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%.
Archive for the ‘ONE planet’ Category
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!
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.
I grew up afraid but with nothing to fear – or better afraid of the wrong thing. This fear characterised my environment, a quiet Manchester suburb where we conformed to a way of life – a way of wage-slavery. But it was better than war – the second world war, so I soon learned to understand where that came from. I live outside the UK now but when at uni my friends went abroad – I was afraid. As I hit bottom and came out of the conditioning and the fear, travelling was still not the answer because of this fear. But I was developing as a person working on the fears created in the UK. When I was 40 I moved abroad and never turned back to the UK environment that is so dominated by fear.
This fear explains so much that is wrong with the UK, including the racism that underlies Brexit; I am sure it explains Trump but I don’t know those people well enough. Whilst I grew up afraid I grew up feeling a sense of being imprisoned – repressed. This was what my environment did to me. For a long time I saw the problem as being my father, but whilst there are individual characteristics there – that it is not appropriate to discuss – my focus on him at the time was not justified. It was the fear that came from the suburban environment. You can understand it. The parents were all people who had been involved in the war, their adolescence was as children in a country at war. In my house it was never discussed but the fear was there. Wage slavery was just accepted because it was better than war.
When I went to uni it was as part of a generation who were questioning. At uni I don’t remember questioning much as my life was dominated by the bottle, but I suppose I must have because after 18 months of the world of work I hit bottom. And never looked back. I have always seen that hitting bottom as breaking out of conditioning – the academic mindset, but it was more. It was breaking the restrictions that fear had put on me. I carried that fear with me a long time even after I had hit bottom. But hitting bottom was the beginning of breaking through the fear.
What did that fear do to the UK? I grew up surrounded by racism, sexism and violence. At teacher training college I went to a fancy dress ball in a dress for some reason – I had some strength having hit bottom three years previously. A trainee teacher who was a rugby player touched my dick that was showing through the tight dress, I touched his back in a blasé way and he thumped me – I walked away; I was not a fighter and he was bigger than me anyway. Why was he violent? At the same place another teacher promised to buy a bike from me. We agreed that I would leave the bike outside my house and he would collect it and pay me some money. Maybe he was drunk, maybe he didn’t want it – that is not my point. A year later I was teaching so was he. He was living in a squat with a colleague. She told him what I said, he told her if I ever told her the story again he would come and hit me. Fear breeds the kind of violence these two teachers showed. They grow up with fear, and then defend themselves by being violent. I chose those stories because these people were teachers, the violence amongst less educated is worse. Violence is not an acceptable way of life but it is created by systemic fear and is integral to western way of life. For me this is a significant part of Britain, and why I don’t live there.
But the violence that is British is not unique in the West, nor am I saying that it is uniquely western. But what is the excuse for such fear now? My parents had grown up during the war (I am 64), so they had fear. My generation grew up with that fear but actually had nothing to fear. Yet the fear continued. Why? Conspiracy theory; remember conspiracies like this just develop, not some idea from a smoke-filled room. Fear worked to create profits. My parents, my environment, was an excellent place for profits. Through the 50s and 60s the fatcats made huge profits based on a compliant workforce, and why was the workforce so compliant? Because of fear of war. Look at the history. Slowly in the 50s and 60s began to fight off the fear that was repressing them. Violence dogged that breaking out because that was the fatcats holding onto their post-war profits. Young people expressing themselves brought out that fear, and arms of repression, police and others, jumped on them. For 20 years the fatcats made huge profits at the expense of a low-paid workforce. During the 70s the workforce sought their due recompense and the fatcats refused to budge and closed the country down. This increased people’s fear, and with the media defending the fatcats people turned that fear on themselves – against the unions, and voted in Thatcher. Thatcher then fostered that fear in other ways, and so on until the present day.
In British society what is there to be afraid of? There is no second world war that parents had lived through. But there is the fear and violence that has been fostered ever since my childhood. There is racism that has been built up by the media. Fear of losing jobs to immigrants, a fear that is not borne out by statistics. A fear that is fanned by the media which is the PR arm of the fatcats who will do anything for a profit especially not pay fair wages. There is however a legitimate fear that is rarely discussed because it would affect the fatcats’ wealth, the fear of blowback from all the wars for profits; this is not a fear recognised by many.
How I would experience that fear if I was growing up in Britain now I do not know. But what I do know is that that fear is manufactured by the establishment to maintain a compliant workforce – to maintain the fatcats’ profits. That fear is so strong that the equivalent environment to the one I grew up in voted Brexit. Now I am not a big fan of the EU as I am an internationalist and don’t like Fortress Europe (against the USA). But for the people of my background to be voting for Brexit shows how bad that fear still is. And yet that fear has no legitimacy, it is created by the divisions the fatcats through the establishment impose on society in order to increase profits.
In Britain we now grow up with fear because they want us to be afraid. That is a reality we should know. How you deal with it I don’t know, after all the bully boys the system creates still are violent – however educated.
I have begun revising the Treatise (Treatise of Zandtao). Whilst these small revisions are not going to be online for a while I should note that HHSR has been removed together with references to reincarnation. I have been studying Nagarjuna a bit– as being a link between what is Theravada (supposedly the original Buddha’s teachings and Zen/Tibetan). Reincarnation is really a Hindu belief that has become part of Buddhism according to Buddhadasa – I like that for the reasons that it explains the origin (Hindu India) of the belief and that proving reincarnation seems not to be possible. It is usually assigned to one of the Buddha’s unanswered questions. I was unsure of a lot of the references to unanswered questions, here is a summary that is from one of the Theravada suttas SN 44 explaining why the questions are not answered.
I am more concerned about Nagarjuna’s dependence on faith, I noticed this in the letter to the king in “The Good-hearted Letter” Section Two. Let me start by saying that faith is something I do not have. But before I get into that I want to surmise why Nagarjuna needed faith, and that is his belief in reincarnation. How can you accept reincarnation unless through faith because there is no way you can assert it through experience; having said that I cannot explain stories such as these without finding some disguised way of saying they are lies; the stories are not sufficient evidence to support reincarnation – just sufficient to create doubts. But for me the world is paradoxical enough to accept “exceptions to the rule”. But it matters not, I have not experienced it so I don’t accept it for myself.
Faith is a requirement for reincarnation yet it my view that the Buddha never asked us to have faith in him – or anything. Based on the Kalama Sutta, AN3, it is my contention that the Buddha asked us not to believe him but to come to some kind of personal conviction through experience that what he said is true. I often think of this as internalising an idea by deeply knowing it as a truth – or even experiencing the idea as an insight. Faith says here is a dogma, believe it – in other words here is a mindset, believe it. Are holy books factual? Or are they allegorical to bring home certain spiritual truths? My own view is the second, you must decide for yourself what is important.
This issue of “holding to a mindset” has been alluded to throughout the treatise, and is central to a perspective on conditioning. In an earlier chapter of the Treatise I looked at the book “The Four Agreements” demonstrating that we grow up with mindsets which we agree with because they are custom and practise for our societies, in effect this mindset of agreements could be seen more sinisterly as conditioning. The way we grow up could be seen as making agreements with our parents and society, or it could be seen in a more passive way as conforming to that conditioning that our upbringing requires of us.
The dogmas of a faith are a mindset, the agency of accepting that mindset separates a faith from a set of ideas, and I question that agency. I don’t dismiss the agency, I have used the term “internalising” as an acceptable agency, and I would also see insight as legitimate – although I find it difficult to see how a whole faith could be determined through insight. Debating the agency of one’s faith is an individual journey for each person to undergo, but without a suitable agency one’s faith is simply a set of ideas – a dogma – a mindset. Accepting a mindset without appropriate deep enquiry is for me a mistake that many make. It happens as we start to unravel conditioning especially amongst the young who reject conditioning but then seek to replace it. There is a charismatic figure, David Icke, who has politically dissected much that is wrong with our society. There is a strong body of younger people who follow him. There are two issue that I contend with him. The first concerns the Illuminati. I have never investigated the Illuminati because I don’t know them so how can I ascertain the truth about them. Throughout this book I have discussed the 1%, and I have no doubt that these bourgeoisie control our corporatocracy through finance and influence. But I have no experience to suggest that these people are masons – they may well be. I do however believe that groups such as Bilderberg meet and exert influence on our society. However the control of the 1% is in my view through convergence of interest and influence based on their own conditioning rather than a concrete plan or planning meeting. Second are the lizards. The only lizards I have come across are the ones that scuttle across my living room leaving small shit everywhere. If there are aliens as lizards I can accept correction but it has to be verifiable by direct personal experience. Icke-ists accept and feel they have to accept the full mindset. This is based on our miseducation in which indoctrination through accepting mindsets, ideas and facts stuffed in our minds to pass exams, leads to one mindset being replaced by another once we start to see through our conditioning – discussed throughout in Matriellez.
However this aspect of our conditioning, our mindset-replacing tendency, needs to be seen for what it is – another part of our conditioning (education methods), and it is only when this additional aspect is replaced by complete enquiry can we say that we have overcome conditioning.
Isms are a good way to begin examining conditioning. Consider nationalism. Is this a good thing? Many education systems foster nationalism as this produces stability within a society. By saying your own society is better than others you are immediately creating a lesser society, a group of inferiors. Once you have people seen as less than you, it is very easy for manipulative groups to misuse media to create a war for profit – can we kill our own? If we are all seen as equal, all societies seen as equal, then such excuses for war disappear – we do not make war on ourselves. This of course is a fundamental democratic principle that all people have equal democratic rights.
Racism is another ism well worth examining. I was brought up a white middle-class racist, and was fortunate enough to learn about my racism by good black people being willing to teach me and tolerate the racism I grew up with. When I reflect on things that I have thought and even said, I am somewhat ashamed despite knowing they are sourced in conditioning – conforming to the custom and practise of the white middle-class I grew up with. I would recommend all people of privilege such as white privilege to seriously examine themselves. In my professional biography as part of my M Ed I included a discussion of anti-racist training (ART), and would encourage people to examine themselves through such training approaches.
As a male chauvinism is another ism that I was born with, and therefore grew up being sexist. As an adult I intellectually accepted equality but I am not sure I always practised it because of my desires. Society is undoubtedly chauvinist, and we are therefore continually bombarded with media that promotes sexism. As males, especially younger males in whom the desires are stronger, constant re-evaluation is required. For example, what is anorexia and bulimia? Are these psychological conditions that a few women suffer from? Or are they natural consequences of a sexist society that portrays women as sex objects based on a body image that it is almost impossible to maintain – a situation made far worse by the way Big Food manipulates our foods for profit so that maintaining our health is so difficult. Should women have equal rights in the workplace? Or just in workplaces that do not affect my promotion?
Antisemitism is a particularly interesting ism for those on the left. When you consider history there is no doubt that Jews have been persecuted culminating in the atrocity of the Nazi Holocaust. Following the situation that has happened in Palestine where the homeland of Israel was created, on the left there has been much support for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, oPt. Often that support has been vocal against Jews, is that antisemitic? At the same time there are wealthy Jews who could be called 1%, some such Jews have power in media. Is that then a Jewish conspiracy? I recommend a deep enquiry into one’s own antisemitism, and a suitable place to start are these 7 tenets of antisemitism.
Considering the ongoing barrage of media conditioning, enquiry is so important, it is integral that we continually re-evaluate our own conditioning because it is so easy to accept negative mindsets. When we add to this the dangers of attaching to mindsets once developed as insights the need for constant enquiry is a matter of ever-vigilance.
But we need to consider what is the purpose of this conditioning. It is conformity to what end. Certainly conformity is useful for providing a stable society but it does not begin to give a reason until we look at the 1%. They require a compliant and consuming workforce, they need consuming wage-slaves who can accept the various consequences of the current system such as climate change and wars for profits. Now the conditioning has a meaning because across the world we have people who accept working for money to pay the bills and consuming extras.
And where is the danger to this system? If for some reason the workforce refuses to be wage-slaves and discerningly decides not to waste money on consumerism. This is why so much effort is made to attack unions because when workers band together they demand the profits for themselves.
But more than unions they fear a unity of purpose, a unity of purpose that sees 99% working together for the interest of the Gaia – climate change, renewable energy, Dakota pipeline – and for the interests of all the people in the world – no wars for profits. Such division of peoples comes from nationalism – dividing nation against nation, racism diving white from black, sexism – dividing women from men, and antisemitism – dividing gentile from Jew.
Political unity in the interest of all peoples and for the interest of our planet is the way we can overcome the 1% manipulation of ourselves as consuming wage-slaves.
And unity or Oneness is what is sought through spiritual awareness. We are not separate people with individual interests, but we are One people with the interest of the One planet, our home. Even the very religions which are the systemic way of understanding this Oneness are used to separate. Wars have been fought with religion as an excuse yet religions when understood in depth seek only Oneness.
But what happens to people who seek Oneness, they become aware that we are not separate but One people. They transcend the separation and understand there is Unity. They overcome the conditioning that creates separation, they see through the delusion where we are conditioned as separate and accept the Unity.
This acceptance of Unity is usually associated with forms of bliss, and the transcendental process is often confused with the joy that people have during transcendence but the truth is that this transcendence happens when people end separation, when they end division, when they don’t accept the agreements their society and upbringing require of them, when they work to end their conditioning on all levels. Transcending conditioning is what brings Unity – anatta.
And this transcendence brings understanding on all levels. Once we throw off the shackles of our conditioning, by rejecting separation, by going beyond dogma and intellect, by fighting the hatred that comes with all the isms – often bringing wars with profits, by accepting Unity as Gaia where destroying the environment by climate change and industrial exploitation is understood as destroying ourselves. This is all transcendence. From the moment any part of our conditioning is questioned we begin transcendence. For some it remains political where the bliss is never experienced because new mindsets are clung to. For the spiritual the transcendental experience can bring with it bliss but instead of a mindset they cling to bliss and don’t move forward. But the process is the same – enquiry, removing the shackles that ignorance of our conditioning places on us bringing with it open minds that question, that naturally reject injustice, that reject climate exploitation, that want genuine peace, a peace that comes with the Unity of all peoples in Gaia.
This transcendence is what the three tenets of the Treatise of Zandtao are working towards. Healing the body so we do not become attached to the diseases that are a consequence of toxic intake whilst at the same time working with Gaia through whole foods that enable us to survive in harmony with nature. And the energy is the energy of Gaia of One planet. Once we open our minds and bodies to that energy that is Gaia then we begin to feel through that energy that this is not separation but Unity, the energy of the One planet that sustains us, making us feel vital when we accept the Path that is Gaia. We work together in Gaia, we transcend the conditioning that seeks division, and we accept Unity for what it is – the natural way.
In the Treatise I have looked at many ways that work towards this transcendence, this removal of conditioning. One way just mentioned are the three tenets, but much more importantly there are the 4 Agreements, and there is magga – the 8-Fold Path. All seek one thing – the removal of conditioning – the removal of agreements, the removal of the attachment to I and mine, the removal of attachment to the 5 khandas, the Unity that comes with the understanding once the conditioning has been removed.
There are many levels of this transcendence. When we see black people justifiably angry in “Black Lives Matter”, we might well see people who have transcended this political aspect but need more. When we see Momentum supporting Corbyn in his struggle against the 1% we see people who have transcended this aspect of conditioning but who seek more. When we see the monk who devotes their lives to meditation we see a transcendence that has overcome the conditioning of wage-slavery and consumerism, but needs more. On this diverse world there is much transcendence to varying degrees, it can only be hoped that these people do not rest on their laurels and that they work to seek a complete transcendence, a transcendence that comes from permanent enquiry, a transcendence that lacks conditioning on any level, a transcendence that brings with it a complete freedom from any shackles. Unity that is anatta.
Have enjoyed listening to Corbyn’s conference speech, I thought it was an excellent leadership speech and rallying call – function of conference (but I am biassed). It is refreshing to hear a socialist party leader actually discussing socialism.
Here are his “not-the-ten commandments” – well worth considering [25.56]:-
Who would not want this? 1%.
Feasible – the figures work.
Will they allow it to happen? Of course not. But it is well worth a battle to see how far we can win back rights for humanity in general, and not just the privileged few.
In Evaluating Communards I was a bit dismissive about the P2P process, but on reflection it has great potential for the mindful consumer. I am going to describe how it might work in Thailand, particularly as there are a group of digital nomads in Chiang Mai.
One focus of mindful consuming is organic food. There is good potential for an organic food network in Thailand because there is a plant-based diet called cheewajit, and people following this diet would love access to an organised network of organic food.
At the same time in my town there has recently appeared a farmers’ market, and I have a feeling it is being promoted by the military government.
Thailand is a large country and has distinctive growing regions, rice in Issan, root veg in the North and fruit and leafy veg in the South. As far as I can gather there are two main distribution centres, Chiang Mai in the North and Bangkok in the South. This is probably a gross simplification but it will suffice for an initial proposal. Root veg from the North appear in markets down South, and fruit from the South appears in the North; existing distribution deals with this – somehow. I live in Eastern Thailand (in one sense the South), and local farmers take their produce to distributors who weigh and then pay them; somehow it is then distributed elsewhere.
In Bangkok they have an organic distribution network of sorts. People pay and a box of organic veg is delivered to them. Because the people have paid already, farmers are prepared to grow proper vegetables for that distribution. Together with farmers’ markets in the more affluent areas like mine there is tremendous potential for the mindful consuming of organic veg to be organised.
It is my understanding that many Thai farmers have a patch of organic veg for family, the farmers understand how much pesticide they are forced to use for distribution so they have an organic patch for family use. At the same time the Bangkok network managed to tap into farmers willing to grow more organic if there was a demand. P2P could tap into that demand.
Suppose there was some kind of noticeboard which advertised organic veg. People could order from this noticeboard, and goods could be despatched from distribution centres in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Through Line people could advise the notice board of what they have available to sell and could deliver to the central distribution centres. It is done now so it could be investigated as to what changes were needed for the organic produce to fit into the noticeboard. If the noticeboard could liaise with existing limited infrastructure there is potential for an organic food mindful consuming network in Thailand.
In addition I’m a big fan of community currencies. It seems to me that such a P2P community could use a community currency. Depending on trust such a scheme could just be held online, and money would return to being the facilitator of trade or barter. I am not a user of Bitcoin, not do I understadn whether those that have a go at Bitcoing have a vested interest. But a P2P currency monitored successfuly would be a great benefit from P2P
With the publishing of this report (dld pdf), I am taking this opportunity to update my own position on racism. I am an avowed anti-racist in any form, but that does not mean I have removed all my racist conditioning nor not grown new racisms in my isolated life. I have the greatest conflicts however with the Israeli government policy because of my own Palestinian Solidarity. I see the Israeli government’s policies as expansionist and contrary to the genuine spirit of the UN. I have no doubts at all that the 1%, in supporting the formation of the country of Israel, were using longstanding enmities to destabilise the Middle East. I personally met people who had been displaced by the forces of the international community. A member of my maths department still held a deep and legitimate wound because his grandfather had been given 24 hours to get out of his family home – I think by British soldiers. It appears to me that the formation of Israel by the international community was handled badly and was based in guilt. However this occurred 78 years ago, and the crimes against humanity committed in the Middle East – I include Israel in the Middle East – are not acceptable. There is a state of war that has existed there for a long time. I taught a group of Israeli students at a language school holiday. They were polite. I wanted to talk about the history and rights of Palestinian people, they just wanted to speak of family deaths. Unless the international community intervenes judiciously to create peace as opposed to appointing warmongering lackeys such as Blair to mediate a “peace process” by defending Israel against the Arabs, the conflict can never be resolved internally. Yet there are genuine socialist voices in Israel and it is those voices coming out of Israel I listen to. But those voices are drowned out by the tide of nationalist expansionism that has been created by the history of the conflict and personal loss for that duration.
With regards to the Labour party I am unsure how much the racism has changed. It is supposedly the movement of the working-class, and a powerful tool of the establishment 1%-system is to divide in whatever way possible; this includes race. So the Labour party contains some racists. I remember an incident from a young foolish black lady back in the 80s. In the run-up to an election as a candidate she announced to the media that the party was racist, and the resulting publicity contributed to the subsequent loss in that general election. She, Dianne Abbott, is now shadow education secretary, I hope her politics have improved. No activist at the time disagreed with what she said, but as one of the few, fewer than now, black people in representation why was she saying it during a general election. It was at the time when Labour was famous for shooting itself in the foot, Blair rid the party of that weakness as he did other “weaknesses”- democratic accountability, mass movement representation, socialism and most disagreement with him.
In the past I have taken the word zionism to mean the policy of the right-wing governments of Israel, my misunderstanding of “zionism” included all the expansionism and war-mongering. With this meaning in mind I have defined myself as anti-zionist but not anti-semitic, my limited reading of left-wing Jews has ratified that distinction but maybe I have been misusing the term. According to wiki zionism is “a [[Ethnic nationalism|nationalist] political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel”. Within reason I support that approach, in the same way I support land for the Kurds, any diaspora or indigenous peoples although I am not happy with the term “Land of Israel” as I believe it gives plausibility to expansionism. However following land being apportioned to Israel by the UN after the war, the governments of Israel have a continued policy of expansion and displacement of Palestinian peoples, as well as exploitation of those peoples as cheap labour. Previously I have considered this as zionism, maybe I shouldn’t. It is interesting to note from the wiki that at one time zionism was formally considered colonial and racist by the UN, although since rescinded. It is further interesting to note that in 1946 Palestine had 1076783 Muslims and 608225 Jews; what is it now? How are such figures decided? Whilst I had known to some extent of British involvement this wiki has informed me greatly of this. Further reading of the wiki does not discount my initial position but maybe it is too convenient as there is so much history, this puts me in an interesting position to see what the inquiry says.
“It seems to me that it is for all people to self-define their political beliefs and I cannot hope to do justice to the rich range of self-descriptions of both Jewishness or Zionism, even within the Labour Party, that I have heard. What I will say is that some words have been used and abused by accident and design so much as to blur, change or mutate their meaning. My advice to critics of the Israeli State and/or Government is to use the term “Zionist” advisedly, carefully and never euphemistically or as part of personal abuse” [p15 Chakabarti Inquiry]. In terms of my own usage this quote is particularly pertinent. It appears to me that my usage of the word, zionist, to describe the expansionism and Palestinian exploitation by the Israeli State is inappropriate. Zionism is concerned with Jewish nationhood and not necessarily these excesses. My position of supporting Jewish peoples by supporting Jewish socialists is not an anti-zionist position as according to the report such people might well legitimately support the formation of a Jewish homeland, the original meaning of zionism – as I understand it. I am against the excesses so I am against the Israeli 1% or Israeli capitalism. A very useful correction, it is good I have read this report.
I am going to invent a word now, obfuscationism. I define the word, obfuscationism, as the process in which powerful bodies or organisations, usually under 1% instigation, deliberately cloud and confuse issues. The purpose of this inquiry is to help clarify, and it has for me. But there is undoubtedly an obfuscationist policy in play with regards to anti-semitism. My own earlier misconceived anti-zionism was not anti-semitic as I clearly pointed out – I sought support from statements by Jewish socialists. But there is a clear policy of obfuscationism in which the excesses of expansionism and Palestinian exploitation are being identified with the neutral appropriate right for a Jewish homeland. This obfuscationism identifies the excesses with Jewish rights to a homeland, and encourages the pejorative of anti-semitic against those who criticise the excesses. Such government inquiries (as the Chakabarti Inquiry) never get to the full truth, and some form of condemnation of the widespread misuse of the word anti-semitic would have been constructive; I don’t think “What I will say is that some words have been used and abused by accident and design (my emphasis) so much as to blur, change or mutate their meaning” is enough. Summatively criticising the excesses of expansionism and Palestinian exploitation is not anti-semitic, it is human decency. [The latter half of the inquiry looked at internal Labour structures and education and training, not helpful for my own purposes.]
Jokes abound about the “racist card”. I have learned especially when younger by people helping me understand my racist conditioning. I later learned to be careful enough to have black sources for whenever I put forward a view on race. Yet when it suited I have been accused of being racist more recently, not often but occasionally. I always listen when black people describe someone as racist, I have learnt that there is a valid “feel” gained through black experience, something I could never understand. But racist is an epithet that needs to be used wisely, ignorant misuse is not helpful.
I have never been in discussion with regards to anti-semitic racism. Recently I have been involved in discussions with Jews on macrobiotic forums because they felt it was appropriate to promote propaganda within a forum on food. I had to leave one such forum. One very helpful lady repeatedly put forward her views that I disagreed with, and when I asked the moderator if she would block such politics she refused. I left. It happened again in another forum, only this time I decided to attempt to counter what I saw as misinformation. In neither case was the word anti-semitic used but in both situations I came away feeling they thought I was. In my view the conditioning of Jews is very strong. As I mentioned above Jewish people especially in Israel have experienced family deaths at the hand of Arabs. Israel is an enclave in what might be called “Arabia – the land of the Arabs”, and the government uses attacks by Arabs (whether instigated or in response) as a means to further anti-Arab feeling, anti-Muslim feeling. This indoctrination is quite clearly racist in practice. When I discussed my 3 years of living comfortably in Arab countries, Oman and Bahrain, my experience was dismissed as “wrong”, they were willing to say what I experienced did not happen because it did not fit in with the indoctrination.
The Chakrabarti inquiry is concerned with good practice in the Labour party, that was the brief. As such the brief was concerned with one-sided good practice. By the nature of such a brief the wider environment of inappropriate misuse of language and racist practice by others is not included, and that is a shame. I have a feeling that the anti-semite card is used far more than the race card – as I said obfuscationism.
Racism is always a part of war, you cannot kill people unless you think they are inferior. You cannot detach anti-semitic racism in the UK from the ongoing Middle East war. The examples of anti-semitic racism that led to this inquiry were based on the war and based on the legitimate need to raise consciousness concerning the atrocious excesses committed by the Israeli government. Policies on this matter were avoided in the inquiry yet such a blinkered one-issue approach is limiting because it avoids context. This is a big weakness of the inquiry. Whilst Palestinians are murdered by the Israeli government and its military, Labour party members are advised to control holocaust analogies and control the use of the word “zio”. This is appropriate advice but so misses the point. Of course attacking Israeli government policies would lose Labour votes.
Perhaps more significant is recent responses by some local councils to boycott goods from Israel. The Tories said such was illegal – here . Economic blockades affected apartheid South Africa, and applied pressure to create a solution that eventually led to a black government. It appears everywhere you turn there is control against constructive action to end war and oppression of Palestinians in the Middle East. This is worth saying.
From a recent Brad blog I am picking up two things. The first here concerns Buddhism in general, and how westerners have taken to Buddhism.
I am always amazed why Tibetan Buddhism is the most popular branch of Buddhism especially in the US. Richard Gere springs to mind and Robert Turman is well known. Perhaps it is because HHDL targets the west. There’s all the drumming and dancing, and all the revisions suited to Tibetan culture and history – of little relevance to westerners. Briefly I got involved with the New Kadampa Tradition in Manchester. The people were very nice and welcomed me especially as I had just returned from Tibet and had visited Ganden monastery, a place of significance to these people. I went to a Tibetan mass in which all the participants recited a litany. It was the first time I had come across the name Dorje Shugden, and later found out that considering him a teacher was dividing Tibetan Buddhism. I had a nice break at Coniston Priory, and that was the last I had to do with them. For me Buddhism requires enquiry – not faith. Good luck to them, as with all faiths mixed with compassionate practice it made these people better.
Tibetan is so ritualistic and focuses on reincarnation more than the others. It demands faith to such a great extent. Brad says “This is especially true when it comes to American Buddhists. Lots of folks in my home country got into Buddhism specifically because of its teachings about reincarnation, particularly those espoused by Tibetan Buddhists. They do not like anyone questioning their beliefs.” For people who learned at the Church of Reason such ritual and faith seem counter-indicated.
Theravadan seems much more in line because there are so many western intellectuals attached to it. For an approach whose adherents often eschew reason there are so many people who bring reason to the table of Theravada.
I tend to think of Mahayana and Zen as different although Zen strictly, I think, is part of Mahayana. I think Zen is much more readily acceptable to westerners because it becomes all things to all people. I think commitment to true Zen requires much commitment to practise (Zazen) but I also think Zen is better suited to the armchair phenomenon common in the West, in this case armchair Buddhists. But Zazen looks to let mind (reason) and body drop away, not particularly suited to the Reason advocates that profligate in the west because of miseducation.
“It’s too bad so many Buddhists have ruined Buddhism. You can really learn a lot by following the examples folks like Buddha and Dogen left for us.”
I have reached a stage that I could call a summative position that I am happy with. As I was studying this for my own benefit to overcome conditioning I am satisfied with this for the moment, although there is far more I could learn.
The reason I reached the summative position was consideration of yinyang. I start from the position that yinyang has truth in it, and the reason for this is beyond scientific dispute for me; acupuncture heals me. Acupuncture is the medicinal system based on many centuries of experience that originally used the energy of the chi and yinyang balance to arrive at methods of healing.
This yinyang is natural, describes differences in nature and describes opposites that attract. Much like magnetism has opposites that attract (the north-south of the magnet), yinyang has opposites that attract. These opposites are often described as feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) but that has to be examined. What is yin is not a woman, and what is yang is not a man even though characteristics might be described as yin (feminine) and yang (masculine). A brief search on “feminism and yinyang” led to some feminists who tend to support this analysis.
What this means is that there are intrinsic natural characteristics based on yinyang, that characteristics of people are not naturally the same. What this also says to me is that what Dr Fani describes has weaknesses – see quote here. She says the only difference is the chromosome, and the rest of gender is conditioning. I think this position is weak. I have already mentioned instincts in the same blog, and now could add that natural characteristics of yinyang are also being ignored by her position.
I stress again I do not mean that yin is women and yang is men.
What I contend is that there is a natural difference between men and women – more than instinctual. This difference is not based on gender conditioning but is based in nature. This is a standard description of the nature vs nurture argument. Apart from using yinyang to support it, this contention is the usual that is unsolvable because nature and nurture in practice combine together and it is not practical to separate them for analysis.
As with instinct gender conditioning by the patriarchy also screws up the nature component. By the time the nurture conditioning of culture has finished we have the gender conditioning that feminists quite rightly fight.
I next consider in this summative position how women fight for their rights, and I want to use Bell Hooks description of reformism vs revolutionary feminism to each this position. Back in my political days some feminists argued that if women got into power their natural compassion would mean that society would change for the better. In the mid-80s there was an obvious British example that flawed this argument – Maggie a horrendous person. I had to accept then that this evil woman could well be a product of patriarchal conditioning. Since then more women have achieved positions of prominence including the next world leader – Hillary. Whilst their conditioning is still patriarchal and gender-conditioned and whilst women still have to be more 1%-conditioned to be successful I do not see any evidence that women bring with them natural characteristics that will lead to a better society. Women ascending to power is not a means of social change, although perhaps a matriarchy might be a better society. Back in the 70s and 80s I heard black people similarly arguing that if they were in a position society would be better. Whilst the argument of racist patriarchy prevailing applies to race as does the gender-conditioning of the 1% patriarchy, there is no evidence that black people in power are any more compassionate than white. In neo-colonial Africa black puppets exploit their own people as much as their previous white owners had done. Even more?
Having said this a woman deserves equal pay for equal work etc – as do black people. The basis of these socially-equal human rights ought not to be in question but of course they are because the 1% will use any method to exploit. There is a need for change. For me there is no doubt that this change needs to be revolutionary – in my case struggling to get rid of the 1%. But women who wish to reform this system deserve support in terms of justice. In my view the rights that reformist women have fought for have led to more equality but these changes have not impacted on the 1%-system. Personally I would support such justice-based changes as we should all have equal rights, but this will only be gained by a few as the 1%-system has within it the capacity for token strategic concessions. Without these women fighting these concessions would not have been won but in all areas of political change token concessions is a recognised containment strategy – concede to take out the leaders. Equal rights in terms of gender race or class will only be changed through revolutionary means – hopefully not violent.
As a final personal note I must recognise weaknesses I had concerning feminism, I never understood enough the issue of imprisonment by image that is a significant part of female conditioning. My understanding of feminism had been dominated by the oppression that was fought at the outset in the 60s, this oppression by violence and “kitchen enslavement” was all that I saw. Then I saw feminism appropriated by the reformists, and through personal experience clashed with women who were reforming and seeking greater personal success within the conditioned world. Their lack of revolutionary direction allowed me to be too critical of female careerists when I came into conflict with them – especially those who used feminism as a vehicle. This conflict would be the standard careerism vs education in which my demands for education would be seen as having “male” characteristics – perhaps they did; whilst I was fighting for good education careerist women would be fighting for equality in the workplace. As the workplace was a conditioned environment fighting for careerist rights meant that such reformist women were working for the 1% and against the interests of good education. I was not sufficiently conscious of my own sexism to have sought a compromise. In truth when it came to being anti-racist I was equally unwilling to compromise with reformist black people.
Desire also allowed me to ignore imprisonment by image, my natural attraction to that image allowed me to ignore the imprisonment issues. This desire was so strong that it was too easy for me to ignore and write off the imprisoning as connected with nature. BigFashion is very pervasive as is BigFood and BigPharma, I need to fight it with equal determination, and recognise my own complicity within the imprisonment process. My own awareness needs to bring with it a degree of compromise and compassion for that imprisonment, how I had used that awareness was previously remiss because of being attached to my desire. These last two paragraphs I added after the initial putting online of this blog, that is an indication that I have work to do.