Archive for social theory

Big Exodus from Big Tech

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2020 by jtoddring

Time for the exodus to begin in earnest from the now confirmed to be fascist and deeply Orwellian Big Tech giants. At the least, we need to begin the migration and the shift, by supporting and using the alternative social media, search engines, email, browsers, etc., which do not data mine, manipulate or track us, and who do respect privacy and freedom of speech, refuse censorship, and refuse to partner with the new global surveillance and corporate police state.

A starting place would be to open accounts with, support, promote, and shift entirely or partially to these non-fascist or anti-fascist alternatives.

Boycott and ditch Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and social media giant Farcebook – or at least begin the move away from the Big Tech MAGATS and Fangs.

Shift entirely to these now, I would urge:

Telegram for chat and instant messaging

Swiss Cows for web searches

Protonmail for email

and at least begin the shift and migration to:

Telegram and Minds.com for social networking

And when it is time to replace or upgrade hardware, ditch Chinese slave labour-based Apple, Emperor Gates’ Gulag Microshit, as well as “Embedded In Evil” Google’s Android.

Go to Purism for phones, tablets and laptops.

JTR,
September 27, 2020

(And no, I get no commission or pay of any kind from promoting these categorically and incomparably better alternatives. I simply value freedom and despise fascism – in any and all flavours!)

NoToFascism #NoToBigTech #BoycottBigTech

MLK #RevolutionNow

https://www.minds.com/

Averting Fascism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2020 by jtoddring

Fascism is rising – here is how to avert it.

A short video talk, linked below, sparked these thoughts, which I will share. May they bless us with the courage, and the presence of mind, to avert the rising of fascism once again – which, make no mistake, is indeed our present course, and rising now.

I disagree with Yuval on some points, but he is a definite ally if he champions democracy and freedom, and opposes fascism. And further, he wisely urges decentralization, in order to preserve the former and prevent the latter, as Thomas Jefferson and many others have realized and urged as well.

He also helped the cause of both freedom and justice, which are not at odds, except in the minds of the indoctrinated and confused, by distinguishing nationalism, which is helpful, from fascism, hubris, xenophobia and aggression, which are always dangerous as well as delusional.

Moreover, he hit the proverbial nail on the head, by saying that fascism stems from fear and ego. Precisely. Transcend, or at least keep in check, these two human weaknesses, and we can live in freedom, well-being, richness of life, unity amidst diversity, and in peace.

I would add, however, that it is not really vanity or ego that is the root problem, but only the surface appearance of the problem. Vanity and ego attachment arise when people lack confidence, dignity, and trust in themselves. That is why they have ego attachment and vanity, and must continuously puff themselves up and build themselves up in various ways.

As Aldous Huxley, C. Wright Mills, Erich Fromm, and myself have pointed out, the deeper problem is that the people do not trust themselves. That is why they seek ego affirmation. And it is the deeper reason why they give their power away to elites, demagogues, false messiah figures, authoritarians, and to fascists.

(See: Brave New World Revisited, The Power Elite, Escape From Freedom, and my own work, Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite.)

We must encourage and inspire the people to trust themselves. That is the root challenge. Then, they, and we, will make mistakes, certainly; but we will avoid the terrible pitfalls of fascism and elite rule, which are always incomparably greater disasters, and result in far greater suffering, far greater problems, and far greater evils.

Respect yourself and others. Trust yourself. Keep your dignity at all times. Have compassion for all beings, and for yourself. Forget the petty ego, which is a charade. True dignity runs deeper than that.

Inspire, encourage and empower yourself and others. Then, fascism will become impossible; and a better world for all, a world of freedom and justice both, will be, not only a beautiful dream, but a reality.

Or we can do what the majority of people, including activists and intellectuals, are doing. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. That should prevent fascism. It always worked before.

J. Todd Ring,

September 17, 2020

Ok, WordPress is being buggy again. I must ditch this platform soon. I can’t seem to paste the video link, sorry!

Web search – on Swiss Cows, never the fascist tech giant Google:

Why Fascism Is So Tempting

See also, my recent essays:

Knowledge Is Power

The Failure Of Propaganda

Sinking All Ships

Any Enemy Will Do

Importing From China

Geopolitics 2020

Flash Drive Revolution

Knowledge Is Power. Panic Is Death. Reconnection Is Resilience

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

Amidst the current global pandemic of fear, what is most urgently needed is perspective.

What must be done? In sum, we must disconnect from a dying system which is sucking the life out of us, out of humanity, and out of the planet, and thereby stop supporting it, stop feeding it, and stop giving it our energy and our power. Power structures only have power when the people give them their power. When the people stop giving them their power, they collapse, as we saw in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. Remember that. That is the key. We must disconnect and decouple from dying, life-destroying systems, patterns and structures of power, and reconnect with community, nature, and our deeper selves. That will radically empower the people, while removing power from the system which feeds off the people and keeps them subjugated and in virtual chains. Only then can we begin to truly heal our world, and heal our communities and ourselves in the process.

Here are some thoughts on how we can make that shift, with the results being greater awareness, greater aliveness and empowerment, greater resilience, and a healing of ourselves, our families, our communities, our society, and the beautiful, fragile, highly resilient planet that is our home.

Belief in technology as salvation, or worse, technocracy as salvation, is a thought pattern stemming from poverty consciousness, scarcity consciousness, inner impoverishment, weakness, delusion, alienation and fear – and the belief that either technology or technocracy will be our saviour, will, I assure you, lead us into slavery, dystopia, and the slow and painful death of our species.

Knowledge is power. Bacon was right about one thing, at least.

People are afraid of wolves, coyotes, snakes, bugs, bears…the flu. Our ability to assess danger rationally in our modern, coroporate ruled, media manipulated, techno-entranced, deeply alienated society, is near zero, it would seem.

In terms of modern man’s fear of nature, it is, by and large, utterly unwarranted. Respect and alertness are needed – not fear. Nature is far safer than “civilization.”

Despite delusional and misplaced fears, which are pandemic, unless you do something stupid: like keeping food or toothpaste in your tent (bears will investigate anything with a scent that just may conceivably mean edible items), or feeding bears, or trying to pet bear cubs; or unless you’re in grizzly country, rattlesnake country, or polar bear territory, in the desert, British Columbia, the jungle or the far north; your chances of being attacked by dangerous creatures are nearly zero – in the wilderness, that is. 

The city is far more dangerous than the wilderness. Bad drivers can kill you. Even if you’re just crossing the street. Or the smog and pesticides will give you with cancer, or the stress will give you a heart attack. 

Get out of the city. Read Thoreau. Don’t follow the lost herd. Definitely don’t follow the media, the government, the technocrats or bureaucrats, the elite, or the “authorities”.

Think for yourself. Eat organic, lower your stress, exercise, and don’t believe the hype.

Most dangerous of all, statistically, are obesity and poor diets, along with poverty and malnutrition, pharmaceuticals, and cars. Covid is no more dangerous than the flu, the figures now confirm.

0.26% mortality rate for covid-19, compared to 0.1% typically for the flu, so it is slightly higher for covid-19, but still miniscule compared to cancer, poverty, hunger, malnutrition, obesity, death by pharmaceuticals, junk food, or cars. Even bathtub drownings killed more people in Japan than covid-19. Check and verify the figures for yourself. Look at the Italian government study, for a start. (See Trends Journal and GreenMedInfo for further evidence-based information and analysis.) 

Yet the lemmings panic on cue, like Pavolv’s dogs, and stay rigidly in denial of the really big dangers: growing environmental disaster, pollution, war, poverty, obesity, fast food, junk food, pesticides, and fascism.

(See my essays: Importing From China, Any Enemy Will Do, Geopolitics 2020, Trump Says Up, You Say Down… Reality Check, and, Danger & Delusion From ISIS To Ebola)

Don’t be manipulated by fear-mongering media, or elites who cynically use fear to their advantage.

Remember:

Divide and conquer is the oldest and most essential maxim and strategy of control, used by all empires, including the latest: the global neofeudal empire of technocratic corporate fascist oligarchy.

And as we also know, in terms of the corporate-state media and the elite:

If it bleeds it leads.

Necessary Illusions are good for plutocrats.

Manufacturing Consent is the basis of elite-ruled pseudo-democracy.

And any crisis will do for Shock Therapy.

Stay calm, boost your immune system naturally, with real food, omega-3s and vitamins C and D, exercise, sunlight, love and joy – and question everything.

Above all, it’s what you put in your mouth, as in, “food-like substances” which really should not be ingested, along with certain pharmaceuticals and injections, which are the biggest danger.

Get outdoors. Do your own research. And embrace your power.

Real power comes from within – and it is quiet confidence, energy and strength, that does not need to be showy or to boast.

After inner power and inner resilience, comes the power of community, and the power of nature. Build your connections on these three levels, along with a healthy body, mind and spirit, and your empowerment and resilience will grow.

Read, reflect, make time for solitude and nature, build networks of mutual aid, and we will, in the process, heal ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.

Disconnect first. Then only can you truly connect to others, to the natural world, to your deeper self, or even to reality. Dissociation from reality is the great plague of the modern 21st century world. We are enmeshed and entangled in webs of illusion, and in systems and patterns which alienate us from one another, from nature, and from ourselves. We must, therefore, disconnect from human systems that are, to a high degree, based in delusion and dissociation from reality, in order to better connect to the real world, to ourselves, and to one another.

If you have not yet, then begin now: learn to love books, reading, reflection, solitude and nature; and the nourishing of your body, your spirit, and your mind.

Rediscover your love for others, for community, for the natural world, for humanity, for the Earth, for learning, for creativity, free expression, and for yourself. We all had these things naturally as small children. We have been socially conditioned to lose them, to deny them, and to suppress them. But they can and must be rediscovered – especially now, when our world is in crisis. These are the core things which will heal our world, our communities, and ourselves. Not technocracy, not Big Brother, not plutocratic elites posing as saviours, not technology, not drugs: it is love and wisdom which will heal us and our world. That requires that we disconnect from certain things, and reconnect with others.

Disconnect, listen, observe, read, reflect – these things are critical. Make the time. Nourish your body, and also your mind and your spirit. Then you can reconnect with life in deeper, healthier, more joyful, empowering, and more meaningful ways.

We must disconnect and decouple from the systems, patterns, thinking, organizations, groups and substances which drain our energy, deplete us, divide us, further alienate us, exploit us, degrade us, or make us sick. That generally comes in small steps; although, many have taken great leaps, as have I, many times, and that works too. Sometimes small steps are all that is possible. Sometimes a great leap is required to save our sanity, our soul, or our very lives.

We must examine things for ourselves, question everything, and decide for ourselves what is truly life-supporting, nourishing, or life-enhancing, and what things merely give the illusion of being life-supporting, nourishing or life-enhancing, but in truth degrade, disempower, alienate, exploit or impoverish us, drain us or enslave us. We must unplug, pause, and reflect deeply, in order to even begin to think clearly, or to see what is going on.

Excessive time spent staring into electronic screens, excessive time spent in buildings or cars, the mainstream media in general, the corporate world and corporate culture in general, the fiat money system, the myriad “food-like substances” which are in truth more poison than nourishment, along with the fundamental, root poisons, which are ignorance, greed and hate: these are among the things we must disconnect from, and which literally and figuratively drag us down.

Some things require a complete disavowal and refusal, such as crack cocaine or hillbilly heroine, or other dangerous drugs and other addictions, for people who have succumb to them. I would place the major media and the Fortune 1000 biggest corporations in that category, as well: they are poison, and they are life-destroyers. They must be boycotted and renounced.

Other things, like the internet, the phone or the TV, simply require a more balanced approach, and frequent disconnection, rather than permanent disconnection. (Although, I respect people who choose to eliminate them entirely from their lives, especially TV, and there are good reasons for such a response.)

But I leave it to you to decide what we must disconnect from, either completely or periodically, for greater well-being, quality of life, health, healing, ethical standards, empowerment, fulfillment, the healing of ourselves and our world, and simply for greater aliveness and joy.

There is much entanglement and much debris in our minds and our lives. Clearing our minds and our lives of entanglements and debris, and clearing away physical and mental toxins, is vital now.

Disconnect: We must first disconnect in order to reconnect; and thereby, live and love more fully, and with greater empowerment and joy. Then only, come the revolutionary changes and the regeneration we urgently need.

Reconnect: with others, with nature, and above all, with your deeper self. That is where our true power, liberation and resilience lie. Not in drugs, not in money, not in material things; and certainly not in cynical elites posing as the protectors and saviours of humanity.

A global awakening of humanity is underway, and is growing with accelerating speed. Remember that. The people will triumph. The oligarchs of East and West will fall. Our world will be healed, and regenerated, and the people will be free.

J. Todd Ring,

September 9, 2020

Further reading:

My first two published books:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium

And

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

And see my other recent essays:

Flash Drive Revolution

The Death and Rebirth of Freedom and Democracy

Covid Update

Any Enemy Will Do

Importing From China

Sinking All Ships (But Our Own)

Geopolitics 2020

Global Overview 2020

The Certainty Of Death, Or The Death Of Certainties

Also critically important:

The Hero With A Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Choosing Reality – Allan Wallace

The Protestant Ethic & The Spirit Of Capitalism – Max Weber

The Pathology Of Normalcy – Eric Fromm

The Corporation – Joel Bakan

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World Revisited – Aldous Huxley

Roads To Freedom – Bertrand Russell

Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin

The Empathic Civilization – Jeremy Rifkin

The Ecology Of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

The Chalice & The Blade – Rianne Eisler

Wisdom of the Elders – David Suzuki

The Wayfinders – Wade Davis

Stolen Continents – Ronald Wright

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky

A Short History Of Progress – Ronald Wright

Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed – Jared Diamond

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Class Warfare – Noam Chomsky

The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman – John Perkins

The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil & The Attack On American Democracy – Peter Dale Scott

Iron Heel – Jack London

1984 – George Orwell

Giants: The Global Power Elite – Peter Phillips

The Power Elite – C. Wright Mills

The New Rulers of the World – John Pilger

A Game As Old As Empire – John Perkins

Escape From Freedom – Eric Fromm

Shambhala: The Sacred Path Of The Warrior – Chogyam Trungpa

The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de La Boitie

Walden, and, On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

“Conspiracy Theory”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2020 by jtoddring
 
Remember what Chomsky said, summing it up perfectly:
 
“The term “conspiracy theory” is used to poo-poo institutional analysis.”
 
Exactly. And what does that mean? It means the phrase was coined by the FBI in the 1960’s to discredit the theory that the Deep State, the military industrial complex, had a role in the assassination of JFK, RFK, MLK and Malcolm X. The term conspiracy theory was hatched to scare people away from questioning power elites.
 
Now the lemmings repeat the phrase, like Pavlov’s dogs drooling on cue, thinking it makes them look intelligent. It doesn’t. It makes them look like hapless idiots.
 
So far, 50+ years later, nevertheless, the strategy has worked extremely well overall – but not on everyone. A growing minority are unafraid of asking questions of powerful groups and individuals, and are not frightened off by mindless, asinine name-calling.
 
Keep it up. Question everything.
 
An awakening of humanity, which really got underway in the 1960’s with the Civil Rights movement and other powerful popular movements, continues to grow. It is soon to reach a tipping point. A new renaissance is dawning – slowly.
 
The official narrative is most often a false narrative, based in part on ignorant people parroting what they are told, and deceitful people knowingly spinning lies for the pursuit of power and self-interest.
 
Did governments, military elites, “intelligence” agencies, and other powerful groups knowingly lie to get the people to support a war on Iraq? Of course they did, and we have the proof.
 
Could it be possible that elites are lying again, and the (rapidly shrinking) majority of people have simply been deceived, once again?
 
Of course that is entirely within the realm of possibility. But examine things for yourself.
 
Question everything.
 
JTR,
August 20, 2020

Personal Sovereignty, Body Sovereignty – The Foundation Of A Free Society

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

All our laws rest on constitutional law. All constitutional law rests on habeus corpus, and “the Great Writ”, the Magna Carta. The central axiom and ultimate foundation of all rule of law, all constitutional law, and all human rights, rests upon the principle which was set down and re-affirmed in the Magna Carta, 800 years ago: the principle that each individual has the natural and inalienable right to the sovereignty of his or her body and person. That means, you cannot be swept up off the street, or removed from your home, summarily arrested, and held indefinitely, without trial, for example.

The sovereignty of an individual over his or her own body and person means it is both unethical and reprehensible – and, since we have come to realize more fully the meaning, and have begun to apply the principle more honestly and more consistently – as well as illegal, to enslave, torture, rape, or murder another person or group of people. If there is no body sovereignty, then all these crimes and evils become commonplace, because the door has been thrown wide.

Without the fundamental respect for the sovereignty, and the sanctity, of the individual over his or her body and person, we put ourselves and all others on the level of beasts; and worse, on the level of bags of meat, to be rendered up, by anyone, or any powerful group, governent or institution, as they see fit.

In short, we become cattle, and the world becomes a slaughterhouse.

Without habeus corpus and the Magna Carta, and more fundamentally, without a fundamental respect, in both law and culture, for the natural and inalienable sovereignty of the individual over his or her own body and person, all evils are possible, and truly, all hell is set loose on Earth.

These are critical things to understand, and to remember; especially now, when the absolute bedrock of our most fundamental rights, along with freedom and democracy, is being systematically undermined, and destroyed.

There is, in reality, no absolute freedom, nor any true control, since there is no linear causality, and all things and all individuals and living beings are interdependent. That also means there can be no true body autonomy. However, while any form of individual autonomy is always a pipe-dream and an illusion, sovereignty over one’s body and person is fundamental and inalienable.

Remove our basic instinctive, intuitive, legal, cultural, spiritual and moral respect for the sovereignty of the individual over his or her own person and body, and every evil and abuse of power, from minor annoyances, to slavery, torture, mass internment and mass murder, become not only possible, but inevitable.

Stop now and think. Reflect deeply. We are sliding down a very slippery slope into a hell of our own making; but it is not too late to change course.

JTR,

August 15, 2020

Post-script:

Jonathan Turley, Joel Bakan, and everyone of sound mind and good conscience, please weigh in on this critical subject, at this critical, pivotal time.

We need to speak up, before we are all silenced, or worse.

The trends toward authoritarianism were clear since at least 1970 and the Powell Memorandum, to all who were paying attention. Now, it is no longer coming. It is here.

Central in what is coming globally, will be the battle, hopefully non-violent, between the authoritarians and the anti-authoritarians. Central to that, will be the question of mandatory, enforced vaccinations – and worse.

It is not a question of being in favour or against vaccination, to be clear – and the point must be emphasized. It is a fundamental question of whether we live in a demcracy and a free society, or whether we will allow ourselves, or others, to be treated like cattle, with all of our most basic and fundamental rights stripped away. That question, we are actively or passively deciding, right now. Speak up.

The Failure of the Intelligentsia

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

Intellectuals: what a sad joke. I am very much opposed to the commonplace anti-intellectualism of our society. It is dangerous, it is foolish, and it is self-blinding. However, I am not impressed by that loosely defined social strata, current or milieux known commonly as intellectuals. They presume too much and fail too routinely for any naive over-estimation of their craft, their knowledge and understanding, or their talents. Moreover, the intellectuals are as often caught up in the self-deceptions, illusions and lies of our society as are the rest of the people, and maybe more so. Worse, when the intellectuals fall into lockstep with the official narrative of the day, which is nearly always some form of illusion or outright deceit, they fervently believe they must be right – because they are intellectuals! Sound circular enough yet? Think for yourself. Question everything.

Here is just one recent example, from this year.

The Green New Deal was a good idea when I first outlined it in my 2014 book, and it’s still a good idea now. However, in case anyone has been living under a rock for the last six months, or has foolishly believed the deceitful major media, and thus lost all remaining sense: there has been a global corporate authoritarian coup in 2020 – and that issue takes precedence over everything. 

But thanks are due to the “left”, the “intellectuals”, academia and the “alternative media” for getting it wrong, again, and utterly failing to understand yet another monumental and politically tectonic, massively pivotal issue. 

Bravo. 

If our “game” doesn’t improve soon, it’s a gulag society ahead – with systemic injustice, extreme inequality, violence, war and ecological holocaust, of course, brought to you by your new corporate masters. 

JTR,

August 15, 2020

Elon Musk & The Limits of Genius

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

“We don’t have heroes anymore. We have people who are known for their knownness.” Having no heroic public figures left, we resort to worshipping people who are merely well-known, simply because they are well-known.

I overstated the matter here, as I studiously avoid doing in general, to make a point. We do have heroes, but they tend to be unknown by more than a few people, or censored, suppressed, marginalized… And the majority resort to venerating, and yes worshipping, the merely well-known, in response.

Elon Musk has made interesting statements about the present and the future. He intelligently prefaced them by saying it is extremely difficult to predict the future; and further, wisely implied that the future depends on our actions – a point which is not viscerally realized the way it should be, and needs to be, by all.

He sensibly points out the urgent need to switch to renewable energy. He intelligently appeared in an interview wearing an OCCUPY t-shirt. And he has proven he is both innovative, and savvy in business.

(In fact, he has a brain, a heart, and a spine: a combination which, today, is a rare.)

That does not make him omniscient, of course.

Our culture is in love with money, materialism, consumerism, gadgets, entertainment, distraction, toys, trinkets, power, fame, wealth – and celebrity status. The cult of worship directed at business elites, professional athletes, certain public figures, famous actors, and celebrities in that broader sense, is truly delusional, deranged, infantile, and dangerous. I think Musk would agree to that.

(I think Gates would agree; but not so secretly is in love with the idea of power.)

Musk’s remarks, however, on genetic engineering, place him firmly in the George Jetson techno-fantasy camp of people who believe that: a) technology will solve every human social and ecological problem (no spiritual, philosophical or sociological reflection or change required); and b) rushing headlong into new technologies, for the imagined or even proven benefits, could never have an unintended down side. (Such as with CFCs, DDT, thalidamide, internal combustion engines, car-centred suburban-oriented cities and urban sprawl….and the list goes on.) His remarks on wet-wiring a direct connection between the human brain and computers, shows a further level of giddy naive intoxication with technology as risk-free panacea.

(See geneticist David Suzuki for a much more informed view of genetic engineering.)

People too typically think that because someone is intelligent, educated, famous or successful, therefore they are an authority on all subjects. But being clever at business, does not mean you know jack shit about public health POLICY, political-economy, social or political philosophy, history, or sociology – and that lack of understanding in these five areas make any statements by, for example, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or Dr. Faucci into such realms, purely baseless, and full of hot air: as substanceless as a fart in the wind.

(Yes, Faucci too: because tracking a virus is different from being at all competent in public POLICY. And in the end, the latter is for public debate to decide, not any group of elites – if we are to live in a democracy, and not under an authoritarian police state, that is.)

I am not putting Elon Musk down. (The other two could give Dr. Mengela a run for his money, or Goebbels; but I think Elon Musk, by contrast, is a rich man with a conscience. Another rarity.) He seems principled, humanitarian, and good-natured, as well as bold, resourceful and creative. I quite admire him. But I do not worship at anyone’s feet. Nor to I believe celebrity-worship, or authority-worship, or worship of any elites, to be fitting for adults. My point is to question the habitual deference to authority which the great majority of people demonstrate daily. That is the single greatest danger that we face.

Think for yourself. As the Buddha said, Question everyone, even people you respect.

And remember, the future is what WE make it.

(We, the 99% – or the 100%. Not just the ruling 1%.)

Do not be a by-stander. And do not let a docile obedience lead the way – that would be disastrous; as history has proven, time and time again.

JTR,

August 11, 2020

 

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

 

Global Overview 2020 – A Brief Synopsis

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

There are a lot of thoughtful, creative minds working on the problems we face in modern 21st century society – and we have myriads of good examples, prototypes, and functioning, proven models to work with.

Mondragon and the co-op movement, crowd funding, alternative currencies, renewable energy, organic food and agriculture, permaculture, downshifting and simplicity, rural rebirth, relocalization, decentralization, grassroots activism, unity within diversity, solidarity and mutual aid, green homes, tiny homes, natural and integrative health, the birth of a serious anti-fascist resistance movement (after the faux “Resistance” of the Wall Street Democrats made a mockery of itself),  THE QUESTIONING OF AUTHORITY, along with MASS NON-VIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, and countless other examples of positive models and trends, are taking off and soaring.

That is an exciting, encouraging thought. 

That speaks of hope, and bodes well for the future; despite the ecological apocalypse we have made, and possibly already set in motion for ourselves. 

We will get through. But of course, the suffering will be far less if we take very bold action now, and not delay any further. Our backs are already pressed against the wall. 

Now is the time for boldness, in defence of constitutional democracy, freedom, the people and the earth, against the all-devouring assault by the new empire of global corporate rule.

The time is now.

Most governments are failing utterly to meet either the needs of the people, or the challenges of the environmental crisis. The corporate elite, who now effectively rule the world, and have taken over, are not meeting the needs of the people or the planetary crisis. They are lost in a truly sociopathic addiction to power-lust, egomania, and insatiable greed – and are devouring the poor, the middle class, and the earth.

Clearly, it is up to the people. It is up to us.

 

JTR,

August 2, 2020

 

See my first two published books for further reading:

Enlightened Democracy:

Visions For A New Millennium

and

The People vs The Elite:

A Manifesto For Democratic Revolution, Or Survival In The 21st Century & Beyond

 

For further reading see my recent essays:

Sinking All Ships (But Our Own)

and

Importing From China

 

Renaissance & Rebirth, or Decline & Decay?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2020 by jtoddring
And the demonic take-over continues…. Or so it would seem. Evil rules the political realm, the economic, and increasingly, the cultural as well. An awakening of humanity continues to unfold. But the war on compassion is only getting hotter and more intense. Cynicism drips from everything, like blood off rotting meat.
For example, and just one example of a countless many: Four or five “Netflix original” TV series I have sampled so far. All were too nauseating to continue watching. All were nihilistic, narcissistic, sadistic, superficial, lacking all depth, desensitizing, waging war on compassion, leading to a further hollowing out of human feeling, and making light of suffering and violence, while glamourizing them and reveling in them.
Yes, suffering, killing, violence and death are funny, amusing, and fun! LOL! Ha ha!
This isn’t Star Wars, Spielberg, Dickens or Blake – culture based in the values of the Enlightenment, and in universal values of compassion, love and solidarity. This is Satanic.
Do the corporate elite, who control virtually all the major media, want us all to become isolated, narcissistic, numbed consumers? Well, that is a naive question, isn’t it?
This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a mass derangement.
Renaissance and rebirth, or decline and decay? Both are happening. The jury is still out as to which will predominate.
But I can tell you this. It is up to us.
JTR,
August 1, 2020
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