Archive for politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JTR,
January 10, 2021

The Definition Of A Warrior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J. Todd Ring,

January 10, 2021

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

Rescuing Plato, Rescuing Ourselves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not just in theory, but in practice.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Act now.

J. Todd Ring,

January 3, 2021

Further Reading:

(A very short and incomplete list, naturally)

C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite

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

Peter Phillips, Giants: The Global Power Elite

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

John Perkins, The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman,

and, A Game As Old As Empire

Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Self

Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

Allan Wallace, Choosing Reality

Rianne Eisler, The Chalice and The Blade

Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom

Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom

Bertrand Russel, Roads To Freedom

and my own first two books:

Enlightened Democracy

and

The People vs The Elite

Whose Side Are You On?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2020 by jtoddring

It is very easy to not see the forest for the trees. In fact, it is nearly universal. For example, it took millennia before people broadly began to question whether certain genitalia naturally bequeathed social status and moral superiority, or whether such bias was simply a social habit, born of ignorance and causing great harm, imbalance, suffering, tyranny and poisoning of minds.

It took generations before people began to question whether slavery was an acceptable norm, or a pathology to be thrown off and overcome. It took further generations before people broadly began to question whether institutionalized racism was normal and acceptable, or was, to use a phrase of the great social psychologist Erich Fromm, an example of “a profoundly abnormal norm”, deserving of fierce resistance and contempt.

It took nearly 500 years before people widely began to question whether colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism, or their modern variants, “regime changes”, coups and “interventions”, are normal, natural, acceptable features of human society, or whether they are pathological manifestations of simple looting, pillaging, domination, aggression, hubris and greed.

(When Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged the West to impose sanctions of the Apartheid regime of South Africa in the 1980’s, when I was first in university, and the West refused, because their financial and economic interests went against such actions, Desmond Tutu stated flatly, “The West can go to hell.” There are times for intervention. When fascists were taking over Europe in WWII, I would say intervention was justified and necessary. But in general, and with only rare exceptions, unless the great majority of the people of a nation are openly and explicitly calling for international intervention, as in the case of South Africa under Apartheid, then any “regime change”, coup or intervention is, and should be viewed as, an act of aggression under international law; and is, and should be viewed as, a war crime, the highest crime, and a crime against humanity. In that light, the wars and coups in Vietnam, South East Asia, Afganistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Honduras, Bolivia and Venezuela, were war crimes, and the orchestrators should be punished as war criminals – not hung, as the was done after the Nuremburg Trials, since capital punishment needs to be universally abolished, but imprisoned for life, with no chance of parole. That is the severity of these crimes.)

Understanding our history is critical and vital. Understanding the present, is even more so. In the near future, we will look back in awe and regret, and in horror, at some of the things we blindly accepted as normal, or as “the new normal.” Fortunately, the awakening of humanity has accelerated exponentially, and continues to accelerate, unstoppably, I might add.

The fundamental questions are most important. One of them is, whose side are you on? And, are you really sure about that?

For myself, I would say that above all, I am on the side of truth. There is wisdom in the saying, The truth shall set you free. And in that spirit, I agree with America’s greatest philosopher, Henry David Thoreau: “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

But to clarify further, I will say this.

I am on the side of democracy, freedom, constitutional rights and constitutional rule, social justice – which means a compassionate society; equality, unity in diversity, environmental sanity, and peace. I am not a partisan, a careerist, a sectarian or an ideologue. I will support anyone, any group, or any government that is seriously committed to these principles and values; and I will criticize, and if necessary, passionately denounce and oppose, any and all who are not.

Above all, at this moment in human history, I am on the side of defending the Earth and the 99%, or more accurately, the 99.99%, against the ravages and predations of the 0.001% – the truly fascist billionaire oligarchs who now effectively rule the world. That makes me a dissident, a member of the real resistance, and a revolutionary, in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Zapata, Gandhi, Tommy Douglas, Lech Walesa, Rigoberta Menchu, Nelson Mandela and Thoreau, as a matter of practical and moral imperatives, and by sheer necessity. And I would urge all people everywhere, to consider where they stand, or if they stand at all, and to consider whose side they are truly on, and what it is they truly stand for.

The time to speak up, and to stand, is now.

J. Todd Ring,

December 7, 2020

Further Reading:

Murray Bookchin – The Ecology of Freedom

Rianne Eisler – The Chalice and The Blade

Joanna Macy – World As Lover, World As Self

Ronald Wright – Stolen Continents

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

Peter Phillips – Giants: The Global Power Elite

Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine

Vandana Shiva – Oneness vs The 1%

J. Todd Ring (myself) – Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite

A State of the World Address (In under two minutes)

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


It seems to me that the ecological crisis is at a critical stage, as is the war on democracy, with the billionaires and corporations having taken over the planet, and Davos, or the New Palace of Versailles, as John Ralston Saul called it, effectively ruling the world.


It would be good to talk about these things, and not take them lightly, or worse, avoid reality altogether. The fascists and power-mongers win if we are divided. That seems to be their principle strategy: disempower, distract, delude, demoralize and divide the people; eviscerate democracy, and concentrate all power in their hands – with a pretty face of benign authoritarianism (it is never benign) and with a thin veneer of pseudo-democracy to paper it over.

Co-ops are a big part of the answer. Democratizing the economy is key. Banning all private political “donations” – bribes, in honest terms – is also essential. That requires public funding of election campaigns, as is successfully done in some European countries. Breaking up the giant corporate empires, particularly in banking, Big Oil, Big Tech, Big Pharma and the media, is urgently needed, and must be done.

With an estimated $20 trillion sitting in the offshore bank accounts of the super-rich, and with an ecological crisis reaching extinction level, and five billion people living in poverty, a wealth tax is now both a practical as well as a moral necessity. What we need is not a 1%, or 3%, or 8% tax on great wealth, but a 90% tax on all personal wealth above $10 million. And for reasons of justice, as well as economic and social stability, the cancellation of debt is also required.

Likewise, if we have any compassion or moral decency, or common sense, or wish to survive, we should tax all personal income or profits above $1 million a year at 90%, and direct the enormous funds to the two great challenges of our time: eliminating poverty, and creating a truly green society that can survive, and not destroy itself.

I would say the problems in the world are to a large degree caused by both a personal failing – the power elite tend historically to be power-hungry and sociopathic – and also a systems problem: if we allow great concentrations of wealth or power, it results in the corruption of the elite – “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – and it results in abuses of power and in tyranny.

For that reason, people like Thomas Jefferson were wise to urge decentralized, grassroots participatory democracy, with strong safeguards regarding concentrations of power, as well as abuses of power, and strong protections for freedom and constitutional rights for all. What he missed was the need to systematically place checks and balances, and limits on concentrations of power, with regards to economic power, as well as political power. That has been our collective downfall world-wide. And of course, the power hungry elite cannot abuse power unless the people remain apathetic and distracted. This is the root of the problem. The people need to embrace their power. That is the heart of it.

Removing the business elite from their current position as de facto rulers of the world is the essential task – we must be clear on this – and the most urgent of all, followed by a renewal of constitutional democracy, and all that that entails, which I have outlined here and elsewhere.

Revolution is now necessary and unavoidable, if we wish to survive – Gandhian, by strategic necessity as well as moral choice. The power elite will not give up control freely. Along with raising awareness, which is always essential, strikes, boycotts, divestment, blockades and non-violent civil disobedience are now unavoidable and critical.

Remember, history is always happening now. And history is what we make of it.


J. Todd Ring,

November 29, 2020


Post-script:

See my first two published books, Enlightened Democracy, and The People vs The Elite, for detailed strategy, vision and analysis. (Both are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.) There are also more than 500 essays on my blog, on WordPress.


PPS:

A few of the most inspiring figures to my mind now, along with my greatest heroes, MLK, Gandhi, Tommy Douglas, Chomsky and Thoreau: Vandana Shiva, and Canadian constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati. They both echo exactly what I have been saying and writing for 30 years. They are worth listening to. Turn off the noise and distraction and fluff. Focus, read, reflect, listen, and speak up. The time for boldness is now.

A New Social Contract: The Parable of the Happy Kingdom

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 22, 2020 by jtoddring

A brief preamble: 

The old social contract, the last social contract, has clearly broken down. That was the New Deal, which was a compromise between the business elite and the 99%, which lasted between the late 1930s until the 1970s. The business elite, with increased global powers, decided in the 1960’s that they no longer wanted to compromise. (See Chomsky, The Crisis of Democracy.) They wanted all power for themselves – that is nothing new in history, other than its global scale. The deal was off, and the war on democracy became a full scale class war. 

Now we need a new social contract, since the liberal democratic model has failed, the Marxist-Leninist model has likewise failed; and the “new normal” of global, bi-partisan, technocratic corporate fascism is intolerable, to put it mildly, and is simply a new empire, ushering in a deeply dystopian world order, which must be flatly and firmly refused and rejected by the people.

A vision is necessary. The old models have failed, and are crumbling. The elite want to revive fascism as their solution. That will fail as well. We defeated the fascists before, and we will defeat them again. 

I have written extensively about visions for a better world, and have offered a manifesto for non-violent democratic revolution, in my first two published books: Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite, which I would frankly urge everyone to read. 

There is, however, a value to extremely concise manuscripts or treatises, however. It needs to be spelled out clearly and in brief, so that anyone and everyone cam understand what must be done. In that spirit, I offer this parable.

*

There was a kingdom that lived in peace, but which had only recently escaped from an almost unimaginably long period of suffering and turmoil.

In this happy kingdom, which was no longer a kingdom, but in name only, new immigrants were arriving daily, for it was rumoured far and wide that this was a glorious and wonderful place to be, and a great many now wished to live there. They people of the land could not take in all the people who wished to come and share their land, but they took in as many as they could, because they knew from long experience what it was like to suffer, and they refused to turn their backs on others who were not so fortunate as they had only recently become.

Daily the new immigrants were welcomed. And a typical morning went something like this.

What is your profession, your skill set, your trade?

I am a lawyer.

Right, then. The exit is to the left, the dungeon to the right. Take your pick….. Next!

On and on it went, few lawyers daring to arrive, hearing of closed doors to them in response to their trade. Prostitutes were let in, but not lawyers.

(Lawyers, the people had decided, were barred and banned, unless they forswore their former profession, because, it was rightly perceived, lawyers had a habit of over-complicating everything, with the result that the people’s minds were clouded and confused, leaving their common sense laid waste, such that they became easy prey to the schemes of evil men and evil  women. Klauss Schwabb and Christine Lagarde, remain in their now fortuitously recovered and vivid memory.)

Carpenters, farmers by the thousands, shipwrights, cabinet makers, cobblers, tailors, potters and bakers arrived and were welcomed, but lawyers were barred – and the irony of their term for refusal was not lost on them nor on the people.

Then one day, an old man arrived, almost unnoticed in the throng, long beard and quiet ways, he almost disappeared into the woodwork. But for his twinkling eyes and unusual long brown cloak, he was a most unremarkable man.

What is your profession, skill set, trade? Have you any skills that might make your immigration to this new country easier for you?

I am a philosopher, the old man said quietly, with a voice that sounded somehow like the melody of a mountain stream, though perfectly human and natural at the same time.

The attendant blinked.

Come with me. The king – the former king, that is, to be precise – wishes to see any who might clarify what went so wrong in the past, and for millennia, and which was only overcome here, in this little former kingdom, just recently, and in our lifetimes; so that we might avoid such troubles and such evils forevermore, or at least, as much as possible.

And the old man was thus taken to see the former king.

To the king, or former king, after the usual introductions and greetings and the necessary preamble, the old man said this.

The role of government is to protect the people from tyranny. In good times, the government is nearly invisible, yet there, like a trusted dog by the fire. In bad times, when great evils arise, then only does government become prominent in the lives of the people. And when the evils are driven back, and once again held at bay, then once again, the government becomes almost invisible, like a well-fed, sleepy hound, curled up at his master’s feet. For the people are always the true masters of themselves, and hence, of the government, which is but the servant of the people’s needs. 

When the government makes itself the master of the people, then the government has become the great evil it was designed to protect against; and so, must be banished, or put down, like a rabid dog who attacks his own family. Only then can peace arise again.

This downing of the dog, as the old ones in my realm have called it, this removal of a government which has betrayed the people by overstepping its bounds, and becoming the tyranny it was intended to protect against, is best done with non-violent means, for the dangers of violence, both in terms of evil echoes and ripples spreading through space and time and minds, and even in terms of a failure to successfully complete the task of downing the rabid dog of state, can never be overstated, and so, should be avoided. But the removal of such governments from power in such times of corruption of the government, is not only the right, but the moral duty of the people. It must be firm, swift, and unhesitating, decisive and unwavering, and complete.

When the peace is restored, and the tyrannical government is no more, then the principles of liberty, justice and peace can be restored. And the central principle of a peaceful society, and a just society, is this: freedom and compassion are the two central values which must always be balanced and upheld. If either is lacking, then the society will surely and inevitably descend into madness, turmoil, tyranny and decay.

If you want to know how great evils arose in the past, this is how: the balance was lost, and forgotten. 

If you want to know how great evils are banished and prevented; and peace, and justice, are restored and maintained, it is not so complicated, but it does require eternal vigilance: you must balance freedom and compassion, and never let anyone fool you into believing that the one can be sacrificed for the other; for when either is lost, then madness, turmoil, tyranny and decay will invariably arise, and are guaranteed.

You seek great tomes, great wordy treatises, great, expansive, flowery prose, filled with allusions to famous people, deference to supposed authorities, and great canonical texts. But that is not where wisdom comes from. It is wisdom that is best, beyond all. And the heart of wisdom can be expressed in 10,000 lines, or 1,000 lines, or in two lines. Verbosity is not the measure of wisdom.

But wisdom comes not from words, in any case; and is not always immediately available, though it is the birthright (and even the true nature) of all. Common sense will do. That is common enough, when the people refuse to be fooled by puppet masters and false messiahs. Common sense is more than enough to live in prosperity, in harmony, and in peace. Read all the great and obscure texts you like. Some are of truly great value. Listen to all the verbose and airudite…pardon me…erudite, long-winded, high-sounding, jargon-dropping and pretentious “experts” you wish. Just remember, the keys to freedom, to justice, to harmony, to a life of well-being, and to peace, are within the human heart. If you cannot find them there, then seeking for them elsewhere will likely bring about the chaining of humanity, not its blessings, its protection, or its liberation. Look within.

Balancing the cardinal and foundational values of freedom and compassion is the most essential element. If you can achieve this, and you can, then you can have a peaceful society, and peaceful lives, for a long time to come.

Do not overcomplicate things. That will only invite confusion, and confusion will only invite evil, which always plays on, and feeds on, confusion. Keep it simple. Defeat the tyrants; then help the people without imposing on their freedom, and let them live in peace.

The great evils of the past – which your people have blessedly liberated themselves from, by virtue, not of their exceptional virtue, for they are simple people like the rest, but by virtue of their recovered common sense – arose because the balance was forgotten, and temporarily lost. 

The great evils arose because the right, as it was called, wanted freedom without compassion, which left the door open to tyranny, and invited it in. And they arose because the left, or the less enlightened and more confused among the left, which sadly came to dominate the people’s minds, accepted the lie that security, safety and compassion require the sacrifice and surrender of freedom – which guaranteed that tyranny would be enthroned, and nightmarish society would arise. 

Avoid such grave, and avoidable errors, and the people can live in peace, and will. It is as simple, and as challenging, as that. Remember the balance. Let the people live in peace.

J. Todd Ring,

November 22, 2020

Compromise or Collapse

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2020 by jtoddring

The elite always do the same thing. They have repeated the same failed patterns for millennia. They never learn. They could be wealthy and powerful, virtually in perpetuity, or at least, for a very long time – if they were willing to compromise. They are not. Instead, they fall into imperial hubris, and imperial over-stretch, every time. And it will mean their total loss of power, and the collapse of their most beloved global empire.

The New Deal was such a compromise, between the ruling business elite and the 99%, but that was forced upon the elite by the people; and now that the ruling business elite are global, transnational, and more powerful, they have decided, as of fifty years ago, to cancel any form of compromise. They reverted to their old form: no compromise – we want it all.

The elite have, as always, two choices: compromise with the 99%, or try for total power. They always fall to greed, egomania, hubris and imperial over-reach; and for that reason, every empire follows the same pattern, and in the end collapses.

The newest of empires, which is the global, bi-partisan corporate empire of billionaire business elites, has decided that compromise is out, fascism is in. It will be their downfall.

The elite could accept that in order to remain wealthy and powerful they must accept that there is an unstoppable awakening occurring across humanity – and that requires, above all, a more equitable sharing of both wealth and power. That, they refuse to do.

In order to remain wealthy and powerful, and not see their empire collapse, the elite would would have to accept that the awakening of humanity, which is now emerging rapidly, requires that freedom, democracy, constitutional rights and constitutional rule be honoured, while inequality is greatly reduced, poverty is eliminated, peace and disarmament is accepted as an urgent priority, and a Green New Deal which provides full employment while healing the planet and establishing a truly green and vibrant economy, is actively embraced.

In short, the elite would have to stop acting as the primary roadblocks to all the necessary and urgent changes, and instead, partner with the 99% to swiftly achieve them. A few of the business and political elite might favour such a plan, but the clear majority do not.

(Soros, Gates, The Rockefellers and Davos, clearly do not favour compromise – they are deeply committed to global technocracy, and to deeply authoritarian global elite rule.)

In fact, the majority of the Global Power Elite have shown that they are adamantly opposed to any compromise, and to any serious positive action in any of these areas, and are instead committed to their current, long-standing agenda, which is global technocratic fascism, and the culmination of the war on democracy and freedom.

The stakes could not be higher. The trouble ahead is dire. But the elite will lose in their grand plan, because they are repeating the same mistakes that have been enacted throughout history. Hubris, egomania and power-lust drives them, and that will be their downfall, as always.

This is no time for complacency, however. The people must stand – and now.

J. Todd Ring,
November 22, 2020

Are We Serious About Human Health? The Rhetoric and Gestures Say Yes, But The Evidence Says No

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2020 by jtoddring

The government pretends to care deeply and profoundly about human health, using police state measures in a time of crisis, justified by their supposed great concern for health. Yet, the federal government has repeatedly slashed health care funding for the past 40 years.

The blatant and extreme hypocrisy and deceit should be obvious to all. Canada is one of the seven richest countries on Earth. There is no excuse for letting people live in poverty, letting children and the elderly live in poverty, or refusing to fully fund health care.

Further, while chronically refusing to fully fund health care, the federal government gives away billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks to Big Oil companies, most of them foreign-owned – and this, in the midst of a growing environmental and climate emergency.

There is no other word for this than sheer corruption, or crony capitalism. If we are at all serious about human health, then we must demand that Canada, and the Canadian federal government in particular, fully fund health care.

We must demand that a free and just society requires, first of all, freedom and constitutional rights for all, with freedom to choose which health care treatments we will accept or refuse; and secondly, we must demand that health care, education, pensions and public services take priority over corporate profits, especially with regard to the planet-destroying oil and gas industry.

If we cannot do these two things, then we cannot pretend to be a free and democratic society, or a just society, or to have any serious concern about human health at all. If we cannot do these two things, then we are a morally bankrupt nation, with a deeply corrupt government, and are headed rapidly toward a dark age of tyranny, at that.

Speak up now. Write a brief letter to your Member of Parliament, or copy this one to use, and modify it as you will; and send copies to your MPP, local council and mayor, the media, and to all your friends, family and colleagues.

In the midst of both a health crisis and an environmental crisis, as well as a deep and growing, ominous crisis of democracy, what we need above all is clarity of perspective, combined with boldness of action. Currently we are lacking in both. This must change this now.

It is not just in Canada, of course, where the hypocrisy, corruption and deceit are systemic and extreme. The richest nation in history, the US, refuses to fund public health care, saying it is unaffordable; yet, both Republican and Democratic governments continue to give trillions of dollars to Wall Street, whenever Big Business asks for it. The UK, meanwhile, is currently demolishing its public health care system, while pretending to care deeply about human health.

The pattern is global: create socialism and a welfare state for the super-rich, massively fund big business, give a bottomless feeding trough for the billionaires to feed on public funds, and demand austerity for the 99%.

When do we say, “Enough!”?

J. Todd Ring,
Cobourg, Ontario,
Canada


Author of Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite

For further information see: Gary Null, GreenMedInfo, Naomi Wolf, Vandana Shiva, and Canadian constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati

#health #healthFreedom #healthCare #fascism #1%

#covid

US Election 2020: Time For Secession

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 11, 2020 by jtoddring


I think the people of the United States should immediately secede from Washington, Wall Street, and Langley – whether Trump or Biden or any other corporate-fascist poster-child is in office – and start the revolution again: this time, with the methods of Martin Luther King Jr.

By the way, I do not jest.


JTR,November 11, 2020

And since farcebook is now routinely censoring even my own essays when I try to share them, as well as being deeply enmeshed in the global surveillance state and the broader rise of censorship, it may be time to secede, so to speak, from the Big Tech “social media” as well.

Reflections On 2020: Bye, Bye Bernie

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2020 by jtoddring

Bernie could have beaten both Biden and Trump. But Bernie wasn’t up to it. That leaves one choice: revolution.

Bernie failed the people in the end, in 2020. Some predicted that to be inevitable. I had held out a slim hope – knowing fully that no one person can bring about the needed changes single-handedly, and that the revolution is and must be much bigger than Bernie or any other individual. But Bernie failed us. He was drawn in by the deeply corrupted Democratic party, and that was his downfall. In any event, revolution remains the top priority – Gandhian, non-violent, and utterly galvanized and resolved. Still I say, it ain’t over ’till it’s over. Never surrender. Take the lessons, and move on.

Note that Bernie Sanders could have been another FDR figure, or Tommy Douglas, if you are Canadian – bringing in a more democratic as well as a more just society. He chose not to do so. That was his tragic mistake. The DNC cannot be blamed, or the mass media, or the billionaire class, corrupt as the three groups are. This was Bernie shooting himself in the foot. There is no one and nothing he can blame but bis own cowardice. We live on, however, and we learn. We will see a better future. Bernie has sadly written himself out of the picture, but that is by now utterly irrelevant, as is he.

JTR,
November 11, 2020

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