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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cluster bombs are a much more humane way to kill civilians than beheadings

The humanitarian grounds justification for all wars the west wages on the middle east is a farce.

This should be evident considering that one of the west's closest allies in the region, whom we support unconditionally (Saudi Arabia) is one of the most oppressive and extremist regimes in the world and beheads more people than IS have in it's entire run, on a monthly basis.

Not long ago their religious police forced a bunch of school girls to burn to death because they weren't dressed appropriately enough to leave the burning building. This kind of thing is a regular occurrence there and our elected leaders, whether they are Labor or Liberal, are more than happy to turn a blind eye.

It's quite simple really. Either oppress the needs of your civilian population in favour of the corporate interests of the transnational corporations of the west, or we'll bomb the shit out of your civilian population. In terms of comparing barbaric behaviour, w
hat a cluster bomb does to the human body makes a beheading look downright pleasant.

Under only very limited circumstances (Like if the state can manufacture the consent of the civilian population effectively to support corporate ideology, I.E - Israel) can a true democracy that allows significant social reform be allowed anywhere in the third world. Mainly because most civilians in any remotely free society tend to prefer that their own basic needs are met before the needs of the foreign private sector. This doesn't work for us. 

Next thing some small foreign country might set an example that the placated civilians of the 1st world might actually want to follow. God forbid a financially independent nation who favours citizens over corporations, manages to survive for a few generations investing more in education and social reform than corporate welfare, class propaganda, and war. 

All of this is not to say that militant groups like IS are not just as oppressive as the countless oppressive regimes we do support, what it does mean though, is that IS are not willing to serve or accommodate western corporate interests (yet).

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Fourth Reich

Growing up in Norway, we learnt a lot in school about the Third Reich and the rise of Nazi Germany. We were asked to constantly ask questions about how seemingly kind and good people, no different from anyone else, could turn a blind eye and allow the atrocities the Third Reich committed to occur. We weren't taught that the Nazis were some unmatchable evil. We were taught that they were not that different from us and to never ever stop self monitoring, precisely so we could assure that this kind of thing never happened again.

When I moved to Australia, I noticed a subtle but slight difference in how we were taught about WW2. Ultimately, although the information and facts were roughly the same, the empathy was not there. Here I was taught that the Nazis were just pure evil, pure and simple, and that any normal, just society could never ever hope to achieve the same level of evil. The concept of self monitoring was never part of the curriculum. At least not where I was taught.

Here, the mere suggestion of the Nazis, even the hint of comparison to what most people consider to be the greatest evil of the last hundred years means an instant discrediting of your argument. Here, we have been taught that to consider such a comparison, is and will always be so absurd that to suggest it is to blacklist yourself from having any opinion of note worth listening to.

More and more I find this kind of thinking convenient and beneficial to our politicians (Labor and Liberals alike) who continue to push this great nation further and further to the right, whilst systematically dismantling our capacity for empathy.

But upon studying the rise of the Third Reich in detail I fail to see a significant difference between the early days (early 1930's) and our current period. In many ways I look at the current state of things, and I see something potentially much worse.

I’m not going to compare Abbot to Hitler. Nor do I think he even comes close. Part of what frightens me though is that this version of... whatever it is we want to call it, doesn't seem to need an Hitler equivalent. Our politicians have far less influence than Hitler did at his peak. It's almost unfair to call them leaders.

Fascism (as defined by Mussolini)

An important thing to understand is that in practice Australia seems to behave like a corporate Oligarchy, so I believe whatever the real reasons behind all of these draconian laws are have to do with corporate interest, which ultimately come down to profit, or loss of projected profit.

I know there is talk of privatising our prison system, if that was to happen that industry would need to increase the prison population in order to maximise that profit. The war on drugs is on the way out, so something else needs to take it's place for privatising the prisons to be profitable in the same way it was in the U.S. Perhaps we’re going to fill these prisons with “terrorists”, but I doubt it.

However, whatever way they do choose to populate these new prisons (If indeed we do end up privatising our prison system), will certainly become much easier when you have laws that we now do.

Historically, laws like the ones we are seeing pushed through today are brought in to curb future dissent from the population at large, often under the guise of protection from a manufactured threat. There's something on the horizon that our leaders and politicians are afraid of, and I find it extremely unlikely that Islamic terrorism is it.

The Pendulum

Doubtless, the political landscape will shift soon, it always does, problem is it goes two steps to the right, one step to the left, three steps to the right, one step to the left, and so it continues. Eventually politicians who in the past may have been considered very right wing, appear almost socialist in comparison to current "left wing" politicians. Or at least that's how it appears to have been moving for the last thirty or so years, at least in the U.S, Australia and the U.K.

Personally, I don't see much difference between either party (Labor or Liberal), since both, in terms of policy are so far to the right now that I find it unfair to countries that have actual centre politics to label any of them "left" or even "Centre".

To be fair to our very ambitious politicians, I find it increasingly hard to believe that they even have the power to do anything but bow to corporate pressure, which is ultimately mainly influenced by the world bank. Nothing in practice indicates that our politicians are capable of much beyond achieving marginal change on domestic social issues, whilst ignoring all aspects of foreign policy except when drumming up baseless threats from far away lands. Its a cliche to mention 1984, I know, but we can't ignore the concept of the endless war or the idea that slavery is freedom, that war is peace. We're living it.

Eyes Wide Shut

What interests me is the continued push to divide the masses based on religion, or sexual orientation, or race, or any other number of discriminatory and bigoted distinctions. Yet class, based on wealth (or lack thereof) is never included in the discussion. It’s almost as if we’re all expected to believe that there is no such thing as class. That the only thing that limits us is persistence and ability. Most of the citizens of the 1st world believe this to be true. 

This seems odd to me. 

Class, clearly is arguably the most important (and limiting) factor, and also the most widely ignored factor. One simply cannot have a complete discussion on this topic without factoring that in, and it hardly ever is. Never on TV. Except when unheard political theorists like Noam Chomsky discuss the topic.

We should really just stop trying to distinguish good and evil based on religion, race, sexuality or any other such obviously discriminatory factor. It's a smoke screen and it only ever leads to more hate. And none of those generalisations make sense when looking at the complete picture, which begins to form when we look at it from a perspective that distinguishes groups of people and their actions, how easily manipulated they are, etc, based on class and wealth.

The Most Destructive Ideology

Ultimately, what the private sector of the corporate world does and continues to do to the third world is much, much worse than anything any of these "extremists" are guilty of, when taken into context. If we were to, we'd need to take into account the fact that basically every major Islamic extremist group we've dealt with in the last fifty years are directly or indirectly a product of the western world's private sectors systematic abuse and exploitation of the third world and our support of that by proxy.

If we're going to generalize based on ideology, the ideology of the billionaire totalitarian transnational corporations who operate with extreme influence over what are meant to be democratic states, and do so without any accountability - Is where we should set our focus.

Be this guy

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The News of Today

11.05 AM - ASIO raids churches Australia wide to protect children against Christian extremist pedophiles! Reports say the raids were based on actual evidence! Twelve priests beaten senseless without charge. Several church gatherings, praying for leftist peacenik nonsense traumatised for life. One arrest made. Reports from the department of pre-crime suggest the culprit was planning to do some shit. All evidence against culprit is classified, except evidence that proves that he was a Christian and other hysterical rumours. 
Reports suggest that law enforcement are searching for a connection to countless Christian terrorist groups. Anders Breivik suspected as mastermind behind it all, somehow.

UPDATE 12:17 PM : Muslim world outraged at lack of footage covering Christian protests against pedophilia on the evening news, and assume all Christians support Pedophilia.

SECOND UPDATE 13:23 PM : Average Australian shocked to discover that the Jewish holocaust, American Holocaust, Australian holocaust, crusades and countless other atrocities were executed by majority Christian people. Decide to blame Islamic extremists for those things too. Government in support. 

THIRD UPDATE 14:26 PM : Israeli's change national motto from "Never forget" to "Never forget, never forgive", immediately followed by forgiving Germans for holocaust. World confused. Debate continues on another amendment to national motto to "Never forget, never forgive (Muslims)"

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The state of illegal drugs

From what I can tell people take drugs for a number of reasons (Some of them are good ones) but often it's as an escape.

Regardless, addiction is a problem that needs to be culled. But the trick to culling drug use isn't to criminalize it or any such non sensical thing. It's actually to create a fair, equal society that people don't want to escape /from/.

Now, since that is a long way off in the mean time we need a part time solution.

First off, let me say that the criminalization of mind altering substances is an infringement on the freedom of human consciousness. Which happens when the powers that be try to control what the citizen does in his/her private life and puts in place legal barriers that only benefit organised criminals, demonize and punish every day citizens (often victims) as well as limiting the expansion of individual experience for those who make the lifestyle choice of altering their conscious for whatever reason that may be.

The idea that criminalization is for our own "protection' has been widely discounted and frankly, it's stupid.

The criminalization of mind altering substances doesn't under any circumstance protect/help the recreational drug user or the serious drug addict, or any of the different kinds of drug users in between.

How does it help or protect the drug user to imprison them, or mark their criminal record, severely limiting their path in life for what is a non violent crime that hurts nobody but (arguably, based entirely on context) themselves? Either form of punishments have seriously negative consequences for the direction of life in general and on the other side of the law, it creates an unbeatable criminal enterprise that ties up law enforcement in enforcing bullshit crimes that distract from doing actual police work.

Don't get me wrong, drugs can make people do fucked up shit, which we already have laws in place to punish people for. (unless you're rich, then the laws don't apply to you)

Say I have problems sleeping.

It is illegal for me to ingest a substance extracted from a herb that has never killed anyone, that there are specific receptors for in our brain put in place through a process of evolution specifically for the ingestion /of/ the chemical which can basically only be found in this herb.

But it is perfectly legal to buy highly addictive sleeping pills that /have/ killed many people, which put me out to a point so that a fucking tsunami wouldn't wake me from the coma those over the counter death pills put me in. (They are often recommended by the doctor too, soon to your kids as well for "sleep deficiency disorder").

An entire generation of kids are prescribed amphetamines (Dexedrine) to grow up and become the crystal meth generation and we scratch our heads as to why?

We encourage prescribed addiction to anti psychotics and anti depressants and whatever else for whatever the pharmaceutical companies can help define as a new form of mental disease that cause as much (and recent studies suggest maybe more) harm as illegal drugs.

When someone contracts HIV we don't send them off into the street to score medicine cooked up in some garage of some two bit dealer at ridiculous prices under the pretense that "You chose to contract HIV cause you didn't wear a condom"

When someone gets skin cancer we don't send them off to delve into the criminal underworld to fend for themselves under the rationalization that "You chose to get skin cancer by not wearing sunscreen"

Yet with drug addicts as a society we rationalize why they need to to be demonized, go to prison or have opportunity removed from their lives by marking their criminal record or sending them to criminal university for their /own/ good? It's supposed to benefit them?

People! The war on drugs is a war on our own families and friends!

Drug addicts are sick and in need of medicine made in proper laboratories, ingested in measured doses, under controlled circumstances to gradually be weaned off, under the support and supervision of medical professionals.

I personally am for decriminalization of all drugs coupled with truthful education about drugs (Not the bullshit propaganda currently spinning about which serves mainly the purpose of making people lose trust for the sources of such information). I believe society needs to remove the taboo from addiction and begin to view drug addicts the same way we view sick people.

It's a win win, we help the drug addict get better so they can avoid becoming a drain on society so they can support a hundred dollar a day habit (and avoid turning them into the real life equivalent of Gollum), and we remove the most profitable part of criminal enterprise in one fell swoop (As is evident in countries that have experimented with decriminalization and stuck with it like Portugal)

Drug criminalization and the continued war on drugs is irrational and antagonistic to the progress of human civilization. It exists and continues to exist through organized criminal influence in the American justice system using illegal income laundered through legitimate businesses which is then used for the lobbying, influence and eventual manipulation of the political process into spreading the idea that being "hard on drugs" is going to have the desired effect we all want. less drug addicts and drug dealers.

It isn't. Keeping drugs criminalized /creates/ the illegal market, gives it value, which in turn motivates criminals to export, distribute and advertise to consumers. And you know what? It's fucking working. We cannot beat a hundred and ten billion dollar a year industry. Not in a world of unchecked capitalism. Impossible.

It is time people woke up and began to realize that to support the criminalization of any mind altering substance is to support organised crime, irrespective of the potential damage these substances may or may not cause.

The argument of decriminalising drugs is not one rationalised by the idea that drugs aren't so bad. Because they often are (Especially if using drugs instantly make you an outcast from society and define you as a criminal). The argument for drug decriminalization is rationalized by the fact that the criminalisation is making the problem we are trying to solve, worse.

To criminalize illegal drugs and defend the irrational notion that keeping them criminalized is a good thing is to indirectly support and protect the one hundred and ten billion dollar a year industry and main piggy bank of organized criminals known as the illegal drug trade. Odd that this number rose dramatically since the west invaded Afghanistan (As did heroin use in the 1st world, Afghanistan's most popular export).

In a world of unchecked capitalism the rich rule, and one of the top five most profitable industries in the world (only because it is illegal mind you) is exclusively owned by organized criminals. And we wonder why politicians always lie and our top police officials are constantly going down for corruption.

You know what doesn't lie? Money.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rationalizations are not justifications

People should begin to learn the difference between rationalization and justification. One can rationalize anything and everything. Every evil act ever committed has a very reasonable and rational lead up of events so they make complete sense to the point where one can empathize. This is fine. Useful. Necessary. But to use rationalizations as justifications for morally or ethically questionable behaviour is a slippery slope that forward thinking people should be careful to avoid. There's a rational reason for everything. Doesn't necessarily make it justifiable.

I can't tell you how often I come across people who rationalize as justifications. As if it's a surprise that there are reasonable explanations for why horrible things happen.

"Sure he hit his girlfriend, but he just caught his girlfriend in bed with his best friend"

"Politicians /have/ to serve the rich or the rich will influence policy to have them kicked out of office"

And so on. It's amazing how often I hear it.

Rational thinking is the road to finding a justification if there is one, and the key to balanced thinking. But one should be careful not to confuse a rational explanation for something with a justification. Not that quite often there can't be one. But too often people create a justification for a horrible deed at the first sign of empathy.

Empathy is a powerful tool, and integral for trying to understand where other people are coming from with their actions. Rationalization is the most useful way to find empathy for actions and movements that are morally and ethically questionable.

But we live in a world where people are taught that bad things like the Third Reich, or 9/11, or Saddam Hussein, or whatever just happen for irrational reasons committed by or for people with no motive other than:

A - As a result of some form of brain damage.

B - A desire to spread evil and attack "good", whatever that might be.

As a result, when these people who have grown up with this black and white idea of good and evil begin to rationalize they confuse it for a justification because it comes as a surprise that even the most atrocious act has a reasonable, rational, even empathetic explanation. What's worse, is that these same people reserve the ability to rationalize only for people and societies whom for they want to justify actions. If you're going to rationalize, rationalize fucking everything, every side, every person, every action.

Suddenly it's news that every single human being out there is a product of their environment and all of a sudden it's used as an excuse. But only for people and movements our narrow minded black and white society deem worthy of it.

As an example: If an Afghan kills himself and takes some Americans with him, they are god damn Satan reborn. When an American soldier goes on a killing spree murdering in cold blood women and children everyone is falling over themselves to turn him into a victim.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The subjective nature of quality

Some people (myself included) would argue that only taste in art is subjective, and that quality in art isn't. If quality in art was one hundred percent subjective there would never be any consensus as to what constitutes great art.

What is quality? Probably the most debated idea in the history of creative philosophy.

One idea in defining quality however can not be disputed. Quality is experienced.

It amazes me that creative quality is often found in work that mainstream viewers or intellectual viewers describe as "boring".

Now, "Boring" is hardly ever a valid critique of creative work. Most of the time, to find a critically acclaimed or commercially succesful work "boring" means the viewer was not in the right head space to experience the quality of the work or the viewer did not fall into the target audience for the work. One can criticize many things about creative work, but "boring" is a sign of the viewer's lack of viewing ability, not in lack of creative quality of the work.

There is nothing wrong with not being in the right head space to experience something, but not being able to recognize it will eventually prohibit the viewer from experiencing as much quality as possible.

Advice: If you find a creative work boring, but can't really critique its value on any other levels, watch it again at some other time in a different head space. It works.

It may surprise people that viewing is an ability. It takes serious focus to be a good viewer/experiencer of creative work.

Knowledge isn't really a prerequisite at all, despite what academics may believe. To be a good viewer, one must rid themselves of ego when viewing/experiencing. One must focus.

The aim of the viewer should not be to find flaws, it should be to experience quality.

I have found when I spend time with people who consider themselves film buffs we fall into a competition where the person who hates the most creative work wins. Especially if you hate work that a majority of critics or mainstream audiences see quality in.

As if your lack of being able to recognize quality is some kind of skill. It isn't.

I feel sorry for people who can't recognize quality anywhere and everywhere it exists. My goal, as an artist is to put myself in the right headspace to experience quality in every creative work it can be found.

If I can't see quality in a film that receives critical acclaim or commercial success I like to consider that a flaw in my /own/ viewing ability. I find this enhances my viewing ability and motivates me to expand on my taste and eventually one day puts me in the right headspace to experience what I was missing.

I think all film appreciators, or appreciators of /any/ creative works would do well to remember this.

Too often does the viewer disregard their own state of mind when experiencing creative work. This is arrogance.

Sometimes the viewer must accept that perhaps it is not the work that is lacking in creative quality, or the viewing ability in the people who can see its creative quality, but ones /own/ ability to recognize the creative quality which is evident to the others who do see it. In simpler terms, what could be lacking, is your own eye for this level of creative quality. A frightening concept to those who consider themselves film experts.

But fear not. Acknowledge it, and take it as a challenge to expand your taste. Because although taste may be subjective, creative quality, in my humble opinion, is not. So often, when a portion of the audience can recognize quality somewhere you cannot, and that recognition is honest and truthful. You should take it as a challenge to expand your own taste, because life should be about experiencing quality, not turning away from it.