Uncertainty – the spread of doubt and the fear of doubt – is at the very core of the Human Condition. Serial uncertainty has always been created by ideologically driven lies, but the arrival of exponentially multiplied media alongside a revival in unjustified belief has created a species crisis for Homo sapiens. The Slog asks what this means for individual free speech.
Just under two days after Lyra McKee was shot dead in Derry, the question “Why?” is still unanswered. That’s hardly unusual following a shooting; but there are other uncertainties surrounding her death that can be summarised as follows:
- The police were attending a riot in Derry where dissident Republicans are alleged to be once again active in encouraging vigilantism and sectarian violence. For the IRA, as ever, bigotry is good for business. But why has there been a flare up now?
- McKee – a top-class investigative writer and lesbian activist – was attending the riot while standing among police officers as an accredited journalist. The assumption has spread that dissidents shot her because of her fearless attempts to track down any and all sectarian killers. But the assailants were 18 and 19, using handguns, and firing at the police. They and their weapons are not redolent of IRA ‘executions’. It is, I think, much more likely that she was shot “by accident”.
- Manslaughter might therefore seem a more apposite charge. But the two teenagers face a murder rap, the police tell us.
- That disturbances like this are still taking place before any border changes occur (if they do) as a result of Brexit might suggest to some that there ought to be more weapons checks at the Eire/Ulster border whatever happens between the UK and Brussels. That’s not meant to be inflammatory: just logical.
- One of the things Lyra McKee might have wanted to investigate (had she survived) is exactly who has been stoking up the violence in Derry, where the weapons are coming from, and what the motives of the agitators might be. To speak plainly: a black op designed to show “just how fragile” the Irish Peace is would make sense to people on both sides of the Brexit impasse.
Some, all or none of the above could represent “reality”. I make these points not to start a conspiratorial epidemiology; I make them to point out just how totally our lives and the analysis of important events within them have been muddied (I would argue, almost ruined) by intelligence services, spin, propaganda, black ops, psy ops, false flags, compliant social media and State controlled publicity apertures of every kind.
Because without ideologies and religions (and the industrial scale denialism they all demand of their devotees) none of this pernicious cloak-and-dagger truth-bending would be necessary.
Earlier this week we had the almost obscene rush to ‘accident’ judgement in relation to the Notre Dame fire – despite a long history in France of arson attacks on churches.
Last year we had the farce of Skripal events and narratives that changed almost daily…..to take into account facts pointing out that the previous explanations were hogwash.
The man who played a principal role in that farrago was Boris Johnson….the Foreign Secretary who rubbished naysayers during the Russophobic sitcom, and then (having resigned over Brexit) began accusing Theresa May of conspiracy to sell Britain down the river. I think his second assertion was correct, but would you buy a narrative from this man?
For a commentator trying to make any scintilla of sense about contemporary trends and influences, I can tell you exactly what it feels like: being regularly buggered by a hooded goblin while being held prisoner in a coal cellar. This is I think apt as a “feeling”, because goblins aren’t real, but the fiction I’ve offered sounds unimaginably awful in every way.
Look back if you will over the last (say) twelve years during which this blog has had some sort of measurable niche influence. Look at the causes/investigations and frauds that have been surveyed by the content here: Gordon Brown’s mental health and eyesight, the global derivatives scam, Fleet Street hackgate, Jeremy Hunt’s track record, the truth behind the vassalisation of Greece, The ECB’s ambush of Yanis Varoufakis, the Sky takeover engineered by Newscorp, the paedophile scandals, the demonisation of DJs and tradtional comics by a Met Police in the pay of Murdoch, the acquittal of Rebekah Brooks, the real nature of Antifa and Momentum, the Clinton Foundation racket, the disgraceful embezzlement of female State Pension entitlements by the Establishment, the courageous fight of 2020 and Waspi women to get reparation, the corrupt, creeping attempt to invade the NHS with globalist private health insurance, and now the geopolitical machinations and legislative treachery behind the dilution of Brexit to Brino.
There is, of course, the unmistakable and vomit-inducing stench of self-interest and hypocrisy running through every one.
But the most malign feature is the ideologue’s never-ending attempt to deny, change, disguise and then obliterate reality.
Philosophers and scientists have speculated over millennia – in equally near-infinite measure – on the nature of what reality is in a cosmic, metaphysical sense…or even if the the cosmos and the physical themselve are “real”. “The answer lies within,” the Buddhists conclude.
In recent years, it isn’t just that science has made giant leaps forward at the same time as discovering more and mystery the further they go: it has also been a case of science in several fields discovering that several ancient practices based on inspired insight and instinctive leaps are being borne out. The dilution involved in homoaeopathy has been in part vindicated by the reversal factor in the sub-atomic realm. The prophet Buddha’s insistence that “everything is connected” and “time is an illusion” is now mainstream majority thought in physics.
In the original Hebrew translation of Jesus’s response to the pharisees, when asked who his father is, he replies, “My father’s house is without Time”.
Earlier this week I visited the website Medium.com, and read with great interest a piece by Masters MD Jane Blakeway. In it she makes this profound observation:
‘The body is intelligent in ways that can be prompted and harnessed. I try to honor that intelligence in a way that is grounded in science but doesn’t undervalue the mystery that always seems to be just outside our reach.’
As an expert in both Chinese and Western medicine, Blakeway is that rare thing – an open mind. She clearly isn’t interested in turf wars: she simply believes in an eclectic approach to healing, and she is certain that the body is indeed capable of healing itself. After fifteen years of struggling to master meditation (I’m still a novice) I agree with her completely.
The open mind is the way forward, because the key to perhaps all healing lies in the mind.
Disastrously for our species, the last thirty years have also seen the largely unpredicted revival of belief systems based on wishful thinking, bigotry, just a dash of perverted science, politically correct fancy, greed, and ignorance without reference to IQ level. That is to say, the rise and rise of both thick and intelligent idiots….the Useful Idiots so historically categorised by Vladamir Illyich Ulyanov – or Lenin to you and me.
I know that some readers will balk at this, but I include all the following in the trend defined in my previous paragraph: collectivist socialism, Friedmanite neoliberalism, globalist neoconservatism, Antisemitism, radical feminism, Islamism, modern monetary theory, climate change denial, climate change cause assertion, educational achievement conformity (aka Blairite targets) and remote control geoblocism.
All of them are systemic attempts to herd social numbers, rather than science-based philosophies that begin with the human individual as a flawed social being whose single biggest desire is to be left in peace and harmony with his or her family and community.
Systemics are very good at closing ranks as the means to achieve an ill-defined end. But they are also spectacularly successful at closing minds.
Minds closed by ideology are – in 2019 – the greatest enemy of enlightenment. As such, they are come together today in a perfect storm designed to hide blue-sky thinking that inspires contrarian minds.
The conformist, faux-certainty of ideology belongs in the dark mediaeval ages. And yet here it is again, bossing the game in the 21st century.
What is the attraction of Unreal Certainty? Probably, I suspect, that it is the opposite of Real Uncertainty….the very uncertainty that foul play and evasive obfuscation produce in the first place.
It appeals to people who need the security blanket of the Status Quo: people who are ruled by fear of the unknown…..whose most powerful weapon is thus that very fear. No matter how bonkers and unfounded the fear might be, it serves to give such ideology followers peace of mind: because they and they alone have the antidote.
Further, their very fear of new experiences is projected (as a mindset) onto the enemy.
Brexit Leavers are thus denoted ‘Little Englanders’. Observation of misogynist and anti-social behaviour by certain elements in UK Islam is dubbed a ‘phobia’. An ability to recognise and record the anthropological need for independence is deemed ‘racist’. And most disturbing of all, anyone who doubts the received truth of what is ‘settled’ or ‘correct’ automatically becomes an extremist.
All the belief systems I fingered in the previous section of this post represent a form of protectionist conservatism: a defence of everything they declare as being (variously) progressive, correct, proven and safe. Those who dare to question the flimsy catechism of their eternal truths are – obviously – anti-social elements whose sole interest lies in the creation of anarchic violence and hate.
“You can’t say that these days,” is an irritating form of hyper-conformity that one hears over and over again: from friends, our children, the media and soi-disant opinion leaders. It is as if a lightning bolt might strike one down should the words “coloured person”, “lesbian nutter” or “eskimo” emerge from the mouth. ‘Gammon’, ‘snowflake’ or ‘scum’, however, are just fine. But on debating with Believers, I never get the slightest feeling of awareness from them that their double standards might just be hypocritical, or their Groupthink in any way dangerous.
Nor does their enthusiastic adoption of Orwellian syntax strike them as chillingly ironic: off-message, sex-worker, hate-crime, hate-speech, cultural appropriation, inappropriate behaviour, affirmative action, white supremacist, institutional racism and all the dozens of other fascist Newspeak they employ…..all are used with a serious expression and a sense of superiority. I was truly jolted when an old friend of mine in London – on being asked by me whether he voted Remain in 2016 – answered, “I certainly did” as if he might be responding to, “So did you jump in the river to save that kid?” The air of saintliness was (to me) bewildering and sad.
The fundamental problem with assumptions of correctitude within a broadly-based attitudinal group is so blindingly obvious, the threat it presents to real progress in objective knowledge should not need enumerating or exemplifying. But for the sake of contemporary context, here are just a few:
- It can convince you that democratic decisions are a mistake
- It can persuade you that a narrow majority is invalid
- It can demand that guilt should be ignored “for the common good”
- It can dismiss quantified research as “differently analysed”
- It can generate fear of a foreign State based on little or nothing
- It can make a flawed President a rapist
- It can persuade people that adults are children
- It can make more fuss over 78 injustices than over 3.6 million
- It can declare every voter for self-determination a racist
- It can persuade millions that conspiring against democracy is justified.
In the speech that perhaps ensured his early death at the hands of people who saw themselves as patriots, John F. Kennedy said in November 1963, “There are those in this land who believe the perversion of free speech and democracy is a price worth paying for the defeat of Communism. I am not one of those people”.
JFK’s dad Joe (a profoundly nasty old bastard) was once asked the secret of his success in the stock market. He replied, “I watch what the mass of saps do, and then do the opposite”.
Most of our species knowledge base comes from the experience and eccentric wisdom of contrarians. At long last – after beating myself up about my own tendencies in that direction for seven decades – I am at ease with my conviction that not all cultures are equal, Big is almost always bad, globalism is tosh and will be reversed, narcissm is divisive, Islam is not a tolerant religion of peace, I’d rather converse with those who know something rather than everything, most tyranny derives from electoral apathy, fascism comes in all the colours, and above all, ideologically awkward truths must be faced.
We live in a three-dimensional Universe governed by e = mc², on one tiny speck of dust in a south-eastern suburb of one nebula among (allegedly) millions of others. As a factory-wired pack species, such success as we have achieved is based on competition within the pack and cooperation with other packs.
The globalist ideological falsehood promotes the idea that forced, impoverished equality in the pack (beneath an obscenely privileged élite) is good, and cooperation with other packs is a mortally dangerous sin.
This kind of thinking created the injustice in Northern Ireland, and caused the death (however indirectly) of Lyra McKee. It was the driving force behind Monnet’s idea of a Federalist EU power bloc in which individual conformity is valued, along with protection against the World outside.
Both are antithetical to the natural order of things. The free movement of workers (the better to be exploited by global combines) is a false God. The most important principle for humanity is the free exhange of ideas – as in, freed from the shackles of ideology.