not an acceptable thing, but a horrific and despicable act by deranged and dangerous people who should never be allowed to wield power. The lesson has not yet been learned, however – either by the delusional elite, nor by the masses, who allow them to rule, and allow them to repeat the horrors of history, in ever new and more dangerous forms.

If we, the people, are at all sane – and I am convinced that, despite the mass propaganda and the mass indoctrination, most people still possess common sense and basic sanity – then we will remove the power-hunger elite from power, and restore democracy and freedom, and constitutional rights for all, and immediately.

If we are not so lucid or so wise, then we will simply repeat the worst mistakes of history, all over again, and the bloodshed, and the horror, will be on our hands, and on our conscience, forever.

“The greatest of philosophers have found answers to life’s problems,

not just in theory, but in practice.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Act now.

J. Todd Ring,

January 3, 2021

Further Reading:

(A very short and incomplete list, naturally)

C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite

Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions, Year 501, and Class Warfare

Peter Phillips, Giants: The Global Power Elite

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

John Perkins, The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman,

and, A Game As Old As Empire

Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Self

Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

Allan Wallace, Choosing Reality

Rianne Eisler, The Chalice and The Blade

Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom

Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom

Bertrand Russel, Roads To Freedom

and my own first two books:

Enlightened Democracy

and

The People vs The Elite

Knowledge Is Power. Panic Is Death. Reconnection Is Resilience

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2020 by jtoddring

Amidst the current global pandemic of fear, what is most urgently needed is perspective.

What must be done? In sum, we must disconnect from a dying system which is sucking the life out of us, out of humanity, and out of the planet, and thereby stop supporting it, stop feeding it, and stop giving it our energy and our power. Power structures only have power when the people give them their power. When the people stop giving them their power, they collapse, as we saw in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. Remember that. That is the key. We must disconnect and decouple from dying, life-destroying systems, patterns and structures of power, and reconnect with community, nature, and our deeper selves. That will radically empower the people, while removing power from the system which feeds off the people and keeps them subjugated and in virtual chains. Only then can we begin to truly heal our world, and heal our communities and ourselves in the process.

Here are some thoughts on how we can make that shift, with the results being greater awareness, greater aliveness and empowerment, greater resilience, and a healing of ourselves, our families, our communities, our society, and the beautiful, fragile, highly resilient planet that is our home.

Belief in technology as salvation, or worse, technocracy as salvation, is a thought pattern stemming from poverty consciousness, scarcity consciousness, inner impoverishment, weakness, delusion, alienation and fear – and the belief that either technology or technocracy will be our saviour, will, I assure you, lead us into slavery, dystopia, and the slow and painful death of our species.

Knowledge is power. Bacon was right about one thing, at least.

People are afraid of wolves, coyotes, snakes, bugs, bears…the flu. Our ability to assess danger rationally in our modern, coroporate ruled, media manipulated, techno-entranced, deeply alienated society, is near zero, it would seem.

In terms of modern man’s fear of nature, it is, by and large, utterly unwarranted. Respect and alertness are needed – not fear. Nature is far safer than “civilization.”

Despite delusional and misplaced fears, which are pandemic, unless you do something stupid: like keeping food or toothpaste in your tent (bears will investigate anything with a scent that just may conceivably mean edible items), or feeding bears, or trying to pet bear cubs; or unless you’re in grizzly country, rattlesnake country, or polar bear territory, in the desert, British Columbia, the jungle or the far north; your chances of being attacked by dangerous creatures are nearly zero – in the wilderness, that is. 

The city is far more dangerous than the wilderness. Bad drivers can kill you. Even if you’re just crossing the street. Or the smog and pesticides will give you with cancer, or the stress will give you a heart attack. 

Get out of the city. Read Thoreau. Don’t follow the lost herd. Definitely don’t follow the media, the government, the technocrats or bureaucrats, the elite, or the “authorities”.

Think for yourself. Eat organic, lower your stress, exercise, and don’t believe the hype.

Most dangerous of all, statistically, are obesity and poor diets, along with poverty and malnutrition, pharmaceuticals, and cars. Covid is no more dangerous than the flu, the figures now confirm.

0.26% mortality rate for covid-19, compared to 0.1% typically for the flu, so it is slightly higher for covid-19, but still miniscule compared to cancer, poverty, hunger, malnutrition, obesity, death by pharmaceuticals, junk food, or cars. Even bathtub drownings killed more people in Japan than covid-19. Check and verify the figures for yourself. Look at the Italian government study, for a start. (See Trends Journal and GreenMedInfo for further evidence-based information and analysis.) 

Yet the lemmings panic on cue, like Pavolv’s dogs, and stay rigidly in denial of the really big dangers: growing environmental disaster, pollution, war, poverty, obesity, fast food, junk food, pesticides, and fascism.

(See my essays: Importing From China, Any Enemy Will Do, Geopolitics 2020, Trump Says Up, You Say Down… Reality Check, and, Danger & Delusion From ISIS To Ebola)

Don’t be manipulated by fear-mongering media, or elites who cynically use fear to their advantage.

Remember:

Divide and conquer is the oldest and most essential maxim and strategy of control, used by all empires, including the latest: the global neofeudal empire of technocratic corporate fascist oligarchy.

And as we also know, in terms of the corporate-state media and the elite:

If it bleeds it leads.

Necessary Illusions are good for plutocrats.

Manufacturing Consent is the basis of elite-ruled pseudo-democracy.

And any crisis will do for Shock Therapy.

Stay calm, boost your immune system naturally, with real food, omega-3s and vitamins C and D, exercise, sunlight, love and joy – and question everything.

Above all, it’s what you put in your mouth, as in, “food-like substances” which really should not be ingested, along with certain pharmaceuticals and injections, which are the biggest danger.

Get outdoors. Do your own research. And embrace your power.

Real power comes from within – and it is quiet confidence, energy and strength, that does not need to be showy or to boast.

After inner power and inner resilience, comes the power of community, and the power of nature. Build your connections on these three levels, along with a healthy body, mind and spirit, and your empowerment and resilience will grow.

Read, reflect, make time for solitude and nature, build networks of mutual aid, and we will, in the process, heal ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.

Disconnect first. Then only can you truly connect to others, to the natural world, to your deeper self, or even to reality. Dissociation from reality is the great plague of the modern 21st century world. We are enmeshed and entangled in webs of illusion, and in systems and patterns which alienate us from one another, from nature, and from ourselves. We must, therefore, disconnect from human systems that are, to a high degree, based in delusion and dissociation from reality, in order to better connect to the real world, to ourselves, and to one another.

If you have not yet, then begin now: learn to love books, reading, reflection, solitude and nature; and the nourishing of your body, your spirit, and your mind.

Rediscover your love for others, for community, for the natural world, for humanity, for the Earth, for learning, for creativity, free expression, and for yourself. We all had these things naturally as small children. We have been socially conditioned to lose them, to deny them, and to suppress them. But they can and must be rediscovered – especially now, when our world is in crisis. These are the core things which will heal our world, our communities, and ourselves. Not technocracy, not Big Brother, not plutocratic elites posing as saviours, not technology, not drugs: it is love and wisdom which will heal us and our world. That requires that we disconnect from certain things, and reconnect with others.

Disconnect, listen, observe, read, reflect – these things are critical. Make the time. Nourish your body, and also your mind and your spirit. Then you can reconnect with life in deeper, healthier, more joyful, empowering, and more meaningful ways.

We must disconnect and decouple from the systems, patterns, thinking, organizations, groups and substances which drain our energy, deplete us, divide us, further alienate us, exploit us, degrade us, or make us sick. That generally comes in small steps; although, many have taken great leaps, as have I, many times, and that works too. Sometimes small steps are all that is possible. Sometimes a great leap is required to save our sanity, our soul, or our very lives.

We must examine things for ourselves, question everything, and decide for ourselves what is truly life-supporting, nourishing, or life-enhancing, and what things merely give the illusion of being life-supporting, nourishing or life-enhancing, but in truth degrade, disempower, alienate, exploit or impoverish us, drain us or enslave us. We must unplug, pause, and reflect deeply, in order to even begin to think clearly, or to see what is going on.

Excessive time spent staring into electronic screens, excessive time spent in buildings or cars, the mainstream media in general, the corporate world and corporate culture in general, the fiat money system, the myriad “food-like substances” which are in truth more poison than nourishment, along with the fundamental, root poisons, which are ignorance, greed and hate: these are among the things we must disconnect from, and which literally and figuratively drag us down.

Some things require a complete disavowal and refusal, such as crack cocaine or hillbilly heroine, or other dangerous drugs and other addictions, for people who have succumb to them. I would place the major media and the Fortune 1000 biggest corporations in that category, as well: they are poison, and they are life-destroyers. They must be boycotted and renounced.

Other things, like the internet, the phone or the TV, simply require a more balanced approach, and frequent disconnection, rather than permanent disconnection. (Although, I respect people who choose to eliminate them entirely from their lives, especially TV, and there are good reasons for such a response.)

But I leave it to you to decide what we must disconnect from, either completely or periodically, for greater well-being, quality of life, health, healing, ethical standards, empowerment, fulfillment, the healing of ourselves and our world, and simply for greater aliveness and joy.

There is much entanglement and much debris in our minds and our lives. Clearing our minds and our lives of entanglements and debris, and clearing away physical and mental toxins, is vital now.

Disconnect: We must first disconnect in order to reconnect; and thereby, live and love more fully, and with greater empowerment and joy. Then only, come the revolutionary changes and the regeneration we urgently need.

Reconnect: with others, with nature, and above all, with your deeper self. That is where our true power, liberation and resilience lie. Not in drugs, not in money, not in material things; and certainly not in cynical elites posing as the protectors and saviours of humanity.

A global awakening of humanity is underway, and is growing with accelerating speed. Remember that. The people will triumph. The oligarchs of East and West will fall. Our world will be healed, and regenerated, and the people will be free.

J. Todd Ring,

September 9, 2020

Further reading:

My first two published books:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium

And

The People vs The Elite: A Manifesto For A Democratic Revolution, Or, Survival In The 21st Century & Beyond

And see my other recent essays:

Flash Drive Revolution

The Death and Rebirth of Freedom and Democracy

Covid Update

Any Enemy Will Do

Importing From China

Sinking All Ships (But Our Own)

Geopolitics 2020

Global Overview 2020

The Certainty Of Death, Or The Death Of Certainties

Also critically important:

The Hero With A Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Choosing Reality – Allan Wallace

The Protestant Ethic & The Spirit Of Capitalism – Max Weber

The Pathology Of Normalcy – Eric Fromm

The Corporation – Joel Bakan

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World Revisited – Aldous Huxley

Roads To Freedom – Bertrand Russell

Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin

The Empathic Civilization – Jeremy Rifkin

The Ecology Of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

The Chalice & The Blade – Rianne Eisler

Wisdom of the Elders – David Suzuki

The Wayfinders – Wade Davis

Stolen Continents – Ronald Wright

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky

A Short History Of Progress – Ronald Wright

Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed – Jared Diamond

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Class Warfare – Noam Chomsky

The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman – John Perkins

The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil & The Attack On American Democracy – Peter Dale Scott

Iron Heel – Jack London

1984 – George Orwell

Giants: The Global Power Elite – Peter Phillips

The Power Elite – C. Wright Mills

The New Rulers of the World – John Pilger

A Game As Old As Empire – John Perkins

Escape From Freedom – Eric Fromm

Shambhala: The Sacred Path Of The Warrior – Chogyam Trungpa

The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de La Boitie

Walden, and, On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Plague: Then & Now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2020 by jtoddring

Europe did not respond well to the biggest plague in its history, in 1347-1351, to put it mildly – with anti-semitism, pogroms, scapegoating, witch trials, burning heretics at the stake, torture, self-flagellation, misanthropy, self-loathing, death cults, cultural morbidity and dark obsessions, paranoia, highly dubious medical practices, xenophobia, soaring cultural and religious intolerance, dogma, conformity and group-think, etc.

But, to be fair, the Black Death did kill 30% of the population. Many people were sadly but understandably panicked. We have panicked, in 2020, over what amounts, statistically, to the common flu.

(Nerves of steel, I tell you. Clear-mindedness under pressure – to astounding degrees.)

By comparison, fewer than 300,000 have died globally from covid-19, which is comparable in death rates to the annual flu – with 300,000-700,000 deaths per year. That’s fewer than *one death per ten thousand people* from covid-19, versus *one in three dead* from the Plague.

We have utterly lost all perspective. The people have broadly lost their minds. Mass hysteria reigns.

“The study of contemporary archives suggests a mortality varying in the different regions between one-eighth and two-thirds of the population, and the French chronicler Jean Froissart’s statement that about one-third of Europe’s population died in the epidemic may be fairly accurate. The population in England in 1400 was perhaps half what it had been 100 years earlier; in that country alone, the Black Death certainly caused the depopulation or total disappearance of about 1,000 villages. A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death. The population of western Europe did not again reach its pre-1348 level until the beginning of the 16th century.” – Britannica

One in three dead, vs one in 10,000, or less. Yes, we have lost our minds. The response has no sane or rational connection to the reality.

Orwell would understand, as would Huxley. This is not complicated; but it does require a willingness to fact-check, to question authority, the media, the elite, and the standard narrative.

It requires a willingness to deal with reality. So far, that has been lost by the vast majority. That is the real plague: a plague of the mind. And Blake, as well, would understand that.

Everywhere, “The mind-forged manacles.”

Covid-19 is literally one ten-thousandth as deadly as the Plague – and about as dangerous as the common flu. And yet, people have lost their minds to hysteria, panic and fear. Why? Because they are easily manipulated by fear-mongering governments, elites, and the media.

And they are not only losing their minds and their perspective, but also their democracy and their freedoms, as a result.

Pretty poor showing so far. We have definitely returned to the dark ages.

Witch burning, anyone? How about a nice burning of the heretics, hmm?

Worse, we have all that, in essence, along with a modern technocratic, highly Orwellian police state.

Yes, we are in grave danger. But it is not due to a germ.

In the 1930s, the first wave of fascism arose; and the people recognized it, resisted it, and defeated it. In 2020, we have the culmination of a slow motion global corporate fascist coup – and the people see it not.

Their minds have been high-jacked. The psyops propaganda war has been perfected. And this time, the fascists are winning, while the masses are lost in panic and delusion, over an “invisible enemy” – over a germ.

But it ain’t over ’till it’s over. The people are awakening.

JTR,

May 9, 2020

Moral bankruptcy in a time of “plague”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2020 by jtoddring

 

20,000 children die a day of hunger, and nobody notices, nobody makes a peep: outcry is basically zero. But a new strain of the flu (statistically less dangerous than the typical annual flu) scares people into thinking THEY themselves are in danger, and everyone loses their mind. Clearly, we are a morally bankrupt society.

We’ve had an international social, political, and economic order based on mass looting, conquest, rape and pillage for thousands of years – and nobody raises an eyebrow. But a germ comes along that might affect the privileged, affluent regions of the world, and everyone goes insane. 

Again, we are a morally bankrupt society, without question. All pretence of caring for the sick, and ending unnecessary suffering and death, is a joke and a deceit. If we were serious about such things we would end war and poverty. Clearly, we are not serious in the slightest.

6.5% of global GDP, according to the IMF, or five trillion dollars a year, goes to subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. Another two trillion, at least, goes to war, militarism, and the growing global police state. If we were serious about human health and well-being, we would end this mass subsidy to slaughter, planetary destruction, plunder and the police state, and end poverty and war. Clearly we are not serious.

As Chomsky has said, This is a business-run society, whose cardinal value is deceit. That is the problem. Anyone who cares about human health or well-being must first start by dealing with reality.

You who scream your venomous, hate-filled attacks on anyone who questions the new global police state, and in effect beg for your chains: your moral arguments are hollow. You surely, secretly know this, in your heart of hearts; which is why the venom and the screams are so extreme, and extremely insane.

JTR,

May 8, 2020

Flash-Drive Revolution – and – Who To Trust?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2020 by jtoddring

 

Amidst Protests, Uprisings, Simmering Revolt and Revolution, and A New Renaissance Emerging,

vs

Reactionary Efforts of The Establishment Powers of Entrenched Global Neo-Feudal Corporate Oligarchy To Resist Change, and To Consolidate Their Power

Who Can We Trust, Who Is Worthy of Support, and Who Can Put Things Into Perspective?

*

Humanity is experiencing a global awakening, and the birth of a new renaissance, along with the birth pangs of a new, global wave of popular protests, uprisings, and democratic revolutions.

At the same time, and deeply inter-related, there is a deep and growing crisis of legitimacy facing the world’s business and political “leaders” – the elite – along with the media, political and economic institutions, and social systems, structures, institutions and powers broadly.

We are now, in 2020, entering the global showdown phase of that most central conflict: between a global awakening of consciousness and culture, an emerging new renaissance, and a new wave of global uprisings and democratic revolutions; and the elite powers and oligarchies that wish to halt them, and to retain their stratospheric power and privilege, their oligarchy, and their de facto global rule.

It is, in short, a global showdown between the people and the oligarchy – between the people, and the ruling elite.

Public trust in political and business elites has crashed through the floor, and are at historically low levels. Public trust in the media has likewise collapsed.

Pundits, academics and “experts” are now routinely called into question as well – and not surprisingly, when we repeatedly discover hidden motives, blind spots, outright lies or delusions, and frequent alliances with vested interests.

Everywhere, icons are toppling, people are questioning more and more – as they should, and must.

Everywhere, people are re-assessing basic questions, including, who can we trust? Who can be relied upon for generally reliable, as well as honest, thoughtful, and accurate information, and informed commentary and analysis?

Furthermore, who is truly worthy of support, and who is not?

In short, whom to trust, has become one of the central issues of our time, as old orders crumble and slowly die, yet fight to hold on; and a new world is not yet born.

For myself, as a Canadian, and after 35 years and more than 50,000 hours of intensive research, studies and reflection, I can offer a very short and incomplete list of some of the groups and organizations that I feel are most worthy of support, along with the sources of news and analysis that I hold to be most reliable. Remember, though: Think for yourself – and question everything.

Remember also, that good sources and worthwhile groups can be corrupted, co-opted, high-jacked, taken over, simply become lost, or positively go off the rails.

I don’t expect that to happen with any of my most trusted groups or sources, but we do live in strange and unpredictable times – so I would urge we take nothing for granted.

Question everything, and everyone. Trust is good, when it is warranted. It is good to have confidence in something, and in at least some few, as well as in the people and the Earth broadly.

So too, are vigilance, fact-checking, and above all, thinking for ourselves, very good, and essential, things.

*

Groups I feel are most worthy of support:

A very short and incomplete list, focused primarily on Canadian groups and organizations

 

Idle No More

The Canadian indigenous rights group that has transformed the environmental movement, positively fused the indigenous rights movement to the environmental movement, and brought non-violent direct action into the mainstream – where it belongs, and must remain, until the job is done, and we live in a just and free, clean and green world.

 

The Council of Canadians

Canada’s leading citizen organization: building grassroots activism for a clean, green, just and free, peaceful, democratic society

 

The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Canada’s leading progressive-left think tank, and one of the best in the world

Publishes the journal, The Monitor

 

The David Suzuki Foundation

The leading environmental group in Canada, along with Idle No More and others

Founded by the most trusted person in Canada, according to a nation-wide poll: environmental scientist David Suzuki

 

News and Analysis:

 

Trends Journal

Not even the best of the alternative media compares to Trends Journal for trend forecasting, trend analysis, and weekly news and analysis – and of course the major state and corporate media don’t remotely compare, being the propaganda systems for the ruling elite, as Chomsky has said, and thus, utterly unreliable.

 

Z Magazine & Z Net

News and analysis, in-depth commentary, activism, networking and solidarity for social change: Z Net is a giant David, or army of Davids, in the global movement for a better world. It’s now being censored and suppressed, like many other sources and individuals that speak the truth, but it is alive and strong, and you can find them. And you should.

 

The Monitor

In-depth analysis from the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

 

Canadian Perspectives

News and analysis from the front lines of the grassroots movements for democracy, justice, sustainability and peace – from the Council of Canadians

 

Geopolitics & Empire Podcast

Quality varies with the guest, but generally excellent, in-depth global analysis here.

 

New Internationalist

Clarifying the real story on the biggest issues in the world for many decades now, NI is a rare gem, both as a journal, and as a grassroots networking organization, and also, as a publishing house

 

The American Herald Tribune

An independent media source that offers fiercely honest investigative journalism, news and analysis

(Watch for Anthony (Tony) Hall, Robert David Steele, Caitlin Johnstone, Philip Giraldi, Piers Robinson and Barbara Honeger in particular)

 

The Corbett Report

Another excellent source of independent research, news and analysis

 

The Centre For Research On Globalization

Also generally excellent for independent research, news and analysis

 

21st Century Wire

This source is new to me, but a recent episode of the weekly podcast was so exceptionally insightful, to such a rare level or degree, that I feel I have to list it here, among the best of the best. The host Patrick Henningsen has a level of understanding of global issues and power dynamics, and media manipulations, which is very rare. If one episode can impress me this much, like rare few sources ever do, then I am sure he must do a very good job of cutting through the fog on a regular basis.

 

John Pilger

Veteran investigative journalist and documentary film-maker John Pilger is a one-man media army. When the world is filled with the sound and fury of all-pervasive propaganda, lies, half-truths and illusions, and the echochamber of elite-spun narratives, which is the major media, seems to drown out all possibility for truth, or even basic sanity, you can count on John Pilger to cut through the fog and the lies and the convenient self-deceptions, to get to the truth, and the real story behind “the news”.

 

The Empire Files, with Abby Martin

A fiercely independent source of news and analysis, Abby Martin is what an investigative journalist looks like – along with John Pilger, Caitlin Johnstone, James Corbett, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and a handful of others left in the world.

 

GreenMedInfo

The most reliable, truly evidence-based source on health that I know of – in fact, the only reliable source remaining that I know of, now that most health information sources have fallen for the lies and hysteria that are broadcast and paraded, very much like a plague in fact, by the new axis of evil: Big Government, Big Media, and the Big Money powers that rule them both.

 

*

There are many other groups, movements and organizations in the world that are worthy of our support, of course. And there are a few other sources of news and analysis that are reliable – although, they are now extremely few, and increasingly rare, as well as increasingly censored and suppressed. But with even these few sources, and these few groups, and others like them, there is hope.

Everything is possible, and the future truly is in our hands.

What we do with that power, is entirely up to us.

Please be sure to read the important notes below, as well: sources for big picture perspective, and Flash-Drive Revolution.

JTR,
March 26, 2020

 

Post-Script:

Sources for big-picture perspective:

To compliment the short list of groups and news sources that I would consider worthy of our trust as well as our support, I would like to add a very short and incomplete list of authors and thinkers that I feel are extremely helpful in gaining clarity in terms of the big picture, and/or, in terms of in-depth analysis.

Again, there are millions and billions of voices out there, but only a handful rise to the level, in my mind, of being generally reliable sources of information, much less understanding and perspective. (Remember, few people are omniscient, to put it mildly. Let’s not expect infallibility. Question everything.)

These, to my mind, are among the best of the best, in terms of voices for big picture perspective, or in-depth analysis, or sometimes, rarely, both. Other people would present a different list. Here is mine. (In no particular order – and again, very incomplete.)

Henry David Thoreau

Etienne de La Boetie

Noam Chomsky

Peter Kropotkin

Bertrand Russell

Murray Bookchin

Rianne Eisler

Howard Zinn

C. Wright Mills

Peter Phillips

George Orwell

Aldous Huxley

Erich Fromm

Max Weber

Alan Watts

Allan Wallace

Joseph Campbell

Joanna Macy

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Vandana Shiva

Jeremy Rifkin

Naomi Klein

John Pilger

Gerald Celente

Michel Chossudovsky

Michael Hudson

Ellen Brown

Max Keiser

Yanis Varoufakis

James Corbett

Caitlin Johnstone

Abby Martin

Matt Taibbi

David C. Korten

David Suzuki

Arundhati Roy

Margaret Atwood

Ronald Wright

Maude Barlow

Paul Craig Roberts

Morris Berman

Stephen Toulmin

EF Schumacher

Gandhi

Martin Luther King Jr.

Peter Dale Scott

Anthony Hall

John McMurtry

Michael Albert

Chris Hedges

Cornell West

Piers Robinson

And my own writings, I would humbly submit:

my essays, here on my blog, along with my first two published books:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium (on Barnes & Noble)

and,

The People vs The Elite:

A Manifesto For Democratic Revolution,

Or, Survival In The 21st Century & Beyond

(Coming April 2020)

*

Flash-Drive Revolution:

As I have said before, and others have begun to say as well: censorship is increasing. The elite are scared – scared of change, scared of losing power. They are cracking down – especially on freedom of speech, and on dissent, as well as freedom of travel and freedom of assembly. (“Papers please.”)

I would urge people to begin backing up important texts, images, posters, data sets, videos, films, art and music that can be used in the fight for a better, freer, more just and clean, green, democratic world – and now.

Many of the best and most important writings, for example, are in the public domain. Others, like myself, are offering their work for free distribution.

Like most writers, I feel I am spiritually, intellectually, and culturally rich, but I am financially poor. Naturally I would like people to buy my books. But I certainly did not become a writer or a philosopher for the money. So, whether you do or not, and I ask that you do buy my books (mainly for my childrens’ sake); what is far more important to me is that the ideas and the writing be shared.

So, buy one copy, then share a digital copy with everyone you know, please. Hard copies, ebooks and audiobooks will be available for purchase, and I will also make electronic copies available for free, via Project Gutenberg, Librivox, my youtube channel and my blog.

Please take this document above, and my first two books, if you find them useful, and save them to a USB flash drive, along with other public domain writings you feel are  valuable or important  -Henry David Thoreau’s essay, On Civil Disobedience, for example, along with the UN Charter of Human Rights – or whatever you find relevant to the task at hand: and share them widely, everywhere.

These essays in particular I would encourage you to share, among others, from my blog:

Six Founding Principles Of Good Government

The Myth Of Progress – Pricking The Bubble

The Decline, Decay, Death and Rebirth of Democracy and Freedom

The Maxims of Empire (And the Maxims of Liberation)

If freedom of speech and dissent continue their current trend towards being censored and shut down, we will need alternative means of communicating. A Flash-Drive Revolution, sharing information and ideas freely, hand to hand, world-wide, by-passing the internet completely, could circumvent the oligarchs, and beat them. I think it is important. And I think we should begin right away – right now.

250 MB, or even 1 terabyte, USB flash-drives are becoming cheap. Use them. Bypass the closing down of society and free speech – while we still can.

Vive la revolution! For a free and just, clean, green, democratic society, and a better world for all.

And remember, we, the people, are the world’s other superpower – the greatest superpower.

Embrace your power now.

Let’s go.

Consider that the revolution has begun.

JTR,
March 26, 2020

The Certainty Of Death, Or The Death Of Certainties

Posted in philosophy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 1, 2020 by jtoddring

 

It’s amazing to me, to see, even in thoughtful writings, even in exceptionally thoughtful writing, which is as far above the norm as the moon is from the bottom of the ocean, that even there, certain cultural constructs of the mind, certain prejudices or pre-formed and unquestioned assumptions, certain axiomatic, ideological presumptions and certitudes, are passed along without thought – as if the author were merely remarking on the sky being blue, and everyone knew it, of course, so such notions need no argument or support, but are taken as fact. These ideological constructs and presumptions are castles made of sand, but the authors, including most of the better thinkers and scholars, and virtually all people at all times, assume them to be as certain as the law of gravity. The blind, unconscious, unquestioning assumption of ideological constructs is almost shocking – at least when it is seen in otherwise intelligent people and otherwise intelligent writings. Concepts such as progress, development, civilization and civilized, freedom and liberty, democracy, evolution, or “evolved”, are tossed about with utter casual manner, with no rigour, no questioning of their actual meaning: meaning, in practice, their meaning has no meaning; or worse, and more commonly, their meaning means precisely the opposite to what it is presumed to mean. Orwell understood these things well. The fact that the vast majority, including the vast majority of intellectuals, do not, is very dangerous indeed, to say it mildly.

Fascism, war, slavery, cultural arrogance, and a culture of blindness, ignorance and shared delusion, the death of democracy and freedom, ecological holocaust, and the collapse of civilization (sic), are the likely results, the almost certain and inevitable results, and soon, if we do not begin to question far more, and assume far less.

Fortunately, all such concepts, ideological constructs and cultural certitudes are now being called into question. And none too soon. Our certainties are quite literally killing us. They are also a prison, and shackles and chains, of our own making. Let us shatter them now. It is time.

JTR,

February 1, 2020

 

Post-Script:

See my essay, Fundamentalism and Relativism, in my first book, Enlightened Democracy, for further reflections on the middle way between extremes, which represents basic sanity. Also, watch for my new book, The People vs The Elite, which is being released now.

Get ready for some exciting, but possibly quite turbulent times. The proverbial shit is about to hit the fan. And as usual, that will have both positive as well as negative consequences and implications around the world.

History with kid gloves and a gloss?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2021 by jtoddring

A response to AP Euro Bit By Bit,

By Paul Sargent, on youtube

I’ve enjoyed the videos I’ve seen so far – about a dozen. I especially liked your coverage of the Enlightenment and the foundations of modern constitutional democracy. I do have a couple of points I’d like to make, however. 

A minor one is brevity. Considering kids and adults spend an average of four hours a day on cell phones, tv, internet, video games and “social media”, I don’t think you need to apologize for a video being “long” at 7 minutes! 

Considering the importance of learning, and the utter waste of (4×7=) 28 hours a week on drivel, I don’t think that a 20, 30 or 60 minute history video should be viewed as onerous. 

North American children, youth and adults have been frankly infantilized by corporate culture, and a culture of narcissism. Playing to or speaking to the lowest common demoninator simply speeds up the downward spiral. Sooner or later our standards have to stop being allowed to slide, and instead be raised. 

Second, and more important, you refrain from virtually all editorial comment; but that is required of teachers, professors and social commentators. Machiavelli and Hobbes, for example, cannot ethically be painted in a neutral or positive light. There is a reason the term “Machiavellian” means an unscrupulous and dishonest person, hungry for power, and borderline or fully sociopathic. 

Machiavelli and Hobbes are the darlings of all emperors and most elites, along with Spencer, because they adore the justifications for their power lust, egomania and insatiable greed. It is not moral to gloss over them as if they are good guys with sound advice. Amorality is not something we should either teach or embody. It is nihilism, and nihilism is death of the soul.

Thomas Jefferson, by the way, answered Hobbes self-contradictory as well as elitist and authoritarian ideology by destroying it in one line: “If you cannot trust men to govern themselves, how can you trust them to govern others?”

As Chomsky said, “You’re either an aristocrat or a democrat.” You cannot be both. Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spencer, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, and the overwhelming majority of Western business and political elites, have strongly preferred aristocracy, in the broad sense – that is to say, oligarchy, or elite rule; and they have despised democracy. (See Chomsky’s, Necessary Illusions, and Year 501.)

When you talked glowingly about the Enlightenment, the American Revolution and modern constitutional democracy, you spoke as a democrat. But when you spoke of Machiavelli and Hobbes as if they were good guys and not snakes, and had sound advice, you unwittingly contradicted yourself completely, and spoke as an enemy of democracy. Which side are you on? You cannot be on both sides at once.

The land enclosures, likewise, were not simply “controversial” – they were predatory and genocidal, and an act of mass theft.  You cannot ethically gloss over such things.

Third, what happened to the Inquisition, the slave trade, and the genocide committed across the Americas, which incidentally funded the industrial revolution, and along with the enclosure acts which produced a veritable tsunami of virtual slave labour, allowed it to occur? 

Good job overall, and very enjoyable, but ease off of spoon-feeding, hyper-concision, and kid gloves treatment of social, political, spiritual and ethical issues, I would urge. Look what kids watch these days! They can handle a little truth, and they need it, and deserve it.

J. Todd Ring,

Author of, Enlightened Democracy,

And,

The People vs The Elite

PS:

Did I say I enjoyed your videos very much?! I write in a very frank manner, like Thoreau. It was meant as constructive criticism, friend. Overall, as I say, excellent job. Now, please do a series on inspiring people, like Socrates, Boethius, St. Francis, Hildegard of Bingen, Spinoza, Jefferson, Blake, Mark Twain, Emerson, Thoreau, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, MLK….!!!

March 2, 2021

Historical Bias Is The Norm: An Example – The Real Origins of The Renaissance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2021 by jtoddring


In the generally well-made history documentary, 1,000 AD – A Tour of Europe (a History Time, YouTuber video linked below) at just 13 minutes in, there is already one giant, elephant-sized error – a common one, which is almost universal among historians of the West. Examining this one common, seismic scale, nearly universal illusion, propounded by nearly all Western historians, colleges, universities and history books, will not only enlighten us, but hopefully, and even more importantly, encourage people to think for themselves, to question everything, and to not be so utterly vulnerable and susceptible to commonplace illusions, propaganda or group-think, which pass for informed, educated, scholarly opinion, or worse, for facts.

Do not assume that YouTube videos are reliable sources of information, even if they sound authoritative and are visually well-made. Likewise, do not assume your history books, history teachers, or history professors, or your bookish intellectual friends, know what they are talking about. Generally they get the details right, though often not; but they almost invariably cannot see the forest for the trees – and they radically mistake and misrepresent the bigger picture or larger narrative, as a result of their own indoctrination, naively, and out of simple ignorance and delusion, or commonly shared illusions. This, we call being “educated”. (See Chomsky on the media, indoctrination and thought control, and on education.)

While the German kings of the Holy Roman Empire are portrayed in the documentary in generally positive, even glowing terms, as rightful emperors of Europe, and heavy focus and attention is given to them; meanwhile, a scant few seconds is devoted to Andalusia, where, we are told, by stark contrast, “a brutal tyrant” ruled (unlike the German kings, who were, of course, righteous and holy), a place in southern Europe where, in the 8th century, under Moorish/Islamic rule, the Spanish Renaissance had begun – the Renaissance which pre-dated the Italian Renaissance by *500 years*, and which was the true beginning of the Renaissance in Europe; a place and time where the spirit of “convivienthia”, or living together peacefully, was the motto and the norm, where the Islamic, Christian and Jewish people lived together in a very tolerant and cosmopolitan culture, where the exchange of ideas flowed freely – which is always what brings about a renaissance – and in Moorish Spain, where a Renaissance had begun, the people lived in general peace, while the warring tribes and nations of the rest of Europe were perpetually at each others’ throats, and living like barbaric savages, by comparison. But, as is the norm in history, cultural bias and massive distortions of historical facts and the true historical narrative, are passed off as informed and scholarly, objective truths.

The people of Andalusia, in what is now southern Spain, in the 8th-11th century began the Renaissance that, over the span of 700 years, swept slowly across a reluctant and recalcitrant Europe, which in general clung to the ways and beliefs of the Dark Ages, and clung to their habits of warring, perpetual bigotry, division, hubris and hate, authoritarianism and narrowness of mind. But this fact, of the real origins of the Renaissance, has been swept from mind in European history, because the true founders of the Renaissance, the people of Andalusia, had the wrong skin colour and the wrong religion. They were darker of skin, and worse, they were ruled by Islamic governments.

The Renaissance is commonly said to have begun in Florence, Italy, with the patronage of the Medici banking family. Firstly, the Medicis didn’t come to power in Florence until the mid-1400s. The Italian Renaissance, which began in Florence, began in the 1200s, and was inspired by St. Francis, not the Medicis – and it began two hundred years before the Medicis even rose to power. The Medicis funded Renaissance artists, to be sure – but only after the Renaissance had been flourishing for two centuries. They were late-comers, who wanted to claim the glory for themselves – as all elites, in their tendency toward hubris and egomania, tend to do.

St. Francis, in turn, was inspired by Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century German mystic, theologian, philosopher, composer, musician, doctor, healer, polymath and activist. So we should rightly view St. Francis and Hildegard of Bingen as the true founder of, first, the German Renaissance, which began in the 12th century, and the Italian Renaissance, which began shortly afterward. But that doesn’t fit with the official narrative, of the triumph of secular humanism and the rejection of a spiritual world-view, so that has also been unacceptable. But the humanism of the Renaissance was not a rejection of spirituality, but rather, an enlivening compliment to it, which was meshed and fused with spirituality.

How many giant, glaring errors of historical omission and distortion can we have with regards to one single, albeit pivotal, era of history, which are taken as objective, scholarly, indisputable historical fact? A shocking number, with a shocking, and mind-numbing gravity to each, is the true answer.

Wikipedia, that bastion of utterly unreliable information, which frequently if not typically is simply a source of gross distortions and misinformation, says of the Spanish Renaissance that it spread from the Italian Renaissance, and came in the 14th and 15th centuries. The fact is that the Spanish Renaissance began in the 8th century, and spread to Italy, giving birth to the Italian Renaissance, and not the other way around. Never rely on Wikipedia for anything. And do question everything.

We can and should, and must, trace the origins and the birthplace of the Renaissance back to its beginning, naturally, if we are true scholars, and not merely pseudo-intellectuals, mouthing the confused and deeply distorted narratives that we have been indoctrinated into accepting as the veritable word of God on the matter. And the real origins of the Renaissance in Europe, which transformed Europe, and brought Europe out of the Dark Ages, were in Spain, in Andalusia, in the 8th century, 500 years before the Italian Renaissance got going.

History is written by the conquerors – and we all lose by losing the real story, the fuller story, the more honest story. It is high time we reclaimed the bigger picture. And by we, I mean humanity, in all its wondrous diversity.


– J. Todd Ring,
Author of, Enlightened Democracy,
and,
The People vs The Elite
February 28, 2021

Find my books and essays on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
WordPress, Patreon and Minds.

As I say, the history documentary referred to above and linked here below is generally well done, but glaring errors of massive implications must be pointed out and corrected.

*********************************************

Important Reading In History – The Clearing of the Fog:

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky

Stolen Continents – Ronald Wright

A Short History of Progress – Ronald Wright

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and The Blade – Rianne Eisler

Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin

The Wayfinders – Wade Davis

The No-Nonsense Guide To World History – Chris Brazier

A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn

The CIA’s Greatest Hits – Mark Zepezauer

Blowback: America’s Secret Recruitment of Nazis and Its Disastrous Effect on US Foreign and Domestic Policy – Christopher Simpson & Mark Crispin Miller

Freedom & Power

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2021 by jtoddring

I am, for the record, perfectly comfortable with where and how I have positioned myself. I am passionately and steadfastly in favour of freedom, democracy, constitutional rule and human rights; liberty, equality and solidarity; and of course, as a result, I am passionately and steadfastly in favour of freedom of speech; and passionately, and steadfastly, opposed to any form of tyranny, elitism, censorship, or authoritarianism. To my last breath, I will defend these values, and advance them as much as I possibly can. That stance, I can and will, happily take to my grave.

“I swear before God an eternal vigilance against form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – Thomas Jefferson (My brother, and my kin)

Sensible people on the left, the right, and in the centre, sensible liberals, conservatives, democratic socialists, anarchists, communitarians and greens, need to know, and realize, that we have common ground, and we have a common enemy – and that enemy is fascism and authoritarianism, in all its forms. We need to unite the overwhelming majority who support freedom and democracy, and enlighten the misled many who have been duped into supporting the new authoritarianism, against their own interests and their own values, their own common sense; and above all, we must challenge, defeat, and remove from power, the truly fascist business elite, and their corrupt political servants in government. If we do not do this, and very, very soon; our lives, and our world, will be dark indeed. Unite the people, recognize that the enemy is authoritarianism, and we will see a new and better day, and a new and better world will be born. Fail in that, and we will have failed in everything.

*

The central issue is not wealth – the central issue is power. This is where the left repeatedly gets confused.

It is not the distribution of wealth that is central; it is the distribution of power. Until and unless you address that, you can forget about social justice concerns, or ecological concerns, or “inclusivity” or sustainability, or any of the other buzz words or pet projects you may have, no matter how important or worthwhile they may be.

We either remove the plutocracy from power, or we will be groveling and begging for crumbs, and rapidly losing ground, forever more. And if we are going to win, if democracy and freedom are to be reborn, and the oligarchy and plutocracy overthrown, then the central issue, the most important issue, is freedom of speech. Unless we can break through the elite-controlled media blockade, and begin to discuss issues more freely and more widely (by pamphlets circulated by flash-drives, or even by hand if necessary, which was what started the American and French Revolutions) we will continue to be dead in the water, and we will be tilting at windmills, while the plutocracy rolls on.

Freedom of speech is fundamental. It is also critical to any path or means of success in creating positive change in the world. Those who do not understand that, are simply not dealing with the real world.

J. Todd Ring,

February 26, 2021

See also, an important and possibly critically important essay I recently wrote:

Flash-Drive Revolution, on WordPress.

Download, print, and share it everywhere.

Sliding Into Irrelevance: Pro-Censorship Stance Obliterates Careers – and Minds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2021 by jtoddring

The once-great Naomi Klein. I had great respect for her until she burned her very considerable credibility to the ground, by publicly and viciously attacking Glenn Greenwald recently – after he quit The Intercept, for not agreeing to their new policy of enforced censorship, saying Glenn had “lost the thread”.

A) She took the utterly wrong position on the matter; and B) she was viscious, and publicly viscious, with her friend and ally and peer, who was in fact in the right. Therefore, (C) she, not Glenn Greenwald, has lost all credibility.

Every thinking person should be opposed to censorship, and in favour of freedom of speech. It is shocking that this needs to be explained to the general public. Censorship always leads to authoritarianism, and is the very hallmark of authoritarianism. Good intentions don’t matter. It always leads to authoritarianism. And authoritarianism, of course, means the slow or rapid death of democracy, freedom, human rights and constitutional rule, and the birth of elitism and tyranny.

Understand this. If we lose freedom of speech, we lose democracy and freedom. I don’t know how anyone fails to understand that.

So, yes, every thoughtful person should be anti-censorship and pro-free speech.

As Chomsky said, summing things up with his usual lucidity, “There are only two positions on freedom of speech. You’re either for it, or you’re against it. If you’re in favour of freedom of speech, you’re in favour of it for precisely the views you despise. Everyone’s in favour of freedom of speech for views they like. Stalin was in favour of freedom of speech for views he liked.”

The trend among liberals and among large segments of the left for the past few years has been towards censorship. I would call this the faux left, because the real left has always been anti-authoritarian, and if you’re anti-authoritarian, you’re certainly opposed to censorship and in favour of freedom of speech. That, or you’ve had a virtual lobotomy.

So, when Glenn Greenwald quit The Intercept, which he co-founded, and where he was its star investigative reporter, over his unwillingness to go along with the Big Money-controlled Intercept’s, new policy of censorship, it was a litmus test, and a big deal. From Glenn’s stance, and from the reactions of people to what happened, we can see very well who is a closet authoritarian, and who has a brain remaining, and understands the value and fundamental importance of freedom of speech.

The Intercept and Naomi Klein lost all credibility in that incident. I would no longer cite either of them, or refer to either of them, and certainly would not rely on them, since they have now proven they have a profound lack of sound judgment. I will continue to encourage people to read Naomi Klein’s most important book, The Shock Doctrine, but I would otherwise not reference her as a reliable source for anything, anymore.

It’s too bad. When a media outlet or a journalist loses their sound judgment, or their integrity, and in this case it is both, it is a tragedy, and a great loss. They will be missed.

J. Todd Ring,
Author of, Enlightened Democracy,
and, The People vs The Elite
February 25, 2021

Find my writing on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and WordPress,
and meet me on Patreon or Minds

Post-Script:

What did the litmus test show? Did your favourite journalists or news sources defend freedom of speech, Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange, or attack one or more of them? From that you can tell where they stand.

If they were silent about Glenn Greenwald, maybe they just didn’t know about it. But if they were silent about Julian Assange, then they have zero credibility. If they attacked either Glenn Greenwald or Julian Assange, then you know their credibility is less than zero. And if they have adopted or supported censorship, then they are closet authoritarians, whether they realize it or not, and are leading us all into authoritarianism, whether they realize it or not – and their soundness of judgment, as a result, is zero.

Who got it right? A very partial and incomplete list, as a start, would be Aaron Mate, John Pilger and Jimmy Dore. There are many others, but the sad fact is, the pro-censorship zombies have taken over. We will have to push them back, or we will have a very dark age ahead.

Between the neo-Jacobins and neo-Maoists, the dim-witted many, and the truly fascist few at the top, we are in very grave danger – along with freedom, democracy, constitutional rule and human rights being under full-scale attack. Do not take this lightly.

Why Atheism Is A Bag of Hot Air

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 24, 2021 by jtoddring

Atheism is decidedly unscientific, and anti-empirical, because it dogmatically asserts a claim that it cannot possibly prove or even empirically support. If they were truly empirical, or truly scientific, they would at least be agnostic. But they are neither empirical nor scientific. Besides that, and more importantly, atheism is the rantings of the venomously frustrated and disillusioned, based, in every case and example I know of, in a supreme lack of scholarship or erudition. I have yet to encounter a single self-proclaimed atheist who has done any serious study of world religions, world mythology, religious philosophy, or any philosophical inquiry in any real depth, and nor, clearly, have they ever plumbed or delved in any real depth into the philosophy of science, or into modern physics. They are an anti-intellectual bunch, essentially, passing themselves off as scientific, well-read, and well-informed. They are anything but.

JTR,
February 23, 2021

The Rebel

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2021 by jtoddring

Everyone wants their cake, and they want to eat it, too. Well, here’s news for you. It doesn’t work that way, in the real world.

There is a great fascination with the artist, the rebel. But nobody wants to come close to that person. They want to be voyeurs. They live life, and I mean the great majority, vicariously. (Look it up. Do not succumb to being dumbed down.)

The great majority are culturally and psychologically conservative. They like the known and the familiar. It seems safe. But they are also bored and dissatisfied with it. So, they crave the contact – from a safe distance – with a rebel, or an artist.

They don’t want to live the life of a rebel, or an artist. They have no courage for that. But they want to be close to rebels and artists – from a safe distance.

Well, here’s news. Aside from issues of compassion and courage, which are central – and which the majority in the modern world eschew, and run screaming, quietly, from – and which are the core issues of whether you are a decent, just, caring, compassionate, or in any way moral or ethical human being – and virtually no one wants to deal with those things – there are some central, essential facts, to be considered.

The central gist, aside from how moral or amoral you may live – and most people, despite their good nature, are amoral – is as follows.

And I quote: from a letter recently sent:

What part of artist, rebel, or bohemian did you not understand? You want the romantic image of the artist, but prettied up, wrapped in a suitable package of unthinking and unfeeling conformity. Here’s news. It doesn’t happen.

You are living in a dream world.You take the conformist slob, who never thinks, and barely feels, or you take the rebel. You don’t get both.

You live life in a state of perpetual numbness. And you disdain me for not being so?! You are hollow. You, yes you, are The Hollow Men. Your compassion, morality, ethics and spirituality are all hollow. You are compassionate when it is convenient. When it costs too much, in terms of comfort and convenience, you jettison your broadly propounded and highly touted compassion, good-heartedness and ethics, like so much trash, swept overboard, with nary a thought. You care about yourself. Period. Your compassion, your morality, your ethics, your spirituality, are all, completely hollow. You, are selfish. Admit it. And you pretend to criticize the rebels, the free-thinkers, the people who do not agree with your convenient and self-serving mythology? You hollow, deceitful, shell of a human being. I would hate you, but I have compassion, even for the deeply misguided, and the delusioned.

“We’re been trodded on the wine-press much too long
Rebel, rebel.”

The compassion, morality or ethics of the majority, despite their natural good-heartedness, is razor-thin. Their lack of courage turns their basic good-heartedness into an unfeeling and unthinking amorality, where they would just as easily cheer Chairman Mao, Mussolini or Stalin, or Hitler, as they would Churchill or Thomas Jefferson. They have no morality, because they have no spine. That is the terrible, honest truth.

The majority have compassion, morality or ethics, when it is convenient. When it is not, they pretend. That is the way of this world. As the Old Testament says, They are leaves in the wind.

If we are wise, or even, have some common sense, then we will encourage and inspire people to use their common sense, and exercise their compassion for more than just show.

As Bob Marley said, in his greatest prophetic piece, Babylon System:

Rebel, Rebel.

Yes, it is as simple as that.

Rebel.

JTR,
February 14, 2021

Post-Script:

Listen to this song, I urge you. Of all the wonderful, beautiful songs I have ever heard, two songs speak to my heart more than any others: Black Sabbath, Lord of This World, and, Triumph, Fight The Good Fight. (More the latter than the former.) The third would be, Bob Marley, Babylon System.

“Babylon system is a vampire
suckin’ the blood of the sufferers”

“Rebel, rebel”

  • Bob Marley, Babylon System

Get it! Hear it! Assimilate it! Digest it! Know it, viscerally. And rebel, rebel.

Core message

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 14, 2021 by jtoddring

“How much do I know?

I’m young and unschooled

Bet l’m younger than you

And even Jesus would

Never forgive what you do

I want to ask you one question

Is your money that good?

Will it buy you forgiveness

And do you think that it could?

I think that you’ll find

When your death takes its toll

All the money you’ve made 

will never buy back your soul”

   – Bob Dylan

In an era of all-pervasive fear-mongering and hyperbole, it is near to impossible to get an intelligent message heard. But I must try, and, there is a minority who can still think. In that light, I offer this. Take it as you like.

I would urge people – and urge is not a strong enough word – to read five pieces of literature, and now. Do not read, or watch, anything – nothing at all – until you have read, and digested, these five.

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

The Hero With A Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell

The Book of Daniel – yes, from the Old Testament

Oneness vs The 1% – Vandana Shiva

And, frankly, and humbly, I would say, my own book,

The People vs The Elite

*

unrelated thoughts and lyrics, maybe, or maybe not:

“Well, sometimes I might get drunk

Walk like a duck and smell like a skunk…

Well my telephone rang

It would not stop

It’s President Kennedy callin’ me up.

He said, “My friend, Bob,

What do we need to make the country grow?”

I said, “My friend, John,

Brigette Bardo.

Anita Eckberg.

Sophia Loren.””

(What does the world need? Women, of course! Good-hearted, beautiful women! An injection of the feminine! Erich Fromm, Joseph Campbell, Rianne Eisler, Vandana Shiva and Mathew Fox would all agree! Naturally! How poetic, and how very utterly appropriate, fitting – and precise! My friend, Bob, you nailed it!)

“Well, I got a girl,

She screams and snorts,

Pats me on the head

And kicks me outa bed.

She’s a man-eater

Meat-grinder

Bad loser.”

Conclusion? You make your own.

irrelevant biographical details follow. Discard at your own discretion.

I am proud, of how I have lived my life. Errors and mistakes, I have made many. But I have lived with compassion and courage, to the best of my very human ability. For that, I am proud.

Maybe I am writing my own obituary. I am fine with that. Death is a dream – as is life, the way most people live it.

  • One more scribe.

Candour, Volume One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 14, 2021 by jtoddring

I get periodically overwhelmed with the suffering of humanity. Spiritual practice should, and eventually does, bring a measure of calm abiding. And while I have practiced, and my inner strength is now, truly, vast; it is not yet limitless. I am human. And at times, this world, this society, does not merely haunt me, but tortures me. 

What is greatness? I do not have it. Nor do I aspire to it. Ego is foolishness. But what is greatness, if any may aspire to it? It is exceptional courage, and exceptional compassion. There is no other proper or fitting definition of greatness. 

Me? I’m only bleeding. 

“I’ll let you be in my dream 

if I can be in yours.

I said that.”

   – Bob Dylan

JTR,

February 14, 2021

(And there, is my heart.)

Canada In The 21st Century: The Path Ahead

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2021 by jtoddring

This short essay was written as a response to a YouTube video on the CaspianReport, titled, Geopolitics of Canada. At some point I may re-write it to be more in the form of a stand-alone essay, or a stump speech; but considering I am back-logged with 96 finished essays and 12 finished books that are waiting for me to proof-read and publish, I can’t promise that will be right away. So I thought I had better send this piece off into the world as it stands. Considering the enormous challenges at hand, I think we need all the critical reflection we can find, at this point in time, and time is of the essence.

*

With all due respect, I have to say, This video passes for high level geopolitical analysis?

I am Canadian, and have lived 54 years in Canada, and have spent four decades and tens of thousands of hours researching and studying global issues, political-economy, geopolitics and philosophy. I would say from my perspective, that an intelligent first year university student could present a better geopolitical overview – while binge-drinking beer at the local pub with buddies. To focus on regional differences as the central challenge facing Canada, is so far off of the realities of this nation, that I don’t know where to begin.

In terms of challenges facing Canada, regional differences would rank somewhere in the top ten, but not likely in the top five – and it is an almost miniscule problem compared with the truly great challenges facing the country.

The top challenge, which anyone who has been paying any attention can see tops all others, is the global corporate fascist coup, which had been slowly unfolding for more than 50 years, and which in spring of 2020 entered into endgame stage. Anyone who does not yet recognize this fact, is not living in the real world, and is certainly not remotely qualified to comment on geopolitics or world issues.

The second greatest, and closely related challenge, is the long-standing policy of successive generations of Canadian business and political elites to keep Canada in the role of a colony – first of Britain, essentially until after WWII, then of the US, from 1945 up to the present.

Washington is indifferent to what happens in Canada? What planet do you live on?

The US is heavily dependent on Canada’s resources, which are among the richest in the world: oil and gas, water, uranium and lumber, being among the key strategic US dependencies for Canadian resources. If Canadian politicians ever found their spine, and simply imposed fair and reasonable export tariffs, Canada would be far richer than Saudi Arabia, and the Washington and Wall Street elite would panic and lose their minds.

This was the reason for the rabidly anti-democratic, sovereignty- and democracy-shredding treaties known as NAFTA and the SPP: secure Canada’s resources at bargain-basement prices for US business elites, and secure low-wage manufacturing labour in Mexico, for the benefit of the same US business elites (via NAFTA); and ensure a “deep integration” of the three nations into “Fortress North America”, under strict authoritarian corporate rule (via the SPP), in order to retain US global hegemony as long as possible. (What rock did you say you have been living under?) Canada was to be the resource base, Mexico the cheap labour pool, and the US business elite would bring the capital and reap the bulk of the rewards – with, of course, the Mexican, American and Canadian people being viewed, as usual, as fodder for the great Wall Street money-making machine.

Ask any Canadian whether the US is indifferent to Canadian politics, or whether Washington, Wall Street and Hollywood together exercise far greater influence, and dominance, than is good for Canada and the Canadian people, and probably 9 out of 10 will look at you like you just asked if the sky is blue, or if hockey is played with a puck.

Washington has never been indifferent to Canada. The US elite tried to take over Canada during the War of 1812, during which Canadian, British and First Peoples’ combined forces drove the US military all the way back to the US capital, and then set fire to the US capital building, just to make a point. Ever since then, the US capital building has been called the White House, and ever since then, the US has sought less overt ways of turning Canada into a colony. And it succeeded marvelously, between 1945 and the government of Trudeau Sr. in the 1970s, and it has succeeded to an even greater degree since our last decent Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, left office 40 years ago.

Anyone who does not realize that Canada has played the role of colonial vassal, first to Britain, long after Confederation and the formation of Canada as a nation, and then to the US, has no slightest idea of the realities of this nation.

And now, with the US being an empire in clear and steep decline, and set for economic collapse, the Canadian business and political elite are hedging their bets, by prostrating themselves before the feet of Beijing.

And the cycle of colonialism continues…. Unless we Canadians change it.

The Canadian people are far more united than your extraordinarily superficial and confused video suggests, and share a common philosophy and vision, in general, of strongly preferring sovereignty, independence, constitutional democracy and freedom, with a strong sense of multi-culturalism and social justice, as well as strong ecological concerns. What Canada is lacking, and has lacked for four decades, is leadership that merits the peoples’ high values.

The greatest challenges facing Canada in the 21st century, then, are as follows:

1. Defeating the global corporate fascist coup, at least in Canada, and restoring and renewing constitutional democracy, freedom and human rights.

2. Choosing a path of true independence and sovereignty, while retaining friendly relations with the US, China, Britain, Europe, and the rest of the world.

3. Tackling the growing environmental emergency facing both Canada and the world, without sacrificing the poor, the middle class, small and medium businesses, farmers, First Nations Peoples, economic vitality, or the values and rights of a free and democratic society.

Considering these grave dangers and great challenges, among others, our regional differences pale by comparison. While we must find new ways to accommodate both the dignity and the dreams of all Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, what unites us is greater than that which divides us; and further, the challenges ahead require us to be united. And one thing that is true of Canadians, perhaps above all others, is that when we are jammed between a rock and a hard place, and the times are the most challenging, we do unite, we do rally, and we do come through – with tenacity, with perseverance, with resiliency, and with great courage.

Your dreary and superficial analysis was way off the mark. Canada has great challenges – and you missed all of the greatest ones. And we have great strengths – and you missed those completely, as well.

To my fellow Canadians I would say, this is a very incomplete picture of the challenges ahead, clearly. But what I wanted to crystalize is a few of the top challenges, and to provide some historical perspective and some analysis on them – and to say to my fellow Canadians, that we have overcome great challenges before – and we will again. The future, as always, truly is in our hands.

J. Todd Ring,
February 12, 2021

Powder Keg USA – Part II

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 13, 2021 by jtoddring

Most of the world is in crisis, in a number of ways. The US in particular is in bad shape, and set to either explode in civil war, or implode by economic collapse – and most likely it will be the latter followed by the former, though anything is possible now.
Here is a snapshot of why the US is in trouble, and is now functionally a failed state – and empire, corporate globalization and class warfare are the three deeply intertwined causes.

The following is by Vladimir Stanescu, someone I am not familiar with, but the picture painted here is pretty accurate.
(6 days ago)

“Safe to say the Terrorist States of America have invaded Iraq and they are definitely going to do more.

Militarily engaged currently in 76 countries.

Military bases in 44 countries.

Surrounding Iran with 41 military bases.

Counter-terrorism currently in 56 countries.

Currently bombing in 7 countries.

Having combat troops on the ground in 15 countries.

Deployed special ops troops in 149 countries.

Currently sanctioning 6 countries, hurting civilians.

Prosecuting truth-telling whistleblowers and journalists.

Unprovoked threatening of Iran.

Unprovoked trade war with China.

Diplomatic war with Russia.

Assisting a war in Yemen genocide for profit.

Supporting 73% of the world’s dictatorships.

Trying to depose Venezuelan and Syrian govts for oil.

$23 trillion pentagon fraud stays uninvestigated.

Torture is now legal in America.

Indefinite imprisonment without charges for anyone labeled a terrorist.

Destroyed Viet Nam and killed millions on lies.

Destroyed Iraq and killed millions on lies.

More Afghan civilians killed by U.S.-led forces than by the Taliban, after 17 years.

Illegally shot down Iranian airliner in 1988 and then lied about it.

Attempted overthrowing 57 countries since 1953.

36 attempted overthrows were successful.

Every President since 1953 has committed war crimes.Two of them were never-prosecuted serial rapists.

Millions of civilians died from our foreign policy since 1953.

Exposing government corruption is now a felony in America.

Excessive lead levels in 2,000 American towns and cities.

“Climate hoax” destruction by flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires.

Abandoned cities: St. Louis, Camden, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, . .

40,000 Americans die each year by inadequate healthcare.

530,000 Americans declare bankruptcy each year from medical expenses.

Millions now with felony records for non-violent drug use.

Imprisons more people proportionally than did Stalin and Mao.

Dumping millions of tons of our plastic trash into 11 other nations.

One out of five American children lives in poverty.

Obama & Trump separated immigrant children from parents into concentration camps.

US now ranked 128th by UN as most peaceful country, Saudi Arabia is 129th.

US ranked #1 by UN as most dangerous threat to world peace.

US targets Muslims, a group who commits less than 1% of all terrorist acts.

Average American lifespan now declining for the first time ever.”


That was a pretty revealing snapshot, but we could add more, of course:

Hyper-inflated stock market bubble, completely disconnected from real economy, is set to burst.

Middle class already virtually destroyed, resulting in explosive tensions.

Public enraged at trillions of dollars given to business elite while people sink.

Both major parties, along with major media, business elite and political elite, all facing profound crisis of legitimacy.

$1trillion a year in military and war budgets, with economy teetering on implosion and social unrest nearing explosion, is utterly unsustainable.

An empire in decline, but desperate to maintain its global hegemony, Washington is now a wounded super-predator, and extremely dangerous and unpredictable as a result.

In 2008 I wrote an essay titled Powder Keg USA, saying the US is an empire in steep decline, facing a high risk of civil war. People scoffed and laughed. Now, the majority of people take these statements as obvious facts. The writing is on the wall, and the situation is not good.

JTR,
February 12, 2021

%d bloggers like this: