Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chelsea Manning and Obama

Obama had no choice. It was either he does it now, or he leaves that card for Trump to play. This is Assange's doing.


Having said that - Assange will never go to the states to face trial if he's not sure he won't be acquitted, because that would be stupid. But he probably will since Trump is going to want the traction he'll gain from the progressive vote if he does so.

Obama's basically just trying to limit Trump's ability to swing the anti establishment voters further into his camp. He also will probably claim that this decision had nothing to do with Assange, which his fervent supporters will believe, at the same time labeling Assange a hypocrite for not adhering to his side of the "deal" (Even though they'll claim in the same sentence there was none).

Just like how the U.S of A was always going to go to war with Germany during WW2, but just happened to wait until Germany declared war on them (And they'd war profiteered enough). Just like how everyone who pushed Hillary pre DNC nomination refuse to accept responsibility for fucking shit up for Bernie (And probably the world).

Just like everyone who's just now FINALLY waking up seem to think this Trump thing isn't something that several credible political theorist predicted for decades and were ridiculed and dismissed for even mentioning, and now it's like nobody was warned, as if we didn't know, as if this wasn't utterly predictable.

I don't blame the people who voted Trump. I blame the naive PC bubble pseudo intellectual cognitively dissonant "progressives" who actually serve the conservative agenda wholeheartedly and are utterly blind to their doing so. They had a responsibility to know better and not fall victim to progressively packaged conservative "candidates". But they're stuck in a prison of arrogance and utter lack of self awareness, blocking the realization that they were, are and continue to be manipulated by identity politics - Hopelessly behind the eight ball until the Guardian allows new thoughts and ideas to enter their head.

This is why Chomsky names the institutionalized progressives (Traditional academic types who have been indoctrinated into inside the box thinking, under the belief that there is no box) as a key branch of the propaganda model. They are the ones who validate the owner's bottom line and ideology to the masses and they do so without a fucking clue.

Okay, back to my privileged hypocritical existence for me!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Philosophical Illiteracy and Social Media

People don't like to understand, they like to be right. 

In a philosophically illiterate world, to begin to understand, is to realize you're wrong, and anything even resembling truth sits in the grey. In a world where narcissism rules, to realize you're wrong constitutes an outside attack on the ego. In a world ruled by narcissism, where ego constitutes the self, the perceived attack on the ego is what the "debate" becomes an unconscious defense of, the actual question (Topic of debate or discussion) becomes a consciously rationalized mask to justify it.

Most people debate and discuss with the goal of proving themselves right, whereas to educate yourself is to constantly attempt to prove yourself wrong.

Again, a philosophically illiterate world, with an abundance of facts and information, results in pointless, ego driven, negligible effect, social media "debate", which serves no purpose but to satisfy narcissistic tendencies and desires of our ego - Why? Because we're not taught to look for these things in ourselves, and evolve as thinking and feeling beings, and begin to understand who we are and what drives us at our core. 

The search for the self has been reduced to back-packing culture, our generation's equivalent to hippy culture, who perpetuate the reductive idea that to be happy is to be whole, to follow one's bliss is to seek wholeness.

Happiness, bliss, is only one half of the whole. To not know one's darkness, one's sad, angry, evil, is to not have control over how that half manifests in waking consciousness.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Difficult Movies

Terrence Malick's Tree of life is one of those rare films where the story is secondary to the experience of the thing as a whole, it's a visual symphony. The story's not bad, there's nothing wrong with it, it's just not plot heavy, it's bare. Sure you could turn off for an hour and not be lost in terms of plot, but that's like saying you could not listen to the whole of one of Beethoven's symphonies and still get a sense of it. Sure, that's true, but that's not the point.

To criticize a film like Tree of Life for lack of plot or story is like criticising Baraka for the same thing. Tree of Life is far ahead of its time in that it's a blend of the style of storytelling of something like Baraka or Samsara, with a somewhat more traditional, although bare narrative, all in service of theme.

If this is one of those films you just hate, yet you consider yourself a fairly sophisticated viewer, you should consider the possibility that perhaps your expectations of what a film has to be in order to engage you, jarred with what this thing actually was, and that clouded your experience.

Imagine going to see The Fast and the Furious, and instead getting Drive. You'd hate it. Even if you'd like Drive if that's what you went to the cinema to see, and were psychologically prepared for what you were in for. Or maybe you went to going to see a film like Gravity, and instead got 2001 Space Odyssey. Maybe you went to see a straight narrative docco like the imposter, or the jinx, and instead you got Koyaanisqatsi.

This is why when studies were done on people who had seen the same film, one group with spoilers, one without, the spoiler group enjoyed the films more across the board, the reason being they were less restricted by expectation.

The problem doesn't lie in the quality of the work itself, nor in your ability to accurately assess quality work, it lies in the grey area between, where your expectation of the experience don't sync up with what the experience actually was, and most people then choosing to interpret that by dichotomizing it into a right/wrong scenario, under the guise of opinion, which is really just unconscious outrage at being denied an experience you were hoping would be a positive one. You become determined to passive aggressively attack those who did enjoy said work with the indirect accusation that such and such was actually garbage, and anyone who thinks it wasn't, has a garbage opinion, they're unable to assess quality, and they should bow to your opinion. 

The thought that maybe the end of a work week, when you're counting down the precious hours to Monday morning, may not have been the best time to try to engage in films like these for the same reason you didn't sit down to finally work your way through Ulysses. It's not that the book sucks, you just unconsciously would rather be having a more obvious kind of fun, and that's okay.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Limits of Modern Democracy

The refugee crisis is an international problem and politicians don't actually have the power to properly deal with it since their powers are national.

By now any politically literate person is aware that it's all of our (U.K, U.S, AU mainly) continued military intervention, and support of various rebel factions, in these nations that is directly causing the refugee crisis. Politicians aren't in a position to refuse their support of these activities because their corporate sponsors will ensure they lose the next election through media influences over common citizens like us, and these people are careerists first and foremost.

What we're seeing highlighted with our inability to even begin finding an effective way to solve this refugee crisis in a very real way is highlighting the limits of our form of democracy, which was working pretty well for a while.

Not anymore though.  

I don't know what to do with any of that information, other than being somewhat hopeful that these kind of pressure cooker situations we currently find ourselves in, tend to give way to pretty major historical seismic shifts in the political and ruling landscape.

Unfortunately it doesn't ever tend to happen peacefully, since it feels like we're pretty much beyond the point of being able to legislate our way out of this mess...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A long overdue defense or semi review of the film "Gravity".

"It had no story." - Is something I've heard tons of this film's critics say.

The story, for those who care, is - "A rookie astronaut who's space ship gets destroyed, has to get back to Earth alive."

Simple, but it's still a story, and often the best stories to effectively reach people are the simple ones, well told. Fury Road is another example of a simple story, with a simple plot, well told.

Now, it's all subjective, but in regards to Gravity, the craft: script, direction, tone, technical visual and sonic aesthetic, can pretty much empirically be said to be of a high quality. At worst, it's highly competent.

In regards to the story, well, either you appreciate a simple story, or you don't, but to say it had "no story", is simply incorrect.

In regards to the plot of the story, it was simple, but effective, and in the context of a Science Fiction film, it was extremely effective in eliciting the visceral experience that emphasized the film's core theme rebirth, and successfully managed to cause that intellectual idea to manifest into the sum total emotional reaction audiences (who liked it) had to this film.

That's an incredible achievement.

Where this film was flawed was factual accuracy, which wouldn't be an issue if the film had been clearer about the fact that it was a science fiction film. The confusion, I suspect, is a reaction to its naturalistic overall tone.

Most people's criticism of the film seems to be the fact that it wasn't one hundred percent scientifically accurate, which is a direct reaction to the unconscious interpretation that it should be, or is trying to be, which, to be fair, is a kind of ridiculous standard to hold any space movie to. That's basically where most people's criticisms lie - The space stations are further apart in real life, the debree would never hit the station, she's too inexperienced to be an astronaut (her backstory isn't solid enough), the jet packs, they'd never untether, why is Sandra Bullock an astronaut, how does an actor suddenly shift careers li.. Oh.

If the film had been more clear about it being Science Fiction, not science fact, through exposition (Hey, in 2067 we moved the Chinese Space Station closer to our one for blah blah reason) at which point I suspect the same people who nitpick this film for its factual accuracy, would have attacked it for having too much exposition, which is exactly why they hated Inception (probably).

Gravity, as a film, is not actually any more ridiculous than say "The Martian". The Martian just had more exposition, and characters, and plot, but the core of its story was actually basically the same - Astronaut stranded, has to get back to Earth alive somehow. 

Personally, I enjoyed Gravity more, and felt its effect emotionally resonate in a much more powerful way. I also actually found the plot of The Martian, from the second half onwards, much less believable
I did love
Matt Damon's performance throughout though, and every time I was back with him, I was back in the film I came to the cinema to see. Over all though the second half of that film felt like a different, less efficiently constructed film to me.

Anyway, aside from Gravity's factual inaccuracy, I think the backlash the film got after it became popular (Nobody criticized the thing when it was doing the festival circuit) is pretty unfair.

People bitch about Sandra Bullock in the lead, but can't actually say much beyond "I didn't believe her in the role." Hey, sometimes certain actors just piss me off too. This is usually a feeling formed through unconscious resentment towards absurdly attractive, intelligent, and talented people I don't personally know yet resent, because I like to imagine them living an undeserved life of ease and leisure, a free ride on the train of success as a bi-product of their good looks unrelated to any real talent, something I refuse to consciously admit, and instead rationalize into an idea that their position in the world is not in fact, at least in part earned and deserved through hard work and ability, and that the core of my dislike is not in fact rooted in petty jealousy.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, Sandra Bullock and why you hated her performance. Maybe it's because you find it unbelievable that you can be a reluctant astronaut (Not an acting issue, but a backstory issue).

Or maybe you genuinely can pick faults in her acting. This would be a real criticism, but it is, in my opinion unfounded. Her acting ticks every box from believable delivery, accurate level and balance of extroverted and introverted emotional display elicited within the context and tone of the film, great lateral choices in regards to the actions she plays in order to achieve her characters objectives, all of which are elicited clearly and performed believably within the dramatic context. You may not like her interpretation of the role, but the actual performance as a sum total of the elements that comprise a competent performance at the very least, are all there, boxes ticked.

Not to say that it wouldn't have been a totally different interpretation with another actor, but it probably wouldn't have been any more or less believable a performance, just different. Put Jessica Chastain in the role and you'd have a totally different experience, but assuming that she'd put in the same amount of time and effort as Sandra Bullock did, the difference wouldn't be in the quality of the actual performance, but in the audience's experience of it.

The simple fact is this, most people who hated this film, cannot with all honesty say that they weren't inundated with hype before they saw it, and if you claim to be unaffected by hype, then you simply don't understand the very basic, primal nature of the human psyche: that it is impossible to not be affected by the world as it interacts with you, especially the opinions of people, and groups, and communities you value or belong to. If we're talking scientific accuracy, well, it's physical fact that despite the space between you and I, we form one organism, and everything we put out there, affects whatever it comes in contact with in some way - whether it's a physical action, or a simple idea.

Ever see a film that you hated when it came out years later, and suddenly liked it? That's why.

I'm not saying an experience you disliked, partly as a result of the effect positive or negative hype had on you is any more or less valid, I'm just saying it's not an accurate representation of what you might actually think of the film if you had seen it in a less biased context.

The below quote from the attached article sums it up well for me.

"However, in too many cases, the cry of "It's Popular, Now It Sucks!" is more about snobbery than anything else. The fandom itself becomes what economists call a "positional good." When the artist is a small name or a cult favorite, being one of their fans feels like being in an exclusive little club, but once membership has been opened up to the 'sheep', the original fans may feel a lot less special. Alternatively, some critics seem to enjoy the attention that comes from criticizing something popular, or feeling more intelligent and superior about being the only ones capable of possessing the high standards not to "follow the herd"."


Thursday, August 4, 2016

I've paid for the murder of innocent people, and I continue to do so, because I'm a coward..

We all share the blame. This is still technically a democracy. We don't get to free ourselves from the responsibility that entails, unless you live totally off the grid, don't vote, and pay zero tax.

We may not have voted for it, but we've paid for it, and we continue to support and validate a political system that allows it to happen. Those are just the facts.

It doesn't matter if you didn't vote for Trump, Bush, Reagan, Blair, Abbott, Howard, etc.

We all choose to sit back and support the political system that continues to exploit, and attack the third world on behalf of the now globalized corporate oligarchy, in the name of Western "Democracy", whilst we comfortably do nothing but vote for one of two parties that continues the exact same foreign policy.

The responsibility sits square on us, the citizens of the western "democracies" who don't hold our leaders accountable, cry "freedom", whilst foregoing responsibility for anything our leaders do we wouldn't directly do ourselves, rationalize our own continued terrorism of the third world, and naively believe that any real change could occur through legislation in a system where politicians are powerless to make a real difference or do anything other than serve a corporate oligarchy; their jobs basically having been reduced to packaging the corporate agenda into rhetoric that sounds like it would benefit the average voter, so we'll remain docile and continue to validate the system come election day.

I admit my part. I'm too much of a coward to actually give up the comfortable life I'm living in order to dedicate my life to trying to fight this system, because I know I'd lose.

As long as we all refuse to accept that it's not "them" doing this, that it's us, the voting, tax paying citizen, which is precisely why terrorists target us, the civilians, it's going to continue, and get worse.

I can live with that, but then, I don't plan to have kids.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dictators to create or restore states, Democracy to preseve them.

Question - Bernie Sanders as a dictator to restore the United States, or Donald Trump as a president to destroy it?

"It is possible, then, to arrive at this conclusion: when the material is not corrupt, tumults and other troubles do no harm, but, when it is corrupt, good legislation is of no avail unless it is to be initiated by someone in so extremely strong a position that he can enforce obedience until such time as the material has become good.

Whether this has ever happened or whether it is possible for it to happen I do not know. For, as I have just said, it is clear that, if in a state which is on the decline owing to the corruption of its material a renaissance is ever to be brought about, it will be by the virtue of some one person who is then living, not by the virtue of the public as a whole, that good institutions are kept up, and, as soon as such a person is dead, they will relapse into former habits...

...Princes to create or restore states, but republics to preserve them."

- The Discourses - Machiavelli

Saturday, July 16, 2016

So you've decided religion is the root of all evil!!

So did Hitler, Stalin and Mao, and no, invoking Godwin's law doesn't make you clever, it makes you ignorant of the clear historical similarities between then, and now.  

As a non believer myself, at first I found this fact quite confronting, until I realized that zealot Atheism isn't actually a rational ideology, and it is an ideology, because to say you believe in nothing, is almost always false as I'm about to point out. Since then I came to realize that to define my non belief with the sentence "I don't believe in God", when the key subject of that sentence "God", lacks any kind of definition that anyone, believer or not can agree on, is in fact a completely irrational statement, which contradicts the whole idea that being an atheist is supposed to be about - rationalism.

The (lack of) a clear definition of god

What if a person defines god as the sum total of all that ever was, is, can, or will ever be, which is basically Stephen Hawking's definition of the sum total of space-time. What if someone's definition of god is as metaphor for all the things we don't know about the universe? What if someone calls themselves a Christian, but interprets all religious writing as myth, like we do with the old Greek, and Norse gods - All great stories, with valuable lessons and thematic messaging, still found, almost dominant, in most, if not all stories still told today, especially in great epics that apply the hero's journey (As outlined, not invented, by the late, great Joseph Campbell).

Yes, to interpret religious mythology as history, isn't a very productive way to live or move forward, as history clearly warns us. But to attack ideology with such militant fervor as I'm seeing in so many reborn zealot atheists today, will more than likely lead to the opposite of the desired effect, if the desired effect is a decrease in people who interpret religious ideas as history, rather than mythology, the end result eventually being entrenched opinions, and justification for the wrongly interpreted ideology. So in actual effect, Dawkinists, you may believe you're fighting the good fight, but you're actually exasarpating the very issue you think you're fighting.

Anyways, back to Hitler.

He expressed Christian ideology only in words meant to reach the still overwhelmingly Christian German masses, which syncs up with his views on the necessity of public relations (propaganda they called it then), to manipulate the masses in whatever way required, to infuse enough nationalism so they'd all go along and help him build his thousand year Reich.

In his own written words, which he left out of Mein Kampf, though strongly implied if you read the book, and in the later uncovered and published manuscript of his unfinished writings, and in statements made privately to his inner circle (recordings and dictations are available), he expressed a strong sense of Atheism. If we're splitting hairs, at the very least, an extremely anti-religious ideology, believing it to essentially be the root of all evil, and at its head, the "Jewish Problem", as he liked to call it.

You're not Hitler

No, imaginary, proud, zealot Atheist who may or may not be reading this, I'm not calling you Hitler, I'm just making the point that the magic bullet solution here isn't an eradication of religious ideology, and an attempt at doing so will only strengthen the attacked ideology, as history proves. That is, unless you replace that ideology with your own, which all zealot Atheists claim not to have. You cannot eliminate one ideology, without replacing it with another.
When Christianity spread across Scandinavia, this is how it managed to "win" against the pagans, even though they lost the physical war, although, as we all have come to realize, the Pagan ideology Christianity "replaced", was more a matter of merging it within itself. This worked well.

Anyways, where was I? Ah, yes, Hitler!

No serious historian or authority on Hitler today who have delved into this field (like Ian Kershaw, John Toland, Laurence Rees, etc) would claim Hitler was a Christian in any other sense than to use it as a manipulative tool, since he's on record stating his lack of willingness to openly attack Christianity until the "Jewish problem" had been dealt with.

Certainly, nobody who's studied the available records would argue against the fact that he made it very clear that he would "deal with", Christianity, Islam, and the rest, after he'd first "cut the head off the snake". This is very clearly implied in Mein Kampf too, just not overtly spelt out. He did that in his unpublished works though.

Having said all of that. Hitler, or Stalin or Mao being Atheist, the crusades being a massive religious war (On the surface, whereas underneath it was about the same as all wars, wanting what the others have), the Dalai Lama being Buddhist (Yes, that's a religion too, imaginary Zealot Atheist, you going to paint him with the same brush you're painting "religion" with? You can you know, there are violent Buddhist terrorists out there, okay off topic, where was I...) oh yes, it doesn't mean anyone under that ideological brush is one way or another simply because it's easier for you to define a broad enemy this way.

People are products of their environment for the most part, who rationalize things to fit whatever world view suit their emotional needs and their dominant desires, as conditioned by their respective societies, for themselves and the people they love.

If History has god damn well tried, and failed hard, at teaching us one thing, it's that usually, religious ideology doesn't get stamped out by hate, or violent oppression, or angry rants on Facebook. That only tends to strengthen it. The Romans learned that lesson, although far too late.

As mentioned before, and as one of the great Mythologists of the Western world, Joseph Campbell liked to point out - With religion it really comes down to interpretation. You either interpret it as myth (which it is), or as history (which is obviously false, it becomes a lie, it's on par with claiming lord of the rings as history). As a side note, the film and book "Life of Pi" deal with this very topic, interpretation of religious mythology, beautifully.

Back on topic - It shouldn't really be a question of eradicating religion, but more about shifting the interpretation of religious ideas from history, to mythology, in the mind of its followers - as stories told for the same reason we tell stories today - to incept moral ideas about how to be.

Everyone Has Faith

As far as faith goes, I'm  a non believer, but I still have to live with some faith, we all do.

For example - I have faith that the institutions that peer review scientific publications aren't lying when they say "Stephen Hawking knows what he's on about",(Don't get into semantics about the difference between faith and trust, it's faith if you have to believe it, which you do)I certainly don't understand the exact mathematical science behind relativity, general relativity, quantum physics, black holes, evolution, or any other complicated idea that takes actual scientists a lifetime to properly understand at a mathematical level, and neither do most of you. Sure, there's evidence, supposedly, measured with equipment I don't understand, in labs I've never been to, run by people I've never met, all way smarter than I, which somehow relates to the creation of, like,  a computer chip the size of something I can't see, with the processing power of a supercomputer, in my phone, or something. Do I understand it? Fuck no! Do I believe it's true? Yes!

Most of us, especially most of the vocal zealot atheists I know don't understand any of this stuff beyond the very basic understanding presented in layman's terms in some very dense books published by some great scientists, which most people these days don't even bother to look at beyond some summary opinion piece article. We still have to have faith in the general accuracy of many things which we simply cannot dedicate the time to properly understanding, like the aforementioned revolutionary scientific theories, that is, unless you're an actual scientist (Which let's face it, you're probably not). We have to have faith that we're not being lied to by the institutions that tell me who the experts I should be listening to are. 

I believe that there's a speed limit to the velocity a photon of light can travel, because Einstein said so, and Stephen Hawking too, and all the other ones I like. And I believe the rest too (except the anti climate change guys, because the scientists I've been told to trust, tell me not to trust these other guys) because it's all I can do short of dedicating my life to mathematical theory, I got first world privilege to enjoy!!

I also believe that there are not only limits to what our feeble minds are able to grasp in the same way that a chimpanzee does not yet have the intellectual capacity to grasp advanced mathematical theory. This kind of intellectual limit has to also exist in us, and we'll never know what that limit is because we cannot grasp the scale of it, so we use words like "Infinity" and "God" to define those limits, which is all those words really are, ways for us to explain that we're approaching the limits of our ability to conceive what lies beyond

To know, that you don't know, what you don't know

I know that there are things we don't know about how the universe works, most things about it we don't actually understand, yet, and I choose not to jump to crazy conclusions about what those things may or may not be, what their purpose is, and what the implications are, but what I do know is that the limits of our own understanding, does not mean that what we do understand is the be all end all, nor does it mean that we should be making absolute conclusions about the shit we don't know, as if an idea like absolute truth is a simple one. 

If I understand anything at all about how the world works, it's that perspective is a much more crucial and defining aspect of intellectual, emotional, and physical reality than we ever anticipated, and we've only just begun scratching the surface there. 
We still don't know what the hell dreams are, other than that it proves the existence of a part of the "self" which we cannot readily access consciously, which has forced us to rethink how we even define things like "I", and reconsider the role of conscious thought as a filter, rather than the whole of who we are as individuals. What a can of worms that is!

So please, newly reborn Zealot Atheist, do yourself, and the rest of the world a favour, and don't fuel the next form of extremism because you're too lazy to educate yourself on the similarities between one extremist and another. It all starts the same way, with feelings of total, absolute justification that you're right, and they're wrong, and it leads to the same place.

Oh, and just because Dawkins is a great biologist, doesn't make him a great philosopher. One credential doesn't equal another, irrespective of how popular his ideas may be.

The way forward!

If you're serious about becoming a thinker, and this reactionist behaviour is about more than serving your own ego on social media, In future, try to be wary of reasoning yourself to conclusions, because if you're truly a person of science and rational thought, that's what real scientists, and philosophers do.

Start with Kuhn, if you don't know who that is, then you have no real business pretending to understand how scientific theories work, or evolve over time - Hint, it's never total truth, it's just what we currently know - there's what we know, and what we know we don't know, and what we don't know we don't know, which when we finally learn, changes all the things we thought we knew. The only thing that doesn't really change, is whatever it is these theories are trying to explain.

As for my choice to use the term non believer, rather than atheist to define my own ideology, and on behalf of the rest of us non believers who no longer use the word Atheist, it's because you zealots are making the word synonymous with a new form of aforementioned extremism (Which, to remind you, was the driving ideology, held by arguably the three greatest tyrants of the last hundred years, who were driven by the same emotional fervor that you are, right now). 

You're angry that the little bubble we've all been living in is being poked, we all are, but get your shit together, and stop becoming the problem you proclaim to be fighting!

- Maz


For a summary on all the positive things religion has actually given the world, and how if properly merged with our increasingly prevalent non believer ideology, can actually do great things for the future, and why simply eradicating it may not be the wisest choice, begin with a book written by the great, modern, Atheist Philosopher - Alain De Botton - Religion for Atheists.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Hitler may not have exactly personally killed anyone, or gone on a shooting spree, sure, but I wouldn't say his atheism made him harmless. The same applies to Stalin, or Mao...

Just saying, a lot of people are very quick to paint people's faith in broad strokes, rather than acknowledging that faith, like any ideology can be a channel for justifying already prevalent prejudices, which may exist for a myriad of reasons. 

Again, Hitler was an atheist, but he used people's faith as a means of manipulating them, the Dalai Lama, for example, is not, but he's still a religious person who spreads joy and mostly positive values, although Buddhists are not universally non violent, but a great many are.

Eliminating religion or faith wouldn't solve the problem of hate expressed through violence. An attempt at doing so would probably only strengthen the attacked ideology, as history has proven time and time again. 

It's easy to blame religion at emotionally reactive times like these, but the truth is that religion is just another form of advanced ideology, and ideology can be used by hateful or joyful people to herd the masses towards any which action, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, depending on a great many factors. For example, corporate ideology is often used in similar ways to religious ideology, playing on the same fears and desires. 

Religious ideology has fueled some terrible conflicts in the past, those same conflicts can be directly linked to our progress as a civilization. Without consistent conflict, there wouldn't be a human civilization. Somehow, us humans require conflict in order to grow, as such, it may be an idea not to try to eliminate conflict, but rather, civilizing it (somehow).

Not sure what to do with this information, but we've all been around long enough to know that attacking any culture of faith aggressively only ever serves to strengthen it.

The solutions surely have to lie beyond an attack on ideology with the goal of extermination. It has to exist in ameliorating it, rather than attempting to eliminate it.

At least that's my opinion, for now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


"There are times – they mark the danger point for a political system – when politicians can no longer communicate, when they stop understanding the language of the people they are supposed to be representing. The politicians of Weimar’s parties were well on the way to reaching that point in 1930. Hitler had the advantage of being undamaged by participation in unpopular government, and of unwavering radicalism in his hostility to the Republic. He could speak in language more and more Germans understood – the language of bitter protest at a discredited system, the language of national renewal and rebirth. Those not firmly anchored in an alternative political ideology, social milieu, or denominational sub-culture found such language increasingly intoxicating.”

Excerpt From: Ian, Kershaw. “Hitler.”

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Joseph Campbell on the hero of today and the tyrant of tomorrow

"The hero of yesterday becomes the tyrant of tomorrow, unless he crucifies himself today."

From the point of view of the present there appears to be such a recklessness in this deliverance of the future that it appears to be nihilistic. The words of Krishna, the world savior, to the wives of the dead Kans carry a frightening overtone; so do the words of Jesus:

"I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

To protect the unprepared, mythology veils such revelations under half-obscuring guises, while yet insisting on the gradually instructive form. 

The savior figure who eliminates the tyrant father and then himself assumes the crown is (like Oedipus) stepping into his sire's stead. To soften the harsh patricide, the legend represents the father as some cruel uncle or usurping Nimrod. 

Nevertheless, the half hidden fact remains.

 - Excerpt from "Hero with a thousand faces" - Joseph Campbell

Noam Chomsky on Power Systems

"International law cannot be enforced against powerful states, except by their own citizens. This is always a difficult task, particularly when articulate opinion declares crime to be legitimate, either explicitly or by tacit adoption of a criminal framework - which is more insidious because it renders the crimes invisible.


Democratic societies rely not on force but on propaganda, engineering consent by "necessary illusion" and "emotionally potent oversimplification", to quote the recommendations of Obama's favorite philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr.


As every Mafia don knows, even the slightest loss of control might lead to an unraveling of the system of domination as others are encouraged to follow a similar path.

This central principle of power is known as the "domino theory", in the language of policymakers, which translates in practice to the recognition that the "virus" of successful independent development might "spread contagion" elsewhere, and therefore must be destroyed while potential plague victims are inoculated, usually by brutal dictatorships."

 - Excerpts from "Making the Future" - Noam Chomsky

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Columbus on the Arawaks

"They... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned... They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... They would make fine servants... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want...

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me some information of whatever there is in these parts."

 - Christopher Columbus Personal Log - Excerpts from "A people's history of the United States" By Howard Zinn

Bernays on the propagandist and human desire

"A thing may be desired not for its intrinsic worth or usefulness but because he [or she] has unconsciously come to see in it a symbol for something else, the desire for which he is ashamed to admit to himself. 

A man buying a car may think he wants it for purposes of locomotion, whereas the fact may be that he would really prefer not to be burdened with it, and would rather walk for the sake of his health. He may really want it because it is a symbol of social position, an evidence of his success in business, or a means of pleasing his wife.


Men are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions. A man may believe that he buys a motor car because, after careful study of the technical features of all makes on the market, he has concluded that this is the best. He is almost certainly fooling himself. He bought it, perhaps, because a friend whose financial acumen he respects bought one last week; or because his neighbors believed he was not able to afford a car of that class; or because its colors are those of his college fraternity.


This general principle, that men are very largely actuated by motives which they conceal from themselves, is as true of mass as of individual psychology. It is evident that the successful propagandist must understand the true motives and not be content to accept the reasons which men give for what they do. 


It is not sufficient to understand only the mechanical structure of society, the groupings and cleavages and loyalties. An engineer may know all about cylinders and pistons of a locomotive, but unless he knows how steam behaves under pressure he cannot make his engine run. 

Human desires are the steam that make the social machine work. 

Only by understanding them can the propagandist control that vast, loose-jointed mechanism which is modern society."

 - Excerpts from "Propaganda" by Edward L. Bernays

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Machiavelli on free will and fortune

"In reflecting upon this at times, I am myself in some measure inclined to that belief; nevertheless, as our free will is not entirely destroyed, I judge that it may be assumed as true that fortune to the extent of one half is the arbiter of our actions, but that she permits us to direct the other half, or perhaps a little less, ourselves. I compare this to a swollen river, which in its fury overflows the plains, tears up the trees and buildings, and sweeps the earth from one place and deposits it in another.

Every one flies before the flood, and yields to its fury, unable to resist it; and notwithstanding this state of things, men do not when the river is in its ordinary condition provide against its overflow by dikes and walls, so that when it rises it may flow either in the channel thus provided for it, or that at any rate its violence may not be entirely unchecked, nor its effects prove so injurious.

It is the same with fortune, who displays her power where there is no organised valour to resist her, and where she knows that there are no dikes or walls to control her."

 - Excerpt from "The Prince" by Machiavelli

Monday, May 25, 2015

Howard Zinn on the happy slave

"They say slaves are happy, because they laugh, and are merry. I myself and three or four others, have received two hundred lashes in the day, and had our feet in fetters; yet, at night, we would sing and dance, and make others laugh at the rattling of our chains. Happy men we must have been! We did it to keep down trouble, and to keep our hearts from being completely broken: that is as true as gospel! Just look at it, - must not we have been very happy? Yet I have done it myself - I have cut capers in chains."

- John Little, former slave - Excerpt from 'A People's history of the united states' By Howard Zinn

Thursday, March 26, 2015

We are not free, there is no equality, and liberty has never existed.

We have freedoms, not freedom. If freedoms equaled freedom, slavery, in its official form wouldn't have been such an issue (And wouldn't have required the rebranding and amelioration which equals, us).

All the words that define progressivism have been corrupted to such a point that most people can't actually define them properly, because if we did, we'd have to admit to ourselves that unrestrained freedom, total equality, and liberty, are ideas (great ones), and have hardly any record of ever having actually existed, at least not in a practical way during the rise of human civilization. The concepts have just been used to herd masses of people to social dissent, which inevitably leads to revolution, which practically always is hijacked by a third party when the bewildered herd are still enjoying the post revolution euphoria.

Closest to true freedom that ever existed in human society, died with the west's war on the indigenous tribes of the world.

That's not to say that we don't have more freedoms than a lot of other countries in the world, but that does not make us free. I'm not talking about having the freedom to run a red light and kill a kid. I'm talking the basic freedom of just doing what you want with your life without wasting away chasing the next pay cheque so you can survive. If we're going to be pedantic, the correct term for our brand of freedom, would be restrained freedom. Authority has to exist in some places where it's justified. Like a parent's authority over a child. Or the above red light scenario, etc. But if you examine most forms of authority, barely any can be properly justified when looking at the whole machine. Anyway, if you think you're free, try being free without money.

Equality? Doesn't exist in any meaningful form. Everything from the smallest quantum particles to the largest black hole, and every single thing in between (including us, individually, and as a species) is submissive to another. In the human world, equality is an idea we think exists. We've actually convinced ourselves that because we've stepped up to the top of the food chain on this planet, that we've somehow exited the food chain, and suddenly the laws of nature no longer apply to us. But only because the concepts have been corrupted. Anyways, the only way humans would be close to equal, is if everyone had the same amount of money.

Liberty? Where?

Don't get me wrong, these are ideas that drive us, and they should, but to truly embrace progressivism, one has to understand the concept first, and the truth about progressivism, is that the three ideas that form the core of the movement - Freedom, equality, and liberty, (mostly) run counter to the observable laws of the physical universe, which only means that to embrace progressivism, is by definition a move away from truth that we know, which basically makes it an act of faith. 

Historically, humans have just been running around in circles chasing our tail, driven exactly by those ideas, constantly confused as to why we never seem to actually achieve it, whilst subdued with the very real evidence of certain kinds of progress in most ways except meaningful social reform for the majority. The closest we've achieved to our progressive ideals is to change the meaning of the words, to match whatever it is we have.

Also, an interesting thing to note, is that nations that have the most amount of internal freedom, often have some of the most aggressive foreign policy, and nations with much more restrained internal freedoms, tend to be much less aggressive on the world stage. There basically seems to be very little correlation between the internal freedoms of a country, and it's executive behaviour on the world stage in terms of foreign policy.

Oh, as a side note. Technically, in Australia at least, only "white" Australians have these freedoms, they don't extend to most Aboriginals. At least not the ones who don't want any part of what we've brought to this country. If you want a sense of what would happen to you if you tried to exercise your "freedom" have a look at the intervention policy in the North. That's what trying to be free gets you.

Julian Assange. There’s a man who tried to exercise his “freedom”. 

In practice, the fact is, every nation in the world with a central bank (A foreign party, with no loyalty to the state), is submissive to the money makers, and the money makers are loyal to the individual dictatorships (An empirical definition of the corporate structure) within our nation who can exert significant influence over the state, by manipulating public opinion through the press and media, which can cost the politicians their jobs. This essentially renders our democracy pretty ineffective for significant social reform.

And if for some weird reason, the state tries to free themselves from this grip in any way, the interest on our national debt is raised (Which happens when the central bank simply takes money out of circulation, which they can do in any number of very legal ways), politicians are forced to raise taxes (on the poor), which fosters public dissent, and again, costs them (The politicians) their jobs, unless they appeal to the corporations for support.

In the developed world this is how it works, anywhere else we just sanction (Which in practice always equals to punishing the poor and innocent civilians trying to survive under oppressive regimes that usually exist as a result of our own meddling in the region) until the public turn on their state, and if that doesn't work, the developed world finds a reason to invade, or we just finance rebel militias until they turn on us, then we finance others. I would think an effective way to reduce international terrorism, would be to stop partaking in it, and to stop financing it, but then again, to reduce it, doesn't seem to have ever been our goal.

Basically, a kind of proxy world government has started to come into effect and it has a very clear and apparent top down model, and it exists in most practical ways, just not in official state doctrine (yet). At least it's not clear enough for the average citizen to see the connection before they throw their hands up in confusion and decide to just leave it to their elected officials. Not because we're stupid mind you, it's because unless you are actually taught how to think, not what to think, it won't matter how much facts are crammed into our little heads, we won't see the bigger picture. And thus, the cycle continues.

Basically, the bewildered herd that is the voters in any democracy of the developed world, for the most part are conditioned to reason themselves to conclusion far too quickly. This simple idea, the idea that you must reason yourself to conclusion, then be done with it, is incepted in all of us as a reasonable way to think. This is one of the greatest antagonist to further thought. Concision in verbal language, which has a detrimental effect on our thought language, is another, since it tends to prohibit advanced thinking on most things, despite the fact that intellectually, everyone can see how detrimental to actual thought, reasoning yourself to conclusion too quickly is.

I guess the real question is, will this path, on a long enough timeline, eventually lead to something better (An amelioration of the human species), or will it result in our extinction?

I have a hard time totally embracing the idea that it's all about greed in the top levels. Because surely material gain has no value when you're literally the maker of money. So maybe there's another motivation there? Wish I knew.

Personally, I'm starting to question whether we actually deserve these freedoms we have been given (or won, depending on your perspective). One thing however, comes clear with time, democracy is a responsibility that we, the voting public of most of the developed world have proven ourselves far unworthy, at this stage.

Oh, some readers might be thinking “Conspiracy theory” right now. It's worth noting that for something to be a conspiracy, it has to be a secret.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Step One

"On 27th February 1933 the Reichstag was set on fire by an anarchist, Marinus van der Lubbe, also a member of the Dutch Communist Party. 

Hitler, Goebbels, and Goring rushed to the spot and concluded that the arson was the work of Communists, the signal for a general strike and a Communist takeover. 

With the consent of von Hindenburg, Hitler issued the Law for the Protection of State and People, which drastically reduced the civil rights of individuals and parties. 

It abolished the right of assembly, freedom of the press, privacy of communication, habeas corpus, and opened the way for arrest and incarceration without warrant or trial. This was the law that made Germany a police state."

-Fritz Redlich, M.D 

Excerpt from - Hitler, diagnosis of a destructive prophet - Chapter 6, p 94