Trump and Brexit have indicated a change in mainstream politics. When I listened to Pilger on Trump then it became clear that there has been a change in the political paradigm. I grew up with politics on the left, mainstream politics that discussed a centrist-right battle of Labour-Conservative with the 1% functioning somewhere towards the right end of the spectrum indistinguishable from the Tories. With Blair the liberals have come into the mainstream. With an ineffective Liberal party, clinging to power in a coalition that provided none of their policies, these liberals have worked with the Blair opportunists and now Labour has even further lost its class identity. Corbyn has been trying to reclaim that identity but these parliamentary Blairites (with the support of the media) have fought him all the way, and whilst Corbyn has Labour movement support these mainstream attacks are affecting the ballot box. Meanwhile these liberals have appropriated a stage in mainstream politics, and their agenda is two-fold:-
• Promoting an alienating agenda of identity politics – PC police
The power of these two positions within mainstream politics has enabled a right-wing reaction throughout the western world, promoted UKIP in the UK, and voted in Trump in the US.
As a consequence of this liberal rise, there has been a profound change in the political paradigm. The left wing (as a purist I do not include liberals as left but most do) has become a legitimate target for the right because of these alienating liberal policies. At the same time the arrogance of this liberal purism (as exemplified here) continues to label the right as racist, sexist and anti-LBGT even though there has been an emergence of some legitimate compassionate populist right thinking and analysis. Within this division the 1% seem to have disappeared, and a naïve liberal agenda continues self-righteously to fan the flames of the division especially in the US.
As a response to this shift in paradigm there needs to be a political change as exemplified by the Unity Platform:-
Archive for the ‘Democracy’ Category
It is interesting to consider the political spectrum given the current state of politics. We might have the Far Left, Near Left – Liberals and Identity Politics, then one might begin with the right wing such as homeowners who think they are bourgeois. With similar views might be richer owners who also adopt right-wing views because traditionally it is believed that the right protect the economy – a belief that does not have any substance behind it. The views of these owners are not extreme. They might say that having a black neighbour would lower house prices, and they might fear a son or daughter bringing home a black intended, but these are not racists who would attack others – although they might well fear being attacked by black gangs. And then there is the extreme right, the National Front, the KKK, the English Defence League, white supremacists; it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility that these people would commit hate crimes. With this spectrum in play different people would talk about left and right relative to their own position eg as a non-violent far left person I would consider Liberals as right-wing, whereas right-wing intellectuals would consider Liberals as left-wing. This is a standard spectrum in which we consider politics is played out.
But there is an important question about this spectrum, where are the 1%? Their politics is concerned with exploitation and accumulation. They exploit the poor and low waged on left and right, and they take the properties and small businesses of the middle-left and middle-right, but for them there is no political analysis. They exploit and accumulate but in terms of the spectrum their approach is indiscriminate – they will take from anyone.
So if the 1% are not on the spectrum then it is easy to conclude that it is in all our interests on this political spectrum to end the exploitation by the 1% and prevent further accumulation on the part of the 1%.
We have been intentionally divided on the spectrum but by recognising that the 1% are not on the spectrum we can see that there is an identity of interest amongst the 99% on the spectrum.
Why don’t we all resolve sufficient of our differences to accept the Unity of the 99% and stop the 1% exploiting us?
This Trevor Phillips documentary “Has Political Correctness gone mad?” has seriously disturbed me, this PC stuff is now just censorship.
I have known censorship all my working life. In teaching one of the bigger hypocrisies is that they say they give a balanced outlook and let the students decide. Then they want to protect the students. I taught in Hove (actually) for nearly 6 years, and the censorship I came across was horrendous – and along with being the union rep cost me promotion. My head was a feeble bully who was incompetent. He used tactics to stifle opposition to him, and most teachers deeply resented him but were scared for their jobs so did little – his bullying easily allowed him to affect promotion; the lay governors had made an ignorant appointment and the teachers paid the consequences. However because he was so feeble he ignored his staff, and if parents or governors said anything he jumped and kept his job. I was a semi-public figure in the local trade union movement, Brighton and Hove, and Hove is very right wing so parents were always willing to complain about me. Because of this I was forced to censor myself, although I saw my job as maths teacher and not purveyor of left-wing wisdom so had no desire to spend lessons teaching Marxism or whatever. Other teachers who were not so threatened did put across their viewpoints because they were safe and acceptable; I knew the lie of the land and accepted this censorship even though it was not educational. I remember feeling angry because a good-hearted teacher was able to promote environmental awareness, and gained favour because of this. He did things for the environment but refused to comment on whether accumulation, capitalism or the 1% were the causes of problems. I doubt if he wanted to make such comments, he was just happy collecting bottles etc. The head liked this – perfectly safe, good practice for the kids and yet they never learned the truth so it was not very educational. Students had the personal strength to make judgements for themselves. Show them facts and let them assess for themselves – sadly that is not now an option with the manufacturing of fake news that confuses knowledgeable adults let alone children trying to learn.
Any form of censorship is a measure of failure for a society. PC first came in because society had failed. The problems of racism and sexism were deep-seated, and controlling the way people spoke about black people and women was a positive step; I understood at the time that it was always to be integrated with good education. At that time this positive step towards inoffensive language was however only community pressure, a pressure that I thought was acceptable in that disapproval was the only legal punishment.
Legislation on what can be said where and when can never work, what is said is a moral action and morality cannot be dictated to by law. This clip from the Trevor Phillips documentary horrified me.
I have no problem with these people discussing these issues but what they were then doing is enacting them as policy within their universities. Such repression is counter-productive. People have to reach such conclusions for themselves, morality is a personal activity. Repression through censorship or otherwise just produces a backlash. In the UK typical expressions of that backlash are UKIP, Manosphere and Brexit, none of which make any sense other than understanding they are backlashes against repression.
When Trevor says Trump is a consequence of PC repression, he is right, but these liberals are so self-righteous they appear not to be altering their approach. These are not people working for the 99% but intellectual liberals working for their own self-importance – ego. When I see this I understand why the right wing is so critical of leftists, and how they have been able to mobilise around a racist sexist bigot like Trump. Extreme actions produce extreme reactions.
It is far easier in the short term to repress, misuse power and prevent differing views from being aired. But repression is never a solution, it is only violence. Communication produces solutions when people try to listen. These students were not listening in the same way UKIP voters are not listening, in the same way that the Trump deplorables are not listening. Without communication there is no unity, such censorship is completely illiberal – and dangerous.
Later I will discuss the problems I have with Trevor Phillips (LINK to be added) but there is no doubt that he is right on the money when he describes this political correctness as mad. Unfortunately these liberals are so self-righteous they cannot see the damage they are doing. So many people have been alienated by their tactics that establishment parties more favourable to the left (and liberalism) such as Labour or Democrats are now losing out. If there is no education to go along with PC legislation, then it is just censorship and in my view society is better without it.
The left is ignorant of the right. Because the right at best gives low priority to racism and sexism – at some level dismisses identity politics, many dismiss where the right is coming from. Out of compassion I have sympathy with this argument but it is necessary to recognise that the “left and the populist right are the 99%”. So it is time for the left to learn aout the righht, and not simply stereotype tham as racists and sexists. Whilst the left has been on their moral compassionate high horse, the 1% through populist intellectualism has managed to create a huge chasm within the 99%.
Somehow the left needs to counter the lies that are being peddled by the right-wing intellectuals, but there is no point in saying that it is all lies as that is divisive. At the same time all of what the right is saying is NOT LIES. When I examine some of the sophisticated financial arguments concerning the 1%, I find the analysis far more cogent than many on the left. This does not surprise me as I found many people who were socialists who never read Marx. OK Marx is long and hard (and I would not describe myself as well read in Marx, but the left did not educate themselves. They became aligned to a particular camp, and that was it. With such an ignorant approach it is not surprising that the 99% have become so divided.
On occasions I have argued politics with right-wingers, and felt that I was scoring points for the left with my economic analysis of the 1%. But then when I look at right-wing intellectuals their economic analysis can be far more sophisticated than mine. With Bix Weir he analyses gold and silver, and his political axe to grind concernsk” market control. When do you really hear the left discussing market control? Protectionist policies and cartels are essential aspects of the 1% capitalist manipulation, but socialists rarely discuss it.
But their arguments break down as soon as there is discussion of the left or immigration. Then their arguments are alomost completely emotive, and has no basis in reality. Right wing discussion of immigration and race has never been based in fact, but knowing this the 1%-manipulators have managed to completely undermine the factual basis of immigration statistics by dismissing them as left-wing or PC. Without facts to dismiss outlandish racist claims the non-deplorable populist right will partially believe the rhetoric and so get attracted to authoritarian demagogues such as Trump. Of course fact hasn’t always been a left strong point either as their vehemence can create “fuzzy areas”.
But what is a common thread throughout the right wing intellectuals is the manner in which they criticise the left. And this comes down to the left-wing failure to dissociate itself from neoliberalism. For me Hillary is a necessary evil, a better choice than Trump – marginally better than the other Republican candidates and leaps ahed of Trump because of his moral bankruptcy. But the left is seen as Hillary when the left sees Hillary as a right-wing compromise. The left compromise supports people like Hillary and Blair and Obama who start wars, and the right intellectuals use this to attack the left. For years the left has accepted this neoliberal compromise, and now they are paying for it with the division of the 99%, left analysis was stagnant. With Bix Weir you even have a call for a Trump-Bernie ticket, thus shpowing how completely unrealistic the understanding of the left is.
And then we come to Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist. Breitbart News aagggh! And then I saw amongst their best sellers 1984, George Orwell would turn in his grave to be associated with white supremacy. And then there is Milo Manosphere. But what about his analysis? Checkout Steve Bannon’s movie, Generation Zero (2010) (picture is link). I did not find it easy to watch because I wanted to scream at his treatment of so much I hold dear – Woodstock indeed.
How much of the rubbish in this man’s blame game does the right wing believe? Yet this man’s perspective on the 1% is clearer than many on the left. When you know the problem is the 1% and you don’t hear the left taking about the 1%, it is easy to associate left with government and Wall Street. The left has to understand that their neoliberalism makes them easy to blame, the left has to become more sophisticated.
Now there is a big problem. The left is loud and committed but the populist right who need to be addressed are quiet, withdrawn and disguised in their politics. They do not seek confrontation especially within families, but their disguised positions need to be unravelled. The analysis of the 1% has to be separated from the emotions of immigration and left-bashing, and this will not happen when the left, especially left-wing media such as the Daily Show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and so on depict Trump voters as deplorable. The populist right are our “comrades” within the 99%, and we need to find ways of communicating.
And I don’t know how, I can’t even face doing it with people I know but it has to be done. Myths stereotypes and charicatures have to be debunked, and communication is the only way to do this. Whilst I am saying this I still look at my emotions and all I can feel is anger towards these people. How can I communicate with them?
BUT communication must happen for the 99%.
I am afraid of this – deeply afraid.
I have spent a long time considering my position on Trump and Brexit. Where did I end up? Attacking the liberal left for their failure to include the moral right. There is only one thing that can prevent the rise in fascism – unity. Unity of purpose against the 1%.
What could happen? The Left are taking to the streets. The Left are taking their right to demonstrate as being accepted, and especially in the US assuming that that right will be accepted. It was not accepted with Occupy, why is it going to be accepted now?
But there is a big difference now. Trump has let the deplorables out. Rather than being muzzled by token liberalism these deplorables are now being encouraged by Trump. These deplorables appeared to form the bulk of his election train, are they going to stand by and allow the Left to demonstrate freely?
What happened in Germany pre-Second World War? Hitler was VOTED in. There was a backlash in the street (Rotfrontkämpferbund ), and this backlash was met by Hitler support (Sturmabteilung). The German streets developed a pretext that the streets were unmanageable, the state took over and there was fascism. “In the mid-1920s, the party engaged in electoral battles in which Hitler participated as a speaker and organizer,[b] as well as in street battles and violence between the Rotfrontkämpferbund and the Nazis’ Sturmabteilung (SA).” References from wiki Hitler’s rise to power.
Is it conceivable that such forces exist in the US?
Is it possible that the Left will mobilise on the streets? They are doing so now.
Is it possible that White Supremacists would go out on the streets to support Trump?
Is it possible that Trump would let this happen?
Is it possible that the 1% would allow this situation to escalate to such an extent that more and more troops would be needed to keep the streets quiet?
If all these things are possible, is that not fascism?
Am I right to be afraid of rising fascism?
Now there can be only one solution – unity of purpose against the 1%. It is time to build bridges between the moral left and the moral right, at the moment it is not possible for the dogmatic left and racist right to meet – they are too entrenched. The meeting points are morality and compassion that can then build communication to unravel all the propaganda that now exists on the Net. It is only by both moral sides getting to know each other that the barriers will get taken down.
Am I right to be afraid of rising fascism?
If so, do something about it now.
At least since the end of the second world war we have had a neoliberal system – probably since we had universal suffrage, now ordinary people are paying for this compromise. Neoliberalism allowed for public political parlour games in the West. Over regular periods (usually 4 or 5 years) we went through a sham of electoral democracy in which politicians stood up for marginally different versions of the same deal, neoliberalism, with the parties (usually two in each country) offering different levels of token support for ordinary people whilst carrying out 1% policies.
And the left has now paid for their own compromise with this neoliberalism.
Here is an example that happened to me. I don’t know what the current CP tactics are but back in the 80s the CP asked its members to compromise with the neoliberal system in order not to split working-class or union support. Typically this involved extremely distasteful actions. In my own case I attended the NUT conference, and at this conference I was asked to support the Broad Left which included the mainstream leadership. I attended their disco (I attended discos then) and watched a degree of sycophanticism that was so distasteful I walked out. It was undoubtedly true that the Trots, known as the Socialist Teachers’ Alliance then, were adopting policies that would have split the union if their conference motions had been passed. So I understood why the CP asked me to do what I did, but it was distasteful. More attempts at building bridges on the left against the neoliberalism could have been made but they weren’t, and there was an impasse with built-in stagnation. Such analysis concerning these bridges was not around then, so all of the left needs to accept responsibility for this. I think it significant that there was no recognition at the time concerning neoliberalism. The analysis was simply bourgeois and proletarian, and working within the labour movement, either in the unions or the labour party, to remove the impact of the opportunists. The weakness of this analysis, lacking any emphasis on the neoliberal system, was significant in the lack of bridge-building. Because the emphasis was on mass movement unity, battles existed on the left (typified by Trots vs Commies), and the direction of the discourse was always towards unity within the mass movement. However that unity, supposedly considered as unity of the proletariat, effectively meant unity on the left, and there was never any real efforts to unify with the right wing – whether in the union or the labour party. In the minds of the left the populist right, because of their politics lacking compassion for liberal issues were being identified with the 1% when in fact they were populist right and needed to be included within the mass movement against the 1%. To me this weak position was the early causes of the separation of the populist right and move to fascism that is indicated by votes for Brexit and Trump.
Soon after this NUT conference I left the UK so I don’t know how the CP and others on the left have dealt with neoliberalism since then, but I do feel this stagnation continued. Supporting the 1%-Labour, Blair Labour and Blair unions, might well have been CP strategy in order not to split the Labour movement. How awful – supporting war.
As a result populism, those on the right against the 1%, has taken the stage. Now we have a far harder battle, how to unite with this populist right, against the 1%. If we don’t accept that this is the way forward, then fighting against the 1% will be self-evidently impossible when the 99% are so divided. How many of the 99% could now be described as on the left and against the 1%?
I suggest that the left in the 99% have dissociated themselves from the populist right, primarily because of the platforms that I have assessed as being part of the populist right:-
1) Work against the 1%, its influence, the lobbyists that Trump described as the swamp.
Whilst the first two are clearly unifying the third is intended to be divisive by the 1%.
However if the power of the 1% is to be minimised, both the populist right and the liberal left need to compromise against the real enemy – the 1%. In the US such a compromise seems almost impossible but it has now become necessary otherwise people are in for a very difficult time with the increasing rise of fascism. This is a compromise that is far more distasteful than the compromise I had at the NUT disco but without it fascism will increasingly take centre stage.
It is my understanding that Trump supporters actually believe he will support them against the 1%. Undoubtedly he has strategic plans for buying off his supporters such as providing jobs in Trumpland, and it is conceivable that whilst adopting 1% and anti-liberal policies (racist, sexist and against LGBT) he will maintain his vote-base.
This division of the 99% between the liberal left and populist right can be laid straightforwardly at the hands of neoliberalism, what has neoliberalism done for these hard-working white people on the right – in Trumpland? Nothing, why would they? The 1% seeks only to exploit for their own profit. But what is far worse, what has the left done for these people? Nothing. The left has fought other legitimate battles, often involving identity politics, and as a result these working people whose personal politics have not been compassionate – such as racist, sexist and anti-LGBT – have lost their incomes and become attracted to the populist right. Yet our interests are the same, and it is self-defeating to turn around and demand that because they are part of the 99% they should change their views and join us. They haven’t, and in the US they have chosen Trump – been conned by Trump – been conned by the 1%.
Because the liberals have supported neoliberalism, have been myopic in the politics they have been involved in, and ignored a significant proportion of the 99% – a proportion that Trump has strategically manipulated, the US now has a 1%-government that will move the US towards fascism.
There is an aspect of US media that I have not seen discussed but is the practise. I watch US comedy progs such as John Oliver, Daily Show, Samantha Bee, Saturday Night Live – these are the only US comedies I find funny. When I am watching them I see nothing but pro-Democrat party propaganda. I see attacks on Trump – OK I agree he is preposterously funny, not attacks on the 1%, and I see the progs increasing divisions within the 99%. These progs add to the problem because they perpetuate and increase the divisions with the rest of the 99%. I can enjoy the humour without being sucked into the division, but can most of the watchers? Can they see that the intended divisions are also part of the 1% mainstream media strategy of dividing the 99%? Without discernment liberals and the left will continue to be part of the problem.
Similarly left-wing media in the UK are attacking and ridiculing Trump, they are perpetuating the situation. The populist white right who are inclined towards UKIP are being ignored by this left-wing, and the 1% are agitating against the 99% using similar tactics to the US. This situation is different to the US because the government is right-wing. However it is functionally the same. Divide the 99% – left against right. Identify the media as left wing, identify the mass movement – labour party and unions – as not being interested in white people. Not being interested in protecting the jobs of white people. Similarly there are attacks on PC in general thus the populist right are ignoring much truth that is spoken by professionals such as teachers, social workers and care-workers. Underlying the rhetoric of this populist right will be blame – blaming the left (liberals in general although the use of that term is not as common in the UK because of the Liberal party and their alliance with Cameron). Neither right nor left are sufficiently focussed on the impact of the 1% in the UK.
Because liberals have supported neoliberalism, the 1% has divided the 99% by financing the populist right. Because liberals have failed to persuade more white people that what liberals are doing is right, we now have a situation where the populist right has grown significantly; liberals and the left do not put forward uniting policies such as fighting the 1% and maybe morality and compassion, they simply promote their own dogma and expect the populist right to accept it. We now have a situation where the liberals, left-wing and populist right need to court each other in order to provide a united front against the 1%. For years the liberals and left have ignored this populist right, and the 1% have managed to cleave apart the 99%. The populist right have peddled preposterous statements such as left-wing mainstream media, and because the left has previously ignored this populism such statements now have significant traction. The 1% have financed this populism with their main purpose being to divide the 99%, and there is such a strength of rhetoric against the left-wing, much of it built on lies and propaganda such as the anti-PC movement, creating unity will be hard. Not all of the populist right can be won over as there is a significant proportion of deplorables, but amongst the rest are compassionate, moral people, who, because of the propaganda, in the US manage to support a horrendous man (Trump) who is immoral and lacking in compassion – being racist sexist and anti-LGBT. In the UK the pattern similarly shows support for the Tories and UKIP, both of which are parties for the 1%. These moral people, quiet white people, need to feel ashamed for supporting Trump and Brexit (and UKIP) but that also means that liberals need to eschew their neoliberalism, and show the non-deplorable on the populist right that there is a unity of interest against the 1%. Both populists and liberals need to change their focus away from each other and towards the real enemy – the 1%.
I have looked a little into the mindset of this moral populist right, and I do not understand it. Yet we must understand each other. Through unity of purpose against the 1% communication needs to be built between the left, liberals and the populist right. This will be difficult because of the years of antagonism, but if we don’t do this Trumps, and to a lesser extent Farages, will continue to arrive on the scene as fascism increases.
To my mind the onus of communicating lies with the liberal left. For all of last century the left has recognised the need to build the mass movement, yet after a century of such building in the US a member of the 1% standing for president has managed to divide the 95% in only one campaign. Not only is the candidate a member of the 1% he is an overt racist and sexist, yet he still split the vote. Why?
1) He promoted racism and sexism and other forms of bigotry. Voicing such enabled the deplorables. But those that should be ashamed also voted for him because they have been convinced that within the propaganda their compassion does not have to recognise racism and sexism.
2) Trump has managed to convince many on the populist right that he is the person to vote for in fighting the 1%. To people on the left this seems ludicrous but this is because the left has failed to see how they have been compromised by neoliberalism. Below I discuss Obama as an example of neoliberal failure. Because of this neoliberal failure leaders on the populist right have been able to convince members of the 99% that mainstream government and media is controlled by the left. How can the liberal left have been so remiss? Because they failed to identify and attack neoliberalism, even with Occupy opening the territory the left within the Democrats failed to take advantage. The Democrats did not identify themselves with Occupy, and so they lost the high ground with regards to attacking the 1%. Left-wing press clearly do such 1%-attacks, the Democrats don’t as a whole, and the populist right have identified the 1%-Democrats as the Left enabling a right-wing vote for the Deplorable.
3) And of course the main failure of the left has been its failure to embrace all in the 99% including those on the right. White racists and white disguised racists have lost their jobs as a result of 1% accumulation. Despite their lack of this compassion many of these people are hard-working trying to look after their families, and the left-wing have not represented them. This is shamefully ignorant as they have had years of analysis, understood that it is only through unity that the 99% can win yet such people have been ostracised because they lack liberal values – and compassion. If you genuinely believe in mass movement politics then you have to embrace white racism with all its faults. By being inclusive these people will hopefully see beyond the racism into recognising their interests are the same as all working people including liberals. At present they don’t and that has been as a consequence of the neoliberal system – a system that too many on the left have accepted.
4) The liberal left have become pre-occupied with identity politics. Rather than attacking the 1% the liberal left have focussed on legitimate issues such as gender equality, racial equality, LGBT equality etc Because they also failed to dissociate themselves from the neoliberalism, much of this focus worked on getting these identity groups better pay. From the perspective of the populist right all that appears is that the left agenda is to increase the pay of these identity groups at their own expense. Identity politics needs to fit into the struggle against the 1%, and this is clearly not the case. This is again a failure of the left to struggle against neoliberalism.
Voting a black man as president in the US alienated this populist right. This could have been alleviated if Obama had adopted policies that included the white right. When you consider the rise of Black Lives Matter, he didn’t even promote the interests of black people. When you examine with discernment, what he has done he has mostly acted as a puppet for the 1%. Prior to the elections and soon after mainstream left-wing media, what little I know of it, were fawning over Obama. But what has he done in the struggle against the 1%?
To conclude, the blame for the rise of the populist right and their manipulation by the 1% into accepting Trump and Brexit can be laid very clearly at the hands of the liberal left. They failed to focus on the real problem – the 1%, and the majority of them have colluded with the neoliberal system. The left have focussed their energies on identity politics thus alienating the populist right who have started to identify with neo-fascist groups. Even moral compassionate white people have thus identified because they have become alienated from the left part of the 99%. It is time for the left to change, re-orient their dominant strategies into fighting the 1%, and work towards including the populist right even though there is divisive racism and sexism within the right.
I would like to see a change in the use of the term neoliberalism – new liberals? How can the populist right recognise the difference between left liberal and neoliberalism? Without such a recognition how can there be a united 99%? A long blog!
Brexit and Trump have also brought home to me another important issue – what is truth? Speaking the truth is part of the 8-Fold Path, Magga (4 Noble Truths), and never has it been more important to recognise the truth when the representatives of the powerful are lying so much.
The first thing I learned about the truth as an adult was when I started on the Path and began to develop insight. At that time seeing people or knowing stuff was so important. Basically it was a reaction to all the lies that education and upbringing had given me. Developing insight is the most important tool for understanding the truth, and very few people discuss this. Insight is definitely not taught in schools!!! At the same time, in the search for truth recognising insight in others became an important aspect of discerning truth. It is not possible for one person to know the truth in all things. So a pre-requisite for truth is insight and the recognition of insight. One key aspect of recognising insight is that of sila – moral integrity. Recognising moral integrity is almost as difficult as recognising insight but there is an obvious corollary to this:-
If a person does not have moral integrity, then they certainly do not have insight and would not see truth as important.
Having moral integrity and talking about morals is definitely not the same thing. There are many people who use morality within religious institutions as a means of control, and yet they themselves do not have morality. In other words religion and morality are not the same although within the religious institutions there are people with insight and moral integrity.
Compassion is the most important fundamental concerning truth. Compassion means the freedom from suffering for all, and in this I include Gaia. So in seeking the truth the person must show compassion. Therefore a person speaking the truth will be working towards compassion, and therefore someone who is sexist, racist, or does not support LBGT rights is not compassionate, and is therefore not speaking the truth. So there are yardsticks, how compassionate is the person and how much insight do they have?
Of course these yardsticks are absolutes, and applying these absolutes in everyday situations especially in something as criminal as politics is very difficult.
But trying to use these yardsticks let’s examine the political situation but not as yet in terms of party politics. What politically exhibits the least compassion? Quite obviously the first political yardstick is war. Who benefits from war? People don’t but corporations do, the global MIC, Military Industrial Complex does. So we have a political question to ask as a benchmark concerning support for the MIC and the corporations – I will use the vernacular the 1%. The most heinous weapon of war is the drone, these are hugely expensive to make and generate huge profits, a definite plus for the MIC. The immigration crisis is blowback, a huge consequence of interfering wars and the heinous use of drones.
These corporations work hand-in-hand with global finance institutions such as banking and insurance. So for me the 1% of MIC, banking and finance are those that control global politics, and politicians who stand against the 1% are those who I support. I have not mentioned BigFood and BigPharma but these corporations have similar interests as the other corporations of the 1%.
For me Occupy stood against the 1%, so I support the Occupy movement. It is my understanding that the Occupy movement stood behind Bernie in the US and Corbyn in the UK. Whether this is true or not what Bernie and Corbyn say stands against the 1%.
But is what they say what they mean, are they telling the truth? Or is it just rhetoric?
In Corbyn’s case I have sufficient personal knowledge of the man to know that he is genuine although I haven’t always agreed with his tactics. In the UK in London from 1985 through to 1992 I was a political activist, and this brought me into contact with Corbyn’s sphere of influence – he was an MP and community activist in North London then. For me there was no doubt about his moral integrity and compassion, but at the time I was active I felt his tactics were mistaken. Now I support him, times change.
I support Bernie. His rhetoric is good, and I have a general feeling that he is moving in the right direction. But because of the lack of personal connection I cannot be so definitive. My intuition makes me feel he merits support, but I would not go beyond that because of my lack of personal contact.
What is most interesting about these two political candidates is that they are both struggling with their party hierarchies. There is a movie I often recall called Lifting the Veil. Whilst the movie does attack both the Labour party and the Democrats, it is more concerned with attacking the system. It is my understanding that the movie claims that the electoral system has been manipulated by the 1% as a media circus, and that there is never any intention of genuine democracy – government by the people for the people. This is in line with the approach of neoliberalism as most notably discussed by Noam Chomsky (for me).
Given that I accept that the political system of neoliberalism is the problem, the question then is how it is to be defeated and what is it to be replaced with? For me compassion means that I am seeking a system that treats people as equals without regards to “race creed or colour”; I would also now add gender preference. This is fundamentally the rights of all people over the few, the 99% compared to the 1%. At present we have governments directed by the 1% against the interests of the 99% who they want to exploit as their workforce. So the question is how do we organise for a government by the 99% (or 100% where the government treats all people as equal)? In determining veracity I would be investigating whether the politician is genuinely interested in a government of and by 100% of the people.
So far I have avoided political terminology in describing truth. And this is because of problems with the media and education. It is my view that western societies (and probably global societies) are inundated with propaganda that is directed by the 1% for their benefit. The terms 1% and 99% are very similar to the Marxist terminology of bourgeois and proletariat, and there has been continued propaganda against Marxists, socialists or any who subscribe to Marx’s theories. There is much to be learnt from Marx’s dialectical approach. But the main point of Marxism is that all the people need to work together against the self-interests of the 1%. In my adult years I have never seen people more divided, and I think propaganda and obfuscation by the 1%-media are the main causes. Typically I have seen mainstream media organisations described as left-wing when I have always described them as right-wing. In terms of compassion this site might well have the same objectives – healthy people, but in terms of the media our descriptions could not be further apart. In this the 1% have been so successful in dividing us.
There is another reason I have not promoted myself as socialist, I believe that sticking to ideas or an ideology is a mistake. While ideas can guide, holding to an ideal restricts the mind. Adhering to dogma stagnates an institution whether it is religious or political, people also become restricting if others are expected to fit in with ideals. So another point of truth is enquiry. Does the truth hold up to inspection of the enquiring mind? For many years dogma has been thrown at me either from the left wing or in religious circles, but none of this dogma alone produces clarification. It is only with insight that dogma moves beyond the idea. Examining a situation in the light of compassion and through enquiry examining the dogma and situation is a process to determine the truth. Does what is said fit a set of rules is not truth-determining?
I often draw parallels between US and UK politics, typically Republicans vs Democrats and Conservatives vs Labour. In the UK historically the conservatives have supported the 1% with token liberal rhetoric for the welfare of the people and nationalist populism in the interests of the white population, and whilst historically Labour grew out of the working-class its representatives are now simply opportunists. In the UK a nationalist populist, Nigel Farage, has arrived on the scene promoting racism, and this populism has recently been accepted by many people – a significant factor in Brexit; his party UKIP primarily attracts disillusioned working-class Labour voters.
The I in UKIP stands for Independence, and I think this term independent is significant. In UKIP’s case it maybe means independent from the EU – Brexit. But in character UKIP supposedly represents an alternative to the conservatives and labour (the neoliberal system). At the same time it discusses the people’s interests over that of an elite – again appealing to an understanding of those against neoliberalism, but its appeal to the British electorate is because it is white nationalist. In my view UKIP is an appeal to white popular racism, and although sadly they are increasing in popularity their only impact so far has been their contribution to Brexit which also included majority conservative influence. In the UK this populism has divided the 99%, and in the UK I believe that is why UKIP has been funded and given more coverage in mainstream media than is warranted for a small party.
In the US the situation is slightly different but the impact of nationalist populism combined with the conservative interests has led to the election of Donald Trump. Because of my compassion I cannot support either UKIP or Trump because of their racism – and in Trump’s case overt sexism. (I suspect also LGBT issues but I am not certain of that). Initially I said that if a person does not have moral integrity I cannot believe that they will tell the truth, that applies particularly for Trump although I also distrust Farage.
In the US many people rue the election because Hillary was not elected. However in the neoliberal system Hillary represented the 1%-system elite of the Democrat party, and so she lost the populist vote. For the same reason support from Occupy was not strong because of the same neoliberalism, and because of the way the Democrat party cut out Bernie.
In terms of truth it is worth examining how events have panned out in terms of the way they have benefitted the 1%. Particularly in the US nationalist populism has benefitted the 1% by splitting the 99%. The populists have however elected a member of the 1% to deliver an anti-1% platform, can that ever happen? We will have to wait and see. Is Trump a political “whistleblower”?
In terms of truth this splitting is very important because it explains much that goes on with populism. Within the framework of blaming the elite the primary purpose of the populism is division. When you examine much of the analysis in both camps it places the source of the problem with the 1%. Two important platforms of US populism were “draining the swamp” and “against Wall Street”, both of which any left-winger would be happy to support. But then comes the division because the most important attack politically is to blame the left. And here is the inconsistency, the swamp and Wall Street are not the Left.
When considering the populism we have to examine emphasis. The 1% have no problem with being blamed if their strategy of dividing the 99% works so the rise of this nationalist populism just benefits them. For me the main political truth is that the 1% cause our problems, and that we should all fight against the influence of the 1%. In blaming the 1% I seek unity against the 1%, and seek strategies that negate their financial power and influence. This strategy unites all working people, it unites small business owners who are trying to balance their books, but it works against people who manipulate financial laws for their own profit. Such small business owners do not go bankrupt and start up again. Such people pay taxes however unfair the tax system might be because those taxes provide education and infrastructure for ordinary working people. The 99% have all this in common, and if we all worked together then the 1% cannot exploit us.
However divided we become manipulable so it is in the interest of the 99% to divide the left and right. The internet has succeeded in doing this. By investing in the internet the 1% have developed websites that present their divisive populism.
At the same time populism has inconsistencies because the strategy is division and not the interests of the people themselves. The government is described as left-wing and yet a major popular platform is the swamp – the revolving door of the 1% that controls the government. How can the government be left-wing and 1%-controlled? And Trump himself is a major inconsistency, how can a member of the 1% be interested in fighting 1%-control? However these inconsistencies don’t matter if the purpose is division, that division is a consistent purpose:-
Consistency – division
Such inconsistency is for me a good measure of the truth.
Where next do I go in terms of the truth? Over the years I have developed mechanisms for determining the truth. These are based primarily on the arena of politics that I know – what has been called the “left”. I know these people, and have developed some insight into their degree of truth-telling. Over the years I have seen how important the truth is to the left wing, if there are any doubts in the veracity of a left-wing statement there is a huge mainstream backlash. More responsible left-wing people are very careful with the truth, but that is not all left-wingers for sure with some of the more vociferous getting carried away with rhetoric; so there has to be truth-discernment from within. Based on my experience and insight I would use certain left-wing evidence and avoid the rhetoric. This can only be a personal approach to truth.
Political correctness is also worth discussing when examining the truth. PC developed throughout my lifetime, and in my view it developed because language was a significant part of racism and sexism. Demanding that people were not racist or sexist in the language they used was a good position when trying to remove the embedded racism and sexism in society. As a result racists and sexists were expected to improve their use of language. This gave an illusion that people were less racist or sexist but in the UK Brexit showed that people had not truly changed. At the same time there has been a backlash against the “PC police”, people who have too vehemently reinforced the change of language without helping people change their attitudes. With UKIP and Trump those people who have been straitjacketed by the PC police have been allowed to express their racism and sexism. Because there was a repression there has been a backlash against PC in general, and as a result truth has suffered because much truth came out of the research those people did.
At the same time it is populist to reject what PC people have said because populism attacks the left wing. As I have said, this is a change that I find hard to understand as the government has always been a puppet of the 1% so for populism to claim government is left wing is difficult for me to grasp. Again this is an indication as to the ability of the 1% to influence. Look at what has happened. The 1% continue to dominate and their profits continue to increase despite the crash of 2008. Governments have applied austerity measures as a consequence, awarded bankers bonuses, and yet populism has divided the 99% so that there is an obfuscation concerning the left wing. The power of money is amazing.
So to conclude how I determine truth:-
1) Overlying everything else is compassion
Finally since this has been mainly concerning truth in politics, I ask that we recognise a political delusion that has been perpetrated. Most people vote for economic reasons ie vote in a way that they think will give them most money. Vote for greed. When greed is voted for we get manipulated by the greedy. Why not change the way we vote to that of compassion, vote for people who genuinely talk about caring for others and the environment. This would change the political arena.
I have moved past Trump depression but this thought struck me “we get our governments because of the way we vote”.
How do we vote? Primarily we vote out of self-interest, a mistaken view of self-interest that we inherit through our communities. Workers’ self-interest is supposedly Labour, and owners and business people vote for the Tories; in the US they similarly vote for Democrat and Republican. In many cases Republicans voted with their tradition, Trump, even though their heart told the “nice” ones that Trump was/is deplorable.
This mould needs to be broken, and it is this message that has not got across. Correct analysis about the recognition of 1% does lead to breaking this mould – not some token right-wing limited idealism connected to 1% that allows some to vote Trump, but few accept this correct analysis. First and foremost it is the 1% who are destroying the middle-class, causing small businesses to crash and middle-class home-owners to lose their property. Because the 1% own mainstream media they divert attention to race or government incompetence to explain this.
The working-class are now also misguided because the Labour party are not the party of the working-class, they are simply a better shade of blue. To understand this we need to look at neoliberalism, and the way the 1% have controlled the elections. Both Labour and Conservative (Democrat and Republican) are parties of the 1%, neither are the parties of the people. Look at the way Labour is destroying itself to prevent Corbyn from gaining power, this is not socialist principles but neo-liberal manipulation. In the same way the mainstream pushed Bernie out of the democratic nomination.
Once you see the neoliberal control of the elections, we can see little point in elections as there is little that is available for ordinary people. There is strategic voting but that is all.
Given that this is the situation further discussion is relatively pointless, but this is still an analysis using self-interest as the benchmark. Because of community tradition, voting patterns for conservative and labour (republican and democrat) are based on self-interest and allows for manipulation, a manipulation that has been taken to extreme by Deplorable.
Forget self-interest, why aren’t our votes for all people – compassion? When have we had a compassionate government? Why not? Surely a compassionate government would have the interests of the people at heart. There are compassionate tendencies amongst people who have been forced to vote Republicans and conservatives but by tradition they do not vote for compassion. Compassion is not even discussed as an approach, why not? Why do we accept that government is about economy first? What about a compassionate government that puts the people first? Not the self-interest of the rich nor the self-interest of the poor but compassion – measure actions by compassion. No wars for profit – just compassion. Changing the benchmarks of the elections by introducing compassion can only be positive because it would mean the mainstream liars would at least have to pay lipservice to compassion. BUT some might use it to make real change.
In parts of Europe there is a pirate party that has grown to change the agenda in part, far better to change the agenda through the Compassion party. The Pirate party has electoral candidates, maybe in time the Compassion party would have candidates – but realistically to what avail in a neoliberal system? And remember tactical voting in the delusory electoral system, such a vote might be non-productive.
But compassion. Compassion would help move the agenda. At least we could have a compassionate momentum. Engaged Buddhists, work for a compassionate momentum.
Trump upset me – quite depressed, and led me to a rethink. Am I sufficiently up-to-date and in touch if I didn’t see it coming? This is a summary of my blogs to give a context.
In Trumped I guess at the impact. In Left supports Trump I attack a Jewish activist who is very knowledgeable but is missing an understanding of neocolonialism – the Veil and elections. Blame the liberals takes a similar tack about the Veil – neocolonialism.
Shame of White People begins to look at the real problem – the racism of white people, why aren’t these people ashamed to vote for a DEPLORABLE like Trump? 53% of white women voted for a blatant sexist and exploiter of women, how can they? Growing up afraid starts to look at my background community – the white people who voted for Brexit and who are typical of the silent Trump supporters. In Brexit is racist I make it clear that I see Brexit as a racist vote, and point to the problem that is not the deplorables but “nice” white people. In “nice” white people I detail a description of the demographic of the silent foolish racist white people who have supported Brexit and Trump. In Rising Fascism I point out the fascism that these “nice” racist fools have been tricked into creating. And finally I look at what the left needs to do to consolidate.
To what avail? These “nice” white people will be bought off and matters will get worse. At least I know not to listen when people tell me racism is better now, and millennials are you any different to the mentalities of the hippies and so on I grew up with whose materialism changed them to Brexit? Millennials when you are invested in the economy will you also be fooled into this “nice” white racist position – especially when the rising fascism will mean that good understanding through controlled media will not be as easily accessible?
The insecurity surrounding the Trump presidency is creating fear throughout the world, and fans the ego of this horrendous man. When you look at Hillary you see a career politician, a paid-up member of the Veil and a Bilderberg agent. With Trump nothing is certain, and much of the following is speculation.
Liberals see the vote as an aberrance that can be fought and possibly reigned in but I see it as far worse than this. About the only policy that he has been democratically certified for is no-policy. There appears to have been an electoral deal – Carrier. Apparently they had said they would move their plant to Mexico, now Trump has given them tax breaks maintaining some of the jobs in Indiana – his heartland. The cost of these jobs seems prohibitive, and effectively the tax-payer has funded a new automated Carrier plant.
This type of manipulation, if repeated, will make Trump a favourite with business and his “nice” white people leading to a further presidency. I foresee a term in office that will be 100% self-serving – promotion of his presidency and his business with targeted benefits for his voters.
What this means for the rest of us is not certain. Government will not act as a break on the wars-for-profit hawks behind the scenes of Washington. At the same time he will not act as a break to the Wall Street demons so long as they will enable his second term; his finance picks support Wall Street. He has not drained the “swamp”, but given them access through his picks. If the “nice” white people get jobs and his “nice” white communities are favoured, they will ignore the promises about the “swamp” – ultimately this personal wealth is all that interests the racism of “nice” white people.
Who does it look bad for? The state sector and the minorities. The state sector offers him nothing, and he has no votes there. As for the minorities the future looks bleak. On the campaign trail Trump gathered around him a violent mob of horrendous people, these people Hillary accurately described as deplorables:-
For some reason the campaign withdrew this slur, I don’t understand this. Those deplorables will always vote Republican – or not at all; Democrats have no chance with those votes. But they were never Trump’s target audience. His target was the Klauses, arrogant white people connected to small businesses who seek security at whatever compassionate cost. For these “nice” white people there is no concern for the wider society, their communities are relatively peaceful and there is still a community ethic. They help each other, and look after each other. The costs of the wider society are just a drain on their resources. Their contact with minorities is limited, the minorities who live up the road fit into their community and will be helped as would any of their neighbours. The slums and the ghettoes of the inner cities are not their problem. Trump need not target the compassionate society to maintain his votebase.
Hillary was not talking about “nice” white people when she talked of deplorables. She said 50% of Trump supporters were deplorable. I am ashamed that the community I was born in were part of the other 50%. I am ashamed of them, I am ashamed for them, and I am sad that they are not ashamed. Hillary’s tactic was to try to separate the deplorables from “nice” white people, and to try to make those “nice” white people think for themselves. The tactic failed miserably but personally I don’t think the tactic was wrong but she did not follow through on it.
Basically people will be left to fend for themselves, and this suits the relative affluence of rural white societies. But in the inner cities this will lead to greater vulnerability to gang culture.
As for Muslims there will be increased Islamophobia where every Muslim will be seen as a terrorist. Because Trump has given credence to the deplorables, they will feel they have the right to demand the US for the whites. This would be especially so given some of the right-wing picks of the Trump government. As Trump will not want to “waste” money policing the inner cities and protecting the Muslims from these deplorables, their lives will become much worse – suffering random acts of violence.
The insecurity of the Hispanic community will worsen. Throughout his campaign there has been talk of the wall and Mexican rapists, this will allow the deplorables to be violent to Hispanics. At the same time Trump will continue to allow cheap labour where his votes are not affected, I am not sure how this will work; it will be a balance in which he will curry favour with business to enable jobs for his voters.
This of course will lead to a rise in racism, why do I see it as a rise in fascism? Here is wiki on fascism. Reading this do you not see mega-similarities with the Trump campaign – with Brexit. The fear of war that was at the basis of my upbringing has not dissipated but morphed into racism, and appeals to that racism echoes authoritarian nationalism– the basis of fascism. “Nice” white people who believe in their own compassion are hastening the emergence of fascism as a solution, how can that be??