Posts Tagged ‘1%’

Academy, 1% and Trump

Posted: 04/02/2018 by zandtao in War
Tags: , ,

I have no idea whether Trump supporters still believe that he is fighting the 1%, but BAR has written an article recognising academic verification that Trump swung into office not on a charger of his own money but of the usual suspects – finance and hedge funds [1%]. Although Robert Mercer wasn’t specifically mentioned in the BAR article, this confirms academically what Real News Network had been saying about Trump finances. Trump is rich, backed by 1%, and has done 1% bidding as described in this BAR article.

I don’t like Hillary but have never seen her as any more than a typical power-hungry corrupt politician – Trump is far worse, but Glen Ford is far more condemning; however Hillary’s cackling over the death of Gaddafi is chilling.

Adam Curtis blog with Russell Brand “Under the Skin” spoke of finance wanting stability, but under Trump that has clearly changed. It is interesting to note that the 1% are not uniform (one identity). Robert Mercer and the hedge-fund backers brought Trump in yet initially the 1% were cagey; now he has proved his worth to them. “Or, some would argue that he has been bludgeoned into that posture. Certainly, the bulk of the ruling class and their attendants, interpreters and enforcers were horrified that the Orange Menace might destabilize the two-capitalist-party system, undermine the free global flow of capital and jobs, and allow the momentum of the military offensive begun by Barack Obama in 2011 to falter. That threat to the imperial order has passed. Trump’s savage assault on the very concept of regulation; his willingness to renegotiate NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership; and the rise of the generals as both day-to-day and overall policy managers in his White House, are “normalizing” Trump. The Republican tax cut — a looting spree – although not engineered by Trump, redounds to his benefit in 1% circles. As their unearned gains accrue, the Lords of Capital appreciate the uses of The Donald. Orange is the new normal – a measure of how insane late stage capitalism has become.” It was actually a fall-back of mine (along with brinkmanship) that finance required stability. It is very worrying that they can embrace such overt war-mongering as Trump and profit from him, it was almost a “comfort” that the wars were secretive – almost covert, and that maybe they were ashamed to profit from them. But to embrace Trump is frightening. I hope they come to their senses.

The article finishes with “The main objective is to make endless war palatable, as imperialism attempts to bomb, blockade, occupy and bluster its way out of a cascade of crises. Unable to compete with the Chinese command economy, its “soft” power exhausted, the U.S. empire plays the only strong card it has left: its massive military, now centered on a special operations force roughly as large as the entire French Army. War becomes both the means of imperial survival and justification for its continued existence: the how and the why of empire.

Liberals read this “That’s why there is no such thing as a “resistance” that is not loudly and consistently anti-war.

Ndeh Ntumazah and Omwony-Ojwok taught me my world view (taken from my YJ days), this is why I seek the clarity that sound black people have. Thank you BAR.

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I just started listening to podcasts in the car – nothing unusual; – end of all the 60s music plus Taste of Honey? Boogie-oogie?

Started with Russell Brand’s Under the Skin – he gets good people. Adam Curtis was introduced as Esther Rantzen’s “sausages” and politically sussed.

I liked some of Adam’s observations, worth noting, but there was a fundamental flaw. To begin with I thought it was because it had no framework – no 1% nor Buddhism. But I didn’t like that because that requires belief in the framework. This morning it was clear, there was no conviction, no insight, just sound observational analysis. Then it was confirmed – “Hypernormalisation” was a BBC documentary, not threatening the establishment.

He began with a critique of government, that it cannot govern that it is corrupt – selling arms to Saudi to kill the Yemeni. Russell reacted to this as yek, and he said that it was normal to accept that these things would happen; this is his “hypernormalisation” (included his movie for completeness, not watched). It is this view of government that is the fundamental flaw of his discussion. The government is failing the people. Why? Is it failing? It was never a government for the people. Look at history. Government was monarchy, then for landowners then for finance (Cromwell supposedly fighting a revolution for the people but anti-monarchy simply meant pro-finance). And government has increasingly been for the finance sector ever since. Is government failing the finance sector? Not at all. Their profits and power are ever increasing. Government is a success. The power and corruption, the arms sales to Saudi, all benefit the finance sector; it is a successful government.

Then the other BBC “like” is that there is no alternative. He promotes the failure on the left, and says there is no alternative. This completely suits the establishment who are afraid of people knowing and acting on the truth. They are afraid of the recognition that the power is the 1%, the government are their puppets, and that real change can come if the power is taken away from 1% and their puppets. Real change can come if government is controlled and run by the people and profits are returned to the community and not accumulated in the coffers of the 1%. This is real change, this could be real change, and is constantly being fought by the BBC and pundits they promote.

Given this very significant and overarching fundamental flaw Adam’s observations are interesting. The left has failed. Well it has failed but that does not mean government by the people as and when necessary, or anarcho-syndicalism, has failed. It just means that under the current power structure it has failed. When Adam describes “normal acceptance” of events such as Saudi arms trade and the ensuing complicity with the event and complicity with the establishment in general, his critique is not of anarcho-syndicalism as a failed system but his critique is of the apathy of the people.

According to Adam, the term hypernormalisation arose in the Soviet Union in the 80’s when the system was collapsing and people were watching the scenery fall all around. One of Gorbachev’s criticism of communism in Glasnost and Perestroika was the endemic apathy that had developed with the removal of power and responsibility from ordinary people. Adam said that what happened in Russia was not applicable to the UK but endemic apathy is a perfect description as Adam attested to. It is normal to be apathetic, Chomsky describes apathy as an integral platform of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is the 1%-system that creates the hypernormalisation, is descriptive of how I described government above, and can be changed through anarcho-syndicalism or similar (see Under the Skin – Carne Ross) and my blog about it.

Much of his talk focuses on individualism, and how it just happened. Our individualism is a product of a fiercely competitive education system within a fiercely competitive society. Rather than playing down individualism as being the ego-monster it is, it is lauded in our society with the cult of personality etc. This individualism is again a pre-requisite of a 1%-system, fierce individuals refuse to accept ego-submergence in favour of the majority – fierce individuals have no genuine democratic acceptance or concurrence; this could be seen on the Left with the Trots repeatedly promoting their own agenda despite numerous votes to the contrary – no attempt at working for the majority.

Adam mentioned failed movements Occupy, Arab Spring in Tahrir Square, and the march against the Iraq War. In the case of two they were violently suppressed and the third “Not in my Name” was liberal-based embarrassment rather than a genuine attempt to change policy as there was no attempt at follow-up (as described by Adam). These are descriptions of how neoliberalism controls, and not an indicator of there being no alternative.

Listen to Adam’s interview. Don’t be persuaded by the intellectualism that makes him acceptable to the BBC. Note the above, and then listen to valid observations within the flaw.

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Do the 1% want Trump?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If I were Bill Gates ….

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

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

But effective giving back is not easy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yesterday I spent a long time considering the “Truth about Cancer” even though I only used half of one of the videos. There is a very clear conclusion – confusion. Why?

There is a well-known left-wing adage – divide-and-rule colonialism. Typically the hegemony would find an existing division usually religious or tribal, and favour one group – protestants in Ireland, land deals in Zimbabwe, Obote’s minority rule in Uganda.

Since Occupy in 2011 the ruling 1% have been concerned about a different Unity – the 99%. So they have been funding the internet to prevent Unity of the 99%. And the purpose of that funding is confusion that allows the status quo to remain – the status quo which accumulates profits for the 1%.

So let us examine the cancer issue through this confusion paradigm. There are two issues about which there are sound questions:-

Do the established treatments work?
Do the alternative treatments work?

When you begin to examine these questions with genuine scepticism you are unable to get an answer because the only people who can give you proper answers are independently-funded medical research scientists. The methodology of this research would have to be agreed by all parties so that conclusions could be generally accepted. This cannot happen because the major player, BigPharma, will not work with the other players, alternative treatments. Why? Because it would expose weakness in their established treatments – the cut/burn and poison of operation, radiation and chemotherapy. Without scientific evidence there is sufficient doubt for the established regimen of treatments to continue to be used. The people who now benefit from the established treatments, BigPharma and BigFinance, continue to do so.

What became very clear to me yesterday is that there is sufficient scientifically-verified data to warrant genuine scientific enquiry about both the above questions. Oncologists are apologists for their treatments, but they do not control research. It would require the whole of the cancer profession to stand up and demand appropriate research on these established treatments but there are too many vested interests for this to happen. So the confusion and status quo remains.

I did not investigate any of the alternative treatments yesterday but I have previously. There are strong cases that merit consideration. I am no expert, I do not believe there is a “cure”, but if I had cancer and I had money I would go Gerson. As I don’t have money I would improve the quality of my diet – it is good anyway, I would go to acupuncture as often as I could and do Chi Gung daily, exercise, try to find medical cannabis and meditate. I would listen to but not trust the advice of oncologists, and would never trust chemo unless I could be assured it would be part of the 2.1% successes in 5 years. But that is me and I am no expert so my recommendation means nothing.

And there again is the confusion. There could be clarity. If sufficient mainstream research were done I believe Gerson could be scientifically proven to work, and could then be funded by medical insurance or the NHS. But this is not scientifically known, and in my view will never be scientifically knowable because BigPharma will never allow it. Confusion. The same might also apply to other alternative treatments.

Whilst we live in a 1%-system there will always be confusion, whilst the profits of BigPharma, BigFinance and BigFood are all dependent on the status quo it will never change from confusion. Treatments will remain the same. Ordinary people will be subjected to cut, burn and poison perhaps unnecessarily. There will be some benefits so that there will be some reason to accept the establishment. Some people will go to alternative treatments, and there will be talk of cures as can be found widely on the net. But nothing will be resolved, there will be confusion and that suits the 1% of BigPharma.

This issue of confusion also explains the funding for alternatives. Mainstream science will continue to produce some studies about the established treatments, studies questioning the status quo will never be universally accepted. There will be funding for some of the alternative treatments because individuals benefit – the rich need to know where to go. There will be funding for sceptics who decry the mainstream as well as for those who decry alternatives. Why? Because it all creates confusion and that confusion benefits the 1%.

And then there is the laughable position of the supposed scientists at SBM discussing acupuncture. “This is important to the understanding of the acupuncture literature, as many of the positive studies are coming out of China. The unrealistically high percentage of positive studies makes the Chinese body of clinical literature very suspect.” Even when there is no doubt they appeal to racism, infer the Chinese scientists “liars”, and create confusion.

If you have cancer what do you do? Don’t trust anyone – including me. Don’t trust the oncologists but try to determine what the state of scientific research is with regards to your cancer, treatment and the longevity of the treatment. Change your lifestyle. Eat healthy organic food, watch what you drink and drink healthily. Do aerobic exercise. Find some form of exercise that promotes the chi, Chi Gung, Tai Chi or others, and good breathing – prana. And meditate. With all of this you will probably fill your days!!! . These are recommendations, changing lifestyle is not necessarily a cure but there is nothing there that can hurt – all these lifestyle choices are beneficial.

I refer back to Occupy and the 99%. At that time there was no confusion, apathy but no confusion. The message was growing that the 1% were the source of all the problems. Since then the 1% have increasingly funded the power of confusion.

Brexit cannot be resolved – confusion. Huge money was invested in Brexit and is still invested so there is no resolution as evidenced by Tories fighting amongst each other. There will be at least 4 years of this confusion whilst the 1% exploit behind the scenes.

Trump is just about division and confusion. Try to define what he is about, and you only come up with a political and power-hungry ego. He decries the 1% yet he is one of them. He talks about helping white people but gives tax breaks to the superrich. Everything he says, the way he tweets is just to cause confusion, and whilst there is confusion his special people can work behind the scenes for the 1%.

The new Divide-and-Rule colonialism is 1%-confusion.

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Compassion Paradigm

Posted: 03/10/2017 by zandtao in ONE planet, Struggle
Tags: ,

I wonder how much we can communicate. [Below}

I live within a compassion paradigm. This paradigm contends that humans are basically compassionate but conditioning prevents them from being so. Yet compassion is always trying to win through.

This conditioning is of a personal-social-political nature, and working for compassion against this conditioning was my reason for going into education. This conditioning is greatly influenced by a social paradigm I perceive as the 1%-paradigm, and that instead of education working towards removing our conditioning it educates towards increasing conditioning to preserve this 1%-paradigm.

The nature of this 1%-paradigm is to enable the increased accumulation of wealth to the 1%, and within the education system this means avoidance of education that demonstrates the power and influence of the 1%, education for wage-slavery, and miseducation concerning the wars-for-profits. For me these are the “overarching principles of education” even though within education itself there are occasional efforts against this paradigm.

History for me is an important tool to demonstrate the pervasiveness of this 1%-paradigm, it is less useful in demonstrating compassion. I use sources such as Eduardo Galleano, Walter Rodney and Howard Zinn but lay absolutely no claim to academic rigour; in the British context I have sufficient personal knowledge to see how landowners and serfs can develop into 1% and wage-slaves. Exploitation is integral to this 1%-paradigm, exploitation as wage slaves, exploitation as soldiers, exploitation through racism and sexism, and exploitation is a necessary pre-requisite for the accumulation that is the raison d’etre of the paradigm.

Within the 1%-paradigm the overarching concern of academia at all levels is not the leading out of compassion but the development of an increased bank of knowledge that, by avoidance or otherwise, fits within the 1%-paradigm and does not emphasise the compassion paradigm.

You are clearly a devoted historian, and the knowledge you have amassed would academically belittle any arguments I could put forward. But this knowledge functions within this 1%-paradigm. I read your previous comment (interpret) as saying that historical events in the UK dictate a necessary accumulation of power within Westminster, that this power has historically been white, and that to continue with that protective process of accumulation of power involves the continuation of similar processes including aspects of white privilege. Within its context I cannot dispute such an argument. However within a compassionate framework it is flawed as it accepts accumulation of power, white privilege and therefore racism, and at the same time it facilitates the accumulation of wealth to the 1%. Although academically I don’t have the knowledge to argue against, that is not the paradigm I choose to argue within. Hence the problem I said at the beginning of the difficulty of communication.

For me compassion trumps all.

[Below] This was written to a history ex-colleague.

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1%-world and monasticism

Posted: 18/02/2016 by zandtao in Struggle, War
Tags: , , ,

In Brad’s latest blog he discusses amongst others monasticism:-

“Yet Nishijima Roshi said that retreats lasting more than three days removed a person too much from what he called “daily life” and strongly advised his monks against participating in such practices, let alone making lifelong commitments to monastic communities. Instead, he wanted his monks to integrate their practice fully into their daily lives in the work-a-day world.”

This is noble but for me it raises two issues:-

• Monastic Training
• Mindful consuming in Daily Life

On monastic training there are two sides, for the monk themselves and the lay they teach. Perhaps the monastic life is the most fulfilling it can be for that monk, developing her/himself and teaching others the Dhamma.

A monastery provides a place of learning and a place for retreats, these are both necessary for those in daily life. I note both of these points on monastic training, am judging from a distance and don’t feel I can say too much on these as it has to be a personal decision.

On mindful consuming in daily life I want to address the question of 1%-world. For most nowadays daily life means contributing to 1%-world. Most jobs are working for the 1%, and most consuming is also consuming produce made by the 1%. And what does the 1% do? Anything to make a profit – including starting wars. When a “monk” makes a noble decision to go back to daily life, he is making a decision to contribute to 1%-world and all its implications.

Can we then choose not to be a part of daily life in 1%-world? Off-the-grid communes. Amongst other things that Occupy did was to start organic communes, I think. Anyway that is what I mean – a commune in which people work for themselves and try to trade with like-minded individuals. Ideally this would be barter, (or even a community currency) but any monetary involvement with the currencies of 1%-world should be limited.

Monastic communities do not usually consider the economic implications of monastic existence as it is usually about the Dhamma or faith. In other words their priority is the teaching and they involve themselves with 1%-world to obtain the finance to continue their teachings. In this I feel there should be questioning, how much is their economic involvement contributing to the global damage caused by 1%-world? Can they fund their teaching in ways that limit their involvement with 1%-world?

In this day and age where economic relations govern all and are controlled by people who cause such suffering – the 1%, is it acceptable for monks to separate themselves from the economic implications of their lifestyle? In terms of seeing what-is-what, how much should they be presenting awareness of 1%-world?

And in the end what is the noble purpose of returning to daily life about? Helping people cope with life, helping people cope with the conflicts that are caused by working in 1%-world. I am no expert on communes either but coping with human frailty in relationship has got to be easier than dealing with the overpowering suppression of 1%-world to prevent a compassionate and caring society.

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A scientist

Posted: 01/04/2014 by zandtao in Mandtao, ONE planet, Science

Mandtao 6/5/12

I was going to call this “A Man of Science” but this applies to all scientists and I couldn’t find an appropriate phrasing. A scientist has a field of expertise, and this field has usually developed through the scientist attending university moving into research, writing papers – even a book, and then being recognised as an expert. Effectively this scientist has become immersed in a field of study, and propagates that field of study by their way of life – papers lectures etc.

All of this is reasonable until you begin to question the context of this field of study. I am thinking of someone I know who would qualify as this type of scientist. He has become immersed in his field of science and the way he applies it. He is a strong man so this immersion is complete and shuts out those who don’t accept it. He appears not to have questioned axioms, and delivers his scientific knowledge unquestioningly. For most people he is extremely sure, and he brings that assuredness into his personal life where people admire his confidence and the assured way he deals with life and his family. I do hear him fend off inconsistencies such as chi with barbed wit and determined challenges, dismissing chi as non-existent and suggesting that those who exercise using chi somehow gain physical strength by “swatting flies”. A past master of this barbed wit is Richard Dawkins. His dismissal of religious understanding is completely destructive, and his popularity amongst intellectuals merely creates barriers to understanding rather than using his intelligence to develop a wider agreement.

I compare such scientists to thorn bushes. A thorn bush is strong and impenetrable. In its life its branches grow spouting more thorns that protect it. In a detached way a thorn bush appears isolated often distanced from other plant life in deserts or other barren surroundings, yet in reality this bush is an integral part of life itself. How does the thorn bush grow? In Nature. Underground its roots require water, its minimal foliage takes water from the atmosphere, and its breathing is as much a part of plant life as any plant. So whilst the thorn bush might profess insularity it is part of what Thay calls interbeing (For Thich Nhat Hanh, nonviolence is a natural and necessary part of Buddhist religion. To understand his teachings, then, one must start with the most basic religious foundation: “In Buddhism the most important precept of all is to live in awareness, to know what is going on…to be aware of what we do, what we are, each minute.” When we are totally mindful—in direct contact with reality, not just images of reality—we realize that “all phenomena are interdependent…endlessly interwoven.” This is the foundation of Nhat Hanh’s approach, not only to nonviolence but to all of life. He calls it the principle of “interbeing.”).

So what is the knowledge of the scientist? Even though s/he might be immersed in a particular discipline that discipline fits into a whole sphere of knowledge with integrated disciplines – an interbeing of knowledge. Whilst the scientist might focus attention narrowly that is a choice, an approach to learning, Whilst the scientist might be considered innovative within her/his field the reality is that the branches of the thorn bush are growing but the thorn bush still remains isolated. It is this separation that I characterise as important to much that is science.

But in truth this is not the way Capra sees science. In chapters 2 and 3 he describes a systems approach that perceives science as overarching networks that he calls “Web of Life”. This fits in with the deep ecology he described in Chapter 1, and that I have called ONE planet; it is not inconsistent with accepting ONE planet as axiomatic, but without asking I couldn’t say whether he would accept ONE planet in this way.

So if science is developing towards ONE planet where is the problem? The problem lies not with the direction of science but the direction that is imposed on it. Fundamentally systems thinking is an anathema to the 1%. The 1% likes a mechanistic model, a model of separation. This atomism allows business to create a plant and products that yield profits. But then it doesn’t have to be responsible for further consequences. I see this most obviously in the production of plastics. Science discovered the flexibility of using plastics, and business designed plants for productivity and profit. Over the decades as these plastic products have worn down there have been environmental consequences such as the gyra (see clip).

Once environmentalists determined that produced plastics were creating these problems they sought solutions. Unable to budge the 1% from their sole focus on profits the environmental lobby seeking some sort of solution targetted ordinary people in the hope that these people would improve the environment. But that approach can never be a solution whilst business continues to churn out all these plastics. So whilst a significant proportion of people have developed an environmental conscience concerning plastics the global environmental problems just worsen. World forums such as COP17 could seek solutions but rather than deal with the problems the 1% refuse to let go of their profits. To effect this the 1% have promoted climate-denial institutes such as Heartland, whose ambit is to promote the notion that the environmentally-damaging policies of their businesses are not causing “global warming” – and that they are not responsible for any damage that their policies in the past have caused. This is the exact antithesis of systems thinking in which responsibly lies with the totality of the systemic consequences.

What is worse in the case of plastics is that the problem can only be solved by business, because plastics are not biodegradable (like natural products such as made from wood). Plastics can only be recycled by production plant, and business as opposed to local authorities are the only people with the finance to create such plants. All that local authorities can do is remove the eyesores from one neighbourhood – and create eyesore landfills containing the plastics. These landfills are on the increase as are the numerous gyras.

Not only does business refuse to clean up the plastics they also ignore the alternative recyclable solutions, here are some examples.

The way the 1% dodge their responsibility for the environmental damage connected with plastics is atomistic thinking. Basically they examine their own little thorn bush, and determine that they need to do such-and-such to make a profit, and then they use their power and influence to blame everyone else.

Here is a bit of systems thinking that deals with plastics. It is a recognition that we are all part of ONE planet. It uses existing infrastructure, marginally increases the cost (thus excusing the 1% from participation), but would be clearly beneficial. The atomistic approach that is in place, for example with regards to bottled water, is that the 1% misuse government authority to go in and take the water they need from wherever they choose. Then they build plant to make the plastic bottles and then deliver the bottles to their supermarkets for sale. This is an atomistic process that enables them to make their profits, disadvantages the communities they collect the water from, cause lung disease where they are making the plastic bottles and leaves the bottles to be dealt with “by society” after they have been consumed. If it wasn’t so common place we would look at this process and wonder how we could have allowed it.

Note here, drinking water from plastic bottles is not a healthy option, and I don’t recommend it.

Given that we wish to continue consuming bottled water, what do we do? This requires an examination of the system which includes the consumer, sanitation, and the bottled water business. Once consumed the bottles are in refuse or in plastic bottle banks. The sanitation department takes the refuse and sorts it – this is an additional cost. The refuse is divided up into refuse that can be disposed of sustainably, paper products that can be used for recycling, plastics that can be stored awaiting collection. The sanitation department provides collection points where business can collect this “refuse” and business would collect it as part of its routine for delivering to the supermarkets. The materials for recycling are then delivered to plant where the new item for sales is manufactured. Here is a clip that talks of the potential of plastics:-

It is described as malleable but it is not malleable for you or I, however business can make anything if they invest in plant. So if business invests they can profit from recycling in coordination with sanitation and the consumer. As it stands at the moment, if this system were to be introduced business would get their puppet government to develop the new sanitation aspects, they would use the media to impress upon people the need for recycling and charge them more taxes, raise prices because of the increased costs due to recycling, and then make huge profits from the new plant and the new recycled resources. But by a system approach these additional costs would be shared as would the increased profits from the recycled manufacturing.

With a systems approach based around ONE planet we have an equitable solution, under the 1% approach the problem is denied until we are forced to act, then they take advantage of politics to profit from the outcome. System solutions exist but no matter what approach is offered the 1% can exploit, again pointing to a recognition that paradigms are not the solution when you are dealing with the 1%.

I have another example of a system that works, or at least I think it did. I had a friend who managed a company with a turnover of approx 1 and a half million a year. According to him, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, he worked hard as did his team of workers. In the end he was shattered and retired in his 50s to build a castle in the sky. Now I don’t know how ecologically sound his product was, and from that point of view how his production fitted into the wider system, but it sounded a fair system to work for based on mutual interest, respect and compassion. This man called himself a capitalist – as would many, but he was just running a small business. He made a reasonable living, worked too hard as probably did his workforce, but together they made it work. Within the business itself exploitation was minimalised.

Compare that with a transnational whose structure is based on coercion and exploitation. The transnational is run by the 1% but at all levels of management there is coercion based on career structure. If the middle and upper echelons of the transnational wish to progress they have to exploit the people under them on the ladder. The people employed in the factory are never encouraged to have loyalty, and they know there will be none in return – if the workers don’t accept exploitation, the low wages and try to unionise then the transnational moves its plant to another country. And who ensures that? The immediate manager, and if there are doubts the manager is pressurised up the ladder. 1% transnational companies function on coercion and exploitation, an approach that lacks a system that can work sustainably. It matters little to the 1%, they cut and run. That is the system, atomistic exploitation whose only guide is the profits of the 1%.

Contemporary science has begun to alter the axioms of science, and one example is Capra’s Web of Life. But even if science does alter this “worldview”, does it have any real impact on society? How connected is this new scientific knowledge to the reality of daily life? Clearly 1% influence is more powerful than that part of the scientific establishment that is recognising a systems approach. It is almost a clash – the atomism of the 1% and the systemic development of knowledge of ground-breaking science such as Capra. How do these forces exist together? That is the question that governs any paradigmatic change.

Don’t cowtow to science

Posted: 01/04/2014 by zandtao in Mandtao, ONE planet, Science
Tags: , ,

Mandtao 20/4/12

It is clear that Bruce is extending his arms to understanding but does that mean that science is? Furthermore does it mean that science has left behind its baggage or even that Bruce has left behind his science baggage? At this point I can only ask.

However for understanding to fit into science there is much that has to change with science, and if we limit our understanding by that which science is willing to accept we miss out on much that is genuine. Cowtowing to science is restrictive. In the first part of his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz described how our conditioning changes us and fits us in. We agree to accept the conditioning that parents provide in the home, teachers in school, and the keepers in religious institutions. Significant in this agreement is that we accept science as knowledge, and often measure our intelligence by benchmarks developed from this knowledge. Whilst I believe that the primary purpose of our school system is to prepare the 99% for wage slavery, it is an important secondary purpose to inculcate the 99% into the acceptance of the restricted system of knowledge that we have come to know as science. We agree to both these purposes because we have accepted that society has developed with the interest of all the people at heart. Whilst I have never accepted this I am pleased to hear the progress of the Occupy movement who in general do not agree with either of these purposes.

Rather than cowtowing to science with its dubious masters, what about starting from Nature? Where else better than the sea? How many seas are there? One with many names. It moves in and out, in and out, its motion is fundamental. At any point in the sea that point moves in the direction of the tide, but in addition that point would become part of a wave. The sea is a unity with dual attributes of point and wave.

Now what about light, through light we can see – it has a functionality. How does that light function? Some of physics would describe that light coming from a point source, and yet other physicists describe light as a wave motion. Through calculation we can determine that light has a speed, a speed at which the point emantaing from the source would be travelling.

Suppose we ask what is light? We get no answer, we only get a description of properties. What is electricity? What is sound? Again no answer, simply a description of properties. Can we not describe as fundamental properties of all a point and wave duality? So rather than not having a description which is the scientific position now, we start with an axiom that in all aspects of life there is motion or momentum that is both point and wave. This is not too distinct from established physics where the principle of conservation of momentum applies ie continuous motion.

So if we start from the sea, axiomatically we might start differently but quickly we join with established science through momentum. Point and wave as fundamentals is also accepted as scientific, but in both cases we would not describe them as axiomatic because the scientific framework is different. Science starts by postulating building blocks that it calls atoms. But then through scientific method the nature of those fundamental building blocks has been refuted, and yet science patches over this. It does not say let us re-examine our framework.

And with Bruce we have another fundamental axiom of biology exposed, that of genes controlling life. What do we have instead? The gene as a blueprint. Cells contain genes and protein, and this protein has receptors which receive information as signals through the cell membrane that then cause the genes to actuate. Where do these signals come from? Life in general.

What about man? Compare this with man, s/he has a blueprint. Through perception of what happens around her/him signals actuate the genes, and if there are no signals no actuation. Man, cell. The same process, is this unreasonable? But what if we start with man? Man is conscious of life through mind that perceives. Where does the mind get the perception, through signals that happen as a result of perception and these signals get passed to the brain to the cells. So the question is not where is the brain of man, the brain is a known physical central unit that transmits the signal to the cells in the body. The question is where is the mind of man, and here we have point and wave. The mind centres on a point often seen as resting in the heart, and yet through perception mind spreads out from the point as waves to perceive through the centres including the skin, the cell membrane of man.

There is no inconsistency with this new science and what can be considered from religion, however the framework is different because of the axioms. Yet the axioms of science have been exposed as false. There is no fundamental axiom concerning what is light, sound or electricity. There is an unresolved position concerning the building bliocks as to whether they are masses or energy, and in biology the central dogma is an empty shell. We are expected to cowtow to science not because science is based on axioms that then produce a well-integrated body of knowledge. No the agreement is that we accept science as our knowledge system and not question science’s inconsistencies.

Starting from life as motion which is both point and wave we have an axiom that meets easily with established science and prevailing religious knowledge – back to Bacon.

First Thoughts on Bruce

Posted: 01/04/2014 by zandtao in Insight, Mandtao, Science
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I have watched the talk “Biology of Perception”, and it is confusing. But confusing in a good way. It is a talk that appears to be holding its arms out ready to embrace spirituality. The talk can be downloaded here . It seems that Bruce has had the insight to see through the central dogma that the genes are in control, but then has a questionable approach to the brain. When I watch my mind starts reaching out to all kinds of possibilities. On a broad level it starts me to think about “what is”, what is man? As opposed to the “how to” that I have been working on in the Treatise.

This is interesting because science and religion have always been considered different, for me the two personally don’t meet and in society there is an uneasy alliance. This separation of course is a dilemma that in conception ought not to be happening. Starting from Bacon knowledge was divided – knowledge that could be ratified by logical proof and knowledge that required spiritual acceptance. In Bacon’s conception both were seen as knowledge, but as time has progressed knowledge that comes from logical proof has been reduced to that of scientific method – primarily hypothesis, experiment, conclusion. For example this would exclude empirical knowledge such as acupuncture whose tried and tested methods have worked for millenia, but the veracity of the rationale for the efficacy of acupuncture cannot be proven because science cannot build machines that measure chi. Other empirical conjectures such as those concerned with meditation are not accepted by science because although it is verifiable by repeated methodologies – empirically, meditation cannot be “proved” , again because it cannot be measured using scientific instruments.

As time has progressed the knowledge that was scythed in two by Bacon’s position has now been reduced to a scientific establishment that only accepts knowledge through scientific method and then relegates all other knowledge to “Faith”. This is why the two fundamental scientific premises that are referred to in this Mandtaonic exploration are so important. The first one is the one that was happening as I grew up, and came to my awareness as Fritjov Kapra’s “Tao of Physics” and Gary Zukav’s “Dancing Wu Li Masters”. In my 60s schooling I learned that fundamental particles were atoms with protons, neutrons and electrons. But earlier in the 20th century science was exploring the atom, and postulated that inside the atom were smaller particles. And then these particles became indistinguishable from energy, the motion within the atoms could not be determined as particular or energetic (wave-form). It is my understanding that such knowledge is now incorporated into the education system as quantum mechanics. Lipton referred to all this as fundamental particles being energy, I am not sure whether that is accepted by the science establishment. Such energetic considerations are not accepted by the science establishment as chi, and this is something I have difficulty with. When we talk of kinetic energy, this energy of movement is accepted. There is an accepted notion of potential energy – “energy that hasn’t happened yet”, but such energy that hasn’t happened can be used in calculations and scientific method – a postulated requirement of the scientific model. Why couldn’t we hypothesise that there is energy all around and that we can tap into it? Such a hypothesis doesn’t exist, and for science neither does chi, yet for many established religious systems chi or prana is a fundamental. When considering “what is” I need to re-investigate chi and its connection with energy as defined by science. Vibration?

This is the problem with people like Bruce reaching out, established method does not want to change. Whilst science can accept irrational concepts such as potential energy because it suits the realm of calculation and therefore fits in with the methodology, science does not accept chi – seemingly boundless global energy that can be accessed through energetic exercise such as Tai Chi or Chi Gung. After Chi Gung I feel invigorated but can I measure that energetic level?

In the talk Bruce was envisioning that what he had to say would become established science within 10-15 years. Will it? Science is not now driven by the enquiry for knowledge per se. Knowledge is now governed by those that pay for the research – primarily the 1%. This blatant control of knowledge is most obviously seen in the field of sustainable energy, especially those providing alternative fuels for the car. Whilst their research is of great benefit to the ecology and therefore humanity, it is marginalised by the influence of the oil industry whose profits would be slashed if sustainable power was introduced.

Perhaps the 1% will not try to marginalise Bruce’s work, but the conclusions that follow from his dismissal of the central dogma of biology could open the door to healing of cancer and other degenerative diseases through mental signals of health as suggested by transmitting change to protein structures. If such a healing were possible the 1% are not going to be willing to stand by. What has happened to Gerson, macrobiotics, Healing Cancer from the Inside Out, Burzynski, cannabinoids and B17 where cures are suggested without providing BigPharma with profits? These potential cures are marginalised at the expense of those who could benefit – who could live or at very least not die the sad death of chemotherapy as with Farrah Fawcett.

But then is Bruce’s position always sound? In this examinations of genes he discusses the assumption of the central dogma. As the brain is the centre of the human isn’t the gene the centre of the cell? He then refutes the cellular hypothesis by pointing out that genes can be removed from cells leaving complete functionality whereas brains cannot be removed. Therefore genes cannot be brains; click the Mandtao gif for the clip “Where is the brain of a cell?”

But can brains be brains? What is the connection between brain and mind? Is it the brain that controls the body or is it the mind acting through the brain? What is mind? And then he starts looking into perception. Does the brain perceive or does the mind perceive? He promotes a complementary speaker, Rob Williams, who is looking at the “Psychology of Change” or here. Perhaps he goes into all this? We will find out.

To my mind academia leaves many of these questions intentionally unanswered. I blame the 1% but I blame the 1% for everything quite rightly. But what am I blaming them for here? Now that is difficult to answer. First science is basically used for profit-making. Therefore directing science into the search for profit through technological and weapons research can without any huge leap be attributed to the 1%. I would also expect the 1% to have encouraged research into particle physics as there has to be the potential for the generation of huge energy. And yet such energy would destroy the oil industry. Apart from BigCancer and BigPharma would science be that concerned about Bruce? But I feel more the 1% sponsor the status quo, because in the status quo the 1% have control, so perhaps I blame them little more than for maintaining the status quo. Mind you when you consider global analyses of war an climate change the status quo at the moment is pretty horrendous.

So apart from the status quo how does one connect spirituality with science? I suspect that is what HHDL’s mind and life is aiming for. Meditation, chi, Unity, soul etc. Comparison of scientific method with spiritual understanding as different forms of knowledge – or just poles apart. We can “physically” measure the world we are in, but as we cannot measure that which is not physical the knowledge of that which is not physical cannot be accepted as scientific knowledge. Individually we live with these two forms of knowledge without achieving forms of integration into one knowledge. To me mind has created this schism, can it unify knowledge? “What is?”