Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category

MAWPs and Fake News

Posted: 15/07/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Struggle
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In this blog I examined a history of “fake news” in which sound people have always seen the news as “fake” – controlled by media moguls of the 1%. Trump’s approach to Fake News is different, he trying to control what his supporters accept as news – news is fake unless the news supports Trump. This is not a question of Fake News but a propaganda exercise that has worked well in deluding many of his supporters.

I have already described a while back why MAWPs are a particular target group or demographic of Trump supporters. There is an obvious corollary to Trump’s control of Fake News that I had not pointed out; I was aware of it but it was not central to my understanding. The A of MAWP is arrogant, they know what is going on, they don’t need to learn anything because they already know. So when they are told the news is fake, they already know it is. I was quoted Denzel Washington “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed”; but this was used by the MAWP as an excuse not to learn. And that is awful.

As usual this MAWP was set in his ways, and like another MAWP recently – not the troll, he can listen and agree to the most significant aspects of being a genuine socialist:- the problem is the 1% and they make profits from war. After the previous MAWP I was aware of how much agreement there was. With this MAWP there was good banter as well – as I was a snowflake and he was a fascist bastard. But when there was serious discussion he agreed with the main points – as did the other MAWP who had shocked me so much when I became aware he was a Trump supporter. The point is that these guys have a good sense of Unity with the main issue of 1% and war, but have been completely conditioned into the neoliberal bipartisan created schism of fascists and snowflakes.

When I described neoliberalism and the way it works he didn’t disagree, but he immediately mawped up when I talked of media conditioning saying something like “my ideas are my own” – his A. This is the problem with MAWPs – his ideas are not his own but the way the 1% want MAWPs to think, and he is not listening to anyone else who is saying differently because they are speaking “Fake News”.

The right wing has never been willing to listen. When I grew up the right wing were comfortable with the news occasionally ranting about the socialist bias of the BBC. So they got their steady flow of right-wing propaganda at 9.00pm. People of my generation rejected this propaganda and they made minor changes to the BBC, such changes of course moving away from the right-wing post-war propaganda of the 50s, 60s and 70s but never telling the truth. For these right-wingers, left-wing means centrist (Blair) but by then the Liberals had become powerful elsewhere under Blair’s government. And they became a target. It was correct they were targeted but the reasons were wrong. These snowflakes adhered to their ideals eschewing the other, and so the right-wing became alienated and have backlashed with Trump, Farage and Brexit. I apologise for seamlessly moving between the US and UK, but the dominant forces in both countries are similar. In the US however there are more extremists and more money to create them, hence the emergence of Trump, however there has always been the ilk of “Brittania Unchained” and Dominic Raab in British politics.

The point of this blog is how do we educate MAWPs? By their nature their arrogance prevents education, and this weakness has been utilised by the money behind the move to the right. The answer for educating them is not through the bleating of snowflakes as they just heighten their arrogance. Whichever think-tank decided to empower snowflakes under Blair and Obama certainly knew how to push MAWP buttons, how long will we have to pay for this manipulation?

For most of my life the answer of educating has always been information, present the facts and anyone desiring to learn will understand the truth. Now that we are in a situation where such information cannot be controlled by the media 1% they have a new tactic – Fake News, make these MAWPs think that they are being lied to by all who disagree. In the US the MAWPs fail to see how the 1% and their Trump-puppet are simply enabling further exploitation perhaps because the Trump-puppet spends time decrying his masters to make himself popular. The arrogance of these MAWPs that they can believe a politician is absolutely staggering, and despite so much evidence to the contrary believe he is working in their interest. However this is in line with the small business owner who arrogantly considers themselves to be part of the 1% until they are swallowed by the Big fish.

Convincing these “fooled” has gotten harder with access to information, all they see with the new information is snowflake foolishness because of their own MAWP arrogance. This is why the recognition of conditioning globally is a Unity-strategy for moving forward.

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My cultural transgression

Posted: 11/07/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight
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In this clip (see below) bell hooks discusses transgression initially in terms of rap music, then white appropriation and so on. As usual she is a walking enquiry (see this blogNowhere to hide“), and I began thinking of my own cultural transgression – involvement with black people. Was it a phase? I am not now living in a black community so in that sense it was a phase, but I am not living in a white community either. So was it a phase, and does that matter?

Ultimately my history with black people ended when I finished work, and decided to retire to Thailand to seek peace, a peace I soon found there – fundamentally in isolation. In a sense this peace is “outside community”, there is limited connection to my personal history, and limited connection to the community I live in because of my limited language. It means that I must find peace in who I am and peace in nature. I question whether there is peace with people – necessary support but peace?

When she spoke of transgression it was not a word I fully understood – when I looked into it I was surprised how little I had considered it given my personal history.

First of all this analysis might fall into the arena of sankhara – over-intellectualising, because I did what I did. But the purpose of any analysis has to be to see whether my actions were conditioned. Is my cultural transgression a conditioned cultural response? That reminds me of my father who claimed I would soon grow out of my socialism. That socialism was based in compassion, and compassion is not something I could grow out of – many do.

In my family’s white middle-class suburbia I knew of only one black person; he was in school, big and he was always fighting. Now in retrospect I am not surprised given what he had to put up with, but it just invoked fear in me. I met only one black person at university. She ended up being the girlfriend of a person in the hall of residence and she wouldn’t speak to me even though her hometown was 5 miles away and that meant I wanted her as a holiday friend because we were “uni”. It didn’t happen, I suspect I said something crass – racist – when drunk. The only other image of her I have is that she was nice and quiet.

When I first started work I met a few black people but they were not in my life. I do remember an incident in which a friend said that this lady would sleep with me. To me this lady was way too powerful and overbearing. She was overbearing, American, loud black and older (early 30s), by comparison I was weak, talked only when drunk, white, shy English, and young for my age at 22. I was also very sexually immature, she obviously wasn’t. I can’t remember what I said but I thought about it and weeks later told my friend I would, and was laughed at by my friend who said this lady had moved on.

My first real encounter with black people came in my first teaching job. Between the above immature experiences and starting this job I had hit bottom – Ch 21, and had spent 30 months resurfacing on the path. In the care home I had a passion for a black houseparent but again I was scared – and she had a boyfriend. I had several passions that year, and what dominated those passions was a complete sexual immaturity; I was scared of the black woman more because she was a woman than because she was black – I think. But she was black and beautiful, which mattered more?

At school I became more familiar with black people both as students and teachers, and as one black friend took the time to educate me I unlearnt a lot of my white supremacist conditioning (in this clip (4.33) see why bell uses this terminology). At the time I was an educationalist, and did not have a full view of education in terms of the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. I saw education as offering the possibility of leading out the true self, and I started teaching to see if I could do that. Because it was so soon after hitting bottom, spirituality was almost singular and the priority.

Once in the school I saw how unjust the treatment of the black kids was, and they became a focus. Because I saw the institution was contributing so much to the disadvantage I began teaching in the evening in a black community education project. This brought me into contact with black educationalists outside school.

Starting on the path I was desperate for experience. Although I was fortunate to have started on the path and therefore had some wisdom, I was socially and sexually very immature. This was not helped by the alcohol-induced view that I could meet people when drinking, anomaly when I thought of myself as spiritual.

After a while that desire for experience turned to women, and I fell in love with a woman (white) – for a number of reasons this didn’t work out after maybe two years. It was then I became interested in black women forming a close non-sexual relationship with a colleague. At the time my social life was also “around” the black community, and I was then continually seeking a black woman – between the drink.

As an after-school activity I began work on a magazine through the youth centre, and being disillusioned with education I took this up full-time producing the Young Journal. In my mind it was a magazine that could present the creative talents of black youth – without being focussed on music and hair. The content however was driven by the young people who came across the magazine so my bias doesn’t show in it.

Towards the end of the 3rd issue I started my tempestuous relationship with a black woman that lasted two and a half years and disrupted my life. This love ended the magazine and I was in Brighton working and trying to survive the relationship. With the magazine I had met people, mainly Africans, who put meat on the bones of my understanding of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy – with limited emphasis on patriarchy. My understanding became far more international in perspective, and was evident in the political life I turned to. My time in Brighton was dominated by my love, the failed relationship and its aftermath, and I left for Africa. One friend gave me a nudge and a wink saying that once I had tasted chocolate … I don’t know but by then I was 40.

This friend might have been correct but in my mind there was experience and reasons for leaving Brighton with its relationship and aftermath. I had experienced black family life. Whilst in the relationship I had made my drinking far worse – because of my weakness, the particular black woman and her family, but in part I had enjoyed living with this black woman; she was the first woman I had lived with – when younger I had fallen in love but I was too independent to live with her.

So this brought me to dabbling in Africa. For half the men on the teaching programme relationships with black women became the focus of living there, for others it was travel; as were many, women and travel became my focus. However by then I was not drinking so women and travel were not enough, I did an M Ed, mid-life review and moved towards Buddhism.

But I dabbled with African women living with me – on and off for nearly 7 years, and because of their cultural upbringing this worked well 90% of the time and the other 10% was tumult. Although one time I was close, I never fell in love in Southern Africa, and moved away from Africa to private schools to try to get a pension. Once I left Southern Africa there were never any further relationships with women, although 5 years later I returned to West Africa to teach. Once I finished with that contract black people have been a rarity in my life.

So was all this transgression? On reflection I have always thought of my gender-type as “white man attracted to black women”; after the time I fell in love near 30, I have never had a relationship with a white woman. This is why it could be a gender-type so I think of it as more than transgression. But is it?

For 12 years I have lived alone in a country of beautiful women. I came here thinking that relationship could occur through religion, but there hasn’t been a glimpse. For 7 years after Southern Africa I wanted only meaningful long-term relationships, and it became clear that could only happen if I lived somewhere. But it hasn’t happened where I live. In my last job I enjoyed working with black people and the students although the school situation was horrendous – and that had some cultural origins.

Am I any nearer answering the transgression question? To begin with I thought no but now I feel I am. At the time of hitting bottom I had rejected conditioning but I was still conditioned. This meant that transgression was still part of my privileged conditioning. I felt that I had the right to go out there and experience. It was never my intention to return to the privileged background that bell refers to, but there was still the privilege that I felt I had the right to go out and experience.

But one can’t ignore the fact that this is also nature’s path – young people going out and experiencing, getting old, reflecting and finding peace. But there is no doubt that I benefitted from privileged conditioning. I should also note that I was so immature that I was 40 before my desire for experience risked the world. In a way this was good because by then I knew enough of myself to be self-reliant instead of seeking solely from the community.

Cultural transgression is a conditioned response. Privilege entitles people to move out and experience the different, and once they have had a few knocks, return home and count the pennies. This is similar to nature’s conditioning. The young person leaves home gets some experience, and then returns to the womb-community recreating the family culture for a new generation. When I consider my early adult life in London, I think of people exploring – the 60s and aftermath, yet these people have turned back to their womb-community, and in Brexit voted with community. Emotionally that feels like a betrayal, but backs up bell’s view of transgression.

Sometimes social conditioning and natural conditioning combine and it is difficult to discern. One can never be absolutely certain where the boundaries lie, but it is good to investigate – learning that includes learning about our conditioning is the purpose. Thank you again, bell, for the spur to enquiry.

Below:- bell hooks gave a talk on Cultural Criticism and Transformation, and there are 8 parts to the talk. Unfortunately part 7 is considered unsuitable by youtube so you can’t find it. Part 8 starts on about rap music, and then about half-way through this clip she discusses the transgression of white people “getting into rap”.

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This could have been a continuation of the last blog, but that then could have been long and missed the point about the New Fact of Life.

Understanding and seeing racism as conditioning is a way of working – campaigning. Making demands in terms of identity is not helpful, there is no education – no communication. Just an ideal, a set of ideas that is agreed with or disagreed with. You are racist, no I’m not. You are racist, no I’m not. You are racist, no I’m not. You are racist, no I’m not. You are racist, no I’m not. You are sexist, no I’m not. You are sexist, no I’m not. You are sexist, no I’m not. You are sexist, no I’m not. You are sexist, no I’m not. You are sexist, no I’m not. There is no meeting here, no communication, no helping each other.

But understanding conditioning recognises that it is not a switch, yes or no, it is a spectrum – a continuum. I will always have to be conscious of racism because there are always conditioning forces that want to make me racist again – even despite an awareness that was a pinnacle as editor of Young Journal and was never really lost teaching in Botswana and Nigeria – lost now 12 years in Thailand?

As discussed throughout the esp. Ch 22, the process of conditioning is ongoing and pervasive. Conditioning is the agreements that get made from generation to generation, and this conditioning is the basis of the ego that can be so divisive and destructive. When bell hooks describes an imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, she is describing with a verbal hammer a significant proportion of the conditioning we are processed with. But what she is not overtly describing is the ego that we are also conditioned with. When you put all of these together we can begin to understand conditioning, and begin to understand what all of us need to move beyond – and moving beyond conditioning could be a manifesto for Unity.

It is important to consider the current political realities in terms of this conditioning. It is quite clear that we are all conditioned to some extent, and it is equally evident that this conditioning benefits the 1% who accumulate whilst our different conditionings divide us. If we don’t keep our focus on those who benefit with our divisions we end up contributing to those benefits. If we accept that there is a conditioning both natural and systemic, then we can begin to experience freedom whilst at the same time become aware of how deeply exploited we are by the 1%. We can then see that being divided only hurts us.

It is so important to understand that this conditioning does not singly apply to those who are privileged within the conditioning. In bell hooks words it conditions privilege to imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchs and withdraws privilege from those who are not. All people are conditioned to accept the privilege of the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, not just white men, but women – all genders, and people of colour.

What is also important to note in this description of conditioning is that of the conditioning of the ego, to move beyond conditioning is to move beyond ego. This is significant for a group of intellectuals known as the IDweb. These people demand freedom but this freedom is limited and conditioned, it is really freedom to exploit. Genuine freedom is freedom from conditioning, freedom from ego, freedom for all. In the US and increasingly in the western world this freedom has become freedom from government regulation, and as Noam Chomsky discusses here, the purpose of Trump flim-flam is to create a public charade whilst removing regulations that benefit business and disadvantage people – all done in the name of freedom.

A key component of the IDweb (article not link site gone?) is the promotion of the individual intellectual – the cult of the individual intellectual such as the ego of Jordan Peterson or Sam Harris, and significant in all of the IDweb is that lack of freedom for ALL, the lack of compassion for ALL. This is the intellectualism of the ego, of competition, of self-aggrandisement, of capitalism.

Also try to see where identity politics fits into this process of conditioning. This creates an identity or ego around certain ideals such as fighting the privilege of white men in favour of non-whites, non-males etc. These are ideas that the ego attaches to and makes demands for. This is a conditioned response to the exploitation by the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy but in itself is still conditioned. When the ego clings to an ideal as a conditioned response it creates division. If instead it was recognised as conditioning then it would be more clearly understood that moving beyond conditioning is not holding to ideals but educating an awareness that is beyond conditioning. In other words identity politics is a divisive conditioned response of the ego, needs to understand its own egoic conditioning, needs to move forward in its understanding of conditioning, and begin to recognise the importance of Unity and the need to develop awareness.

Whilst a step in the right direction Marxism has got stuck as an ideal that more and more people are rejecting. It came about as an explanation as to how working people were being exploited by the capitalist/imperialist owners of the nineteenth century. Marxism was however limited to an examination of finance, and by limiting the ethos to finance it has left the proletariat vulnerable to exploitation through finance and by accumulation. The level of accumulation of contemporary super-wealthy is far beyond that envisaged in the times of Marx, and the ease with which many of the proletariat can be bought off by the super-wealthy makes any organisation by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie virtually impossible if they are fighting for equality of finance.

Continuing with an emphasis on finance is now a conditioned response because it has been controlled by the powerful – by the 1%. In moving beyond conditioning we have to try to establish what is beyond the conditioning, beyond the ego, and when we recognise how conditioning works we can see that what is beyond is compassion and freedom for all. This I discussed in the Treatise as pathtivism:-

When I discussed this as being esoteric – a bit beyond, I was not exhibiting a clear analysis. Where we are going with a class analysis based on finance is outmoded and has been controlled by the 1%. Class based on the global interests of all people would end the competitiveness that divided the first from the third world. But a position in which the global class interest is placed in the context of Gaia would bring sustainability to an interest that is limited to humanity and its lack of sustainability. These last two positions are not contradictory for Gaia’s interest and the peoples’ interests are identical if thought through. It is capitalism that focusses on exploiting resources to increase profit, that is conditioning, and is not in the peoples’ interest. Pathtivism or indigenous wisdom is the only practical way forward, a way that is beyond conditioning.

For a fuller development of the recognition of conditioning, addiction and the need for pathtivism in the context of Gaia, consider the last section of the – Ch 21-25.

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Indigenous Wisdom is needed

Posted: 11/06/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, ONE planet
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Activism needs a broader picture, indigenous wisdom cam provide it. Watch these:-

We are all one.

We are all related from Russell Means who discussed Europeans here.

Why is such wisdom persecuted? EVERYONE MUST KNOW THIS

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Venezuela and John Oliver

Posted: 10/06/2018 by zandtao in Democracy, Freedom, Media, Struggle


I usually watch John Oliver, and have generally seen his show as sensible and being well researched. At the time I was somewhat dismayed when I heard this programme on Venezuela. For years I had known about US intervention in Venezuela – as usual intervention because of oil, but when I heard Oliver’s programme doubts were cast. Rather stupidly I didn’t follow up my doubts.

I just caught the truth here. I picked it up from the Real News Network, it is from Empire Files (youtube channel) and is a blow-by-blow debunking of John Oliver’s bias (I hope they haven’t made any errors as it will be aired). If you are interested in seeing how colonialist bias works, watch this:-

I take everything I watch on TV with a pinch of salt – always have. But it is disappointing to see John Oliver collaborating so much. If I am any judge there is no doubt in my mind that in general the researchers are working for positive change – the American word “progressive”. However his discussion of Venezuela is part of the collective fear of socialism as exhibited with the only consistency on the IDWeb (socialism and IDWeb discussed here). I cannot accept that amongst those researchers they are not just bleeting liberals, I am sure there are socialists working there. Why did they push this out? It was not a big issue for the US, why did they accept whatever pressures were put on them?

It makes me more frightened of Trump’s America – and that is not something I thought I could say. Liberal issues are controlled. People are able to discuss them because they have been sufficiently countered by the ranting right description of snowflakes. I know Hillary colluded with neo-liberalism but why are John Oliver and his research team? They could have ignored Venezuela, why put out the propaganda?

Censorship is getting worse.

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Dangerous Times

Posted: 26/05/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, ONE planet, Struggle
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We are living in dangerous times, I am so deeply afraid for the future; I see nothing changing for the better.

Where is the direction of Gaia, Mother Earth? Where is the direction to end war? Where is the direction to end wage-slavery?

Nowhere.

Where is the direction now? Increasing repression through repression on both sides. Repression helps no-one because it makes no change. It simply covers over the cracks, it Grenfells – gentrifies. This increasing repression is polarising society, and we are not examining this polarisation because we are stuck in our own media bubbles. Understanding through detachment has been replaced by repression based on positions – moral or otherwise.

This aspect of repression started with what Jordan Peterson calls PC-authoritarianism. This man is part of a right-wing egotistical freedom movement who are very dangerous, and has been rightly criticised here. But however sound the criticism it doesn’t matter, our world is polarised and what is said in the NYT does not matter to those listening to Peterson. And what is worse the world is moving more to sympathy for Peterson’s right-wing egotism because the finance is there to support Peterson and the IDweb. Meanwhile the 1% exploit through a Trump facade.

We have not learnt the lesson of PC-authoritarianism. I am going to examine how I see the personal history of PC. Back in the 70s racist language was common-place, at that time it didn’t matter to most people that this language was offensive – offensive language was used in the presence of black people and black people were considered to have a chip if they didn’t accept it. Slowly things began to change in that repressing racist language and removal of racist images improved the general ethos. But it was never meant to be censorship alone, it was meant to be a two-pronged approach in which removal of poor use of language went hand-in-hand with how racism was harmful for everyone. However there wasn’t much effort put into the educational side, and when Blair got into power there was increased repression on the language without any effort being made towards education.

When people are repressed there is a pressure situation built up because the source of the problem had not gone away. These repressed people were still racist. On the surface the problem of racism had been sugarcoated but nothing had been done about the squalid racist mire underneath. As a result when they started funding the alt-right, out came the racists again. There are now increased racist attacks, and racist intellectuals barely bother to disguise themselves as in the IDWeb.

I spent many an hour discussing politics with a neighbour. He did not disagree with any of the issues I raised such as war, exploitation wage-slavery, the 1%, Wall Street. However his mind was so warped with racism that he occasionally expressed to me concerning the difficulties of employing Aborigine workers, and how his liberty was infringed by regulations that protected them. He was also strongly against PC-authoritarianism. These combined were sufficient as he turned out to be a Trump supporter. In other words his racism mattered more than anything else except the PC-police. Of course this is an ignorant position but Trump’s backroom staff knew that the root issue was racism. All the years in which there was some form of PC-ascendancy nothing was actually done about racism, it was only repressed and it is now back in full force in some communities.

Racism is now so strong that this form of state repression is acceptable. Trump says that he would like NFL owners to drop players who took the knee. Now they have agreed that there will be a penalty if players take the knee. This is fascism:-

I first began this blog thinking about this meme:-

I first thought this was great, but then … Is the meme asking that the nephew be educated as to why repeated “no” is harassment or just being told “don’t ask more than once”? Then I began thinking about the relationship thing. Relationship is not about politics, I know how much I hated it when I went home and got it in the neck from a partner who was angry and treated me as a representative of patriarchy – I benefit from the privilege of being a member of the imperialist, white supremacist patriarchy but in my home I can offer empathy; I would however liked to have been me.

Now what happens to this “nephew”? Maybe he is down, maybe it took a great deal to ask. Will the girl think about it, realise she made a mistake and ask him out? Rather than an opportunity to warn the nephew against possible harassment, isn’t this an opportunity to help promote good relationship? Maybe the mother (of the nephew) could involve the mother of the girl in discussion about how to promote relationship.

I don’t want the nephew to ask again, I want a society in which relationship can be built. Can mothers teach daughters to ask a boy out? Can this be done without the girl being perceived as a “slut”? Can we help our young people build relationship?

Or do we remain slaves to sets of ideals which create separation?

It also made me concerned about that ugly brute, male lust. We have reached the stage where right-wing egotistical patriarchs such as Jordan Peterson are attaching blame to women because men not in a relationship behave badly (see NYT article). Peterson is at least recognising the problem in part – the ugliness of male lust. Where are men taught to deal with this? It is a horrible brute, variable in that it is not the same in all men. Some women equate this ugly brute with their own desire; this might be true as I have no experience of how a woman experiences desire – but equally women have no experience of this ugly brute. In relationship all matters need to be brought to the table, discussed, and a mutual understanding be reached. Bringing idealism to the relationship table does not help. If men with Peterson ideals expect women to return to being pliant kitchen chattels, there is only oppression. If women expect men to behave by following a set of rules that they create, there is no relationship. In a heterosexual couple there are two people of the opposite genders seeking to form a relationship, this can only be achieved through mutual love, mutual respect and mutual enabling. Leave the rule book where it belongs.

And that is the problem with our dangerous times, we are allowing ourselves to be dominated by rule books. We need to live together through mutual love, mutual respect and mutual enabling. And to paraphrase Paulette Jordan, love of Gaia. I wish her so much luck, how can she hope to bring Unity in times which have been so intentionally divided.

What good people have to realise politically is that being correct is nowhere near enough, having good ideals is nowhere near enough, having compassion is nowhere near enough. The point is that the 1% have the power and money, they can pay for any form of violent support for what they do. Antifa can be squashed any day they want them to be squashed. The only power that we have as people is togetherness, black and white together, women and men together, using rules to divide us even if these rules might be correct only works in favour of the 1%. Science has proven climate change for decades, the Koch brothers have “faked” climate denial in just one. Who is winning? Find ways of working together. Unity for Gaia.

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Freedom has always been a right-wing issue but it confuses because right-wing freedom is not genuine freedom. Right-wing freedom is concerned with the demands for no restriction on the ego. Genuine freedom knows that the ego has to be disciplined INTERNALLY – not politically or governmentally, but these right-wing egotists are so addicted to their egos they do not see what is happening and are usually not interested in self-discipline – just blaming others for their ego being restricted.

Everything about me says there should be free speech, it is up to the individual to discern their own truths. As a principle this is great, in practice it produces the deplorables. And amongst the deplorables are people who would commit crimes against others based on racism, sexism, homophobia etc. As Liv (SVU) would say there are hate crimes.

Unfortunately PC-authoritarians have had some power recently -contributing to the creation of a backlash. Previously there was an unofficial code of conduct between left and right in which “decent” right people restricted the deplorables – as well as authoritarian liberals restricting them. But Trump and Brexit have undermined this code of conduct, and deplorables are coming out of their cesspits. Across the board there needs to be agreed limits to free speech to restrict hate crimes. Ideas should not be restricted but speech that leads to crime needs to be. For example I think Jordan Peterson is dangerous and PC-authoritarians would like to silence him. The success of people like JBP is an indictment of our education system – especially as our education system employs him. But he does not directly call for hate crimes and as such he has the right to talk, sadly the state of awareness of people at the moment means that he has a large audience.

General awareness of the 1% has increased so the genuine left-wing analysis of the 1% and its manipulations is now more common currency. In other words some of the analysis of these right-wing intellectuals started on the genuine left.

One scenario might be that when these intellectuals actually started listening they were ashamed and embarrassed at having been deluded. To overcome that delusion and to retain their arrogant egos they claimed the understanding of deep state and 1% as their own. But some of these types of intellectuals are not overly-educated, not overly-discerning. They don’t have the questioning and understanding of the manipulations of the 1%. Their egos demand of them that they have developed a new philosophy. This new philosophy assigns blame in the wrong areas because they are being manipulated. On the genuine left there is a clear analysis. It is not identity politics, it is not we are right others are wrong. It is just class. The 1% are exploiting people, our class, we must unite. No excuses, no blaming blacks, women, LBGQT, it is the 1% – be clear. Rabid individualism demands freedom for their egos, freedom from repression, freedom from regulation, freedom from government, and this freedom has no direction, no compassion, no humanity, just freedom for the ego. Because the ego has blocked off their compassion, it is just freedom to be headless chickens.

As an example of the less educated headless chickens I recall a year discussing politics on-and-off with a neighbour. He agreed with some things but showed racism towards Aborigines and Muslims; he also showed anger towards PC-authoritarianism. It was clear some of his views were right-wing and I tried to warn him about media he was listening to. Then he turned out to be a Trump supporter. I was horrified and we now don’t talk – down to me. How did I miss it? I feel his racism and anger at the PC-brigade made him Trump – I often have to listen to white people being racist in a limited way and in the past that racism had never been manipulated into such right-wing extremism as Trump. His evaluation of the sources of the problems as being 1% were in agreement with mine. How can he not see that Trump is a 1%-puppet? I still don’t know. But after I stopped talking with him, I went back one time and asked about Trump. He told me Trump was still learning and give him a chance, but he blamed the Democrats for the failure of Trump’s health care. This is the power of the media he watches. He evaluated the state of the world in the same way as I did – he feared it was getting worse and saw foreign interference as a problem. How did he then accept Trump? This is the power of the media he watches.

For him Crooked Hillary is far worse. I dislike Hillary because she is part of neoliberalism, and I am never going to know whether the name “crooked” has any legitimacy. For me democrats are still backing her, and that shows me how neoliberal the machine is; crooked or not politically she should be dropped. However much she has been smeared, there is no compassion or decency, but as neither value matters she might still be running. Of course neoliberals choose Trump over Bernie, they cannot have Bernie – and maybe there is no-one else.

Unity is a key flagstone as a left-wing platform as compared with the freedom of the individual on the right. I call for compassion to be another to counter the ego but it surprised me that JBP actually comes out against compassion. Compassion for me means freedom from suffering for all. Whilst we have a 1%-system that restricts global resources because of their personal accumulation (1%), what nature would provide for 100% has been greatly reduced by this accumulation and so created confrontation (people fighting for the limited cake). Such confrontation leads to individualism as each fights for the cake. These individuals believe they gain more by their own greed than any disciplining towards compassion or acceptance of collective agreement.

There is an international dark web and Jordan Peterson is listed on a website – features prominently. These people are not uneducated, in fact the opposite they are overly-miseducated and driven in part by their academically successful egos. They are sufficiently coalesced that they merit discussion at the New York Times. Here is a clip from Films for Action, I didn’t like the clip but it is suggesting that this IDWeb is a collection of people whose commonality is they don’t like Marxism.

Being intellectual and knocking Marxism has always been there, it is this ego and right-wing freedom. When I was an activist I always accepted as representative to do things in terms of my role and not because I believed them, comrades like me referred to this as discipline. In the spiritual world we need control of our egos and this is referred to as discipline. If there is no discipline the intellectual goes off all over the place, and that appears to be the IDWeb. Marxism is about the class, and the class does not put intellectualism first. The class for me is about compassion, and this means freedom from suffering for all. Hence the conflict for the IDWeb. It is quite understandable to consider that these intellectuals would appropriate some left-wing ideas such as deep state without having the consistent base that is class analysis. This is an intellectual approach.

It is worth talking here of “collective anarchism”, a term I came up with in The Arico Chronicles. It amuses me that I came up with it in fiction but the notion that collectivism and individuality needs to have a yin-yang relationship is reasonable. The political theory anarcho-syndicalism has a similar ring. Individual rights have to be protected, are not being protected under PC-authoritarianism which is little more than censorship, but in the end freedom from suffering-for-all has to be the objective – NOT freedom for the individual especially the individual ego.

There is the Dark Money Network and the IDWeb, the connection is that the 1% does not want Marxism and collectivism. How the money flows where, I don’t know but it does – it has to these people are there. If there is an anti-class confusion then the money has done its work. It is all very frightening:-

We are people we are class we share compassion. Activists, be compassionate first

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Osho and Bhagwan

Posted: 10/04/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle
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I am not a fan of Osho. I examined his work several years ago (1 and 2), and I have no reason to change. There are great teachers around for whom there isn’t doubt such as the Buddha, Eckhart Tolle, why take the risk of teachers who present questions about ego.

When I criticised Osho I was not using his history as Bhagwan because I was unable to be certain enough of what I was reading. There was a recent Netflix documentary series, “Wild Wild Country” (6 hours plus of fascination), that gave me sufficient certainty, and there is much that documentary brings into question.

I am not a fan of “following gurus”. In the Kalama sutta the Buddha spoke of not believing him, learn for yourself. I believe the Guru tradition asks followers to trust the Guru completely, I don’t have objections to many Guru’s teachings but I try to learn for myself. I also understand that a Guru has a responsibility for all those s/he teaches. When I look at this documentary series I am always asking when did the Bhagwan take responsibility?

I have the feeling that the series is well researched and accurate, but it is the media so I can never be sure. My first question is why did the community go to Oregon, why did they leave Poona, India, in the first place? The documentary suggests there were doubts about the Bhagwan when he left Poona the first time. But why the inimical community of Oregon?

Was it respectful to establish such a spiritual community in a US backwoods traditional Christian community as Antelope, Oregon? As the US worships the power of the buck, by their terms it was legitimate but I don’t think so. Where should they establish a commune? Don’t know, a very different question.

My interpretation of the series was that there were no doubts that the Oregonians escalated the issues, and then the US legal apparatus continued the escalation. Firstly the Oregonians attacked the community on the land use issue, the response of taking over Antelope was based on this. And then there was the bombing of the hotel that led to arming the Rajneesh community. I have no doubts who were the aggressors. But then the responses – no excuses, especially from a Guru.

The whole documentary was absolutely fascinating. I was alive during all of that and yet I knew none of it.

What struck me so strongly is the love these Sannyasins had, but wisdom – I don’t know, wisdom seemed not to be valued. I rarely meet spiritual people where I live, but those I do are ex-Bhagwans. They have some sense of being lost, perhaps because they never broke the chord of Guru following, I don’t see them as “complete” – one was clearly disturbed. If I had gone East to the Bhagwan just after my upheaval – just starting on the path (never crossed my mind then), I could imagine I would have been completely enraptured as well. A frightening thought, and a warning about such a powerful Guru. I will not pick up an Osho book, I would not know where he would be sucking me the wrong way.

During the documentary there was a movie shown the Christian Oregonians, the sexual practices frightened them. This movie, Ashram in Poona, can be found here 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

I found this movie frightening, throughout I was thinking they were playing with stuff that should come out naturally over time. It is the same feeling I have about LSD and, I think, ayahuasca; it jumps the gun. But this approach was definitely directed spiritually – so risky. Sure there is energy, sure there are emotional blocks, this is part of life and we must find ways of releasing them. But we …. If it is a technique, if it is laying-on of hands (transmission?) then maybe we aren’t ready, aren’t equipped. How many of those Sannyasins were sorted, were able to cope with life? Was the rest of their life just dependent on the Bhagwan experience and that they were always harking back to it rather than moving forward?

In the documentary there was an old white Oregonian saying that the Rajneeshis were just looking for God. Well it’s the same thing. But is the way the restrictive Christian right have found God in America any better? At least the Bhagwan wasn’t funding global war or attacking women.

I have to point at something which is so important in teaching – sila – moral integrity, the backbone of any teaching must be sila. Especially when people are coming from western societies this sila is so important, as the West doesn’t necessarily provide any. Immediately the Oregonians would say the Rajneeshis have no sila because of sexual misconduct (one of the 5 precepts) – their view of the promiscuity. I am unwilling to comment on this because although it appears there was sexual misconduct it does not appear that their sexual conduct was hurting them. But I don’t know. The ex-Bhagwans I know are open to question concerning sexual desire – many expats are in Thailand in the game of mutual exploitation of younger women. The Rajneeshis in Oregon seemed genuinely happy amongst themselves, this does not indicate misconduct. But I wasn’t there, I don’t know.

But definitely spirituality requires a moral backbone – sila, and from what I have seen Osho offered none. That is sufficient for me not to go near Osho’s teachings given so many other alternatives. Energy without sila is dangerous.

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Data mining is the latest tool used by the system to condition us. It is what you might call “bespoke advertising”. OK it’s harder now but years ago I learnt “do not listen to adverts”. What were adverts trying to do? Get me to spend money on items I didn’t necessarily want.

Let’s be clear, I do buy items that are advertised but I don’t buy because of the way they are advertised. I buy a car. From the occasional adverts I do see, is there any information in those adverts that could help me make a better decision? Am I really going to find the woman of my dreams if I buy a Lamborghini?

The political point about advertising is mindful consuming. Mindfully choose. Facebook ads – don’t click. Why am I getting all this spam? Because people click. Mindful people don’t click.

To my mind all of this furore concerning data mining can be strategically overcome by mindful consuming. What does our class control? Consuming. They want us to spend money in a certain way so don’t. If data mining puts an ad on your facebook page, never click. It is simple.

But mindful consuming as a class is far more powerful. Why does the Israeli government spend so much effort fighting the BDS movement? Because boycotting the other apartheid in South Africa contributed significantly to the changes there.

Mindfulness as mindful consuming is an attribute of the path that is beyond conditioning.

Why does this affect liberals? Because they are such avid “liberal” consumers. They want to be free to consume. Where is their sustainability when their “struggle” means being free to consume? Click-bait only works for ill-disciplined minds, be mindful of what you are doing, of how you are consuming.

The above is not contained in this excellent BAR article LINK on Cambridge Analytica. The article is good because it shows that the 1% are into data mining. It shows that what is going on with the Trump strategists is no different to Obama’s strategists, no different to Blair’s strategists, and only a development from Thatcher’s Saatchi and Saatchi.

Confront people, make them mindful, make mindful consuming a political startegy. Data mining only works with the conditioned. If we are a class in struggle then we don’t wimp out with feeble-minded click-baiting. Let facebook waste its money giving me a BAR advert ….

Or skin-lightening cream??

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Desire, self and ego

Posted: 27/03/2018 by zandtao in Freedom
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There is much that is confusing about Eastern religions, this is not surprising as they can help people find the path that is beyond conditioning

Most significant on this path is desire, the more we desire the more potential there is for control. We want drugs, we need to buy them, we get addicted. We want alcohol, we need to buy drink, we get addicted. We want a house, the more money we need the more work we need to do, we get addicted. However deep the addiction the more we become conditioned, the less control we have.

The key to all of this is desire. Buddhism is distinct from most religious practice in that its primary purpose is to end suffering. To achieve this its two most significant dogmas are the 4 Noble Truths and paticcasamuppada, both of which are concerned with desire. It depends on which branch of Buddhism how much emphasis is placed on these dogmas.

The 4NT put simply say that there is suffering, suffering is caused by desire that leads to clinging. To end suffering we need to end clinging and there is an 8-fold path to achieve this. Paticcasamuppada looks at the situation differently by considering self and conditioning. It says self starts in ignorance. Desire attaches to an event that develops into clinging which becomes part of the conditioned self. Removing ignorance and not attaching to desire ends conditioning, ends self.

Russell’s next talk is with Frankie Boyle. The conversation is personal and professional as they are both comedians, if you like that sort of thing listen. Throughout many of his talks I hear from Russell a continued desire for addiction but a strength that says I will abstain. This abstinence is commendable but is not the solution. The solution is when there is no desire, no desire, no addiction. I don’t know whether the 12 steps contains any consideration of this.

Desire is a biggie.

However it is written down, in dogma whatever, ending desire is just so hard. But abstinence is not an end, it is an end to substance abuse but it still leaves the desire and therefore leads to some form of conditioning.

The phrase that many use is “letting go”. When the desire comes let go of it. Unfortunately the desire comes back so with substance abuse you need an additional abstinence approach. But that still leaves desire. But when desire comes back let it go again; over time the desire reduces.

Now there is additional knowledge that can help. In Russell’s case with substance abuse he has seen what it produces so that is a deterrent. Russell has seen addiction causes suffering, knowing that suffering can return is the deterrent. But desire is also part of addiction (coming before clinging), there is greater peace without desire. And it can begin to happen if when desire comes you let go.

Ayahuasca interests Russell. Buddhism has a precept that says to avoid substances that affects the mind. Russell is interested in ayahuasca because it has apparently helped people on consciousness. I suppose because of my own substance addiction, I don’t want such substances. But I trust in the path and aspects of Buddhism that help. I trust that the path will guide me so I don’t want consciousness-altering substances.

At the same time I have a feeling that such mind alteration has possible repercussions. I do feel that too much acid adversely affected some 60s people.

But I trust enough in the path and its discipline meditation.

I have desires, I am still addicted to self. But I know addiction means conditioning, and I want freedom, control so when desires come I try to let them go. It doesn’t always work but it gets better.

The second issue that distinguishes Buddhism from Hinduism has been touched on already – anatta – no self. Hinduism has a belief in reincarnation, in Buddhism reincarnation has a mixed reception. The teacher I follow, Buddhadasa, does not believe in anything, and because he cannot experience reincarnation he does not believe in it. He explains the Buddha’s teachings as existing in a milieu. The Buddha was teaching Hindus and trying to revise Hindu teaching. As such he used the same words but the concepts at times were different. Samsara can be seen as birth and death of self (paticcasamuppada) without considering reincarnation and transmigration of souls. The Buddha never tried to “explain karma”, the workings of kamma are beyond the understanding of humans. Hinduism sees reincarnation as coming back with a better lot as a reward for a previously exemplary life. This better lot is often associated with wealth and the perceived ease of life for the wealthy, and equally the difficult life of the untouchables. I am not sure of the theory but is the heinous caste system connected to reincarnation? With Buddhadasa only trusting experience and for him there being no reincarnation, kamma becomes something that can be managed. Past life trauma need not weigh us down through this if we look at kamma as something that can be detached from.

Self in Buddhism is distinct from self/Self in Hinduism. Buddhist self is a broader concept than ego but is still temporary, ego is an issue Russell knows he has to deal with, perhaps he could extend ego to self if he considered attachment to khandhas and anatta. But it is very difficult for him because of his career. Even though I like his books Revolution and Recovery, I don’t like his stage persona. My main reason for calling him a dickhead earlier was the Andrew Sachs thing, and whilst he didn’t explain in this podcast apparently it was a misunderstanding. But I still don’t find his stage persona funny. It is narcissism – ego. But that is a stage act, it is his professional career – income.

Teachers have ego leading to “better than me”. Teachers are known for “teaching” in their personal lives – it is their ego. Once I stopped teaching that ego can also disappear – although not completely as I have just alluded to. How much does Russell cling to his ego because it is his professional persona? And here is the big question, does he need the money? Does he need to cling to the ego? Could he become the Russell Brand of Revolution and Recovery? Could Under The Skin podcasts not contain all his ego-rantings, be more considered …. and perhaps Naomi would not have to pause so often? Apologies if there is judgementalism. These are not issues for me to judge, but only for me to ask questions?

But here is the rub. The ego of teaching held me back, of course wage-slavery – the world of work and its impositions – held me back far more. Being freed from that slavery gave me a chance to become who I am as I had sufficient money to survive. It must be hard for Russell to decide on this – with all that goes with it. I wonder whether there would ever be answers for him with this baggage he carries around?

But this ego is not self, self builds up from khandhas. Russell has a self that is beyond his ego that he has attached to through his conditioning. But his ego is so huge because of all the baggage that he carries with his ego, wouldn’t it be too difficult to see self? And then difficult to detach from self? It is worth considering what the khandhas are to see how we can become addicted to self. My worst is sankhara. I have always tended to overthink so was loved in academia. I was attracted back to academia to write an M Ed in my 40s, and now I wake up with a blog in mind that I must write. Yet the natural state of mind is peace, stillness and calmness. There is a place for khandhas, we cannot live without them, but as Buddhadasa promotes “remove the I and mine from the 5 khandhas” – no attachment. Am I paying too much attention to the khandhas:-

Rupa -body
vedana – feelings
sanna – memory and perceptions
sankhara – mental processes and proliferations
vinnana – consciousness (attaching to be I or not attaching to be free to follow the path?)

Do you recognise the possibility of being addicted to self? Addicted to khandhas?

When I retired early I accepted less money because I was so far from the path when working. But Russell has to be attached to far more and the decision is far more difficult. But Russell, the path is always better.

Perhaps I should be selfish, would all the good guests he attracts for Under the Skin be there if it was not the public persona of Russell Brand?

Just a final note on Frankie, my knowledge of whom is far more limited than my limited knowledge of Russell. I remember comedian Bernard Manning whose career might be described as built on racism and sexism. He was unapologetic because he was funny – most people found him funny. Frankie draws back the barriers of comedy by being shocking. I get the feeling that he would say anything if he thought it was funny – though he is correct about racism, sexism and LBGQT. Should that be enough? Especially when teaching I have found myself saying things that I shouldn’t have said because I was trying to be funny. I still do that a bit. Humour is an amazing gift, laughing is an amazing experience, should the boundaries be considered? Personally – although it doesn’t matter – I like most of Frankie’s humour but sometimes it was too much. That is of course a personal view and matters not one iota.

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