Archive for authoritarianism

Covid-1984: The Worst Of Both Worlds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2020 by jtoddring

With covid-1984, which is a virus that is statistically as dangerous as the common flu, we have taken extreme, draconian, authoritarian measures. In short, we have dangerously and vastly over-reacted, and in doing so, we have combined the worst of both worlds: medieval and modern.

If we’re going to go medieval, let’s do it intelligently, at least. We can have freedom, democracy, constitutional rights, plus culture & charm. Instead, we have a gulag and police state, corporate monoculture, and the Inquisition. Brilliant.

So, we’re taking the worst of the medieval period, and combining it with the worst of the modern period. Isn’t that kind of backward from what any sane person should want? I’d say so.

Time for a change.

JTR,

May15, 2020

Distance Yourself From Evil, Not People

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2020 by jtoddring

The Boycott Big Tech Movement Begins Here

First rule: Question everything, and think for yourself.

Second rule: Don’t support your slavers. (Gandhi, MLK and Thoreau would understand. It’s time for mass civil disobedience.)

Nothing is free. If you want to say no to Big Brother, you have to pay for better tech that itself says no to Big Brother. That means boycotting Big Tech. It’s a transition we need to make. Start by ditching Google. Then Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Android….

Marco Polo is worth looking into, as well. (A video calling service) They refuse to use annoying ads, and more importantly, they refuse to sell client data or to be part of the new global surveillance state. 

Also of note: There is a new tech company making sleek black phones, tablets and laptops, which are not only built to last three times longer, but are built from the kernel up to be deeply resistant to the new global surveillance apparatus. Sorry the name escapes me at the moment. See the excellent podcast, Geopolitics & Empire, and you’ll find it; along with an extremely important interview with Robert Epstein on why boycotting Big Tech is imperative (my extrapolation).

See also, My Seven Simple Steps, by Robert Epstein, for further resistance to Big Brother.

The MAGATS – Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter, and the “social media” giant Farcebook – are all deeply embedded and eager partners with the new global corporate police state. We need to begin an exodus away from them, an intelligent social distancing campaign that brings people together, face to face, and in groups for rallies and protests, meetings, conferences and blockades, under freedom of travel, speech and assembly, and distance ourselves from the Big Tech tools of the corporate police state. Now that would be…pardon me, will be…intelligent social distancing. Distance yourself from evil – not from people.

“Social distancing” doesn’t work. The science indicates 27 feet is needed. Six feet is useless – unless you want to sow panic and fear, and divide and conquer the people, which of course is the elite-driven objective, which the lemmings blindly obey.

Masks don’t work, as even the WHO admitted. They do however cut off oxygen to the body and brain, lowering immune resistance as well as functional intelligence – which partly explains the mass insanity and loss of ability to think critically or to use basic common sense reasoning.

Mass quarantine, which is mass house arrest, doesn’t work, as Sweden and Taiwan have proved. In fact, it is causing alienation and economic devastation to soar, which will, if continued, result in surging poverty, sickness and death.

Moreover, this is not the Plague. The global death toll from covid, a new form of the cold and flu family, is under 300,000, while annual death tolls from the flu are 300,000-700,000.

Basic math, anyone?

Think for yourself.

Check the facts. Question everything. You are being lied to. Mass hysteria has taken over.

The covid crisis needs to be understood for what it is: a Davos billionaire oligarch-driven agenda of: 1. Mass distraction, 2. Divide and conquer, 3. Economic warfare, that is, class warfare, of the 1% vs the 99%, and 4. A pretext for a power grab, and the final stage of the 50 year process of neoliberalism, which has been the corporate take-over of society on a global scale, and the merger of business and the state, which as Mussolini said, is the proper definition of fascism.

Where is the left? I hope you are starting to get this right, or will soon. This is a corporate fascist coup.

Of course, to frame the issues in this way will put the 60-80% of people who have become complete lemmings, into total panic, hyperbolic mouth-foaming fervour, and vitriolic hysteria; but it simply must be done.

I’ve explained these issues countless times. Read my blog essays if anything here is surprising or alarming. It certainly should not be. And I am not willing to repeat myself ad nauseum.

The propaganda war is beginning to fail. People are asking questions, at last, and are waking up. The mouth-frothing, screaming, self-righteous, deeply hypocritical defenders of the “new normal” of pseudo-medical fascism, are losing. Keep questioning. Keep speaking the truth. Keep pressing the facts over hyperbole. 

Saddam Hussein did not have WMDs. A giant lie launched a war causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. Now we face mass distortions that will kill millions and enslave billions, if we don’t cut through the illusions, distortions, propaganda, hysteria and lies.

Choose solidarity and caring *with* freedom; or choose virtual lobotomy, and slavery to a brutal new Orwellian order. There is no third choice, other than in fantasy and delusion.

Remember what Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Sane, mature, confident people can admit when they were wrong. Insane, childish, petty, and weak-minded people cannot.

JTR,

May 10, 2020

Post-Script:

Privacy is a misnomer. The entire issue has been mislabelled. Freedom from surveillance and manipulation is the big issue. Vastly more important than privacy is that we don’t cooperate with our slavers: the new global corporate fascist police state. Just say no to Big Brother. See My Seven Simple Steps for important tips, as a starting place. #BoycottBigTech! #BoycottBigBrother 

Lessons In Liberty, Democracy, and Eternal Vigilance

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

Here are some important lessons in liberty, democracy and civil rights:

From the eloquence of Captain Jean-Luc Picard

(Too bad our politicians, pundits and intellectuals typically lack such uncommon common sense)

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the day we defeated fascism in Europe, 75 years ago, we should be aware, though few are, that we are facing fascism again.

The Western oligarchs of Davos, the billionaire class that effectively rule the world, are consolidating their power. Few realize yet what is going on. They had better realize it soon.

Solidarity must be balanced with freedom, or we will not have a loving, compassionate society, but a brutal and ruthless gulag, where all life has no value, but the state is the sole value.

Here are some eloquent, extremely important words, on what it means to be free, and what it takes to stay that way.

JTR,

May 8, 2020

 

“That’s how it starts. The road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think.”
– Captain Picard

“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” – Captain Jean-Luc Picard

“The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.” – Captain Jean-Luc Picard

“We think we’ve come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches – it’s all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again.” – Captain Picard

“Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.”
– Captain Picard

“She, or someone like her, will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear, in the name of righteousness. Vigilance: that is the price we have to continually pay.”
– Captain Picard

 

(From, The Drum Head)

The end of Bernie, the beginning of the Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2020 by jtoddring

I was and am a supporter or Bernie Sanders, like Ron Paul before him, because he truly represents the interests of constitutional democracy, and the rule of the people, by the people, for the people, versus the Wall Street/Davos/Brussels/City of London oligarchy and their minions in the military industrial security complex. But it appears he is now politically dead – by political suicide, it would seem. That doesn’t mean the revolution is over. It means it has just begun.

Matt Taibbi wrote, on February 8, right after Iowa:

“Coinciding with the flatulent end of the party’s impeachment gambit, and the related news that Donald Trump is enjoying climbing approval ratings, the blue party was exposed as an incompetent lobby for doomed elites, dumb crooks with nothing left to offer but their exit.”

So it seemed. But the bipartisan corporate fascist coup and entrenchment of the oligarchy could have been predicted – and was by a few people, myself included.

It’s amazing how long ago it seems that a populist democrat was on the verge of defeating the establishment elite – a mere three months and another world away. It’s also amazing to see how swiftly fascism can be established (even to fanfare!). The corporate oligarchy was not ready to let go of power. (Closet authoritarians and oligarchs always have a plan B. We should too.)

But remember this: it ain’t over ’till it’s over.

JTR,

April 30, 2020

Video Calls: Communication In A Hyper-Connected & Deeply Dissociated Society

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2020 by jtoddring

Thoughtful commentators to the Smithsonian and BBC recently “recommended limiting video calls to only those that are necessary. Petriglieri adds that positioning the video screen to your side may make it feel like you’re in a nearby room instead of under scrutiny. University of Québec psychologist Claude Normand tells National Geographic that turning off your camera and, if possible, taking the call by phone while going for a walk might be more productive.”

Re-read Orwell and Huxley now. We are being conditioned to accept the all-pervasive panopticon telescreen of Orwell’s dark vision, and a new global technocratic corporate police state. Resist. Seek the truth. Speak the truth. And disconnect in order to more truly connect.

We are increasingly disconnected, alienated, manipulated, and dissociated from reality, by our society’s norms; which are, increasingly, severely unhealthy for body and mind, for the body politic, and for our countries and our communities; as well as being increasingly authoritarian, crypto-fascist, technocratic and neofeudal. In this context, unplugging from the digital-electronic mesh is priority one, along with reflection, quiet time, reading, and reconnection with one another, nature, our bodies, hearts and spirits, on a deeper, more authentic and more richly meaningful level.

When possible, I would urge, we prioritize communications this way:

Some people will say the following is impractical or idealistic; but note that I said these should be choice rankings, not imperatives that can never be bent or strayed from.

We can make compromises. But we should also keep a clear set of values, goals, and guidelines in mind; otherwise, we succumb to the global race to the cultural and sociological, health and psychological bottom, where we will be nothing but hollow dead shells, and lifeless, mindless drones, in a neofeudal technocratic gulag society that would make Orwell shudder.

We are certainly well on our way to such a dark destiny. We need to change course, or further down will be our path.

*

First choice: face to face communication – in an office, board room, classroom or cubicle, if you must; but far better, when possible, outdoors, in a clean, green, quiet, natural setting. This is often achievable, with planning, if we value it enough to simply choose it.

Second choice: by typed or hand written letter.

Third choice: email – with courtesy, warmth, respect, full sentences, maybe even decent grammar.

Fourth choice: digital text or messaging – but please, with warmth, respect, full sentences, and attentiveness: not manic hyperactivity and inability to concentrate, focus, or show basic human warmth, civility or common courtesy.

Variable choice: Telephone is sometimes preferable to some people, over any of the above, at least for certain times. That may be fine for some people, but not all. It may further be deemed a necessary compromise at times; but face to face remains best; and often, letters and email are also better than the phone. (Corded, wired landlines are best, because evidence has been accumulating that artificial emfs, like artificial chemicals, do indeed increase health risks and cause harm. Speaker phones are second best.)

Last choice: Generally speaking, though there may be exceptions of course, video calls are worst – for stress, for health, and for human alienation and dissociation, despite surface appearances and corporate marketing PR.

Disconnect to reconnect, I say – at least sometimes, and much, much more than is the current norm.

Two hours a day, maximum, would be a wise limit on staring into any and all electronic screens – including cell phones, computers, video games and TV. Beyond this level, we are unquestionably degrading and decaying our bodies, our health, our relationships, our spirits and our minds, and are sowing dissociation and disconnection from one another, from nature, from our deeper selves, and from reality.

Dissociation, disconnection, alienation and division are poisoning us and our society, mentally, spiritually, politically and socially. We must reverse this trend, or it truly is a dark age ahead.

Remember, as the brilliant philosopher and social psychologist Erich Fromm said, “Normal only exists in relation to a profoundly abnormal norm.”

When the norm becomes toxic, it is time to change the norm.

JTR,

April 30, 2020

 

See also:

Brain Wash – Perlmutter

Manufacturing Consent – Herman and Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Chomsky

Data Trash – Kroker

And the writings of Orwell, Huxley and Thoreau

Work and Workaholism: Puritanism – and, A Day Off

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2020 by jtoddring

A few thoughts aloud, for anyone who might be interested – with a little philosophical, historical and political reflection in the midst:

This morning when I got up, feeling exhausted again from the on-going 30-year stint of sleeplessness and insomnia, I thought, I should take a day off – considering I pretty much never take a day off.

(Some people imagine that writers and philosophers sit around all day staring at their navels. Obviously they have never lived the life.)

But, despite my good intentions, shortly after mid-day I realized that my, admittedly joyous and quiet, “day off”, had consisted, so far, of readings in philosophy, politics and history, and the writing of three new essays. Then, as usual, I feel guilty for not accomplishing more. I’m not boasting – I am complaining to myself gently, that I don’t know how to stop or take a break, even when faced with physical and mental exhaustion. This is not a virtue – it’s simple idiocy.

I’m as stubborn as a mule, as the saying goes (though I hear that is unfair and inaccurate with regard to these noble, gentle beasts). And I realize again, what I have realized recently (we are a mystery to one another, by and large, and even to ourselves, at least for a long time): that I am indeed, and always have been, a workaholic.

Again, that’s nothing to be proud of. It is sheer stupidity. My Puritan up-bringing and cultural indoctrination – which everyone north of Paris and the Mexican border, and from Switzerland and Germany, at least, West to the Pacific Ocean, has been condemned with from birth for some few hundred years now – is hard to shake; even with decades of highly conscious efforts!

(I have gotten far better at life balance, but it is a definite work in progress. From purism and ascetic minimalism, and being exceedingly in my head and always lost in thought, to trying to balance that out and in turn becoming, unintentionally, a certified bon vivant, and then back again more moderately in the other direction, and finding, finally and at last, a bit of a better balance…but still definitely working it out…)

And so I say to myself, as a reminder (and to anyone who feels it may apply to them – and I would say it applies to virtually everyone in the North-West quadrant of the globe called The West, and more recently, The North, and to most urbanites outside this capitalist-Puritan empire’s heartland – and to the Japanese and Koreans, as well.):

First of all, unplug. Take a break, at least once in a while. Then…

Go outside! Remember what it is like just to sit and watch the birds and squirrels, the leaves and the grass, the trees in the wind, the sky and the clouds, and to simply be alive. And at least for a few minutes a day, sit or walk outdoors, with no music, no podcasts, no reading, no talking – just silence and nature.

Breathe. Just sit and breathe – for five minutes, at least. Do nothing but breathe, and pay attention to your breathe, as a focal point simply, letting your thoughts and your mind do whatever they like, but gently guiding them back to your breathe, every time they wander. Just sit (or walk) and breathe. And maybe smile as you do.

I am not joking, nor am I being pretentious. I am reminding myself to meditate daily – at least for five minutes, if not twenty minutes or an hour. It is simple, it is uncomplicated, it is something anyone can do, and it is powerful beyond all medicine, at least in the most important of ways: gradually, slowly, over time, grain by grain, it brings peace, calm, and clarity of mind, as well as openness of heart, and a simple joy of being alive. Just sit, and breathe. It is that simple.

Don’t over-complicate things. As my Swiss aunt liked to say, “Complicated works too.” But then, why choose complicated, when simple generally works better, or at least as well.

Take a walk in the forest (see Forest Bathing, if that inspires you, or the writings of Thoreau); or walk by the water – or at least around the block! (No headphones or earbuds, of course, preferably – if you possibly can be quiet for a few minutes, without distraction. Some people can’t. Or think they can’t. Fortunately, that I can do.)

Take a sauna, sweat-bath or steam – or a hot bath (ideally with Epsom salts).

Read a book for sheer pleasure – not out of duty, not for work, not even joyful seriousness (which is my normal reading), but sheer pleasure.

(A Wizard Of Earthsea, I have meaning to get to! Ah, how I love high fantasy, a la, Tolkien – and I love Ursula Le Guin!)

This corner of the world, which is Northern Europe and North America, north of the Mexican border, came, largely through a series of historical accidents (and brutal, genocidal conquest, followed by violent colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism) to dominate the globe for the past 500 years. (The declining relative power of the North-Western elite and their empire is now bringing a tectonic, fascistic, Orwellian, world-endangering power struggle into play, by the way, as some alert few have realized.)

That conquest mentality was a horrific mistake, as well as a horrific crime against humanity and nature. But the conquest began at home, we should realize. The mass of men, women and children in Europe, and in what became Canada and the United States, were first colonized, conquered, dominated and subjugated (incompletely and temporarily) by the ruling domestic elite, before that same elite sent them off to fight and die, to subjugate, colonize, conquer and dominate other peoples in other parts of the globe.

(The 99% great majority of the settler-colonial culture was being subjugated internally while its elite were busy with conquest, subjugation, slavery and genocide of the cultural “other” in the Americas, Africa and Asia. But the internal subjugation of the many by the few began first, and was necessary for the latter to occur at all. In short, we were pawns. We still are pawns. But no free man or woman is content to live as a pawn – much less as a pawn in some evil man’s game.)

The mechanisms of this foreign and domestic conquest and subjugation were, and remain: elitism in its various forms and its ideological rationalizations, subtle or overt authoritarianism, the sowing of fear, mistrust, paranoia, alienation and division, materialism and consumerism, the “manufacture of consent” and “necessary illusions”, along with thought control, PR and propaganda; and yes, Puritanism – and, not only a radically unbalanced way of life and approach to life, which arises from it, and a secretly self-loathing masochistic martyr complex and eagerness to be virtual slaves; along with a radical mistrust of nature, one another, and ourselves – which is the root of alienation, division, disconnection, dissociation and dualistic delusion, and is pure spiritual, intellectual, psychological, political and sociological poison.

This, among other things, is what we must unearth and exhume from our collective subconscious, this rattling skeleton, or rotting corpse, which not only haunts the world, but to a large degree controls, through insidiously, through stealth, the modern Western mind – up to and including the present day. By bringing it into the light of day, the light of consciousness, we strip it of its power; and thus, liberate ourselves, our societies, and our world: so that we can be free, and the world can indeed be born again.

And Thomas Paine was right: it is within our power to begin the world again.

As Arundhati Roy said,

“A better world is not only possible; it is already being born. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathe.”

Balance, re-connection, re-integration, re-examination, reflection, de-cluttering of the mind, simplifying of our lives and our approach – and with these things, and from these things, empowerment: this is what is needed now.

Time for a greater balance. We are too busy, yet, also put up with too much. We settle for too little. Bells and baubles and trinkets, distractions and entertainment, we have galore – we’re drowning in it. It is a sea of shiny, glittery sewage, and our world is drowning in it. But the things we need most, and which give our lives the greatest richness, meaning, and joy, we are impoverished in; or, as with liberty and democracy, and our basic human rights and freedoms, we are losing before our eyes.

We must now disconnect, in order to re-connect. Slow down, in order to re-balance. Do less, in order to regain a greater clarity, heart-centredness, and inner power. Then, begin again – with more power, more clarity, and more openness of heart; and all will be better, you can be assured.

At least, we can know this: lacking these things, and not taking time for such replenishing and re-focusing and re-connection, we can and will do less, and accomplish less – and will do it all with less clarity, and possibly with disastrous results, due to a lack of clarity.

Slow down, and sometimes, simply stop. Pause. Take a breath. The world will go on. Or it won’t. Being forever frenetically busy will not help anything. It will only cloud the issues, cloud the mind, and sow exhaustion and ill-health, while depriving your life of richness, meaning and joy – as well as many a great potential accomplishment.

Slow…down.

Breathe.

Life is not a race – no matter the conditions, or what is going on.

No matter the urgency, no matter the stakes: never hesitate, and never rush.

Remember the words of Rumi, and Emma Goldman:

“Ours is not a caravan of despair.”

And,

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

Amen, sister.

Moreover, if we do not slow down and find a better balance, our chances of success in anything important – including rescuing humanity from suicidal ecological destruction, or from slavery to the new global neofeudal corporate empire – will be slim.

Nourish yourself in body, spirit and mind. Slow down. And know when to take a break!

Peace.
JTR,
April 29, 2020

See also:

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and the Blade – Rianne Eisler

The Hero With A Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Psychotherapy East and West – Alan Watts

Choosing Reality – Allan Wallace

Stolen Continents – Ronald Wright

A Short History of Progress – Ronald Wright

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Max Weber

The Pathology Of Normalcy – Erich Fromm

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Walden, and On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de La Boetie

The speeches and writings of MLK and Gandhi

 

The Real Resistance: Lessons From History

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2020 by jtoddring

 

It does not require a majority to defeat tyranny and defend liberty, but only a small and dedicated minority – as we saw in the American and French Revolutions, and in the defeat of the first wave of fascism, which arose in the 1930’s (and was greatly loved and applauded by Western elites) and was defeated in WWII. We now face the second wave of fascism, though the sleep-walking great majority see it not.

Actually, this is the third wave of fascism. The second wave was installed by Washington and its allies around the world between 1944 and 2019 – the most obvious, or at least well-known example, being the CIA-backed coup in Chile, September 11, 1973, when democracy and freedom were destroyed, and the neoliberal corporate fascist police state of Augusto Pinochet was installed – which both brutalzed and effectively enslaved the people, and also destroyed the economy. (Sound familiar?)

Now, the Third World fascist model, having been perfected by Washington and its allies over the past 75 years, is being brought home. 

Don’t we all feel safer now? 

“We’re all in this together.”

Yes, lemmings, we all sing the joyous praises of our shackles and chains and mass house arrest, and sing the praises of the benign and all-saving aristocracy of the ruling oligarchy and crypto-fascist elite.

Orwell would shudder. Freedom and democracy are dying before our eyes, and as George Carlin and Jonathan Turley said, no one seems to care.

While it does not require a majority to defeat tyranny and to defend freedom, it does, however, require courage, and a spine – at least among a few. 

JTR,

April 29, 2020

See:

Piers Robinson – Geopolitics & Empire podcast

Robert Epstein – Geopolitics & Empire

America Has Created A Global Dystopia – Noam Chomsky, Scheer Intelligence

Necessary Illusions: Thought Control In Democratic Societies – Noam Chomsky

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

The Herd Mentality – Gerald Celente

The French Resistance and Vichy France – The Smithsonian (subject only: not exact title)

On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de La Boetie

Writings and speeches of Gandhi and MLK

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