Love and Wage-Slavery

Posted: 22/01/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Struggle

I fear for love.

Love is deep, powerful and the greatest force for good on the planet. This is not love as procreation, sexual fulfilment but love – deep meaningful love. Once found love is never lost even if the relationship where the love was found fails. Love persists in and beyond the relationship, it is as if the relationship kickstarts a dormant loving.

Finding love is never easy; it was never easy for me maybe for others it is different. My search for love began when I was a child at university where “love” was not love but passion and infatuation. Soon after leaving uni I broke through my systemic conditioning and once following the path was free to experience love. From that point at 22 I wore my heart on my sleeve as I searched for love. Two factors at that time prevented me from finding love, the first was an unusual level of personal immaturity despite following the path, and the second was the barriers in women that I met. These were women who put up barriers to love either because they had been hurt in love or were afraid of being hurt in love. These barriers saddened me then, they sadden me now, and it saddens me that these barriers will be increased however well justified.

When I did find love it turned out to be catastrophic, and at the end of the relationship in which I loved I was drained. After a few years I managed to grow through my pain and eventually eschew the pain body, and it was only recently that I accepted how important that love was. The love that I sought to express through one person has eventually become a love I can share with all. A love that I now know is so important and that I fear for.

For many people love is sought in the workplace but this is not a good place to seek love because the workplace is the place of wage-slavery. The workplace is a place of servitude. It is a place where employers feel they own the employees – servitude – rather than a place where labour is purchased. Within the workplace employees also feel that the workplace is for servitude, and therefore are willing to accept impositions.

Following the revelations that Harvey Weinstein used this servitude for his own sexual gratification, harassing the wage-slaves in the process, #metoo has seen a rallying cry for women not to accept harassment, for men to change their attitudes to what is harassment, and for all to change the climate that enables this harassment.

But this changing climate is perceived as the silence that enables such exploitation. It is perceived as a problem of the collective psyche where people do not stand up to the powerful exploiting for fear of their own situation.

But the efforts are only token. The harassers are not perceived as criminals and are going unpunished, much hot air is being expended but other than discomfort there appears nothing that is happening is bringing change.

The source of the problem is the wage-slavery, the level of servitude that means the harassment comes with the territory, and the fear that complaining will lead to loss of work – we are slaves and we have no choice about being that way.

If we are not wage-slaves then in the workplace we are colleagues together, and there is no pent-up frustration that leads to hierarchical position wanting to exploit.

So where do we find love? The work-place is a place of servitude, choice is not free there. At the disco there is limited human contact, so where do we find love? In this world of wage-slavery we are not free to find love. Understand the servitude that we live in, work against that servitude together, and search for love despite the impositions wage-slavery puts on us.

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Accidental Anarchist

Posted: 22/01/2018 by zandtao in Corbyn, Democracy, Freedom, Struggle

This man is interesting, Carne Ross – TED talk.

But part of what he talks about is flawed. He calls himself the accidental anarchist, and it is worth listening as to how he reached that conclusion.

I have no issues with his conclusion. He supports cooperative collectives such as Mondragon and Porte Alegre (World Bank report – I have not read this). In the end he defines himself as the accidental anarchist because he supports such workers’ collectives, and he believes that government cannot work.

Firstly he feels it cannot work because of his first-hand empirical observations, and discusses complexity theory to justify how life is just too complicated for governance to work. Now I dispute this, not because of his empirical observations, but quite simply because at the moment government is working. Carne is making a fundamental error in his analysis, an error that I understand because he chose to work in government out of a sense of belief. But the fundamental error is that government is intended to be run for the benefit of the people, this is simply not true. Historically in the UK government has always been for the powerful. Government began as monarchy, and then under Cromwell became a government for the rich elite. British government has never been democratic. Carne’s empirical observation of the business backdoor is useful to know, however it is not a description of a failing government but a successful government. Now in the UK the government is working for the 1%, and Carne has described this; this first-hand empirical observation is useful to know. But it is not a description of a failing government because the government was never intended to be for the people. Iraq was his crisis of conscience but the Iraq wars were always wars for profits. He observed failing democracy but he did not observe failing government because government is not for the people but for the 1%.

I do not however support an electoral democracy where the voted party will supposedly act beneficially for the people. There are too many forces working against that. People have to take their power back through ownership of the means of production – workers’ cooperatives. And it is possible that there will need to be an umbrella government organisation driven from below by these cooperatives, Carne accepts this.

In the interim it is necessary to dismantle the state that is controlled by the 1%. This can be done by voting for forces who are working positively in this direction, such as Corbyn. If Corbyn were to be working to enable workers’ cooperatives then that would be most beneficial for the people of the UK. However he might be into socialist government, and despite good intentions that is probably disenfranchising.

But I still hope for Corbyn, and would want all to support him including Russell Brand who might well have a cult following and has asked people not to vote. Russell had an excellent interview with Carne Ross that I watched first – but it is longer.

But anarchy has risks. First of all there are forces of anarchy at work now, primarily in the US but also in the UK, and these forces are right-wing. Their purpose is to create confusion, and with in the state of confusion the 1% are able to exploit more. Here Chomsky, an anarchist himself, describes how these forces with Trump as distraction are controlling government and enabling 1% exploitation through deregulation of the beneficial such as environmental protection. The article talks about deep state but it is 1%, why not use 1% or bourgeoisie. Because the forces that are causing the confusion are the 1%, and they don’t want to be exposed; deep state is a diversion the 1% are in control. Libertarians in the US are a particular problem because they seek freedom, freedom from government, freedom from regulation, but because they have no control of the 1% they are simply creating the conditions for the 1% to increase exploitation. An interim government would be needed to hold back the forces of the 1% who currently control the market and are privatising the military under their control. A properly-directed government, a democratic government, not just electorally-democratic but genuinely-democratic, is needed to fight off the 1%, it is the manipulations of the 1% that create the complexities that Carne studied.

So whilst I support Carne and his workers’ cooperatives some of his developmental reasoning had flaws. Our governments are not for the people.

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Data confuses me

Posted: 21/01/2018 by mandtao in Big Fashion, Big Food, Big Pharma, Freedom, Insight

I watched this interesting talk with Russell Brand and Jacques Peretti, and am totally confused by the reference to data as being the corporate currency.

The issue is advertising as far as I understand. It has always been my practice to ignore advertising; I know it is not everyone’s practice – I often heard schoolkids singing jingles. In the talk Russell and jacques were discussing that the new big corporations are the tech giants who know your data. With this data they can tailor-make the ads that appear when you are online. I never look at ads, use ad-blockers and edit the hosts file primarily to stop their use of my bandwidth by opening new windows. I make it a rule never to click on an ad.

I understand that I might be unusual in doing this but this type of mindful consuming ought to be a common-place act of “resistance”. The corporations need our consuming but if we choose how we consume then we have some control. So I am confused.

For me the issue is mindful consuming. Firstly my mindful consuming is limited because it is not easy to buy organic food. But I have two sources and if I make the effort my veg can be organic. I cannot find “organic” meat, that is a worry. But I try to avoid factory products because of additives and preservatives. I have my car and my computer stuff but I rarely buy more than I need. Mindful consuming is sustainable, and in this world resistance needs to be sustainable. I therefore am confused.

In fact data makes them vulnerable. If they rely on controlling us through advertising yet we are consuming mindfully then they are vulnerable to a movement of mindful consuming.

I don’t live a life of consumerism but of course I do consume. But it is my money, my labour, my savings, my pension. As Russell likes to use the word “revolution”, then isn’t mindful consuming revolutionary?

I do remember getting angry when last I lived in the UK and I was forced to use Direct Debit so that they could take my money effectively from salary. I was not used to this as I used to go and pay my bills. Now I go and pay my bills. So it requires some time and effort to do this but I have some control.

This issue of data confuses me, but these people would not use it if there was no profit. But if there is mindful consuming they don’t have control. If directing our consumerism through data and advertising is the future, then organising mindful-consuming is the answer.

Look at how Israel is frightened of BDS, is this not mindful consuming? Back in the day some people did not buy South African produce, this seems common sense to me. So I am confused.

Mindful consuming is “easy”. Avoid BigFood, BigPharma, BigFashion. Consume mindfully. Organise mindful consuming. For committed comrades/revolutionaries data is something we can take advantage of through sustainable and mindful consuming.

What am I missing???

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Do the 1% want Trump?

Posted: 13/01/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Science
Tags: , ,

Again I have enjoyed the clarity of a Black Agenda Report article, as far as I know (being British and living far away in Thailand) this gives a clear analysis of Democrats, neoliberalism and the need for change.

However there was one statement that jumped out at me:-

“The ruling class desperately want to replace Trump for fear that his rise to the Oval Office marks the beginning of the end of the two-party arrangement in Washington.”

Initially I felt the 1% were not supporting Trump during his campaign for presidency. Once nominated he became Republican and not Trump so the 1% supported him begrudgingly. Once he got in I think they were jittery. The 1%-profits come from their manipulation of trade, his deplorable approach might have had impact on the way business is conducted. I now feel the 1% are behind Trump because he is delivering more profits – increasing wars-for-profits for example. For the 1% racism is just a tool for promoting division and thus ensuring the continuation of profits. It seems to me that Trump policies don’t matter to the 1%, his rhetoric increases antagonism between deplorables and liberals, and the 1% can exploit that situation.

That antagonism is symbolised in the two-party system of neoliberalism, and that arrangement is something that the 1% control and can exploit. I agree with that. And the “better the system they know” might apply to this 1%-control. But the 1% did not invent the two-party neoliberal parlour game, historically one party has always grown out of struggle and then with 1%-backing taken over by opportunists and become part of the 2-party neoliberalism and under 1%-control.

What if Trump-fascism does end 2-party neoliberalism? How would this impact on the 1%-profits? I don’t know but I think fascism would enable total control of the profit-making. Over his presidency I think I have perceived an increasing alignment between Trump and the 1% – how would I know? Trump is an excellent vehicle for the 1%. He is obnoxious, hated by the majority, and a complete maverick. The 1% however appear to keep their distance. If he loses, he can be ditched by the 1%, blamed for being in collusion with the Russians, blamed for being a racist, and blamed for being crazy. If Trump became too oppressive it would be so easy for the 1% to finance a new liberalism, and recreate the two-party neoliberalism that functions so well for them at the moment.

Trump is a perfect 1%-scapegoat, and I think they will milk him for as long as possible so long as they benefit.

Of course with a Trump-extreme world the 1% might become divided??

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Oriental – slap wrist

Posted: 13/01/2018 by zandtao in Insight

I have just discovered that the word ‘oriental’ is now considered politically incorrect. I have used the word descriptively in the same context as described in this article but in current liberally-oppressive climes it is always safer to be politically correct; I originally always was when proper use of language was a sensible socialist strategy. Now PC is just harmful divisive liberalism.

Here is an Asian viewpoint on the use of the term :-

“The term ‘Oriental’ is outdated, but is it racist?”

I think Science-Based medicine should read the final paragraph.

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Trump Support – Racist or Winnable?

Posted: 13/01/2018 by zandtao in Democracy, Freedom, Struggle
Tags: ,

I read this good blogpost, and decided to respond. It became long-ish so it is now a blogpost.

This article is blunt and clear, but if the analysis that Trump voters are only racists and unchangeable is correct this does not bode well for the US.

I am not sure if this is true. At present I see Trump voters as an alliance of 3 groups. Firstly there are the deplorables – the racists, secondly there are the 1%, and thirdly there are the right-wing intellectuals. The 1% are not important in terms of the number of voters but are Republicans. I think most were very distrustful of Trump to begin with – see early comments in Fortune and WSJ, most did not support his campaign for President, but as he has delivered on the 1%-agenda they are now backing him.

However the third group, the right-wing intellectuals, might be winnable. They are anti-liberal – as am I as a socialist. The sanctimony of liberalism alienates many – especially individulaists. Individualists who put individualism first see the bleating demands of liberals as an infringement of their liberty, and it is attacks on their liberty that matter. These people are not emotional racists (deplorables) but institutional racists as their individualism effectively leads to racism – in this situation their institutional racism led to a Trump-vote. But these people are winnable because at the root of their individualism is some level of compassion. This is important because their compassion has to put them at odds with Trump, their compassion puts them at odds with being called racists – despite their institutional racism.

These people are sick of liberals and neoliberalism, and the question is “who are they more sick of?” – liberals and neoliberalism or Trump. These are people who might well have voted for Sanders but could not vote for Hillary. It is most important that the Democrats get a popular candidate (unblemished) or Bernie, Hillary is the same old problem of neoliberalism.

I think these right-wing intellectuals are important because they give credence to voters who are not deplorable; they also have more influence than their numbers because of their analysis. But the issue is jobs. If the jobs come, they have not so far – despite the Trump rhetoric, then the right-wing intellectuals will work for Trump. Whilst this is racist the issue is not race.

My concern is that the 1% know the issue is jobs. If Trump is still producing the goods for them by 2019, the 1% will provide more jobs and the US and the world will have four more years of the Deplorable.

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People before profits is a standard liberal and socialist slogan that ought to make common sense to all intellectuals across the spectrum. This is pragmatic, it is fundamental compassion and if applied wisely could be the overriding mantra of governance. Surely people first is just democracy.

I began thinking about this when I spoke of human values before robots. These values are creativity, intuition, insight and wisdom, and are not valued as part of the underlying ethos in the world of capitalism as these values do not necessarily provide profits.

In article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (pdf here):-

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Much of this article is forgotten as these Labour rights eat into profits, but for me it is important that every person has the right to work. It is my view that it is government’s job to ensure that every person has the right to work, and I believe in the counter “every person should work”. Our welfare system is a net to help those who fall through the cracks, but the reality of the situation is that the way our society is structured there is not enough work for everyone. The major cause of this lack of work is automation. Despite all the PR to the contrary everyone knows that the machines perform menial tasks more efficiently, and as the profits on the production side of our economy is based on menial tasks we have a situation in which our dominant economic model is putting people out of work.

This is why there is such an increase in racism in the West. Prior to automation there used to be jobs and indigenous white people were well off. Then the number of jobs were reduced primarily to do with automation, and the jobs these white people did were lost. Into their societies there came non-indigenous Labour, in the UK people from the colonies following their money, in the US and elsewhere cheap immigrant labour was used. Whilst there was full employment people did not complain, once automation put people out of work racism became a scapegoat.

Whilst profit is the raison d’etre there will never be full employment because machines make more profits. R&D into robotics is on the increase so even more jobs will be lost. This is why Article 23 is so important. People have the right to work.

For many people the 1%-conditioning that labour must produce a profit is gospel. But with increased automation labour cannot be involved in the profit-making. Therefore there is a need to re-evaluate what labour is for; if we continue to accept that the reason for labour is profit only then there will be an increasing number of people without work.

Beauty is a human value often associated with creativity. Are our cities beautiful? Are all people working? They could work to make the cities beautiful. They could work to improve our health care. They could work to improve our education service. If the principle of our caring society was Article 23, the right to work, and the corollary the insistence that all people have work, then the emphasis of our social service would be totally different.

Of course all of the above is totally impractical because the people who control our societies – the 1%, control where the profits go – mainly into their offshore bank accounts. They do not follow Article 23, and with the increasing roboticisation there will be more people without work.

Wise compassion requires a change in this. Putting people before profits combined with Article 23 means that we need to see the way we employ people has to change.

At the moment the increasing automation means more and more people are without work. There are an increasing number of schemes out there to massage this fact. At the same time the 1% do not want to admit that this is their aim. If the wisdom of the compassionate doesn’t step in then the majority of people will not have work, and will be perceived as scroungers.

But it’s not that there are things that don’t need doing, it is just that what needs doing is not profits from production.

For me Article 23 is the place to start. At the moment liberalism suggests that if people don’t have work then they should be given handouts. This of course is divisive especially if these people are not indigenous. But if all people had to work then there would be no such issue. Marx describes the way the bourgeois perceive the unemployed is as a reserve army. If you don’t toe the line you will be sacked, if everyone is working they can’t say this.

If we start with the right to work then we can begin to move away from the road to chaos that 1%-profit-making is taking us to with automation and robotics. Change work so that it respects the human values of compassion, creativity, wisdom, intuition, insight and aesthetics. Bring quality into life, and stop reducing everything to profits based ion manufacture and gambling.

This is a pipedream because of 1%-control.

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Posted: 06/01/2018 by zandtao in Insight, ONE planet, Science, Struggle, War

Since my early retirement I have enjoyed learning from the internet. I got sucked into conspiracies and subscribed to what I assumed were left-wing newsletters that kept me informed. It is only with examining the rise of Trump that I have determined that many of these are right-wing intellectuals. This is understandable as I see their funding as being a knock-on effect of the 1%-manipulations.

However whilst I describe this right-wing intellectualism, it does not mean that this information is untrue – far from it. I consider these intellectuals the right-wing periphery, and have no wish to dissociate from them. Of course that does not mean I have any right-leanings.

For me the issue lies with the answer to this question, how do we overcome the 1%? And the answer for me is very clearly Collective Unity, and struggling as the United 99% against the 1%. It is never clear to me how the individualism of these good right-wing intellectuals will overcome something as powerful as the 1%. In my view they need to overcome their abhorrence of the liberals, an abhorrence I also feel, and somehow find a way of working in Unity against the 1%.

Government and taxation is of course very divisive. When I look at the neoliberal governments of Blair and Obama I understand why these intellectuals are against taxation and government. As a teacher I incline to defend the educational aspect of governance, but I know that the caring aspects are only a subterfuge for the main current purpose of taxation – accumulation of wealth to the 1% through taxation for defence spending on the wars-for-profit.

There needs to be some form of commitment to Unity, and I don’t see these right-wing intellectuals wanting that; I must just accept the bonus of knowledge that the right-wing periphery funding provides. The egos that comes with individualism anywhere on the political spectrum has also to be recognised and defeated, ego is a major divisive factor.

I am old enough for truth to be easy, proletarian struggle. Occupy reinforced that with its simple 1% clarity. But these understandings are interspersed throughout a steady campaign of confusion. Politically for me this has shown itself clearly recently with the identification of the left with liberalism, when I think that people might identify my position with neoliberalism, its wars-for-profits and wage-slavery I shudder. But the clarity of my truth has to be tempered by the obvious failure of the genuine left to unite and be meaningful, hence the ease with which we have been labelled with the liberals.

This blog on truth was sparked by watching this video called “The Republic of Science” from Judith Curry, I absolutely do not recommend this video. In Mandtao I examine science – I am posting this in my main blog Zandtao as well. As a Buddhist I am firmly committed to 100% enquiry (4 Agreements as well). Science needs questioning because science is establishment. Now saying science is establishment for me means that science is controlled by the 1%, and when you listen to Judith she talks of the way science is controlled. She makes a very convincing case, that creative scientists (who she calls mavericks) are restricted by the science establishment and government direction. This is excellent, Mandtao would appear to say the same thing but the reality is the exact opposite.

Judith Curry is on the periphery of the Koch brothers campaign for climate denial. I suspect, although I don’t know, that whatever funding she gets stems from the vast amounts the Koch brothers have used to dominate the internet. So-called independent media. I have no interest in her climate denial evaluation – she might have a genuine position; she does not appear to be a direct definitive climate denier. What concerns me is that her analysis of science is so close to the truth that it is so easy to fall for her line.

The problem is she does not see the source of the problem as the 1%. She talks mostly of the science establishment stifling mavericks, who can argue with that? Her position is then that the establishment is stifling the maverick who talks of climate denial. This is so plausible but oh so dangerous. The question is “when is science stifling maverick creativity?” as opposed to “when is scientific knowledge refuting politically and financially-inspired bogus claims of climate denial?” these are significantly different positions yet so subtle. On the level of daily science, the source of funding that creates such destructive scepticism cannot be traced to the 1%, and leaves blogposts such as this in the realms of lunatic conspiracy. This is the purpose of confusion. And with the current level of collective confusion there can be no Unity to fight.

How can I ask for all to see through such subtle manipulation?

I have a completely misguided acquaintance who can put “likes” on my 1%-posts, and yet can support Trump. How confused is he? He does not have a mass movement base to his understanding. An individualist will examine Judith Curry’s individualist examination of science – the individualism that celebrates mavericks, and can see the partial truth of what she says as truth. The mass movement says “where is the hand of the 1%?”, and immediately looks at finance. Once you apply that paradigm you see the Koch Brothers and climate denial – whether Judith believes what she says or not.

I can support her analysis of the scientific establishment, and I thank the funding that has powered that. I can thank the right wing for the Corbett Report that brings this and other useful information to light. But if I am unsure I ask the mass movement question “where is the hand of the 1%?” …. and there is clarity.

As Mandtao the maths/stats man I am a supporter of scientific knowledge and scientific method. I attack the science establishment for similar reasons to Judith Curry’s video “the Republic of Science”, but in the end she is supporting the 1%, the Corbett Report is supporting the 1% by promoting her. All the scepticism around climate change can only be seen in terms of 1%-industries, the Koch Brothers campaign, and how any doubts that arise enable this industrial establishment to continue with the environmental damage and pollution – whatever “scientific point” Judith or others raise.

It is sad in this world that the 1% are so sick, so detached from the species they are a part of, that they want to destroy the very Unity of who we are – the ONE planet. And they will finance and manipulate at any level to enact their sickness. It is so hard to understand how these people became so sick, I understand why Icke wants to separate them and call them lizards, but they are just sick humans. We have to face the understanding that humanity can become as sick as these people.

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If I were Bill Gates ….

Posted: 06/01/2018 by zandtao in Finance, ONE planet
Tags: ,

In a recent Mandtao blogpost I discussed the amount of money people like Bill Gates have, and how it is equivalent to the amount of money of countless lives. It is a sickness that these people keep such amounts of money when that wealth is far beyond anything they can purchase. They should be giving back.

But effective giving back is not easy.

There is the Gates’ Foundation, and with good PR this is perceived charity work – giving back. But is it? Foundations have become a way in which the 1% can appear to give back whilst maintaining the system.

Consider the Clinton foundation. For the first time foundations have publicly come under question for all the wrong reasons. The Clinton foundation was questioned by the Trump campaign as a means of undermining trust in Hillary. To my mind Hillary was a typical political in-fighter whose background is murky. But that murky background is no different to the usual in-fighter who manages to get through the party machine. I place her on a par with Blair, neither of whom I trust but both of whom are better than right-wing alternatives – but only marginally. Almost any candidate would have been better than Trump whose nastiness has turned out to be a 1%-Godsend in that he can do whatever he wants to ordinary people and still maintain his electoral base; the people of the US are at the complete mercy of the 1% at present.

The Clinton Foundation is not however any different from any of the other Foundations that have appeared. They pretend they are charitable but in reality propagate the capitalists’ system.

In Aid – Rhetoric and Reality, Teresa Hayter and Catharine Watson discuss the way Aid is manipulated in order to propagate the interests of capitalism. The subject is complex because even with Aid money it is difficult to find ways of doing good. Caring is not enough, it requires intelligent compassion in order to find a way through the various mechanisms that have developed to protect capitalism.

To become successful Bill Gates used Machiavellian practices, has the leopard changed his spots? I don’t think so. I suspect his Foundation is just part of the establishment foundations who propagate the 1%-system whilst appearing to be caring.

However, suppose Bill Gates is genuine and wishes to give back, it would require wise compassion. There would be sufficient money to invest to make a difference but there would have to be intelligence in how it was invested. There is little point in trolling off to Africa with an open wallet expecting the world to change – see Aid Rhetoric and Reality. What is required is discernment. Giving money to a puppet dictator is a waste of time, wandering into a village with handouts would only benefit in the short-term, there has to be long-term benefit to the project. Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and give him a fishing-rod he has a job-for-life is a step in the right direction. But that fishing lesson is still not making a major contribution.

Bill Gates’ money, genuine Foundation money, could make an impact, but the 1% know their biggest danger is those of their own who turn. Gore Vidal turned and was attacked. Al Gore tries to do some good but the system is too powerful. Foster Gamble promotes good, but I am not completely sure about Thrive. Simply having the money and good-will is not enough the 1% has too much control. It requires intelligent compassion.

Bill Gates has been successful in the system, he is probably used to “winning” and “getting his own way”. If he has a change of heart and expects benefaction to produce good results he will be disappointed, caring is not enough, his compassion has to be intelligent.

Whilst they have not had Bill’s money there have been many NGOs (non-governmental organisations) such as Oxfam who have tried to make a difference; in small ways they do. They are allowed to have minimal effect but if they become sufficiently effective that they will affect profits, then government measures at 1%-instigation will curtail their operations.

The issue comes down to personal responsibility. For many people Oxfam fulfils a function. Whilst people need to spend all their time working, many want to give back. They care but they do not have the time to use their intelligence with their caring. To fight the system requires caring but caring is not enough, it requires intelligent compassion and a commitment to that compassion that most people are unable to offer. The 1% know this and manipulate it. As a result caring liberals give money and accept the stereotypes that the rhetoric of the Aid industry offers when the results are minimal. Quite simply these liberals are more committed to their finance, work and lifestyle than to give the commitment to apply their compassion intelligently. Sadly it does require that commitment now because the 1% has such control and influence.

That brings me back to Bill Gates. If his foundation is based on caring it is not enough. He needs to apply intelligent compassion. He needs to work with people who over the years have turned their caring into intelligent compassion. These people would know ways of making a difference on the ground. They would know the people on the ground who have integrity and who genuinely care for their people. They would know the ways in which their caring would be effective. Bill would have to listen to these people and even then it would be hard – far harder than it was to become rich in the first place. That only required Machiavellian single-mindedness, fighting the system takes much more commitment than that. The rewards are greater but not visible.

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Posted: 06/01/2018 by zandtao in Media, War

I have been binge-watching TV over the New Year as the beach is crowded and there are drunks on the road. Valor is one of these binges, there are many messages that make my blood curdle, but it is interesting trying to see the plot turns. I was hoping it was another American Odyssey where I enjoyed Anna Friel as Odelle Ballard.

If you watch TV with any amount of credulity, then you are just going to add to your own already-burdening conditioning. Valor is typical establishment pulp. The heroes are the members of the armed forces, in this case mainly two helicopter pilots and the colonel. There was one phrase which summed up the conditioning presented in this pulp. When discussing an attempted rape one of the heroes said something to the effect that the system gets many things wrong but our colonel will sort it out; as yet I don’t know if he did but his actions so far have been commendable (finished s01e10). The programme did not say that the system is meant to get it wrong, in our world justice is not intended although occasionally fought for and won by genuine heroes

The issue for army recruiters now is that it does not have to be mass recruiting, they only need a few to be soldiers because of the huge investment in resources. Only a few helicopter pilots are needed etc. But they want good people committed to the good old US of A. Valor is a poster show for those people because the two helicopter pilots are presented as good caring people, one coming from a “broken” background who the army helped straighten out (something it does do to some extent). Hence Valor is good establishment pulp – recruiting thinking right-wingers for the services.

There is advice that goes round the left, if you don’t want to be conditioned don’t turn on the TV – news whatever. This is sound advice, I recommend anyone to follow it. Yet at the same time it is worth knowing what they are doing. They only now need a few dedicated soldiers, so we have programmes like Valor.

The theme throughout concerns the two heroes, even better that one hero is a woman in the forces. This is part of the recruiting propaganda. What happens around them is the storyline that interests me – the plot turns. The populist right-wing attacks the Deep State and attacks mainstream media (MSM), how do they do this in Valor?

The series begins as a rescue mission with the two heroes defending a prisoner from attack by a CIA man – killing the CIA guy. The prisoner was supposed to be Somali, turns out to be American, and the plot develops around him. (Spoiler) He was CIA, became an ISIS lieutenant, then goes underground and so on – twists and turns. The two heroes cover up the initial killing, and then go through crises of confidence as to whether they killed a man trying to kill a traitor.

Valor does not address the major issues. One of the heroes had PTSD after serving in Afghanistan, as a sideline the plot shows him developping the PTSD following an incident in which he tried to save an Afghan boy from an explosive device the hero had rigged up. Good heroism.

We need those soldiers to fight wars so programmes like Valor don’t question why the US has been in Afghanistan for 14/15 years, why they invaded Afghanistan that long ago to find bin Laden, why they didn’t leave Afghanistan after bin Laden was killed, and why America’s 1% has dropped the MOAB on Afghanistan last year. Throughout Valor it is accepted that US helicopters have the right to be carrying out operations in Somalia, why do they have this right? So the major questions are not asked, but the recruits they want don’t ask those questions. I am slightly too old anyway, but they wouldn’t want me .

There is an interesting MSM sub-plot. There is a captured soldier. I have just realised that throughout Valor this soldier is described as a POW – Prisoner-of-War. How can he be a POW when the US is not at war with Somalia? Of course the recruits they want would accept this POW status, is it accepted that he is POW because of the War on Terror?

The sub-plot is that this soldier is a Muslim. When MSM heard this there was a smear attack on the soldier that he was radical Islam. Of course the heroes rallied around him. There was an appalling media consultant woman in this sub-plot who tried to get the wife to play down that this army hero wasn’t an active Muslim. In the end the wife didn’t – good old army integrity again.

I enjoy some of these yarns because the writers have interesting story lines – at least to me. But when I watch them I know it is MSM, not the MSM that the populist right-wing refers to as that is confusion but the MSM that promotes the interests of the 1%. With Valor they are recruiting heroes, thinking caring heroes. You cannot present war as black-and-white – as in the old black-and-white movies, so a different enemy is needed – the Deep State. But what these programmes do not present is that the Deep State, as with government, as with the military are all controlled by the 1%. They are fighting wars-for-profits which benefit the 1%. At present these wars-for-profits are mainly against Muslim countries, although the War against Terror cannot officially define the enemy as Muslims – so it is only radical Muslims these programmes focus on. They do not of course focus on the damage that is done to all Muslims in these countries in the search for these radical Muslims.

Soldiers are presented on all sides as heroes, in a way they are. But in reality they are also puppets, puppets with some integrity, some caring puppets, but puppets nonetheless. But then as a teacher I was a puppet, a caring puppet, a puppet who tried and failed to make changes but nevertheless a puppet. In this world of wage-slavery when are we not puppets? When do we control what we actually do?

We choose to work or not, is this a choice? Once this choice has been made, we compromise, at many stages we are forced to compromise our own integrity just to keep our jobs. The good part about Valor is this decision-making, once compromised what decisions do they make within the storyline?

Sadly the real decision of going to war in the first place is beyond these day-to-day heroes.

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