Demonstrators in Missouri, USA, protesting the shooting of an unarmed teenager were confronted by militarised police. I didn’t realise Missouri was a war zone these days. You don’t think this is a sign of a worldwide War on People? Wait a few years…
“Here’s to the warmongers. The criminals. The liars. The psychopaths. The wolves in sheep’s clothing. The ones who have no integrity.”
It’s obvious that people don’t want this kind of mass surveillance so they’re trying to rush it through using emergency legislation. Democracy is nothing but a farce. It’s a game rulers play to make people think they have some power. Better that you should consent but no matter if you don’t. They will have their way in the end regardless of what you want.
- Open Rights Group: No Emergency! Stop the Data Retention Stitch Up!
- The Independent: New data bill contains ‘sweeping surveillance powers that affect everyone in UK’
For many of us in the firearms community, it’s no surprise that after a number of years of incremental firearms restrictions in the Philippines, people are now also starting to notice an increase in violent crime. Historically, violent crime rises with more restrictive civilian firearms laws. Correlation does not imply causation but it should provoke further investigation.
Even in Britain, the ‘gold standard’ for gun control, this narrative that stricter gun laws leads to less crime is not so clear-cut. Unfortunately, polarisation and politicisation of issues make statistics meaningless as each side massages the data to suit their agenda.
Play with information as much as you like but Nature’s laws always trumps Man’s laws. Predators surface when there is easy prey.
Hannah Arendt summed up the revolution dynamic nicely when she said that radicals become conservatives the day after the revolution. “Revolutionaries do not make revolutions.”
A violent revolution is never a solution as it simply installs a new set of overlords. Or, as Pete Townshend put it, “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss.” Pretty much every example we have in history points to this.
Voting only gives political violence an appearance of legitimacy. Voting is violence by proxy. Public protest and civil disobedience operate under the rules of civil obedience. Both actions accept the rulers’ claim to authority.
So what to do?
If the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name, we acknowledge the true evil in the world and strive to make it irrelevant in our lives. Evil is corruption of good. Political corruption is only a symptom of corruption of the mind. Corruption of the mind follows from the refusal to see the truth. And the truth is that there are no bearers of truth.
Fighting evil leads only to more evil. By making it lose significance, we rob it of power. The real revolution is in realizing we don’t need to revolt.
To fully appreciate the comedy in this headline, you need to know a bit of backstory.
There have been mall robberies in the Philippines where the perpetrators used hammers to break display cases. The hammers were purchased inside the mall so in response, Philippine police ordered a ban on the sale of hammers. Yesterday a robbery took place and pipe wrenches were used. Now there seems to be a serious discussion on how the thieves changed their MO. Apparently, the police have a lead on where they bought the pipe wrenches.
This game of chess between master criminals and their fearless pursuers is riveting…
Dr Jason Hickel, lecturer at the London School of Economics, is one of those academics who believes that we can solve poverty by demanding change.
In his article, Flipping the corruption myth, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index is nothing more than a distraction from the duplicity of the Western Superpowers. Dr Hickel blames a shadowy elite for causing poverty through tax avoidance and unscrupulous dealings by the institutions that have hijacked global governance. He points out one myth yet, ironically, concludes by perpetuating two other myths:
“…for the first time, ordinary citizens like you and I have the power and ability to change the rules that are creating [poverty]. Technology and the shift of global power mean that we can now demand our say in decisions that have traditionally been made by elites behind closed doors. But the truth is, these things will only change if we demand it…If we work together, the voices of the world’s majority are too loud to be silenced. Change the rules, and we change the world.”
Let’s break down this line of thinking into simple terms: “People are poor because members of the elite aren’t playing by the rules. We will demand that powerful people make them play by the rules.”
Do you see the huge gaping flaw here?
Those powerful people are the elite who don’t play by the rules. You can ask (or ‘demand’) all you like but why the hell are they going to listen to you anyway? But the truth is, these things will not change by making demands. That’s not changing the rules. It’s playing by the rules.
I’m always surprised at the people smart enough to see the flaws in the system but whose only solution is to ask for more participation in the very same system. In fact, those with a cynical leaning may even suspect the motives behind some of these smart people and that they are, perhaps, being a little disingenuous. Of course, I have no reason to doubt Dr Hickel’s sincerity. This article was the first I’ve heard of him. But one can’t help but wonder at the coincidental associations after a little research.
By coincidence or by design?
Dr Jason Hickel, is a lecturer at the London School of Economics (LSE) which was founded by four members of The Fabian Society. The Fabian Society came about as the political break-away group of a 19th Century organisation called Fellowship of the New Life whose goal was “the cultivation of a perfect character in each and all.” By forming The Fabian Society, its members planned to bring about a new socialist world through gradualism rather than revolution. Their tactic has been to advance socialism through stealth.
Now let’s look at /The Rules. Even though there’s no mention of socialism on its website, it has clearly been founded on socialist thought. It calls itself a ‘movement’ and strangely doesn’t display information about the organisation behind it. All we have is a link to purpose.com, a society whose ‘purpose’ is to ‘move people to remake the world.’ However, a whois lookup shows the registrant to be Alnoor Ladha. It turns out that Mr Ladha is the founder of both Purpose and The Rules. It also turns out that he studied at LSE.
For those in the know (i.e. the kooks), much has been made in conspiracy theory circles about the Fabian Society’s former coat of arms being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Below is ‘The Fabian window’ unveiled by then British prime minister Tony Blair (a Fabian) at LSE in 2006.
There you see the shield bearing a wolf wrapped in the skin of a lamb, two figures beating the world on an anvil and the words, ‘Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire.’ Does that sound familiar? ‘…move people to remake the world.’
So yes, maybe I’ve gone off the deep end. But the question remains: why would a movement advocating a change to the status quo suggest solutions that actually reinforce it?
Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
If you were born before the 80′s, this news that the NSA has defeated internet privacy should really be quite a big deal. During the Cold War, Western propaganda played up how citizens of the Free World lived in an open society. In contrast the oppressed people under Communism suffered pervasive surveillance and totalitarian control of information.
Now we discover that major Western governments, the ‘Five Eyes’ have for a decade colluded to spy on their citizens. The NSA has deliberately inserted vulnerabilities into commercial products. We can no longer trust any proprietary software, hardware or internet service available on the planet.
The scale of the intrusion goes far beyond anything the Soviet Bloc countries could every have achieved. And yet there’s virtually no public discussion about it. This worries me more than the news itself.
If you’re unaware of the background to this story, more about this can be found at The Guardian’s NSA files.
Here’s an interesting thing about the Philippine Pork Barrel scandal: everyone is arguing about how to spend other people’s money.
There is public indignation about how the Philippine government was defrauded of Php10 billion in order to fund the lavish lifestyles of the scam’s perpetrators. Very little discussion is being put into considering an even bigger scam: that the money didn’t belong to the government in the first place. It was revenue gained by coercion.
Economist and political theorist Murray Rothbard explains in his work, The Ethics of Liberty, that “taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match.” The pork barrel funds were the product of an even bigger scam. How else would you describe how people are duped into thinking that government money is legitimately acquired?
Taxation is the compulsory seizure of an individual’s property under threat of violence. We should not be arguing about how best to spend it. Attacking the pork barrel system is simply going after the low-hanging fruit. Anyone who’s position is founded on consistent philosophy will realize that we should ignore the fruit, go past the branches and strike at the roots.
“Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.
Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
I used to wonder why Philippine news is so empty and one-sided. Then I realized that if, like many Filipino journalists, you could ‘get disappeared’ one day on some lonely road while driving home, you wouldn’t be so keen to report real news either. The British government’s action of detaining David Miranda sends the same message to Western journalists: if you continue to report news we don’t like, you can ‘get disappeared’ too. This seems to have been confirmed when The Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger, revealed that ‘shadowy Whitehall figures’ demanded the newspaper return or destroy their material from Snowden.
In a follow-up commentary, Simon Jenkins pointed out that only mainstream media has the resources to stand up to the Surveillance State. This is true. No alternative media outlet would even be taken seriously for exposing the kind of information we saw from Snowden. Interestingly, The Guardian, which has been one of the mass media’s few vocal critics of state snooping, has only one shareholder: The Scott Trust, created in 1936 to safeguard journalistic freedom. Its core purpose is to ensure editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity. Most other news outlets have no such mission and are strangely tame in their reporting. Worse, they may even be complicit in spreading propaganda.
Bloggers, Tweeters and Facebook forwarders would very likely just shut the hell up if visited by Men In Black Vans. Given the growing skepticism over the official story of a journalist’s mysterious death by exploding car, would you blame them? The journalist was Michael Hastings, an investigative journalist who was apparently working on a story about the CIA. Strange.
It’s been said that journalism is the first rough draft of history. There’s obviously a great deal of editing happening right now.