Monday 31 December 2007

2008- Our Hopes In Our Own Hands

Well, this is the first year change in the life of this blog. May it be the first of many.

In some ways, it is just another day, it is true. The change is in the date, nothing more.
Yet human custom sees it as a time when we can make a conscious effort to move on, to leave behind those things we do not wish to carry with us, to embrace positive values we wish we embraced more.

New Year's resolutions are often like the promises of politicians, made half heartedly by those who utter them, and destined to live as long.

But in a young medium such as this, it is a good time for reflection, for a bit of thought about where we want this medium to go. It is, after all, a people's medium, and each of us, in our own way, carries responsibility for our part in it.

I think we have a real opportunity here, in fact we are already showing what can be done in creating a truly interactive medium. I think we have only just begun, in some ways. And this year will probably be the year this medium becomes all it can be, or it doesn't.
I think the way we interact has to have some things in common with the way we interact at work. In other words, our main aim should be the continual encouragement of wider, more inclusive, interaction. I'm not one for maintaining boundaries and/or formalities and the lack of them here, is a positive leap forward. We seem to interact with eachother in a very genuine way.

What we really need to watch, is when emotions get involved. In a sense, they are bound to. Of course I have contact with bloggers through more private channels, but it doesn't affect my blog or theirs in a negative way, so all is well. If it did, I would end such contact. On the whole, most of it is positive, informative and often useful. I have learned a lot from other bloggers, especially regarding technical issues.

I think one concept we need to purge from the blogosphere is that of 'enemy'. OK, we might disagree, sometimes, but we really should keep playground pettiness out of it. We are all adults and should be able to play like grown ups. Life really is too short for enemies. So, if there any bloggers you hold some cankerous resentment towards, now is the time to kiss and make up.
Ultimately, it's bad for both of you. You both lose out.

As regards romantic stuff. Again, this is a public forum. We are avatars here. A bit of online flirting is fine. Get as sordid as you want, feel free. But there is nothing that demeans a blog more than it being 'romantically' connected to another blog. My advice on the whole would be not to use this forum as a place for finding Love, in THAT sense of the word. What you find here instead, is something far better.

Couples on the blogosphere- NO!
Not so the rest of us can see, anyway. It degrades the medium. It SPOILS blogging. It trivialises it, and it potentially creates boundaries where we don't want them.

I'd also like to see a reduction in ad hominem attacks. Again, these completely defeat the purpose of blogging. We write as avatars, posts should be addressed on their own terms. The great thing about comments sections is that you can leave comments in them. Sometimes, comments sections can be more interesting than the original posts.

This medium can be everything we want it to be. I hope 2008 sees a new readiness for us all to listen respectfully and answer thoughtfully. I hope 2008 sees a new willingness to remember that each of us cares enough about our views to have gone to great trouble creating our blogs. Above all, I hope we never forget that behind each a blogger is a person who cares about SOMETHING, cares enough to want to share it.

So, I hope 2008 sees us all doing as we would be done by, opening up channels of communication with eachother, not shutting them down, seeking to create debate, not score petty points.
I hope it sees us treat what we have here with the respect it deserves, and not let it deteriorate in to a teenage chatroom.

As I have said before, I want it to be the world's first direct democratic debating forum.
Let it be that.

So. What's coming here in 2008?

Well, more of the same I guess. No shortage of post material, you'll be relieved to hear. One key topic I want to spend more time on is our development, the development of human culture, our evolution as a collective species through what I see as the six technological eras that have made up human history since the close of the Magdalenian- in other words, I'd like to have a look at human history in terms of what it really is- the history of it's technological evolution. I also want to look at the development of communication and how that has affected thought. For one thing, I do actually think it is true that you and I have a greater capacity for thought than our ancestors, simply by possessing more words. Communication IS a topic I'd like to explore.

I'd like to continue dissecting and re-evaluating our moral paradigms and their relative status in our culture. The theme of morality as a a basic tool for social cohesion will be prominent, as will the history of thought.

Some speculation on our future and some of the possibilities ahead will probably feature more than they have done yet. There are many technological issues I think frighten us. In many ways, I think we have a fairly negative view towards technological possibilities in our culture. We fear 'playing God'. I'd like to explore some of the huge possibilities open to us, and the huge benefits they may bring to us. I believe in a Mankind deserving enough to sieze it's own destiny, and I'd like to discuss that.

And I guess, we'll also have a bit of music, the odd football rant, the odd post about the mundanities of the Real Life this blogger lives.

I also intend to make a real effort in 2008 to manage time more effectively. My hope is that within two and a half hours a night, I can answer comments here, visit twenty- thirty blogs (with an aim of at least one new blog a day) plus post myself.

Well, here's to all our hopes and dreams...

Update: I just saw the news from Kenya. Makes you realise, the hopes of some are dead even before the clock strikes midnight.
At least ours have a chance. All the more reason for us to try doubly hard to achieve them.

Sunday 30 December 2007

Why Depeche Mode Stand Alone

Tonight's Music post, is going to be brief. Fact is, I'm not feeling well today, so I'm simply leaving the music to tell it's own story.

And that story is, that Depeche Mode are the greatest band of all time.

They hold a very special place in the development of music in the last thirty years. They are, put simply, in a class above. And I give you tonight, three of their best album non-singles. The track above, is Halo from Violator (1989).

This is 'New Dress', from Black Celebration (1986). It's rare you'll see it played live now, for obvious reasons. Still, it makes a powerful point.
These guys were (and are) amazing.

And lastly, Sister of Night, from Ultra (1998). This track holds a special place in the hearts of any Depeche Mode fans. This was the track that David Gahan first recorded after overcoming his heroin addiction, this is the track that saw his return to life, and showed that there is hope, that love and music can conquer all dark places.

When the History of twentieth century music is written, this is one group who will hold a prominent place.

Friday 28 December 2007

Illusion and Isolation

Reality, is in a sense, entirely subjective.
If I bang my fist down on this desk, it will hurt. Solid hits solid.
It doesn't change the fact that most of the desk, as with all matter, is composed of empty space.

I witnessed a scam take place a couple of weeks ago, and it was well done. So well done, in fact, that I didn't cotton on until too late.

I had just returned to the bar at my local pub, from under the canopy where we now must go to inhale a few drags of tobacco. One of the other regulars was tucking into a cheese sandwich that the lovely Jo (our sexy redhead barmaid), had just made for him.
At this point an earnest guy I'd never seen before who Jo was serving, asked if he could get a sandwich. Bear in mind the time is 10PM.
Jo replied that the pub wasn't serving food,as such, but she could make him one. He hummed and hawed a bit, her saying it would be no trouble, him declining. I'm just standing there thinking 'If you want a sandwich, have a sandwich, if not, shut up. You're monopolising the person I want to be talking to.'

I missed the point. Suddenly it came.
'You didn't give me my tenner.'
Jo looked puzzled 'I did. You put in your pocket!'

He emptied all his pockets. No tenner in sight. She looked at me. I gave her that look to say 'I wasn't watching him. I don't know where he put it, but I'm sure I saw him folding up a tenner.'

She should have stood her ground, but she didn't. She took a tenner out of the till, and went to find her boyfriend. By which point our weaselly friend had gone.

I'm sure it went up his sleeve. But he had his patter done well. Annoying enough and whining enough, to get all the other customers to look away in exasperation, whilst the barmaid doesn't watch his hands, because she is half turned to go and make a sandwich.

I did feel bad about not having been paying attention, and offered her a tenner to put in the till to make sure she didn't get in to trouble. She declined, but was clearly very upset for the rest of the evening.

It wasn't actually that clever a trick. I know of far better ones, but it proves the point. A trick doesn't have to be that clever to fool people. The point is, perception. Keeping people's eyes away. It is easier to fool someone if you can isolate them.

You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people, all of the time.
You can, however get round that.

A classic scenario is that described admirably by Alexandre Dumas, in the Three Musketeers.

Lord de Winter imprisons the character Milady, intending to dispatch her to the New World. He knows why Milady has come to England, to assassinate the Duke of Buckingham.

Knowing her divide and rule strategy, her power to infect anyone with her poison, he chooses the one gaoler who SHOULD prove immune to her charms.
The morally upright, apparently incorruptible John Felton.

He didn't think. For after five days of constant contact with Milady, Felton lives in a reality invented by Milady. Felton believes that Milady is a Puritan, like him, that the Duke of Buckingham sought to steal her honour, that indeed, Buckingham is a monster who he, John Felton, must destroy.

Because, whilst guarding her, Felton has lost contact with objective reality, he has been isolated from contact with other souls, who would have continuously thrust upon him the reality, they would have shown him, proved to him, that this indeed was an evil woman. The reader, knowing the truth about this woman, is mesmerised at this point, at the cleverness with which this honest soul is lured towards his own ruin.

And so Felton engineers the escape of Milady, and murders Buckingham.
Buckingham dead, the tool Felton goes bravely to his death, blissfully unaware that he dies for a lie.
And Milady? Oh, she kills again before she meets her demise.

As long as you isolate those you CAN fool, from those you can't, you are on to a winner.

And this is how so much of human society works. Isolate us. Keep us in compact units, the 'nuclear family', sitting in our own homes, with fences separating us from neighbours who we rarely speak to, sitting on our sofas watching television every free moment we have. Let this be our main contact with the world, a one way exposition, telling us what public opinion is.

God forbid we should actually talk to eachother and find out what we really think.

The trick this isolation plays, is it has us the real majority, feeling it is just us, just us that feels the way we do. When we see studio discussions on Question Time, we really think that we see a cross section of all points of view.
Representatives of the three main parties, a newspaper editor and a carefully chosen outsider- a cross section of society?

What we see are five people chosen to channel five slight variations on a common consensus. It is not a true debate. We find more interesting debate in our own living rooms, if we turn the TV off and have our friends round.

Public opinion is what the pollsters proclaim, after asking a series of closed questions- Gordon Brown, or David Cameron. Did they ask us how we'd feel about Gandalf for PM?

Keeping people in narrow social circles, with limited contacts is the main way they do it. They sell the lie to enough gullible, unthinking sheep, who go along with the lies because they aren't personally harmed. And the rest of us, keep thinking we are alone, we are outsiders. We are not. You are not.

I have always known that, because I have always kept myself in that section of culture they try to destroy, because it refuses to sit there and be lied to. The section that knows that life is to be found in people, in connection and dialogue with people. The more people you share your thoughts with, the closer to objective reality you get. If you spend your life in continuous interactive communication with as large a circle of people as you possibly can, and you consciously seek to add to that circle every day, they won't fool you.

And nor will anyone. Because you can't fool ALL the people ALL the time.
That's why every connection you have with every human being is important, it is part of your own support network, protecting you, keeping you safe.

The whole point of divide and rule, is to lie to both sides.

Treat every connection you have, as a a treasure. Not just your close friends and family, but the wider circle, your pub friends, your club friends, your blog friends, the numbers in your mobile you've half forgotten about. These connections are all important too. It's more worthwhile to go for a drink with someone you haven't seen for months, than watch Eastenders.
It's more worthwhile to share your thoughts here than tell your partner about your day at work. It's no insight to him/her.

Our own views are narrow and subjective.
Together, with as many eyes as we can get, we see the bigger picture.

Thursday 27 December 2007

Wishes For 2008

Firstly, A bit of Muse- Both the lyrics and the video say pretty much everything this blog is saying.

Secondly, I have been tagged by Grendel to list eight wishes for 2008, which is timely, I guess.

OK, let's go.

  1. That here, on the bloggosphere, we show the way forward. That we stand up, have our say about our society and genuinely start discussing ways forward. That we, the people start here and now to determine our own destiny, that we question every totem, we analyse every value and ideal of our society, that we stand up and are counted, putting aside petty hatred and division.
  2. That our species starts to see itself as it really is, stops seeing itself in a negative light, starts to see the huge journey upwards it has already made and has faith in the bright future it can acheive, and will acheive, if only people start believing.
  3. That people move away from the narrow social patterns and social divisions of the past, stop putting themselves and others in boxes, stop maintaining boundaries between themselves and others and live inclusively, rather than exclusively
  4. That the year sees me economically and materially comfortable, in a pleasant environment to live and work, with a large of number of people around me, in all senses.
  5. That I can somehow find time to devote to advancing my career, enjoying time with friends as well as having the time to devote to this blog, visiting other blogs and finishing my novel.
  6. That I meet many new friends, like minded people who share my outlook , people prepared to make positive efforts to change the way we live.
  7. That Ms Right FINALLY makes her apperance.
  8. That I really do have no enemies, or anyone bearing ill will towards me carried forward into 2008.

I can't really think of anything else I want. Or what else I COULD want.

Who shall I tag?

Well, whoever wishes to share wishes, I guess...
All those whom I mentioned below, should at least consider it...

Wednesday 26 December 2007

For The Special Bloggers I Count Amongst My Friends

What to get a blogger for Christmas?
How do you say Merry Christmas to people who you have never shared a drink with, but talk to everyday?
How do you give them a gesture of appreciation for months of kind words, considered comments, generally showing themselves to be people of worth, friends in the true sense of the word?

And I think, in some sense, these are very special friendships. They are platonic in the true sense of the word. Real Life friendships are based, at least in part, on some form of chemistry. Our friendships here are based purely on a meeting of minds, on some level.

I think what we already have here on the bloggosphere is an amazing thing, truly amazing. We can emote to eachother and share our thoughts and feelings in a completely new way.
At one level, it's like Hyde Park Corner in distant ages, everyone of us can set up their soap box and shout with gusto.
It really is the best place to come, to hear new ideas, to be challenged, to be made to think.
And so many people seem ready to show a willingness to do it right here, the way we often DON'T do it in real life.

Here at last, the great human direct democratic debating forum, where ALL can be heard. Here, as avatars, the formalities and social conventions, the BOUNDARIES that exist between Real Life people, are something that can be dispensed with between us as avatars. Here, people do not exist in boxes.

To me, it is a shining example of how human society SHOULD be, and I hope one day, WILL be. The day that there are no boundaries between people. When ALL people are in one big relationship with eachother, all treating eachother with equal respect, when no one carries enmity towards another, when people treat every connection they have, with every human being as valuable and not something they would lose.

I think everyone here, merely by HAVING a blog, undermines INGSOC, undermines thought control and reaches out to their fellow human beings.

So I made a little present for those of you who have, in your own ways, become part of my life.
This is my own little award, and I'm giving it to those who to me, make me remember why it is I blog, make me realise just how important it is.
These are people who come, not always everyday, but as often as they themselves post, always leave comments to show they have read the post, taken it in, maybe violently disagreed with it, but at least they've thought about it and they share their thoughts on it, just as I shared mine in the first place.

They are courteous, fair and open minded.
They have always treated my blog, and it's author with respect. There are some who have shared thoughts with me via e-mail, and they have kept that to themselves and treated any such discussions, with respect. They understand that these ARE boundaries that must be observed.

They have always been courteous and fair when I have commented on their blogs, and in all cases have blogs worth reading. Not all are anything like my blog. But I don't just want to read blogs like mine.

In short, they are people I believe have Inner Monkey. They have Love, Curiosity, Playfulness and Humanity. They are bloggers who enrich my world, by being everything bloggers should be.

I'd like to say a bit about each of them.

Welshcakes. Obviously the top of my list. Welshcakes is I'm sure, the most loyal visitor this blog has. And that's the point. That's blogging. You might compare blogs, and think of Chalk and Cheese, but this is the beauty of the medium. Forget Christmas spirits. Welshcakes IS the blogging spirit.

Phish. Phish is just a nice person, pure and simple. She is someone with a good heart. She is one of those friends I see as a sister. She has an uncanny amount of no nonsense common sense. On one very important occasion in my life, it was Phish opened my eyes. Life is treating her a lot better now, than it has been. Phish doesn't write about big issues. She writes about her, her every day life, her thoughts. But isn't that, after all, a big issue?

Electro-Kevin. Again, we go back a long way. And you might not expect us to agree. Kev is an ex-policeman and old fashioned Tory. My stance is very different. We set up our blogs at similar times and over the last year, have amicably disagreed (and often agreed, in fact) on many things. A night out together would almost certainly be very drunken, but very fun. He IS a thinker, more perhaps, than he knows.

Mutley. Again, the spirit of blogging. If anyone wants to see how to do a comedy blog, visit Mutley. If anyone wants to see the blogging spirit, visit Mutley. Radioactive Howler Monkeys, Strange Sexual Indiscretions, Purple Haired women abound. It's a place also, where bloggers find other bloggers. Go see. You'll find more than you expected.

Alexys Fairfield. Hardened cynics need to get a bit of 'feel good factor' as part of their daily diet. Alexys always delivers. She's a good friend to have. If this isn't a blog on your regular visiting list, it should be. Alexys is all about spreading Love. And we need that.

Eve. Eve is a sporadic poster these days. She ALMOST gave up blogging, but was persuaded to carry on by her admirers (and who COULDN'T be an admirer of Eve). I love her comments. It's great to have that level of understanding with someone from a culture that is still different in many ways to ours. And so much of Eve comes across in her posts. I also find her VERY SEXY indeed.

jmb. I find it hard sometimes to remember that there IS a generation gap between myself and jmb. Some of what I write, you'd think, would be shocking to jmb. If it is, she handles it well. Her comments are polite, well thought out and often thought provoking. Again, proof that different worlds can meet here, in a way they don't so often in Real Life. Open minded, that's jmb.

Crashie. Crashie is a very busy person in Real Life right now, I think, so blogging is kind of on the back burner. But she still comes. She's a nice person, as well. More importantly, I often wonder how hard it must be writing such well thought out posts in a language not one's native tongue.

Helen. Helen posts twice a week and visits as often as she posts. Helen is a good writer, a good poster, and a good commenter. Helen's comments are worthy of being posts in their own right. Helen exemplifies the best in blogging, by a willingness to discuss. She is also exceptionally well read. Hers is definitely a blog that needs more limelight. It's good. What more can I say?

Princess Pointful. The Princess runs posts which combine a bit of life analysis and other issues. She is a thinker, that is certain. I can tell from the comments she leaves, that she reads my posts very carefully. Her responses are well thought out and considered. Exemplary blogger on all count. She gives the impression of being wiser than her years. I'm certain that's true.

Gingatao. Paul S comes as and when. He is a bit like the Dungeonmaster in Dungeons and Dragons. He appears at unexpected times with something wise to say. I was surprised to find that there is an age gap between us to the degree there is, because this man is still a questioner. Paul never ossified into a comfortable world of middle aged acceptance, where social attitudes freeze as they were when he was twenty. In his heart, Paul belongs to the new generation, I think. His comments are gold dust, when he visits.

Oestrebunny. Again, bloggers don't have to write similar blogs to become blogging friends. Oestrebunny is a blogging friend, again, like Phish, a kind of younger sister. She has her head screwed on and describes the world as it is to her. Which is what a blog should do. The person that she is, comes through on her blog. And she has been a good friend to this blog. It means a lot to me that she read my recent post on Marx and commented on it. Opening up worlds, that's blogging. Breaking out of boxes.

Eric. Eric is a new friend, but Eric is a good guy. He's straight up. I've not known him long, but I like him. He's a good guy. He writes poetry and he finds the stars amazing. What more can I say? He's a kindred spirit and he's looking at the world the same way I am.

There are three other bloggers who I would have included, were they not on a hiatus. Ian Appleby, David Anthony and Heart of Darkness, all of whom were good friends to this blog. Raffi, there is one for you too, if your inner battle over whether or not to stay blogging, is won by the stormtrooper!

So. To all of you, I have made this little present. If you want to pass it on, feel free. Do whatever you want with it. If you do choose to continue it as a meme, then the rules should be; whatever number you see fit of your fairest, most courteous, most interactive readers. Those who make blogging a pleasure for YOU.

Thanks again, all of you, for being such great guys.

Tuesday 25 December 2007

Jesus- What Kind of Man Was He?

He is certainly the most controversial figure the world has seen.
He is the only living human being who has been accepted by his followers, not just as a messenger of a deity, but AS the deity.

And his followers reshaped the world. They founded the most successful philosophical and social system of all time.

The overall ethics of the western world are almost entirely rooted in his teachings. We forget that, sometimes. We forget how radical every word he said was, when he first said it, because now those values are still the values of a secular culture which largely ignores his church.

They are indeed a very special set of teachings.
And the proof of the pudding, is in the eating. The cultures that took on his teachings went on to be the dominant cultures, the architects of global culture. When we look at history, it is largely the history of the victory of the Christian cultures against all others.

History is written by winners, but we should not lose sight of the fact that winners generally win for a reason. Sometimes, the right side loses, but as a general tendency, the better, stronger, more vigorous, more efficient system will win.

In other word's, the thrust of what this man said, was correct, it was a message that it benefitted the human race to hear.

Now, let's have a look at the messenger.
It's a stark claim, claiming to be the Son of God. Messianic, is used as a dirty word. Unless of course, with regard to the Messiah. Everyone else who had his rare gifts, we are wary of. And with good reason. Often their messages lead to unhappiness.

Of course, the Romans felt exactly that way about Christians. They thought Christianity was a moral scourge, it's values leading young, idealistic converts to defy Rome, to suggest that there was some higher system of values than the greater glory and prosperity of Rome. Christianity's growth was slow. I often see Constantine's decision to unfurl the cross in that crucial battle, as a kind of experiment. If it made his soldiers fight better, it proved that Christianity had won the hearts of Rome, it was the future, and it would be embraced.

But was that triumph apparent in 100AD?

Was he the Son of God?

Now, as I'm sure you're aware, I don't think the answer here is simple. I don't believe that God has a white beard, I don't believe in the hosts of angels, I don't believe a lot of the traditional interpretation.

But I DO believe that the universe, in it's entirety is itself a conscious entity. We are conscious and we have processed information for less than a century (just over a quarter in my case). The universe has been doing it for billions of years, with a definite objective in mind, accelerating the pace of energy dissipation, by creating greater complexity.

It will always take the most efficient route to do so.

I stands to reason, if entities have evolved within it's structure, capable of receiving and transmitting information (as I think we are), then sometimes, there are people who tap into the universe. Somehow, they see into it's structure, they see the underlying processes.

This happens in a gradation of levels. At a simple level, we have the Eureka moment. We have Alfred Wallace, lieing in his bunk, sick with favour, ruminating on the problem of speciation. He starts to read Thomas Malthus 'Essay on population', and suddenly, that cross-connection shines out. In human society, the weak go to the wall. They die in poverty or famine. They leave fewer children then those who flourish. Thus also, in nature, surely. The giraffe with the shorter necks, cannot reach the highest leaves, they die in time of famine. A species which divides into two groups, pursuing different lifestyles, in different habitats, will produce groups of descendants which look different. Breeding achieved by laws of supply and demand. Natural selection.

And what of Fermat? In the eighteenth century, he made a bold statement, as an aside in his notes. It was this.
You can find any number of integers that satisfy a²+b²=c².
You will find none that satisfy the same equation, when it is cubed.
He asserted, furthermore, that no such numbers COULD exist, no matter how high you went, in an infinite scale of numbers, and that he could prove it.

He made this assertion in his notes and never went any further.

Mathematicians have spent two hundred years trying to prove that statement. And they did, within the last fifteen years. Using forms of equations unknown to Fermat.
So how could he be so confident? Because whatever he saw, he was right, we know that. But we can't see how he knew. He saw something in the relationships of numbers, that we still can't.

I suspect that throughout the long years of human history, many intelligent people have had amazing, conceptually brilliant, factually correct insights which they have carried to their graves, for fear of ridicule.

Jesus wasn't one of them.

Whether he was born of a virgin, I don't know. It's an article of faith, as a Catholic, I must accept.
What I do know, is the Jesus I see in my head, the hidden Jesus that I see in the silence of the Gospels.

I see a highly intelligent person, a questioner, a thinker from an early age. The type who engages in debate as a child with the Levites in the Temple and leaves them with more questions than answers.
I see him reaching his twenties, having watched and observed.

I think he saw the power of Rome, and the futility of revolts and Masada-style self destruction.
I think he saw the corrupt collaboration of the Herodian dynasty, with their hellenized courts and their cynical manipulation of the varying factions.

He saw the bickering between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, claiming the moral highground to build power bases.
The hated tax collectors, the money lenders of the temple, the strength of heritage and resistance of his people to their exploitation and he pondered.

I think those wilderness years were a time of anguish for him. I suspect he told his followers later about how he had got through every temptation the devil had thrown at him. We read this as the forty days in the desert. But I think it was more.

I think it was ten long years of mental anguish, of thinking, of ruminating.

I see Jesus sitting on a rock, throwing pebbles into the undergrowth thinking 'This hate, this division, it's getting none of us anywhere.'

I see him being a little wild, the man clearly had energy and charisma, and I think there were times in his twenties, when his path took him to places where he saw first hand the poor, the downtrodden, the outcasts. I think it was here he learned not to judge people, it was here he saw the humanity of the prostitute, of the prodigal son.

And suddenly I think it clicked into place.

Love was the answer. We're all in this together. It doesn't matter if we are Jew, Roman, Samaritan, Egyptian, we are wasting energy on this.
If Jews stopped hating Romans, and Romans stopped treading down on Jews, look at what could be built together.

So how to get people stop hating?

And I think he looked, he looked at happy children playing, he looked at lovers embracing, and thought 'It's there, in us. We CAN love. It's just people don't seem to be able to see it. They cannot see that SELFLESSNESS is the ultimate SELFISHNESS. If everyone does it for everyone, we all end up better off, than if we just do it for self. It's a beautiful world, and Man is the finest thing in it.'

'Love your enemies'

And God loves you. God loves you, because you took a long time in the making. You can't be wasted, your life can't be wasted. The road that it took for you be here now was a long one. You matter. You are a part of this wonderful universe, you interconnect with it. You really do have a bit of stardust in you. Maybe he could see that, too.
But God loves you, because you are PART of him, as everything is. That's what he saw. We all have our parts to play in this great sweep of existence.

And then he went forth and sold it.
Here is where I depart in my view, from orthodox interpretations. What I described above, is the message. It needed packaging, it needing explaining to a people who liked stoning people to death and nailing them to bits of wood, for whom the deity was a vengeful God who turned people into pillars of salt.
He took their scripture, and transformed it. He boldly challenged it and superseded it.

To do so, he needed an incentive. The Kingdom of God.

But I think, myself, that the Kingdom of God really exists when all living people truly listen to what he said.

And I think he sold his message to his time. The basic principles will remain eternally true, but there are areas where I think he would deliver differently today.

I see his injunctions on marriage, etc, as aimed at creating harmony, love and unity in the world he lived in. Love, being the key.
To believe that all aspects of his teaching remain unaltered for all time, means believing that he really could see our lives today. And myself, I'm not sure I believe that.

I suspect, were he to come back today, many Conservative Christians would be shocked by his stance on many things, and would find themselves in the position of the pharisees, living by dead words, and not feeling a vibrant, living love.

The true Christ can be seen by his forgiveness of Mary Magdalen.

If there is a Heaven, I think Jesus prefers to chat to John Lennon than Mary Whitehouse. They probably joke about which of them is biggest. And John says 'Hey, it was 1966. I WAS bigger THAT year.'

A salesman? Oh, he was that. But not some cheap salesman. He did what he had to do to sell the greatest message of all time.

He even went as far as letting them nail him to the cross, to say 'I Love you. All of you. This is how special Love is. It is about living, dieing if necessary, for Mankind.'

He made the world sit up and listen. And it still listens. But too often, I think, it's hearing, without listening.

He saved us, because he showed us the Power of Love.

Merry CHRISTmas, every one of you.


Monday 24 December 2007

Christmas- Season of Excess For All Men

Well, the time off is good (I've actually SLEPT a bit recently)

But I hate the season with a passion.
It sums up everything that is wrong with our society.

'It's Chriiissstmaaasss.'
So fondling the other office staff after a few sherries is OK, as is throwing up in taxis, photocopying your private parts and e-mailing them to all your clients, mooning police cars and stealing traffic cones.

Well, I've done my bit for consumer spending, mainly at HMV, where I got presents for my parents, as well as my presents FROM my friends (OK, it's a funny way of doing it, but that's what we do. We each get ourselves something from the other person, it means we actually receive presents we want). I've spent ages wondering round Boots trying to find something suitable for an 85 year old woman and ended up just taking the sales assistant's advice.

Oh and I bought a Nun's outfit, which is a future present for the right person when they show up.


The economy has come to depend on it. If people don't ratchet up those credit card debts this December, we're in trouble.

A lot of places have now seen sense and MOVED the January sales FORWARD to before Christmas. HMV has.

Now there is supposed to be a point to all this. It is supposed to be when Jesus Christ was born.

Not a lot of people know that. (Joke, it just seems that way)

Now I will go to Mass tomorrow, but it isn't really important to me. Being born is something we all managed, it's the dieing on the cross thing that most of don't get as far as, so to me, it's Easter should be the big one. And it is for me, I go Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It makes up for my poor levels of devotion the rest of the year.

Now I do generally believe the Gospels for the most part. I think three out of four WERE written by the names associated with them, so for the most part I accept it as 'Gospel truth'. The nativity, I can't. There's just too much evidence to suggest it is an invention, caused by the necessity of needing to link a person everybody knew came from Nazareth with a birth in Bethlehem.
It doesn't add up in the slightest. The census that took place didn't take place during the reign of Herod, and it is unlikely to have involved the logistical nightmare of everyone returning to the town of their birth rather than staying put.

But anyway, Jesus has stopped being the real meaning of Christmas to most children in the twenty first century.
Enter the Lord of Misrule, mixed with a medieval hagiography about St Nicholas, and we have...

Santa Claus. Father Christmas.

Dressed in the livery of Coca Cola. Of course. Santa wore lots of colours at one time. Green mainly. After all, his ancestor was the Lord of Misrule, himself a descendant of the Green Man. Coca Cola first put him in red, on their advertising billboards. Coca Cola have truly made Christmas THEIR season.

I'm sorry, I just don't like him.
I don't like the lie.

Because it's not true, is it, that he only gives presents to good children. Remember Bing Crosby? The Boy who Santa Claus forgot? 'Poor little laddy, he hasn't got a Daddy'

A lot of NOT very good children, methinks, will receive X-boxes this year.

But more importantly, it's not just a nice little white lie.
I remember when I found out, when I was woken up by clumsy scurrying out of the bedroom.
Yes, I'd got what I'd asked for on my list. But I'd lost something too.

It's a lovely dream, it is, a LOVELY dream to believe in as a child. Until the moment you realise that your Mother sat there bold as brass whilst you set out a mince pie for Santa and a saucer of milk for his reindeer, encouraged you to listen out for those bells, maybe even at six years old you knew at the back of your mind it sounded a little far fetched, but if it wasn't true, then surely, surely, your own parents weren't in on the act.

But maybe it's a good thing.

Maybe it's good, that a young age we start to realise that much of what our parents and teachers tell us, will not in fact be true.
Maybe the sooner we start to realise that glitzy, mushy, happy endings are not real, the better.

Maybe it's good we learn young, that authority figures will tell you what they want you to hear.

Santa isn't real. Democracy isn't real. Your rights are illusory. Your freedom of speech will be drowned out. Princesses don't find Princes. Good people aren't rewarded. Justice has nothing to do with right and wrong. Life isn't black and white.

You've found one lie out, now spend your life working out the other ones.
Maybe not a bad place for them to start.

I don't know why, I have a sneaking suspicion most of you will be bored by three o'clock, stuffed with those chipolatas wrapped in bacon, underwhelmed by the stack of pink shirts and joke books and wondering if there's anything interesting online.

Merry Christmas, it's here, so let's make the most of it, in our own ways, ways special to us.

Have a Good'Un!

Sunday 23 December 2007

Christmas Music Post

OK, it's not REALLY a Christmas song. But it was a Christmas number one, and it really is beautiful.

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful.

Loving it, Loving it, Loving it.

These are the sentiments that should drive the season of goodwill to all men.

And I'm devoting to this post to someone I've never met and almost certainly never will, but who has brightened up my day beyond belief and restored my overall faith in humanity. They know who they are.

I hope they wish upon a star this Christmas, and get everything they wish for.

Actually, everyone get wishing on stars.

In fact I'LL go do it whilst I have my pre-bed cigarette.

Success and Failure- Blue Pill and Red Pill

OK, put starkly, here it is.

Take the Blue Pill. Pretend it's working. Believe in a terror network, and that's the sole reason that they arm the police further, bring in 90 day detension (Verwoerd eat your heart out).
Tell yourself that it's all good really (good for you, you had a good education, walked into a good job, you live in a rich country).

Pretend we had to go into Iraq, but not Darfur.
Pretend the burgeoning crackhead population of the UK, just do it for fun.

Pretend we can just restore pre-sixties social attitudes, that we can just roll back the carpet to those days.

Ignore rising consumer debt and it's obvious implications.

Ignore the fact that Europe and the Americas are continents of Consumers and tertiary/quaternary sector industry only.

Ignore the fact that more people vote in Big Brother than in General Elections.

Hey, as long as my wife gets those new kitchen cupboards to brag to the neighbours with, and my love life is OK as a result, who cares?

Or take the other.
See the Matrix.

See yourselves, like the poor whites of the deep south, fighting to maintain slavery, when it's abolition served their interests better.

See yourselves slaving away forty plus hours a week in an asset swapping game, pawns in the power struggles between the corporations.
See the human debris, the rejected contributors, the urban poor, rejected because the interest monster needs MORE CONSUMERS THAN PRODUCERS to feed.

See the deliberate exploitation of Islamophobia to strengthen the arms of the Executives of the West.

See the other three quarters of the world, whose quality of life has DETERIORATED since decolonisation.

Understand how it happens, how the dynamics of the system works, the tools used, and the bribe they offer you.

Stand back and look.

Stand back, admit, we the human race can do a LOT, LOT better, with the technology we have, with the knowledge we have.

Now I appreciate, most of you will still take the blue pill.
Because taking the other puts you in a tricky situation.

What are you going to do?
Succeed or Fail?

Because now you can see it, that now determines what succeed and fail mean.

Fail is to curl up and continue to bow. It has positives to it. Good career, love, marriage, children, material comforts, dieing of old age with the grandchildren on the knee.

Succeed is harder. Succeed is to reject all that.
Succeed is to STAND UP. It is to STAND UP and SHOUT TO THE TOP OF YOUR VOICE, carrying your shouting as far as it will reach.

It is to say 'I'll not bow to you any more'.

It is to take on everything they throw at you as you keep walking towards them. And if they start shooting, it is to embrace the bullets.
Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
Better your grandchildren look with pride at a name on a plaque, than you live to hear them ask you 'What did you do, Grandad?'

I guess I'm resigned to failure, resigned to living on my knees, though that failure is something I find hard to live with.

But my belief that the day WILL come, when people DO stand up, en masse, is some consolation to me.

PS- Just noticed, post Number 301. A milestone? Hmm. Let's see if we get to five hundred.

Crushed and Me

Maybe it has become a Love-Hate relationship.

Somtimes he is a slave driver.
I worry about him more than anyone I've ever worried about. Protecting him from harm is probably one of my key priorities.
There is a sense in which I live through his existence.

I've even got to the stage where I'm composing posts on the dancefloor.

I look in the mirror sometimes, and the name that forms in my mind, is not my real first name, it is Crushed.

Sometimes the identity behind Crushed just seems irrelevant.

To be fair, that doesn't mean much. The thoughts that dominate this blog are the thoughts that dominate my mind.

I guess I party so hard in RL, because I can't really deal with silence, with being alone for a second. A huge sense of emptiness, of hopelessness, of fear, of panic comes across me if left my own too long.

I never planned this far ahead with my life, guess I really believed I'd 'Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse'.

I never wanted to get this far, and now I have, I find it hollow.

Career? Well, I suppose I derive a certain satisfaction out of working. It satisfies at that level, the chemical one, that of keeping the adrenalin going. But do I really care? No. It doesn't make me feel that the world is better for my existence.

I'm not close to my family, I doubt I'll ever have one of my own.
I don't think I'll ever be able to let my guard down that far. As I have said, those I trust I trust, and I think that list is closed for ever now.

I live day to day, there is no plan for the future, no thought of tomorrow, or next year. I really just don't care. Try as I might, I cannot see any relevance in it.

My grandmother always wanted me to be a priest. In a sense, I can see her point. In a distant age, I'd have made a good Jesuit.

There are two ways I feel it. One is through clubbing or party situations, being in the centre of a vibrant energy, or getting involved in in depth philosophical discussions about the sort of things I write about here. Then, in those moments I feel alive.

The other way of course, is when I write one of my better posts, when I really feel I've said what I want to say.

That's it really. All other 'happiness' is illusory, false, a product of the moment, with no true intellectual satisfaction.

Money, Romance, Ambition, Success, Comfort, it just all seems trivial, and I resent their blandishments.

I sedate myself with pleasures, to get by, to ease momentarily that constant restlessness, that dissatisfaction, that sense of being alone with the vision I see.

But this here, what I write, is all that really matters to me, really. Maybe I will live and die in vain, and certainly this blog doesn't make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Except maybe it does. Every little helps. You have to believe that, I guess. 'It's a Wonderful Life' tells us so.

Crushed gives me hope in something, faith in something, he is the meaning to my life, maybe the only true love I will ever have.

Crushed is the part of me that serves some purpose, because the rest is fast approaching the age beyond which it has lost it's sparkle. The pretty boy looks are gone, the bags under the eyes seem never to go, the furrowed forehead (Which I had at twenty, if you looked closely), now starting to show.

I'm not thirty yet, but I feel my life has been long. I feel twice as old as I actually am, sometimes. I feel my life has been lived, that there is nothing else to come, for me. I've had my lot.

Yet somehow, there is some purpose. Whilst Crushed breathes, the world has some light in it for me.

And where will he take me?
Christ knows.
But to a large extent now, Crushed and I are bound in an inextricable way. But whether Crushed is part of my persona, or I am just an appendage of Crushed, I'm not entirely sure. In many ways the second is more satisfying.

Now that probably sounds pretty crazy.

C'est la vie.

Saturday 22 December 2007

The Dark Reality of Crushed

I like to party. A lot. I need rooms full of people, I need music on whilst I blog, I hate being silent, I hate being on my own, I don't even really like it, if I'm alone with just one other person. I need that continuous sense of interaction.

It's why I'm a good salesman. Needing the buzz, I've learned the buzz. I seek it, live it, feed on it.

It's my life mechanism, my survival mechanism, my comfort zone.

Because the person I am without that, is a very different person. One I can only release in front of a handful of people, knowing they will protect that person, before I lock him back up, behind the cast iron defences of the persona I live as.

And that's a strong persona. My mechanisms for dealing with the world are strongly oiled. When I'm focussed, I don't put a foot wrong. One of my (usually misunderstood) sayings in RL is 'If you know how control dogs, you know how control people', because it happens to be true. I have made a deliberate point of learning how human dynamics work and using that understanding.

And it's part self protection. I guard myself.

The Baker is one of the few I trust enough, to see the me that lies behind that.

The Baker is now living with us half the week. Funny thing is, it doesn't feel odd. The only wierd thing is, the regular meals. My flatmate has always been a trifle wary of asking if I've eaten, because of how cagy I get when asked.

Typical conversation;

Flatmate: Have you eaten?
Crushed: I got a ham and cheese slice from the Spar.
Flatmate: You should eat proper meals.
Crushed: Stop worrying- not your problem, hon.

The Baker is more of an enforcer.
The Baker spends a good portion of his life worrying about me. The Baker sees aspects of me no-one else does.

He's seen me and tearful and hysterical, letting it all out. He knows me at that deeper level, the level my flatmate is allowed to see in entirity on occasion, that I allow the Chimney Sweep a glimpse of, but has no existance beyond that.

He understands that distant look that appears in my eyes sometimes, that look of apprehension, that need suddenly to get some fresh air.

He knows how I dread people penetrating my defences, how my inner level is something that only he is permitted to see.

He knows my opinions, and by now, understands and agrees with them.

But here is the divergence.

We just went for a drink and he said he wanted me to have a good 2008. He (correctly) observed that as things stand I'm not a contented bunny.
The Baker believes the solution is there for the taking. It involves just playing by the system, playing the system in fact, going for the top job, settling down, etc.

He believes it is all there, should I make that choice.

I just don't see it making me happy.
What he wants, is for me to find someone and stop obsessing about, well, the stuff I write about.

It's just not a viable option.

I think about this stuff in my sleep.

Free Love- Why it is a HIGHER Ideal

There are two ways of seeing ethics.
One sees ethics as timeless. They are set in stone, set forth at the beginning of time.

The other sees them as evolving to suit societal needs, a set of rules by which we govern ourselves, rules made with the ultimate object of human happiness in mind.

And the second must be so. After all, in the Age of Reptiles, what morality was there?
Morals are rules we make to keep our society functioning.
As society changes, so too the rules which work best.

For example, during the middle ages, rules of chivalry dictated all sorts of tight codes of conduct.
For example, a woman riding alone was safe. A woman riding with a knight was under his protection, so challenge him and beat him, you just take the woman. THAT was the code of chivalry.

I don't think many of us want to see that type of morality restored.

Much of morality is there to serve the needs of the society it exists in.
Leviticus contains long lists of rules in place to make sure people lived longer, didn't fight eachother and everyone knew what was going on.

1. Don't eat things which have a tendency to carry disease if not stored properly or cooked properly; mainly Pig flesh, things made from blood, etc.
2. Keep tabs of who is having sex with who- property is inherited by sons, so we need to know whose son is who's.
3. Sex carries a lot of diseases. Don't do it, unless it's for baby making purposes. And don't have sex with your relatives. The children don't turn out too healthy.

It's really a kind of 800 BC health and safety manual. These things are wrong, because they are dangerous.

Remove the dangers attached, and they stop being wrong.

The fact is, with contraception, DNA testing, the demise of primogeniture, huge steps made towards the eradication of VD, we just don't need these attitudes to sex any more. They cause more harm than good.

How much misery has been caused over the years to those attracted to others of the same sex, due to the maintenance of a rule initially instituted to prevent unnecessary spread of VD?

And that's just a part of it.

Let's just look at Monogamy.
Of course it can work, it DOES work, for some.
But clearly, not very well for most people. It did, in days when it was enforced, when it was a NECESSARY part of the social structure.

The institution is receding, because the way we live is changing. There are no longer any powerful social dynamics favouring the institution.

Human beings live a lot longer and are sexually active for longer, than they once were.
And more importantly, we are loving, communicative creatures. Loving one person does not make us incapable of wanting to form emotional bonds with others.
This is the point, 'the exclusion of all others.'

How is that Love?
You cut yourself off from the rest of the world, living in a couple feeding off eachother, close connections to all others denied.
And we see this as good. As the song says 'When a man loves a woman, he turns his back on all his friends.'

How CAN this be a positive ideal for an enlightened society?

Free Love has NOTHING TO DO WITH LUST. That is a myth peddled by it's opponents.
Who have good reason to do so.

Monogamy DOES serve a purpose in strengthening the INGSOC structure.
It keeps people in couples, isolated from other couples, sitting in their boxes, watching boxes, working and coming home to eachother, controlled isolated human cells.

And there's no need to do so.
It creates misery.

It creates misery, because it forces people into an all-or-nothing choice they don't need to make.

Nobody wants to lie alone night after night. No matter how many friends you have, we all need to feel the warmth of another human being at night.

But does everybody want to live as one half of a couple? Sharing a bed should not have to mean sharing lifeplans. In days when men provided for women, it was a deal. Sex in exchange for providing a roof. Not now.

Why cannot men and women retain their separate identities? He keeps his friends, she keeps hers. They share moments of tenderness, but there are large areas of their lives kept separate.

And both are free to care for the other people they care for at whatever levels they care for them, without the other party believing themselves to have rights of veto over them.

People in 'relationships' are forced to carry them like a millstone round theirs necks. There is an insidious ideal at work here, where 'partners' feel they have a right to the lives of the other party, coming before their jobs, their ideals, their other personal relationships.

It shouldn't be that way. Take me, for instance.
My job will always take precedence, when needed, over any personal relationship, as it should. And several of my friendships will always be closer and deeper, due to the length of time they have existed, than any romantic relationship. And that, in my view, is perfectly correct. There is a sense, in which those relationships have a higher importance, because they are based primarily on intellectual connection.

I haven't the time to devote to just one person. This has always been a major problem with past relationships.
Every single one has felt they don't have enough of my time, I have almost always found myself thinking that they are trying to take up too much of mine.

And now certainly, with the average time elapsing from leaving home to returning home, being eleven hours, with this blog demanding time, with extensive social commitments, I have not much time free for a loved one.

Yet I'd want her to be loved.

Here society creates a problem for me. Give her all the love she needs, or none.
I can't do the first, the second makes me miserable.

But I can love a woman enough to tolerate her seeking elsewhere the love I can't give her. In fact, at least I'd know she was happy.
I can't see WHY anyone would WANT to 'commit' to me, nor what they'd get out of it. So a situation where they don't have to, is ideal for me.

Such is modern life and we shouldn't try constrain people's attempts to find love and happiness so rigidly.

Free Love is not an immoral concept. It is not the spirit of orgies. It means that everyone is free to express LOVE, to whomever and whenever they please, without feeling tied.

It's not about giving way to rampant desires, it's about people being able to share passion and tenderness without being shackled perpetually to another human being. It's about deciding to go for a drink after work with a mate and not having to justify that decision, indeed to decide to stay out and maybe come home next morning, no explanation needed.
It's about being able to share what you want with someone, without them demanding you share those aspects of your life you choose to keep separate.

It's about loving someone without that love being conditional.

It's about 'Why don't we just lie here and enjoy eachother, emotionally, intellectually and physically, in the here and now, without there being a price to pay?'

We as a society can make that possible. Because all the obstacles are removed.

In a more communally based society, mothers could bring up their children with the support of the whole community. Children, in fact, would be safer. Everybody would be equally responsible for all children. No more children being abused in dark corners of sink estates.

Sex, can be what people want it to be. It can be a physically rewarding bout of energy and passion between two lust driven strangers.
Or, it can be a loving gesture of union between two souls desiring to unite.

Love, more importantly, can be freed. Love, the EMOTION.
After all, why CAN'T I love every one of you?

Why must I love one person to the exclusion of all others?

More importantly, why would I want YOU to love me and me alone?
I'm not worth THAT much.

There's six billion people out there, and the more we all loved eachother, I mean REALLY loved eachother, the better it would work.
That emotion, Love, we should be able to feel far more than our society permits.

Go out, bond with eachother, LOVE eachother. I don't just mean sex. I mean opening up to eachother, letting people in, emoting to eachother on real human terms, not within the narrow constraints of social convention. Touch eachother's souls.

Let's take the concept of the marital bond and make it not an exclusive ideal, but an INCLUSIVE one.

Let's live as if we are ALL married to EACHOTHER.

THAT'S Free Love.

Friday 21 December 2007

Marx- The Misrepresented Prophet

It serves the interests of the powers that be to misrepresent him.
And history aids that misrepresentation.

He didn't say what they say he did, his theories have not been 'tried', for reasons he himself made clear, and therefore they cannot be said to be false.

Some people tried a revolution once, and attempted to set up a system which bore no resemblance to anything he said, but just because they proclaimed themselves his followers, doesn't invalidate his ideas any more than the suicide cult of Jim Jones invalidates Christian teaching.

They try to portay Marx's theories as being political.
They are not, any more than Darwin's are. Indeed, Engels compared Marx's theories TO Darwin, and the parallel IS actually striking.

Marx's theories describe the evolution of economic models and their relationship to the stage of global technological development. It is human history turned into science.

This is the real point of Marxism. It is removing the superstition and the colour from history, and seeing it as it is, the evolution of a species through ever improving states of social, cultural, technological and political development.

And this is played down. Marx's economic theories are scientifically testable, but more importantly, they explain why they CAN'T be wrong. Like with evolution, we are looking at a simple mechanism of change. The process described is a dynamic one, governed by definite scientific laws.

What Marx argues, is that socio-economic systems evolve, each one replacing the one before as it's time comes, much like the Mammal supplanting the Reptile.

The Roman Economic system was based on plunder and a substantial part of the total population of the world (three eighths of those on the Italian peninsula), being simple slaves.

The medieval system, could survive with a less harsh form of slavery, serfdom.
This was essentially due to the development in Northern Europe, of the horsedrawn plough. It meant less human labour was needed to keep the wheels of society going. No need to work people to death any more.

Then came the mercantilist phase, a phase of adventurous voyages to China, a phase of trade monopolies, of Royal Trading Companies, an era of acquisition and absolutism, where the other races were enslaved, but in Europe all men could aspire to dignity, and discuss the Rights of Man.
Yet again, another advance forward, with a new Economic model.

And then the next phase, the model we live in.
A phase as certain to wear itself out and become obsolete, as the ones before.

And Marx, worked out it's cycle, he explained in simple terms, why the system had replaced Mercantilism, why it worked, why it achieved the great successes it did, why it was the system that was changing the world for the good so dramatically (Yes, he ACTUALLY said this. Marx WASN'T an anti-capitalist, he just understood it.

He also explained how it would come to its end and the ills it caused, why it still wasn't the perfect system, and why eventually the next phase would solve those ills.
Obviously, it stands to reason, one of the initial reasons why a new model is favoured, is it rectifies the bad points of the previous one, just as one of the selling points of Capitalism, was that it was in capitalism's interests to end slavery.

Basically, Marx pointed out the obvious. The system is driven mainly by the change from clamping down on usury, as all previous had tried, and use it inside to fuel a huge expansionist face. The world will be colonised. The new fangled railways, will not lead from London to Manchester, but from Bombay to Rangoon. This economic model is based on profit.
I borrow twenty thousand, return from India with a hundred thousand, but the lender gets forty thousand.

And Marx pointed out, it will carry every technological advance with it, as it drives globalisation, drives the turning of Fiji and Zululand into our culture. There will be no more far away places, when Capitalism finishes it's work.

But one day, it will. Because there are no more far away places.
just one great big Capitalist system, that has now reached the limits of the human race.
Who now to sell to at a profit? Now it turns out there ARE no Martians?

The system turns and eats itself. It shed consumers, creating a class of consumers who don't produce. It helps create imaginary growth, as does inventing money that doesn't exist and lending it to people who will never pay it all back.
Thus the interest monster continues to be fed and the (material) gap between rich and poor expand at accelerating pace.

It's all in Das Kapital.

And eventually, the money will just be worthless. The Cash Economy will just fail. It is inevitable.
And we're almost there.

That's pretty much what he said.
Plus of course, pointing out the obvious. Whatever Economic model we go for next, we will take the chance to rectify the evils of the previous one, just as Capitalists ended slavery.

We will end the control of resources by unaccountable groups.

It's not a recipe for dictatorship- the reverse.
He argues that true democracy and true communism are the same.

What happened in Russia, was not what he said. He said no revolution could work, whilst Capitalism was still growing and existed side by side with it.
In Russia, what existed was State Capitalism, not Communism.

Communism, is a democratic society WITHOUT a party dictatorship, without even an apparatus of state, in the sense we see it.

Just imagine a load of interlocking County councils, Electricity boards (elected by you), a local restaurant which fed the neighbourhood (chosen by the people), everything, every utility governed by an executive elected by you.

But no more Central government, with control over armed, uniformed enforcers.
No more corporations buying and selling human labour.

THAT's what Marx 's theories are all about.

And that's why, he is one of the good guys, and not the villain the powers that be want you to see him as.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

A Good Forum For Debate

We are lucky in a way. Here IS a good place to start.

I'm not the only one convinced there is a dark future ahead, the collapse of the society we know. It is on the verge of coming down. I believe it. In his different way, James thinks similar.

I think Electro-Kevin has forebodings that way. It's in our bones. And we can see why, in our different ways.

What we don't all see to the same level I realise, is that it REALLY WILL give us the chance to decide how exactly we'd put it back together.

Some of us, would try have a go at building a society with the technology of the future, but the social structure of the pre-atomic age.

Others would restore the ethics of the sixties, but the technology of the iron age.

Me? Well, I'm advancing the position of a group whose voices aren't heard- the bulk of the graduate population of the e-generation, the underacheiving, disillusioned, bored, hedonistic libertines of Middle England. I've nailed my colours to the mast, where I'm coming from.

So between us, I guess we can try discuss exactly what will work, what won't, and which of the options that work, suits human needs best.

And then by the time the crash happens, at least somebody somewhere has been discussing what to replace this system with.
This seems as good a place as any to start having that discussion in civilised manner, worthy of an enlightened species.

Who says blogging cannot be important?

Some Delusions are Better than Others

It's cleverly done, I grant you that.
Every day I find yet another reason to shake my head and smile, amazed at the cleverness, the completeness of the trick.
So many good people buy it.

It's a confidence trick. A very, very good one. The best ever. As you'd expect.

Because it carries the highest prize.

Control over the world. What better prize? And it's brazen, if you choose to look.

OK, all human societies, have all been power matrices, however it has been hidden.

Who controls the distribution of pleasure and pain, wields the world. Be it Emperors, or Religions, or Corporations.

Those who control the means of production and distribution, the ones those with the weapons obey.

And the rest of us?
We have what they suffer us to have.
They keep us on the treadmill.

Power is a drug, we are kept down by its addicts.
Not just the Bushes and Blairs, but the real addicts, the Bill Gateses and the Rupert Murdochs.

They play us for fools. They tell us we govern ourselves, but no, we choose one of two teams, whilst the telescreen tells us WHAT to vote for. It tells us, what laws we SHOULD have, and what ones we SHOULDN'T. The telescreen tells us capitalism is good, that we cannot appoint it's enemies, that we need more (armed) policeman to watch over us.

They convince us, it's the only society that can work, that it is the one WE choose to have.

No, on both counts.

If we all sat about, together, and planned the means of production and distribution and the governance of the world from scratch, we WOULDN'T do it this way.

Not with the knowledge and technology we now have.

We should have the confidence in ourselves to dismantle it and put it back together a better way.

Think about it.

Read my archives, there are pretty much eight months worth of solid argument in between the more puerile posts, outlining the reasons behind the points I made in this post.

Delusions they could be, but they are certainly closer to the truth than the crap the TV is telling you.

If I'm right, my arguments stand on their own merits, and the identity of this blogger, or indeed anything that this blogger chooses not to disclose about himself, is totally irrelevant.

My lifestyle has no bearing on whether or not my thought processes are correct.

Thankyou for the tribute, James. From a consummate blogger such as yourself, it means all the more.