On a macro level, 2017 was something of a nothing year. But speaking personally, it acted as a useful intellectual catalyst. It opened new doors that helped confirm classic principles, and reminded me that Left/Right mantras have nothing to offer the contemporary enquiring mind.
The other night I watched a movie starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe called The Insider. The Reader’s Digest plot was: two guys try and reveal tobacco companies secretly increasing addictive level of nicotine, Big Tobacco cheats, blackmails, lies, smears, and bribes its way out, nobody goes to jail. A month or so back I watched another movie called The Big Short, in which investment group spots lack of housing loan control and shorts market: market BSDs cheat, blackmail, lie, smear and bribe their way out of detection then refuse to pay up when the short comes good.
Both movies were closely based on the truth.
Outside in the real world, we all sat and watched over three years as Newscorp top dogs illegally hacked into millions of UK mobile phones, and then cheated, blackmailed, lied, smeared, distracted and bribed their way out of prosecution….achieving a success rate of over 99% in doing so.
Also in 2017, I experienced at first hand the actions of telcoms giant Orange as it broke my service contract, illegally refused to pay any prescribed fines for so doing, illegally cut me off when I gave notice to quit, and then falsely accused me of not paying the severance. They have now, I hear, issued a bailiff’s notice against me on that basis.
For three months before that, I and several of my friends were harrassed by an English online nutjob who broke French internet law on fourteen separate occasions. At first, both Yahoo and Hotmail refused to accept responsibility for their client, then they lied about him being a client, then they refused to acknowledge police complaints, and finally they lied to Interpol about having issued a warning to the nutjob. Eventually, the FBI intervened to contact the UK cops…..and they gave a final warning to the stalker.
Whichever way you cut it, globalist big business is a tax-evading, mendacious, corrupt, profiteering, vicious and serially anti-social ragbag collection of sociopaths depraved by greed and drunk with power.
Now here’s some other things I did last year.
I revisited the amazing German movie The Lives of Others, and reminded myself of how Communist apparatchiks throughout the USSR illegally blackmailed citizens into spying on and falsely denouncing their neighbours, work colleagues and relatives. I read Julian Barnes’s masterpiece The Noise of Time about the cat-and-mouse game played by the Soviet secret police with the composer Shostakovitsch, and how one of the century’s greatest composers was persecuted by seven different means over a forty year period. I spent time among Vietnamese emigrés in Paris, and heard ‘the other side of the story’ about Ho Chi Minh’s eventual “triumph” in enslaving 11.8 million people under one of the most brutal régimes on Earth…..with the direct aid of Chinese weapons, troops, advisers and money. I also listened to the testimony of canvassers for six different Brexit groups as they recounted both US corporates and Hard Left activists variously bullying, threatening and abusing anyone campaigning to leave the EU.
I visited Goa, and observed at first hand the social squalor and genuine physical danger meted out to innocent citizens by privatised, deregulated and extreme globalist capitalism. And last but not least, after thirty-four years I finally got round to reading Milan Kundera’s remarkable philosophical novel The Unbearable lightness of Being. It relates the inhuman revenge visited upon Czech citizens by Communist enforcers following the deposition of Aleksander Dubcek in 1968.
2017 was, all in all, a year of reminders for me about the dangers of offering naive support and an overly free hand to totalitarians: that is to say, being daft enough to believe that any total believer is either working with the best of intentions or has any kind of heart – in the right place or otherwise.
Life has taught me that you always know where you are with extreme ideologues: they always do extreme things.
At the time of the Czech Spring in 1968, I was studying History & Politics at University, surrounded by bourgeois weekend Maoists proclaiming their support for Ho Chi Minh, Chu en Lii, the Khmer Rouge and the Russian “defence against NATO subversion” via the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Three years before that, I’d spent four months in East Germany, and observed Honneker’s Volkspolizei at close quarters. On two occasions, myself and three other Brits came under fire from the somewhat trigger-happy DDR border police. Eleven years later, I found myself advising a tobacco company on communications strategy. Over the thirty years following that, I met and occasionally gave advice to Thatcherites, Labour leaders, Media magnates and Metropolitan police officers.
I suppose my point here is that the intellectual disciplines I chose – history, politics, market research, brand communications and our use of media in general – ensured that, in those fields at least, I’m not ignorant. In truth, and throwing false modesty to the winds, my left little toe has grasped more about the principles and human behaviour involved in social anthropology than Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Harriet Harman, Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn could manage weighed in their aggregate common sense applied to the subject.
Which is why, I suppose, being told by former PM and Bush-buddy Tony Blair that I voted for Brexit out of ignorance kind of sticks somewhere between my nostrils and epiglottis. It’s also why I object to all ideologies and monodeity-based religions, because they demand total belief in their Truth.
By definition, total belief presupposes that alternative belief systems are totally without value and do not deserve consideration. Further, this means that ultimately, it is not just logical but also essential that “false Gods” (substitute “fake news” there if you will) must be censored.
The clue to the nature of ‘total belief’ systems is in the prefixed word. From total comes the adjective totalitarian. The High priests and their beleeeeever flock would have you think that the enemy is the Nazi or the Commie or the Infidel.
The reality is that every totalitarian ideologue is the eternal enemy of the individual citizen.
These bastards grind slowly backwards using already disgraced and disproven theories. But what really scares the crap out of them is new ideas about how to get the best out of citizens seeking little more than fulfilment from a happy family/community life.
On seeing a faux Messiah displayed to his best advantage in the bright spotlight of carefully managed propaganda, most people are blinded and mesmerised. But the bottom line is, they are still firmly in the dark.
Elites censoring false gods usually turn out to be false gods censoring genuine mortals.
Do not trust any siren voice at the microphone of geriatrically infallible systemic perfection. Place your faith instead in those who put the dignity of open-minded humanitarian advance first.
Planet Earth is a support system for billions of interdependent species. It exists to sustain and nurture physical life….not to destroy all life in the furtherance of one or another unsubstantiated belief.
The sunrise Messiah
it’s valid to say
is oft the Pariah
by the end of the day