Archive for psychology

Culture Shock – and The Culture of Puritanical Excess

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2020 by jtoddring

I backpacked around Mexico and Central America in 1989. I think I’ve been in culture shock ever since. Since returning to la-la land, that is.

I went to Latin America to see what is going on in the world, and because everyone told me the culture is very friendly and warm. Even being prepared for it, and expecting it, the friendliness and warmth….blew my mind, so to speak…and moved me deeply. I was broken-hearted to leave. I have felt the same every time since then, when it was time to leave.

My eyes were opened by the starkness of contrasts, and even more by the fact that Latin Americans don’t sweep their problems under the rug, as North Americans do. They have the same problems as we do, or many of the same ones – they’re just out in the open, and nobody pretends the problems don’t exist.

(Poverty and corruption, pollution, drug gangs, violence, organized crime – well, thank the good Lord we don’t have THOSE problems here!)

When I came back to North America, first to the US, then Canada, I felt like I was walking into Disney World – or Looking Glass Land. It was surreal. It’s like a giant, endless theme park, run jointly by PT Barnum and Mussolini.

The level of denial here is truly insane. And creepy and disturbing in the extreme. So too are the glaring, in your face, extreme excess, consumerism, materialism, gaudiness, showiness, pretense, all-pervasive advertising and corporatization of virtually everything, alienation, mistrust, repression, loneliness and fear.

It is a sad and lonely, mentally deranged land, we have created here in the, “land of the free” – despite the land being gorgeous, and the people being basically good, and even lovely.

Erich Fromm and the Frankfurt School were right: a repressive Puritanical culture breeds dark psychological and social patterns, just as surely as dark spaces filled with shit grow mushrooms. The answers are both implicit; and have frequently been made explicit, as well.

The problems facing American and Canadian society have recently exploded onto the surface, cracking through the denial like an atomic bomb bursting through thin, melting ice in spring. Now the denial is giving way to finger pointing, shouting and screaming at each other, or worse. But that is unsurprising. Problems do not go away just because you bury your head in the sand, as the Italian saying goes. And when you ignore, deny and suppress something for a long time, it is going to come out, and it is probable that it comes out explosively, or in dark ways. This is the trouble with either psychological or sociological repression – it simply doesn’t work: it is always counter-productive and conducive to bad outcomes. But, while dangerous, this manner of working through problems can be cathartic. Sooner or later calm discourse, maybe will return – and return with a greater honesty and openness. Then we can start to get somewhere.

The frenzy of speed, and the also insane levels of (frequently self-induced) stress, rushing, and manic, frantic norms, also hit me in the face when I returned – hard. Coming “home” to “civilization”, after my first wilderness canoe trip at the age of 18, I felt the same thing: this isn’t right – this is a madhouse, and I do not want to live in this crazed, concrete covered, nature- and sanity-deficient, bauble-obsessed, deranged, modern industrial society fueled by futuristic George Jetson technofantasies, and simple corruption, conformity, materialism, consumerism, escapism, perpetual distraction, and corporate greed.

I have traveled through 20 countries,on four continents, and have loved the people I have met in all of them; and have loved every land and culture, in a number of different ways.

I love all people, everywhere, truly – even the annoying ones; even the dim-witted; even the secular and religious fundamentalists, with their rock wall minds, and their oh-so-assured dogmas and certitudes; even the evil-minded, sociopathic few – who tend to fill the ranks of the ruling elite, and who must be forcefully, but non-violently, dethroned.

But I do have a certain particular fondness for Italians (and Southern Europeans generally, I would presume, if I knew them better) and Latin Americans, I must say. They’re generally relaxed, unhurried, calm, warm, friendly, hospitable, open, inviting, and welcoming. They know how to appreciate the little things that mean the most, like food, friends, family. They try to keep things simple and uncomplicated. They’re passionate, and yet relaxed at the same time – or almost always so. And they tend to be straight-forward.

“Ay, say what you mean, uh? Why not? And feel free to speak with your hands!”

But then, there is something to be said for paranoid, wound up tight, stressed out, frantically rushed, status-driven, hyper-materialist, hyper-consumer, Puritanical, repressed, strung out, alienated North American culture, too.

And as soon as I think of it, I’ll get back to you.

One proud Canuck, most saddened by his country’s current state, signing off.

Thoreau would understand. So did Farley Mowat. They are my kin. And I can ask for no more solace or comfort in difficult times, than that.

JTR,
August 2, 2020

 

Post-Script:

Americans, Canadians: not to fret – the entire modern world is insane. North America is simply the most insane, at least from what I have seen. The US is running itself into the sewer, and Canada, Britain, Europe, and most of the rest of the world, are racing to keep up with the race to the bottom.

Maybe we had better question our direction?

Remember also, what Thomas Paine said:

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

And Thoreau:

“There is more day yet to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”

 

See also:

America Has Built A Global Dystopia – Chomsky, Scheer Intelligence

The Morris Berman Interviews – Geopolitics & Empire

T.S. Eliot Recites, “The Hollow Men” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAWaZqDf-VE

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

The Pathology of Normalcy

The Sane Society

Escape From Freedom

Necessary Illusions

Requiem for the American Dream

The Shock Doctrine

The Corporation

The New Rulers of the World

The Pursuit of Loneliness

The Poverty of Affluence

A Short History of Progress

The Iron Heel

1984

Brave New World

Walden

We

 

Simple, key advice: on health, & peace of mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2020 by jtoddring

You have to refuse, categorically: hurry, worry, self-recrimination and blame. You do your best, and live in peace. I had accomplished that state of mind, four years ago. It is possible – and it is incomparably better. I now find these things difficult, once again.

(20th century modern society was stress-ridden, and frankly insane. Erich Fromm was right. In 2020, we sailed over the cliff. Now it’s a madhouse.)

But yes, these things are worth striving for. And yes, they are attainable. Inner peace is a sensible aim. And I can guarantee you, it is indeed achievable. But as with nearly everything that is worth striving for, you start, one single step at a time – with the ground beneath your feet.

JTR,

August 2, 2020

 

Post-Script:

How on earth do you attain that? How is it possible, in this world, in this society, in this time, to have even some small degree of peace? Not by trying to control things. That doesn’t work. Nor be being passive, hesitating, or avoidant – that doesn’t work either. It is mind training, above all, that works, and transforms your life.

(The Western psychotherapy comparison might be cognitive behavioural therapy, although I am not familiar with it, but have heard very good things about it. Working with your own thoughts is the simple, straightforward way of putting it.)

Also extremely helpful, and complimentary, are:

Mindfulness meditation

Yoga

Pranayama

T’ai Chi

Chi Gong

Saunas

Forest bathing

Walking and hiking

A healthy diet

Unplugging – limiting time with electronic media

Avoiding physical and mental toxins

Nearly any kind of exercise

Prayer (Yes, prayer. See Dr. Larry Dossey on the power of prayer.)

Aromatherapy (No, it is not a cure-all, but it is very helpful.)

Body-centred therapies – many kinds exist, from massage, to acupuncture, to reflexology, and many more

Psychotherapy – and no, you need not be “psycho” to go. Most people have stress, a few bad habits of body or mind, or baggage from the past, if not all three. Various types of psychotherapy can be helpful. So can journalling, solitude, reflection, or talking with a friend. And they are not mutually exclusive, of course.

Nature therapy – meaning simply: Get outside!!!

Choose tools that appeal to you, and suit you, then use them. But above all, it comes down to training your own mind. It is possible. And it is most definitely worth the effort.

 

For more information, see the three best sources – that I know of – for reliable, science-based health info:

GreenMedInfo

Gary Null

Andrew Weil

 

For meditation and psychology, see:

The Dalai Lama

Allan Wallace

Alan Watts

Ken Wilber

Erich Fromm

Joanna Macy

John Kabbat-Zinn

 

The Ruts In The Mind

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

The Road Less Travelled By

“When I observe the ruts in a road, I am compelled to think: how much deeper the ruts in the mind?”
– Henry David Thoreau

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beaten path is a well worn rut in the mind. We don’t need to reject it, but we should question it. Usually the norm is a poor substitution for the good. We can do better. In fact, the great social psychologist Erich Fromm was right when he said of the norm, “Normal exists only in relation to a profoundly abnormal norm.” Generally speaking, the norm is a rut we should be eager to get free from.

It is also true that most people who question the norm, if they find the courage to deviate from obeying authority and following the herd at all, which the majority do not; those who do try something different tend to cling onto an off the shelf system of thought or subculture – and then slavishly conform to that subculture, smaller crowd, or school of thought.

Very few are free thinkers or free spirits in the true sense. Most people follow some group or leader. That is not necessarily bad, but we should question it, be aware of it, and try to think outside our newfound boxes, too. They too can become ruts of the mind.

Question everything.

JTR,
July 29, 2020

Balance

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

Oy. Sometimes I just want to bury my head in the sand. The state of things is terrifying and grotesque, especially if you understand what is really happening with this global corporate coup. But avoidance of reality is cowardly, irresponsible, selfish and callous, and also self-destructive.

I can sympathize with the majority who feel compelled, unconsciously, to take the cowardly route of believing whatever they are told, unthinkingly obeying authority, blindly conforming, accepting pat, easy, simplistic answers and narratives based in lies and illusions, and attempting a constant, chronic escapism from reality. But I cannot accept it. It would sicken me to the core to do so.

Yet, the state of our world is not easy to bear. Patience, perseverance, compassion, dedication, action, and a long term perspective, are vital. So too is balance.

All things in moderation: even a thirst for justice, and for a better world for all.

Long term perspective, and balance: bear it in mind, I say to myself, and to anyone else who may be interested.

JTR,

July 11, 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 

The Plague: Then & Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everywhere, “The mind-forged manacles.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JTR,

May 9, 2020

Moral bankruptcy in a time of “plague”

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

JTR,

May 8, 2020

Bad-Asses Wanted

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

 

Sometimes you have to be a little bit bad-ass – just to be a decent person, and do what must be done to help and protect others. Gandhi was right: cowards can never be moral.

Moreover, it is true: the world is a dangerous place, not because a few people do terrible things, but because millions of people let them. Complacency in the face of evil is complicity with evil. We are collaborators with evil if we do nothing in the face of it. To say this is morally unacceptable would be a most extreme understatement.

Joan of Arc, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and yes, Churchill, Roosevelt and Eisenhower, despite their faults – we need more people like them now, and fewer Neville Chamberlains, Vichys and Quislings, which unfortunately are our present norm.

Image result for joan of arc

Joan of Arc

Step one is to think for yourself. Question authority, question the media, question the standard narrative, question what you assume to be true – because it may not be. Question everything. Don’t be afraid of drawing conclusions, at least tentatively. But do question, for heaven’s sake.

Step one is to question, and to seek the truth. Step two is to speak the truth. Orwell was right, and it certainly applies now: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Beyond that, trust yourself. That is most essential. Use your natural intelligence, keep a good heart, and trust yourself.

Be bold. We don’t need to have all the answers before we act. In fact, we will never have all the answers. We are not born to be omniscient, necessarily; we are born to do what we can, with great love. That is enough. That is more than enough. And furthermore, we are capable of far more than we generally imagine – as individuals, and especially when we unite.

Courage. Life is short, and as Shakespeare said, “rounded by a little sleep”. Let’s give our best while we are here, in this fleeting dream. It matters. It always matters.

JTR,
May 7, 2020

“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.

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

 

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