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 ultra-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 that can be spoken is not the true Tao.”

Keep your cherished ideologies, philosophies, dogmas, theories or beliefs, clubs and sects, 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 I would list these: Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Buddhism, Taoism, the perennial philosophy, Joanna Macy, Thomas Merton, Joseph Campbell, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Thoreau, along with the values of the Enlightenment: liberty, equality, solidarity – which I would like to see both defended and preserved, and 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. (See, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, and The Bodhisattva Warrior.) I am only a student of the sages, even if, as a scholar, my writing frankly has few peers. 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

An idea for strategy is presented here in extremely concise form – an idea which could be decisive, and critical, to our survival, and our success.

Plus: Who To Trust?

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, The Question Arises:

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.

*

News and Analysis:

Rocco Galati, Canada’s leading constitutional lawyer, and the Constitutional Rights Centre, which he founded

3,6,9 Media: Podcast founded by Rocco Galati

Vandana Shiva: A one-woman army, speaking truth in a time of global corporate take-over

Stand For Health Freedom: Not anti-vax – anti-authoritarian

The Defender: Podcast with RFK Jr. – also not anti-vax, but strongly anti-authoritarian

300K & The Voters Association of Canada

The People’s Party of Canada: A new federal Canadian political party bringing together people from across the political spectrum to stand united for one single issue of paramount importance: the defense of freedom, democracy, constitutional rule and human rights for all, in the face of a rapidly rising global authoritarianism

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.

The Shift – Podcast with Doug McKenty

The Last American Vagabond (strange title, but excellent content) – especially with Whitney Webb, who I believe to be, at this moment, the best investigative journalist alive

Geopolitics & Empire Podcast: Quality varies with the guest, but generally excellent, in-depth global analysis here, and from a refreshingly diverse set of guests and a diverse set of perspectives.

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, Philip Giraldi, Piers Robinson and Barbara Honeger in particular

The Corbett Report: Another excellent source of independent research, news and analysis – NOT always right, unsurprisingly, since few people are omniscient, but generally excellent

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 (from 2020) 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 Whitney Webb, Aaron Mate, John Pilger, 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, other than Gary Null and RFK JR., 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

and,

The People vs The Elite:

A Manifesto For Democratic Revolution,

Or, Survival In The 21st Century & Beyond

Both are available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon (though we should boycott the latter)

*

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)

The Failure of Propaganda

Decentralization & Localization, Or Collapse

Paradigm Shift

From Bankers Ruling The World, To The People Ruling The Bankers

along with several essays on mass digital addiction, the media, renaissance, enlightenment, and freedom of speech

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 it could imperative, and decisive. 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 just and free, 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

With minor additions made in April 2021 – and an important note:

Some of the journals, organizations, individuals and media outlets listed above as being among the best, are no longer reliable, or have frankly become either addle-minded, or corrupted and co-opted – though it is hard to tell which it is – as was confirmed in 2020/2021: and that includes some of the vanguards of the progressives and the left. Where is the left in 2021? Largely lost, deeply befuddled, deluded, and profoundly confused. Question everything – and everyone. It is more imperative than ever.

Shatter the illusions of division, embrace diversity, and unity in diversity, and transcend the old partisan battle lines of conformity, hostility and group-think which divide us. Prioritize! Separate long term ideals from short term necessities – and uniting the people is the greatest and most urgent necessity of all. If we do not unite the people now, or very soon, we will all be slaves – make no mistake. Forget or at least temporarily set aside old notions of right and left. It is now the people vs the oligarchy. If we fail to understand that, we fail to understand everything. Do not be fooled by confused or deceitful narratives that divide us. Don’t succumb to fear, paranoia, or mistrust. But do question everything, and think for yourself. Above all, trust yourself. We build from there, or from nowhere.

*

Epilogue:

The following section of the original article, I just now removed. The groups and organizations I had mentioned, were doing excellent work, up until Covid-1984 hit, and the slow motion, global corporate-fascist coup began its final phase of completion. At that point, in 2020, most of the Left, seemed to have drunk the Kool-Aid, swallowed the official narrative, and most ominously, became either silent about the sudden rise of authoritarianism, or actively cheered for it. To this moment, as I write, most of the Left, along with most of the moderate Right and the centre, remain lost in a fog, and have no idea what is going on. That is giving them the benefit of the doubt. With some groups, NGOs, political parties, politicians and other individuals, they have simply sold their souls, and have jumped on board with the Davos-led fascist coup. So, here is the (partial) list of groups that I did support, up to early 2020. Assuming they still have a soul, maybe someone else can talk some sense into them. I have tried, and so far, they are deaf to reason, as well as to evidence. If any of them has come out in strong defense of civil liberties, human rights, constitutional rule and freedom, and in strong opposition to the “new normal” of police state authoritarianism, without me noticing, then they have my apologies. There is too much happening, far too fast, for me to babysit organizations that should know better than to support fascists.

Groups I (did) feel are most worthy of support, and news and analysis sources I have found to be among the most reliable:

This is what I wrote about them in the original article, in early 2020, before it became clear that they had lost all perspective, and lost their bearings:

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.

Here are the news and analysis sources that I listed in early 2020 as reliable, but which I no longer believe to be reliable at all. They still do excellent work on certain select issues, and often on many issues, but they are out to lunch with regards to the biggest issue of all, which is that we are now in the midst of a global corporate-fascist coup. How they fail to see this, is hard to fathom. I think my essay, Trump Says Up, You Say Down, explains a great deal. Now, they don’t dare to admit they were duped, and were wrong. Let the world burn to the ground, rather than have me admit I was wrong, because my ego is more important than the fate of humanity or the Earth, seems to be the unconscious driver of their psychology. And yes, that is a scathing critique, but any group or individual who consciously or even unwittingly supports fascism, deserves that scathing critique completely.

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

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. Or so it used to be, prior to 2020.

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.

Stick with the best sources, in general, I would urge. But do read widely, discuss widely, and think for yourself, always.

JTR,
September 2, 2021

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.

Do You Want To Be An Ape, Or A Lion? On Alphas and The Sociology Of Delusion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2021 by jtoddring

This video/talk (linked below) expresses the social psychology underlying the deep, global crisis of legitimacy which the ruling elite are now facing. Kudos for that. However, it also reveals an utter ignorance of anthropology (see Eisler, Gimbutas, and Bookchin), and it expresses support for an obsolete social model based on domination and submission, as well as being rooted in the delusions of social Darwinism and “nobless oblige”.

Apes and chimps compete for alpha status. Lions do not. How do you want to live? As a lion, or an ape?

False messiahs, dominators, predators, exploiters, oppressors, fascists and demagogues pose as leaders, but what they really do, is to usurp the power of others, by convincing others to yield up their power to them – usually with false promises of protection and safety.

Domination is not leadership. True leaders empower others. True leaders are not afraid of equality, or diversity, or freedom, but celebrate, embrace and promote all three. This is the difference between a true leader and a mere authority figure. We have many of the latter, few of the former. Authorities rule the world – not leaders. But that too, shall pass. The people are beginning to awake.

JTR,
September 21, 2021

On Fascists & Aliens: Speculation, Theory and Evidence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2021 by jtoddring

Here are a few thoughts, meant respectfully and with love:

Here is a perfect example of how a person can get lost in esoterica. The woman in the video below is new to me, and was introduced to me, indirectly, by another video talk, by former CIA man Robert David Steel, who I know little about, but who seems at first glance to be honest and possibly well-informed. He spoke highly of this woman, Kerry Cassidy. She, herself, seems sincere, honest, good-natured, and seems to believe what she is saying is true, and seems to be motivated by the pursuit of truth, and by concerns for the freedom and well-being for humanity. However, everything I’ve heard her say so far, she bases on one book, by Ashianna Dean (sp??), and on her interviews with people who she feels are, to various degrees, credible and well-informed. She never gives any evidence for what she says, however, from what I’ve heard her say so far. So what are we to conclude?

Given the total lack of evidence presented by a source, and this woman as just one example, we can conclude that she is either:

A. Insane

B. Lying, to gain fame or money

C. Part of a psyops or distraction campaign

D. Engaged in wild speculation, without any evidence to back it up, but is not admitting that she is simply speculating, and maybe not even admitting it to herself

Or,

E. What she says is partially, highly, or wholly accurate.

We have no evidence to assume that what she says is true, or untrue, or partially true. So, we cannot conclude, yet, whether it is a case of A, B, C, D, or E. Which leaves us….precisely nowhere.

In other words, what she says may be interesting, and it may even give us valuable hypotheses to investigate, but we probably should not invest too much time on what she has to say, because we simply cannot, yet at least, either confirm or disprove what she is saying, with any real or substantial evidence.

I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, unless there is good reason to suspect something is awry. I assume, tentatively, that she is sane, honest, and not part of any psyops/distraction campaign. But I cannot, with good reason, assume she is correct in what she says, no matter how much she seems to believe it, because, so far, I can see no evidence for it.

This is why I stay away from certain topics, in general, although I make occasional minor exceptions. There is little to no evidence to prove or disprove any claims in those fields; or, it is ultimately irrelevant to a straight-forward sociological analysis, in any case; or, both.

Stay grounded. Stick, mainly, at least, to what can be backed up by actual evidence. Separate speculation and conjecture (category 1) from provable fact (category 2), and from assertions that may not yet be provable, but which at least have some degree of evidence to support them (category 3). Stick mainly to categories 2 and 3, while freely exploring category 1, speculation, in your spare time. Don’t obsess over things you can neither prove nor disprove, unless you truly feel you are following a hypothesis, theory or hunch which truly is worth pursuing – and in that case, seek evidence!

Engage freely in reflection, pondering, musing, discussion, and also, in speculation, conjecture, gut feelings, instincts, intuition, or the formation of theories or hypothesis, yes, absolutely. But distinguish a hunch, a hypothesis or theory from a provable fact, or an assertion that at least has some evidence to support it.

And, I would say, keep it simple. The most important truths are generally the simplest.

For example:

1. Freedom and compassion are the core founding values of any just, sane, or decent society.

2. All things and all beings are interdependent, therefore, no man is an island, an injury to one is an injury to all, we are our brother’s keeper (though not his master), and compassion and mutual aid are matters of basic intelligence, as well as virtue. From this principle follow the two values of compassion and freedom, and not just one, but both, for to dominate another human being is an act of brutality and dehumanization, not compassion, therefore, freedom is a fundamental value to be preserved and embodied, along with a basic compassion for all beings.

3. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Therefore, keep power decentralized, as Thomas Jefferson also advised. Use horizontal webs, federations, alliances or networks of shared power among equals, and shun, resist, and eventually transcend and replace pyramid structures of top-down hierarchical power and domination.

4. The great majority of people have basically decent impulses, as Chomsky has said; but in every culture and generation there is a small minority, usually less than 1%, who are sociopathic, and who will do literally anything for wealth, fame, or power.

5. The hyper-concentration of power and wealth is the core problem of the world, and it matters not if you think reptilian aliens are at the top of that pyramid of power, or a few sociopathic billionaires: either way, we must reclaim our power, and reclaim our democracy and our freedom – and we can, and must.

JTR,
September 20, 2021

https://media.projectcamelotportal.com/…/a1477ee0-11b3…

*

Post-Script: Further Thoughts

It might sound silly, but while I generally hate TV (and Netflix, by the way) there are a few shows I love, including Star Trek. And I like how Captain Picard handles a new situation, where little or nothing is known about it. He consults with his crew, naturally, because he is not an egomaniac. And he asks for evidence, and if there are any known facts. If little to nothing is known about the phenomenon, then he asks for conjecture, and asks his most trusted advisors to speculate. Naturally, we must begin somewhere. We begin with a hunch, a hypothesis, a theory, a gut feeling, an instinct or an intuition. This is exactly how science proceeds. But we then take the hunch or theory, and try to test it, to see if there is any evidence to support it. If the evidence disproves the theory, then we have learned something valuable. If the evidence supports the theory, then we have learned something valuable. In either case, we start with conjecture, and seek evidence, in order to gain knowledge. Speculation and conjecture are therefore vitally important. But what we do not want to do is to confuse speculation with fact. We need to look for evidence. These things should not have to be explained, but our society is so dumbed down – pardon the expression – by TV, infotainment, and narcissistic consumerism, that what should be learned by grade eight, or five, is unknown to most people.

To use the analogy of a court of law, we can say that testimony given by witnesses are accepted to be presented as evidence, with the weight of the evidence being assessed by the jury, after due deliberation, depending in part on whether the jury views the witnesses as being of high or low credibility (say, 0-100% credible). In the case of a person accused of stealing a car, if there is a witness called who asserts that he saw the man break into the car and drive away in it, then, unless the witness can be shown to be discredited, usually the jury will decide that the accused is guilty of grand theft auto, based on the testimony provided. But when the assertion is a very big claim, for example, the claim that hostile aliens are trying to take over the Earth, then we should reasonably respond by requiring a very high threshold of evidence before we believe the claim is true, or probably true.

The bigger question is, does it matter, or is it simply a distraction?

Is there intelligent life beyond Earth? The universe is a big place, with billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, and in total, there are countless worlds. The likelihood that human beings on Earth are the only form of higher intelligence in the universe, is therefore, roughly zero. But are there aliens in contact with Earth? Yet, again, the question is, aside from mere curiosity, does it really matter? That is, is it worth focusing on the subject? If we want entertainment, then maybe yes. But if we are concerned with solving human problems, then probably not.

Follow the simple logic. If there are alien civilizations now in contact with Earth, then presumably they must be a space-faring civilization. That means their technology is presumably far beyond ours. That means, if they are hostile, we likely can’t do much about it – therefore, the subject is pointless to ponder. If they are friendly, and intend to help us, that might be just lovely – but to wait around for aliens to rescue us from the problems we have created for ourselves, would be imprudent, irresponsible, and frankly childish. So, in either case, whether hostile or friendly, the matter of aliens amounts to the same conclusion: we have human-made problems, and the responsibility is on us to fix them, whether there are aliens present, or coming, or not.

Are their hostile aliens trying to take over the planet, as some people assert? I don’t know. It is plausible. But I think I have answered the question, for the moment at least, as to how it seems sensible to respond to the question – it is irrelevant, and a distraction.

What we do know for certain, because there is indisputable evidence to support it, is that a few extremely wealthy and powerful, literally neo-fascist billionaires, are trying to take over the planet, and are to create a global, technocratic, neofeudal order, where they will be god-kings, and the rest of humanity will be their serfs or slaves. I suggest we focus on the immediate task at hand, which is to defeat the fascists. Once we have done that, which we will, as we did before, during WWII, then we can begin to heal our planet. After we have accomplished those two great tasks of our time, then we can deal with the question of aliens. That would be my suggestion, at least.

First things first: defeat the fascists. If we fail at that, then we will have failed at everything.

JTR,
September 20, 2021

Post-Script II:

If I am naive or uninformed as to aliens, I can live with that. I still feel it is imperative to deal with first things first. Defeat the fascists, then we can talk about extraterrestrials.

Forced Medical Interventions & The Nuremberg Code: Nuremberg Trials Will Come Again

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

Read this information from Stand For Health Freedom (below) before you form an opinion set in stone.

And remember, as Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Here is my brief letter, sent just now to my local Member of Parliament:

Coercing anyone into taking any kind of medical intervention, without prior free and informed consent, is a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as the Nuremburg Code. It is therefore unconstitutional, illegal, and profoundly, grotesquely immoral, to force anyone to accept a medical intervention against their own judgement, conscience or free will. 

The current global wave of authoritarianism is quite literally a neo-fascist corporate coup, which is seeking to destroy our democracy, freedom, constitutional rule and human rights, and to install a global technocratic plutocracy, in a straight-forward power-grab by the Davos billionaires and their political henchmen. 

(See: Giants: The Unconscious Civilization, by John Ralston Saul, Global Showdown, by Maude Barlow, The New Rulers Of The World, by John Pilger, The Global Power Elite, by Peter Phillips, The Power Elite, by C. Wright Mills, Class Warfare, by Noam Chomsky, Confessions Of An Economic Hitman, by John Perkins, The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein, Oneness vs The 1%, by Vandana Shiva, and my own books, Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite, along with my blog articles, Importing From China, Sinking All Ships, and The Failure of Propaganda.)

This wave of fascism will be defeated, just as we defeated the first wave of fascism in WWII. When, not if, that happens, there will be Nuremberg-style trials for those who participated in crimes against humanity. Saying that, “I was just following orders”, or, “I was just doing my job”, was not deemed an adequate defense then, and it won’t be in the near future either. 

You should think hard and long about what side of that line you want to be on when the Nuremberg Trials are held again. Did you stand up for basic, fundamental human rights, or were you complicit in the crimes against humanity? 

J. Todd Ring,

September 3, 2021

See Canada’s leading constitutional lawyer, Rocco Galati, for further details.

Below is the web page for Stand For Health Freedom Canada. There is also a sister group in the US, which began the movement. Note that this group IS NOT ANTI-VAX. It is ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN. There is an important difference!

Know Your Rights, And Exercise Them, Now – Or We Will Lose Them All

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


Here are some important documents you might want to read, reflect on, save to USB, and share.


The Magna Carta – the foundation of Western law and all constitutional rights, signed 800 years ago, and being burned now

https://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/magna-carta-english-translation#


The US Constitution and Bill of Rights – shredded by the Patriot Act in 2001, and now being burned, for good measure

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/full-texthttps://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript


The Mexican Constitution – in question, as to whether or not it will survive the current global corporate-fascist coup

https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Mexico_2015.pdf?lang=en


The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms – also being shredded and burned now, as we speak

Click to access charter-poster.pdf


The Declaration of Independence – which, of critical importance to note, for Americans and people everywhere, lays out the principles of modern democracy, in very clear and unambiguous words, that anyone can understand, stating:


“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—-That, to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, and that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”


https://declaration.fas.harvard.edu/resources/text


Know your rights, and exercise them, or we will lose them all – as is happening now.

You can start by saving these important documents to USB flash-drive, then share them everywhere, and encourage others to do the same.


J. Todd Ring,
September 2, 2021

Post-Script:

See Canada’s leading constitutional lawyer, Rocco Galati, for further details, along with my own books (on Amazon) and essays, and the writings of Whitney Webb and Vandana Shiva, in particular, for an in-depth, big picture analysis.

See my short essay, Flash-Drive Revolution, for a simple yet potentially decisive strategy idea, and for further important documents, to read, reflect on, and to save and share.

Peak Oil, Climate Change, and Human Fallibility

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

I’m just going to share verbatim a letter that I just sent to a few friends. I think it is worth giving it some thought. The letter expresses my comments on an excellent set of films by James Corbett. (Link is below. Part one is better, and extremely important.)

Hi folks,


James Corbett is an excellent researcher, but he’s not God, and he’s not infallible. He’s wrong on peak oil, wrong on the looming energy crisis, and the coming shocks and disruptions from it. (See Richard Heinberg, James Howard Kunstler, and Dmitry Orlov on that issue.)


And he’s wrong about global warming. We have the indisputable data and obvious evidence the planet is warming, and the climate is getting more extreme and unpredictable, and both are causing rising ecological disasters, and systems disruptions and systems failures. There is no question global warming is happening, is accelerating, and little question it will cause rising environmental cataclysmic effects. Other environmental crises may be equally severe, but global warming, along with species and biodiversity loss, soil depletion and desertification, deforestation, and toxic pollution, certainly ranks in the top five.

(My focus at Trent University, in 1986-1990, was in philosophy and environmental studies. The science seemed clear then, on all five of these top environmental crises, and it seems even more certain on all five now.)


I think anthropogenic climate change is well established, and greenhouse gases are the primary cause. (See the David Suzuki Foundation.) But whatever the cause, the precautionary principle makes sense. We should, therefore, swiftly reduce our dependency upon, and then shift entirely away from, our heavy use of fossil fuels, plastics, and petrochemical industrial agriculture. (The energy crisis will force us to do so anyway.) And secondly, the reality is: whatever the cause, the disaster is here – and we need to: a) mitigate the harm, and b) adapt to a changing world.


Is it true that the billionaire elite are trying to use climate change and environmentalism to increase their wealth and power? Almost certainly – it’s what they do with every crisis. That does not mean the crisis is necessarily unreal. It just means that we have to deal with very real and disastrous climate change and global warming, along with a rising energy crisis – and deal with vampiric and predatory crypto-fascist elites, at the same time, who want to turn every crisis to their advantage, and use any excuse or pretext to create a police state, run by and for themselves.


Warm regards,

Todd

P.S.:

It’s disaster capitalism, writ large. Now we have to deal with an economic crisis, a health crisis, an energy crisis, an environmental crisis, the risk of world war – and corporate fascism on top of it all.

Bloody bastards…. They’re absolutely mad.

Stay calm, stay brave, stay free. We have a new world to build. And we will – despite the predatory elite. We clearly cannot count on their help. So we will do it ourselves, they way we usually do.

***

Extremely important: Part One of, How & Why Big Oil Conquered The World.


https://www.corbettreport.com/bigoil/

Sent from my iPad

The Greatest of Philosophers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 22, 2021 by jtoddring

Who are the greatest of philosophers? Ask 20 scholars, and they will give you 20 different answers. The list I would offer would not be appreciated by most academic philosophers, especially in the West; but I do not place a high value on the opinions of most academics. 

While there are and have been many truly brilliant thinkers, both East and West, they are the exception to the rule. Most academics and most intellectuals believe what they are told to believe. They are ruled by group-think, unmerited deference to authority, the orthodoxies of their culture and their time; and they think and act more like scholastic, dogmatic, medieval priests, than as intellectuals, or as scholars or thinkers. Myopic, conformist, and blind, would be a good description.

Even their unconsciously accepted and unthinkingly unexamined and dogmatic assumptions with regards to their largely unconscious definitions of what is philosophy, and who are philosophers, are needlessly and myopically narrow and blinkered. 

They are blind men in a cave, pontificating with great bombast, pretence, and delusional notions of their own presumed authoritative views, over mere shadows on a cave wall.

Who would I list as the greatest of philosophers? I would offer the following. 

And remember, to practice philosophy does not require long, wordy tomes of arid and arcane, obscure polysyllabic pretence. Nor does it require the medieval habit of linking one’s views to supposed authorities. 

Heidegger’s “great work”, Being and Time, is a perfect example of confusing verbosity for clarity or depth. After 700 pages, he admits, he has not answered the central question, of what is the nature of being, but has only stated why it is an important question to ask. He could have done that in a single paragraph. The Heart Sutra, by comparison, not only poses the question, but answers it, and does so in two lines. Verbosity is not depth. Question the canon.

The core of philosophy is the asking of the core perennial questions about life: What is reality? What is the nature of being? What is the nature of consciousness, perception and knowledge? What is wisdom? Is there such a thing? What is ethical, moral, virtuous, noble, just or good? What is a good life? What is the source of human happiness? What is love? What is freedom? Why are love and freedom perennially and almost universally valued by human beings – and should they be? What is a just or good society? 

When we strip away the pretence and the rigidly narrow definitions of what is philosophy, we can see that philosophy, naturally, intersects with science, religion, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, politics, economics, literature, and social and political theory. Our study of philosophy, therefore, must of necessity be equally broad, as well as deep. And of course, East and West have met, and as Bertrand Russell said, we must now allow the East into our thoughts, and on an equal footing. To do less, would be both blinding, and foolishly parochial.

There are no post-modernists on this list, by the way, for the simple reason that their philosophy is a vacuous and vapid dung heap of psychobabble and nihilist, relativist Sophism. They belong, therefore, at the bottom of the pile, or in the sewer, along with Machiavelli, Hobbes, Yuval Harari, Augustine, the neoliberals and neconservatives, and other apologists of empire. Reality is not a social construct, therefore truth is not a social construct: gravity works, whether you believe in it or not. But you can believe anything you like. Go jump off a cliff if you want to, and test for yourself whether or not gravity really works, of if it is just a “social construct”. It is amazing how insanity can be dressed up to look like sophistication.

*

The greatest of philosophers of the world, to date, from my view, include the following men and women:

Nagarjuna

Shantideva

Shankara

Lao Tzu

Chuang Tzu

Meister Eckhart

Hildegard of Bingen

Plotinus

Spinoza

Emerson

Thoreau

Kropotkin

Bookchin

Chomsky

Bertrand Russell

Aldous Huxley

Alan Watts

Alan Wallace

Ken Wilber

Joanna Macy

David Bohm

David Hume

Joseph Campbell

Thomas Merton

Thomas Paine

Most others do not remotely come close to these few, for one or more reasons.

*

Thoreau was right when he said, “Read the best books first, otherwise you may never read them at all.” He was right in many ways, including when he wrote, “The greatest of philosophers have found answers to life’s problems, not just in theory, but in practice.” And, “If need be, let us forgo one bridge across the river, go round a little there, and throw at least one span across the greater gulf of ignorance which surrounds us.”

What then, do the greatest figures of philosophy, religion and science have to tell us that is of practical value? I would say it is the perennial philosophy, the view of the interdependence and non-duality of all things, which both the greatest scientific minds as well as the mystics and sages have told us is the nature of being and reality, and which leads naturally to an ethics of compassion, love, mutual aid and non-aggression, which is the foundation. That is to say, no man is an island, and an injury to one is an injury to all. And I would add to that non-dual, unitive vew, and synthesize that, with the political philosophy of the Enlightenment, and with libertarian socialism in particular, which is the most consistent application or expression of the core values of the Enlightenment, which are the values of liberty, equality and solidarity. If we take the perennial philosophy, the awareness of the unity of life and of humankind, and unite it with the values of the Enlightenment, and their expression in the political philosophy of libertarian socialism, then we have a road map, not only for clarity, and for wisdom, and not only for a better world, but for a new renaissance. That is the view that I have tried to convey in all of my books and all of my writing. And furthermore, I do strongly believe that humanity is awakening at such an accelerating pace now, that we will soon be able to make that shift of consciousness, and to bring about the new renaissance which the world so clearly and urgently needs. In fact, it has already begun.

Although we are both causes and effects, both actors and acted upon, and experience both agency and contingency, due to the interdependence of all phenomena, where linear causality is an ontological impossibility, making both control and powerlessness illusions, we do always have power. And it is in our power to create a hell on Earth, or to create a beautiful life, a beautiful society, and a beautiful world. Shun the illusions of powerlessness and control, and let us choose wisely.

*

What brings human happiness? Well, we can now say with certainty that the 400 year long experiment in a mechanistic materialist worldview, and its attendant obsession with material goods, material comfort, narrow self-interest, status and entertainment, illusions of powerlessness and fatalism, and illusions of security and control, rooted in scarcity consciousness, artificial scarcity, fear, paranoia, manufactured fear and division, a social model of domination, submission and wealth extraction, and rooted in radical disconnection, or more precisely, radical delusions of disconnection, have not created human happiness or well-being, but instead, have created a plastic and increasingly toxic dystopia, with growing authoritarianism, soaring inequality, growing poverty, a multi-faceted global health crisis, a rising global pandemic of mental illness, deep alienation, atomization, isolation, the breakdown of human bonds of love and mutual aid, the stripping away of the richness and joy of life, increasing loneliness and discontent, with narcissism, addiction and escapism becoming the norm, and a technological industrial society that is driving itself at maximum speed toward madness, and to social and ecological collapse. The experiment has failed. We urgently need a new and better vision, and a better way.

I would say that the ingredients that are necessary for human happiness, both at the personal level and at the level of human society, include the active valuing of truth, above all, along with compassion, mutual aid, community, ecological balance, and peace. And it is also clear that human happiness tends generally to require the meeting of the basic needs for life, which of course would be guaranteed for all with an ethos or a society rooted in the values of compassion, community and mutual aid; and human happiness furthermore, also requires freedom as an essential, as do justice and compassion. The perennial philosophy – the realization of the interdependence, sacredness and unity of all life – along with the values of the Enlightenment, and their expression in the political philosophy of libertarian socialism, I would argue, offer the greatest possibility for meeting all of these goals, and for achieving our highest human potential.

The values of the Enlightenment, the values of liberty, equality, and solidarity, are not only worth preserving: they are essential. Without them, we will have tyranny of one form or another. In fact, at this stage in technological industrial society, if we slip into nihilism, or if for any other reason we lose sight of the fundamental importance of these Enlightenment values, then we will create, or passively allow to be created, a dystopia, and a nightmare world. And that is exactly what is happening now.

What we must also realize, is that if we do not ground the values of the Enlightenment, the values of liberty, equality and solidarity, in a reawakening to the interdependence, the sacredness, and the unity of all life, then our genuinely lofty values will have no firm mooring, and will be easily eroded, undermined, forgotten or destroyed.

The reawakening to the interdependence, sacredness and unity of life provides the ontological, epistemological and philosophical foundation for the values of the Enlightenment – without which, they are weak, shallowly rooted, adrift, and easily uprooted. Conversely, the values of the Enlightenment, and particularly, as expressed and embodied in the political philosophy of libertarian socialism, give expression and embodiment to the awareness of interdependence and unity, in our politics, our nations and communities, and in human society. Philosophy without praxis and political expression, is neutered and impotent. Politics, without a firm foundation in philosophy, is blind destruction. This is how we reunite the two.

*

What of reason and common sense? Most people are irrational, most of the time. That does not mean, however, that we are incapable of reason, or perhaps better said, basic clarity. It does mean we have to make an effort, and actively strive for basic clarity of mind.

“Common sense”, as Einstein said, “is the set of prejudices acquired by the age of eighteen.” On the surface level, what we call common sense, is simply mass indoctrination. Remember that it was common sense that the world was flat, witches should be burned, and the Earth is the centre of the universe. Common sense, therefore, most commonly means common delusions. But there too, there is a deeper level which we could call intuitive, and a higher level, which we could call basic clarity. Paraphrasing Schopenhauer, Compassion is the metaphysical intuition that the self and other are one. Our human intuition, at the deeper level, is correct: the nature of being and reality is non-dual, therefore, compassion is enlightened self-interest, as well as kindness, sociological intelligence, and virtue. Higher levels of awareness, which means simply, the removal of the veils of illusion, is the confirmation of our human impulse towards compassion, by confirming through direct experience, or realization, that all things are interdependent, non-dual, and one. Hence, yes, we can reclaim our more genuine common sense, when and if we strip away the illusions, and the shared delusions, confirming what we intuit: that we are all interconnected, and love and compassion are a matter of intelligence, and of basic sanity.

*

What of virtue, or duty? Since no man is an island, and all beings and things are interconnected, virtue and intelligence are synonymous: that is, what is virtuous is to be compassionate to all; and what is intelligent, since it is in our own enlightened self-interest, is to be compassionate to all. Duty is the fulfulment, therefore, to the best of our ability, of the bedrock principle of all sane or sensible morality, which is compassion, which is the universal principle arising from the interdependent nature of being. But to know what is compassionate and what is harmful, is not a matter of obvious, unreflective “common sense”, nor is it always self-evident, since what we normally call common sense is most often common delusion, and mass indoctrination. Remember that the Inquisition, the witch burnings, the Crusades, the holy wars, the genocidal Indian wars, the Maoist Cultural Revolution, Hitler’s death camps and Stalin’s purges, were all thought to be for the greater good. Therefore, duty requires compassion, and compassion requires that we question everything, and absolutely insist upon thinking for ourselves.

To be clear, I have no time for the post-modernists, the existentialists, the phenomenologists, the Neitzschians, or the apologists for power and empire – they are all modern Sophists, and dead to me; and nor do I have any time for the Stoics. Duty, and hence virtue, according to the Stoics, is to shut up and know your place. This is the true philosophy of slaves, and of slavers, alike. It resonates deeply with all empires, from the most ancient, to the present day. And it resonates with Confucianism, which is used today to uphold the totalitarian police state of Communist China – the social model we in the West are now busily and eagerly importing.

Duty and virtue require one to have compassion, which requires us to question orders and norms, as the Nuremberg Code also clearly states; and which requires in turn, that we have a backbone. The Stoics are delusional apologists of power and empire, though they are generally too dim-witted to see it. They advise having no feelings, while Christians are sacrificed to lions, and while millions of Celts and others, often their own kin, are slaughtered, or worse, conquered and enslaved. We must cheerfully accept that we live in the best of all possible worlds, so the Stoics said during the Roman Empire, and so we are to believe today. Dr. Pangloss was a Stoic, then an Augustinian; and his delusional incarnation lives on and on. Aristotle was right: we should feel anger at injustice – or at the least, we should have a pulse, and we should passionately and vigorously oppose injustice. And the greatest injustice of all, is tyranny and empire, which are in truth synonymous, or at least inseparable. Stand up for freedom, therefore, or admit that you are spineless and a coward, and have no morals in truth, at all, other than the rationalized pursuit and maintenance of your own comfort.

To clarify further, we should look at recent events. I have, for four decades, aligned myself with the libertarian wing of the left. But the Left broadly, as well as the Right and the “centre”, have recently all lost their bearings. I am no Trump supporter, but the public response to him is very revealing, especially from the liberal establishment and from the left. Look at how the liberals and the left reacted to Trump initially. He was called an authoritarian and a fascist by the liberals and the left. Then covid hit in 2020, and suddenly, liberals, conservatives, and what is called “the left”, screeched in true Stalinist horror that Trump was not authoritarian enough! Obviously, the majority, including the virtue signallers, have lost their minds, and have no virtue at all.

When you bow down to tyranny, when you lick the boots of tyrants, or when you make rationalizations or give support to tyranny or authoritarianism, then you have no virtue, for you have annihilated its very basis, which is the refusal to support or condone the enslavement, or subjugation, of any man, woman or child.

*

In short, what we need, is a reawakening to the fundamental unity, sacredness and interdependence of life, combined with, and embodied in, the balanced and united values of freedom and compassion. The awareness of the indivisible unity of life is the backbone of the bird, or, it could also be said, its consciousness. The twin cardinal values of freedom and compassion are the two wings which enable the bird to fly. When we reintegrate our consciousness in this way, then all problems and all obstacles, and all of our great planetary crises and challenges, are resolvable, and can be overcome. With this reinintegration of consciousness, being and mind, which is taking place, and taking flight now, we can not only save ourselves from tyranny and self-destruction, but can give birth to a new renaissance, and a better world for all.

We can not, however, afford to be complacent.

We can still yet, choose a darker course – by remaining passive and obedient, and naively hoping for the best. We can, that is, rather than embracing our power, simply drift with the tide: in which case, we will move at accelerating speed into an ever darker dystopia, followed by extinction and collapse. That is also an option. I would urge, however, that we embrace our power, and change course – and now.

In the end, which is always now, as well as it is always a new beginning, we decide how we will live. And again, I say, think carefully, and choose wisely.

Question everything. That is the beginning of true liberation.

Read widely, discuss widely and freely, and reflect deeply. But above all, think for yourself. As the Buddha said, Don’t take anyone’s word on things, not even someone you respect, not even myself. Examine things for yourself.

JTR,

August 22, 2021

Leader vs Influencers: A Case Study Of Elon Musk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 21, 2021 by jtoddring

Top influencers does not equate to real leaders. Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and Mao were top influencers, and they were all deranged. As for content of contribution, Musk’s boaring project misses the point, as do electric cars: we need decentralization and the slashing of shipping distances as an ecologically urgent top priority – which makes Musk out to lunch ecologically. Neural implant fetish indicates he has no understanding either of consciousness, nor of history: the pathologies entailed in creating new vast powers which are manipulated by self-serving elites, resulting in fascism and totalitarianism, being the case in point – makes him dangerously naive, childish, foolish in the extreme, and a perhaps unwitting pawn of truly sociopathic plutocrats, and utterly ignorant of political-economy and history, both. I like to have heroes too. But I’d trust people like Gandhi, MLK and Thoreau, infinitely more than Elon Musk – and they are still very much alive and powerful, so long as we remember them.

Moreover, Musk’s quip on Twitter, “We’ll coup whoever we want to coup”, shows he is either a closet fascist, or so deeply politically ignorant, that he cannot be trusted for any semblance of good leadership. He is a skilled entrepreneur, yes, but wildly out of his depth.

JTR, August 20, 2021

On Puritan-Capitalism: Money As The Measure Of All Things

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2021 by jtoddring

The mechanistic materialist world view, which the West, beginning with Europe, adopted a mere 400 years ago, and then exported through economic, financial, military and cultural colonialism and neocolonialism to the rest of the world, has been nothing short of a cultural, sociological, political, economic, ecological, spiritual, public health and psychological disaster; and it has led to to a global tyranny of neofeudal corporate-state oligarchy and technocratic scientific fascism.

Part of its logic, is to view all things, all of nature, human beings and all living beings, as mere objects: to be exploited, used up, and discarded at will. The natural result of its logic is to view all things, ecosystems, living beings and people as mere resources for wealth extraction.

We human beings are viewed, at least by the business elite, as cattle, to be milked for money, or yoked for sevitude, for money and power, or disposed of – or slaughtered.

Extrinsic value is the only value recognized: people, nature, living beings, and all things, only have value for their usefulness. It is a world view that is nihilistic and utilitarian by nature, and must, if its logic is consistent, degrade and destroy all other values, such as the systemic value of ecosystems and living beings, and the intrinsic value of ecosystems, nature and living beings. (I am borrowing here from one of my brilliant mentors, Professor Robert E. Carter – not the novelist, but the polymath scholar.) Money therefore becomes the measure of all things, including the measure work, the measure of social status, the measure of respectability, and the measure of human worth – or the worth of anything, or any living being.

When we examine closely the mechanistic materialist world view and its consequences, we can see and understand how and why it has been a truly catastrophic error, and one which must be quickly overcome, before it destroys us all, by destroying all life on Earth – and before it enslaves all of humanity, on its way to total ecocide, and collective self-annihilation.

*

Anecdotes and personal stories are things I generally avoid, but the following is enlightening, I believe.

When I was a younger man, in my late teens, I decided in a flash, after reading Plato’s parable of the cave, in my first year of university, that I wanted to become a philosopher, a political theorist, and a writer. When I soon afterward announced to my parents that I was switching from studying science, to studying philosophy, my father, at least, thought I must be mad, or at least, drastically foolish. What money can you make as a philosopher? That was the only question that mattered, to his mind. That was the only measure of my studies, to his mind: does it make money? Of course, his view was, and is, the nearly universal view in modern society. But I was utterly resolved. Nothing would budge me.

As Margaret Atwood said, “This society doesn’t respect writing. It respects success. I could have been a used car salesman, and if I was successful, I’d be respected.”

Or as Emerson said, in his essay on The Poet, by which he meant the writer in the broad sense: “Every profession has its sacrifices. For the poet (or the writer), it is that for a long time, he will be considered a churl (a bum) and a fool, and will be understood only by his peers.”

Or as Thoreau said (and I am paraphrasing from memory), “Men are concerned, not with what is respectable, but what is respected.” “Such men deserve as much respect as wooden men, or clumps of earth.”

Nietzche was insane, and from what I can tell, his philosophy was insane; but he was right in one observation, when he remarked, “The ego – our last article of faith.” This is what mechanistic materialism, and the Puritan-capitalist psychology that arises from it, does to men’s and womens’ minds: they profess all sorts of values, but when you look more closely, their true values are money, status, and their reputation. Their true and over-riding concerns, thus, are comfort and ego. “What would other people think?” This is the thought that secretly haunts them, and it is both their prison, and the source of their moral bankruptcy and spiritual degeneration.

Thoreau also observed, “Most men would feel ashamed if their work consisted of throwing dirt over a fence, and throwing it back again; but most men are employed in no higher purpose that this.” We are obsessively busy, but what are we busy with?

(Kindred spirits, I have many. I have no need of false friends, nor of the trappings of worldly success. As Thoreau said (I am once again paraphrasing here), “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” I could not agree more. To thine own self be true.)

Furthermore, when automation and robotics are poised to eliminate 90% of jobs, and make most people, in the words of Yuval Harari, “useless”, we clearly and urgently must re-think the nature of work.

Some years later, as a young writer, intellectual, activist and philosopher, my father said to my sister, “Todd’s on permanent vacation.” As far as he was concerned, any activity that did not make money, was not work – therefore, since your activities do not make money, you do not work; which, of course, in the prevailing culture and psychology of Puritan-capitalism, means you are a useless fool, and a worthless bum.

I thought to myself, and maybe I said it to him – probably so, since I was anxiety-ridden and depressed but also paradoxically fearless: I could work 40 hours a week, or 60, or 100, helping the sick, the poor and the dying with Mother Theresa, and you would consider me a bum who didn’t work, because I did it for free, and received no money for it. (His values seemed deranged to me, so I immediately disregarded his opinion, as itself being worthless.)

*

That story shows the sheer insanity of what I call the Puritan-capitalist psychology, sociology, or world view. It is truly insane. To take it further, we could say that, if I, or anyone else, worked in the arms industry, dealing in weapons and tools for mass murder and killing, or in the pesticide or chemical industry, poisoning the people and the planet, I would be a respected member of society, and viewed as a hard worker, and praised, so long as I was paid well for my evil actions, and made a good income from it.

Puritan-capitalist ethics and psychology revolve around two central premises: busyness is always good; and more importantly, money is the measure of all things. If I work 100 hours a week saving the planet, or raising children, or healing the Earth, that is nice, but I am a fool and a bum, in the eyes of the grimly delusional great majority, who are literally brainwashed into the Puritan-capitalist psychology – and blinded and enslaved by it. But they will defend their chains to the death, and decry anyone who tries to liberate them, or who even points out the chains, as a dangerous heretic and a madman.

What madness is this? This, as Erich Fromm and Henry David Thoreau, and many others have realized, is sheer insanity.

*

Artists, writers, musicians, thinkers, philosophers, activists, parents and care-givers, are generally all viewed as worthless and useless bums, and their work is invisible and discounted – unless they find a way to acquire money, wealth, status, fame or power, which are the great redeemers, and the only things the great majority of people seem to truly value in modern, nihilistic, materialist, Puritan-capitalist society: in which case, they are super-stars, and greatly loved, respected, and admired celebrities.

When, in practice, rhetoric aside, we value money, material goods, comfort, entertainment, status, wealth, power and fame above all else, then there is no room for justice, ethics, morality, virtue, nobility, wisdom, compassion, human decency, or even basic sanity. This has become the profoundly abnormal norm of our modern corporate-industrial society. Clearly, something needs to change.

When human beings are being systematically degraded, exploited, oppressed, indoctrinated, deluded, blinded, imprisoned and enslaved, and all life on Earth is being destroyed, and both as a result of our materialist mechanistic world view, and by our Puritan-capitalist psychology, it is clearly time to reassess and to change our world view and our pyschology. That, by now, should be undeniable. If it is not, then we are truly and deeply, profoundly delusional.

I am no cynic, nor am I a jaundiced, jaded misanthrope. Cynicism, fatalism and misanthropy are pathologies of the mind, and delusions to be overcome. The long term for humanity is promising, to put it mildly; but the near term and present are looking undeniably dark. What we make of our present, and our future, however, is up to us.

Noam Chomsky is right: “The great majority of people have basically decent impulses.” It is true, as science has confirmed (see Kropotkin, Mutual Aid, and Rifkin, The Empathic Civilization): human beings have a natural empathy and compassion, and we have survived, and thrived, because we have a deeply seated instinct for solidarity, community, cooperation and mutual assistance. But our good nature is being systematically degraded, twisted and deranged, by a society which is truly, deeply dehumanizing, and frankly, crazy. And that is before the soma kicks in.

*

Our modern society, as I have said, is thoroughly insane. Re-evaluating our concepts of money, work, status, respectability, success, development and growth, and the values and psychology which underly them, is now critical. Without that, we are doomed to a madhouse – and one that is on wheels, travelling as fast as possible toward dystopia, and the cliff that lies just beyond it.

JTR,

August 20, 2021

If You Are Going To Vote, Read This

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2021 by jtoddring

Things are changing rapidly in the world, but as of this moment, we can say a few things about the major political parties of the Western world, with reasonable certainty. It is now undeniable, that by their actions, the major parties of the Western world, including the Democratic party of the US, the Liberal party of Canada, and the Conservative party of Britain, have clearly demonstrated that they have followed the lead, or the orders, of the true rulers, who are the business elite of Wall Street, Bay Street, the City of London, Basel and Davos; and due to that unholy alliance, these parties have all demonstrated that they have formed what was a previously unthinkable alliance, with the totalitarian Communist government of China, and are busily and rapidly importing and implementing the Chinese Communist model of totalitarianism, here in the West.

(We must realize that it is clearly no mere “conspiracy theory” that the world’s billionaires and corporate oligarchs, who meet annually at Davos, in the World Economic Forum, have effectively taken over the world. Even the leading business journal of the Western world, the Financial Times, calls the World Economic Forum the “de facto world government”. And what is their demonstrated modus operandi? They are quite literally neo-fascists, egomaniacs, and neo-Malthusians.)

That, of course, makes all of these parties utterly unsupportable. To support any of them, would be to support authoritarianism – or what has been variously called technocracy, totalitarianism, Communism or fascism – and all of these are appropriate terms, since they all represent essentially the same thing, with variations of flavour and inflection only: they represent the culmination of a decades long war on democracy, freedom and constitutional rights, in favour of elitism and authoritarian rule.

To support any of them, therefore, is not only unconscionable, but would mean that we are complicit in the final destruction of democracy, freedom, constitutional rule and human rights, and it would mean we are supporting our would-be slavers. Every thinking person, every person of courage, conviction, or of principle, and every sane person, must reject them, and reject the new rise of authoritarianism – which is a blend of fascism, technocracy, and totalitarian Communism.

As for the other major political parties of the Western world, including the Republican party of the United States, the Conservative, NDP and Green parties of Canada, and the Labour party of Britain, I have seen no clear, strong or firm rejection of authoritarianism, or the Chinese model, from them. That makes them, as well, unsupportable by anyone of principle, or of sound mind. They have become Quislings, and are ominously silent about the new authoritarianism, or are else, and more commonly, are actively cheer-leading for it.

For the record, I will repeat what I said in my first book, Enlightened Democracy, from 2014, where I clearly warned of the growing trend towards corporate fascism. I would support almost any party, candidate, or political movement, that is firmly, and in practice, not just in principle or in rhetoric, opposed to authoritarianism and the destruction of freedom and constitutional rule.

We are entering a very dark time now. As I said to a very gentlemanly older man who came to my door to canvass for the Conservative party of Canada, anything is better than totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is the worst thing possible. And that is precisely where we are rapidly headed, in Canada, the US, Britain and Europe, and in most nations around the world.

Even the normally staid and compliant Church of England has taken a stand, saying that the churches have never been closed in the history of England – not even during the Blitzkrieg, not even during the Great Plague, which killed a third of Europe (compared to the fraction of one percent from covid) – until now. The church leaders made a very clear and strong, unequivocal public statement, in which they said that the current authoritarian measures which are being implemented pose a grave threat to freedom and constitutional rights, and may spell the death of democracy. We would be foolish in the extreme to dismiss such warnings.

What we are seeing, is the culmination and final phase of a decades long war on democracy, and a slow-motion global corporate-fascist coup: one which has been waged successfully by the global corporate elite and their loyal minions in government, academia and the media; and now, recently, with the allegiance and support of the totalitarian regime of Communist China.

Remember, the business elite, and most of the political elite, across the Western world, openly praised fascism in the 1920s and into the 1930s; then actively supported and orchestrated fascist coups, viciously destroying democracy and freedom, across the Third World, for the past 75 years. They have no qualms with fascism, and in fact prefer it. Nor do they have any real qualms with totalitarian Communism, despite their decades of rhetoric. Their motives and interests are proven by their actions, over the past 100 years: they value their own wealth and power above all other concerns. Anything that increases their wealth, and more importantly, anything that increases their power, is both acceptable and desirable to them. That includes fascism, Communism and totalitarianism. These are the harsh realities we must now come to see, and to viscerally understand. Denial now, would be truly disastrous.

I would prefer a government that is left libertarian, along the lines that have been clearly laid out by people such as Kropotkin, Rocker, Chomsky, Bertrand Russell, Bookchin, and Yanis Varoufakis. But as I said in my first book, the first priority, which dwarfs all others, is for the people to reclaim their democracy, and their constitutional rights, and to resist, reject, and defeat the rising tide of global corporate fascism.

I would support a liberal, conservative, libertarian, social democrat or green government, so long as it was truly and genuinely opposed to authoritarianism and to fascism, and was serious about defending and restoring constitutional democracy, freedom, and human rights for all.

What we most need now, is an alliance between all political parties, political candidates and representatives, and all political movements, which are authentically anti-authoritarian, and strongly and actively in support of constitutional democracy, freedom, and constitutionally guaranteed human rights for all. This is the most urgent task of our time. If we lose on this most central of challenges, or if we are too blind and bewildered to even recognize it as the central task, then all is lost, and it is a dark age ahead, marked by the total destruction of democracy, freedom, constitutional rule and human rights, and by a deeply Orwellian global empire, ruled by the Western billionaire elite, and their new partners in Beijing – while the people and the planet continue to be eaten alive, and enslaved, by the ruling oligarchs, and with accelerating speed.

Unite the forces of freedom now, or watch as darkness envelopes and devours the world.

J. Todd Ring,
August 19, 2021

Stressed? Read This. Amygdala Highjacking – A Few Brief Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2021 by jtoddring

When under great stress, or when in great fear, our biological fight or flight response is triggered strongly, the amygdala is highjacked, which then highjacks our frontal cortex and our brain, and destroys both our peace, and also our capacity for rational thought. The cortisol and adrenaline stress hormones released also cause serious health risks, impair digestion and nutrient absorption, and undermine quality sleep. Knowing how to respond to – or better, prevent – the highjacking of our minds through fear, is therefore critical for everyone over two years old to know.

Good sleep is essential for good health, maximum performance, well-being, stress management, clarity of mind, emotional balance, or peace. Ideally, go to sleep before nine, and get up at five am. Eat a good breakfast and a big lunch, and a light, early dinner. And eat nothing after 5:30.

Even more important: Avoid stress in the evening before bed, in particular – that means, especially, no “news” or “social media” after (or during!) dinner. Read a book, go for a walk, meditate, pray, play with cats or dogs or kids, cycle, ski, kayak, canoe…play tennis, basketball, or a board game, sit by a river, stream, pond, lake or ocean, or sit in the woods or a park, and just relax, ponder and contemplate… talk with family or friends – directly, not through a screen! …knit, sew, swim, build, fix or make something, cook, bake, garden, do yoga…. Do almost anything else! Unplugging from the electronic mediascape is one of the most critically essential things we can and must do – especially in the morning and evening. Unplug!

You should also know that caffiene and other stimulants, coffee, alcohol, sugar, refined flour, processed food, pesticides and other neurotoxins and hormone disruptors, EMFs, “social media”, cell phone addiction, TV and “the news” – or a lack of sunshine, exercise and fresh air, clean water and nutritious food – will all increase anxiety and stress over time.

Eat a healthy, plant-based organic diet, with loads of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and other legumes, essential oils and fibre, and that will be a giant step toward greater well-being and peace.

Add daily exercise as essential step number two – along with sunshine, green space time, and fresh air, which are equally critical – and that will be another giant step towards greater well-being and peace.

Third would be to add in other elements that are extremely powerful in supporting well-being and peace, including one or more of the following:

Meditation

Yoga, t’ai chi or chi gong

Prayer and other spiritual practices

Martial arts

Herbal and naturopathic medicine: particularly helpful are maca, St. John’s wort, holy basil, ashwaghanda, macha, raw cacao (sweetened with monk fruit, stevia, real maple syrup or honey, only – not aspartame or refined sugar, both of which are rat poison), turmeric or curcumin, omega-3s, co-Q10 or ubiquinol, milk thistle, borage, hawthorne, motherwort, nettle, gotu kola, dandelion, and a good quality multi-vitamin capsule or liquid (most of these can be taken as drinks or herbal teas, and maca, macha and cacao go well in smoothies)

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Integrative or holistic medicine

Journalling, introspection, contemplation, reflection, silence and solitude, or quiet time

Support groups or psychotherapy

Talking to a close friend, family member, elder or mentor

Building community, building solidarity, building alliances of mutual aid

Time spent with animals – especially outdoors, in a quiet, tranquil, green space

Art, music, dance, or any wholesome form of self-expression or creativity

Gentle, periodic fasting and detoxification

Fourth would be to examine and reflect on your life, and your surroundings, your community and your society. What are your values? What are your priorities? What are your goals? What are your short term and long term plans? Is this how you want to be living? Is this what you want to be doing? Is this where you want to be? Reflect. This is so critically important, it cannot be stressed enough.

But, of all the many things you can do to increase well-being, peace, and also clarity of mind and empowerment, the single most urgent step, is to unplug from the media drug.

Unplug.

It’s a big, beautiful world out there. Live in it.

Don’t flee into media escapism. That will only degrade your life, and make you lonely, anxious, unhealthy, deluded, fat and sad.

Own your sovereignty of body and mind. Get outside – and live!

And remember:

“Only dead fish follow the stream.”

   – Swedish folk saying

JTR,

August 18, 2021

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/amygdala-hijack#takeaway

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