After I wrote an essay entitled Twin Terrors: The IDF and ISIS, I noticed a readership drop, which recovered somewhat a few weeks later. I assumed I’d offended a portion of readers who did not want to express their feelings in writing. Of course, I’d like to write only about painting, music, or the beauty of Nature, but these aren’t the times we live in. Ironically, after this week’s US – Iran deal, Israel now finds itself on the same platform as ISIS: both railing against Iran’s new status.
Among those on social media the perception is widening that “terrorists” are not only the hooded villains threatening death to the Western infidels who bombed their village. The term is now being applied in a far wider and much stronger sense – and herein lies the difficulty for populations of some wealthy countries – to those smart-suited, witty and intelligent men and women who rain death and lifelong misery (from a cosy place at a safe distance) not only to a handful of victims but to tens of thousands whose only crime is to speak another language. The crime, as Stalin realised, becomes so large that it ceases to be murder and becomes a mere statistic.
The young especially are so impressionable that acts of terror committed by their leaders are justified by faith in authority. This reconciliation forestalls the awful thought that their tribe is unspeakably evil. As you would expect, an ordered society is based on trust in authority. This is a wise, benevolent, grand and beautiful arrangement when the leaders are wise, benevolent, grand and beautiful souls. But if they are reckless, shallow, power hungry psychopaths, the situation is very different and all of their society is plunged into extreme danger.
American educators returned from Prussia in the mid 1800’s highly enthused about a new schooling system specifically designed to develop, over many years:
- civil servants willing to accept authority from above
- workers willing to risk their lives in mines
- soldiers who would unquestioningly march into war when a coloured cloth is waved
- a population who all hold, more or less, the same political views
This delegation of common sense to authority was noticed by a still-alert Scientific American author writing a memorable editorial in the early 20th century. Alarmed by the crippling mental load of homework now placed on young children, he wondered why parents did not “march immediately to the schoolhouse, armed with whatever they could find to hand – fenceposts, brickbats, flagstones – the better to bring a halt to this insanity.”
Such a reaction is a sign of an alert, natural brain exposed to danger or calamity. But like the callousness felt by soldiers exposed continually to killing, it has given way to a dull sense of resignation, a feeble response which reflects the abrasion on neuronal structures by prolonged exposure to an irritant, just as fingers become calloused for protection after continual use. But in the brain’s case, the loss of a natural defence – a revulsion designed to make us remove the problem – places us in grave danger.
The Prussian educational system was so successful that it ushered in a century of global conflicts where war was waged not just on soldiers but all civilians, and where those who fought were not professionals but ordinary people defending their country from evil. The absurdity is that every country in a conflict believed the same, to such an extent they gladly fought to the death. When official orders were removed, as in the trenches on Christmas day, peace broke out immediately. Nobody wanted to fight over some mud. What for?
War had been waged on civilians before of course, by men such as Herod, Caesar, Vlad the Impaler, Genghis Khan – but they are shown to us in history lessons as villains. From where did we get the idea that modern leaders – Churchill, Bush, Eisenhower, Thatcher, Blair, Obama, Netanyahu – responsible for hundreds of times more gruesome deaths, are blameless?
When GIs landed in Japan, word spread throughout the villages that Americans were cannibals, that it was far better for women to take their children and jump off cliffs to certain death than be roasted and consumed by the invaders. This they did in their droves, to the horror of the American soldier. And yet the Americans, too, were subject to this brainwashing. We in the West thought nothing of using an infernal machine devised specifically to roast hundreds of thousands of ordinary civilians alive. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, since the Japanese were, as we knew, unspeakably evil. Later the same brainwashing would assure the GI that Vietnamese were worthless gooks; later still the Iraqis would fall into that same underclass.
The Russians were ordered to fight the evil Germans to the last man, and sent to the front with a single bullet, while the Germans were persuaded that impure races, fit only for extermination, were all that stood between them and a perfect Aryan world order. Remember it is never the rich, the privileged or the most mentally astute who march to war: just ask Dick Cheney or George Bush. It is those who could not avoid the draft, called “stupid pawns” by Henry Kissinger, blindly carrying out the will of the political class.
All humans can be turned into devils by daily corruption. The immune, few in number, manifest as conscientious objectors, whistleblowers and revolutionaries, undermining with all the conviction at their command the state’s authority. Muhammad Ali personified the thinking man by refusing to rush off to fight in Vietnam when ordered. Government fury fell on him immediately, stripping him of his world title and his livelihood, but, delivered to the masses by the media, his words became as devastating as the hammer blows from his huge fists in the ring:
I have no quarrel with brown people ten thousand miles away. Why should I travel ten thousand miles to drop bombs and bullets on them?
Here in America we negroes live as second class citizens. We are treated as slaves, we can’t get served in restaurants, can’t stay in hotels, can’t sit on buses, and our kids can’t go to white schools.
You ask why I won’t go ten thousand miles to fight for your rights, when you won’t even fight for my rights at home!
No Vietnamese ever called me ‘nigger‘.
Today intellectuals march against the Pope, bemoaning the indoctrination of religion, and as regards recently exposed abuses, they have a point. But they remain oblivious to wider and more insidious indoctrinations. I have never heard Richard Dawkins question the suspension of the laws of physics on 9/11, or shout down massacres committed by the Israelis. And how can a person whine about intolerance while sowing discord of their own, encouraging contempt for those who, for whatever reason, fail to rally under their flag?
“Science works, bitches” is a slogan on the RDF’s new shirts. Jocular it may be, but if science works, why has industrialised pollution become a threat to the planet itself? After the disasters at 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl, why has Fukushima apparently killed off huge swathes of life in the Pacific ocean? Why are deaths from cancer now more frequent and more numerous than at any time in the past, and why does dementia now attack young people, while autism doubles every 3.5 years? Why is crime rampant, civil unrest ubiquitous, wars ever-expanding, suicides increasing? Why has slavery and poverty increased dramatically in only the last 30 years, and why do one in seven of us lack food or water? For that matter, why are vaccines and GMOs coming under attack not from alarmist cranks but from scientists and industry insiders? And most of all, why is society teetering on the brink of nuclear war?
Could it be that science has no effect whatsoever on human behaviour, while amplifying all our mistakes to an unprecendented degree?
The pressure of indoctrination should oblige us to think for ourselves. Are doctors always right? Are chemicals good for the body? Why is hydrofluosilicic acid, a known toxin, added to drinking water, when dentists themselves claim it harms teeth, and when countries without it have the same success with dental health?
Can sunshine really be bad for a healthy immune system now, after four million years of co-existence? Can titanium dioxide – a known carcinogen – be healthy when lathered over our skin to protect from the sun? Should we be eating food grade plastic? Should one in seven people on the planet lack essential food or water while we pay tens of billions to send toy tractors to Mars? Can USAF jet planes really be unknowingly leaving huge clouds of powdery substances which blanket the sky for the entire day, when CAA planes never leave any such thing? Should MPs vote themselves a 10% rise two years running while cutting welfare to the poorest?
For that matter, is the two-party system simply a prop, used by the real power behind politics to maintain a narrow illusion of choice? If not, why do wars continue and taxes rise and governments become more oppressive and grant themselves more powers year after year no matter who is elected? Why have two families which gave us three disastrously warmongering US presidents now offer us two more warmongering candidates? Why are people now engrossed in measuring their differences, rather than their blatant similarities? Why does the prison population rise every year?
For that matter, why have these “wars” on crime, on drugs, on poverty, on illiteracy, on cancer, on MS, and on terror only amplified each and every one of these problems? Can governments really be so feeble and ineffectual? If so, are they actually capable of anything productive? Why has the gap between rich and poor grown so much over the last centruy that a handful of families now own more than half the world’s population? Is capitalism good for the world? If so, why should slavery and poverty now be more widespread than at any time in the past? What is the purpose of GM food – to feed the world, or, to ensure global dominance of the patent owners?
Can chemo or radiation cure cancer? If tumours are a failure of healthy growth mechanisms, how can the agonising, paralysing, system-wide torching of all our growth mechanisms cure the problem? If all cancer drug research has failed, as statistics confirm, why are the drugs so expensive, and why do pharmaceutical companies spend far more on marketing than research? Why did nobody go to jail for the fraudulent marketing of Vioxx via falsified studies, a crime which led to more than 100,000 deaths?
Why are immune therapy companies being closed down as quackery by the MHRA, just when Merck (with an ex-director actually on the MHRA board) now offers a £110,000 per annum immune therapy of their own? Should we ship weapons to Israel, when we know they treat the far older State of Palestine as an outdoor prison harbouring a subhuman race? Should we fondly maintain nuclear weapons – at a cost of hundreds of billions – when our poorest are being forced out of their homes, told to work even when incapacitated, and denied healthcare on the grounds of lack of funds? Should we turn away refugees fleeing the devastation caused by our own bombs and armies?
After a financial crisis in Cyprus caused by the banks, banks tested the waters: savers would lose 10% of their money – and they got away with it! Countries are still paying war debts from 1945. To who? The banks! The IMF now want 50 billion euro in Greek assets as a penalty for failing to repay a debt. But how can it improve a country’s wealth to lose its own infrastructure – which can never be bought back no matter how hard the people work?
Maybe, in too many ways to mention, we’ve been had. The hilariously outspoken George Carlin might have been on to something when he said:
Why do we have the poor? The poor are there to scare the s**t out of the middle classes. You know why they call it “the American Dream”? Because the only people who believe in it are fast asleep.
While Frank Zappa expressed the same thing in his own way:
The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.
So instead of dismissing dissenters, what about we give equal weight to their words and let our opinions be shaped by daily conscience, instead of by the Daily Mail? And if we have any voice at all, especially on social media, maybe we could use it!