The Acorn – 64

Number 64

Double-sided A4 pdf version to print out and distribute


In this issue:

  1. The dictatorship will fall!
  2. Shocktroops of the New Fascism
  3. Spreading a message of hope
  4. Covid-1984: the truth about techno-totalitarianism
  5. Resist the G7 in Cornwall!
  6. René Guénon: an orgrad inspiration
  7. Acorninfo

1. The dictatorship will fall!

mar20london4

In these dark times for people all over the world, the UK seems to be slipping deepest of all into the shadows of tyranny.

With vaccination rates higher than elsewhere, the authorities are now suggesting that their “vaccine passports” may be needed not just for travel but for basic social activities, such as going to the pub.

But, at the same time, the country is also seeing an impressive wave of resistance to the newnormalist dictatorship.

Saturday March 20 saw protests for freedom in some 40 countries in Europe and beyond (see round-up videos here, here, here and here).

And the biggest of all was in London, UK, where tens of thousands of people took to the streets.

There were the usual attempts by mainstream media to avoid spelling out the huge numbers involved, to focus on arrests and to otherwise marginalise the participants.

But, this time, they couldn’t just pretend the protest hadn’t even taken place.

Overseas observers are noting “increasing signs that the British public are growing frustrated with the constraint” and seeing that there is “palpable restlessness among members of the public”.

Behind the scenes, our rulers must be quaking in their boots. They know that their power is crumbling and they risk losing control!

There was also a big turn-out in Kassel, Germany, with a crowd of at least 20,000. Many protesters were chanting “Wir sind das Volk” (“We are the people”), a slogan taken from mass protests in 1989.

mar20germ2

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Cops in Amsterdam, Netherlands, used water cannons and violence against a large crowd which was chanting slogans like “Love, freedom, no to dictatorship” and singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

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In Belgium, people gathered in the Bois de la Cambre in Brussels to protest against “restrictions to our freedom and the harbingers of a dictatorship”.

A shocked journalist reported: “The majority of the protestors are not wearing face masks and are not keeping (sufficient) social distance, despite repeated calls from the police”.

A mass protest was staged by around 3,000 people in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Banners were emblazoned with slogans like “Covid-1984”, “Give our Freedom back”, “Leave the kids alone”, “The media is the virus”, and “Experimental vaccines: we will not be guinea pigs”.

In Romania, there was a protest with music in Bucharest and campaigners burned facemasks in Timisoara.

mar20romania

This followed on from a big event on March 7, when thousands of protesters took to the streets of Bucharest, chanting “Freedom!” and “Down with the mask,” and bearing the message “Say no to forced vaccination!”

In Croatia, freedom protests were held in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik and Osijek.

mar20croatia

Hundreds of people defied Covid-pretexted restrictions on protesting in Helsinki, Finland, with a police chief complaining that “an uncontrolled number of people have packed in”.

Protester Jonas Nordberg told media: “This event has nothing to do with coronavirus. It’s about the right to be a free citizen in this country”.

mar20finland

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In Warsaw, Poland, protesters, mostly without masks, carried banners with slogans like “Stop compulsory vaccination”, “Stop the plandemic” and “Stop genetic therapy”.

Police used stun guns and tear gas against the freedom campaigners. A government minister said it was “scandalous” that they had defied Covid rules and talked of “zero tolerance” of such dissent in future.

In Sweden there were protests in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg.

mar20sweden

In Austria, more than 1,000 people in Vienna protested against Covid tyranny near the city’s central railway station.

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In Italy there were protests in cities including Udine, Venice and Turin, with placards reading: “Truth, justice, freedom, breath!”.

10,000 people protested in Liestal, near Basle in Switzerland, many wearing white suits and holding signs reading “Enough is enough”, “Vaccines kill” and “Let love be your guide, not fear”.

mar20switz

In France, there was a carnival flavour to the defiance of totalitarianism, with unauthorised pro-freedom festivities in places such as Marseilles and Les Vans in Ardèche.

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In Ireland, anti-lockdown protesters chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” as they marched through central Dublin.

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A protest was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, where a man was photographed with a poster declaring “I want a normal life!” and in Serbia, demonstrators danced around a Belgrade monument.

mar20bulg

Freedom rallies were held in Canada, too, for instance in London, Ontario, and Calgary.

A huge and angry crowd turned out in Melbourne, Australia, with one speaker at the rally declaring:”We’ve gathered here today because of the lies that have been told to us for way too long!”

The March 20 protests were not a one-off, of course, but the continuation of an ongoing global revolt.

Since the last Acorn came out, there have been significant protests in the UK, Ireland (including Cork), Israel, Quebec, Australia, the Netherlands

And March 20 was certainly not the end of protests against Covid tyranny either; more like the start of a new phase of intensified resistance as awareness spreads of exactly what is going on.

As a reporter for the New York Times writes: “A year after European leaders ordered people into their homes to curb a deadly pandemic, thousands are pouring into streets and squares.

“Often, they are met by batons and shields, raising questions about the tactics and role of the police in societies where personal liberties have already given way to public health concerns.

“From Spain and Denmark to Austria and Romania, frustrated people are lashing out at the restrictions on their daily lives.

“With much of Europe facing a third wave of infections that could keep these stifling lockdowns in place weeks or even months longer, analysts warn that tensions on the streets are likely to escalate”.

* The next advertised protest date for London, UK, is 1pm on Saturday April 24, with the emphasis on medical freedom and the right to protest.

April24demo

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2. Shocktroops of the New Fascism

toy-soldiers

For a long time, our freedom and autonomy have been under attack from two sides.

On one flank is the State, which uses physical violence to impose its rules on us, to insist that we never step outside of the cage it has built for us.

On the other flank is Money Power, which constantly tries to manipulate and exploit us, to leech off our labour and to sell us the products and lifestyles from which it can profit.

For a long time, too, there has been a serious overlap between the goals of these two oppressive forces, in that Money Power depends on the State to protect its interests and to keep the people in their place.

But they have remained, on the surface at least, distinct entities, allowing some to fondly imagine that we might find refuge from one in the arms of the other.

Socialists and communists say that the State can be wrestled from the grip of Money Power and turned into a transitional force for good, before perhaps being allowed to gradually wither away in the new post-capitalist world.

Some libertarians, identifying the State as the main enemy, insist that only the “free market” economics of some kind of imaginary “pure” capitalism can free humanity from the dead hand of tyranny.

anarchyOnly anarchists have understood that both State and Money Power have to be swept away if we are to reclaim the freedom and happiness that is our birthright.

Anarchists know that all power corrupts, that true authority can only come from within the heart of the individual and the collective to which they belong, and that the State, no matter how supposedly benign and democratic, can never be anything other than an obstacle to the free organic flowering of human community.

They also know that no healthy society can be built on the pursuit and accumulation of individual wealth, on selfish greed, on a commercial mindset in which quantity is favoured over quality and in which all higher values have been replaced by the lowest of financial calculations.

Today, in the 2020s, the anarchist insight that State and Money Power are one and the same enemy has been dramatically shown to be right.

ronald cohen bookBehind the scenes, the two became increasingly entwined during the neoliberal period, with decades of privatisation, outsourcing, and public-private partnerships.

Money Power has dominated the agenda of government to the point that its demands for limitless “growth” and increasing access to public funds have become unrefusable in the corridors of power.

The global coup launched under the cover of “Covid” has finally drawn back the curtain on the frighteningly advanced point which this State-Money convergence has now reached.

We are far from alone in identifying the new hybrid entity as nothing other than a 21st century form of fascism.

This should be the time for all anarchists to step forward proudly from the political shadows and declare that we were right all along, that our struggle has always been about opposing State, Money Power and fascism and that we invite everyone else to join us in slaying this monster.

However, the State-Money system has so thoroughly corrupted society with its unlimited networks of wealth and power that even this potentially powerful source of resistance has been neutralised.

Incredibly, many who have flown the flag of “anarchism” (or some half-hearted version) have chosen this crucial historical moment to back away from the principles they claim to uphold and have been aggressively insulting those few anarchists who have remained true to the philosophy.

anarchists for masksThey have abandoned opposition to the State and called for people to obey its most draconian laws, echoing its own line that to do otherwise is irresponsible and “puts lives at risk”.

They have failed to stand up to Money Power, by refusing to acknowledge its influence and by refusing to listen to those who have researched and exposed the way in which has taken over our societies, and in doing so they have again adopted the terminology of the system by branding these dissidents “conspiracy theorists”.

These anarchists, all avowedly “anti-fascist”, have abjectly failed to stand up to the New Fascism with which we are now faced.

Indeed, they will not even admit that it exists or that it presents any real threat to humankind.

Clinging to their juvenile cardboard cut-out understanding of fascism as purely a 20th-century form of authoritarian nationalism, they refuse to recognise its re-emergence in a new and even more dangerous guise.

Worse still, they direct their phoney “anti-fascism” against the dissidents who dare stand up to the real contemporary New Fascism, accepting without question the system’s strange and wildly inaccurate narrative that opposition to worldwide tyranny is the sole preserve of the “far right”.

One of the leading exponents of this approach in recent years, Alexander Reid Ross, has recently been exposed (unsurprisingly as far as we are concerned) by The Grayzone as a complete sham, now openly working with former cops and CIA agents at a militaristic think tank funded in part by billionaire Charles Koch.

Alexander Reid Ross exposed

These Ross-style “anarchists” (who, by jettisoning the philosophical basis of anarchism, are now indistinguishable from the rest of the fake left) are not simply failing to engage in the struggle.

By amplifying the system’s narrative, by helping it to conceal its fascistic nature, by smearing and abusing its opponents, they are actively aiding and abetting tyranny.

On top of all this there is a problem that has dogged the left since the 19th century – its largely uncritical embrace of industrial “progress”.

It has failed to see that technology is far from being “neutral”, something which could be used for the common good in certain conditions, and is instead the ever-more powerful tool with which the ruling class has gradually imprisoned and disempowered the rest of us.

Miguel amoros2It has neither understood nor accepted Miguel Amorós’s crucial insight that “factories, machines and bureaucracies are the real pillars of capitalist oppression”.

More than that, it even joins the ruling class in declaring any such fundamental critique to be ridiculous, unrealistic or “reactionary”, a threat to the “progressive” values with which it associates.

When we add to this the insidious way in which “left-wing” agendas have been realigned to suit the needs of impact investors, as exposed here and here, an ugly reality starts to emerge.

We find ourselves looking at a pseudo-left, including pseudo-anarchists, which defends both State and Money Power, disallows analysis of their inter-connections and machinations, refuses to acknowledge or challenge the New Fascism and eagerly embraces the very structures and technologies through which humanity is being enslaved.

What is the meaning of a “left” which actively supports everything that was previously associated with the right? In what way can we distinguish it from the right, other than by the self-righteous framing with which it presents the very same insidious life-denying agenda?

For real rebels, real freedom-fighters, real anarchists, this fake left has now clearly identified itself as our enemy and its Covid-reinforcing activists have been revealed as nothing other than the shocktroops of the New Fascist global dictatorship.

Authentic revolt will come neither from left nor right, but from below!

alibi of tyrants

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3. Spreading a message of hope

Freedom protester

We are clearly at a crossroads in political history, particularly that of the resistance to global capitalist tyranny.

With too many people under the spell of media indoctrination, it is more important than ever that we communicate our message of empowerment and liberation.

We recently heard from a fellow dissident who has drawn up ten points to bear in mind as we move forward in this crucial struggle and we share them here:

1. Using populist rhetoric to counter the right wing demagogues.
2. Making left wing politics seem less radical, less intellectual and more connected to the masses.
3. Stop letting the ruling class dictate the limits of debate.
4. Making it more socially acceptable to discuss “conspiracy theories” and ask tough questions about deep events like false flag terrorism, wars, the economy, and the ruling class behavior.
5. Start bringing class consciousness to the working class and the petite bourgeoisie which means 99.9% of humanity (even more) and start explaining to people that socialism is not more collectivist than capitalism (on the contrary), not less free (capitalism is tyranny) and it’s not about hating the rich (they hate us more than we hate them and most of them suffer from the system).
capitalist slavery6. Connected to number 5, enough of demoralized class collaboration mentality and capitulation. We should not be unrealistic but we should make very clear what our goals are and that we oppose class collaboration at any cost.
7. Explaining to people that capitalism is not “free” nor anti government and that what we see now is not communism (under Stalin, Bill Gates and his friends would have probably doing several months of labor in the Gulag).
8. Explaining to people that demagoguery and other distractions are nothing more than bourgeois control over society. In a sense, telling people to stop being afraid of what the “news” tells them and to beware of the strategy of tension.
9. Giving people hope! The ruling class spent the last 50 years pacifying and demoralizing our society.
10. Explaining the dangers of liberalism and the idea of free countries and free thought.

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4. Covid-1984: the truth about techno-totalitarianism

Covid-1984 book

Gaslighting has been one of the main weapons with which the system has tried to silence critics of the New Fascism it is imposing on the world.

Those of us who have spoken out against what is happening have been derided as idiots, lunatics, whose opinions are based on ignorance and “unscientific” prejudice.

Tame academics and intellectuals have played their (well-paid) role in this operation by repeating and amplifying this message, effectively declaring all questioning of the global coup to be beyond the intellectual pale.

It is therefore good news to come across a book from an academic, a philosophy professor in fact, which wholeheartedly challenges the current dictatorship and everything that lies behind it.

The bad news for most of our readers is that it is in French, so here we are summarising the contents of Covid-1984 by Michel Weber (Chromatika, Belgium, 2020), subtitled “The (political) truth about the medical lie: digital fascism”. (1)

Michel WeberWeber is forthright in his description of what is happening to humankind, warning: “The political system which is being put into place is totalitarian”. (2). “This is about the extension of the neoliberal sphere, which wants to transform everything into a product”, (3) he says. “The real-fake crisis health crisis of 2020 is the pretext used to definitively strip populations of the social and political gains conceded after 1945”. (4)

He makes it clear that we are witnessing the massive extension of corporate rule and draws comparisons with pre-war Germany and Italy. “We have to understand, for once and for all, that politicians do not represent the people, but the oligarchs and their multinationals”, (5) he says, concluding that this amounts to “a new fascist totalitarianism, much more pernicious than its 20th century predecessors, because of its digital nature”. (6)

He agrees with German lawyer Reiner Fuellmich that the Covid coup is “the greatest crime against humanity ever perpetrated”. (7)

Weber addresses the physical means by which this New Fascism seeks to control us: “Technology – and in particular the devices associated with 5G – now allows total panoptical surveillance: tracing of all internet activity (big data) and physical movement (geolocalisation), the disappearance of cash transactions, house arrest (electronic bracelets, remote working, online education, interent shopping, online consultations) etc” (8).

He explains how 5G is needed to launch the Internet of Things and the Internet of Bodies and entails “a radical advance of technoscientific totalitarianism, since it aims to master, and thus control, every aspect of our existence”. (9)

He cites the prophetic Edgar Evans Cayce, who warned as long ago as 1934: “Some day tiny radios placed in the brain may make possible the enslavement of entire nations”. (10)

DARPAAnd he quotes this sinister 2014 question from Michael Goldblatt, former head of the Defense Sciences Office of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA): “How is having a cochlear implant that helps the deaf hear any different than having a chip in your brain that could help control your thoughts?” (11)

Writing about the use of fear to control people, Weber invokes Leo Löwenthal, who was writing just after the Second World War about what had happened to the individual under the heel of the first fascism: “Fear robs him of the power of spontaneous emotional or mental reaction. Thinking becomes a stupid crime; it endangers his life. The inevitable consequence is that stupidity spreads as a contagious disease among the terrorized population”. (12).

Along with fear comes cowed conformism: “It is striking to see with what facility an individual can ignore what his senses are telling him and renounce his own free will so as not to break the consensus of the group”. (13)

The book essentially consists of a series of interrelated essays and in some of these Weber looks more generally at the direction our society has been taking over recent decades.

He explores, for instance, how education has been largely reduced to a training programme “which corresponds very closely to the demands of businesses”. (14)

He examines the link between war and capitalist economics, referencing George Orwell when he wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four that the primary aim of modern warfare was “to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living”. (15).

Weber adds: “The gigantic military market is underwritten by the State and funded by taxes (paid by the poor) and loans (benefiting the ‘financial markets’)”. (16)

Weber also takes a close look at the idea of economic growth, asking why it is generally regarded as an economic necessity, even by the left. He concludes that this “growth” is needed to pay interest to the banks on money lent into circulation: “It’s a huge Ponzi scheme”. (17)

The Only Sustainable Growth is DegrowthInsisting on the need for a radical form of décroissance, or degrowth, he explicitly insists on the need to bring down the system before any better society can be envisaged.

“It is neither possible nor desirable to draw up a priori a detailed political agenda before deciding to bring down capitalist tyranny”. (18)

Weber reflects that contemporary society has managed to spawn the apparent contradiction of an ideal consumer-citizen who is, at the same time, both individualist and conformist.

He declares that “authenticity requires solidarity to replace atomisation and the individual to replace the clone” (19) and calls for “communities which allow both free individuation and solidarity among each and all”. (20)

And he suggests that this authentic way of living might be based on the watchword of the ZAD free zone at Notre-Dame-des-Landes in France: “Resist, act, live”. (21)

1. Michel Weber, Covid-1984 ou La vérité du mensonge sanitaire: un fascisme numérique (Chromatika, Belgium, 2020).
2. p. 9.
3. p. 21.
4. p. 42.
5. p. 33.
6. p. 36.
7. p. 217.
8. pp. 46-47
9. pp. 137-38.
10. p. 147.
11. cit. p. 149.
12. Leo Löwenthal, ‘Terror’s Atomization of Man’, 1945/46, cit. pp. 95-96.
13. p. 98.
14. p. 135.
15. cit. p. 183.
16. p. 184.
17. p. 159.
18. pp. 172-73.
19. p. 204.
20. p. 189.
21. p. 204.

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5. Resist the G7 in Cornwall!

ResistG7beach

The G7 is coming to Cornwall… and so is resistance!

A Resist G7 Coalition has been established in the UK to confront the global capitalist gathering planned for June 2021.

There is a call for international days of action from June 11 to 13, with a Mass Day of Action on Saturday June 12.

Says the campaign website: “Boris Johnson has chosen to host the G7 in a luxury resort in Cornwall with its own private beach. But Johnson is bringing the G7 to one of the poorest places in Europe. Behind the beauty is severe poverty.

“World leaders will not see the real Cornwall. Holed up in their fancy hotels that locals couldn’t afford to spend a night in, they won’t see the rundown estates, the child poverty, the fuel poverty and the misery their unjust system creates.

“But it’s there. On the doorstep of the hotel they’re staying in. Down the road from Carbis Bay, in St Ives, child poverty is at some of the highest rates in the country.

“Meanwhile, due to the prevalence of second homes, the average property price in the area is a whopping £416,892.

resistg7-g7cornwall“Cornwall has become a playground for the rich. Locals are supposed to be grateful for the money created in menial jobs to serve their needs.

“Many kids leave as soon as they’re able. With either no jobs or only seasonal work, no infrastructure and no services, it shouldn’t be surprising.

“The Resist G7 Coalition is made up of local, national and international groups who’ve come together to build resistance and positive alternatives to the G7.

“This isn’t about opposing one summit. It’s about building on and creating a legacy, of showing what’s possible when diverse groups come together and start organising the world we want to see.

“We believe in a world where we put people and planet before profit, where justice means justice on a global scale, where wealth is shared equally and not pocketed by the 1%.

“Our world should not be a play thing for the rich. It belongs to all of us. And it’s down to us, the people, to stand together, to resist, and to create the future we want to see.

“The world leaders at the G7 aren’t going to do it for us. The system needs changing. And if we want change, we have to act”.

resistG7

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6. René Guénon: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

reneguenon3

“Everything seems to be increasingly artificial, denatured, and falsified”

René Guénon (1886-1951) was a Sufi philosopher and important 20th century critic of Western industrial capitalist civilization.

Because his primary interest was metaphysics rather than ideology, Guénon is sometimes regarded as apolitical.

But there is a strong organic radical dimension to his thought. In his early life he was heavily influenced by the anarcho-Sufi Swedish artist Ivan Aguéli (1) and by Gérard Encausse, part of an alternative spiritual scene embracing feminism, homeopathy, anarchism and animal rights. (2)

Guénon’s own traditionalist or perennialist philosophy was an appreciation of the age-old and timeless universal human wisdom at the esoteric core of all the world’s major religions.

He abandoned his native France to spend the rest of his life in Egypt, with the new name of Abd al-Wâhid Yahyâ, and condemned all nationalism as “essentially opposed to the traditional outlook”. (3)

Like his friend Ananda Coomaraswamy, Guénon was appalled by Western imperialism and the way in which it everywhere imposed its exploitative, productivist, industrial way of life.

britishimperialism2

In 1927’s The Crisis of the Modern World, he described the concept of “civilization” as a pretext designed to fool the public, “mere moralistic hypocrisy, serving as a mask for designs of conquest or economic ambitions”. (4)

He poured scorn on the idea that capitalist powers like Britain or France were “improving” the lives of indigenous peoples by colonising them.

He wrote: “It is really an extraordinary epoch in which so many men can be made to believe that a people is being given happiness by being reduced to subjection, by being robbed of all that is most precious to it, that is to say of its own civilization, by being forced to adopt manners and institutions that were made for a different race, and by being constrained to the most distasteful kinds of work, in order to make it acquire things for which it has not the slightest use”. (5)

For Guénon, the whole Western idea of work, the idea that people should be made to spend their lives producing goods and profit, was abhorrent.

He wrote: “The modern West cannot tolerate that men should prefer to work less and be content to live on little; as it is only quantity that counts, and as everything that escapes the senses is held to be non-existent, it is taken for granted that anyone who is not in a state of agitation and who does not produce much in a material way must be ‘lazy’”. (6)

Guénon saw capitalist modernity as a hideous affront to everything that was traditionally important to human beings. It promoted objects above people, quantity above quality, money above life.

In 1924 he wrote in East and West: “Modern civilization suffers from a lack of principles, and it suffers from it in every domain. By a monstrous anomaly, it is, alone, among the others, a civilization without principles, or with only negative ones, which amounts to the same thing. It is as if an organism with its head cut off went on living a life that was at the same time intense and disordered”. (7)

industrialism

Inseparable from the insanity of this foul Western civilization was the industrialism with which it expanded and imposed its power.

He observed: “What the modern world has striven after with all its strength, even when it has claimed in its own way to pursue science, is really nothing other than the development of industry and machinery; and in thus seeking to dominate matter and bend it to their service, men have only succeeded in becoming its slaves”. (8)

Twenty years before Guy Debord wrote The Society of the Spectacle, Guénon identified modern Western society in 1945 as one in which “everything seems to be increasingly artificial, denatured, and falsified”. (9)

The falsity of this society extended to the way it encouraged people to think – or rather, not to think. If the public could understand clearly what was going on it “might endanger certain political interests”, Guénon suggested.

This would explain why the education system favoured certain methods over all others: “Consciously or not, they begin by removing everything that might make it possible to see things clearly, and that is how ‘public opinion’ is formed”. (10)

As an example of this, he cited the way that philosophy had increasingly been dominated by academics who focused on narrow facts and details at the expense of the bigger picture.

Guénon complained: “What interests them is not whether a certain idea is true or false, or in what measure it is so; their only concern is to find out who first propounded the idea, in what terms he formulated it, and at what date and under what accessory circumstances he did so; and this history of philosophy which busies itself exclusively with the scrutiny of texts and biographical details, claims to take the place of philosophy itself, thus bringing about its final divorce from any small intellectually valuable residue that it might have retained in modern times. By clinging to the letter only, it is unable to enter into the spirit”. (11)

He noted elsewhere: “Modern man, instead of attempting to raise himself to truth, seeks to drag truth down to his own level”. (12)

voteliberalGuénon described how the Western system deliberately used this disconnection from the truth to keep its victims in a permanent state of disempowered delusion: “The great ability of those who are in control in the modern world lies in making the people believe that they are governing themselves”. (13)

The biggest lie of all was the absurd optimism projected in the notion of “progress”, the idea that industrial development had improved human society and would continue to do so in the future.

Guénon identified instead “a change that is the direct opposite of ‘progress’, amounting indeed to a veritable regression of intelligence”. (14)

This cultural regression, which went hand in hand with economic growth, was rapidly gathering speed, he thought, like “a mobile body running down a slope and going faster as it approaches the bottom”. (15)

In these circumstances, a “mere readjustment” of society would not be enough and Guénon welcomed the opportunity for “a complete renovation”. (16)

And how might this renovation be achieved? “Modifying the mental outlook of a people is the one and only means of bringing about any deep or lasting change”. (17)

Video link: Guénon, Coomaraswamy, Schuon, Burckhardt, Pallis and Nasr (13 mins)

reneguenon

1. Robin Waterfield, René Guénon and The Future of the West: The life and writings of a 20th-century metaphysician (Wellingborough: Crucible, 1987), p. 41.
2. Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 45-48.
3. René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, trans. by Arthur Osborne, Marco Pallis & Richard C. Nicholson (Ghent NY: Sophia Perennis, 2001), p. 98.
4. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, p. 92.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. René Guénon, East and West, trans. by Martin Lings (Hillsdale NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004), p. 106.
8. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, p. 87.
9. René Guénon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, trans. by Lord Northbourne (Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004), p. 192.
10. Guénon, East and West, p. 15.
11. René Guénon, Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines, trans. by Marco Pallis (Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004), p. 215.
12. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, p. 66.
13. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, p. 74.
14. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, p. 50.
15. Guénon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, p. 43.
16. Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World, p. 17.
17. Guénon, Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines, p. 250.

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7. Acorninfo

People who froth at the mouth at any hint of what they call “conspiracy theory” are stuck in an infantile state of mind where they see all authority as the trustworthy “mummy and daddy” on whom they emotionally depend. So judges a fascinating article from Tim Foyle. He writes: “This is the core, comforting illusion at the root of the conspiracy denier’s mindset, the decrepit foundation upon which they build a towering castle of justification from which to pompously jeer at and mock those who see otherwise”.

AntiConspiracist

* * *

A new Coronavirus Megalab is being developed in Leamington Spa, in the English Midlands, with another in Scotland. A government statement says: “Cutting-edge technology made by British manufacturers will be used in both labs, including automation, robotics and consumables. This means more tests will be processed more quickly and at a lower cost, and therefore faster turnaround times for test results”. Local campaigners warn: “Warwick District will therefore become the hub of the biosecurity state for England”.

Megalab

* * *

“The ruling elites consider democracy a ‘necessary illusion'” but “a society that is thoroughly democratic is incompatible with an organization of society favored by the ruling elites”. So writes Rainer Mausfeld, a retired professor of psychology, in an important article translated from German by Dr Daniel Wollschläger, which can be read here.

Rainer Mausfeld

* * *

Tributes have been paid to Ian Crane, the dynamic UK anti-fracking campaigner who died on February 25. Writes Ruth Hayhurst: “Some in the anti-fracking movement disagreed with his views and tactics. But his supporters have described him as hugely influential, inspirational, courageous, determined and a great speaker”. A week after his death, victory was claimed in the long battle against fracking in the Sussex village of Balcombe, when councillors blocked industry plans for a well test.

ian-crane

* * *

“Central to the protest is how much people loved the land and the price they paid for that in terms of serving jail sentences, and suffering physical attacks and intimidation”. A new book by Helen Beynon, with Chris Gillham, called Twyford Rising: Land and Resistance explores the massive anti-road struggle at Twyford Down in Hampshire, England, 30 years ago.

twyford

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“Eventually I began to feel that each new species I harvested represented a single note and as the season of each species layered with or followed the next, the procession of species became a repeating rhythm to me. I was beginning to make out the melody to an ancient and never-ending song, that I could play along with. But only if I were there, living closely amongst its natural composers, could I hear it loud enough to join in”. This beautiful passage comes from an article on mushrooms and anarchism originally published in Black Seed magazine.

mushroom

* * *

This video is a real smoking gun from 2019. Marc Van Ranst, Belgian Flu Commissioner, is talking at Chatham House in London. Nothing about caring for sick people, his speech is all about using the media to sell a pandemic narrative.

marc van ranst

* * *

“It was one of those moments during which the exploited class rises up out of the shadows to express its revolutionary vitality, its capacity to shake the foundations of this world which imprisons it, and so breaks the logic of commodity accumulation, profit-making and the increase in value of capital”. The 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune is celebrated in this useful analysis.

Paris Commune art

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“We are living through historic times. We will be judged by history for what we do now and over the coming months”. We heartily recommend this excellent article by Dave, editor of the Essex Stirrer, one of the rare UK anarchist outlets to have remained true to long-held ideals in the face of the Covid coup and all the associated cowardice and collaboration.

divided we fall

* * *

Acorn quote:

“For the cyber-liberal left there is no equality without recourse to biotechnology”.

Alexis Escudero

PMA

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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Anarchism not State Socialism

 by Marion, anarchist since 1982

In this article I am going to give some definitions of anarchism, contrast some different schools of anarchist thought and show that the idea of freedom is essential to all of them, as it seems many anarchists these days do not see free action or free speech as that important or even desirable. I will contrast anarchism with socialism and also say a bit about capitalism. I will give some examples of where anarchism has worked, albeit sometimes temporarily, and where it has turned into authoritarianism or been defeated and why. I will also suggest how an anarchist society could deal with viruses.

Anarchism equals no government; this includes no leaders, rulers, laws or prisons, and a stateless society. That is the basic definition of it. Within that, there are various types of anarchism but it always means no government or states. A good definition I have seen, from Lexico dictionary, is ‘belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion’. Max Nettlau in his book A Short History of Anarchism (1932-34) says about anarchism that it ‘starts from the earliest favourable historic moment when men first evolved the concept of a free life…a goal to be attained only by a complete break from authoritarian bonds and by the simultaneous growth and wide expansion of the social feelings of solidarity, reciprocity, generosity and other expressions of human co-operation’.

anarchyartThere are many schools of thought in anarchism. All of them have in common an opposition to the State and all believe that people are in fact capable of organising a society without the State that is co-operative, safe, equal and produces prosperity and abundance for all, while governments can never do that.

Anarchist communists or libertarian socialists (Russian 19th/20th century anarchist Peter Kropotkin among others) advocate the abolition of the State and capitalism in favour of a horizontal network of voluntary associations and worker-run enterprises through which everyone will be free to satisfy his or her needs without capitalism or money. They argue that any economic system based on wage labour and private property requires a coercive state (implying lack of liberty) to enforce property rights and to maintain the unequal economic relationships that will inevitably arise. Instead, local communities would make decisions collectively, with collective ownership of the means of production (raw materials, tools, machines etc.).

Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman became anarchist-communists after seeing Bolshevik communism’s ‘devastating reality first-hand in Russia and after the Red Army’s crushing of the Kronstadt uprising’, when 5000 sailors left the Communist Party because the revolution had not achieved what had been promised and strikes broke out because of hunger, cold and economic hardship. What distinguishes anarchist communism from other forms of communism is the former’s opposition to all forms of political power, hierarchy and domination. It believes in a sudden revolution rather than a gradual change and does not advocate taking control of the State to make the transition. Errico Malatesta in the 19th Century used the word communism but is seen as an anarchist communist because he conceived communism as something to be followed voluntarily. However, I think it is unwise to associate anarchism with communism or socialism, as true anarchism is nothing like the tyrannical communism that is practised in various countries today and thus has very negative connotations, as I will show. The Anarchist Communist Federation in the UK renamed itself the Anarchist Federation some time ago, for that reason I think. I also think collective decision-making could endanger the freedom of the individual, though that may depend on how the decisions are made, which I will come to. Note the name of the anarchist website Libcom.

anarchy is freedom

Individualist anarchists say that anarchist-communism or collectivism would suppress individuality and personal autonomy by forcing people to belong to a community and relinquish private property. Consequently, individualist anarchism tends to endorse private property and free economic competition. As in other forms of anarchism, the State has to be abolished; the individualist anarchists saw the State as the source and protector of big business’s monopoly, with a power to impose taxes, conscription to the military, laws etc., and therefore of the labouring classes’ suffering and deprivation. Individualist anarchism has sometimes been labelled right-wing anarchism, but I would say that if a society is without laws, prisons, politicians etc., it cannot be right-wing. However, I wonder how a free market can lead to equality, rights or freedom for everyone because would it not necessarily mean a society of haves and have-nots, conflict, discrimination and under-privilege of disabled etc.? Another difference between individualist anarchism and communist anarchism is its opposition to revolutionary action; the 18th/19th Century English anarchist William Godwin said the State would become increasingly irrelevant and powerless through a gradual process of reform and enlightenment. But, as I shall go on to say, the State and its leaders are not likely to want to give up their power.

Max StirnerClosely linked to individualist anarchism is Nihilism and Max Stirner’s Egoism. Instead of the State there would be associations or unions of sovereign individuals. For Stirner, the individual and the State ‘are in “deadly hostility” since a person exercising self-mastery is in fundamental opposition to the state whose sole purpose is to “tame, limit, subordinate the individual”. Says Nettlau about Stirner, ‘He wanted the social revolution but, since he was sincerely anarchist, his so-called egoism represented the protection the defence, which he considered it was necessary to adopt against authoritarian socialism and any statism that the authoritarians might infuse into socialism’. Stirner viewed existing society as a coercive entity that compels its members to consider the well-being of the community as a whole at the expense of individual freedom.

Mutualism lies somewhere between collectivist and individualist anarchism since it endorses forms of collective ownership – a co-operative, equitable society of worker-owners in federations – but also private property. It is a social system based on the sovereignty of the individual over herself, his affairs and her products, and was espoused by such people as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Benjamin Tucker. Mutualism opposes capitalism and large-scale property ownership (because both lead to exploitation and inequality) but allows small-scale private property, though not factory owners and workers or landowners and rent-payers. Under mutualism, people would exchange goods and services equitably and fairly through mutually beneficial economic contracts; there would be ‘stabilization and cheapening of the means of exchange through the establishment of the Mutual Bank’. Interest would be abolished. People can develop their own mutual aid infrastructure to ensure that people’s basic needs are met, without interference from the State. Proudhon believed this would bring about the isolation of the State and eventually its liquidation. He says the State sustains inequalities and interferes with liberty, and that to be governed is to be ‘watched over, spied on, directed, legislated, regimented, closed in, indoctrinated’. There seems to have been different types of mutualists; Tucker was an advocate of mutualism but actually ended up accepting a need for police to break strikes, to give freedom to the employer, so I don’t recognise him as anarchist; a true anarchist society cannot include an employer and worker situation. Some mutualists see a need for the State to be disbanded straight away and I would agree with this. ‘The State is symbolic of power…and from power naturally flows privilege’, says Clarence Lee Swartz.

rudolfrocker3Anarcho-syndicalism was espoused by the French anarchist Georges Sorel, Emile Pouget and Rudolf Rocker (pictured) and was very operational during the Spanish Revolution 1936-39 through the CNT, though the origins can be traced back to the First International, also known as the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA), formed in 1864. This was a socialist organisation which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing political groups and trade unions that were based on the working class and class struggle. Anarcho-syndicalism was a development of the social aspirations most strongly held by the libertarian or anarchist wing of this. Anarcho-syndicalists encourage workers to organise independently of government, bosses and bureaucrats. Anarcho-syndicalist groups are more about hands-on solidarity and the achievement of better rights among workers (and tenants and other oppressed people) and (admirably) get involved in or help with people’s workplace issues, often within a workplace sector where networking is encouraged, sometimes encouraging industrial action. Ultimately they believe in the workers taking control of the workplaces and creating an anarchist society. From https://www.crowdfreedom.com/different-types-anarchism: ‘(Anarcho-syndicalism) proposes revolutionary change should come about through the organization of workers into horizontal confederations of unions, and the utilization of the general strike to seize control of the economy…overthrowing capitalism and the state through unionism, replacing corporate production with economic democracy internally in the unions…’.

Anarcho-primitivists reject “civilization” in favour of “wildness.” More specifically, they call for the abandonment or destruction of technology in favour of subsistence that is not based on technology. Some people have been doing it in small ways, by re-wilding, guerilla gardening etc., or in a slightly larger form in communities around the world. I like the idea of it; if we continue to plunder the earth’s resources the human race (and probably all other species) will disappear, so in that sense Anarcho-primitivism could be the most sensible type of anarchism, in theory. I think it could only ever exist in these communities, never in an entire country or the world, because people will never give up their technology which is, on the contrary, advancing all the time. But it is interesting that The Federal Bureau of Investigation apparently sees the potential of a radical environmental movement, since it has deemed eco-terrorism the number one domestic terrorist threat (https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/anonymous-what-is-anarcho-primitivism).

greenanarchy2

I don’t fully embrace any of these. Mutualism seems to give people the most freedom while recognising the need for a collective society and mutual cooperation but I’m not sure that the problems of the world, like over-use of natural resources and inequality, could be solved if we still have some form of capitalism however small-scale. So I would advocate a social system that protects the freedom of the individual but without the use of money and probably even without bartering as some may go without if they are not able to barter. So people would work because they want to. There would be no dictating from the community on how to live. Private property technically would not exist but nor would property be owned by the community.

All branches of anarchism are, if the ideology is followed properly, very different from socialism or communism, or at least any that has been practised in the world to date. It may be just that socialism has come to mean something different from what it was intended (state socialism and submission of the people to the State, rather than power in the hands of the people). Communist countries that exist today are state-controlled and tend to be pretty tyrannical. China and North Korea allow the people very little autonomy over their own lives and Frank Fernandez in Cuban Anarchism says, ‘After 40 years the Cuban revolution has ended in economic deprivation, desperation, sharp class divisions…and a criminal tyranny that suppresses all dissent’ (which sounds eerily familiar as regards what is happening worldwide today).

Hammer and sickleHe explains that this happened because, ‘instead of handing over the fields, factories and workshops directly to the workers after expropriating them from their owners…the Cuban government placed all of the great businesses, industries, banks, transportation networks, etc., under the control of the state’. In 1959, after the revolution, the Partido Comunista Cubano took control of all the unions, saying their domination would last only until new union elections but ‘the temporary became permanent’. The Castro regime instituted unpaid overtime to workers and caused huge damage to the environment which created food shortages. And Castro insurgents created military dictatorships in Latin America who were backed by the CIA! If Nicaragua and Bolivia have less tyrannous governments they are exceptions; occasionally a leader emerges who is not power-hungry but that is rare. As Colin Ward says in Anarchy in Action, ‘And when socialism has achieved power what has it created? Monopoly capitalism with a veneer of social welfare as a substitute for social justice.’ And about Marx he says ‘He wants what we want, the complete triumph of economic and social equality, but he wants it in the State and through the State power, through the dictatorship of a very strong and, so to say, despotic provisional government, that is by the negation of liberty’.

States are not going to be agents of transformation in a good way. There do seem to be different definitions of communism and socialism, or perhaps different kinds of socialism. In his ‘Declaration of Principles of the Social Democratic Alliance’, Bakunin established the differences between authoritarian socialism and libertarian socialism that the anarchists advocated. Marx believed in the withering away of the State, but I don’t see how the latter is going to want to give up its power voluntarily, even if the leaders have good intentions at the beginning; power corrupts, with few exceptions. The State only loses its power by the people taking it back, not by a ‘withering away’. There are also varying opinions on the difference between socialism and communism. Some say socialism allows private property, communism does not. While calling themselves socialists, Proudhon and Bakunin denounced ‘communism.’ Proudhon said communism is a ‘dictatorial, authoritarian, doctrinaire system [which] starts from the axiom that the individual is subordinate…to the collectivity; the citizen belongs to the State’. Bakunin wrote, ‘I detest communism because it is the negation of liberty…necessarily ends with the concentration of property in the hands of the state’ and ‘Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality’.

bakunin-art

I think it is because socialism has come to mean ‘nanny state’ and capitalism has come to be associated with freedom (to exploit) that liberty and libertarianism has come to be seen as ‘right-wing’. As I have said, anarchism is very far removed from the socialism or communism that is practised in some countries, but capitalism cannot ultimately go hand-in-hand with anarchism, as an unequal society inevitably leads to poverty and homelessness for some and the need for prisons, tyranny and violence, as well as to war and ecological destruction. But we do not have to choose between freedom and equality! We can have both, and in fact we can only have freedom if we have equality and can only have equality if we have freedom. There are some interesting comments in this article: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/donald-rooum-and-freedom-press-ed-what-is-anarchism-an-introduction#toc2: ‘Freedom and equality are sometimes represented as antagonists, but at the extremes they coincide…complete equality implies freedom, since those who suffer restrictions cannot be the equals of those who impose them’. How very true,; so why has Freedom Press now changed its mind, now seeing a need for government controls!? If anarchists can’t handle the truth that anarchism is not leftism (and nor is it on the right) then maybe they would prefer a society where everything is decided for them, the State ‘knows best’ and nothing can be done without its permission. black-starThe powerful have brilliantly managed to divide the anarchist movement, in the same way they always try to divide and rule, one part of it going along with the socialists and obedient brainwashed ones, believing all the crap the media, government and NHS put out, the other part believing in personal autonomy, protecting the livelihoods of the general population and also protecting health in a much better way. This is all engineered. We anarchist freedom lovers are having to fight against the State and international powers alongside people we don’t always agree with on some issues, partly because there are not enough of us to organise our own struggle after capitalist power has divided us, but also because this is so big – we can only end the tyranny by uniting with the general population against the 1% or 0.1% or whatever it is, and saying ‘No!’; if we don’t, we will never get our lives back. A word about political groups, organisations, printed and online publications etc.: There are things we read that we may agree with and other things we disagree with from the same organisation; that does not mean that everything they say should be dismissed. I disagree with some of the anarchist library website, just as I disagree with some ideas I hear from anti-lockdown groups and ‘The Light’ newspaper. Take what you like and disregard the rest. Or argue about the issues; different opinions and discussion is healthy, hate, division and violence is not.

Political parties are inherently authoritarian, even if at times they may have seemed fairly radical; at their most radical they are about state socialism. Colin Ward says, about the UK, ‘At its annual conference in 1918 the Labour Party finally committed itself to that interpretation of socialism which identified it with the unlimited increase of the State’s power and activity through its chosen form: the giant managerially-controlled public corporation.’ Other countries who supposedly have a liberal government, such as Portugal and Canada, have used draconian restrictions just like some that lean to the right. There is not really a lot of difference between state capitalism and state communism; usually it’s just a matter of slightly better wages for the workers in the latter. ‘As we saw in France in 1936, Chile in 1973 or Greece in 2014, parliamentary participation and nationalisation policies do not open up space for working class movements…‘democratic’ frameworks that will always be rigged against us…’ (‘Insurrection and Production’ pamphlet, Subversion Press).

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anarchist barricades

During the Spanish Revolution of 1936/37 and the experiments in collectivisation there, everyone in the militias drew the same pay and were equal with no hierarchy. George Orwell said in Homage to Catalonia, ‘there was a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom when human beings were trying to behave like human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine’. After the defeat of the fascist uprising in Catalunya, the CNT rank and file organised factory councils and neighbourhood assemblies, but the CNT delegates caused problems and were isolated from the movement, allying themselves to the authoritarian socialist and republican parties. This impeded the anarchist revolution. Says Peter Gelderloos, ‘One of the chief reasons the CNT leadership gave for collaborating with the authoritarian parties was that abolishing the government in Catalunya would be tantamount to imposing an anarchist dictatorship. But their assumption that getting rid of the government…meant replacing it with the CNT showed their own blinding self-importance’. They failed to grasp that the working class was developing new organisational forms, such as factory councils, that might flourish best by transcending pre-existing institutions – whether the CNT or the government – rather than being absorbed by them’.

In the 1850s and 60s there was a community on Long Island near New York called ‘Trialville’ or ‘Modern Times’. Here people lived in their own way, exchanging goods locally among themselves with labour notes, without any official authority. Instead of being divided, they were much more united than other communities, showing that liberty unites and coercion divides. The Community was based on and formed by followers of Stephen Pearl Andrews’ book ‘The Science of Society’. Also after the Civil War, monopolies grew more powerful and the community dispersed. But the ideas were taken up by others, including Tucker, who fought against statism and its interference of collectives.

In Hungary in 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression, there was no authority for weeks when the government collapsed and workers’ councils took control from the ruling Hungarian Working People’s Party (which of course was not the ‘people’s party’ at all, like all political parties). Anarchist self-discipline prevailed; the people (including criminals) stole nothing and did not get drunk!

cape townThe Symphony Way squatted settlement in Cape Town in 2008/2009 organised their community without the government, having mass assemblies but also a lot of individual initiatives. They were evicted from Symphony Way in 2009 but they have continued to organise in Blikkiesdorp, under the banner of Symphony Way and have continued their struggle for land and housing. In the neighbouring government camps crime is rampant, but the Symphony Way people have night-watchmen to deal with anti-social behaviour and people feel much safer there than in the government camps and do not want to move to them even though they would get free food and water there.

The people on the island of Rotuma, north of Fiji, were traditionally stateless people. Today they exist under an imposed government but they avoid contact with it and dependence on it. They are brought up to be non-violent and villages are autonomous. The Rotuman murder rate is 2 per 100,000 people per year, three times lower than in the US. The Rotuman view of crime is of something causing harm or hurting social bonds rather than the violation of a code or statute, showing that without laws people will act according to what they think is right.

How are issues resolved in autonomous societies if not by a government making decisions and enforcing them? The people of Oaxaca in Mexico organise themselves by having street assemblies in which they vote after a period of discussion. Other communities have used different forms of consensus decision-making where they don’t stop the debate until everyone agrees; this can be preferable, if time-consuming, as the alternative (voting) means the minority loses. The Nubian farmers in Egypt operate by cooperation and mutual responsibility. Disputes are resolved in a family council, with a goal of reaching consensus. They consider it immoral to bring in the government to solve them! The Mbuti in Central Africa have lived without government, according to some since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. They resolve problems by having long discussions. They sometimes break up into smaller groups, then come back together in another season which requires the cooperation of the larger group. Global economic companies and mining for cellphones is destroying their region and way of life now. The Native American Hopi, a sovereign nation within the United States, use shame and levelling mechanisms to deal with people who are domineering. They overcome conflict through rituals. For them, artistic conflict resolution encourages new ways of looking at problems and avoids facilitators gaining power. In Bolivia there is an informal city called El Alto. People came here in the 1950s, when the mines and farms were shut down, and formed Juntas and then in 1979 the Federation of Neighbourhood Councils; these have pooled resources to build housing, parks, schools, clinics, housing and cooperatives and install utilities, garbage collection etc. to fill the hole that the state and private sector have left. Each junta contains about 200 people who meet every month and make decisions through public discussion and consensus decision-making. Political party leaders, merchants, real estate speculators and those who collaborated with the dictatorship are not allowed to be committee delegates. While supporting Evo Morales’ reversals of neoliberal policy, they are critical of the Movement Towards Socialism knowing they face the danger of being incorporated into the state.

black flag

These examples of self-organisation by people show that we don’t need governments or police, that we can govern and police ourselves when given the opportunity. Says Colin Ward, ‘The principal of authority is so built in to every aspect of our society that it is only in revolutions, emergencies and ‘happenings’ that the principle of spontaneous order emerges’. In an anarchist society there would probably be agreement on basic right and wrong but not laws as such. Some would say that if we had anarchism people would do what they want regardless of the harm to others; that theft, violence, murder etc. would be rife. But in an anarchist society there would be far less of those problems and when they did happen the people would make it difficult for anti-social behaviour to happen, protecting individuals, banishing perpetrators. The State, governments, socialists, and even many so-called anarchists perhaps, believe that the general population and working class are incapable of dealing with problems and making sensible decisions if left to their own devices and need to be controlled. If you don’t believe that people can make decisions for themselves without being controlled, how on earth can you believe an anarchist society is possible? I believe that the general population are wiser than these holier-than-thous think they are. Max Nettlau mentions something interesting (and disturbingly similar to what is happening now): ‘Malatesta must have suffered greatly from 1879 to 1882, as he saw Andrea Costa and many other old comrades abandoning the ideas they had fought for…’.

Errico Malatesta
Errico Malatesta

In the UK and elsewhere people are not encouraged to think for themselves. From school to college to job we are taught what the system wants us to think, to keep us under control and their dictatorship (under the guise of democracy) going. And this has got worse recently as schools are taking on more (formerly) parental jobs and showing ‘news’ programmes to the children. Except in certain subjects or professions, we are not encouraged to form our own opinions or look for solutions. If the State believes we may need to make decisions sometimes, that is only on the basis of ‘information’ that we are given. We are taught to subordinate ourselves to authority and to believe that it knows best. But actually science is always evolving; there are many different theories on each scientific subject and those are constantly changing through time. Yet throughout history, and very much continuing today, those who espouse an unusual or new scientific theory have been vilified, ridiculed, censored and persecuted, though very often those theories have ended up becoming accepted. It is the same with political views, philosophies around health and medicine and other subjects.

* * *

But we need governments to protect us from environmental destruction! Really?! States, including communist states, cause the exploitation of nature and environmental destruction because they are always in league with big business; China has huge companies competing on a global scale. Multinationals encourage the people to destroy their environment with adverts for cars, new ‘goods’, unnecessary goods; more profits are made by manufacturing items that will not last and companies make sure replacing is cheaper than repairing. I believe capitalism is worried about surviving because of people’s concerns about climate change, so they are claiming that they will solve the environmental crisis and are taking control of the environmental movement as much as they can. But the only thing they will ever to do is encourage solar panels and the like, which themselves use a lot of resources. Big corporations do not benefit from people re-using, buying less and sharing. Capitalism will never save our environment.

cageThe cause of animal liberation has often been linked with the anarchist movement. Many animal rights advocates have recognised that if someone is prepared to exploit and imprison animals they are also prepared to exploit people and take away their freedom. There is an interesting comment, again strangely in the aforementioned Freedom Press article: ‘Recently there has developed an animal welfare movement which goes beyond animal welfare to animal liberation, and with it a school of anarchist thought which sees human liberation as a special case of animal liberation’. Anyone, even those who do not call themselves anarchists, who is involved in or concerned about animal liberation ought to also believe in human liberation (are we not animals too?). What happened to ‘Human freedom, animal rights – one struggle, one fight’? In fact we went further than that and changed ‘animal rights’ to ‘animal liberation’.

People in most countries in the world were allowed to be freer, in their speech and their actions, through the centuries and up until the 20th Century. This is increasingly no longer the case. Recently governments the world over have massively increased their control over the people; the only way governments (or rather a worldwide elite) have been able to do this is by telling us there is a dangerous pandemic, that it’s for our safety. Incidentally, the same thing was said to people in Germany before WW2 to encourage them to join the Nazis. As I said earlier, there is not a conflict between the welfare of the individual and that of the community, which is made up of individuals! Lockdowns, distancing etc. have been detrimental to all kinds of people, but lockdowns have a disproportionately bad effect on minorities; elderly and disabled unable to see family and friends, disabled people’s lives being made even more difficult, poorer business owners badly affected, cities (where a lot of poorer people live, many with no gardens) have had more lockdowns. Yet some who call themselves anarchists think that all the social distancing is a good thing and therefore are quite happy with the government imposing it and follow their guidance on everything, implying the government (Tory in UK but Starmer’s Labour would be no different) knows best!! I have heard people saying they are actually following NHS guidelines, but the NHS is part of the government.

charset=Ascii binary comment

On the other hand, big pharma is making huge amounts out of vaccines and out of ill-health, and the tech industry is also benefiting from lockdowns enormously; so is Amazon, Facebook etc. Lockdowns have not actually been done to benefit people’s health but for a much more sinister reason involving increasing the power of the States, the World Economic Forum etc. It is very obvious that governments are trying to destroy small businesses and benefit multinational corporations. It is also obvious that lockdowns do not work, as we still apparently have a pandemic despite them. There do seem to be some countries which are freer; Sweden, Iceland, Hungary and Latvia have had some kind of voluntary lockdown, which at least is not as bad. In Japan lockdown is illegal so they have not had a compulsory one. And there have been no more deaths per million of the population in those countries, though far less misery, destruction and death from measures imposed. Taiwan has had no compulsory lockdown but only seven deaths in total from Covid, Nicaragua has had no lockdown at all but only 167 deaths, and the Amish people in America were asked by a journalist why there has been no Covid among their people; their reply was that it’s because they don’t watch television!

An anarchist ideology should also include free movement of people. Division of the world into states often hampers this. Perhaps international travel should be stopped for three weeks during a real pandemic. But generally we all need to be free to move; that is our right, not the right of governments to restrict. Refugees and immigrants need to be free to leave countries where they are in danger or cannot live well. People in the west need to be able to leave their country, their town, their house, especially when they are living in a tyranny. I don’t see many anarchists pushing for this at the moment. Generally, anarchists have not in the past dwelt on the issue of freedom because we have, in the west, been relatively free! It was only really mentioned when campaigning against prisons, animal exploitation, civil rights. Anarchists have, however, talked a lot about free movement of people, refugees, immigration. The issue of not being allowed to go where we want (to another country, another town and sometimes even to leave our house) really ought to be a big issue for the anarchist movement. People returning to the UK from another country (often for the purpose of seeing relatives) are having to pay to isolate in a hotel with a band put on their wrist which tracks their every move. Health passports are being talked about by governments. Why is the anarchist movement not fighting against this? Brainwashed?

The curbs on free speech is also increasing at an alarming rate. Much of it is about banning what are simply alternative viewpoints on issues like natural remedies and vaccination. If a viewpoint is expressed which is hateful, censoring it (on social media for example) is not the way to get rid of it; rather, counteract it with a contrary or alternative comment. Banning the expression of views only creates a backlash and increases the prevalence of those views, just like wars do not stop terrorism but increase it.

* * *

ascona2I don’t see evidence of a pandemic at the moment except for what the governments and media tell us, which is not evidence, and that some hospitals are stretched (due to staff shortages because non-English nurses have left and half the remaining nurses are isolating). Covid-19 was actually downgraded by the WHO as a pandemic back in March last year! So the reasons for lockdown must be for something else entirely (state control, surveillance, increase the wealth and power of big business etc.; in fact a ‘Great Reset’). But there do seem to be some viruses going around which are hitting the older and more vulnerable people. So how should a true anarchist advocate dealing with a pandemic if there was one, or with viruses which are always around, without loss of freedom, jobs, happiness and sanity? It would do that by encouraging healthy lifestyles with good diet, natural remedies and preventions, vitamins, more exercise and sport (instead of banning sport!) and sunshine. Some may choose not to go to very crowded indoor places unless their immune system is very good; perhaps clubs would close in January. We would shop for those people who are vulnerable or elderly, help them to go out for exercise and recreation. One important point: anarchism does not entail policing each other! I wonder if some anarchists think that snitching on your neighbours, telling people not to hug each other and putting other restraints is an anarchist way! Anarchism is about policing oneself. It includes no local government, no group of people telling others what they can and can’t do, where they can and can’t go, who they can and can’t see. Why have the rights to earn a living, have an education, socialise and have intimate relationships become unimportant because of a flu-like illness?! And perhaps if we weren’t being fed fear and propaganda and virus-obsession by the media and government, more people might realise that the virus is not really so virulent and does not need mass vaccination (the vulnerable often the ones most susceptible to damage from vaccine!). The vaccination issue is too big to go into here but the dangers of it can quite easily be found on the British Medical Journal and government’s own websites, not to mention the surveillance reasons for it.

To sum up, anarchism is absolutely necessary, because it is the only way to get a free and equal society and save the planet, and absolutely possible; people only need to realise that. And freedom is essential to anarchism. Let’s be careful that we don’t ask for anarchism but get state socialism.

* * *

When we look at the powerlessness…and ask ourselves why they are powerless, we have to answer not merely that they are weak because of the vast central agglomerations of power, but that they are weak because they have surrendered their power to the state.’ (Colin Ward, Anarchy in Action)

The functions of the State, then, were to overcome and subdue persons, secure and maintain dominion over territory, preserve itself against revolt from within and aggression from without, and, in short, to insure its existence. To do this effectively…it has had to crush, not merely the invading enemy, but likewise its own subjects, through punishment for treason, when they too strenuously differ from its policies…’ (https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/clarence-lee-swartz-in-collaboration-with-the-mutualist-associates-what-is-mutualism)

Marxists and others who set up a strong government in the hope of eliminating government, do not just fail to attain their objective, but end up with more of what they were hoping to eliminate. Anarchists at least give themselves a chance of ending up with a society freer than it would otherwise have been’. ‘Reformists measure progress by how near they are to attaining power. Anarchists measure progress by the extent to which prohibitions and inequalities are reduced, and individual opportunities increased.’ (https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/donald-rooum-and-freedom-press-ed-what-is-anarchism-an-introduction)

So in two weeks’ time we’re allowed to meet one other person we don’t live with in an outdoor area! Wow, thanks Boris! How generous to give us such freedom!

SEE ALSO:

What is real anarchism?
Anarchist against freedom
Anarchists and the Coronavirus

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The Acorn – 63

Number 63


In this issue:

  1. Breaking point draws near
  2. Guided by the light of life
  3. Nevermore on the anarchist response to Covid-19
  4. Safe & Sanitized: interview with artist Jordan Henderson
  5. Wanted: a new resistance movement
  6. Georges Bernanos: an orgrad inspiration
  7. Acorninfo

1. Breaking point draws near

Netherland riots

A year after the start of the Covid crisis, the fault lines of major social conflict are becoming apparent.

On the one side, authorities are ramping up the repression as they seek to push us all permanently into their New Normal of techno-fascist global slavery.

On the other side, as the Great Reset agenda becomes more widely noticed and understood, resistance is growing, albeit largely under the radar of corporate media subservient to the dictatorship.

“Europe is in revolt against lockdown. Protests, riots and civil unrest have broken out across the continent. People are starting to reach breaking point,” says this February 2021 report by Paddy Hannam of Spiked Online.

Dutch people reacted angrily and courageously against a police-state curfew imposed on their country for the first time since it was occupied by the (original) Nazis.

Netherland riots2

Youths torched a COVID-19 testing center and threw fireworks at police in the fishing village of Urk, reports DW.

“Police in the capital of Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse an outlawed anti-lockdown demonstration on a major square ringed by museums,” adds AP.

John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven, where major riots broke out, warned: “We’re on our way to civil war”.

The Dutch love of vrijheid (freedom) was considered worrying by US pro-system propagandist Frida Ghitis, who described how “political extremists, hoping to shake up and undermine the system, blended into the crowd, turning the protests into an explosion of violence”.

Denmark protest2In Copenhagen, Denmark, “crowds of black-clad protesters have taken to the streets, launching fireworks, torching an effigy of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and clashing with cops”.

There have also been big protests in Denmark’s second biggest city, Aarhus.

In Brussels, Belgium, hundreds of people defied a police-state ban on protesting, with nearly 500 arrests.

Brussels protest

Meanwhile, some 10,000 people marched through the centre of the Austrian capital, Vienna, to protest against “Covid” restrictions and to demand the resignation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

There were reports of police removing their helmets in apparent solidarity with the crowds.

In France, resistance has been focusing on opposing the Macronist regime’s fascistic Global Security legislation, a cause which has mobilised part of the traditional left as well as Covid dissidents.

The brutal way in which protests have been attacked by riot cops has caused widespread outrage and fuelled concerns over the direction in which the country is being taken.

sécurité globale manif

On Saturday February 13 protests continued all across the country (Brest, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Chapelle-en-Vercors…)

There is a call for angry citizens from across France to descend on Versailles, symbol of the pre-revolutionary ruling elite, on Saturday February 27 to demand the restoration of freedom for the people and the end of the Macronist regime.

And in London, UK, the first anniversary of lockdown, on March 20, is set to be greeted with a huge protest in the capital, with a target of 50,000 people in London at a location yet to be announced.

Unite for freedom 20.3.21

All the time, all across the world, people are standing up to the global tyranny, often on a very local level.

For instance, on Monday February 15 “anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police” at Eaton Mall in the Oakleigh area of Melbourne, Australia.

Oakleigh Austr protest

On the same day, a group of protesters “representing a range of different ethnicities” gathered outside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s offices in Auckland to protest against the latest lockdown measures.

In Jerusalem, “ultra-Orthodox” Jews have been at the forefront of lockdown resistance.

Reports The Times of Israel: “Some demonstrators blocked traffic, burned trash bins, damaged vehicles and heaved stones and other objects at officers.

“Police used water cannons to disperse the protest and arrested at least one person on suspicion of disturbing public order”.

Protesters have labelled Israeli police “Nazis” and “kapos” – Jews who collaborated with fascism during World War II.

Israel lockdown protest

In Lebanon, people took to the streets of Tripoli, Beirut, and Sidon for several nights to protest against the two-week extension of curfews and lockdown.

In Vancouver, Canada, protesters rallied to demand an end to PCR testing.

In the USA there have been anti-vaccination protests in Los Angeles and elsewhere, with system propaganda warning of a “dangerous new anti-vaccination movement growing in California”.

When the system’s mouthpieces warn of bad omens and dangers, we know that there is still hope that we can win this great battle for our freedom.

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2. Guided by the light of life

woodcut sun

by Paul Cudenec

The last year has been an extremely disorientating one for those who have always used a traditional political compass to navigate their way through the contemporary world.

All the readings that previously served to guide their thoughts, affiliations and reactions have been madly scrambled.

What used to be left now looks more like right, human rights have been rebranded as bio-hazards, telling the truth is now regarded as spreading dangerous misinformation and what was once the dividing line between state and corporate power now looks like just another link in the 21st century chain of total control.

Our political compasses don’t work any more because we are no longer living in the old manufactured political reality, in the liberal spectacle of “democracy” and “human rights” and “rule by consent”.

The illusion has been abandoned and now there is nothing above us but raw force and nothing below us but fear, obedience and servile conformity.

boot stamping 2

It is hard to find words that do justice to the empty, odious and inhuman future that the global elite are trying to impose on us.

They want to stop us from breathing, from living, from loving, from talking, from singing, from laughing, from dancing, from dreaming and from thinking or acting for ourselves.

They are prepared to use every weapon they have, from toxic brainwashing propaganda to brutal physical force, to destroy humanity as we have known it, to crush the last vestiges of organic community that have survived their previous onslaughts, to break all real connection and communication between us and reduce us to total dependency on their matrix of techno-fascist control.

The struggle ahead of us is no longer about fine-tuning the kind of society we want to live in, about discussing exactly where our priorities lie or the way we want to organise things.

Our fight is for the survival of free human beings and the natural world which gave birth to us.

In order to find our bearings in this struggle we have to throw away our now-useless political compass, and the outdated ideological maps that go with it, and take our position on the fundamental basis of right against wrong, good against evil, light against darkness.

Here too, confusion abounds, since, with their usual low trick of inverting truth, the corporate pharaohs have been busy disguising the means of our enslavement as tools for our liberation and their own goals as being for the “sustainable” and “inclusive” benefit of all.

We are not going to be able to tell good from bad if we listen to their version of reality, a version which is being zealously spread by the robot armies of sycophants and mercenaries they have assembled to advance their plan.

guruInstead, we have to listen to what Indian tradition calls the jagad-guru, the universal guiding wisdom to be found inside each one of us, deep within our hearts.

One of the great tragic traps in the Christian religion is the suggestion that the divine light only shines through one figure, Jesus Christ, and that to achieve redemption the rest of us miserable sinners have merely to obey the commands of those who claim to represent him in our world.

In fact, every single one of us is a small and transcient manifestation of the whole universe and we can all allow the light of truth and liberation to shine through us, if we can only rid ourselves of all the petty fears, vanities and jealousies that block its way.

This is what we all have to do now, at this time of unprecedented danger. We must open ourselves up to the light and trust it to guide our thoughts, words and actions in this holy human war against the enemies of life.

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3. Nevermore on the anarchist response to Covid-19

nevermore cover

Extracted from an article in the first issue of a new review from Canada, Nevermore.

The Covid19 crisis has presented a challenge to anarchists and others who believe in a fully autonomous and liberated life.

We write this today because we feel too many people who in better times carry these political and philosophical banners are setting aside their core beliefs – or worse – by twisting and contorting those beliefs in wholly disappointing ways, conforming to the mandates of technocrats and politicians, and are convincing themselves that doing so is some grand act of solidarity with the most vulnerable people in our societies.

We say loudly that if the political tenets you promote and encourage in the best of times whither and shrink in times of crisis, then your political tenets are worthless.

Any system of organization or any belief about human autonomy that needs to be set aside when history lays a challenge at our feet, is not worth keeping around when the emergency subsides.

For truly, it is times of difficulty and challenge that place our ideas on the scale of utility to tell us whether or not they are as robust as we may believe.

As anarchists, autonomy over one’s own mind and body are essential to our values. We believe that human beings are intelligent enough to decide for themselves how to assess their surroundings and to make determinations on how to go forth living in a way that meets their needs and desires.

Of course, we recognize that this autonomy comes packaged with genuine responsibility not only to one’s self, but to those with whom they are in community – including the non-human world.

anarchistflagWe certainly recognize that individuals may be asked for their cooperation in achieving a collective goal. But we also recognize the fundamental importance of consent in such situations, and that force and punishment are antithetical to an anarchist worldview.

That is why we write today. To reach out to our friends, our comrades, our intellectual and philosophical allies to ask that if you haven’t yet, that you begin to seriously critique and question the state responses to the Covid19 pandemic that we are witnessing around the world.

We have watched over the preceding year, meekly, quietly, as other anarchists have toed the lines drawn by state bureaucrats. We have remained silent when witnessing anarchists act with hostility towards those who have pushed back against state mandated curfews and lockdown orders, only because those doing the most pushing are affiliated with right wing politics, unfortunately ceding this ground to the right wing, instead of forging their own critiques of state policy and thus providing an intellectual home for those who have in isolation grown antagonistic towards those in power who are trifling with our lives.

The impetus for this behaviour amongst anarchists seems to be rooted in their desire to do well by those in need, and as this particular crisis is being caused by a virus, that seems to unfold as an enthusiastic willingness to accept state mandates and to shame those who would violate them.

It is admirable to want to do well by the elderly and infirm, but that instinct is where the conversation should begin, not where we should resolve to set aside our fundamental principles and to justify this by taking technocrats and politicians at their words, using the pronouncements of sanctioned experts as a gospel by which to claim our lack of resistance to mandate is because the mandate makes such good sense.

Politicians lie. They select the analysis and the technicians who promote their agendas.

Corporate executives line up to support them, knowing that the public purse is open to them when they do so. And the media, always wanting to be in the good graces of those with political and fnancial power, manufacture consent in twenty-four hour news cycles. We know this.

We have libraries full of books that we have read and recommended explaining in detail the workings of this reality. Therefore, to be critical of politicians who declare that their emergency violations of basic freedoms are warranted by crisis is always a necessity.

To be critical of pharmaceutical executives who tell the public that only they hold the keys to a future of freedom and safety, and of the media who act as propaganda machines in service of official narratives, is always a necessity.

Anarchists seem to know all of this instinctively when the war politicians want us to wage is a war fought with literal weapons, when the victims are more obvious, when the propaganda is more nationalist, xenophobic, and racist.

nevermore2But with the Covid19 crisis, the war being waged by those in power is ostensibly a war to save lives, and this shift in presentation seems to have effectively hacked the hearts and minds of so many anarchists who at the bottom of everything, carry a deep and genuine care for others.

But we must pull back and think critically about our situation. It is forgivable when in the throes of a quickly unfolding emergency, while lacking the information necessary to make confident decisions, to want to go along with the experts that are put before podiums when they ask that we all pull together for the greater good.

That is no longer the situation. Much time has passed since SARS-COV-2 was a mysterious new respiratory virus. Data has been pouring forth from researchers around the world, and there is now no excuse for fear-based decision making, for accepting as gospel the perceptions and prescriptions stamped by the state and distributed by their lackeys in the media.

We believe that this crisis is like all the crises that came before it, in that it is a period of time in which those with power and wealth see an opportunity to extend their claws and to steal more of both.

It is a moment of collective fear and uncertainty they can exploit to seize more control and to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses of humanity.

nevermore

The only thing that seems to separate the Covid19 crisis from those that came before it, is just how willing so much of the public (sadly including many anarchists) is to willingly and enthusiastically support the loss of their own autonomy.

As anarchists, there are principles we return to as guiding stars in the dark night of the unknown, and these include freedom, autonomy, consent, and a deep belief in the ability of people to self-organize for their maximum benefit as individuals and as communities.

No one knows one’s needs better than they do themselves, and truly, most people have self-preservation instincts that cause them to select behaviours that lead to their own safety and survival, as well as that of those they care for.

At the outset of the pandemic, when information was scant, we very much witnessed people making choices to distance themselves from crowds and gatherings they did not believe were essential, while they also began efforts to support and care for those who might be more vulnerable to a circulating respiratory illness that did not have well-established treatment courses within the medical field.

While we welcome information and data, even that which is unpleasant, that describes the continually unfolding circumstances, we also believe that people need to be trusted to analyze that information.

The current paradigm has the state and their selected technocratic experts filtering the available data and only highlighting that which supports the policy decisions they already decided to implement without any public input.

greenanarchy2Information and analysis that can be considered “good news” has been largely ignored by the state and their technocrats, while also being blacked out by the media.

“Experts” can always be found to justify horrors.

Indeed, we would likely be hard pressed to find a case in recent history in which massive crimes against humanity did not come packaged with a stamp of approval from some consortium of experts whom everyone else was asked to blindly trust.

The Covid19 pandemic is no different, and as anarchists we just ask that you remember that debate, critique, and dissent are all essential components of societies that value liberation and autonomy.

We ask that whatever you decide about the efficacy of lockdown measures, that you recognize no situation, no matter how dire it may seem, warrants edicts from on high that use the threat of force and violence to accomplish their aims.

Our steadfast commitment to human autonomy, and to our belief that no authority is valid without the consent of those it is exercised over, is what makes anarchism a thing apart from other political philosophies.

We will not abandon this commitment, and hope that you will not either.

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4. Safe & Sanitized: interview with artist Jordan Henderson

charset=Ascii binary comment

Fine artist Jordan Henderson has just released his third painting exposing the COVID-19(84) deception. The following is a interview with Jordan conducted by John C. A. Manley regarding the new work, Safe & Sanitized.

JOHN: Why do you associate a face mask (which is promoted as a life saving miracle) with a skull (a long dead head)?

JORDAN: The association of the face mask with the skull illustrates what COVID-19 restrictions really are: a cause of death, suffering and loss of freedoms. The people most likely to die of “COVID-19” are those who believe the official narrative. For example; they lock themselves away, live in fear, get a test, test positive, agree to a ventilator and are then killed by the ventilator.

JOHN: The mask appears not to merely be a face covering, but a gag. Can you speak more about this?

JORDAN: The mask acts as a gag, because forced covering of the human face is a direct assault upon freedom of expression. It is nothing less than suppression of dissent, “Oh, you see through the lie, well you must act as though you believe in it. Under threat of fines and imprisonment, we order you to act like you believe the official lies, and we order you to force anyone entering your business to do the same”.

JOHN: Now, masks are common enough these days; what about the handcuffs?

JORDAN: The handcuffs represent the lockdowns and restrictions on movement and travel. Blood is suggested through streaks of red paint underneath the handcuffs as a reminder of the very real deaths brought about by COVID-19 mandates. The blood is kept in the shadows, almost ignored; the same way the destruction caused by government mandates is ignored by the establishment media and figureheads.

JOHN: There’s nothing more sanitary than a bleached skull. Can you speak about the brilliant title you chose?

JORDAN: The title Safe & Sanitized is intended as dark humour, for the purpose of illustrating the hypocrisy of the Medical Police State. Death, destruction, censorship, imprisonment, persecution, and the ensuing loss of health and freedom for the general population are carried out under the guise of “safety” and “sanitation”.

SafeSanitizedJordanHatworkJOHN: You said you felt driven to paint this horrific image. What message are you trying to convey?

JORDAN: My drive in creating this image was the desire to visually encapsulate the end goal of all COVID-19 policies — the subjugation of the general populace. The subjugation of a human or group of humans by another human or group of humans is the common denominator to those things universally regarded as evil; murder, torture, rape, genocide, and slavery, all involve one human or group of humans being forced under the authority of another human or group of humans.

JOHN: Despite the horror of it, there is a definite and striking beauty to the painting.

JORDAN: While the subject matter is dark, the painting itself is meant to be aesthetically pleasing; hands, skulls, and blood, all have a beauty of their own. The beauty of these three elements (hands, the skull, and blood) hopefully remind the viewer of how marvelous human beings are, thereby increasing the viewer’s empathy for any human being forced under the authority of another.

JOHN: Thank you very much for taking the time to both paint it and answer my questions. Where can readers go to purchase the original or prints?

JORDAN: The original is for sale at JordanHendersonFineArt.com. And prints, as well as stationary cards, T-shirts and other memorabilia, are available at jordan-henderson.pixels.com.

John C. A. Manley has spent over a decade ghostwriting for medical doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors. Since March 2020, he has been writing articles that question and expose the contradictions in the COVID-19 narrative and control measures. He is also completing a novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. You can visit his website at MuchAdoAboutCorona.ca.

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5. Wanted: a new resistance movement

Edge Fund poster

Earlier this month we published a new investigation presenting shocking evidence that UK “leftists” and “anarchists” are being secretly funded by the world of impact capitalism.

The implications are historic and merit being widely digested. Since the article is long and detailed, here is a summary of its contents and conclusions.

* In 2013 many UK anarchists received an email from Sophie Pritchard of Edge Fund looking for “groups that need funding for their work to bring about justice and equality”.

* Edge Fund has gone on to fund various antifascists and anarchists, plus Black Lives Matter and Rising Up (the network behind Extinction Rebellion) and many “intersectional” groups.

* Edge Fund is closely linked to EDGE Funders Alliance (Engaged Donors for Global Equity) in the USA, whose sponsors include the Rockefeller Foundation.

* Rose Longhurst of Edge Fund and EDGE Funders Alliance is part of George Soros’ Open Society Initiative for Europe and of the Atlantic Fellows scheme founded by Chuck Feeney, described by billionaire Warren Buffett as “my hero and Bill Gates’ hero”.

Bill and Melinda Gates2* Edge Fund’s Longhurst is also part of Bond, “the UK network for international development and humanitarian organisations”, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

* Edge Fund chair Isis Amlak is a trustee of Olmec, a “social enterprise” which supports BLM but which is in fact clearly belongs to the world of impact capitalism.

* Edge Fund co-founder and coordinator Sophie Pritchard is closely linked to Alliance Magazine, which is partnered with a range of impact businesses and New Philanthropy Capital (NPC).

lankelly chase Thinking Big* Edge Fund activities have been funded by Lankelly Chase, which was involved in the world’s 1st social impact bond alongside J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, K L Felicitas Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Ronald Cohen.

* Katie Boswell of NPC, a fan of Edge Fund who like them writes for Alliance Magazine, is a member of Klaus Schwab’s Global Shapers.

Edge Fund is clearly an integral part of an impact capitalism scam, “wokewashing” hypocrisy of the first order, in which profiteers pretend to be acting in the interests of the very people they are exploiting.

A “radical” movement so thoroughly riddled with corporate corruption has obviously come to the end of its useful life and is completely discredited.

We need to start again with a radicalism that challenges the system to the core, a resistance to the global wealthy elite that is deeply and fundamentally opposed to everything they are promoting in their bid to further enslave and exploit us.

revolutionaries2Our resistance needs to be based on solidarity and unity in the face of oppression, rather than on divisive classification and fetishisation of people along lines of race or gender.

It has to be rooted in a love of freedom, independence and self-expression rather than grafted on to a fearful cowed obedience to authority and its propaganda.

We need to say clearly that the values we cherish have nothing to do with the low money-lust of the corporate crooks and their sweaty dreams of endless profit and power.

Turning our backs for ever on their corrupt transhumanist death-cult politics of artifice, hypocrisy and deceit, we need to stand tall and loudly proclaim our belief in nature, in humanity, in truth, in beauty, in justice, in the life energy itself.

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6. Georges Bernanos: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

georges-bernanos2

The Civilization of the Machines is the civilization of quantity opposed to that of quality”

Georges Bernanos (1888-1948) was a French novelist and commentator who strongly criticised the industrial capitalist machine.

After a youthful flirtation with the far-right Action Française, he went on to condemn fascism as “disgustingly monstrous” and was a prominent supporter, from exile in Brazil, of the Free French Forces resisting the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

From a radical organic perspective, he is significant for his outspoken opposition to the industrial capitalist world and its crushing of the human spirit.

In a 1944 interview Bernanos said: “This world, described stupidly as modern as it were sufficiently justified by the very fact of existing today, has enormous means at its disposal, and notably a propaganda system whose power, efficiency and all-embracing scope simply cannot be compared with anything man has previously known or even imagined.” (1)

la france contre les robotsThree years later he penned the essay ‘France Against the Robots’ (‘La France contre les Robots’), in which he declared war on those he described as “the imbeciles”. He condemned the machine-civilisation and its technology, declaring: “The Civilization of the Machines is the civilization of quantity opposed to that of quality”. (2)

Bernanos warned that the headlong plunge into productivism, consumerism and money-making was threatening humanity and its spiritual well-being.

He wrote: “We can understand nothing about modern civilisation if we don’t first accept that it is a universal conspiracy against all kinds of interior life”. (3)

Jacques Allaire nicely summed up Bernanos’ analysis of the industrial-commercial malaise: “Having has replaced being. In our modern societies, blinded by the speed with which they can produce, the sense of having has become the one and only sense. Having is even the essence of being”. (4)

Inevitably, Bernanos’ critique of industrial capitalism led to him being accused of being backward-looking or reactionary. But this was far from the truth and he always insisted that it was not a question of going into reverse gear but of changing the direction in which are moving forward.

He wrote: “The rule of Money is the rule of the Old. In a world which has succumbed to the dictatorship of Profit, anyone who dares to put honour before money is automatically reduced to powerlessness. It is the spirit of youth which is rejected. The youth of the world has a choice to make between two extreme solutions: surrender or revolution”. (5)

Audio link: Une vie, une œuvre : Georges Bernanos (59 mins)

georges bernanos art

1. Georges Bernanos, interview with Diaro de Belo Horizonte, June 1944.
2. Georges Bernanos, ‘La France contre les robots’, cit. Aux origines de la décroissance – Cinquante penseurs, coordonné par Cédric Biagini, David Murray, Pierre Thiesset (Paris: L’Échappée, 2017), p. 28.
3. Bernanos, ‘La France contre les robots’, cit. Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 31.
4. Jacques Allaire, Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 30.
5. Bernanos, La France contre les robots, cit. Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 31.

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7. Acorninfo

“The future of humanity is literally in our hands… We will not be silenced and we will not allow our children to become the slaves of a pharmaceutical technocratic dictatorship!” Powerful and intelligent video from Henna Maria.

Henna Maria

* * *

“We really are in the middle of a power grab by billionaires! Creating confusion and making people comply with nonsense is a proven and long-tested technique of breaking a nation’s spirit”. ‘Pandemic, Meet Panopticon. Panopticon, Meet Pandemic‘ is the latest article from Tessa Lena.

Tessa Lena

* * *

In a fascinating interview with independent journalist Eva Bartlett, Professor Mila Aleckovic-Bataille, a Serbian professor of psychopathology and psychology, with a doctorate from Sorbonne University in Paris, talks about ‘Black Psychiatry and Covid19 Measures’.

Prof Mila

* * *

“The Great Reset is packaged as a ‘great solution’. Just like how the ruling class has marketed ‘green capitalism’, it’s designed to prop up capitalism but also to transform capitalism to control of social relations while keeping the capitalist hierarchy intact”. So writes Hiroyuki Hamada in his latest piece, ‘Mechanism of Invisible Empire‘.

Hamada illus

* * *

“We have a limited window of time to reclaim the things that make life worth living: family, community, cultural heritage, the social sphere, public institutions, common spaces, and free movement. That window may be closing quickly, but it is not fully closed yet”. ‘The Great Covid Class War’ by Alex Gutentag can be found on The Bellows website.

The Bellows art

* * *

Irish medical consultant Prof Seamus O’Mahoney has spoken out against the corruption of his profession in a new book. He says: “Despite its global dominance, this medical-industrial complex has given us meagre, feeble comforts at vast expense. Its chief concern is its own survival and continued dominance”.

Seamus O Mahony

* * *

“Bankers once saw tackling climate change as a niche issue. Now it is a chance to fuel future profits”. This statement, surprisingly, doesn’t come from the No Deal for Nature campaign or investigative journalist Cory Morningstar, but from a perceptive article by Gillian Tett in The Financial Times. More on the climate capitalists here.

FT green is good

* * *

Would you like to make a donation to help set up the Stuart Christie Memorial Archive, a “catalogue of the hidden and subterranean history of workers’ resistance” in tribute to the inspirational Scottish anarchist? If so, go to this crowdfunder.

Stuart Christie

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Enemies of the modern world is a new fictional work by Winter Oak writer Paul Cudenec, a triptych of novellas in which we find ourselves in chillingly close proximity to conspiracy theorists, denialists, technophobes and extremists, to anti-social misfits who turn up their noses at global smart governance, insist on the value of a reality that is not virtual and cling to outmoded notions of naturalness, community, truth and freedom… The book can be download for free here.

Enemies of the Modern World cover

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Acorn quote:

“We didn’t make this culture. We didn’t turn the world into the battleground and cemetery it has become. We didn’t turn human relations into the parody they have become. But now it is our responsibility to overcome what our culture has created. Maybe you could say that now we must be what we must be to overcome it”.

John Zerzan

john_zerzan

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The Acorn – 62

Number 62


In this issue:

  1. We will prevail!
  2. Naming the enemy
  3. Shattering illusions
  4. Here comes Santa Klaus!
  5. Jaime Semprun: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  We will prevail!

Bristol Nov 14

It was back in March 2020 that we first reported signs of resistance against the Covid-themed totalitarian coup.

We hoped back then that this would quickly develop into a largescale uprising that would quickly see off this unprecedented global power grab.

Things didn’t quite work out that way, though, and opposition has been much slower to build than we would have imagined.

But now, as 2020 draws to an end, things in England and elsewhere are finally hotting up.

People who were pro-lockdown are seeing through the illusion, and GPs and hospital staff are voicing their huge concerns about the mRNA vaccine and so-called hospital statistics.

There’s a definite swing occurring – and not in the technocrats’ favour, either.

Since our last Acorn bulletin came out, there have been thousands on the streets of the UK.

This has not just been in London (see this also), but also in the likes of Manchester, (plus this link and this), Bristol (this also), Liverpool (plus this), Brighton (and this), Nottingham, Edinburgh, Neath, Stroud and Bournemouth.

This video round-up from the StandUpX site shows some recent action.

London protest1b

london protest1

mancnov8-1

mancnov8-2

mancnov8-3

mancnov8-5

mancnov8-6

nov21 bournemouth

edinburgh dec 12

All over Europe, too, people are rising up against the 0.001% and their police state.

From Rome to Leipzig (also this and this), they have been showing their dissent.

Water cannon were rolled out to attack enormous and diverse crowds in Berlin.

There have been protests in Paris (also this), Montpellier, Nice, Bordeaux and all across France.

The Italian revolt has continued in Florence, Cosenza, Reggio Calabria, Genoa, and elsewhere.

Protests have been sweeping Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Albania.

In Ireland, freedom campaigners (or “conspiracy theorists” in the language of the corporate media!) set up big LED roadside displays across the country declaring “Covid tests are fraudulent”, and “Take off your masks!”.

There was an impressive performance protest in Austria, with people masked and dressed in full Hazmat suits, like mesmerised zombies, wearing signs saying “our breath kills”.

In the USA, protesters burned face masks as they marched through Manhattan following similar demonstrations in California, upstate New York and Minnesota.

US protest dec 2020

US protest dec 2020b

In fact, there have been protests all across the world, from Argentina to Serbia, Australia to South Africa and Malawi.

More protests are planned in coming days and weeks, not least the big New Year’s Eve Freedom Protest street party in central London from 9pm on Thursday December 31.

Most of this dissent goes unreported by corporate media, of course, as the system struggles to keep a lid on the rebellion.

As awareness of the Great Reset agenda spreads around the world, the likes of the BBC and Wikipedia are being used to insist that it is all just “conspiracy theory”, despite it having been set out very clearly by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum.

Authorities are hurriedly drawing up new “online safety legislation” to eliminate what they define as “harmful content” from the web.

Scientists who challenge the Covid agenda are being locked up in mental hospitals and anti-vaccine campaigners are being found dead in mysterious circumstances.

The global capitalist mafia have evidently invested an enormous amount of time and resources in planning this enormous coup.

They are not willingly going to abandon it. The repression will be ratched up yet further and many of us will pay a price for our resistance.

But we have to keep going. We cannot give up. We are not mere spectactors to the unfolding of history, but active participants. We, and our actions at this time, are the future unfolding!

And we should know that if we stay strong, if we all hold our nerve in the face of everything, we will prevail!

Together, in joy and determination, we will defeat the dictatorship.

manc 99

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2.  Naming the enemy

New Normal NWO

We badly need a new vocabulary to describe what is going on in the world today.

Under cover of Covid-19, a long-prepared and widely-orchestrated attempt is being made to enslave humankind in a hi-tech global police state.

But what do we call these people and their odious system?

Everybody seems to use a different term and bickering over which one is most appropriate distracts attention from the essential question of how we can get together and bring them down.

anti-capitalist-protestMany of us have been content to use the word “capitalism” to describe the combination of wealth and power behind this clique.

This term now seems increasingly inadequate, partly because not all of those who we would identify as capitalists are complicit in this coup, but mainly because some supporters of the “new normal” seem to be framing it as kind of post-capitalism.

A dictionary definition of capitalism: “An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions”.

As far as the first part of that sentence goes, we are entering deeper into capitalism, with private ownership and exploitation of everything and everyone a key aim of the Great Reset.

But the final reference to “competitive conditions” sounds less relevant when we are looking at a total monopoly imposed by global governance.

So what do we call the people behind the Covid Coup, the people laying claim to ownership of our lives, our land and our future, if we don’t call them “capitalists”?

Hammer and sickleThere are some out there who think these dictators are “communists”, because of the strong element of state control involved.

This impression is reinforced by the deliberate use of “redwashing” and “wokewashing”, as well as the usual corporate greenwashing, to disguise the true nature of what is happening and thus sell it to a part of the population.

But are we really talking about what the same dictionary defines as “a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community”?

No. Obviously not. We are not looking at a classless society at all, but a society divided between a tiny elite class of absolute rulers and a vast lower class of exploited serfs.

The means of production and subsistence will not even theoretically belong to us all, even via the intermediary of a state which is supposed to incarnate the interests of the community. They will remain firmly in private hands.

What we are seeing is a lot closer to the fascist model of pretending to be “socialist” in order to use the power and the resources of the state to prop up private industry.

But there are some problems in using the term “fascism”, as many people associate fascism and Nazism primarily with the specifically nationalist and racialist narrative of its original proponents, which does not apply to the new global version.

nazi-flags

On the other hand, the rival term “globalist” is problematic because it is too vague about the nature of those it describes. We need to be clear that we are not just talking about people who think in terms of a global situation, or who have an internationalist approach, but about a class of billionaires who already own much of the world and want to stitch up the whole thing.

The term “technocrat” is pretty accurate, when you look at the history of that movement, but is often understood as meaning simply rule by experts, with the implication of some kind of political neturality.

The problem is that we have never been in this situation before, in which a conspiracy of the wealthiest people in the planet is so overtly using the lies and police-state tactics previously associated with authoritarian communist and fascist regimes.

Transhumanism7And we have never before been in a situation where this sociopathic ultra-rich elite seems prepared to ditch the vehicle that brought them this far – capitalism – and switch into a dictatorship built on raw power.

We also have the added element of the twisted transhumanist ideology which seems to lurk behind these sinister neworks.

So what name can we agree to give to these powerful enemies of humanity, of freedom, of community, of nature, of friendship, of love, of everything that makes life worth living?

When we raised this question on Twitter recently, we were deluged with good suggestions.

The System
Technofeudalism
Globofascism
The Mechanicus
Mordor
The covidian cult
Techno-despotism
Techno-tyranny
Authoritarianism
Feudal Eugenicists
Autocrats
The Predator Class
Technocratic neo-feudalists
Neofeudalism
Neofeudalist biofascism
Neofeudalist technoscientism, or absolute rule by the financial oligarchy through the tools of biofascism & greenwashing
Virus spewing technofascists
Self-appointed overlords
Corporate Technocratic Fascism
Technazis
Panfeudalism
AntiHumanists
World Enslavement Forum
Totalitarian managerialism
War
The Machine
The Iron Heel

And what name will we give to ourselves as we come together to defeat them?

Wild Humans? “Los Liberados”? World Freedom Fighters? Or simply The People?

orgrad-logo

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3. Shattering illusions

shattering illusions

Contemporary society is pure spectacle, “the superficial reign of images” as Guy Debord put it.

“All that once was directly lived has become mere representation,” he said. “What is false creates taste, and reinforces itself by knowingly eliminating any possible reference to the authentic”.

He also wrote of efforts “to turn secret agents into revolutionaries, and revolutionaries into secret agents” and warned of the use of “provocation, infiltration, and various forms of elimination of authentic critique in favour of a false one which will have been created for this purpose”.

We already knew, before 2020 got underway, about the greenwashing falsity behind the climate capitalists’ agenda, with their astroturf rebels, their manufactured patron saint and their fake-radical promoters.

But this year has seen even more layers of deception peeled away.

Bill McKibbenThe faux-green scam was brought to a much wider audience by the documentary Planet of the Humans, to the wrath of Bill McKibben of the group 350.org, who came under particular scrutiny.

And the launch of the Covid coup revealed that vast swathes of people who had appeared to be opponents of the system, even anarchists, were in fact staunch defenders of Authority and its Big Businesss sponsors.

It also transpired out that the same financial networks funding Extinction Rebellion have also been doling out money to a wide range of “activist” groups working for the Great Reset aim of ““systemic change”.

Rob Hopkins of the Transition Movement turns out to be heavily compromised by links to powerful corporate networks, adored by climate capitalist Bill McKibben and happy to regurgitate the “storytelling” slogans of the Great Reset.

Hollywood “radical” Sean Penn has been outed by UK investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley as receiving funding from Bill Gates and promoting the Great Reset.

Celebrity “communist” activist and academic Angela Davis not only publicly backed neoliberal warmonger Joe Biden in the US election but has now launched her own fashion label, helpfully plugged by The Guardian!

Naomi KleinNaomi Klein, erstwhile darling of the anti-capitalist movement, who once warned us about  The Shock Doctrine often used to accelerate corporate control, has finally stopped pretending to be on our side.

With people increasingly clued up about the Great Reset, Klein was wheeled out on the once-interesting The Intercept site to declare that any such information was “a viral conspiracy theory” which  “blends together legitimate critiques with truly dangerous anti-vaccination fantasies and outright coronavirus denialism”.

Yes, that’s right. She actually used the phrase “coronavirus denialism”!

It increasingly seems that all the “left-wing” and “radical” heroes that we have heard of – via the corporate media! – are not what we thought they were.

They appear instead to be gatekeeping puppets, promoted in order to place limits on our dissent and shunt it into directions that best serve corporate agendas.

Vandana Shiva 3One of the few exceptions to this betrayal seemed, until very recently, to be Vandana Shiva, whom we have often mentioned on this site.

She is, after all, a famous opponent of the bio-tech industry and critic of Bill Gates’ empire and even declared in a November 2020 interview: “The Great Reset is about maintaining and empowering a corporate extraction machine and the private ownership of life”.

Surely her heart is in the right place? Well, we would love to think so, but unfortunately the evidence is stacking up that there is something awry here.

Simply retweeting the ubiquitous Bill McKibben would not be a serious matter, on its own.

vs bill McK

But we do wonder why Dr Shiva has chosen to sit on a body called the World Future Council (catchprase “Solutions for Our Common Future“).

She is pictured on their website, sitting alongside Anders Wijkman (to her right).

VS WFC

Wijkman is “an opinionmaker and author”, says the World Future Council. He is honorary president of the Club of Rome and has been assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and policy director of the United Nations Development Programme.

“As of March 2017 Anders is chairman of the Governing Board of Climate-KIC – the largest public-private partnership on innovation for low-carbon solutions in the EU”.

We were also alarmed to learn that Dr Shiva had writen a positive review of The Green New Deal by Jeremy Rifkin, a book published in 2019.

The other names lined up in praise of this dubious tome are in themselves cause for concern – there is Paul Polman, former Unilever boss and one of the shadowy Extinction Rebellion business backers, billionaire Richard Branson and Anne Pramaggiore of US nuclear energy giant Exelon.

As for the author himself, Rifkin is an enthusiast for the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (which he confusingly prefers to term the Third Industrial Revolution!), in other words for AI, robots and “digital infrastructure”.

This video makes it clear that, despite all the usual lip service to the environmental crisis, his real passion is for industrialisation, economic growth and profit.

So why would a genuine environmental and anti-capitalist campaigner want to endorse his work?

Dr Shiva’s own latest book is entitled Oneness vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom and now features “a new epilogue about Bill Gates’s global agenda and how we can resist the billionaires’ war on life”.

Let’s hope that her apparently laudable political position is not yet another illusion which is about to be shattered in these revealing and tumultuous times.

Vs book

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4. Here comes Santa Klaus!

santa kDo you remember the Christmases we used to have when we were young, in the good old days, way back in the 2020s?

I used to get so excited about it all when I was a kid.

I remember one year waking up in the night to see a large figure looming in the doorway of my bedroom. I was amazed! I thought it was Father Christmas himself! But it turned out, of course, that it was only the Biosecurity Police checking up that I was socially distancing from my teddy bear.

In the morning we could hardly wait to unplug ourselves from our beds, fight our way out of our plastic anti-viral protection tents and rush to check the contents of our digital stockings.

If you’d done what you were told all year long, there would be all sorts of Citizen Credits in your account, for games, films, chat. Once I’d even earned 40% of the cost of the next year’s People’s Vaccine! I was the happiest kid in town, I can tell you!

After breakfast we liked to go out for a Christmas morning stroll, so out came the treadmills and virtual reality headsets.

My mum used to like v-walking on the beach in Portugal on a spring afternoon, my dad preferred the Alps on a bright winter morning, my brother usually went for the Australian outback at night and I loved to e-stroll through the Scottish highlands on a summer evening.

But I remember my grandad telling me that he always took his v-walk around the back streets of Coulsdon on a grey and drizzly winter day, because that was what December 25 had always meant to him. Sad old duffer!

By the time lunchtime arrived, all the extended family were there. In the chatroom.

space foodWe took off our masks, put on our plastic hats and tucked in. Mounds of protein-rich lab-grown meat substitute with genetically-modified fake-veg chunks and lashings of synthetic chemically-enhanced gravy, followed by freshly-printed Christmas pudding strips sprayed with post-custard dessert fluid! De-bloody-licious!

Later we would all be glued to our screens to watch the traditional Christmas Day address from the Global Supreme Ruler himself.

What kind of a world would we be living in today if Santa Klaus had not come down our collective digital chimney with his generous gift of technology-driven inclusive exploitation, ensuring secure and sustainable corporate control for one and all?

PC

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5. Jaime Semprun: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

jaime semprun

“In the old days it was forbidden to think freely; today we have gained the right but lost the ability”

Jaime Semprun (1947-2010) was an influential anti-industrialist writer, translator and publisher.

Estranged from the mainstream left because of his rejection of the modern mindset, he warned that we lived in “an era of acceleration and falsification” (1) controlled by a “mercantile tyranny”. (2)

Semprun echoed René Guénon in judging that so-called “progress” had in fact brought about severe cultural decline amounting to “the loss of all quality”. (3)

And he was scathing about those whose semi-radical thinking left the way clear for right-wingers and fascists to recruit those with a deep-seated aversion to the industrial capitalist world.

He warned in 1993: “We mustn’t neglect people’s need to attack existing society, or simply to counter it with a new conception of the world and of the life they could lead in it. We have already seen, with fascism, the high price of allowing our enemies to fulfil this need”. (4)

For Jaime-Semprun article

Semprun worked with fellow orgrad inspirations Guy Debord and Miguel Amorós and was a great admirer of George Orwell.

After being involved in the Situationist International, he was a key figure in the Post-Situationist movement and founded the journal Encyclopédie des Nuisances, which later became a book publisher.

Semprun translated and published writing by Orwell which had not previously been available in French, along with work by Theodore Kaczynski, Jean-Marc Mandosio, René Riesel and Chuang Tzu. (5)

He was also known as a leading opponent of nuclear power in France, publishing the essay La Nucléarisation du monde in 1980.

Semprun regarded industrial capitalist society as fake in both its whole and its parts. Reforming certain aspects of it would make little difference, he argued.

“Today, demanding to eat healthy food, for example, is in itself revolutionary”, he wrote, “because in order for that demand to be met it would be necessary to abolish the totality of the social relationships under capitalism”. (6)

hypermarché

Like John RuskinWilliam Morris and Herbert Read, Semprun felt an overwhelming aesthetic distaste for the modern industrial world, arguing that its character was made quite clear by its sheer physical ugliness. (7)

He called out those who adopted pseudo-radical postures while actually defending the assumptions of this foul system. His 1976 pamphlet Précis de récuperation targeted postmodernists like Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze on this account, but Semprun identified the problem as polluting much of the so-called left.

The root problem was the general acceptance of the notion of “progress” as a means of interpreting history.

For Semprun, explains Patrick Marcolini, this notion was merely “a product of the bourgeois industrial age”. (8) For him, contemporary technology and science carried no promise of liberation – “on the contrary they form part of the structures of domination which have to be brought down”. (9)

The bourgeois-industrial concept of progress was accepted uncritically among supposed dissidents because of a state of mind that was itself a by-product of the general lowering of quality in industrial times, said Semprun.

dumbed down

He condemned “amnesia, identification with modernity and the hatred of critical thinking”, (10) commenting: “In the old days it was forbidden to think freely; today we have gained the right but lost the ability”. (11)

In Dialogues sur l’achèvement des temps modernes he has his character Ziffel declare: “What we are most missing today is individuals. Marxism told us that man is only the product of the social conditions in which he lives and that his individual conscience is a mere illusion, his freedom a sleight-of-hand and so on. And voilà, just through writing such horrible stuff, it ends up coming true”. (12)

Semprun shared Orwell’s distaste for conformist groupthink, and condemned modern followers of so-called democracy with their “remote-controlled indignation, their way of expressing all together and to order their hatred of those denounced to them as totalitarians, fanatics, or as racists, terrorists, in short as lunatics putting progress itself in danger”. (13)

The left-wing identification with modernity had lent a strange meaninglessness to terms such as “reactionary”, used to attack anyone who opposed the contemporary industrial capitalist machine.

“Everyone is so caught up in what they call progress that you could go as far as to say that if there were today any consistent reactionaries, they would certainly be mistaken for revolutionaries”, (14) wrote Semprun, but not without stressing that “criticism of the modern world is something too important to be left to reactionaries and nostalgists”. (15)

In common with other organic radicals and the anti-capitalist romantics identified by Michael Löwy, Semprun saw nothing wrong with looking to the past for inspiration as to how we might imagine another, non-capitalist, world, referring in a posthumously-published essay to “a past which was still filled with a future that we can imagine could have been, which could still be”. (16)

solutions

He was one of the first to expose the emptiness of the now-dominant strand of “environmentalism” which remains firmly embedded within the modern mindset and seeks “solutions” to environmental crisis in the development and production of yet more industrial technology.

He warned, with Riesel, that “precisely the same intellectual and material means used to build this world threatened with ruin, this teetering edifice, are now being deployed to diagnose the problem and recommend a remedy” (17) – which did not augur well for a successful outcome.

Semprun died in 2010, before “climate capitalism” raised the art of greenwashing to new levels of duplicity, but had astutely predicted that “the illusion-merchants have happy days ahead of them. During the disaster, the selling goes on”. (18)

As a genuine revolutionary, he of course completely discounted any possibility of ever creating a better world by reforming or adapting the very industrial capitalism which got us into this mess in the first place.

In Dialogues, the two characters discuss the difficulties in fighting a dominant system whose processes of production, distribution and domination, whose economic and social relationships and whose ideologies are so tightly and inextricably intertwined. Remarks Kalle: “You know full well how to deal with Gordian knots”. (19)

For those not familiar with the legends surrounding Alexander the Great, he is said to have sliced the knot in two with one powerful stroke of his mighty sword.

Jaime-Semprun-art

1. Jaime Semprun, Dialogues sur l’achèvement des temps modernes (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie, 1993), p. 44.
2. Jaime Semprun, L’Abîme se repeuple (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 1997), p. 54.
3. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 46.
4. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 86.
5. www.oeuvresouvertes.net/IMG/pdf/Communique_EdN_9_aout_2010-2.pdf
6. Semprun, Dialogues, pp. 122-23.
7. Jaime Semprun et René Riesel, Catastrophisme, administration du désastre et soumission durable (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie, 2008), IX.
8. Patrick Marcolini, ‘Jaime Semprun’, Aux origines de la décroissance, co-ordonné par Cédric Bagini, David Murray, Pierre Thiesset (Paris: L’Échappée, 2017), p 279.
9. Marcolini, Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 278.
10. Semprun, L’Abîme se repeuple, p. 29.
11. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 133.
12. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 31.
13. Semprun, L’Abîme se repeuple, p. 14.
14. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 34.
15. Semprun, Dialogues, p 37.
16. Jaime Semprun, Andromaque, je pense à vous, suivi de fragments retrouvés (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 2011), p. 18.
17. Semprun et Riesel, Catastrophisme, administration du désastre et soumission durable, X.
18. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 59.
19. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 93.

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6. Acorninfo

The Great Reset (aka Build Back Better, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the New Normal or the New Deal for Nature) is an attempted global capitalist coup on a scale never before imagined. The more that people are aware of what this vile billionaire elite are really up to, the less chance they have of getting away with it, so we have set up a Great Reset page, an ever-expanding collection of resources to help spread awareness and, therefore, resistance!

great-reset-ks-1

* * *

A timely bundle of in-depth reports and analysis on the anti-lockdown revolts spreading across Europe has been published by Crimethinc. In particular, it demolishes the divisive claim that the protests are “right-wing” and should therefore be snubbed by anarchists and the left, noting: “Like the Gilets Jaunes movement in France, most of the protests across southern Europe involve a contradictory mix of people”.

crimethinc lockdown protests

* * *

“They’re looking at an operating system for the world. It’s essentially as if the world were remade by the CIA to profit hedge funds. How does capital circulate if nobody is making any money and everyone’s in debt? You create a new game where the poor can be gambled on as investment commodities”. Crucial insights into the Great Reset agenda from Alison McDowell in this video talk.

Alison McDowell

* * *

“The truth is that your life and how you live it is over, unless you do something about it – now!”. In this important short video, the Books of Ours team warn about the merger of state and business to create 21st century global fascist feudalism.

Books of Ours The Truth

* * *

“Can you see what’s happening? Anywhere people can meet up to be sociable and entertained is under threat. As things currently stand it feels like there will be no end to this. We face a more atomised, lonely and fearful future. One where an increasing amount of our interactions will be digital rather than face to face. A depressing future where many of us will be merely existing rather than truly living”. A powerful warning from South Essex Radical Media.

essex warning

* * *

Make no mistake, for all the greenwashing around the 5G-enabled Fourth Industrial Revolution, it spells further disaster for the natural world, as a new report into 5G from the US state of New Hampshire concluded. Meanwhile, Plymouth Sound, a stretch of sea off southern England, is to be home to “the world’s first 5G ocean-based marine testbed”, according to reports. This “will enable ultrafast download speeds and low-latency 5G connectivity to support the development of new marine technology”. Did anyone consult the fish?

5G mast

* * *

Did you know that there is an international campaign focused on stopping the so-called New Deal For Nature, the corporate coup of the commons under the guise of protecting and restoring nature? Check out the No Deal for Nature site here and its informative Twitter account here.

Nodealfornaturesite

* * *

New propaganda techniques being used in 2020 are analysed by Cory Morningstar, Hiroyuki Hamada and Varun Mathur in this superb December 7 video panel discussion with Jason Bosch, ‘Purpose Messaging for Compliance and Social Engineering‘.

propaganda panel with Cory

* * *

A riddle for you all. What is it that links Hitler’s SS with Al-Qaeda? Why, it’s NATO and the CIA, of course! An enlightening talk with Hugo Turner.

gladio wacl etc

* * *

Acorn quote:

“There is an undeniable glory in the thought that an indelible temporal bond links us, not only with our ancestors and our descendants, but above all also with the whole rest of the organic world”.

Constantin von Monakow

gaia2

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The Acorn – 61

acorn 2019bNumber 61


In this issue:

  1. Libertà, libertà, libertà!
  2. Us against them
  3. To the humans who refuse to disappear!
  4. England is a prison
  5. William Blake: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  Libertà, libertà, libertà!

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“A massive new social struggle is about to begin, in which the vast majority of humankind will resist the techno-slavery being imposed on it by the fascist 1% elite”.

We sent out this urgent message on October 14 and reality has not been slow to catch up, as the slumbering masses everywhere awake.

The new front line is Italy, where thousands upon thousands have been taking to the streets in anger at the new curfew and draconian rules being imposed under cover of fighting “the virus”.

“Libertà, libertà, libertà!” they have been shouting across the peninsula, from Lombardy down to Sicily. “Freedom, freedom, freedom!”

Molotov cocktails have been thrown at the cops who ruthlessly enforce the despised clamp-down, with burning barricades blocking streets choked with tear gas.

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Media report that “luxury goods shops, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in the centre of Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off firecrackers and lighting coloured flares”.

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The Italian insurrection seems to have begun in Naples, the famously feisty city in the south of the country.

Angry crowds defied the new curfew to march through the city streets on Friday night, October 23, “attacking police vehicles, forcing the officers to leave the scene”.

They were rebelling again on Monday night, October 26, filling up city squares and chanting “libertà!”

There were also protests in Rome at the weekend, as anti-lockdown rebels defied the curfew in the capital and were attacked with tear gas by police.

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In Milan, protesters took to the Corso Buenos Aires, the swankiest commercial street. A molotov was thrown at a city security vehicle and a policeman was injured, apparently not seriously, in front of Milan Central Station. See videos here and here.

There were also significant protests in Genoa, Treviso and Viareggio, where young people blocked traffic and threw smoke bombs and firecrackers.

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In Lecce protesters broke through the Carabinieri cordon shouting: “Libertà, libertà, libertà!”

The discontent spread to the island of Sicily, with protests in Catania, Siracusa and Palermo.

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Hundreds of miles to the West, Europeans were also taking to the streets against The Great Fascist Reset in Barcelona, where angry protesters made burning barricades from rubbish bins.

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On October 18, Czech riot police deployed tear gas, flashbang grenades, and a water cannon to disperse a defiant crowd of anti-lockdown protesters who refused to leave Prague’s Old Town Square.

In reaction, the protesters pelted the cops with stones and fireworks.

In Warsaw, Polish police detained an astonishing 278 people on Saturday October 24 after thousands protested against new freedom-crushing rules.

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Hundreds of people took part in several “unauthorised gatherings” against the Covid coup in Brussels on Sunday October 25.

A group called “Black Sheep Belgium” called on people to gather on Rond-Point Schuman, in the heart of the European Quarter, to denounce the “freedom-killer” restrictions.

“It is time to reclaim our rights which have been, until recently, ignored,” they wrote. “We are asking you, the Belgian people, to come and claim back your rights”.

The Belgian state’s fascistic response involved the arrest of 71 dissidents.

In Berlin, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Alexanderplatz on Sunday October 26 to protest against the German capital’s “coronavirus” restrictions.

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Some 600 cops were sent in to quash this latest sign of mass dissent, with police complaining that “neither minimum distance nor the obligation to cover one’s mouth and nose was observed”.

People shouted: “We are here and we are loud because we are being robbed of our freedom” and “we are the people!”

On the same day, bottles and petrol bombs were thrown at the front of a Berlin building belonging to the Robert Koch Institute, the government agency at the forefront of spreading Covid fear-propaganda in Germany.

In Dublin, Ireland, there have been a string of big anti-lockdown protests, with the demo on October 22 bringing city traffic “to a standstill”.

One activist said police were out in force because “they smell revolution in Ireland,” adding “they are waiting for the country to rise, basically. They’re waiting for the country to rise up”.

Across the Atlantic, there was a big anti-lockdown protest in Toronto, Canada, and in New York, USA, members of the Orthodox Jewish community have been burning masks in the streets in protests against new restrictions.

Australia has been the victim of one of the most draconian lockdowns in the world and huge protests against the new global tyranny have been held in both Brisbane and Melbourne.

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Meanwhile, the UK has seen plenty more pro-freedom demos since the one on Saturday September 26 which we featured in our special photo report We Are the 99%.

There have been dangerous outbreaks of democracy in places including Leeds, Belfast, Edinburgh, Bournemouth and Liverpool, which saw two protests in two days.

And, of course, the big events in London continue, with protests on both Saturday October 17 and Saturday October 24.

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In case anyone is in any doubt as to what is at stake here, it was set out with admirable clarity by the economist and author Ernst Wolff at a protest in Stuttgart earlier this year.

He said: “Never before in the history of mankind have so few people owned so much as today. Since we live in a society ruled by money; this means that never before have so few people held as much power as today.

“And that power has played a historic role in the past few months, because never before has power been abused to such a large extent as during the corona pandemic”.

Our task, he said, is to break free from the control and exploitation of the 1% and find our way to “a future that looks different from the digital financial prison in which the current rulers want to lead us!”

@js100js100 has also put it very succinctly on Twitter: “Covid is being used to create a global economic crash to distribute wealth and resources upwards, and turn people into serfs under authoritarian control in a biosecurity state”.

This is, as James Corbett warns in a video on the Great Reset, about nothing less than the future of humankind.

We have to rise up and reclaim our lives!

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2.  Us against them

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A deep fog of ideological confusion surrounds the global Covid-1984 coup and the new order which it is trying to force on humankind via its Great Reset.

Not only do those going along with it often seem to have no idea as to what they are endorsing, but those standing up to the dictatorship are also sometimes in the dark as to what it actually represents!

This is hardly surprising, as the system’s deliberate dumbing-down of people’s minds does not stop short with its “news” and “current affairs” propaganda, but extends to the historical dimension, where it want to make sure that people have no bearings at all.

In the famous words of George Orwell’s fictional dictatorship: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past”.

In truth, as explained at great length here, here and here, the newnormalist Schwabism of the Great Reset is nothing but a mutation of fascism, the dehumanising totalitarian creed of which the world supposedly rid itself some 80 years ago.

But this is difficult for some people to accept, because of the way in which “fascist” has been, and still is, bandied about as general insult to close down debate.

Furthermore, if you regard fascism as only applying to the national level of centralisation, as it did in the 1930s, then you will conclude that global fascism cannot be actual fascism simply because it is global.

But Schwabism takes fascism on to the global level. This 21st century Fourth Reich wants to control the whole world.

It is also crucial to understand that this new global fascism, like its historical predecessors, is entirely capitalist. Not free-market capitalist perhaps, but capitalist nevertheless.

Its whole raison d’être is the protection of the wealthy ruling elite from popular challenges and the increase of its power by means of new mechanisms of control and exploitation.

alwaysantifascist copyBut here, too, the relentless mind-scrambling propaganda of the system has done its work. Capitalism is seen by some as being principally about “freedom”, so anything threatening freedom must come from what we have been taught is the “opposite” of capitalism.

The reality that the WEF is an international capitalist organisation engineering a Great Reset for the profit of the world’s richest billionaires does not deter some of its confused opponents from insisting that it is “communist”!

The fascist project of a merger between state and corporate power, in the interests of the latter, is, in fact, widely misunderstood by people of various political backgrounds.

Some right-wingers think that the problem with fascism was that it was basically “left-wing”, without understanding that fascism bails out big businesses under the mere pretext of acting for the general good, whether this is framed as “national” or “global”.

Some left-wingers, while obviously not endorsing historical fascism, find themselves cheering on its 21st century counterpart because they have fallen for its sleight of hand and (apparently, incredibly!) really imagine that great global capitalist institutions such as the WEF, the IMF and the World Bank have seen the light and converted to some new kind of socialism.

Too many of those who are proud to identify themselves as “antifascists”, are nowhere to be seen when a real struggle against real fascism is at hand.

They are too busy supporting the government in its “fight against coronavirus“, parroting the system’s warnings of “conspiracy theories about the imaginary ‘deep state’” or announcing obediently that “we recommend practicing [sic] social distancing“.

By openly supporting the new world dictatorship and condemning those who challenge it as “far right” or “fascist”, these deluded leftists of course further reinforce the impression in other people’s minds that there is something “left-wing” about the new tyranny…

we-are-the-99-percent1This absurd knot of misunderstanding and underinformed name-calling leaves those engineering the coup sitting pretty. We are unable to even name them properly, let alone resist them!

We urgently need to strip away all the confusion caused by this labelling and counter-labelling and see the truth for what it is.

The events of 2020 have made it quite plain that the old “left” versus “right” division is no longer fit for purpose.

What we are looking at is an ultra-rich, extremely powerful technocratic mafia which is trying to enslave humankind for its own profit.

It’s really very simple, once you cut out the noise from their distorting propaganda.

It is the people against the ruling elite, it is the 99.99% against the 0.01%, it is us against them!

Our international revolt against the would-be slavemasters will come neither from left nor from right, but from below!

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3. To the humans who refuse to disappear!

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Translation of Communiqué #80 – September 2020 from GARAP in France

To all those who are not paralyzed by fear but rather motivated,

To all those who have kept the memory, know the history, seek the truth,

To all those who are not exhausted, jaded, who are resourceful,

To all those who want to fight oppression, who want to live free and equal,

We address this appeal:

We do not believe the official lies – mapped out by the rogue “Scientific Council” – that present the Covid-19 as a pandemic so serious that it requires villainous measures installing a real dictatorship in France and elsewhere. The sole function of the propaganda bombing we are daily subjected to is to neutralize our revolt in the face of a merciless social war.

The sanitary pretext allows them to carry out a policy of general enslavement never seen in this part of the world since the Nazi occupation. This coercive and repressive mechanism comes alongside a provoked economic collapse because the crisis of capitalism had entered in 2019 into a dangerous dead end, the absence of global growth being combined with the outbreak of insurrections on all continents.

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The goal of the Macronist State, in agreement with the governing bodies of the world’s major powers, is to try to give capitalism a few more years of survival. A good expression of this view is seen in Prime Minister Jean Castex’s speech at the MEDEF Summer University. It is about restructuring the economic system on the back of the workers, by forcing down wages, liquidating social and democratic rights, throwing millions of us into unemployment and misery.

This reformatting of society, which has no visible timeline, relies on the destruction of what constitutes the human bond in favour of an ultimate mercantile colonization of all spaces and activities. Every attitude, place, and moment that still escapes capitalist valorization must be erased or converted to the barbaric course of profitability. Capitalism wages war on what constitutes our humanity.

In these conditions of generalized lies, of sanitary dictatorship, of violent crisis of capitalism, the memory of our predecessors who were actively resisting oppression is revived. It summons us to rise up and strike at the tyranny of an unbearable world from which only the capitalist scoundrels take profit.

Resistance begins with individual action, the refusal to submit to discipline, the desire to show solidarity, to regroup. It continues with organizing the exploited, the oppressed, outside the bodies responsible for taming their forces, i.e. political parties, unions and other NGOs. It is carried out through counter-information, sabotage, strikes, demonstrations and insurrection.

Circulate this appeal and take action. If you don’t do it for yourself, at least think of future generations.

https://garap.org/communiques/communique80.php

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4. England is a prison

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Inspired by Gerrard Winstanley who was born 411 years ago in Wigan. 

Most are happy to say they belong to a ‘nation’ or ‘country’ and feel a strong sense of pride in their connection to its land and shared ancestry. We think the times when monarchs and lords made claims on everything and everyone living on the land have long since gone and that these ‘nobles’ now ‘serve’ us and there are laws and safeguards to stop this kind of wicked exploitation happening again.

What if on the surface it only looks like this but, in reality, these old ruling elites have found more covert ways to exploit us, keeping us in a similar state to how we were back in the dark and middle ages only with a veneer of modern state crafted respectability?

Are modern day ‘nations’ no more than ‘mega brands’ that can be owned and managed for personal gain? Does state propaganda, and a corrupted mainstream media convince us that we have more freedoms than we in fact do, and that by voting once every 5 years, we have a say in who governs us when really we don’t?

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You only have to look at current leaders like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump to wonder how they got to these important positions on which so many lives depend. Do these wily old families continue to benefit unfairly from the most constant and lucrative revenue stream available to a people? That is, its collective creative energy; namely the taxes we all pay on everything we earn, spend and own… For which we receive very little in return.

Where does all this money go? How is our country still in debt after all this time, and the hard work we all put in? To give recent and obvious examples of everyday corruption, we know that £12 billion has just been spent on a phone app and £103 million was spent on a ferry company with zero ferries and so on… This list is in fact endless! Is something still ‘Rotten in the State of Denmark?’ as Shakespeare said? It appears it most definitely is.

If it is the case, it means countries are more like fiefdoms and our common status that of chattels rather than a modern citizenry. In other words, 21st century slaveism.

Perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves some pertinent questions. Are we falling for a very clever marketing con trick that makes us feel free and empowered when the reality is that a few power-obsessed and stupidly rich groups are still running everything behind the scenes, while life for the rest remains a constant struggle on an increasingly damaged Earth? How far have we come as a society when the weak are still made to carry the strong? You have to ask – and keep asking.

C.D.

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“England is a prison; the subtleties in the Laws are the bolts, bars and doors of the prison; the Lawyers are the Jailers; and Poor Men are the prisoners”. Gerrard Winstanley. (19 October 1609 – 10 September 1676)

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5. William Blake: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

William Blake1

“Human Thought is crush’d beneath the iron hand of Power”

The poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827) is today held in high esteem in his native land.

His art is regarded as among the greatest of the period, his poems such as ‘The Tyger‘ are widely appreciated and the song ‘Jerusalem‘, which uses his words, has become a kind of unofficial English national anthem.

But in his lifetime Blake was an entirely marginal figure, a social, artistic and intellectual misfit who died in poverty and obscurity.

Indeed, he was an outright enemy of the dominant culture and until the end of his days did not “cease from mental fight”, nor did his metaphorical sword sleep in his hand, (1) as he challenged its deepest assumptions.

Blake was very much an opponent of the Industrial Revolution, which already had a firm grip on the England into which he was born.

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This “poet of the soul”, as Max Plowman describes him, (2) was of course appalled by the “dark Satanic Mills” (3) which blighted “England’s green & pleasant land”. (4)

In the new cities, he saw:

turrets & towers & domes
Whose smoke destroy’d the pleasant gardens, & whose running kennels
Chok’d the bright rivers.
(5)

But his disgust extended beyond the merely physical into the whole way of thinking which underlay industrialism and which had made possible its emergence and its expansion.

Theodore Roszak judges that “Blake was among the first to link scientific sensibility to the killing pressure of the new industrial technology upon the landscape”. (6)

And Kathleen Raine writes: “For Blake, outward events and circumstances were the expressions of states of minds… Man has made his machines in the image of his ideology”. (7)

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Blake’s depiction of Newton

Blake used the term “single vision” to describe the mechanistic worldview – the “enemy of life” in Raine’s words (8) – which had been pieced together from the bone-dry philosophies of Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton and John Locke.

He saw this narrowing of the intellect as amounting to a spiritual enslavement of the people of Albion, an old name for England, making them fit for nothing more than lives of docile wage-slavery in the capitalist factories that were taking over the land.

This is beautifully expressed in his long poem ‘Jerusalem’:

… O Divine Spirit, sustain me on they wings!
That I may awake Albion from his long & cold repose;
For Bacon & Newton, sheath’d in dismal steel, their terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion. Reasoning like vast Serpents
Infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations.
I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe
And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages dire,
Wash’d by the Water-wheels of Newton; black the cloth
In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation; cruel Works
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic
(9)

For Blake, all the social evils that he saw around him were merely aspects of one vast problem, a civilization in which “Human Thought is crush’d beneath the iron hand of Power”. (10)

Blake London

E.P. Thompson, in his fascinating study of Blake’s philosophy, examines the political meaning of the poem ‘London’:

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
(11)

“Charter’d” clearly refers to commerce, says Thompson, and is perhaps a reference to the East India Company which was becoming increasingly powerful in the British capital city at that time. The mark seen in “every face”, he adds, “is the mark of the Beast, a mark explicitly associated with commercialism”. (12)

But the poem continues:

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear
(13)

These mind-forg’d manacles are the single vision imposed by Blake’s “tyrant-demon Urizen”, (14) the narrow materialistic mindset at the root of all the misery and poverty.

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Undaunted by the enormity of the problem facing him and his beloved Albion, Blake leapt up on to his philosophical chariot of fire to embark on what Raine calls a “prophetic mission” (15) to “pull down a civilization”. (16)

To do so, he created a powerful alternative vision drawn from sources far removed from the arid calculating spirit of the Enlightenment and the commercial world it had spawned.

Blake’s worldview was holistic, emphasising the sacredness and interconnectedness of all life. “Every thing that lives, Lives not alone, nor for itself”, he wrote. (17) And: “Every thing that lives is Holy” (18).

This outlook shines through in his illustrations, which are full of tendrils, roots, skies, clouds and insects, and also in poems such as ‘Auguries of Innocence’.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
(19)

In ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, he describes the “Energy” which he feels behind all the various manifestations of glorious living.

1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
2. Energy is the only life, and is from the Body; and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight. 
(20)

blake comusPeter Marshall regards Blake’s metaphysics as “a kind of pantheistic idealism” (21) and also as dialectical in nature in that “he saw reality as a constant process of flux and believed that change occurs only through the dynamic interplay of opposing forces”. (22)

In all respects, Blake’s ideas were very much out of place in the society in which he lived and worked.

Like his compatriots John Ruskin and William Morris, those Victorian enemies of the modern commercial system, Blake was inspired by medieval civilisation, as reflected in his “lifelong love of Gothic art”. (23)

He wrote: “Grecian is Mathematical Form: Gothic is living form, Mathematic Form is external in the Reasoning Memory: Living Form is Eternal Existence”. (24)

Blake’s politics were defiantly radical. He was very much inspired by the American and French revolutions and instinctively opposed to authority, as witnessed by his famous ejection of a soldier from the grounds of his cottage while he was living in Felpham, West Sussex, during which he is alleged to have cursed the king.

He was also deeply offended by the blatant inequality he saw around him in London, as the poem ‘Holy Thursday’ illustrates.

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduc’d to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?
(25)

Furthermore, Marshall regards Blake’s awareness of his radical politics as being behind the somewhat obscure direction his work increasingly took.

He writes: “Blake witnessed the government repression of radicals, the censorship of the ‘Gagging Acts’, and the anger of the Church and King mobs who were ready to ransack libraries and throw the disaffected artist or poet in the mud. Blake was obliged to clothe his radical message with allegorical garments”. (26)

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However, Blake’s radicalism was built on very different foundations to that of contemporaries such as Thomas Paine or William Godwin, as he himself well realised.

Thompson writes: “Blake had always been decisively alienated from the mechanical materialist epistemology and psychology which he saw as derived from Newton and Locke. And he did not for a moment shed his suspicion of radicalism’s indebtedness to this materialism”. (27)

In addition, unlike other contemporary radicals, Blake believed in innate qualities. In criticising the thinking of the artist Joshua Reynolds, Blake insisted: “Innate Ideas are in Every Man, Born with him; they are truly Himself”. (28)

“The Man who says that the Genius is not Born, but Taught – Is a Knave” (29) he insisted. “Man is Born Like a Garden ready Planted & Sown” (30)

One illustration, “What is Man!”, the frontispiece to The Gates of Paradise (1793) depicts a human baby as a caterpillar in the chrysalis of metamorphosis which will allow it to take wing and fulfil its innate potential.

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Raine describes how, in Tiriel, Blake “denounced the current view of childhood – deriving in great measure from Locke, that early forerunner of behaviourism and brain-washing – as a passive state to be ‘formed’ by ‘instruction’. The poem describes with scathing indignation the consequences of ‘forming’ a child according to the laws of mechanistic rationalism, imposed all from outside and regardless of the mysterious formative laws of life itself”. (31)

Some of Blake’s aphorisms on this theme are very similar to those deployed by Chuang Tzu, the Taoist metaphysician.

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings”, (32) wrote Blake. “The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion the horse, how he shall take his prey”. (33)

Blake brushed aside other radicals’ fears that the notion of innate ideas could be used by conservatives to justify “innate” social inequality. He stressed that for all our differences every single one of us has a divine potential as part of Universal Humanity.

He also differed from many other modern radicals in his interest in archetypes and ideal forms.

“There Exist in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing which we see reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature”, wrote Blake in ‘The Last Judgement’. (34)

He anticipated the work of Carl Jung with his belief in a collective archetypal realm full of “ever Existent images” (35) behind the particularities of the physical world,

Responding to those who criticised the way he represented these abstract forces in bodily form, he commented that they “would do well to consider that the Venus, the Minerva, the Jupiter, the Apollo, which they admire in Greek statues are all of them representatives of spiritual existences, of Gods immortal, to the mortal perishing organ of sight; and yet they are embodied and organized in solid marble”. (36).

blake the glad day.jpgThere has been much scholarly debate concerning the sources for Blake’s passionately-expressed personal philosophy.

Raine rightly points out that the concept of “ideal form” is very much part of “Neoplatonic – and specifically Plotinian – aesthetics”. (37)

She traces Blake’s thinking not just to Plato and Plotinus, but also to the Hermetica, to Paracelsus and Robert Fludd, to Jacob Boehme and Emanuel Swedenborg (38) and stresses “Blake’s knowledge of Christian Cabbala, Neoplatonism, and the mystical theology of the Western Esoteric tradition as a whole”. (39)

Marshall puts more emphasis on a radical heritage, seeing Blake as “looking back to the gnostic heresies of the Middle Ages and anticipating modern anarchism and social ecology”. (40)

He describes “an underground heretical tradition” which “finds its roots in the mystical anarchists of the millenarian sect of the Middle Ages; especially the Brethren of the Free Spirit”, then “re-emerged in the extreme Left among Anabaptists, Ranters and Diggers of the English Revolution” and lived on still in the London of Blake’s youth. (41)

This is also the conclusion reached by Thompson, whose detailed research suggests that Blake was not quite as isolated in his thinking as it may appear to us today.

His references and images belong very strongly to the dissenting antinomian tradition of Protestantism, which spurned the worldly power of authority and the law in favour of the inner light in every human being.

Gerrard WinstanleyThis tradition, forced to hide from repression since the heady days of the “quasi-pantheist” radicalism (42) which flourished during the 17th century English Revolution (see Gerrard Winstanley), had been notably kept alive by the Muggletonians.

Thompson says antinomianism’s “Londonish rhetoric” (43) was “consciously anti-hegemonic”, (44) which is to say that opposition to the ruling culture was absolutely central to its worldview.

The antinomianism given voice by Blake existed outside “polite” society with its universities, courts of law, sciences and classical learning and often expressed itself in tones of “class war”, (45) encouraging “a stubborn lack of deference, both social and intellectual”. (46)

Writes Thompson: “Everything in the age of ‘reason’ and ‘elegance’ served to emphasise the sharp distinctions between a polite and a demotic culture. Dress, style, gesture, proprieties of speech, grammar and even punctuation were resonant with the signs of class; the polite culture was an elaborated code of social inclusion and exclusion.

“Classical learning and an accomplishment in the law stood like difficult gates-of-entry into this culture… These accomplishments both legitimated and masked the actualities of brute property and power, interest and patronage”. (47)

Blake presented this conflict in a particular way which is not always easy to understand for a modern reader. His “Spectre” of tyranny, ego, empire, false reason and the Church was contrasted with the “Emanation” of creativity, imagination, forgiveness and inner divinity as personified by Jesus Christ.

But behind the biblical language he and the antinomian tradition as a whole were essentially challenging the power of wealth, the state and its official religious structures in the name of an egalitarian universalism.

blake the ecchoing greenThompson says that when Blake or others declaimed against “Reason”, we might today interpret this as “Ideology” or as the compulsive constraints of the ruling “discourse”.

He adds: “Antinomian doctrine was expressive of a profound distrust of the ‘reasons’ of the genteel and comfortable, and of ecclesiastical and academic institutions, not so much because they produced false knowledges but because they offered specious apologetics (‘serpent reasonings’) for a rotten social order based, in the last resort, on violence and material self-interest”. (48)

In the place of this corrupted England they offered “the Everlasting Gospel”, a new Golden Age in which people would find spiritual freedom and be “liberated from the bondage of Morality and Legality”. (49)

Marshall explains that Blake, like other antinomian radicals, wanted to restore humanity to what he saw as its original state: “He assumed like them that in the Garden of Eden man and woman lived in a state of innocence and wholeness, without private property, class distinctions and human authority”. (50)

It was this “revolutionary anarchist” (51) vision of a possible future which Blake named ‘Jerusalem’ and which he longed to see built “in England’s green & pleasant land”. (52)

Video link: The Life of Poet William Blake (48 mins)

william-blake2

1. William Blake, ‘Milton: A Poem’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1954), p. 110.
2. Max Plowman, ‘Introduction’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. xi.
3. Blake, ‘Milton’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 110.
4. Ibid.
5. William Blake, Complete Writings, ed by Geoffrey Keynes, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 361, cit. Peter Marshall, William Blake: Visionary Anarchist (London: Freedom Press, 2008), p. 39.
6. Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology (New York: Touchstone, 1993), p. 42.
7. Kathleen Raine, William Blake (London: Thames & Hudson, 1977), pp. 73-74.
8. Raine, p. 50.
9. William Blake, ‘Jerusalem’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 177.
10. Blake, ‘Milton’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 137.
11. William Blake, ‘London’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p 31.
12. E.P. Thompson, Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 182.
13. Blake, ‘London’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p 31.
14. Raine, p. 76.
15. Raine, p. 111.
16. Raine, p. 171.
17. William Blake, ‘The Book of Thel’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 40.
18. William Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 55.
19. William Blake, ‘Auguries of Innocence’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 333.
20. Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 43.
21. Marshall, p. 24.
22. Marshall, p. 23.
23. Raine, p. 17.
24. William Blake, cit. Raine, p. 17.
25. William Blake, ‘Holy Thursday’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 23.
26. Marshall, pp. 16-17.
27. Thompson, p. 193.
28. Blake, Complete Works, p, 459, cit. Marshall p. 30.
29. Blake, Complete Works, p. 470, cit. Marshall, p. 30.
30. Blake, Complete Works, p. 471, cit. Marshall, p. 30.
31. Raine, p. 47.
32. Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 45.
33. Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 46.
34. William Blake, ‘The Last Judgment’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 358.
35. William Blake, cit. Raine, p. 7.
36. William Blake, cit. Raine, p. 9.
37. Raine, p. 114.
38. Raine, p. 51.
39. Raine, p. 186.
40. Marshall, p. 13.
41. Marshall, p. 22.
42. Thompson, p. 26.
43. Thompson, p. 8.
44. Thompson, p. 109.
45. Thompson, p. xxii.
46. Thompson, p. 112.
47. Thompson, p. 110.
48. Thompson, p. 109.
49. Thompson, p. 6.
50. Marshall, p. 38.
51. Marshall, p. 13.
52. Blake, ‘Milton’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 110.

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6. Acorninfo

“Before we walk through the door of digital identity, realize it opens onto a maze designed to disorient, confuse, and control us”. So warns Alison McDowell in a recent analysis of blockchain techno-slavery on her excellent Wrench in the Gears website. She can also be seen on this video showing up Naomi Klein as the apologist for the capitalist system that she unfortunately turned out to be.

wrench in the gears

* * *

Shocking facts about the new worldwide pollution threat caused by disposable masks are revealed by investigative journalist Cory Morningstar in an important new article. She writes: “Six months of face masks alone equates to seven hundred seventy-four billion while 12 months of consumption equates to stunning one trillion five hundred forty-eight billion face masks. What happened to all those who cared about our environmental crises? That of climate change, biodiversity and ocean pollution?” A new video interview with Cory can be seen here.

mask pollution

* * *

An insightful article on stopping Bill Gates’ insidious global agenda and defending humanity against the greed machine comes from Indian campaigner Vandana Shiva. She writes: “The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have revealed even more clearly how we are being reduced to objects to be controlled, with our bodies and minds as the new colonies to be invaded”.

vandana-shiva

* * *

“The people are under attack by their own State. All the necessary components of a fascist technocracy are rapidly being assembled”. A great piece on the In This Together blog.

hybrid war

* * *

An open letter has been published by Belgian doctors and healthcare workers calling for an end to all ‘Covid’ measures and the immediate restoration of “our normal democratic governance and legal structures and of all our civil liberties”.

belgian doctors

* * *

Veteran journalist John Pilger has condemned in the strongest terms the UK/US legal persecution of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. He writes: “I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial”.

assange-g

* * *

“To deprive a child’s or an adolescent’s brain from oxygen, or to restrict it in any way, is not only dangerous to their health, it is absolutely criminal. Oxygen deficiency inhibits the development of the brain, and the damage that has taken place as a result CANNOT be reversed”, says Dr Margarite Griesz-Brisson MD, PhD, a Consultant Neurologist and Neurophysiologist with a PhD in Pharmacology, with special interest in neurotoxicology, environmental medicine, neuroregeneration and neuroplasticity.

child in mask

* * *

The Corona fraud scandal is “probably the greatest crime against humanity ever committed” says German lawyer Dr Reiner Fuellmich in this video. “Democracy is in great danger of being replaced by fascist totalitarian models”. Meanwhile an unofficial translation of the German Corona Inquiry’s short report (part 1) can be downloaded in pdf from here.

Reiner Fuellmich

* * *

“A new government document lists anti-capitalist views alongside racism and the desire to overthrow democracy as ‘an extreme political stance'”, reports Sky News in the UK. Overthrow democracy? What democracy? It is the idea of restoring democracy, real democracy, that frightens those in power. Talking of which, the Million Mask March protest will be held in Trafalgar Square, London, on November 5 from 6pm. Remember, remember…

million-mask-march1

* * *

Acorn quote:

“Technological optimism is the snake oil of urban-industrialism”.

Theodore Roszak

technology3

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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We are the 99%!

acorn 2019bSpecial photo report by Max Hogster

sep26d

“The new normal is not normal, it’s no kind of normal at all”.

So declares rock legend Van Morrison in “Born to Be Free“, a protest song against the nighmare global police state which the ruling elite are trying to impose on us all.

And another protest song was ringing out in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday September 26.

We are the 99%!” sang tens of thousands of people who have seen through the lies and propaganda with which they have been besieged. “You can stick your new world order up your arse!”

This was another big day for the fast-growing UK revolt against the totalitarian Covid coup.

sep26b

“We are born free!” declared one placard, echoing Van Morrison’s song.

“Peace, truth, freedom” and “You will not steal our freedom”, read others.

The message was clear: “No Vax, No Trax, No Masks”, “How much did Bill pay you, Boris?”,

“Quarantine is sick people being locked up. Tyranny is healthy people being locked up”.

“The reason why the UK is getting a second wave is because it fits the political agenda and narrative”.

sep26c

The system’s propaganda was neatly turned around and used against it: “If someone asks you why you don’t wear a facemask, tell them you don’t believe in conspiracy theories”.

“There is an increase in Covid 19 cases because there has been an increase in testing. If more people took IQ tests, there would be an increase in idiots too”.

sep26a

Apart from the spray from the fountains on a windy day, and difficulties in hearing the speakers from long range, the mood was good and all was going well until the police turned up…

They had been spotted moving in to the sides of crowd in front of the National Gallery and most people followed the suggestion to sit down in defiance.

At this point the cops started wading into the crowd and attacking people, including women.

As usual the authorities tried to suggest that the aggression had come from the protesters.

But this video footage makes it quite clear that the Met police attacked a calm and good-natured gathering.

This is our rulers’ age-old tactic, of course. Attack protests and then claim via their tame media that the protesters are “violent”, thus frightening off potential supporters.

Indeed, the Met Police themselves did not even claim that they were intervening because of any disorder among protesters but instead justified their assault on the basis that the authorised “risk assessment” had been breached and “The Virus” was at risk of being spread.

They seemed blissfully unaware of any irony in weighing in with truncheons to attack perfectly safe and healthy people under the pretext of protecting “health and safety”!

After the police assault, people were not sure what to do, but word went round to go to Hyde Park.

Protesters flooded out of the square into busy traffic and snaked their way through streets to Green Park.

Lots of cars were hooting support and police seemed to be wrong-footed by this spontaneous wildcat march.

sep26g

The protest then headed over Park Lane to Hyde Park, where thousands congregated near Speakers’ Corner.

Again police moved in to stop this unauthorised display of dissent and some scuffles broke out as people stood up to the masked thugs-in-blue.

Long lines of police, spread out across the park, started moving towards the crowd, so people headed back through the gate across Park Lane, into side streets, and back towards Trafalgar Square.

‘Territorial Support’ vans were spotted frantically speeding around the ends of roads as the protesters advanced.

The spontaneous ‘cat and mouse’ nature of the protest meant police couldn’t anticipate where to deploy, despite the helicopter hovering overhead.

For details of upcoming protests, keep an eye on the StandUpX website. But, just as importantly, spread the flame of revolt wherever you live.

Together, we can see off this fascist coup!

sep26h (2)

See also:

The Uprising Has Begun

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The Acorn – 60

acorn 2019bNumber 60


In this issue:

  1. Resisting global fascism
  2. “We are not dupes!”
  3. ‘Anarchists’ join the Government in the fight against nature and the stripping of our rights
  4. Intoxicated with technology
  5. Bharatan Kumarappa: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  Resisting global fascism

From Belgrade to Montreal, from Dublin to Warsaw, from Auckland to Hull, thousands upon thousands of people are saying ‘no’ to the capitalo-fascist new world normal.

We are delighted to report that so many protests are breaking out, that we can hardly keep up any more, but here are a few highlights…

Huge crowds protested two weeks ago in Croatia against the Covid-based dictatorship.

Banners included: “Take off the mask, turn off the TV, live life to the fullest”, “Covid is a lie, we’re not all covidiots” and “Better the grave than to be a slave”.

On September 12 a crowd of at least 1,000 gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, demanding the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Said one media report: “Protesters booed the World Health Organization (WHO), which has its headquarters in Geneva, and criticised the global health body for its efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine. Some accused the WHO of being controlled by outside interests”.

Parents and schoolchildren in Utah, USA, have been making headlines for protesting against compulsory masks.

“Freedom is essential, rights are essential!” was the message at a massive anti-lockdown Freedom Rally in Vancouver, Canada, on September 13.

On September 14 a crowd of anti-mask protesters walked through a supermarket in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, shouting “take your masks off!” and “we’re not going to take it any more!”.

In the UK, there are signs that the government’s new “rule of six” restrictions could prove to be the final straw that broke the Covid camel’s back.

“We’re winning!” declared Brian Gerrish of stalwartly anti-lockdown UK Column on September 14.

Even previously unquestioning individuals are now noticing that there is an agenda behind all of this, which has absolutely nothing to do with protecting people from a virus.

Some well-known figures are also starting to speak up. Noel Gallagher of rock group Oasis said on September 14 that he refuses to wear a mask, adding: “The whole thing’s bollocks. You’re supposed to wear them in Selfridges, yet you can f*cking go down the pub and be surrounded by every fucking c*nt. Do you know what I mean? There’s too many fucking liberties being taken away… I just think it’s a piss take”.

Ian Brown, erstwhile lead singer with the Stone Roses, pointed out on the same day that “conspiracy theorist” is “a term invented by the lame stream media to discredit those who can smell and see through the government/media lies and propaganda”.

Alongside general flouting of the police-state rules and increasing contempt for the system which is imposing it, demonstrations are also being staged around the country. See the StandUpX site for latest details.

Two more big protests are coming up in London, with mass gatherings being advertised for 12 noon in Trafalgar Square on both Saturday September 19 and Saturday September 26.

We are again calling for Acorn readers to take an active part in these protests, not least in order to influence other rebels in a healthily radical political direction.

Our pdf version of ‘Resist the Fourth Industrial Repression’ is designed to be handed out at events like these, for example (hint, hint).

The freedom-loving anarchists at The South Essex Heckler put it this way: “While we’ve made it pretty clear we have no brief for the organisers of these protests and some of the dubious speakers they invite, we would urge anarchists and radicals to leave their comfort zones and try to engage with those who choose to attend.

“There are two reasons for this. Firstly to offer an alternative pole of attraction to the alt right elements who are sniffing round the fringes and seeking to capitalise on people’s growing anger at the imposition of the ‘new normal’.

“Secondly, if these protests are broken up with some degree of force and followed up with numerous prosecutions, bear in mind that it could well be us next in line for this treatment”.

As another anarchist, Paul Cudenec, recently wrote on his blog: “Our resistance needs to come from our hearts. We need to shake off worries about the consequences of speaking up and fighting back – we need to go with what we feel is right.

“We need to tap into the energies of solidarity, belonging and togetherness that have always played a huge role in human society but which are being deliberately destroyed by those who would control us”.

We also echo the words of Alan Hamilton, in a September 16 piece on the Off-Guardian site: “My personal opinion is that the global program of lockdowns is a mechanism for reorganizing societies around the world along the lines of the World Economic Forum’s ‘Great Reset’ agenda and all that this entails”.

“The only way we will arrest and/or reverse this trend is if we all take direct, non-violent, physical (not digital) action to exercise our civic and democratic rights at every opportunity we can. The time to speak up and stand up is now. It will be too late tomorrow”.

See also: The uprising has begun!

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2.  “We are not dupes!”

France and England are only 21 miles apart at the closest point, but in the political realm the distance can feel a lot more substantial.

At a moment when people across the world are rebelling against the global Covid-coup dictatorship (see above), France has a bit of a head-start.

It already has an well-organised autonomous grassroots street movement opposed to authoritarian global neoliberalism, which knows full well that the mass media pump out pro-system propaganda, that the police are violent thugs sent out to crush dissent and that western “democracy” is a hollow illusion hiding a corrupt and murderous tyranny!

The Gilets Jaunes were back in action on Saturday September 12, with big turn-outs in Paris and all over the country reminding the Macronist regime that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

The regional protest in the southern city of Montpellier attracted an impressive crowd despite inevitably being banned by the authorities.

The march got under way in almost comic circumstances, after riot cops turned up in the Place de la Comédie and tried to encircle the hundreds who were gathering.

But the roles were quickly reversed and the police found themselves surrounded by a ring of protesters.

This obviously made them feel uncomfortable and they retreated to the edge of the square, leaving the way clear for the protest to head off up the road from which the cops had initially emerged, setting off a yellow flare in celebration.

The march was feisty, up-beat and of all ages, animated by the usual songs about Macron and the fight for “a better world” and by chants of “a-, anti-, anti-capitalista” and “révolution!”.

“We are not dupes!” declared one placard. “They are not corrupt, they are the corruption!” said another.

The protest wound through little alleys in the medieval city centre, occasionally breaking into smaller groups and largely succeeding in avoiding the cops, although some protesters were confronted with tear gas.

The Gilets Jaunes’ message remains the same as before the Covid crisis and the movement as a whole is not explicitly anti-mask or Covid-sceptic.

But leaflets were going around on the Montpellier demo with a specifically anti-mask message and voices  challenging the Covid narrative were certainly not shouted down or confronted by fellow protesters. There is clearly, at the very least, an overlap.

The big difference with the UK is that there is no need in France for those rebelling against the New Normal to form a new movement, because the Gilets Jaunes are already there.

When the movement emerged in November 2018, it was regarded with suspicion by many on the left, because it included nationalist and far right elements.

But, because of its fundamental anti-state and anti-capitalist position, the new movement quickly found its identity as a broad anti-system alliance untainted either by the racism of the right or the more absurd ultraliberal dogma of the left.

In other words, it already has the strength and maturity to take on board criticism of newnormalist totalitarianism without running scared of ideological contamination from a fetishized “diametric opposite”.

UK anti-capitalists please take note.

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3. ‘Anarchists’ join the Government in the fight against nature and the stripping of our rights

by Marion (anarchist since 1982)

I wonder when the left started being in favour of the (police?) state. I wonder when people stopped thinking for themselves and started blindly believing the media. I wonder when people who believed in natural remedies started believing the pharmaceutical giants instead. I’m sure they haven’t always done that.

I wonder when anarchism stopped meaning people taking charge of their life and started meaning submitting to whatever the authorities decide is right. In fact I remember a time when the majority (not even just anarchists and the left) started to realise the government and the media were telling porkies. Suddenly, because of a virus, all that seems to have changed with some people.

Yes, we were all saying at first (and still are saying) that wet markets should be abolished. Of course they do; but isn’t that difficult to campaign about from the UK (except for the UK ones)? While wet markets continue, there will be viruses and we need to be able to deal (naturally) with those viruses while they are around. Of course, the virus may have come from a laboratory instead, accidentally or deliberately, but either way viruses should not be manufactured whether for biological warfare or to develop strategies against pathogens; it’s dangerous! But for a lot of anarchists, lefties and animal rights people this hasn’t appeared to move on to questioning how a virus could be dealt with or to advocating living in more natural ways.

Authorities know that they can control people either through fear or by telling people they are saving lives. Because anarchists tend to protect the underdog, the vulnerable, the disabled etc, this has worked superbly with them. They believe that the extreme measures in this crazy new world is protecting those people. Yet lockdown, social distancing and cancelling everything that isn’t to do with Covid makes many vulnerable people’s lives more difficult – a shame that needs to be said as it is really so obvious; elderly people not allowed to see their families or sit with others, elderly and disabled having to queue and use stairs because lifts are not in use, people dying because of cancelled operations, the stress of not being able to get through to services and organisations. And ‘containing’ the virus means keeping it.

In early March people were carrying on with their activities as normal; these were not all reckless and selfish people; they included mindful types; martial arts enthusiasts, drama groups, yoga teachers and herbalists. We agreed that sick or vulnerable people should avoid public places wherever possible – so far fine. We were helping people with compromised immune systems by leaving shopping and remedies outside their houses. Then lockdown.

Some anarchists say they were locking down, masking up etc before actual lockdown began but I’m sure it was not long before; the first case of the virus in the UK was in January yet those anarchists were not distancing for a long time unless they were sick or vulnerable. Then the fear and the idea of ‘responsibility’ seeped in, fuelled by propaganda and media hysteria and, after advice and then orders from the Government, they stopped their activities. This was not just because they were furloughed or paid by the Government; some moved them online (as if we don’t already use computers more than is good for us).

Some, bizarrely, stopped talking about vitamins, herbs, good diet, exercise. Neal’s Yard closed its shop (apparently through lack of customers). After a while some thought any group activities to be dangerous and that ‘not hugging’ is a loving act (rather than hugging actually improving the immune system).

Nearly six months after the first case of Covid-19 in the UK, we are being told to wear masks and still to social distance, yet at the beginning of the crisis, pandemic or whatever you want to call it and even in the worst part of it, there were very few people wearing them. Masks only actually protect other people, not the person wearing it, for whom it’s quite bad for their health and uncomfortable, unless you’re just wearing a scarf around your face.

During every flu epidemic, Swineflu etc, have people even discussed social distancing, locking down, wearing masks, mass vaccination of the population? Certainly we should be careful during those times, look after our health, perhaps not go to places that are too crowded etc and being responsible is a good thing if it is well-thought-out with good reasoning. But we have never before gone to these extremes, shutting everything down, distancing etc, and if you look at the facts and the science, CV-19 is no worse than any other disease we have had.*

As for vaccination, which everything seems to be moving towards and some anarchists and even animal rights people are actually wanting, well, we have natural immune systems; vaccinations tamper with them and actually make us less immune to viruses in general, and sometimes worse (brain damage etc).

Is this compliance by anarchists also because of not wanting to be associated with the Alt Right? That right-wing libertarians (including Trump) believe in freedom (or say they do), therefore the left want absolutely nothing to do with freedom? Even though the Freedom organisation is still called that!

Of course, we know that Trump and Bolsanaro and Johnson and libertarian capitalists don’t really agree with freedom, or only for themselves, not for poor people. There is a hatred of ‘conspiracy theories’ among the left. This is despite most anarchists believing in at least some of them; the facts that GM crops are bad news and that vaccinations sometimes have detrimental effects are actually classed by some as conspiracy theories. Many of those theories have quickly become facts, such as there are no WMDs hidden in Iraq.

Now many anarchists seem to disbelieve and ridicule the fact that natural remedies and herbs can often cure diseases. They identify conspiracy theories with right wing (and I think aligning conspiracy theory with right wing ideology is a conspiracy itself, by those that control us). I’m sure the ‘alternative’ people didn’t use to believe everything the medical profession and Big Pharma told them. What is right wing about a belief in natural cures and preventions?!

It’s also because they have been caught up by the old Divide and Rule tactic. The rulers (governments, Deep State, multinationals, Bilderberg or whoever) do that to people all the time; anarchists should know that, yet many of them are being duped by it. They really should know better. I guess those in power must be clever. They did Divide and Rule very well with Brexit, they’ve always done it in condemning people, via the media, who are taking strike action, and with countless other issues. We need to be cleverer; that involves thinking for ourselves more, a lot more.

Some anarchists and lefties are doing that, the ones who don’t blindly follow the pack but have questioning minds and independent views. We need to stop complying with what the government says but instead do what we think is right; if enough people do that the state(s) will have no power.

So why can’t we reclaim the concept of freedom from the ‘alt right’? Instead, a lot of anarchists are renouncing everything about freedom and self-governance, saying that actually anarchism is about mutual aid. Yes of course mutual aid comes into the anarchist ideology but the actual definition of anarchism is ‘without government’. It does not allow for coercion in any way – either by laws, physical coercion or guilt-tripping (which I have heard a lot of).

Another thing that has been happening is that some anarchists are accusing the anti-lockdowners of being selfish. Yet in reality there is selfishness and selflessness on both sides. Many anti-lockdowners are empathic about people losing their jobs and possibly their homes, about other people living on their own, people who have no garden. And many who believe lockdown was/is the right thing to do are in a situation where they are not affected by it, being paid for not having to work (and so they should be, especially in this situation), taking the opportunity to do creative or educational things, so it seems to me that some of them like lockdown because it is personally good for them.

And of course some anti-lockdowners are that mainly for selfish reasons and some who are pro lockdown are not benefitting from it but believe in some way that it is saving others. There are also a lot of people (all of us?) who contradict ourselves, eg, one minute we say it’s tragic that the elderly are on their own at the end of their life and then say it has to be done.

Whether you are pro or anti lockdown is really not about selfish or unselfish; I believe it is about behaving sanely in an insane world. It is about working with nature rather than fighting against it (and with the government and the pharmaceutical industry). It is about thinking for yourself, rather than going along with what your friends or comrades are saying or what the WHO, NHS, media and government is saying.

Actually this new normal is not that new really; a lot of things have been leading up to this point, such as new regulations against alternative remedies being brought in, extreme health and safety rules, increasingly severe anti-union laws, the criminalisation of squatting and increased surveillance.

Apart from all of this, it is so obvious that what the authorities are doing has nothing to do with a virus, so either there was a conspiracy from the beginning or they are using the situation to control us and bring in new rules and systems. It may be governments doing it but I think more likely it is a group of world technocrats making governments do it (Johnson etc being puppets).

Here are just ten of the reasons for thinking there is a hidden agenda:

1. No lockdown or social distancing was done during all other epidemics or pandemics, except perhaps in China and some other far eastern countries.
2. Quarantines when coming into the UK from other countries were not brought in until June, five months after the first case.
3. Elderly put into care homes after discharge from hospital, including those who possibly had CV-19.
4. If they really wanted to end the virus they would test for antibodies, a far more effective way of controlling a virus and stopping it spreading.
5. Doctors are being made to put CV-19 as cause of death when it was not: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53443724
6. CV-19 cases are being counted twice (admitted by the mainstream media now such as Sky News).
7. Masks have become mandatory six months after the first CV-19 case, why not before?
8. New lockdowns have been brought in when there are very few new cases and deaths, even if they were really all Covid deaths, eg. 5 new CV deaths per day in the whole of Spain, 7 new deaths in Victoria, Australia.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-53627038
9. The World Health Organisation itself has said that children do not pass covid to adults. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/children-don-e2-80-99t-pass-covid-19-to-adults-report-indicates/ar-BB13psyK
10. Bill Gates has said he wants to vaccinate the entire world! https://architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2020/04/23/good-morning-coronazombies-diary-of-a-bio-political-crisis-event/

There are many more. Everyone knows about the multitude of contradictions in the information about the virus and in the rules; some recent ones are ferry companies saying passengers are now not allowed to stay in their vehicles and that medical prescriptions must now be ordered by coming to the health centre while the clinics are at the same time saying they are trying to minimise visits to those clinics.

If anyone thinks this is all just ignorance and incompetence on the part of the governments and big business, no it cannot be, they are not that stupid! The answer to all of this is that the agenda is not to control the virus; that is not why they are doing all these things. But I’m not going to tell you why they’re doing it because I’d be guessing (though it could be because the pharmaceutical industry and others want to make more money, because the authorities want to control us because they’re worried we’re questioning governments too much, because they’re doing all this as a step before doing something else bigger and even more controlling, because they want to ‘re-set’, because they want to bring in a new world order); that’s for everyone to find out.

* https://www.globalresearch.ca/manufactured-pandemic-testing-people-any-strain-coronavirus-not-specifically-covid-19/5707781
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/490006-death-certificates-covid-19-do-not-trust/?fbclid=IwAR35QpanoT3JTVphvW3xaVF5-ahpblv6hrIkhQcNBRmENaUtqWFSlBFsBeo
https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/04/26/er-doctor-claims-covid-19-is-being-made-to-look-worse-than-it-really-is/

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4. Intoxicated with technology

by Ronan

Intoxicated by our technology
Some so smitten
They wish to merge it with their biology
Eyeing up parts of their anatomy
Being human is just
Not enough for me
I swear I was born to be a God
I feel so restricted by my human form
Once I’m done
I’ll stalk the earth like Magog
it’s all perfectly natural
It’s Darwinian progress see
It’s not that I don’t like being human
Or that I’m envious of machines
and what we can do with them
I just honestly think it’s a good idea
To change my natural frequency
So I can become a superman
and live in a permanent delinquency
After all, what has the Human form done for me
I want to be like those superheroes they have on the big screens
Transhumanism is the future human you see
Some geek guy said that on a curved TV
He must be right as he has a PhD
But wait a minute what about our friends the Military
Oh those guys are just 50 steps ahead
Always have our best interests
At the forefront of their intent
They’re slowly showing us what’s behind their curtain
A twisted form of humanity they envisage
Of this, you can be certain
A cyborg soldier will never disobey
Retreat or show combat dismay
Have we really exhausted all of our potential and capabilities
Tapped every brain cell explored every possibility
Obviously, this thing will never get abused
As they’ve got a computer program
To make sure I don’t get con”fused”
Oh it’s so lucky they’ve thought of everything
The fourth industrial age is aimed at us
Inside and outside
This technological economic bubble
Will never go bust
As a human being can be conditioned to want more
In this, you can trust.
Edward Bernays proved that without any fuss
Once we’re told we can upgrade ourselves
Then I’ll know we’ve turned paradise into hell
I’m suspicious as fuck about all of this
Technological implants ain’t for me
I’ll take my chances with my faults and flaws
As they’re an intrinsic part of who I’m meant to be
Overcoming these things is the path to real personal growth
understanding what you are and are not
Is probably more important than both
Are we really standing at a possible Cyborg future
If we are I might start shooting
I’ll tell them I thought it was a giant malfunctioning toaster
But no doubt the judge will be a robot
Humans can’t be trusted it seems
But I’m more worried about some of our ideas
Once that is they’re allowed to roam free

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5. Bharatan Kumarappa: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

“Unless something radical is done to Capitalism, it would seem that through it humanity is likely to be wiped out”

Bharatan Kumarappa (1896-1957) was a scholar, writer and activist close to Mohandas Gandhi and, like him, strongly opposed to industrial-capitalist imperialism.

The younger brother of J. C. Kumarappa, he was the Indian editor of Gandhi’s collected works.

He wrote the book Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, published in 1946, while a political prisoner of the British occupying regime.

Gandhi, in his foreword to this work, credits Kumarappa with coining the word “villagism” to describe their shared vision of a decentralised community-based way of living built on traditional crafts and culture.

traditional indian life

Kumarappa aimed the book at Indian village workers, rather than at intellectuals and used it to convey a powerful anti-capitalist message.

He declared: “Unless something radical is done to Capitalism, it would seem that through it humanity is likely to be wiped out”. (1)

Kumarappa said that capitalism’s cult of uncontrolled selfishness was the worst possible basis for any civilization and had created societies “where men in their greed for gain become worse than brutes and compete with each other in fraud, deception, inhuman cruelties and world-wide exploitation and destruction”. (2)

In the religious language of the Bhagavad Gita, he said, capitalism had in fact led “to the establishment of a world of demons”. (3)

In common with Gandhi and other thinkers who inspire organic radicalism, Kumarappa insisted that complete rejection of capitalism must go deeper than the surface of its political presence and address the physical existence of its centralised industrial infrastructures.

india train

He wrote: “The instinct of the anarchist is right when he wants to do away with the tyranny of organisation. But, as we have already pointed out, this can be no more than a dream so long as large-scale production and distribution are adopted”. (4)

An advocate of what would today be termed “degrowth”, Kumarappa challenged the dominant definition of progress, warning that it should not be taken as meaning “a multitude of goods”. (5)

He explained: “If it is realised that progress is not so much a matter of the material environment as a growth in the intelligence, character and artistic sense of the individual, it would seem that it is only under a decentralised economic order that true progress will be possible.

“On the other hand, today, under the centralised economic order, we appear to be descending below the level of the beast, hating, exploiting and destroying each other on a world scale, and reducing the average man to a standardised automaton incapable of thinking and acting for himself”. (6)

Indian moneyIn putting forward the idea of barter as a healthy means of exchange, he questioned why modern societies insisted on “interposing this purely human device of money between food and starvation”.

He asked: “Why should not a man who is eager to give his labour or his produce have direct access to the commodities he wants without first having to change them into money?” (7)

Kumarappa said that however much an economic system might succeed in bringing riches, it would be unstable and prove a failure if in the process it caused human suffering, or in any way hindered people from a full life.

He added: “And, conversely, even if an economic system secures only a subsistence, it will prove stable and adequate if it tends to promote the well-being of all”. (8)

This alternative Gandhian system, villagism, was rooted in ancient pre-capitalist ways of living and was not directly drawn from the Western socialist tradition, he explained.

“The idea of social ownership of production and sharing of things in common was not original to Socialism. Such an arrangement existed in some form or other even in early times, when a whole community or village held land and other property in common and distributed wealth among its members”. (9)

soviet stateIndeed, Kumarappa was highly critical of orthodox socialism for its dependence on a central state to manage its supposedly egalitarian society.

He warned: “As Capitalism took away wealth which rightly belonged to the people and accumulated it in the hands of the capitalist, Socialism takes away the power which rightly belongs to the people and concentrates it in the State.

“And concentration of power is not less dangerous than concentration of wealth; for men get intoxicated with power and can use it with disastrous effect against those who disagree with them”. (10)

A decentralised village-orientated way of life was a bulwark against all concentrations of power, on the national and international level: “We must not think of Villagism therefore as only a matter of economic arrangement but as a social order aiming at ridding the world of imperialism and war”. (11)

RamanujaIn his 1934 book The Hindu Conception of the Deity, Kumarappa set out to counter “critics who think that morality finds no place in the philosophical and religious thought of India”. (12)

To do this, he focused on the teaching of his Tamil predecessor, Ramanuja, the medieval Hindu theologian and philosopher of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition, as opposed to the earlier theology of Adis Shankara or Samkara

Kumarappa said some in the West seemed to imagine that Hinduism regarded the world of experience, the world of life and activity, as unreal.

He objected: “Even if such a criticism be true of Samkara’s philosophy, it certainly cannot claim to be true of all Hindu philosophy.

“Ramanuja, at any rate, repudiates at every turn the doctrine of the illusoriness of the material world and the finite self, and postulates that ultimate Reality is one in which the material world and finite self find a necessary place.

“Nay more, he claims that the ideals by which we live – the perfections of truth, goodness and love – are rooted in the very heart of the Eternal”. (13)

B Kumarappa book2

1. Bharatan Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism (Madras: Shakti Press, 1946), p. 11.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 104.
5. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 193.
6. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, pp. 193-94.
7. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 153.
8. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 112.
9. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 58.
10. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 105.
11. Kumarappa, Capitalism, Socialism or Villagism, p. 192.
12. Bharatan Kumarappa, The Hindu Conception of the Deity: As Culminating in Ramanuja (Luzak & Co, 1934), p. xiv.
13. Kumarappa, The Hindu Conception of the Deity, p.xiii.

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6. Acorninfo

Hinduism is the world’s largest nature-based religion, recognising the sacred in the living world around us, writes Viva Kermani in this enlightening article. She continues: “It views the earth as our Mother, and hence, advocates that it should not be exploited. A loss of this understanding that earth is our mother, or rather a deliberate ignorance of this, has resulted in the abuse, and the exploitation of the earth and its resources”.

* * *

“Our country is being run by a real-life mafia, comprised of a small group who has assumed a powerful form of global authority. These mafia heads have many minions who populate the pharmaceutical industry and government leadership and regulatory positions. These mafia underlings then have their many minions which include elected officials, university and education system officials, the mainstream media, and public health officials. And as of late, this despotic mafia has succeeded in enlisting citizens to ‘police’ one another, both voluntarily and for pay, via snitch lines, social media shaming, contact tracers, informants who report violations, and non-police enforcers of mask wearing and physical distancing”. Powerful stuff from Laura Hayes in ‘The Catastrophic Costs of Complying‘.

* * *

“We are now taking this Corona investigation into our own hands because we can no longer wait” says Dr. Heiko Schöning of the recently-launched international Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee. With the shocking absence of any scrutiny of the many dubious aspects of the Covid coup, this is a much-needed initiative.

* * *

Scientists have created a new type of robot which they claim is “literally alive”.  Says this report: “Xenobots are a scientific and technological breakthrough — a living organism that is fully programmable, capable of changing form and function essentially on command”. Coincidentally, that also seems to be the preferred destiny for what were once free human beings…

* * *

“Foundations often collaborate closely with the CIA, but it would be incorrect to say that the foundations are controlled by the CIA. It is rather that same people who control the foundations, also control the government – including the CIA”, explains Gregory Sinaisky in ‘Fabricating a Pandemic – Who Could Organize It and Why‘. He adds: “The plutocrats have huge resources and many thousands of trained professionals to perform these tasks. Therefore, they are very likely to have the appropriate tools required to create a false pandemic”.

* * *

As the rhetoric of racial division increasingly eclipses the reality of a shared suffering under the rule of the global capitalist elite, a timely analysis of ‘Fascism and the Deadlock of Race‘ has been produced by Rhyd Wildermuth. He writes: “It benefits the capitalist class – and only truly the capitalist class – to reproduce and maintain race as a identity category”.

* * *

“This New Model robs children of their childhood. It will lead them to a life of debt and servitude”. ‘Lifelong Learning‘ is a superb video exposé created by the Book of Ours team, examining the chilling way in which the  newnormalist elite regard other people’s children as nothing more than “human capital” to be controlled and exploited at their sociopathic leisure.

* * *

COVID-19: Evidence of Fraud, Medical Malpractice, Acts of Domestic Terrorism and Breaches of Human Rights is a very thorough and detailed report from Andrew Johnson, a “citizen of good conscience”. He explains: “This document submission brings together COVID-19 related evidence which most or all authorities seem to either be unaware of, or have decided to ignore. It is presented in an attempt to reverse this situation”.

* * *

Acorn quote: “Capitalism can only function if the mass of the population have no choice but to be part of its pyramid of exploitation. It cannot tolerate anyone opting out of its system and is always prepared to use violence to bring people under its economic control”.

Paul Cudenec

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The uprising has begun!

acorn 2019bSpecial report

Aug 29 photo 8
Trafalgar Square, London, August 29, 2020

These last six months have been lonely and often desperate ones for those of us who have not swallowed the Covid agenda.

Not only have we seen our basic freedoms come under attack, but we have done so in the full and bitter knowledge that these draconian measures are not in the least bit necessary and not at all about “protecting” ourselves and our fellow citizens.

We have been assuaged with unrelenting fear-mongering propaganda that we know to be just that: even if we steer clear of corporate-state media, this is blasted out at us in the form of endless announcements, posters and notices and also mirrored grotesquely in the muzzled and cowed submission of those around us.

newnorrmalist grey world

We have had to be braced for constant conflict with the state’s officials and eager vigilantes out to impose compliance with the humiliating collective punishments of “lockdown”, “social distancing” and masks.

We have had to think twice about voicing our opinions, for fear of inviting not just disagreement, but outright hostility, abuse, insult, contempt and rejection, even from those to whom we imagined we were personally or politically closest.

And we haven’t been able to look forward to any happier years ahead of us, because all that we once hoped for has been swept aside by a chilling nightmare vision of faceless robotic slavery under the ruthless jackboot of the Fourth Industrial Repression.

But now, at the end of the 2020 summer, something has changed.

The massive demonstrations that took place in several European cities on Saturday August 29, notably London and Berlin, have broken us out of our solitary confinement.

We can see plainly now that there are others out there thinking the same way as us. Thousands upon thousands of others!

Trafalgar Square in London was packed full of protesters, with estimates of as many as 35,000 or 40,000 people, who later moved on to fill Whitehall.

aug291338

They managed to turn up through their own initiative, without party political, trade union or NGO organising, without fleets of hired coaches, promoted hashtags or XR-style media hype.

Of course, where the protest wasn’t simply ignored, it was always going to be smeared.

The “conspiracy theory” tag wasn’t hard to attach, given that David Icke was making a guest appearance, but that wasn’t enough of an insult for some.

So-called “leftists” and “anarchists” scrambled to share the same photo of a couple of men on the outer fringes of the square displaying (momentarily perhaps) a flag which apparently relates to the late and unlamented British Union of Fascists (disbanded 1940).

For these critics this single image was somehow triumphant proof that all the tens of thousands of people present were either “fascists” or being manipulated by fascists.

aug291380

These clowns are unwilling or (more charitably) unable to grasp that we are witnessing  a historic reshaping of the essential political divide, as foreshadowed in France by the Gilets Jaunes since 2018.

This is now, quite simply, about ordinary people standing up to the exploitative dictatorship of the global capitalist technocratic elite.

At this moment of enormous existential crisis for the freedom and well-being of humankind, all certainties around previous political classifications have been thrown out of the window.

As one participant put it: “We are left, we are right, we are young, old, black, white, we are the working class. And our eyes are open. Don’t believe the hype. The Unite For Freedom march was very diverse. We cannot afford to be divided any longer”.

aug291368

This new 2020s wave of revolt is all about resisting the power of both big business and the state, with an understanding that these forces have now effectively merged.

Combined with its instinctive defence of freedom and real democracy, this makes it eminently compatible with common-sense anarchism of the old-fashioned variety, to which we subscribe.

If contemporary anarchists want to turn this potential into something more solid, then they are going to have to take off their protective mind-blinkers, brave the risk of political contamination from the Great Ideologically Unwashed, and get involved with the broad front.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr, JFK’s nephew, addressed the same issue in Berlin, where the authorities (both of state and of ideological correctness) have slapped a “far right” label on the whole broad-based protest movement on the basis of minority nationalist involvement.

Robert F Kennedy Jr BerlinHe told a massive freedom rally that the US media would accuse him of having come to Germany to address thousands of “Nazis”, but declared that what he was seeing before him was “the opposite of Nazism”.

“I see people who love democracy, people who want open government, people who want leaders who are not going to lie to them. People who want leaders who will not make up arbitrary rules and regulations to orchestrate obedience of the population.

“We want health officials who don’t want financial entanglements with the pharmaceutical industry, who are working for us and not Big Pharma.

“We want officials who care about our children’s health and not about pharmaceutical profits or government control”.

aug291360

It felt clear to us, when we wrote in advance about this weekend (see Acorn 59), that it was going to be huge and important. And so it has proved.

But what next? Various local demos are planned across England (for the latest info see the StandUpX website) and, north of the border, there will be a ‘Saving Scotland’ March on Holyrood.

The meet-up is near the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh at 1pm on Saturday September 5.

Saturday September 26 is being mentioned as the date of the next big protest in London.

As our comrades at the South Essex Heckler point out, though, large-scale set-piece demonstrations are not the be-all-and-end-all.

They write: “Sure, there’s a place for intelligently organised street protests and actions but more than that, there’s always a place for dispersed, sustained action that aims to sabotage and eventually bring down the existing order.

“We favour long term, dispersed action that will eventually crash the new (ab)normal. We’ve frequently posted about building the new world we want inside the shell of the increasingly dystopian one we’re forced to endure – now is the time to grab the opportunity to do just that”.

aug1361

Delighted though we are at the numbers now expressing their opposition to the totalitarian New World Normal, we don’t want to create any false sense of complacency.

What we are witnessing is just the start of a worldwide uprising.

aug291371The totalitarian capitalist elite have been planning this coup for years, probably even decades, and they are not going to cave in at the drop of a hat, tinfoil or otherwise.

If ignoring and smearing the protest movement does not successfully quell resistance, then we can expect other forms of repression to be deployed.

Outright police-state brutality is a real possibility, as the people of Melbourne, Australia, have been experiencing.

But this will always be a double-edged sword for the authorities, which is why they haven’t immediately leapt into that mode everywhere.

If it becomes blatantly obvious that opposition to their “Great Reset” is being crushed by force, they will start to lose the majority consent which they have been so careful to build up with their propaganda.

The cat will be out of the bag and they will risk stirring up the anger of huge swathes of the population, particularly if the resistance can remain untainted by “right” or “left” labels.

So we can probably expect lots more propaganda, divide-and-rule and other classic British “counter-insurgency” tactics to be deployed, and fail, before the state feels it needs to play its final violent card.

aug29xx

There is a tough struggle ahead of us, that’s for sure, with no guarantee that we will succeed in seeing off and bringing down the dark forces of corporate transhumanist dictatorship.

But at least we have those images of the August 29 protest in our heads, images of people, all kinds of people, united by their capacity to grasp what is going on and their courage to stand up and oppose it.

People with different worldviews, from various backgrounds and all with their personal faults and failings, no doubt.

But also people with faces. People with minds of their own. People with principles.

Real people. Living people. People like us.

Now we all know that we are not alone!

aug291376

aug291333

aug291355

 

aug291369

Photos  by Max Hogster

(except top and Robert. F. Kennedy Jr)

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The Acorn – 59

acorn 2019bNumber 59

In this issue:

  1. Stand up to tyranny!
  2. The Great Battle for the Future
  3. Smart means dead
  4. Tracksuits, traumas and class traitors
  5. Henry David Thoreau: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  Stand up to tyranny!

AUG 29 POSTER

Hope is rising that people are finally seeing through the neoliberal corona-lies and are ready to stand up to the 21st century tyranny of newnormalism.

With so many sold-out phoney rebels on the “left” openly backing the new totalitarianism, other people, from a wide range of backgrounds, have had to step forward and urge resistance to the nightmarish global dictatorship.

Many of these are rallying behind the banner of StandUpX (see Resistance Update and Acorn 58) which, as this article explains, has seen numbers on its protests shoot up from dozens to thousands. “The numbers are continuing to increase rapidly – hence why more events are taking place all across the UK”.

StandUPX logo StandUpX say on their website: “We are living in a state of authoritarian control. We do not consent to Government social distancing measures infringing upon public and private life. We do not accept enforced masks. We do not accept a dictatorship of lockdowns, threats of lockdowns, and Covid Ghettos.

“Forced, coerced and mandated vaccinations violate the principles of the Nuremberg Code which states ‘any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned.’

“Humanity will be a mass science experiment profiting billions for pharmaceutical companies and their partners including Bill Gates.

“Tracking & Tracing is a total violation of personal privacy and freedom to associate. It is a digital Gestapo.

“To add to this oppression, the government is proposing a Health Passport, which is designed to track your health records, purchases and public activities including travel. It will not be temporary. It is the preliminary step to 24/7 tracking via an implantable chip.

“5G is necessary for the infrastructure of 24/7 Surveillance Tracking & Implantable Microchips. This is why our roads are currently being dug up to install the fibre cable network necessary for 5G. This is why trees, which block 5G signals (and help us breathe) are being chopped all over our cities. 5G is lethal to privacy as well as to health. We have no reason to believe 5G is safe”.

The imposition of mask wearing, at a time when the virus has all but disappeared, has already opened a lot of folk’s eyes to the fact that they are being conned.

The fact that masks seem to be intended as a permanent “new normal”, plus the threat of compulsory vaccination and further lockdowns, may prove enough to push thousands of others over the edge and into rebellion.

aug 29 poster2

A big bank holiday weekend of protest is coming up in London.

On Saturday August 29, 12 noon at Trafalgar Square, a huge protest and march is planned by a broad coalition of freedom lovers.

The event is due to be addressed by a number of high-profile doctors who have courageously challenged the official propaganda narrative, including Dr Adil, Professor Dolores Cahill, Dr Andrew Kaufman (live video link) and Dr Kevin Corbet.

Natural nurse Kate Shemirani and Jeremey Corbyn’s brother Piers Corbyn are also lined up to speak.

There will be a video link with the latest mass protest in Germany, where earlier this month as many as a million people took to the streets of Berlin to defy newnormalism.

The very next day, Sunday August 30, a protest has been called for Notting Hill during the famous carnival – 12 noon at Portobello Road.

aug 30 protest

Sunday August 30 will also see a Stop New Normal protest in Bristol, in Castle Park from 12 noon. 

Before then, there will be a ‘Protest to Protect our Children’ in Manchester on Saturday August 22, 1pm at Piccadilly Gardens and a Picnic in the Park n Leeds on Sunday August 23, 2pm in Hyde Park.

leeds protest aug 23

A week after the big weekend in the UK capital, on Saturday September 5, there will be a ‘Stand Up for the Children’ protest starting in Hyde Park, London, at 1pm and marching to the BBC studios.

Smaller weekly StandUpX events are currently being held in Bedford (every Saturday, 3pm, Russell Park), Bournemouth (every Saturday, 2-5pm, Bournemouth Town Hall), Norwich (every Saturday, 1pm, Eaton Park, Chapperfield Gardens) and Sheffield (every Saturday, 12pm, Town Hall Peace Gardens).

For latest info see the StandUpX website at https://www.standupx.info/

North of the border, there will be a ‘Saving Scotland’ March on Holyrood: meet-up near the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh at 1pm on Saturday September 5.

Say organisers: “Deliberate media-managed panic, fear and propaganda made the ‘virus’ seem like it could kill us all. It was a lie!

“End the illegal Coronavirus Act 2020 Tyranny. Scotland is being destroyed! Return our civil liberties”.

march on holyrood

Germany remains the epicentre of the revolt against dictatorship (perhaps because historical memories are still relatively fresh), with even a chief inspector of police speaking out against the global big business coup.

But there have also been reports of signficant protests in Madrid (3,000), the Canary Islands (several hundred) Warsaw (25,000) and Montreal (“thousands”).

madrid protest

A ‘Mask Se Azaadi’ campaign now also seems to be underway in India, with one protester declaring: “We are burning the masks. We will not wear any masks and neither will pay any fines. Because wearing masks leads to the spread of diseases. We are being made to wear masks to shut us up”.

We urge Acorn readers, wherever they are, to cast aside their fears and their ideological insecurities, take the plunge and get involved in the resistance to the newnormalist dictatorship.

As C.J. Hopkins says in an excellent piece on the Off_Guardian site: “It is your responsibility to speak up, and to do whatever else you can, to stop the New Normal future from becoming a reality.

“You will not be rewarded for it. You will be ridiculed and castigated for it. Your New Normal friends will hate you for it. Your New Normal family will forsake you for it. The New Normal police might arrest you for it. It is your responsibility to do it anyway”.

Berlin protest
Every day should be freedom day

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2.  The Great Battle for the Future

peasant revolt

In the Middle Ages, with the outright slavery of the Roman Empire left behind, medieval rebels saw ahead of them a better future, one based on social justice, freedom and local autonomy.

They were on the path leading towards the light, towards genuine social progress rather than to the fake “progress” of technological sophistication and profusion.

But this didn’t go down well with the ruling class, who feared that their power and privilege would be lost for ever.

Instead of escaping from slavery into freedom, our ancestors therefore found themselves engaged in a Great Battle for the Future with the dark forces of tyranny.

Capitalism – the new form taken by malevolent ruling class domination – subjugated our ancestors by cutting them off from their sources of subsistence and autonomy.

Common land was confiscated – enclosed – making self-sufficiency impossible. Food could no longer be freely gathered or hunted, rivers could no longer be fished, wood for fuel could no longer be picked up in the privatised forests.

People were forced into the money system, forced to earn “wages” just to live, forced into factories and workhouses, reduced to craven dependency on the capitalist system.

silvia-federici2
Silvia Federici

In her book Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici describes the period as one of “relentless class struggle” in which “the medieval village was the theater of daily warfare”.

“Everywhere masses of people resisted the destruction of their former ways of existence, fighting against land privatization, the abolition of customary rights, the imposition of new taxes, wage-dependence, and the continuous presence of armies in their neighbourhoods, which was so hated that people rushed to close the gates of their towns to prevent soldiers from settling among them”.

In order to impose the New Normal of capitalism on the unwilling people, the power elite used what Federici terms “social enclosure”, a precursor of today’s “social distancing”.

Pubs-closedShe writes: “In pursuit of social discipline, an attack was launched against all forms of collective sociality and sexuality including sports, games, dances, ale-wakes, festivals, and other group-rituals that had been a source of bonding and solidarity among workers”.

“Taverns were closed, along with public baths. Nakedness was penalized, as were many other ‘unproductive’ forms of sexuality and sociality. It was forbidden to drink, swear, curse”.

In another striking parallel with the 2020s (and indeed the 1920s/1930s) the elite tried to create “a new type of individual” – a servile, malleable and thus profitable type.

The primary tool used by the ultra-rich minority to oppress the majority was, of course, the state.

Far from representing some kind of benign collective self-interest, as some absurdly persist in maintaining, the modern state emerged in the 14th century “as the only agency capable of confronting a working class that was regionally unified, armed and no longer confined in its demands to the political economy of the manor”.

Inquisition

Whether claiming to be fighting “heresy”, “witchcraft” or disorder, the ruling elite deployed all the violence and propaganda of its inquisitions, wars and laws to bring the population to heel. And, as we all know to our cost, it won that Great Battle for the Future.

But because its socipathic greed knows no end, because its “growth” is based on ever-increasing profit for the ultra-rich, it can never stop treading us further and further into the toxic industrial dust of its total control.

Today we have reached another key moment in history, when the ruling elite – under the feeble pretext of combatting a flu virus – hopes to essentially return us to the slave status we escaped a thousand years ago.

All its liberal pretence at “democracy” is going out of the window as the brutal reality of elite power becomes clear to those who have eyes to see.

There will be resistance, you can be sure of that, even if the advance disabling of certain potential sources of dissent means it may take a while for rebels to regroup and find their common voice.

Those of us who do resist will be embarking on another Great Battle for the Future.

(The full article can be read here)

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3. Smart means dead

This is our DIY translation of an article which appears in the July/August 2020 edition of the French-language print journal anarchie! under the title ‘Qui a peur de la mort?

5G mast

The radiant and gleaming future presented to us by the promoters of 5G, ‘a world of infinite possibilities’, has finally revealed itself for what it is: while everyone was locked up in their homes and all dissent was set aside in the name of biopolitics, masts went up all over the place to deliver a new infrastructure with which the powers-that-be aim to do nothing less than transform the whole of society.

5G’s forced entry into our lives cruelly illustrates the fact that neither in conception nor design is it meant to contribute to the well-being of the vast majority who consume it, but that it is instead intended to increase the power of the tiny minority who produce it.

Moreover, if we look back over our shoulders; hasn’t it been the same thing with every new technological advance? From the first weaving looms to motor cars and nuclear energy, how many of these would never have happened if their indisputable necessity for our lives hadn’t been forced on us?

4IR

Considering the enormous means at the disposal of the telecommunicatios industry, which in recent years has come to dominate the political narrative in every corner of the world, you get the impression that every day a war is taking place on the stage of our refusal. Precisely because 5G logically comes across as a negative thing in the eyes of the exploited, since the future it is there to build is that of the dominant class, the system tries to resolve the contradiction by using propaganda, so that people welcome the decisions made for them. But they can’t make people feel satisfied with their lot unless they reduce them to the status of insignficant cogs in a phenomenon over which they have no say.

We are already aware (even if only intuitively) of the effects on our lives of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ invoked by the most enthusiastic experts: they are with us every day in latent form, bursting into reality each time that we catch a glimpse of another, still bigger, slice of nature eaten up by bulldozers. Each time that we realise that we have got used to the sight of a pylon or a nuclear power station. Each time that we notice to what extent the environment in which we live in is artificial and planned.

Awareness is spreading wider and wider of the fact that a technological future cannot halt the ongoing disaster, but is instead aimed at prolonging it.

masked shoppersInstead of opening up the horizon, it closes it down, trapping us in the eternal present. Instead of pointing to the possibility of living something completely different, it offers at the very most the certainty of surviving by managing the catastrophe.

You’d imagine the myth of ‘progress’ would today be riddled with cutting doubts… but no amount of televisual good faith can now stop people seeing the pile of corpses spat out every day on the other side of the world by the capitalist machine. And in the great cities of the ‘advanced’ (sic) world, the end result of two centuries of unquestionable progress has been an existence which is more locked-down, artificial and desperate than we have ever known before.

Only those who have totally surrendered to misery could contemplate without a feeling of dread the technological cages known as ‘smart homes’, the multiplication of ‘sensing systems’ to watch and record every detail of our movements or the alienation of lives directed by the algorithms of ‘virtual assistants’.

At the end of the day it is not just about 5G or the umpteenth new threat from technology. It is about totally refusing a world based on dominating others, that’s to say on war, on environmental destruction, on paid labour and other abominations, of which technology has become one of the cornerstones.

In truth, all of that – the bombarding of cities and spirits, the extinction both of the wild outdoors and of surges of spontaneity in our domestic lives, the state’s administration of its subjects, or the biopolitical lockdown of an entire population – all of that will only be possible if the internet is available everywhere.

5G connect

That is why their emphasis on ‘connectivity’, both between individuals and between individuals and their environment, can only be understood as reinforcement of domination in every domain.

When they tell us to get closer together online, it is really business and the state that are coming closer to human experience: each interraction that takes place on their network is owned by their economy and power. We are obliged to live our everyday lives as if remotely, via more and more technological intermediaries, which put up a sort of screen between us and reality, dictating to us a certain rhythm, a certain behaviour and above all a certain pre-determined relationship with the world.

What is really at stake here, with the way we are being pushed in the direction in which things are going, even more so with the current acceleration of this process by 5G, is our very capacity to think and act autonomously.

Even as technology imposes itself as universal mediation, it paradoxically distances us from the world, in the sense that it derpives us of the moral and material means to understand it, reinvent it and affect it with our own direct, conscious action.

Indeed, the ‘smart’ concept is nothing other than the paradigm of a city, or dwelling-place, where human beings simply follow the directions provided by algorithms, without feeling the need to interrupt this with their own ideas or spontaneous actions born of their own free will… in other words a completely dead intelligence. An intelligence with no conscience.

robot skull

See also: Resist the Fourth Industrial Repression

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4. Tracksuits, traumas and class traitors

Jan Goodey reviews D. Hunter’s new book, Tracksuits, Traumas and Class Traitors, published by the Classwork Project (2020)

tracksuits

On the back of D. Hunter’s first book, Chav Solidarity (Active 2019), which looked at life on the margins of working class Britain, this latest goes further and adds an additional layer of academic analysis into the, at times harrowing, bargain.

The series of ten essays with academic framing, plus a main narrative section, offer insights into queer methodologies; carceral abolition; class analysis; and auto-ethnography which as a terrain is a good fit for this work: “evocative, emotional, dialoguing and engaging writing…[which is]…closer to literature and art than to science”.

At times there is the temptation to rush the analysis which is interspersed and then rush back to the narrative, don’t, the two are integral.

Hunter’s early years could come straight out of an Alan Clarke drama and bear comparison to books like Alexander Masters’ biography, Stuart a Life Backwards; visceral, tortuous, no-holds barred, real life staring you squarely in the face. Muggings, ultra-violence, rape, robbery, incest, are laid bare and borne in occasionally beautiful, positive and counter-intuitive ways.

In this book, one of Hunter’s aims is to do more justice to the lives he dealt with in the first, which honed in on ‘marginalised’ communities. “I focus on the blood and bone of poor and working class people, and the ways in which the social and cultural context reproduces forms of class power… My writing is in a small way a form of activism.”

This honing down is to a ‘poverty class’ as something “distinctly less than the working class; something made of a group of people who should be stripped of their humanity, undeserving of basic dignity. The people who raised me, the people who I grew up around, the imprisoned, the sectioned, the house-less, the traumatised, those who worked in the illegal economies of sex and drugs, the white trash, and the black and brown inner-city youth”.

fans

The often shocking acts of violence that are documented throughout Tracksuits, Traumas and Class Traitors – acts which are carried out by the author, against him and he as witness – are viewed with recognition of the political, economic and social systems in which they occur – a vital sequitur.

That he’s been given “the space, care and time to focus on recovering, that my behaviours have been anything close to the result of conscious decisions. But it’s this experience that leads me to feel compassion towards the person who has caused me the greatest harm, the legacy of which it’s doubtful I’ll ever recover”.

Here he refers to the patriarch of the family, his grandfather. And it is here we look to the restorative powers of transformative justice (TJ) and its liberatory approach to violence; seeking safety and accountability within families and communities and not alienation, punishment, state violence of prison and policing without. The bitter fruits of industrial capitalism.

Bay Area TJ

We are brought to The Bay Area TJ collective in Oakland California where a pod approach is practised within the community while seeking safety and accountability front, left and centre.

These anarchistic, positive, grassroots, small scale initiatives are all about “entering into dialogues that engage with the inequity in our networks. [It] is vital in our attempts to end the reproduction of carceral and capitalist logics. If we do this, we will be able to create spaces which encourage openness and intimacy, from which we can build deep solidarity with one another”.

A deep solidarity he had rarely with his own father and more often with neighbours: the one rare moment of filial connection, playing football…”he was playing with a desperation to connect with me, to find that paternal bond; instead I imagine he was beating people, he was beating other men in a socially approved way, in a manner that those watching could not take away from him easily. I was playing for that bond, the desperation that coursed through my veins then, that wanted the world and its dog to see us together playing, moving in synchronicity with one another. I wanted that synchronicity, that connection, to last forever. It did not make it past the afternoon”.

And then we get to hear of extraordinary acts of kindness towards D and his family from neighbours– “the man who ran the Jamaican takeaway that gave me the fried chicken… For over four years, he supplied us with fried chicken, hot, rice ‘n’ peas, and many, many dumplings. I could go over there at any point during their opening times and he would supply me with a bag of food to take back to the flat”.

The book’s final segment looks at social work: “As Loïc Wacquant has pointed out,
government programmes, which set out to address poverty or more accurately address the poor, working class, have as their primary function the marking of the poor as pathological, enabling the state to criminalise poverty and the bodies of the poor. This process plays a key role in the stigmatisation of poor and working class people”.

This stigmatisation breeds new exploitation with new forms of media-manufactured class differentiation and antagonism.

Through all of this Hunter’s heart stays embedded in his working class roots and he selflessly seeks “to connect some dots and ensure that everyone who had asked for some cash [from the fruits of his first book] received some, and in some cases, set up regular payments for the duration of the social shutdown. I don’t say this to big myself up, I was in a fortunate position to have enough social capital to connect those with plenty to those with not enough”.

(Jan Goodey is a regular contributor to the Ecologist online)

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5. Henry David Thoreau: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

Thoreau

“We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us”

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was a writer and philosopher who sought and recommended a simple natural life and who spoke out against modern civilization and the violence of the state.

He influenced many political thinkers, including Henry SaltEdward CarpenterLeo Tolstoy and Mohandas Gandhi.

Thoreau’s best-known work is Walden, a description of his attempt to put his thinking into practice by living for more than two years in the woods of his native Massachusetts, USA.

thoreau signHe explained: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”. (1)

Part of the appeal for him was undoubtedly to be alone, to escape the crowds and babble of the modern world, for which a certain loss of comfort was a price well worth paying: “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion”. (2)

Thoreau frequently stressed the importance of living unencumbered by the trappings of the modern world – “Simplify, simplify”, (3) he urged. “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?” (4)

It was not just that we did not need these trappings of wealth, but that they were actually bad for us.

He wrote in Walden that most of the luxuries and so-called comforts of life were not at all necessary, but were in fact “positive hinderances to the elevation of mankind” (5) and he added in ‘Civil Disobedience’: “Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue”. (6)

Adi_ShankaraThoreau noted that the wisest of people had historically often lived in the simplest of ways and was convinced that this was all part of their wisdom.

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically”. (7)

On the other hand, the rich had “accumulated dross”, did not know how to get rid of it and had thus “forged their own golden or silver fetters”. (8)

Thoreau was interested in Hindu philosophy and also, in Walden, cites the Taoist wisdom of Chuang Tzu.

He pre-empted René Guénon in his view that the modern world represented a reign of quantity where quality, particularly inner quality, was completely neglected. He noted: “While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them”. (9)

Contemporary America “lives too fast” (10) he said. Commerce, communication and transport were all regarded as essential issues, but people were less interested in “whether we should live like baboons or like men”. (11)

railroadThoreau was more than sceptical about the point of industrial progress and all the so-called “modern improvements” it brought with it, writing that “there is an illusion about them; there is not always a positive advance”. (12)

He added: “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate”. (13)

The much-heralded cable under the Atlantic would, he suggested, only succeed in bringing Americans worthless gossip such as news of the latest illnesses affecting the British Royal Family.

“As if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly… the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages”. (14)

Twenty years later, John Ruskin was to make the same point when he described the new railway allowing the people of Buxton and Bakewell to rush from one town to the other and back in record time and for no apparent purpose.

railroad workers2

Thoreau was also acutely aware of the human cost of industrialism, including the thousands of human lives lost in the building of the railways, the first major infrastructure of American capitalism.

He wrote: “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them”. (15)

An outspoken opponent of the American institution of slavery, which was not formally abolished until after his death, Thoreau also turned his fire on the “factory system” that had been imported across the Atlantic.

He wrote: “The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English, and it cannot be wondered at since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that the corporations may be enriched”. (16)

Against this world of money-greed and exploitation, Thoreau proposed a modest and inward-looking life in the bosom of nature.

The dust that accumulates on any object inside a house symbolised for him the choking effect of modern life on human beings and he declared: “I would rather sit in the open air, for no dust gathers on the grass, unless where man has broken ground”. (17)

Thoreau’s belief in the importance of being close to nature implied that our very thinking should emerge from that nature and effectively amount to a continuation of its unspoken wisdom.

He wrote in ‘A Natural History of Massachusetts’: “To him who contemplates a trait of natural beauty no harm or disappointment can come. The doctrines of despair, of spiritual or political tyranny or servitude, were never taught by such as shared the serenity of nature”. (18)

hoar frost crystalsIn this essay he described the “ghost leaves” produced by hoar frost and was prompted to reflect on the inherent form within the natural world.

He wrote: “It struck me that these ghost leaves, and the green ones whose forms they assume, were the creatures of but one law; that in obedience to the same law the vegetable juices swell gradually into the perfect leaf, on the one hand, and the crystalline particles troop to their standard in the same order, on the other.

“As if the material were indifferent, but the law one and invariable, and every plant in the spring but pushed up into and filled a permanent and eternal mould, which, summer and winter forever, is waiting to be filled”. (19)

He added: “Vegetation has been made the type of all growth; but as in crystals the law is more obvious, their material being more simple, and for the most part more transient and fleeting, would it not be as philosophical as convenient to consider all growth, all filling up within the limits of nature, but a crystallisation more or less rapid?” (20)

Here he raises one of the key elements of organic radical thinking: that there is an implicit order within nature as a whole and all its parts, including humans, which emerges from within and steers our development.

Thoreau wrote: “I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man”. (21)

thoreau bookThis realisation, drawn from his observation of plants and frost, formed a nature-sourced philosophical basis for his libertarian political views.

If people were not able to live according to their nature in the contemporary world, it was because of the state and its laws.

Thoreau wrote, in ‘Civil Disobedience’: “I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.

“Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also I believe – ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have”. (22)

He observed: “Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice”. (23)

Thoreau had direct experience of the power of the state, which jailed him for refusing to pay his poll tax for six years, and was struck by the “foolishness” of the thick walls and doors with which it countered his principled stance.

pilloryHe wrote: “The State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest”. (24)

When Thoreau insisted that “the only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think is right”, (25) this may sound simply like rugged individualism.

But the use of the term ‘right’ indicated that he was in fact referencing a collective sense of right and wrong, one sourced from his inner human nature.

Like the anarchist psychoanalyst Otto Gross, Thoreau saw how a person who tried to live according to that nature, who remained true to their innate moral compass, was bound to come into conflict with an outside civilization founded on power, money and lies.

Our duty was to allow the sense of rightness that swelled within us to overcome the demands and expectations of a world become corrupt and not to find cowardly excuses to avoid doing so.

He wrote: “All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now”. (26)

He urged us to follow the obligation deep within us to be true to ourselves and the natural world of which we are part: “Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine”. (27)

Video link: Talking with Thoreau (31 mins)

thoreau art

1. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, with an introduction by Richard Whiteing (London: The Gresham Publishing Company, n/d), p. 109.
2. Thoreau, Walden, p. 42.
3. Thoreau, Walden, p. 110.
4. Thoreau, Walden, p. 111.
5. Thoreau, Walden, p. 15.
6. Henry David Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau: Revised Edition, ed. Carl Bode (London: Penguin, 1975), p. 123.
7. Thoreau, Walden, pp. 15-16.
8. Thoreau, Walden, p. 17.
9. Thoreau, Walden, p. 39.
10. Thoreau, Walden, pp. 110-11.
11. Ibid.
12. Thoreau, Walden, p. 61.
13. Ibid.
14. Thoreau, Walden, pp. 61-62.
15. Thoreau, Walden, p. 111.
16. Thoreau, Walden, p. 30.
17. Thoreau, Walden, p. 42.
18. Henry David Thoreau, ‘A Natural History of Massachusetts’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 33.
19. Henry David Thoreau, ‘A Natural History of Massachusetts’, The Portable Thoreau, pp. 52-53.
20. Thoreau, ‘A Natural History of Massachusetts’, The Portable Thoreau, pp. 53-54.
21. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 127.
22. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 109.
23. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 111.
24. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 127.
25. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 111.
26. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 113.
27. Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, The Portable Thoreau, p. 120.

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6. Acorninfo

Resistance continues against the disastrous HS2 rail line between London and Birmingham. Says the HS2 Rebellion website: “HS2 is one of the largest and most damaging infrastructure projects our country has ever seen and is representative of everything we are seeking to change within this toxic system”. For info on protest camp locations and how to help go to https://hs2rebellion.earth/camp-locations/

HS2 protest

* * *

Wangan and Jagalingou Tribal Warriors in Australia have served mining giant Adani with an eviction notice for illegally trespassing on their land with its Carmichael Coal Mine. They say: “This eviction notice marks the start of a new phase of our resistance to Adani’s destruction of land, water and culture”.

WJWarriors

* * *

This Spanish TV interview with a doctor went horribly wrong for the corporate propagandists, as the interviewee tore holes into the official smearmongering and its blatant vaccine-profiteering agenda. A real breath of fresh air!

Spanish doctor on TV

* * *

“It will be done in a barbaric fashion using draconian methods and this global holocaust will probably come out from under the flag of the UN… Wake up now!” So says a character in One By One, the last ever film to feature the late Rik Mayall.  Meanwhile the latest Plandemic film has been getting a lot of attention. Note that one of these is labelled fiction and the other not, but we will let readers decide for themselves how that works out!

Rik Mayall in One by One

* * *

“This is the essence of the biosecurity state, in which the citizen no longer has the right to life (familial, social, economic, political), but in which the state has absolute power over the biopolitical body of the subject”. Another hugely impressive article by Simon Elmer
of Architects for Social Housing can be read here.

police state masks

* * *

A warning against the Big Pharma vaccine agenda has been issued in Cyprus. Says the author: “The so-called ‘cases’ of healthy people are exactly what each community needs to cope with the crisis. But the ‘scientific team’ is trying to reduce this natural immunity that the community is now building, because – they have made it very clear – they prefer to pursue mass vaccination”.

DIY.Masks.3.cropped

* * *

The dystopia of the Fourth Industrial Repression is arriving faster than any of us could imagine. In Basildon, Essex, for instance, the council has announced it will be starting a six-month trial of the use of drones to help with planning enforcement. Local activists’ fears of “mission creep” are supported by news from Melbourne, Australia, where the increasingly fascistic cops are already using drones to spy on citizens to make sure they don’t break “lockdown” rules. Will people start developing DIY anti-drone devices in response? Jamming the frequencies? Using catapults even?

drone surveillance

* * *

Canadian constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati is taking out a lawsuit against his government, describing the COVID measures as “the biggest example of misinformation and lies on a global scale that we’ve seen”.

Rocco Galati

* * *

Another glorious triumph for technological Progress has been announced, with scientists apparently having discovered a “ground-breaking” bio-synthetic material that they claim can be used to merge artificial intelligence with the human brain. This “breakthrough” is described as “a major step towards integrating electronics with the body to create part human, part robotic ‘cyborg’ beings”. Marvellous news for life haters everywhere.

cyborg nightmare

* * *

The next phase in  the global techno-fascist coup, particularly if resistance picks some momentum, is likely to be full-out censorship of dissident views. We are still very much present on Twitter, but with some anti-establishment groups already being expelled from social media, we have created a back-up account on Mastodon,  which can be found here.

* * *

Acorn quote: “The great ability of those who are in control in the modern world lies in making the people believe that they are governing themselves”.

René Guénon

vote poster

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The Acorn – 58

acorn 2019bNumber 58

In this issue:

  1. Where do we go from here?
  2. Protection racket
  3. Exposing the lies
  4. The Outsider: an interview with Colin Wilson
  5. Aldous Huxley: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  Where do we go from here?

anti-mask protest

These are not easy times in which to be alive if, like us, you cherish freedom and truth.

The last few months have seen us dragged into a nightmarish totalitarian world.

No sooner had “lockdown” been lifted, than masks were imposed. The spectre of a compulsory “vaccine” hovers darkly on the horizon.

All this symbolism of submission, of craven conformism and dehumanised obedience, would be hard to take at the best of times.

But when all of this naked authoritarianism is justified by blatant lies, the situation becomes still more outlandlish.

The “science” behind this medical strategy of tension is so flimsy that one would imagine that all but the dullest of TV-addicted sofa spuds would see right through it.

But, for many, believing the official version seems to have become an article of faith, a central part of their initiation into the sinister “new normal”.

In order for this psychological surrender to authority to be effective, maybe the message had to be obviously false, in the same way that Winston Smith’s torturer in Nineteen Eighty-Four is obviously holding up four fingers rather than five.

What is important for our rulers is that obedient goodthinking citizens believe anything they are told, no matter how absurd.

A further twist of the knife has come from the way that people we assumed we knew, people we imagined shared our basic ideals, have turned out to be something else.

Liberty-loving rebels, long-term opponents of the capitalist system, have suddenly become authoritarian robots, mindlessly repeating the lies and demands of the system.

Worse still, they turn on those of us who have remained consistent in our principles and accuse us of having somehow drifted into unacceptable political territory!

It comes as no comfort to have seen much of this coming, whether in the shape of the increasing authoritarianism of the neoliberal system or the dangerous narrowing of political thinking on the left.

mask citizen
Political correctness 2020

In truth, the scale and speed of what has happened has left us gasping for breath.

Where do we go from here?

We can all, of course, keep on resisting the dictatorship in hundreds of small ways, most importantly by sharing our views and analysis with others in the virtual and real worlds.

But we can also start thinking about what our long-term resistance is going to look like, what kind of movement might emerge to fight the new white-coated fascism and the Fourth Industrial Repression it has unleashed on us.

In thinking about this future movement, we can all help to create and shape it.

To this effect, we invite Acorn readers to share their thoughts with us, not so much in the form of articles for publication (though we also welcome those!), as in an informal way.

Our email address is winteroak(at)greenmail.net and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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2.  Protection racket

WWF-funded guards

Protecting the environment has surely got to be A Good Thing.

Creating “protected areas” for nature in various parts of the world might therefore seem to be a positive move.

However, when these areas are being promoted by the same capitalist system which brought nature to her knees in the first place, the alarm lights start flashing!

“Protected Areas” are in fact one aspect of the global capitalist scam being sold to us under the label of the ‘New Deal for Nature’.

Because, in typical capitalist style, this scam has been wrapped up in shiny green packaging and promoted by the well-known WWF, the New Deal for Nature initially attracted little opposition.

But in recent weeks, thanks to the truth-spreading efforts of the No Deal for Nature campaign and its supporters, support has been slipping away.

The human rights charity Survival International has been doing a great job of blowing the whistle on what is nothing other than a new phase of industrial capitalist imperialism, aiming to displace indigenous peoples and further exploit Mother Nature for the profit of the usual tiny and greedy elite.

Warns Survival director Stephen Corry: “The latest idea to be heavily promoted by big conservation NGOs is doubling the world’s so-called ‘Protected Areas’ (PAs) so that they cover thirty percent of the globe’s lands and oceans.

View at Medium.com

“This is now their main rallying cry and response to two of the world’s biggest problems — climate chaos and loss of biodiversity.

“It’s a marketing gimmick designed to funnel even more money to those who have for decades demonstrated their failure to mitigate either climate change or biodiversity loss.

“Many PAs aren’t really protected at all. They include industrial exploitation — mining, logging, plantations, trophy hunting concessions, or extensive, usually high-end, tourist infrastructure.

“The locals are thrown out as the land is grabbed by one or other industry, partnering with one or other big conservation NGO.

“It’s a new colonialism, the world’s biggest land grab, supposedly ‘green’ and supposedly to save the world — a really big lie. As Odette, a Baka woman from Congo, says of such imposed conservation projects which don’t work, ‘We’ve had enough of this talk of ‘boundaries’ in the forest. The forest is ours’.”

The alert is also being sounded via the World Rainforest Movement, notably in a statement entitled “Protected Areas feed corporate profiting and destruction”.

Click to access Boletin-249_ENG.pdf

This explains: “PAs are heavily promoted by conservation NGOs, governments and corporations. The NGOs want as much money as possible to maintain their dominance over more and more of the world’s surface, which they see as threatened by locals.

“Governments hate self-sufficient people who are difficult to tax and control and who tend to be sceptical about the state’s claim to override the community. Corporations look for more consumers, and to extract more raw materials, often from ‘wilderness’. They need places where they can claim to ‘offset’ carbon, to greenwash their image as much as possible.

“The result is that billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money are funnelled into conservation areas that ignore all checks about upholding human rights, which are routinely violated there. Most such projects are run by NGOs, profit-making private companies, or both. They are established in collaboration with logging, extractive industries, trophy hunting, tourism concessions, and agribusiness.

“They take the land which has long sustained a way of life for local people and refashioned it to churn out profit for a few outsiders. In some areas, there is a clear overlap of, for example, mining concessions with protected areas.

“Conservation NGOs are, at least in part, controlled by the corporate bosses who sit on their boards, partner with, and fund them, why expect anything different?”

We urge readers to support the No Deal for Nature campaign in any way they can.

Their site is here and they are on Twitter here, where they work closely with Boycott WWF.

The New Deal For Nature was due to be finalised as part of the post-2020 biodiversity framework at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference to be held China in October 2020.

Thanks to the resistance, however, this event has now been postponed to May 17-30, 2021, according to a press release from the Convention on Biological Diversity on July 15.

An international day of action against the New Deal for Nature is being mooted for this autumn – we are happy to help put people and groups in touch with each other to ensure this happens.

WWF corporate links

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3. Exposing the lies

germanarticles1

As English speakers, we have access to a wide range of material to inform our analysis of the Coronavirus situation.

But this privilege sometimes allows us to forget the important contributions to the discussion made in other languages.

We are grateful to the friends who have shared with us their translations of several German-language articles, which we have made available via this site.

The first document calls for an immediate end to all Corona measures and a committee of inquiry to uncover all errors and deception.

It looks at why masks are harmful, useless and degrading and why all “protective measures” were – and are – senseless from the outset.

“The lockdown has more dead people on its conscience than Covid-19!”, it adds.

corona tvIt cites the famous 80-page evaluation of the Corona measures by Oberregierungsrat K., deputy head of the department for crisis management (critical infrastructure protection) in the Federal Ministry of the Interior: “The observable effects and impacts of Covid19 do not provide sufficient evidence (solid evidence) that it is more than a false alarm in terms of health effects on society as a whole”.

And it includes this nice line: “This killer virus is very special and is mainly transmitted by television, radio and newspapers”.

The Science Fraud by Prof. Christian Drosten‘ focuses on the high-profile German virologist and also assesses his UK counterpart: “Neil Ferguson is the ghost in the machine. The machine is the World Health Organization and the CDC. The man behind the ghost is Bill Gates”.

This analysis by Dr. Stefan Lanka also takes Prof Dorsten to task. “Neither he, nor the virologists of the CCDC, nor others have demonstrably carried out these necessary control experiments to date and if they have, they have not published them… The moment this attempt is carried out and published, the Corona crisis is immediately over”.

Finally, this July 4 article, originally from Diamenten  magazine (“for freedom and a self-determined life”), says that leading Corona researchers admit that they have no scientific proof of the existence of a specific virus. “Rumours and lies have created a pandemic, although there was no evidence!”

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4. The Outsider: an interview with Colin Wilson

“For the Outsider, the world into which he has been born is always a world without values. Compared to his own appetite for a purpose and a direction, the way most men live is not living at all; it is drifting. This is the Outsider’s wretchedness, for all men have a herd instinct that leads them to believe that what the majority does must be right. Unless he can evolve a set of values that will correspond to his own higher intensity of purpose, he may as well throw himself under a bus, for he will always be an outcast and a misfit”. So wrote Colin Wilson in his important and best-selling 1956 book The Outsider. Wilson died seven years ago, but not until Acorn contributor Jan Goodey had secured an interview with him, which we are pleased to feature here.

Colin_Wilson

When interviewed in 2001, original angry young man and all-round iconoclast Colin Wilson had lost none of the bite that made his name back in the Fifties and Sixties.

A simple throwaway comment on Aleister Crowley was seized upon with acerbic relish, “He was a shit and one of the only people I wrote about who I would not have wanted to meet.”

In his seventies then, Wilson was happily ensconced in Cornwall which became his haven when the media glare became all too much back in the days when the papers would call him ‘a genius’ and run a story on him being spotted outside a cinema, all in the same day. “Well who the fuck cares” his comment relating to the latter.

On a day in 1956 Wilson woke up and found himself lauded and a best-seller. His book The Outsider had come out in the same week as John Osbourne’s play Look Back In Anger. The book featured chapters on various writers, including Herman Hesse, outside the mainstream and influenced by great, arcane Eastern mysticism.

colin wilson the outsiderIt was counter-cultural to the prevailing philosophies of the time: linguistic analysis, logical positivism and Marxism. For a few weeks they weren’t sure whether to call this new generation of writers Angry Young Men or Outsiders and Wilson was feted by his contemporaries, including Kingsley Amis and Francis Bacon.

It was a break for a working class lad who’d never been to university, always been broke, worked in factories and coffee houses and even slept out on Hampstead Heath to save rent. “My ‘success’ itself was an absurd paradox;” he later wrote, “I was being rewarded for telling society how much I detested it.”

The English press’s long-held reputation of building people up to knock ’em down again was something Wilson soon found out about – close quarters. The feeling of destestation could be more than reciprocated.

One of the first to wield the knife was fellow philosopher AJ Ayer who did “a filthy stinking review of The Outsider,” said Wilson. Others followed suit, taken aback that a provincial hick could turn the London literary scene upside down with his first book.

With the Beats espousing stream of consciousness bacchanalia and the Existentialists, alienation, Wilson was neither one nor the other, and eventually sought sanctuary, first in France then Cornwall: “I suppose it’s like this girl Anne Robinson (UK celeb/news journalist) who was initially very highly regarded, but now is attacked by a lot of people maybe because she’s too famous. I went to Paris to meet Camus. He was going to do an introduction to my second book but was then killed in a car crash.”

albert camus
Albert Camus

Wilson saw himself following in the tradition of Sartre and Camus, and took up a position he described as New Existentialism, proceeding from many of their assumptions but rejecting alienation in favour of a life-affirming view: the individual free to forge meaning for him/herself: “Someone once called me our only home grown existentialist. At the time when people like Ayer were saying that questions about the meaning of life were meaningless I was feeling that they’re the only questions worth answering. What the hell are we doing here?”

The answer wasn’t Christianity, although he was tempted by Catholicism until he took instruction and discovered it to be “a lot of shit”. Wilson on Jesus is interesting in itself: “I don’t believe that Jesus died on the Cross for the sin of Adam. We know pretty certainly that Jesus himself didn’t think so, that he was a member of a reformist group. and this was so hated a group by Jews and Romans that he got crucified. He would have been shocked by the notion that he was the Son of God.”

No, the answer for Wilson lay partly in the occult – he believes we are on the verge of an evolutionary leap to a higher stage,- about to come something more than man/woman. In essence a positive outlook and it was in keeping with his view of himself as the first genuine optomistic philosopher in the Western tradition.

And if you ever catch yourself asking from where the New Age interest in all things mystical, springs: “In a word me, I started it all,” said Wilson, ever so slightly mischievious.

Colin Wilson2

Colin Wilson (1931-2013)

(Jan Goodey is a regular contributor to the Ecologist online)

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5. Aldous Huxley: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

Aldous Huxley smoking, circa 1946

“Modern technology has led to the concentration of economic and political power”

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was a philosopher and writer who consistently opposed the industrial and commercial thinking of Western capitalism.

He is best known for his 1931 novel Brave New World, which depicts a dystopic future society built on American-style consumerism.Writing to his brother Julian in August 1918, Huxley predicted that one of the most deplorable consequences of the First World War would be “the inevitable acceleration of American world domination” and warned repeatedly in the 1920s that “the future of America is the future of the world”. (1)

David Bradshaw writes that the “World State” of Brave New World was clearly conceived “as a satire on the global diffusion of the American way of life”. (2)

Huxley’s future hell does not need the machineries of a violent police state to keep its population under control, because its domination reaches deep inside people’s heads.

As he remarked: “A really efficient totalitarian state would be the one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.

“To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and school teachers”. (3)

In Huxley’s dystopia, as in our own industrial capitalist world, everything is judged according to its contribution to “economic growth”.

He explains in the novel that at a previous stage of the Brave New World the lower castes of society had been conditioned to like wild flowers and nature – for a very specific reason: “The idea was to make them want to be going out into the country at every available opportunity, and to compel them to consume transport”. (4)

But this conditioning had been dropped because landscapes and flowers lay outside the all-important economy: “A love of nature keeps no factories busy. It was decided to abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes”. (5)huxley brave new world

The same productivist mentality inspires the imaginary society’s love of games and sports involving lots of complicated equipment.

Reflects one character: “Strange to think that even in Our Ford’s day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It’s madness”. (6)

The consumer impulse is etched into each new generation’s minds by recorded voices played over and over again to children in their nurseries: “The voices were adapting future demands to future industrial supply. ‘I do love flying,’ they whispered. ‘ I do love flying. I do love having new clothes’… ‘But old clothes are beastly,’ continued the untiring whisper. ‘We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending, ending is better…’” (7)

This brainwashing takes on a more obviously ideological shape for teenagers, as revealed when the character Lenina insists that “progress is lovely, isn’t it?” and Bernard remarks wearliy: “Five hundred repetitions once a week from thirteen to seventeen”. (8)

For most people in contemporary Western capitalist society, even those who consider themselves dissidents, it seems likewise to be a deeply conditioned self-evident truth that “progress is lovely”.

Those same people often share another of the basic convictions of the Brave New World: that there is no underlying human nature which could allow us to develop freely without the lifelong tight control of authority.

The character Mustapha Mond declares: “As if one believed anything by instinct! One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them”. (9)

Although Huxley’s dystopia is often contrasted with the one put forward by George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four, deep-down they are not as different as all that – and a hatred of “oldthink” is common to both nightmare regimes.

Huxley imagines a “campaign against the Past” that had involved “the closing of museums, the blowing up of historical monuments (luckily most of them had already been destroyed during the Nine Years’ War); by the suppression of all books published before AF. 150”. (10) The Brave New World, like the Western industrial-capitalist society which it mocks, is generally opposed to too much thinking and reading. After all: “You can’t consume much if you sit still and read books”. (11)

Books and ideas are regarded as particularly dangerous if they are “old” – that is to say, if they come from an intellectual world beyond the narrow bubble of its own cretinous consumer-conformism.

At one point in the novel, a leader of this society is asked why the work of William Shakespeare has been banned.“The Controller shrugged his shoulders. ‘Because it’s old; that’s the chief reason. We haven’t any use for old things here’. ‘Even when they’re beautiful?’. ‘Particularly when they’re beautiful. Beauty’s attractive, and we don’t want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like the new ones’”. (12)

Huxley went on to deepen his anti-Western, anti-capitalist philosophy by exploring the “old” philosophies cast aside by the modern world. At the end of the Second World War he explicitly identified himself with the Perennialist movement which had been formed by René GuénonAnanda CoomaraswamyFrithjof Schuon and others.

The title of his 1945 work The Perennial Philosophy made this clear enough, and Huxley listed no fewer than three books by Guénon in his bibliography.huxley perennial

As well as exploring the roots of this philosophy, particularly in the East, Huxley applied its ethos to the modern world around him and, unsurprisingly, found that contemporary “wisdom” represented pretty much the opposite of all that is considered of value by the inherited wisdom of humankind.

The cult of technology came under specific attack: “Technological idolatry is the religion whose doctrines are promulgated, explicitly or by implication, in the advertisement pages of our newspapers and magazines – the source, we may add parenthetically, from which millions of men, women and children in the capitalist countries derive their working philosophy of life…

“So whole-hearted is the modern faith in technological idols that (despite all the lessons of mechanized warfare) it is impossible to discover in the popular thinking of our time any trace of the ancient and profoundly realistic doctrine of hubris and inevitable nemesis.

“There is a very general belief that, where gadgets are concerned, we can get something for nothing – can enjoy all the advantages of an elaborate, top-heavy and constantly advancing technology without having to pay for them by any compensating disadvantages”. (13)

For Huxley, as for the tradition he espoused, there was no essential difference between the everyday life of the human being and the cultural or spiritual atmosphere in which he or she lives. He could see the lack of spirituality in the contemporary world not simply in terms of an abstract over-view, but on an individual level: “The industrial worker at his fool-proof and grace-proof machine does his job in a man-made universe of punctual automata – a universe that lies entirely beyond the pale of Tao on any level, brutal, human or spiritual”. (14)

Huxley urged his readers to turn their backs on the empty folly of modern life and reconnect with a tradition that would be our natural birthright, were it not hidden away from us by those who fear its force: “The reign of violence will never come to an end until, first, most human beings accept the same, true, philosophy of life; until, second, this Perennial Philosophy is recognized as the highest factor common to all the world religions”. (15)

Huxley continued his philosophical assault on industrial civilization in a follow-up commentary on Brave New World published in 1959.In Brave New World Revisited, he highlighted the dire consequences of continuing on our current course of endless multiplication and economic “growth”, with the spiralling levels of population required to make this possible.

He warned that “this fantastically rapid doubling of our numbers will be taking place on a planet whose most desirable and productive areas are already densely populated, whose soils are being eroded by the frantic efforts of bad farmers to raise more food, and whose easily available mineral capital is being squandered with the reckless extravagance of a drunken sailor getting rid of his accumulated pay”. (16)Huxley Brave New World Revisited

Huxley pointed out that our apparently democratic societies were in fact ruled by a “Power Elite” (17) – “modern technology has led to the concentration of economic and political power”. (18)

He also explained how the apparent physical liberty of the individual in contemporary society could be an illusion. Not only were people fooled into accepting their enslavement, but the meaning of the word “freedom” was twisted so far that it came to mean that same enslavement.

Huxley wrote: “It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison, and yet not free – to be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation, wants him to think, feel and act… The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free”. (19)

He warned of a possible future in which “democracy” and “freedom” would remain the catchwords of the status quo, but in which at the same time “the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained élite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit”. (20)

To prevent this happening, Huxley suggested we should “break up modern society’s vast, machine-like collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government”. (21)

Looking back, in 1946, on his best-known novel, he said if he were to write it again he would provide the protagonists with another choice of society: “In this community economics would be decentralist and Henry-Georgian, politics Kropotkinesque and co-operative.

“Science and technology would be used as though, like the Sabbath, they had been made for man, not (as at present and still more in the Brave New World) as though man were to be adapted and enslaved to them”. (22)

Video link: Illustrated summary of Huxley’s Brave New World.

aldous-huxley2

1. David Bradshaw, ‘Introduction’, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (London: Flamingo, 1994).
2. Ibid.
3. Aldous Huxley, 1946 Foreword, Brave New World.
4. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 19.
5. Ibid.
6. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 26.
7. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 43.
8. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 50.
9. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 214.
10. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 45.
11. Huxley, Brave New World, p. 44.
12. Huxley, Brave New World, pp. 199-200.
13. Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy (London: Chatto & Windus, 1980), p. 288.
14. Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, p. 197.
15. Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, p. 229.
16. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (London: Chatto & Windus, 1959), p. 17.
17. Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, p. 34.
18. Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, p. 35.
19. Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, p. 154.
20. Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, p. 156.
21. Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, p. 159.
22. Huxley, 1946 Foreword, Brave New World.

orgrad logo

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6. Acorninfo

“Confronted with the accelerated totalitarianisation of the UK being implemented under a de facto State of Emergency, we have chosen to listen to the lies of the Government and its media telling us exactly what to do and for how long, rather than hear a truth on which we will have to think and act for ourselves”. So writes Simon Elmer of Architects for Social Housing in a recent article in his excellent series on the Coronavirus situation. He warns that we are entering “a Britain of fully privatised public services and even greater economic and social inequality in a population ruled by emergency legislation, managed by the surveillance state and governed under a permanent state of exception”.

elmer art

* * *

Issue 10 of UK anarcho-zine DIY Culture is now online, with the theme of ‘the anarchist revolution – then and now’. Articles include ‘A Study of the Revolution in Spain, 1936-1937’ by Stuart Christie, ‘Anarchy From The Ruins’ by Paul Cudenec and ‘This Is Anarchy – Eight Ways the Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd Uprisings Reflect Anarchist Ideas in Action’.

DIY 10

* * *

Journalist Peter Hitchens continues to put most liberals and leftists to shame with his defiance of Covid-1984 totalitarianism. In an article in Standpoint mag, he insists: “The freedom to leave your house when you wish to and go where you will is not a civil liberty or a political liberty. It is part of being a free man or woman”. And writing about masks, he adds: “The truth is that the muzzle policy is all about power and fear. The Government began its wild, disproportionate shutdown of the country by spreading fear of a devastating plague that would destroy the NHS and kill untold thousands. Now, as many people find that Covid-19 is, in fact, nothing of the kind, new ways have to be found to keep up the alarm levels”.

masks on tube

* * *

“It is a fact that techniques of manipulation are part and parcel of contemporary liberal democracies,” writes Dr Piers Robinson. “Although such persuasion activities can involve consensual techniques, they also frequently include less consensual techniques, involving forms of deception, incentivization and coercion”.

BBC corona

* * *

The call has gone out to physically oppose the EU-China Summit being held in Leipzig in September. Says an online statement: “More than anything else, the EU-China Summit means a further escalation of the top-down struggle. Poverty and prosperity are to be further redistributed in favour of the economy and ruling elites. We will not stand idly by and we will attack and fight the summit to the best of our ability. Despite short preparation time, despite the Corona pandemic and all the narrowness it brings with it: We call on all of you to come to Leipzig from September 13th to 15th and attack the summit with us! No rest for the rulers – not here in Leipzig and not elsewhere! No to the EU-China Summit!”

Leipzig poster

* * *

A rally against the World Health Organisation is being held in London on Wednesday July 22. Meet 12.30pm at St James park tube for a protest at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s London office in Victoria Street from 1pm. StandUpX is also staging a protest in the UK capital on Saturday August 1, at 2pm, with a rally at Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park, followed by a march to Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square. For info on these and their regional protests see https://www.standupx.info/

StandUPX logo

* * *

A useful list of articles about the Covid crisis has been published by our comrades at The South Essex Heckler. Some of them will already be familiar to Acorn readers, but the resource is well worth checking out.

South Essex Heckler

* * *

“The idea that society should suddenly be ‘reimagined’ by a handful of billionaires simply due to a pandemic is the opposite of freedom and self-determination”. This timely warning against the threat of “smart” cities – designed to form a key part of the totalitarian “new normal” – comes from the Liberty Blitzkrieg site in the USA.

smart city toronto

* * *

The Gilets Jaunes have been back in the news, after their longstanding uprising against neoliberalism was derailed by the Covid clampdown. A group of them who had been demonstrating in Paris on July 14 bumped into their arch-enemy Emmanuel Macron in the garden of the Tuileries (see video). There followed a heated exchange in which the French president was treated to a rendition of the Yellow Vest anthem On est là (Here we are, here we are, even if Macron doesn’t want it, here we are). Meanwhile, an excellent collection of English-language articles on this historically significant movement can be found here.

macron tuileries

* * *

Acorn quote: “The worker’s liberty, so much exalted by the economists, jurists, and bourgeois republicans, is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means for its possible realization, and consequently it is only a fictitious liberty, an utter falsehood. The truth is that the whole life of the worker is simply a continuous and dismaying succession of terms of serfdom – voluntary from the juridical point of view but compulsory in the economic sense – broken up by momentarily brief interludes of freedom accompanied by starvation; in other words, it is real slavery”.

Mikhail Bakunin

factory-worker

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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