Prepare Yourself to travel the road less traveled, and prepare for that road to be long. Prepare for a second wave of infection, economic, political and social chaos.
We are a part of a physical universe, one determined by cause and effect. As causes go, COVID-19 has been the mother-load and will go on to reaping unprecedented effects on our development as a species. This might sound dramatic, I hope so, but the truth is even more extensive and frightening. The road we chose as individuals and as societies will determine the future of humanity.
A greater than 20 per cent reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at it’s most basic, means that there’s 20 per cent less cash, an economist will try telling you it’s more complicated than that, and I know they’re right, but they will agree it it means that we’ve all got a shed lot less money. This in turn might lead to societies losing confidence in the value of their money, causing either hyper-inflation or deflation, and the economic collapse of some currencies.
It’s difficult to explain how profound a 20% drop in GDP is, but let’s give it a try anyway. Less money for people to buy things equals less tax revenue, this results in a degradation of society’s infrastructure and services. Meanwhile causing a dramatic increase in unemployment, (In the United States unemployment through march and April, has been at 14%, a total of 21 million people, but here’s the catch, 15 million of these are recorded as short term unemployed. Meaning that when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, they should be returning to their old jobs. Entertaining the idea that everyone will return to their old job is infantile at best. A percentage of those 15 million will return to their old jobs. That percentage is a critical variable, because it’s unemployment that is the key to how long this depression lasts.
Unemployment will be the engine that fuels this economic collapse. Unemployed people go from tax paying citizens contributing financially to the state, to citizens on welfare taking money out of the state. Looked at as a number on a spreadsheet, an unemployed person goes from being an asset to the state, to an economic liability. The reduction in wages being paid, leads to less money being spent on goods, services and taxes, is, likely to drive the prices of things down, based on the simple premise that demand will be so low in non essential items. Essential items, i.e. food and medicines, could see dramatic inflation as supply lines have been so disrupted that demand will come close to, and in some cases might, out strip supply. So things you don’t need, luxury items, will become cheaper. Things you need to live will become more expensive. So, from what I can tell ,,in the future millions will die of starvation whilst immersed in an alternative universe projected by their iPhone X50 Deluxe. This leads to a rabbit hole question scenario:
If I die of starvation in the four dimensional reality I’ve lived in thus far, does my avatar go on living as meaningless an existence as I did?
How the West Was Lost
Why are western countries finding it much more difficult to get COVID-19 under control, compared to the majority of the world, and particularly East Asian countries? The amount of UV is a scientific hypothesis under review, but I’m well aware of fundamental societal issues that are having an impact.
I’ve lived in Southeast Asia for almost twenty years. I’m acutely aware of how western, and by western I’m referring to European and North American countries, have approached handling COVID_19 when compared with countries like South Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam and Thailand.
The most obvious difference with the Asian countries is their capacity to mobolise their citizens at a moments notice. In Thailand, the government often declares that its people should wear a black shirt the following day in respect of someone significant having just died. That order could come late on in the day, but I can assure you that the next day 80% of people will be wearing black shirts.
This mentality to follow orders is out of respect of the hierachal structure; right down from village communities with the headsman, up to Kings, presidents, or prime ministers. Conformity is respected. It’s regarded as having respect for others and foments a strong sense of community. Wearing face-masks, social distancing, isolation, shutdown, and implementing systems of contact tracing, has been easy in these countries where the community is regarded as more important than the individual.
During COVID-19, I’ve seen Western leaders repeating themselves with the same requests. Eventually their message attains a critical mass within the consciousness of the population, but this doesn’t result in compliance. The next stage of public reaction is to start asserting your individual liberties, a perception that your government can’t demand that you do anything. Hence we’ve seen the most bizarre reaction to governments asking their citizens to adopt wearing face-masks.
The contrast between western ideology of liberty, and eastern collectivism has gone unnoticed since the collapse of communism. But the United States, which is predicated on an ideology of liberty, individual freedom, has struggled to get its citizens unified to fight the common viral threat. In many of these countries when a leader tells their people to do something the people ask, why?
It begs the question of western democracy, why elect a representative who you will only go on to ignore?
The Ship of State – Demagogues, Democracy, and Socrates
In his book, The Republic, Plato defends the virtues of democracy to his teacher, Socrates, through what has become known as, The Parable of the Ship.
Plato describes society as a ship, with the electorate being represented by the ship’s owner who must decide who captain’s the ship. Each of the able seamen lobby the owner, making their case for why they should captain the ship. Plato even acknowledges the fact that it’s reasonable to expect the candidates to get the owner drunk, or offer bribes. But one of these men must be chosen by the ship’s owner. As the people in a democracy, the people must chose a leader.
Socrates disliked both the idea of democracy and his student’s analogy. Socrates feared that such a system leads to demagoguery:
As with the economy, change doesn’t mean polar opposite, but to make different. There are many things that are perfect with democracy, it’s just that as times change, so do means.
COVID-19 is likely to necessitate changes to our economy, such a moment in history makes it only obvious that we reappraise our democracies. Many countries have seen the standards onboard their ships of democracy degenerate, and start to resemble the conditions of , The Raft of Medusa.
Economic Recovery or Renaissance
If you say that today’s economic system is unjust, what some people hear is, “I’m a Marxist, wealth is evil and can only be achieved through exploitation and the theft of other people’s hard work.” but there is a middle ground. There are ways to make our economies work more justly for everyone. (As soon as you use the words ‘economy’ and, ‘everyone’ in the same sentence, somewhere, somebody’s Marxist alarm gets triggered.)
While I do say that today’s system is unjust, I’m more opposed to Marxist philosophy solving the problem. We can’t be so black and white, so absolutist in our rhetoric. The former Soviet Union and numerous eastern European countries provided us with categorical evidence that communism is an economic system that doesn’t work. Meanwhile, the 2008 global financial crisis made it pretty clear that capitalism has its failings too. Think of adjustments as opposed to complete change, or reversal.
At the very start of Part I, I asked myself a question about these challenging times:
Am I changing for the better, or worse?
We’re being asked to confront challenges of a nature no human has ever had to confront. Don’t rely on others to deal with those changes for you. Don’t expect someone else to come to rescue you. You alone are responsible for yourself and your dependents. It’s your duty to protect them. Ask yourself, are you changing for the better, or worse?
You will get through COVID-19, but the question is how will you get through it? Remember, Noah didn’t begin building the arc when it started to rain. Be smart, consider situations, be critical about the information you receive. There will be suffering, but how much you suffer is down to you. Are you changing for the better, or worse.
These are trying times, and they’re likely to be time of great social change. It’s when things are most difficult that change and progress happen. When we are tried, we become inventive. Adversity often brings out the best in us.
Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.
These days will pass, what we become might not be what we were, but that can be a positive. Although change comes with feelings of uncertainty, it always has the potential to be change can be for the good. But don’t look to others to make your changes for you. You are your own work of art, and you are the sculptor. How you change, and what you become; you decide.
Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
This follows on from the post I wrote last month: Contagions of Madness and Evil. It’s taken longer than expected, the research for this follow up piece has required to be far more extensive than I’d originally anticipated; maybe it was worth it..
Why is it that a bad idea often captures the public imagination so much effectively than a good one? Why does bad news spread faster than good news? Despite most people probably considering themselves to be rational and optimistic, the study of memetics is telling a different story. A story which explains why fads, cults, extremist ideologies, pop culture, fashion trends, conspiracy theories, religions, and genocide, can capture the imagination of a critical mass of society. Ideas that all too often come at the expense of common sense, and basic decency. Simply, memetics looks to tell the story of what promulgates the darker side of the human psyche.
It’s all about memes. And because it’s all about memes it’s very important to understand how I’m referring to the term’meme’. I’m not referring to it solely from the perspective of its modern internet usage of a picture with a trite comment attached, although that is a meme, it’s not helpful when trying to understand the idea of memes as a whole. How I’m defining meme does include those, and looks at why they have the power to infect the minds of so many people, so quickly. But the term “meme” was coined by celebrated British Biologist and celebrity atheist, Richard Dawkins. Dawkins first used
the term in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, in which he puts forward the idea that genes just use human beings, and all of nature itself, as a vehicle for replication, and that DNA only cares about the passing on of genetic information with no regard outside of this goal for the biological host. Because the gene is selfish, Dawkins re-brands it as a meme, the gene has one goal, survival, a goal best achieved by replication with a high degree of fidelity, but not perfect. A differences in the replication allow for potential improvements to be discovered.
Memes no longer pertain to a selfish gene but units of thought or ideas that persist within a culture, and just like the survival of a gene, a meme also depends largely on replication.
Conditions Necessary for Good Memes
When I say good memes I’m not saying good ideas, or knowledge that will generally benefit a society. A good meme, like a gene, is one that endures, replicates, and infects as many minds as possible, minds willing to incubate and circulate the meme. Memes that are successful at doing this tend will most often appeal to at least one of the four f’s. Memes that can make people angry, scared, help satisfy an appetite for food, and help satisfy an appetite for sex. The four f’s: fighting, fear, food, and f*&#ing, (I’ll leave that to your imagination). Nearly all today’s advertising and television programming appeals to at least one of the four f’s, they’re hard wired and have been the most important factors that have overseen the passing on of our genes, and when an idea appeals to one of the 4 f’s they unduly get our attention.
It helps to look an example of an ineffective meme. This can be observed simply in the children’s game, Chinese whispers. A group of young children sit in a circle and one child whispers a message to the child sitting beside them and the message is passed on until it gets to the initiator, who invariably laughs at the garbled information that has been returned. The meme failed to replicate with enough accuracy. But, this might well be because there weren’t dangerous consequences to getting the meme wrong. Of course this is only speculation, I haven’t tested it, but I’m confident that being in an environment surrounded by jelly and ice cream provides the appearance of a safe environment. In short none of the four f’s are being stimulated no fear, no threat of starvation, a disinclination for fighting, and let’s leave the last one alone. If the children were not fed for two days and were required to accurately pass a message that allowed them to be fed, with a drug fuelled Nicholas Cage as host of the party, I’m willing to bet different results could be achieved.
Inside The Echo Chamber – The Extremism of Memes and Extraordinary Popular Delusions
Echo chambers are to memes, what a Petri dish is to bacteria. Echo chambers are insular spaces on the internet where only people sharing the same, often extreme, ideas meet and agree with one another thus reinforcing their belief and credibility in what can be a morally bankrupt ideology. No conflicting opinions are allowed and people with such opinions are denied access to the platform. Echo chambers have been blamed as the birth place of fake news, and even starting genocide. Islam has been the focus of such allegations, but in truth the internet has acted as a catalyst for extreme ideas everywhere, until now they’ve been contained by the social norms expected with in each geographical location, however, the growth of the internet is likely to strain societal norms to a point where internet thoughts and behaviors, spill out into traditional, face to face, social interaction. The internet is spreading mind viruses, and very few people are aware of the impact this is having on societies.
Facebook: Friends, Likes, and Genocide
To date the most profound example of a meme being spread by the internet, most likely facilitated through echo chambers, and having tragic consequences occurred in Myanmar, with the genocide of the Rohingya.
Such ultra-nationalist websites would have acted as echo chambers, spreading incendiary messages to reinforce the memes of hatred already planted in minds that had long lost any ability to think objectively. Again, it’s the capacity for the internet to remove geographical space, and allow people with really bad ideas to get together and tell one another, how great their ideas are. That’s going to be a problem.
Facebook’s reaction to this situation is an admission of how their social network contributed to enabling the genocide through the spread of anti Rohingya memes:
In my experience, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and 4chan aren’t the social networks they promote themselves to be. They’re platforms that enable people with extreme views to isolate themselves from alternative ideas. To be social is to be inclusive, echo chambers are the opposite of social and they are one of the most unfortunate outcomes of the internet. Echo chambers are being mistaken by the credulous as forums valid for debate and proving political opinions and ideologies, in fact most of the people in an echo chamber are unlikely to have any awareness to the fact, and how that invalidates all the discussions that take place in it.
Pre-Internet Memes – Religion and Nazis
The internet is the Petri dish of memes, but Memes rely on a very specific formula in order for them to be effective at appealing to a critical mass in a society.
Despite being one of history’s most notorious mass murdering megalomaniacs, Hitler was also one of history’s most charismatic orators. In a time when even radio was in its infancy, Hitler persuaded a nation to effectively declare war on the rest of the world. If there was ever a meme, it was Nazism. Hitler even identified this very fact when he said:
Despite Dawkins’ term not being introduced for another forty years, it’s clear that through the symbolism of a flaming spear lighting the audience, Hitler is undeniably talking about a meme. Releasing an idea into culture and watching it catch fire, replicate.
As devastatingly successful a meme that Nazism was, Internet memes differ in that they spread fast and mutate wildly, because of this it’s frightening to consider what Joseph Goebbels would have been able to do with the internet at his disposal.
Lietenant Hancock goes on to talk of how physical conflict with an insurgency might only kill the insurgent, which often strengthens the ideology/meme. Memetic warfare can be used to deprogram those at risk of becoming radicalised. Targeted memes can get our enemies to think more in line with how we might want them to think. Can’t see anything wrong with that, can you?
At Universities, Memetic Algorithms is a relatively new area of academic study looking at how information spreads across networks, simplified it’s an academic look at why things go “viral”. Unsurprisingly it receives a disproportionate amount of funding owing to the interest of marketing and advertising agencies.
The power of the internet to enable the freedom of expression to any user is what makes Memetics an area of study that is certain to receive inordinate amounts of funding over the next ten years. As the internet spreads to more users and becomes even faster, mankind’s ability to disseminate crackpot ideas that will find a receptive audience will increase at a near exponential rate.
And the greatest meme of them all, the internet itself. At the turn of the millennium, we worried about viruses and malware infecting our hardware, but despite the exponential growth of the internet computer viruses haven’t grown accordingly. Ten, twenty years ago, bored computer-scientists, mathematicians, even teenagers might find it fun programming viruses, or hacking into computers. Like a virus this malevolence has evolved in its complexity. These people aren’t entertained with the idea of messing around with someones hard drive, through the use of memes, today it’s possible to mess with how people think, influence what they believe, and effect the course of democracy itself. Through data harvested from social networks companies like Cambridge Analytica have attempted to hack minds.
And this isn’t science fiction fear mongering, it’s already happened. Cambridge Analytica, Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S Presidential Election, even Kenya claims to have had an election unfairly influenced by the internet. Nearly every democracy on Earth is influenced by a relatively small minority of swing voters. If you can identify those voters and subject them to a strategy of targeted memes, tied to the topics that interest them in the election, you control democracy. The internet gathers all the information and the algorithms search through all this data to identify swing voters, the chat-bots are coordinated to spam these voters with messages carefully by psychologists, to appeal to the appropriate memes. The ancient Greeks and their philosophy of democracy never stood a chance, how could they’ve ever seen this coming?
Some of the great thinkers of our age, with good reason, have taken the time to warn us of the potential dangers Artificial Intelligence poses humanity. Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, both warned us of AI turning the tables on mankind, a society in which the people serve the machines. Memetics is the code that programs humans. The internet is the greatest recording of human behaviour ever collected. Need I say more? If you don’t see where this is going by now, for you it’s already too late.
Well here we are at the end of another election in which another western democracy has largely, once again, made itself look like a widower dancing at his own wife’s funeral. It’s undignified, largely arrhythmical, and depending on whether or not they’ve had a hip replacement, painful to watch. Nobody benefits from being forced to observe such a spectacle of misplaced eccentricity, much in the same way that nobody seems to have really benefited from last week’s general election. (I couldn’t find any videos of old men dancing at funerals, but I did find this, which to me at least appears equally as undignified.)
For the United Kingdom the general election was an unqualified disaster. In the wake of a Brexit vote that split the country 52%/48%, the country needed direction, to be led by a leader with a cast iron mandate. The strong and stable leadership that Theresa May repeatedly promised when she called the snap election with a 24 point lead in the polls, ended with her party losing the majority necessary to form a government. This now leaves May, a leader of the Tory party who has never even won a leadership contest, with a barely tenable mandate with which to represent the British people at the Brexit negotiations. The Brexit negotiations being the single most important event to happen in Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall.
In the space of just under 12 months Conservative leadership has called a referendum and an election that has resulted in the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union and ending up with a hung parliament, quite a staggering achievement given that 12 months ago David Cameron was the Prime Minister with a majority of 12, of a country that was still a part of the World’s largest economic bloc. When you consider that the British parliamentary system is stacked in favour of the party which has formed a government, they can call the election whenever they want, they can change the boundaries of constituencies, it becomes really hard to imagine that the Conservatives didn’t engineer their own downfall intentionally. If they didn’t, then they’ve clearly lost touch with the electorate.
Despite not having the number of seats necessary to form a majority government, Theresa May will form a coalition that will enable her to theoretically have a majority. So who’s she inviting on board her political version of the Titanic? The DUP of course, you know the DUP? In British politics there’s the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Green Party, Scottish Nationalist Party, Sinn Féin, Plaid Cymru, and then you’ve got the DUP. The Democratic Unionist Party, they will be the ones invited to form a government with Theresa May. The DUP with their 8 members of parliament will, in theory anyway, hold the power of veto over everything the Tory government try to do. But who are the DUP? Well, they’re the political wing of protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, In other words they’re the yin to the IRA’s yang. They’re the pro United Kingdom terrorist group of Northern Ireland. Jeremy Corbyn was lambasted for having held talks with Sinn Fein during his political career, then only weeks later Theresa May will shamelessly form a government with the political wing of a known terrorist group. Of course if you watch the news no reporter dares to use the word terrorist, because when they appear to be on your side they go by the name of paramilitary. I’m sorry but whatever you chose to call them, it’s still…
But even if we’re able to ignore their paramilitary past, the DUP are fanatically pro choice, something I imagine, that would have not thrilled quite a number of people that decided to vote Conservative just last week. The idea alone of the Conservatives forming a coalition is counter intuitive, the ultimate political oxymoron. It’s a little like expecting a pride of lions to ask you to pull up a chair and share their freshly killed wildebeest with you. I’m afraid to say that the DUP will end up as the DUPed in the event that they form a coalition with the Conservatives. They will inevitably be wowed by the possibility of going into Downing Street. Of being shown the button, with which they’d want to unleash a nuclear strike on the Catholic population of Belfast. But, in reality they’ll be nothing more than a class of 11 year olds on a field trip to a bank. They’ll get to see the tellers count some money, they might even be shown a pie chart, but that’s as close as they’ll ever realistically come to influencing any long term fiscal strategy of the bank. And no politician ever wants to share their power. A politician needs power in the same way a diabetic needs insulin. Interestingly Theresa May is a diabetic, so she craves both. This leads me to wonder which one she could live without the longest, her slipping into a diabetic coma would certainly go a long way towards explaining some of her interviews in the lead up to the election.
Both the referendum and the general election have managed to drive a wedge down the middle of British society. I’m 40 years old, and I’m not sure I can recall the nation being this divided. With divisiveness being a theme which appears to be undermining so many western democracies, I was interested to learn that Sam Panopoulos passed away last week. Panopoulos was the leader of the Democratic Ulster Unionists for… No he actually had a far more positive impact than that; Panopoulos claimed to be the man who first conceived the idea of putting pineapple onto a pizza.
Like Brexit, Theresa May, and Donald Trump, putting pineapple on top of a pizza is a contentious matter, an acquired tase. And just like Brexit, Theresa May, and Donald Trump, the opinion you have regarding whether it’s reasonable to put pineapple on a
pizza can be used to determine the opinions that you probably hold about a swathe of other social issues. Just how if you support Trump people will assume that you’re against immigration, for the second amendment, and against commonsense. People that support using pineapple as a pizza topping are seen as progressive liberals who support immigration, gay marriage and universal healthcare. Compare this to the pizza that was most popular during Hitler’s Third Reich where olives and salami came to symbolise, strength, supremacy, and purity of the Aryan race.
Panopoulos’ Hawaiian pizza became political just before he died, when last year the president of Iceland said he would ban pineapple as a topping on pizzas if he could. At the time this created quite a stir amongst the press as they dreamed of a Neroesque president ruling over a remote volcanic island, issuing decrees about pizza toppings while making their pet dog commander of the Navy. Unfortunately for the media the evil Bond villain they desired never manifested, instead he was just expressing his opinion about pineapple being added to pizza, during a question and answer session with a group of high school children. President Gudni Th. Johannesson went on to state that it would be an abuse of his power to ban pineapple from being a pizza topping. This didn’t prevent the media from running with the following ridiculous headlines:
Thursday 5th April may well prove to have been a day that will go on to shape the remainder of the Trump presidency. Has Trump finally cut himself free from the strings of his puppet master, Steve Bannon, and realized that the simplistic, populist ideology of the alternative right can’t be applied to the complex societies we live in today?
Whether you agree, and many do not, with Trump’s attempts to cozy up to Putin, the gas attack that appears to have been carried out by President Bashir’s forces, forces that have received Putin’s support, in the north-west of Syria killing at least 70, provided Trump with the brutal realities of what he will have to face during his time in office. Trump has learned that Putin can’t be trusted, and following Bannon’s removal from the National Security Council, it appears that he’s less than sure about his chief strategist as well.
The news of the horrific use of chemical weapons in Syria comes at a time when other very significant events are taking place. Yesterday CNBC broke the story that a new memorandum on the composition of the National Security Council (NSC), published by the Federal Register, no longer listed Trump’s White House chief strategist as a member of the principals committee, while reinstating the Director of National Intelligence. Why Bannon was ever included on this committee in the first place left many scratching their heads, and why the Director of National Intelligence needed to be reinstated seems equally strange.
The use of chemical weapons on civilians by a Russian backed Syrian government, as meanwhile another Asian nation, led by a tyrant one used to see starring as a villain in
James Bond movies during the 1970’s, develops nuclear weapons and test fires rockets towards Japan, and terrorists continue to wage jihad in the name of a distorted and morally bankrupt ideology in random cities throughout the western world. Not to forget that on Thursday President Trump meets with the President of a country the United States accuses of building sand bars on which to place strategic military installations throughout the South China Sea, and with whom Bannon has guaranteed the United States will be at war with in the next 5 -10 years, a claim he made on his own radio show on March 16, 2016. See link below.
Bannon’s military experience was limited to serving as a naval officer for 7 years, during which time, much to his own disappointment he never saw combat. For those of us who are cynical there might be questions asked why a man with apparently so little to offer, was placed on the principals committee , the innermost circle, of the NSC. But, aspiring to great heights with neither the credentials nor experience necessary appears to be Bannon’s forte. Having left the Navy Bannon the world of investment banking and Goldman Sachs welcomed him with open arms. After working at Goldman Sachs for only 6 years, Bannon and some colleagues found the time to start a Boutique Investment Bank creatively named Bannon and Co, specializing in the financial interests of media companies. Again, up until this time Bannon appears to have had no experience with the media, much in the same way that he’d had no experience of investment banking, but his “devil may care” attitude appeared to be all he needed to get him through.
From dealing with the financial complexities of the media, the next logical step for Bannon was to purchase himself a media company, and start writing and producing
right-wing propaganda films. Bannon’s films were much admired by the founder of the
right-wing website Breitbart News, Andrew Breitbart, who affectionately nicknamed Bannon, Leni Riefenstahl, after the famous female director responsible for producing many of the most famous Nazi propaganda movies, most notably Triumph of the Will. I’m left wondering how Breitbart’s comparing Bannon to a Nazi propagandist left Bannon feeling. I’m guessing that if we could get the answer to this question we’d have a good idea as to how the next decade will play out.
There can be little disagreement that the level of global insecurity with which America’s most politically inexperienced President is confronted with, is to say the least extreme. This is what makes the timing of Bannon’s dismissal from the inner sanctum of the NSC so mysterious, and can only be explained in one of two ways:
Trump has come to understand that Bannon is a right-wing maniac who will stop at nothing to destroy the American political establishment, and much of the world along with it. Bannon is reported have been heavily influenced by the pseudo-
academic text:The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, 1997 by William Strauss(Author), Neil Howe. The authors of this book identify that the history of Europe and the United States can be divided into saeculum, or generational periods in which events occur that fundamentally reset the course of western civilization. Strauss and Howe predict that circa 2008 to 2025 the United States will go through its fourth turning. Beginning with the global economic crisis of 2008 and culminating in western civilization taking on the rest of the world in an orgy of death and destruction that would have given Hitler second thoughts.
The second possibility is more disturbing. The White House can not be seen to entertain Bannon’s latent desire for global Armageddon. In all probability it’s unlikely that his lust for destruction isn’t shared by mainstream military advisers, who’ve actually experienced the horrors of war first hand. But, Bannon still remains chief strategist at the White House, and the concern must be, just how much of a voice does he remain in Trump’s ear. Banishing Bannon from the NSC projects a message that a more reasonable, and considered course will be taken, but honestly, I
wouldn’t trust any of these people to be able to sit the right way round on a toilet.
So has Trump come to his senses and initiated a trial separation from Bannon and his right-wing fantasies, or is it all just the smoke and mirrors necessary to initiate Bannon’s wet dream of Armageddon? To start the conflict that he regrets not having experienced during his short naval career. One thing I do know is that I find it hard to trust two guys that profess to being heterosexual, hugging one another in Speedos, nipple on nipple.
Yesterdayafternoon, some journalists reported having seen a man looking like Steve Bannon cycling across the White House lawn, in the direction of the Breitbart offices.
A pretty decent documentary that exposes just how hideous Steve Bannon is.
It’s just been recommended to me that it’s a good time to read Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale. I agree, but unfortunately I’ve already read it, probably at a time that wasn’t as good as now, but I haven’t got the time to reread it as I’m currently reading another book that I’ve also been told ‘it’s a good time to read,’ Sinclair Lewis’ It Could Never Happen Here. I’m reading It Could Never Happen Here after having just finished Camus’ The Plague, it also having been recommended to me on the basis of ‘it’s a good time to read.’ Other literary titles that seem to be being recommended as apropos are the unimaginative dystopian trio of 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. Frankly if you’re over the age of 21 and haven’t already read these then I guess you’ve probably been too busy watching America’s Got Talent while masturbating into a sock. Recently I’ve also been recommended, and purchased, Assholes: A Theory,byAaron James, A People’s History of the United States, byHoward Zinn, and a rather more upbeat title, Utopia for Realists: Why Making the World a Better Place Isn’t a Fantasy and How We Can Do It,byRutger Bregman. I suspect that by the time I get round to finish reading these it will no longer be ‘a good time’ to read them, as Chelsea Clinton will have just become the president having edged out Kim Kardashian in an election that was so close it had to be resolved in the most democratic means available to a celebrity worshiping society, a naked mud wrestling splashdown, broadcast on pay per view, in high definition, surround sound. It’s either this or that sun dried fart of a president, Donald Trump, will have reduced our species to a pile of radioactive dust. I’ve also heard that Amazon has seen a surge in people wanting to read Mein Kampf, maybe because ‘it’s a good time.’
I just finished reading Camus’ The Plague, not as famous as The Stranger, but certainly no less skillfully written. Camus’ The Plague is a stifling, suffocating tale of a small Algerian town placed under quarantine after an outbreak of bubonic plague. It has been suggested that the story is an allegory of how Nazi ideology spread throughout Germany in the years leading up to World War 2, and the seemingly futile efforts of the French Resistance as they tried to find ways of overcoming the Nazi occupation.
While reading The Plague, it didn’t require any great leap of imagination to liken the spread of a highly contagious disease to the rapid spread of the alt right ideology. (An absolutely shameless and poor attempt to segue into what it is that I’m trying to say. I could have actually put in my opening paragraph; if I hadn’t become side tracked by dystopian literature, and the equally dystopian level of nudity that I predict will be required to decide our governments of the future.)
Despite having a name that sounds like a keyboard short cut it should be no surprise that the alt right has gained the majority of its following through the internet. The internet has proven to be an ideal breeding ground to facilitate the pervasive spreading of an ideology that only a couple of years ago would never have been discussed in public. The anonymity afforded by the internet has enabled people to voice radical opinions and meet up with others holding similar views. Over a relatively short period of time the numbers of people that have banded together sharing concerns over immigration, Islamic terrorism, feminism, and the preservation of the right to the freedom of expression, have increased at an alarming rate. To help put this into context I refer to the arbiter of public consciousness, Google. Type the terms ‘alt right’ into Google and you’ll get a choice of just over a quarter of a billion results to look at. Search ‘Democratic Party’ and you get a measly 64 million hits, search ‘US Constitution’ and you have what appears like an anemic choice of just over 10 million sources to look at. If the internet is the new battleground then it’s obvious that the alt right are winning the war. Mind if you do a search for ‘evil cat’, that’ll get you 43 million responses. So whether or not we should be fearing an alt right, evil cat coalition, or that the internet is really nothing more than a digital rubbish tip of mankind’s deranged sensibilities, I’ll leave you to decide.
The alt right has used the right to the freedom of expression as a foothold to gain itself a tenuous amount of legitimacy. They promote themselves as being the only political ideology that truly upholds this right, the self proclaimed guardians of the first amendment. It’s most likely that they’ve been able to achieve this as they’ve held opinions that were unutterable in civilized gatherings for the past twenty years. This logic is however flawed as any morally bankrupt ideology would be able to lay claim having had their freedom of expression limited by societal norms and values. For instance, and much to my own chagrin, people are very reluctant to engage in conversation that are open to considering the benefits of necrophilia. The truth is that the freedom of speech for those with repugnant ideas is no less than anybody else’s, what has to also be considered is the right that a large number of people have to react to those that espouse hate filled ideologies.
When Milo Yiannopoulos discussed his opinion that relationships between middle aged men and teen boys can be ‘life affirming.’ Mr. Yiannopoulos had the freedom, and made the choice, to express this opinion. His publishers Simon & Schuster, who were due to publish Yiannopoulos’ book, then exercised their right to react to Yiannopoulos’ statement by withdrawing their support and cancelling the book deal.
When a person promotes racist values that another person finds to be offensive, that person has just exercised their right to express their opinion. Anyone who listens to an opinion that they might disagree with, or find offensive, then has the right to disassociate themselves from such persons, who express such opinions. Simply put, we all have the right to say whatever it is we want, but we should also realize that there might be consequences to what we choose to say, in the form of how others might choose to respond to it.
And this is where I believe that we find ourselves today. A sizable group of people have, through the internet, suddenly found themselves empowered to express an extremely polemic point of view, leaving us with a society that is essentially in shock. The alt right is shocked that they have been able to voice opinions after they’ve had to bite their tongues for so long. The liberals meanwhile, are shocked there are so many people with such horrible ideas, and not enough people are thinking about the children.
Researching the ideology of the alternative right feels like driving to the dentists during the rush hour, because it’s an ideology that’s driven by fear, promotes intolerance and ultimately arrives at its final destination of self-loathing. Essentially what underpins the political philosophy of the alt right – I say political philosophy even though it has a set of opinions that are about as diverse as a satnav system stuck going round a roundabout – is nihilism. The alt right essentially rejects any reality that is in conflict with its own. It simply ignores the fact that culturally, racially, and economically our societies have become complex. Diversity has been the result of technology being able to transport people and goods, more quickly and cheaper than ever before. This doesn’t appeal to the mindset of the alternative right.
Steve Bannon, doyen of the alt right and Donald Trump’s chief strategist, promotes what he calls economic nationalism. According to Bannon, economic nationalism is the antithesis of globalization. Economic nationalism puts the American worker first, particularly when that worker is a white male. Bannon’s idea of economic nationalism provides us with an almost tangible glimpse into what an alt right Utopia would look like. It hearkens back to the days of 1950’s America. An America that rewarded hard working men, provided they came in the right shade of white. America before the civil rights movement. As a baby boomer this was the America that Steve Bannon grew up in, which makes me wonder if economic nationalism is nothing more than Bannon’s fantasy to relive his youth; so he can murder his father and have sex with his mother in order to fulfill an Oedipal complex that has laid dormant in him for the best part of half a century. I tried to make that last bit sound funny, but I can’t. It’s difficult to make a joke about a man who has admitted in public that he respects the power of Satan and who might also, in my opinion probably does, harbor sexual fantasies for his own mother.
Bannon’s economic nationalism has been criticized as populist in its appeal. As being an ideology that over simplifies economic issues, reducing them to the sort of sound bites that appeal to a stigmatized group, which in this case happens to be the working class white male of the American Rust Belt. Perhaps the most fundamental premise at the foundation of the alt right ideology is a belief that western culture has been destroyed by years of liberal economic
policy. The sorts of policies that have made it easier for the free movement of goods and people have been blamed for causing the economic downturn that has caused the rust belt. Being opposed to economic policies that promote globalization is a perfectly valid opinion for a person to have, but this opinion starts to become a concern when it’s hijacked by a group of people that espouse populist rhetoric in order to appeal to a group of people and get them believing that they have been the targets of economic policies that have seen other ethnic groups taking their jobs. Such rhetoric is extremely effective at spreading fear and hatred of the groups that appeared to have not fared as poorly. This type of rhetoric can cause alarm as it echoes that of Hitler identifying the Jews as the cause of Weimar Germany’s economic disaster.
But if I’m honest then I have to admit that I’m utterly bored, even contemptuous towards the economy. Whilst all of us have grown up to unquestioningly believe that economics and politics are ingredients fundamental to the running of a developed society, politics and economics have been the exclusive domain of intellectuals and economists. On the one hand we are made to feel that the health of the economy we live in is so vital that it closely mirrors our own well being. If the economy was a game that truly affects us all then I’d refuse to play as I have very little understanding of the rules. In fact the only people who do know the rules seem to be the sort of people I read about after they’ve drained all the money out of a pension fund.
Banking, as far as I can tell, seems to be almost as precise a science as using a slot machine. You either blindly hope for the best, delude yourself into thinking you’ve worked out a system, or open it up when no one’s looking and rig the settings so it’ll pay out illegally.
Just spend 5 minutes watching Bloomberg, inevitably you’ll hear two people trading economic jargon in a sort of duel to the death to prove who owns the most absurd lexicon. A man wearing a blue suit with a hair style so impossible that it defies all hitherto understanding of the laws of physics will open with an idea to “cultivate robust e-services,” the other participant in this discussion of virtual economic pugilism, parries this opening salvo and counters with “benchmark web-enabled e-commerce,” this backs the impossible hair into a corner, forcing them to respond with “scale out-of-the-box partnerships,” this for a moment catches his opponent off guard, he seems to stagger, his eyes roll back in his head, before he gathers his senses and unleashes a devastating combination of “brand vertical networks,” quickly followed by “productize clicks-and-mortar e-markets”. There’s an awkward pause as the hair realizes that he’s beaten, defeated in a contest that I failed to understand a single word of, and find hard to imagine that anyone else who’s just watched it has been able to comprehend.
The fact that the economic system is so unintelligible means that it relies on a public suspension of disbelief. A tacit understanding from the working classes that just because it sounds complicated, and that money is important, this imbues it with all the credibility that is necessary. I however am more cynical than that, and suspect that the financial sector has invented a lexicon so impenetrable so as to place itself outside of the realm of common sense, thus enabling those with an understanding of its strange, esoteric language, carte blanche to steal as much money as and when they like. The economy has done its best to marginalize the working class, who have then been told to hate immigrants, or globalization as being the reasons why they have lost their jobs, when in actual fact their frustrations should be focused on the bankers who will remain in their jobs irrespective of whatever government we might have.
If there’s one thing that the election of Donald Trump and Brexit should have taught all of us it’s that the working class, and in particular the white working class, are tired of being framed pejoratively by a media that has for too long looked down its nose at them. And this is an incredibly dangerous thing to have done which again has been seized upon by, the psycho with an unrealized fantasy of sleeping with his mother, Steve Bannon. Discrediting the media strikes a chord with working class people that have good reason to feel that it has failed to represent either them, or their concerns for a very long time. When a government is able to discredit a weak media it removes society’s most effective means of enforcing checks and balances upon that government. Being supported by a group of people that have long since seen it given up on listening to reason, who are now convinced that their government are the only voice of truth, inevitably empowers that government to do essentially whatever it pleases.
Trump had spoken, and his audience had heard him. Then I did what I’ve been doing for two and a half months now. I Googled “mainstream media is…” And there it was. Google’s autocomplete suggestions: “mainstream media is… dead, dying, fake news, fake, finished”. Is it dead, I wonder? Has FAKE news won? Are we now the FAKE news? Is the mainstream media – we, us, I – dying?
Despite trying to consider the Trump government, and the alternative right with an open mind, what I struggle to get beyond it its sense of nihilism. It seems to believe that everything that has been done over the course of the past 20 years has been wrong to such an extreme that everything must be discarded and replaced. It makes me feel that the last 20 years were all just a waste of time, and that we would have all been better off if we’d just stayed at home, watched The X Factor and masturbated into a sock, which is largely what I think most of us were doing. It rejects any idea that mankind is just one race, the human race. Instead it concentrates all of its malevolent energy into focusing on what makes people different. It then takes these differences and tries to convince mostly the white working class males, that these differences mean that diverse societies are incapable of peace or prosperity. The Utopia of the alternative right would seem to be a homogeneous society of people whose shade of white only varies according to how long ago it was they were last on holiday. However, whether these holidays could be taken abroad remains unclear. With the alternative right being so fearful of economic globalization and cultural diversity, holidaying in a country that dares to speak a different language or eat rice will probably not be possible if the fantasy of the alternative right comes to fruition.
I can see how the alternative right is being made to appeal to white, working class males. But I end where I started, with a quote from Camus’ The Plague, which is how I would feel if I found myself supporting the alternative right:
I was with them and yet I was alone. When I spoke of these matters they told me not to be so squeamish; I should remember what great issues were at stake. And they advanced arguments, often quite impressive ones, to make me swallow what none the less I couldn’t bring myself to stomach. The Plague – Albert Camus
Below are some pages that might interest you if you’re looking for more in depth, and frankly better written articles. Not something that sounds like it just leaked out of the mind of a person that was having their soul devoured by a xenophobic, hate filled wraith at four in the morning.
And this time it’s, Oregon! Oregon is the latest state to proudly host a mass shooting in a school. Well done Oregon. To compensate for your loss you will be rewarded with the public’s sympathy for from anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks, by which time the next host for a mass school shooting will proudly be announced by the mainstream media.
It’s become a habit, a national pastime, as American as apple pie and baseball. It only seems to happen in America, then happen again, and again, and again, and again.
As Einstein once said:
It does therefore not require a great a leap of the imagination to assume that if Einstein were a live today he would consider this nation to be insane, or at the very least our nation’s policy on handling gun violence. I however, believe we’ve surpassed stupidity and wallow deeply in the morass of stupidity.
As a personal accident insurance underwriter, with the help of actuaries, I used to have to calculate the chances of accidents happening to people depending on their lifestyles, occupations etc. I know there must be a way of calculating the probability of how long a student must remain in the American school system before they are statistically more likely to be shot dead than graduate.
To me, American gun culture reminds me of stressed chimpanzees, kept in captivity, and hurling their fecal matter at one another. Oddly most Americans would probably find the idea of throwing their shit at each other, to be more repulsive than your average mass shooting. If you’re reading this, in the interest of science, gather a bag of your own poo, walk into a school or shopping center and start throwing it around. I’ll bet that you’ll get more news exposure than the Oregon shooting. Mass shootings are old hat, they’re passé, no shit throwing’s the way to go, the mass shootings of the future.
Scientists have accurately simulated American society with the use of just two chimpanzees (only 34 seconds):
Lobbyists, Corruption and a Mistaken Society
American society (in truth all societies, and human beings in general) is/are just a collection of disturbingly twisted, and willfully determined contradictions. One that I find hardest to understand is the power and influence of two of America’s most active lobby groups, the National Rifle Association and pharmaceutical companies. America is the largest consumer of psychiatric medicine per capita, a result of pharmaceutical companies convincing the government that they must prescribe more drugs as they wage their never-ending crusade against mental illness. Meanwhile the politician’s other ear belongs to that of the NRA, and their belief that the only way we can keep everyone safe is through the preservation of the second amendment and give everyone a gun.
As I stated earlier the United States are the world’s biggest producers and consumers of psychiatric pharmaceuticals making it an incredibly lucrative industry, the sector of society that has seen greatest growth in the use of anti-depressants are people aged between 16 and 24. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)11% of all Americans over the age of 12 are on anti depressants, how many of these do you want armed? Mentally ill students, easy access to guns, school shootings, I still don’t get it, what’s the connection?
Eli Lilly the pharmaceutical company most well known for producing Prozac has spent more than $35,000,000 dollars in lobbying during the period 2010 -2014. To put that in perspective that compares to the NRA’s slightly less than $12,000,000 for the same period. But surely that is the question how can these two industries co-exist in lobbying a government. I would imagine Eli Lilly try to convince senators that everyone’s mad and needs medication, meanwhile the NRA state the importance that everyone has at least one firearm. These two opinions cannot co exist, they simply contradict one another, one has to be right and the other wrong, you cannot allow the two such diametrically opposed issues to exist at the same time. A responsible government cannot accept its population having a greater dependency on psychiatric drugs and the listen to a group of people pursuing greater liberty to own firearms. The fact that these two arguments get given consideration has lead to the two agendas coalescing into the situation allowing mentally ill people to be armed.
Information concerning the Oregon gunman, Chris Harper-Mercer, presents him as a deeply troubled, anti-religion, anti-government recluse obsessed with guns. A man who was discharged after just five weeks into the Army’s basic training. Records show that he graduated from a high school that catered for special needs students (and he was still selected for basic training by the U.S Army?) This is the sort of person the second amendment grants the right to bare arms.
It’s hard to comprehend, that at the time of writing this, 48 hours ago:
Rebecka Ann Carnes of Myrtle Creek — 18 years old.
Treven Taylor Anspach of Sutherlin — 20 years old
Sarena Dawn Moore of Myrtle Creek — 44 years old
Lawrence Levine of Glide — 67 years old. Mr. Levine was the teacher
Jason Dale Johnson of Winston — 33 years old.
Lucas Eibel of Roseburg — 18 years old.
Kim Saltmarsh Dietz of Roseburg — 59 years old.
Quinn Glen Cooper of Roseburg — 18 years old.
Lucero Alcaraz of Roseburg — 19 years old.
were living, sentient beings, capable of experiencing all of life’s emotions, capable of making others happy, capable of having a positive influence upon to the society within which they lived in. They were the members of families, families that will suffer forever due to the actions of a mentally ill man, that the second amendment grants the right to arm. It seems simple, two groups with the agendas of the pharmaceutical companies and the NRA, can’t both be allowed to influence a government. Their argument are so conflicting that they can only lead to the death and chaos we continue to see.
The Sympathy Will Run Dry
It’s almost unreasonable to expect people remain sympathetic to a repeating situation that the nation refuses to act on? These tragedies have become so frequent that we are becomming desensitized to them. Sometime in the not too distant future school shootings will be reported after the latest celebrity gossip of the Kardashians.
When someone who is known for self harming do you give sympathy or take away their means of inflicting damage upon themselves? If America were a person it would be demonstrating all the characteristics of someone in denial of self harm. America is like any addict, we are in denial that we have a problem, and by the time that we come round to the fact, our addiction may have slipped passed its tipping point.
One thing is for sure, as long as the NRA continues to lobby government, corrupt the political system, and be partly accountable for the slaughter of innocent men, women and children, they will continue to be giving us all the atomic finger.
One thing is for sure, as long as the NRA continues to lobby government, corrupt the political system, and be partly accountable for the slaughter of innocent men, women and children, they will continue to be giving us all the atomic finger.
Not since the second world war have we witnessed the displacement of people on the level that we are seeing this year, and it’s a trend that looks likely to only worsen. The west has done so much to destabilize the middle east and north Africa, is now being invaded, all be it by a more harmless group of people than we often directly used, or funded to invade their countries with. We are now being asked to pay the price for our shameful foreign policies in these areas, and the question is quite simply whether we will be responsible for the mess that we have caused?
What we are witnessing is the collapse of the paradigms that have controlled people for the last three thousand years. People are more skeptical towards religion, peoples trust in economies and financial institutions has been lost, people have no faith in aspiring to the ideals of democracy, and finally we are seeing a complete disregard for national borders.
We have come to what might ultimately be a defining moment in ourselves as a species. We have arrived at a junction, a point in time when we must decide whether to go to the right (the far right) or to the left (the far left). There is no middle ground, there is no fence to sit on, burying our heads in the sand and waiting for the problem to go away is unlikely to work.
Ironically, Hungary a country whom prior to their acceptance into the E.U provided the E.U with large amounts of illegal immigrants, now has a nationalist leader advocating that a tougher stance be adopted to deal with the crisis. Even more ironically he does this in the name of protecting Christianity.
Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has claimed Europe is in the grip of madness over immigration and refugees, and argued that he was defending European Christianity against a Muslim influx.
Three years old, Syrian boy Aylan lies dead on a Turkish beach. His five year old brother’s body was found a short time later further down the coast.
To the Far Right is so Wrong
What rights do any of us have to prohibit an individual from seeking out a better life for themselves and their family. We all have but one life, isn’t it reasonable for all of us to live it in as much comfort as possible? Is it unreasonable that those in immediate life threatening situations seek safety? I am not empowered to prevent someone from improving their lot, neither would I ever want to be. In fact isn’t it mankind’s responsibility to improve the collective well being of the species, this sounds too cold, simply isn’t it our duty to help one another?
Sharing the Solution
It is pure ignorance to extend preferential treatment to people that were fortunate enough to have been born within an imaginary border. For your quality of life to depend upon which side of a non-existent line you fell out of your mother’s vagina. Western privilege and greed are at the heart of this issue. Of course the migrants wish to reach Germany is it offers the best opportunities, even the Hungarian prime minister conceded that none of the immigrants entering Hungary had any intention of staying there.
Treat the Cause Not the Symptom
By far the most credible and more sensible right wing criticism of the handling of the migrant crisis has been a call to address the cause of the diaspora itself. This would require Europe to meddle further in Middle Eastern conflicts, something that Europe already did and that contributed greatly to this very crisis. Even so, this suggestion isn’t without its logic, one does not need a PhD in Neo-Malthusian Economics to understand that Europe only has finite resources at its disposal, already has high unemployment, and an ever worsening division of wealth.
The Grand Plan
Europe’s approach to handling the refugee crisis has been one of two things, either inept, or stage managed. Either are as likely as the other, but if this is by design what do those in charge hope to gain from this. The answer is imply control, a greater level control of the people. Only in January of this year Islamic extremists brought Paris to a stand still. The news has constantly carried stories of Europeans leaving their home countries to fight for Islamic State. Doesn’t it now seem a somewhat cavalier, verging on downright irresponsible to open Europe’s borders to people from nations notorious for harbouring Islamic fundamentalism? This policy goes against all the logic that has been reported to us through the news since ISIS came on the scene, and it would be illogical for a place to do such a thing if they wish to keep their people safe. But that’s the catch, the E.U is not trying to keep its people safe, in fact they fully intend to bring as much peril to the streets of Europe as they can. ISIS insurgents forming terror cells across Europe is the only way such an army can bring a war to its enemies. ISIS have no interest in continuing the conflict in Iraq and Syria, locations where air superiority can be used against them. True terror will reign when ISIS engages in urban guerrilla warfare in the major cities of Europe. Tactically for ISIS this make sense as hiding among the civilian takes away western air superiority, it also brings the battle into a terrain they are experienced in, and most importantly it will bring terror to Europe, that whilst it lasts will be on a par with World War 2. Europe’s conventional counter terrorism tactics are not designed to handle an attack on such a large potential scale.
Fighting an enemy within a civilian population would facilitate the removal of most our civil liberties in the name of safety, but as Benjamin Franklin said:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Russia Today has run a number of reports on a clandestine NATO operation known as Operation Gladio. An operation to support terrorism to destabilize countries
A BBC documentary suppors RT’s claims of Operation Gladio. Governments support a state sponsored terror network in Europe.
So what is the answer? Could this humanitarian crisis provide a way for terrorism as never seen before fought throughout Europe’s major capitals? We all know drowning toddlers, washed up on beaches is wrong, but such a significant movement of people tells us that there is great instability on Europe’s doorstep, should Europe just open the door and let it walk in? Unless this refugee crisis is dealt with compassionately and rigorously it could quite easily escalate into a whole new and more frightening situation
Following the most recent shootings and police brutality in America, I asked a grade 11 student to write a letter to the American people. What they produced shocked me.
It would appear that your history and circumstance has played a pivotal role in your birth as a nation. Paradoxically, two of these circumstances are now responsible in what might undermine the states from ever becoming united. Guns and racism are two pathological illnesses your nation was born with, the two scary issues that ‘the land of the brave’ seem too afraid to deal with.
It is somewhat ironic that as your first black president’s administration is in the autumn of its office, America appears more racially divided than at any other time in recent history. Many of us thought that the election of Barrack Obama would mean that you had finally reached Martin Luther King’s ‘promised land’. In recent years it has become obvious that this was a false dawn, today you are as far from that ‘promised land’ as you have perhaps ever been.
Why is it that racism is only talked about following the police shooting an unarmed black youth, or police brutality against black, bikini clad teenage girls, or when a white supremacist executes 9 black people in a church? Surely none of those actions have a place in ‘the land of the free’. And that’s part of the problem, it’s all this ‘land of the free, and home of the brave,’ the huge effort you go to to convince yourselves that you have created a Utopia. What kind of sick minded people pledge their allegiance to a flag? It’s nothing more than a symbolic yoke used to control the nation’s citizens, an arbitrarily colored piece of cloth, I would rather pledge allegiance to my toilet paper, after all it has a far more functional purpose and I know which one I couldn’t live without. The incessant patriotic pageantry has misled you into thinking that somehow you are the moral compass setting a course for the rest of the world. Sadly the rest of the world can see right through it and sees you for the wayward child you are. It’s time that you wake up and acknowledge that this country that you sing about, pledge allegiance to, doesn’t, and indeed has never existed. As George Carlin once said ‘it’s called the American Dream because you’ve got to be asleep to believe it’. You have to ask yourself why any country requires so many institutionalized methods of reinforcing patriotism, if the country is so great people will acknowledge it as being so without the need for all this mindless, systematic pageantry.
Put away the bunting for a while and turn off the ball game, have the courage to face up to your responsibilities. Start tackling the issues that as a nation you have ignored for far too long. Look yourself in the mirror and recognize that America’s most dangerous enemy isn’t Islamic extremism, ebola or even Russians, but yourselves. It’s always easy to put the blame onto someone else’s shoulders, but your society is the problem, it’s your mess and only you can clean it up.
People around the world are at a loss to explain your disparate responses to when foreigners kill Americans compared to when Americans kill each other. America has justified the torture and rendition of foreigners for the reason of protecting Americans whilst being only too happy to provide its citizens with the weapons to openly slaughter one another on a daily basis. One can only wonder, how as a country you would have reacted had the gunman been a follower of ISIS. But, because he is a white supremacist your response is markedly more restrained, more measured, you can’t find anyone to invade on this one. The fact is America far prefers its citizens to kill one another than to allow foreigners to do it and your constitution’s second amendment facilitates this. You have to ask yourselves some tough questions, you have to question some of the historical factors that gave birth to your nation, and to be strong enough to acknowledge some of them just might have been wrong. One thing you must be certain of though, now is not the time for ticker tape parades, apple pie, bunting and songs.
I’ve met some guys who don’t like women. These aren’t necessarily guys who don’t like women because they like men, no, these are guys who are physically attracted to women, often both violently and sexually.
Just over two years ago Delhi a student and her date boarded an off service bus with 5 men on board. Her date was beaten whilst she was raped by each of the men in turn, and was then brutally attacked with an iron bar and as a consequence she died from the internal injuries she suffered. No doubt as depraved and horrid a story I’ve heard. But the story doesn’t end there.
Above is the face of Mr. Mukesh Singh and it’s a face most unremarkable, a face you wouldn’t remember, a face you wouldn’t notice in a crowd. On the outside he looks like any other Indian man, but this is one book you wouldn’t pick by its cover. He was one of the five men convicted of the rape and murder. to which I referred earlier. Under such circumstances it’s not unreasonable for society to expect to see a little remorse, even some contrition. Mr. Singh however is pretty much of the opinion he did nothing wrong, even worse that it was “teaching her a lesson”. It is because of opinions such as this that his membership to the Delhi Speed-dating Directory was later revoked.
Now I don’t agree with the death penalty and up until half an hour ago I thought I never would. Thanks to Mr.Singh I have had my eyes opened and in his case I am an avid advocate of the death penalty, a sentence which he is appealing against. If you feel compelled to get the full story you can click the link below.
There can surely be only one way to resolve such a difficult issue, whose cause has the best pin. I like the pro death penalty pin, sort of infers that there’s a holy virtuousness to the death penalty, and if god says it’s o.k then I’m convinced.