Archive for oligarchy

Covid-19 In Perspective: An Open Letter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2020 by jtoddring

The following letter I wrote and sent out in response to a virtual town hall meeting this evening with our local MP and a local environmental group. I am sharing it here because I think it summarizes a contextualization of covid-19 and other major issues which is critically and urgently needed. Our society is facing a pandemic loss of perspective, above all, I would argue, and that is the most deadly and dangerous pandemic of all.

The ruling business elite don’t care about issues of public health, justice, inclusion, peace, or the environment. They have proven by their actions that they care about power and wealth for themselves, above all; and everything else, and everyone else, is expendable. That means, we must remove them from power.

That means, we either address and resist the “new normal” which is corporate-run authoritarianism, and restore constitutional democracy, or we can forget about all our dreams of justice, health, or environmental protection, for they will be nothing but dreams, while our world is destroyed, along with our freedoms, while the middle class, the poor and the Earth continue to be devoured by the billionaire plutocrats who now rule the world. This is the new normal we must face, or we can forget about having any claim to be living in the real world, much less changing it.

This is not dystopian fiction. This is the real world. This is happening. We need to snap the people out of their stupor – and now.

JTR,
June 23, 2020

 

Hello to all,

Thank you to all for your time and thoughts. Philip, I am glad to hear your support for local economies, local farms, and buy-local and buy-Canadian programs and economic shifts, in particular, I want to say firstly. Rebuilding local, regional and national economies is critical; as is the greening of our economy, communities and society. But that is not what I want to focus on in this open letter.

I want to address something that will present a difficult conversation for a number of people, and I am glad to hear that you, Philip, emphasize that such conversations are essential to have in a mature and democratic society. They are.

My views are expressed more systematically, at length and in depth in my first two published books, and in more than 450 published essays. But I will summarize briefly here, echoing what others have mentioned in terms of the need for justice and balance.

Briefly, we cannot separate issues of power, from issues of justice, peace, health, or the environment. If we wish for positive change in any of these or other areas of our society, we must, most centrally, address issues of power.

That may sound vague at first, but what I am referring to is the growing hyper-concentration of power in society – and a corresponding crisis of democracy – particularly over the past 50 years of neoliberalism and corporate globalization. The great sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote of this decades ago, in his monumental work, The Power Elite. Noam Chomsky has written of it extensively. See Necessary Illusions, Year 501, Class Warfare, and, Requiem For The American Dream. Peter Phillips also wrote a definitive work recently, called Giants: The Global Power Elite.

In short, the richest 1%, and actually the richest fraction of a percent, have acquired vast, unaccountable, oligarchic power; and democracy, constitutional rule, and freedom, are dying as a result.

Swiss systems analysis of the global economy, US ivy league studies, the best geopolitical, economic and sociological analysis, and even the Financial Times of London, have confirmed it: democracy is dying – that is, being destroyed – while we are being driven, at break-neck speed, into a new empire of global neo-feudal corporate oligarchy.

Now, in 2020, we have gone from a world which former Canadian Governor General John Ralston Saul described as being effectively ruled by the corporate elite at Davos – which he called, “the new royal court”, and “the new Palace of Versailles”, and which the world’s leading business journal called, “the de facto world government” – to an openly authoritarian society.

In response to a crisis, out of fear, we have imported the authoritarian social model of China – or allowed it to be foisted upon us. That should be deeply concerning to us all. Why is this not being discussed?

If we are concerned with human health, then we must: 1. halt environmental pollution and degradation, and stop climate change; 2. end poverty and malnutrition; 3. educate people on healthy diets and lifestyles; and most obviously, 4. fully fund health care in Canada – and restore the funding which has been repeatedly slashed over the past four decades, by both Liberal and Conservative governments, by the two dominant parties and our political elites, who frankly care so deeply about our health, that they had to massively de-fund and undermine our public health care system.

(It is called blatant hypocrisy, of course. Or sheer deceit. And of course, the situation is similar or worse in the UK and the US, regarding elite concerns for public health, where “austerity” programs likewise rule, while the feeding trough for the elite is bottomless.)

More deeply and more centrally, if we do not address the growing hyper-concentration of power, and the new normal of authoritarianism, then we will have no functioning democracy with which to address any other issue: including health, peace, justice, economics, or the environment.

What will you do, most fundamentally, to uphold constitutional rights and freedoms, as well as democracy, in a time when they are being swept aside in the name of security?

Let us remember the wise words, “Those who are willing to sacrifice a little liberty for a little security, deserve neither, and will lose both.” And we are now losing both, make no mistake.

And by the way, this statement and question is directed to all of us, and not only our local Member of Parliament.

This question, to me, is absolutely fundamental; and it is shocking, I must say, and deeply disturbing, that this most fundamental issue is being brushed aside. This must change, and immediately.

Respectfully,
J. Todd Ring,

Author of:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium

and

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

 

Church & State, Business & State: Restoring Freedom & Democracy, Before They Are Completely Devoured By Medical Martial Law, Or By Any Other Means

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2020 by jtoddring

 

In the near future, we could very easily see the kind of totalitarian society with a theocratic face that Margaret Atwood warned us about in, A Hand Maid’s Tale – but whether we do or we don’t, we already have what Chomsky has described (in January 2020) as a global dystopia, in a blending of the fascist-totalitarian nightmare worlds envisioned by Huxley and Orwell. It would seem that the majority of people, both spiritual and non-spiritual, or secular, are perfectly fine with that. This must change soon, or we will face great horrors ahead.

Separation of church and state, in light of this recent development, could be viewed as the least of our worries. What we need is a separation of the crypto-fascist corporate elite from power. That is the crux of it. Nothing less will do.

Any honest or sensible assessment of the present conditions of the world in 2020 will confirm the obvious. The global corporate oligarchy, composed of a few hundred billionaires, primarily representing the big banks, Big Pharma and Big Tech, along with the political, military, “intelligence”, and technocratic elites who are their loyal minions, have effectively staged a very successful global fascist coup. Only the willfully ignorant and the deeply deluded can fail to see it. A sensible, and bold response, is urgently needed.

Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Thoreau show the way: it is mass non-violent civil disobedience, mass resistance, and a non-violent popular democratic revolution; or it is a form of mass slavery ahead, and a gulag for all who are not among the ruling elite – with liberty and justice for none, unless you are among the 0.1% ruling elite.

*

Imagine returning to a time, not that long ago, when emperors selected popes and popes selected emperors, in a constant struggle for power; a time where war lords and the landed aristocracy, emperors, clerics, and the new moneyed aristocracy, struggled for centuries to see who would rule the land. That was our history for the better part of 2,000 years. Few would like to return to it.

Today we have a simpler, but greater danger facing us. The war lords, emperors and landed aristocracy have effectively merged under the new global empire of banker rule – facilitated by Big Tech, Big Pharma, and the military industrial security complex, with the liberal, social democratic and conservative political elite acting as loyal vassals and servants to their new neofeudal overlords.

We are in great danger, but the people are distracted and confused, and are terrified of the latest bogey man, what is essentially the flu; and they are busy sacrificing their freedom, in the name of an illusory security – and are about to lose both freedom and security as a result.

*

We could sleep soundly at night, comforted by the fact that the new global corporate empire prefers an unofficial state religion of nihilistic narcissism, escapism, materialism and consumerism – along with the obvious worship of power, authority, the elite, control and obedience, fame, money, cultish group think, conformism, technocracy and the state. I would not recommend such naive complacency, however, for a number of reasons. The price of both democracy and freedom truly is eternal vigilance – and we are losing both, right now.

The separation of church and state is an important principle to uphold, it should be remembered. And it means not only that the church cannot control the state, but also, that the state cannot control the church. Thus, the separation of church and state is vital to freedom of religion, and also to freedom of thought, belief, conscience and expression.

With the accelerating concentration of power in society under corporate rule over the past 50 years, which is coming to fruition now in the full merger of business and the state – which, as Mussolini said, is corporatism, and the proper definition of fascism – all principles of constitutional rule and limited government are being shattered as we speak, so anything is possible now, from theocracy to prison labour camps; although the latter is more likely, and likely more dangerous.

We must now re-assert the founding principles of constitutional democracy and freedom, or else live in a “new normal” that is an Orwellian police state, and a global fascist-corporate regime.

To do that, a number of things are needed. Most essential is to break up the Global 100 biggest corporate empires, including the big banks, Big Pharma, and Big Tech. Separation of business oligarchies and the state is imperative, or our future will be bleak, and we will indeed be slaves.

JTR,

May 29

Musings On History: Goths, the Fall of Rome, and the Future of Humanity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2020 by jtoddring

 

I love a good mystery. Who were the Goths? Where did they come from? How did they manage to sack Rome and defeat the most powerful empire the world had ever seen? What is their true cultural, mythological, spiritual, philosophical and ideological history? 

(Genetic history means little, since we are all close family, in reality; and there is more genetic variation in a single family line than between supposed “races”. But cultural history diverges widely, and that is significant, to say the least. It is as significant as it is open-ended, and it is completely open-ended. Racism, xenophobia, eugenics and Social Darwinism can all end here, should end here, if we are sane. They have no valid basis in reality, but are based only in delusion.)

How was a supposed Gothic-Germanic-Scandinavian mythology used and abused by fascists and Nazis, and corrupted and perverted into a dark poison? (There’s a good question for my anthropology and history scholar friends.) How are they really related to the Germanic peoples, and possibly to Scandinavia, or to Germanic and Norse mythology? To the Vikings and other raiders? 

A bigger mystery is this…

Every nation was a raider nation, from pre-Hellenic, Homeric Greece, through the “great” Roman Empire, the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English empires, etc., to the US empire, and the new global corporate empire, which at present, and for the moment, rules the world. 

But five thousand years of conquest mentality, empires, raiders, looting, rape and pillage, narcissistic egomania and infantile grandiosity, slaughter and slavery, is enough. We can do better.

The bigger mystery is this. Why do the people settle for so little?

Dream big. A better world is entirely possible, if we want it.

This could be the last empire, if we want it to be. We can be free, if we choose it.

All empires fall. What we need now, is an end to empire itself.

JTR,

May 18, 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 

“Unprecedented” – Reality vs Delusion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2020 by jtoddring

Every day, 25,000 people die of hunger. Every day, more than 25,000 people die from degenerative diseases caused by toxins, pollution, obesity and poor diets. Nobody is sounding the alarm about these two killers, which dwarf all others. Madness has gripped the world.

Every 100 days, over 5,000,000 people die of poverty and hunger, junk food and obesity. Nobody notices. But a virus kills 200,000 in the same time span, with less than 1/20th of that death toll, and it’s a global panic and hysteria, with a fascist global lockdown, a police state invoked, and global house arrests, as everyone chants the cultish chorus, “unprecedented!”

Unprecedented madness, is what it is. What’s next, the Inquisition?

Watch for it.

Every year a tragic event happens. 300,000 to 600,000 people die globally of the flu. Most are very old, very ill, or immune compromised, but it is still tragic, of course. In 2020 fewer people have died of a novel coronavirus (a new form within the cold and flu family of viruses) than from previous years’ typical flu deaths.

Let me repeat that. Fewer people have died from this new flu, or flu-like respiratory infection, to be precise, called covid-19, than have died this year from the flu, and fewer than the number that die every year from the flu.

More people die in a typical year, year after year, from the flu – yet we did not invoke a global fascist police state, mass global house arrests, sweeping unconstitutional powers for governments, and suspension of constitutional rights and freedoms for the people, in response to the previous 300,000 years of human history, when we faced typically higher death rates from the annual flu.

Simple logic and common sense fails the people, and the intellectuals, alike. Nobody fact checks? Reason has fled them.

Clearly the numbers don’t add up. This is not about public health. It is a power grab, with an extremely exaggerated relatively minor health issue used as the propaganda narrative to justify and cover it up. It is staring us in the face, like the emperor with no clothes, but people can’t see it before their eyes. They are being severely brainwashed, virtually every second, by a truly unprecedented global propaganda campaign. And it is working with unprecedented success.

If the business and political elite were truly interested in human health, the US would already have a universal public health care system; Britain would not be trashing the NHS; Big Pharma would be strictly regulated and monitored, not put in the driver’s seat; poverty, hunger and malnutrition would be eliminated; war would be stopped; toxic pesticides and other pollutants would be banned; and the fast food and processed food industries would be heavily taxed, to drive up their prices, deter their food-like products from being consumed, and fund mass public education on what truly healthy food and lifestyles look like – to make just a partial and incomplete list.

None of that is happening. This is not about human health. It’s about elite power. The Davos set wants it all.

What is unprecedented is a billionaire, Bill Gates, Mr. Pharma, and his billionaire pals at Davos, using their financial control over the World Health Organization and world governments, along with their financial control – or in most cases direct ownership – of the media, to drive an agenda of mass global house arrest, shutting down the bulk of the global economy, knowing it would demolish the global economy, which would cause vast suffering for the 99% and a feeding frenzy and boon for the 1%, and would cause a Great Depression of unprecedented proportions, in what is an act of global economic warfare of the 0.1% against the great majority of the people.

(How are these things not obvious to everyone – not even to the intelligensia?!)

A virus did not do that. A virus did not demolish the global economy. The Davos plutocrats and their political minions took a wrecking ball to the global economy, in order to force a mass restructuring, knowing it would cause mass global death and suffering, but would be a further vast transfer of wealth and power to themselves.

Some concern for health that is.

Yet the bleating flock and intelligentsia alike, all blame a virus for the economic wreckage – which is about to make the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis look like a child’s picnic – when it was self-evidently a planned demolition of the global economic system. That is a stunning, unprecedented level of propaganda success.

Psyops success of unprecedented proportions, is what that is. No wonder Bill Gates looks like a grinning, gloating ghoul. It’s a feeding frenzy for the super-rich, and a self-coronation, as the 99% are gutted, and liberty and democracy are destroyed.

There is nothing unprecedented about this “pandemic” – other than the hysteria and fascist measures surrounding it. We must get clear on these basic facts.

Our minds have been high-jacked by a psyops campaign of social engineering designed quite simply to consolidate the power of the ruling corporate elite and their political and technocratic minions, and to destroy democracy, freedom and constitutional rule in order to accomplish that goal.

“Unprecedented”. If I hear one more blinkered unthinking idiot utter that word, I think I’m going to throw up on their shoes. What’s unprecedented is global fascism, sheep!

Check the numbers. Compare the death toll to the flu, which is still a higher death toll. The mindlessness and unquestioning blind obedience to authority are almost unfathomable. And yes, it is disgusting, and vastly more dangerous than any germ.

*

There are two great dangers in human society above all. They are: the truly grave dangers posed by power mongers, and by obedient sheep – and the sheep are by far the greater danger. It is the collusion of cowardice which endangers us above all else.

The power hungry few are only dangerous because the docile majority yield up their power to them. Otherwise, the power hungry never rise to anything more than petty tyrants, swindlers and thugs. 

All the truly great dangers are avoided if the people simply embrace their power. But they are taught to mistrust themselves, and that is the root of the problem.

What is unprecedented now, in 2020, is the extent to which the great majority have surrendered and abandoned, and disavowed, their own common sense and basic intelligence, and have blindly succumbed to a propaganda narrative designed to brazenly swindle them of all their remaining power, democracy, rights and freedom, in order to turn the oligarchs in Davos, Wall Street, Brussels, Basel and the City of London into God-kings. That is unprecedented, and that is extraordinarily dangerous.

We are now facing a second wave of fascism; but this time, the people are asleep. That is unprecedented, and that is gravely dangerous. That must change very soon, or freedom and democracy, all our rights and liberties, and the future of our species, will be effectively terminated. 

Think! Think for yourself, and question everything. Then unite the people, and embrace your power; and as Bob Marley said, stand up for your rights.

*

In 2020, the vast majority of people, politicians, governments, bureaucrats, health authorities, business and political leaders, media pundits, academics, activists and intellectuals, across the political spectrum and around the world, have swallowed an elite-manufactured propaganda narrative that has severely misled, deceived, deluded, manipulated, and virtually lobotomized them all, save for a handful of exceptions, dissidents and rebels.

I have never seen anything remotely like it, nor did I expect dissidents, intellectuals and activists to be so easily neutered, intellectually eviscerated, and rendered political eunuchs, serfs and slaves, all spouting the official party line.

The intellectuals of the centre, left and right would be highly prescient, alert and aware, forward-thinking and well-informed as to what is happening and what is unfolding – if this was 1970. But it’s not.

We’ve had 50 years of a slow-motion neoliberal global corporate fascist coup, and it is now coming to completion. But the intelligensia, the left, and the people in general, remain oblivious, as if this was 1970, 1980, or even 1990 or 2000. It is not. This is end game. And the people had better wake up very soon, including their popular “leaders”, or we are doomed to slavery under neofeudal global fascist corporate rule.

Rouse the people, and their leaders, now. The hour is late, and liberty, democracy, and the people, are under full frontal attack.

Know your enemy, and know yourself, and you will be victorious in a thousand battles, said Sun Tzu, the unrivaled master of strategy. Well, it would appear that the people do not understand themselves, for they do clearly do not trust themselves, and have no confidence, but bow down before the elite, and roll over like trained poodles. Nor do they or their popular leaders and intellectuals understand the enemy. That too, is undeniably clear.

The only enemies, in truth, are ignorance, greed and hate. But, that being said, there are opponents: individuals and groups who stand in the way of a better, freer, greener, more just, and yes, healthier world. The principle enemy in that sense, far and away, and with no comparisons, is the ruling oligarchy or cabal of corporate elites, and their servile political minions, dupes and hirelings. And the business elite, the plutocrats, are led by a cabal of their own, mainly bankers, Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Tech, who are truly sociopathic, and who are quite simply fascist: they are in love with power. This is nothing new; nor is it particularly surprising. It is, however, extremely dangerous.

To under-estimate the global power elite now would be disastrous – in a tragically unprecedented, cataclysmic, and horrific way. But that is precisely what the people, and their leaders and intellectuals, are busy doing. Never before have they been in greater danger; and never before have they failed to recognize or understand the real danger, so thoroughly and completely.

Wake them now.

Echoing and accepting the elite narrative, that a virus caused a global lockdown, and a virus destroyed the economy, hands them victory in their fascist coup by propaganda war. Stop handing your slavers their power! You are imprisoning yourselves.

What would Jefferson, Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. say to us now? I am sure they would say, “What are you waiting for? Unite the people, and stand!”

JTR,
May 3, 2020

Post-Script:

The left better wake the fuck up, to put it starkly and most frankly. Here is a prime example. Ann Pettifor, along with Michael Hudson, Ellen Brown, Max Keiser and a few others, clearly understands finance, banking, money and economics, at least to a high degree. She clearly does not understand politics, and, like most intellectuals, and the great majority of the people, radically misunderstands what is going on with coronavirus 2020. This is what is truly dire – not a germ, not even elite power games. Good-hearted Ann needs to go back to square one and understand politics, sociology, class, and above all, the systems dynamics and machinations of the global power elite. Most intellectuals are failing utterly in terms of grossly and dangerously misunderstanding what is going on with the corona event, so she is not alone. She illustrates my point perfectly here:

Ann Pettifor on Coronavirus Capitalism – YouTube

See also:

Peter Hitchens: We’re destroying the nation’s wealth – and health

Piers Robinson – Geopolitics & Empire Podcast

Medical Martial Law – The Corbett Report

The Boiler Room with TruthStream Media

21st Century Wire

Global Research

Giants: The Global Power Elite – Peter Phillips

The New Rulers Of The World – John Pilger

The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

and

Gerald Celente – The Herd Mentality

along with some of my other essays:

Importing From China: A Virus? Or A Totalitarian Social Model?

Any Enemy Will Do

Sinking All Ships

Geopolitics 2020

The Death and Rebirth of Democracy

Flash-Drive Revolution

And more than a dozen others on my blog on this topic.

Never surrender. It ain’t over ’till it’s over.

And download, save and share all of these references. Censorship is rising fast.

Cutting through the crap, with Matt Taibbi

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

Along with John Pilger, Abby Martin, & the handful of honest journalists left standing, I love Matt Tabbi. Here he sums up what’s wrong with politics & the media, in a few short lines.

“Klobuchar is a pure distillation of “electability,” i.e., a Washington reporter’s idea of what a Midwesterner finds charming. She isn’t funny, but her tireless marketing of her funniness matches the reportorial concept of what a “sense of humor” is in politics.

Her ability to speak at length without revealing deep ideological belief is also prized by our kind. This is what Washington for decades told people they wanted, instead of health care, peace, job security, etc.”

Perfect summary.

Contemporary neoliberal/neoconservative politics – two wings of the same plutocracy:

All BS and PR, hiding the ugly face of a crypto-fascist, deeply corrupt and authoritarian globalist corporate oligarchy.

Yep.

Now, what are we gong to do about it?

JTR,

April 30, 2020

See also (among other important works):

Brain Wash – Perlmutter

Manufacturing Consent – Herman and Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Chomsky

Data Trash – Kroker

And the writings of Matt Taibbi, Piers Robinson, Orwell, Huxley and Thoreau

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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