28/07/19 22:21 Filed in: society
Here is a very interesting interview with Gabor Maté in which he talks about the accuracy of the press in the Western World and how it compares to other, more openly repressive regimes. He makes a telling point that propaganda in the West is in many ways more pernicious and successful than propaganda in openly totalitarian regimes. This is because many Western citizens believe that the propaganda, that's pushed on them, is actually true. They believe it because they believe their country is respectable, open and tolerant. By comparison, many of the citizens of openly totalitarian regimes know that their propaganda is lies, and so they greet it with open scepticism. In some ways, this means that our liberal Western democracies are operating a more shrewd totalitarian system. They do monitor everybody, and manipulate the views and knowledge of the masses, and 'weed out' any citizens they deem a threat to their control, but they do it on the quiet, while publicly lauding how open and tolerant they are. This is therefore still Big Brother, but not the Big Brother where you can't turn the propaganda television off, it's the Big Brother where you don't want to turn the propaganda television off, because it's fun, exciting and saying such great things.
Returning to the video, during the short interview, Mate talks about such matters. He also touches upon the anti-semitism accusations in the British Labour Party and Russian interference in the U.S. election.
I've watched several video interviews with Dr Maté in recent weeks and I've found him to be intelligent, compassionate, perceptive and objective. His views on trauma, addiction and compassion are well worth reading/listening to. Enjoy!
26/07/19 22:13 Filed in: science
Here's a very interesting video from the excellent people at Academy of Ideas, who have created many interesting short films on Youtube on philosophy, politics and society. This video explores a very important question; can the controllers of a society manipulate or programme the masses to enjoy being slaves, to no longer notice that their existence is a slave's existence, that they have no freedom? The video does a very good job of pointing out how our modern, developed world is shaping up to be a place where the general population is being drugged through actual drugs, or pleasant distractions, to not pay attention to the fact that our freedoms are being systematically removed from us.
I think there is another, more topical issue to deal with. Traditionally, the general population have been plied with drugs, distractions and shiny baubles to keep them from focussing on the liberties being taken by their rulers (or more specifically, the liberties removed from them by their rulers).
More recently, there has been a new development; climate change has entered the scene. I think our rulers (as in those who wield the actual power, rather than our political leaders) have been making a concerted effort to drug us, make us ill, distract us and make us fight amongst ourselves so that we don't pay attention to our impending peril from climate change. Those same rulers have been working industriously for sixty years to protect themselves from climate change, with the plan of leaving the rest of us to fry. The last thing they want is for us to get together and seize the reins and change things so that many, ordinary people can survive, rather than a privileged few. But that's only my personal view and isn't connected to the video, which I do recommend. Enjoy! :-)
The United States of America, along with the United Kingdom and France, are very keen on Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Their capitals are filled with columned temples, obelisks, triumphal arches and other visual motifs from those ancient, Mediterranean civilisations. These countries' also like to talk about how they've inherited a key process in collective decision-making, known as democracy.
Democracy was developed by the Athenian city-state, and others, as a way to collectively decide what to do. Athenians would discuss openly their views on key subjects and then take a vote. This process is now used worldwide to decide national matters. This all sounds great but in truth, how much is modern, Western democracy really like Classical, Athenian democracy? Read More...
02/05/17 22:20 Filed in: reviews
Here's a very good animated version of an interview with the writer Aldous Huxley, recorded in 1958. Huxley wrote 'Brave New World', a classic work of dystopian prophecy.
In the interview, Huxley paints a picture of what we have to watch out for in terms of totalitarian control. Sadly, I think Huxley's warnings have mostly come to pass. Nowadays, our Western society may not have the obvious flavour of a communist/fascist totalitarian state but that is not because we are free of such control, it is simply that the powers-that-be have chosen a more glamorous, mesmeric system which still suits their needs and keeps us drugged but productive.
Huxley tellingly stated towards the end of the interview that the ideal result for the controllers is that the masses they control don't know they're enslaved or that they even like their servitude and enslavement. This is not such a far-fetched situation. Tragically, many slaves in history have rejected freedom and returned to slavery because slavery guarantees food and lodging; freedom doesn't. For those that contest that we are still free, it's worth noting that even the mainstream press now accept that our emails are read, our internet browsing is collated and examined, we are identified automatically on CCTV, our social networking profiles are psychologically analysed, our smartphones movements are tracked, we can be detained without access to a lawyer for a month, we can be legally watched without evidence being required. The list is long. Some say that this keeps us safe but from what? Fear is a great controller, as Goering himself once pointed out. Read More...
30/01/17 09:30 Filed in: reviews
The current edition of New Philosopher magazine includes a copy of a fascinating letter written by Aldous Huxley to George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) after he read a first edition copy Orwell's famous book, '1984'. I thought I'd reproduce it here in its entirety, as I think it touches upon a very important subject, that Orwell's dark dystopia was very perceptive and prescient in its warnings and ideas but missed a key point, that it wasn't the most efficient system of population control. Here's the letter:
Dear Mr Orwell,
It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book. It arrived as I was in the middle of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor eyesight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on ‘Nineteen eight-four’.
Agreeing with all that the critics that have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once once, how fine and how profoundly important the book is. May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals - the ultimate revolution? The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution - the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at the total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology - are to be found the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf. The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen eight-four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in ‘Brave New World’. I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognisance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile and the rest. Read More...