Some may recall the Long-Bailey Doctrine:
“The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement.” ~ Rebecca Long Bailey 12 Jan 2020.
According to this there is no defense against any accusation of ‘racist prejudice’. To be accused is to be guilty. Both RLB and the Labour Party have abandoned reason, freedom of expression, tolerance of dissent and principles of natural justice. And it is in the nature of witch hunts and inquisitions that defending those accused of witchcraft and heresy are to be accused of being witches and heretics themselves.
“… Llanelli MP Ms Griffith said anyone who cannot accept Sir Keir’s zero-tolerance approach should leave the party.”
“Zero tolerance”. That’s it exactly. Total, totalitarian, intolerance.
We’ve got to learn to talk with each other in order to create a new narrative.We have to see ourselves and each other in quite a different way. We have to deliberately reach out to each other even though this may be scary.
I posted this cartoon and reflection on my own page earlier today.
The Borg that I refer to (for the sake of non-trekkies) are presented in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ as a spacefaring ‘collective’ that assimilate species and cultures across the galaxy. They are a metaphor for the submergence of individuality and diversity in a conformist totalitarianism that, depending on political preference, can be projected as a ‘1984’ style communism or a ‘Brave New World’ style corporatism.
The subversion of the will and consciousness of the many to the will and consciousness of the powerful few is a millenias old motif of human societies and is not, of course, peculiar to our present time. This subversion of the individual and collective will has been resisted by libertarian, communalist and humanist ideologies that are premised on values of individual dignity and universal equality.
What the Borg symbolise is the use of overwhelming technological capability to finally crush any will or set of values that contradicts those of the established power structures. The present danger is that the emerging totalitarian surveillance state in nationalist or globalist form will, if we are not vigilant, ‘Borgify’ us.
This vision of us becoming ‘the Borg’ competes with another (more fragile) vision that I like to call ‘Homo Gestalt’ after Theodore Sturgeon’s classic sci-fi novel ‘More than Human’. The thought here (my thought not Sturgeon’s – he was envisioning something more telepathic than telematic) is that emergent communication technologies, rather than being instrumental in controlling us can be instrumental in our emergence as a cooperative species, a ‘noosphere civilisation’ whose motif is collective consciousness rather than coerced consciousness.
Homo Gestalt will not sacrifice her individuality; the nature of that individuality changes organically by becoming part of the Gestalt but the Gestalt (that totality that is more than the sum of its parts) also changes organically to accomodate and reflect the diversity and individual presence of all its parts.
Our talking with each other is the beginning of the creation of the new narrative. Doing this extends us as human beings. We have to face and overcome many fears and prejudices in order to face and accept each other as the equals that we are. In doing this we will become powerful; in turning to each other we will root our own power in the power of community. Marianne Williamson wrote something that expresses this very well – even though I would use different words:― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Not all wills are equally free. We are conditioned, constrained, conscious and compelled to different degrees. What is the relationship between the free will, the good will and the strong will?
My will is not free if I am unaware of the determinants of my drives and desires; or good if I lack right understanding of my relationship with Being and other beings; or strong when ‘the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do’
The failure to see the degree to which we lack free will has led to attitudes of condemnation rather than compassion for others and ourselves. We must recognise free will as something to be gained, developed and nurtured rather than as an innate given.
If free will is to exist in us individually and collectively the key to it must be in the extension of awareness.
My latest essay is called ‘The New Stasi‘ and refers to a phrase used in the leaked Labour Party Report. My name appears in that report – Page 667 – listed among other ‘miscreants’ expelled using what the report approvingly calls a ‘fast track expulsion powers’
In case anyone is wondering about my ‘crimes’ I have made no secret of what I was charged with and my responses. See Case Number 3461 on this blog.
Another victim of the January purge, listed in the report is Pauline Hammerton. It is highly likely that the shock of being accused of antisemitism and then expelled from the Party contributed to her death seven days after she was informed of her expulsion.
This of course applies to party politics and politicians as much as to the press and journalists.
It is seductive to be accepted into a powerful establishment, imagining that we will be the better part of it; but it seems that, to be accepted, we always have to leave either our passion, our critical thinking or our honesty at the door.
Chomsky makes the point extremely well in this classic clip. It needs to be shared, discussed and understood.
The pictures are from the first time I spoke with Dean Armond on his Revive FM local radio show. This was at the end of October and I was invited back to speak again this morning on the early morning 7 am to 9.00 am slot. I said some things that some might think are controversial but that are really exceedingly obvious. I am not Socrates but just the little boy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes when it seems that no one else is willing to do so.