. .........................commentary  

Just sit back and have a damn good read....

WHY??? a definitive comprehensive assessment...



wHY .i .tHINK .aS .i .dO


In his 475-page 'Lila', Robert Pirsig - author of 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' - analyses two human types.

First are the 'conservers' who avoid change and progress, and prefer the status quo. Second are the 'progressives' who constantly seek to innovate, improve and update, and are relentlessly critical of the status quo.

Most of us live according to some of each of these outlooks, depending on what they're applied to. But if we were forced to generalise, most of us would fall predominately on one side or the other.

If no-one belonged to the first type, society would be in constant flux. And if no-one belonged to the second, life would stagnate - we'd probably still be living in the Stone Age.

The great problem that confronts humanity is in achieving a constructive balance. Deciding where this lies is a constant source of friction between the two types - who recognise, if only implicitly, that their opposition is as important in the overall scheme as they are.

The conservers nearly always rule, while the innovators - as well as much else - strive to become or to influence those who rule. If they succeed, the innovators risk the usual fate of political success: complacency followed by stagnation (or even regression). It is a continuous cycle, forever homing-in on some median that perhaps reflects the position our 'civilisation' has reached in its ever-fluxing evolution. In contrast, the technological thrust is ever forward.

But which group you belong to: 'conserver' or 'progressive', and the extent you belong, is probably less a matter of choice than inherent character. Pirsig belongs - almost apologetically, I felt as I read his 'Lila' (his more famous first book is better) - to the conservers.

I, on the other hand, am most definitely a progressive - certainly when it comes to wider social and political issues, at any rate. This must be clear to anyone who reads the stuff I churn out.

But I'm just clarifying, before I launch into my reasons for attacking the Establishment and the status quo, that taken to the limit, what I propose could (with humankind as it is) end in chaos - which indeed might be better than destroying the biosphere!



Light-hearted and mad though my story ‘The Button’ might appear, it illustrates some poignant truths. It was my first job (at Silent Channel Products Ltd, Huntingdon), and as a part-fictionalised version of such a crucial period from my youth - I was just 15 - the story contains the image I retain of what industry is like (see also below).

So although ‘The Button’ was supposed to amuse and entertain more than edify, I could hardly avoid the less savoury aspects of factory life. Although I recall no trauma in the experience, as the story suggests, perhaps I did find it subconsciously disturbing, and maybe it did leave a few scars which have come to light in the story. And maybe it is my recognition now of these 'wounds and blemishes', together with similarly jarring observations through the next 30+ years of my life, which I essentially address here in: Why I Think As I Do.

* * * * *

One of the most significant aspects of the current age is the overwhelming impact of industry - not just on our everyday lives, but on our health, well being, and above all on the world in general. This all-embracing impact, and more than anything its implications, forms the source of much of my reasoning. (See also the quote from Blaise Cendrars)

For instance: it explains why I shall never again work purely for money (dole would be a preference); why, for me, virtually every ritual and hierarchical structure represents a form of delusion and treachery; and why, above all, I shall always be an anti-capitalist.

But I shall always be an anti-communist too... because why should a slacker like me receive the same income and enjoy the same lifestyle as someone who works damned hard. It is true that in a well-managed, wealthy, technologically advanced society communism would be inevitable – ie, a planet of millionaires (As in Asimov’s ‘The Naked Sun’). Most of the work would be done by machines, and people could enjoy a life as full of meaning as of pleasure. This is an old fable, and in a word is 'Utopia' (explored in my story 'Alex'). Pure fiction, perhaps (certainly these days); but after reflecting on what people went through in the first half of the twentieth century, we can perhaps forgive the ‘Brave New World’ optimism that led to such ideals as communism – or 'Soviet communism'. Misguided or misinformed, adherents to this were reacting, I imagine, to the endless pitiful exploitation of ordinary people here in the West who were obliged to toil their lives away in some office or hell-hole of a factory for a mere subsistence. Little did they realise that the slave-driving was far worse in Stalin’s Russia – never mind the genocide!

So UK communist sympathisers saw the masses here as victims of corporate enterprise, and could be freed under a Soviet model. What a mistake! Even Sartre was taken in. But if their solution was absurd, their observations were spot-on.

Corporate victims probably comprised, as now, about 80% of the population – the same percentage who DID NOT vote for Blair’s mob in the 2005 election (and they call it ‘democracy’!!!) - Saddam Hussein would probably have enjoyed considerably more than that 20% had a genuinely free election been held in pre-2003 Iraq.

But the Soviet experiment failed to practice true communism – even if the Bolsheviks were defeated (now nearly 100-years ago) with the stupendously inept interference of the British (another boost for the maxim: the helping hand strikes again!) - thereby allowing the Communists to take control - because actual communism, riddled with faults as it may be, was never under the spotlight… rather, it was Totalitarianism!

And Corporate Nazi-Totalitarian sympathisers did not miss the opportunity to label Communist-Totalitarianism simply as communism before it became (as was inevitable) discredited - since to discredit anything that fails to favour corporate control was and continues to be the primary aim (see Bill Blum's item in Prelude).

The contemporary term for Corporate Nazi-Totalitarian is - you’ve got it - : Neocon.

I could have written an essay, I suppose, on why I disapprove of censorship, or why I think certain literature is important or useful while other literature is superfluous dross, or why I reckon particular foods are better than others… the list goes on. Everyone has their pet subjects, reasons for believing what they do, for holding certain opinions. Maybe that’s one of the pleasures of reading biography: to see why someone (who’s done something significant enough to justify a biography) thinks the way they do – or thought the way they did. It’s often worth focussing on their childhood – ‘give me a child till he’s seven, and I’ve got him for life’ goes the old saying.

Jack London’s ‘White Fang’ contains the same message, though in his case it applies to a dog: ie, even when presented with the choice of returning to it’s first owner (an aggressive brute who once tried to kill the animal), or remaining with it’s new calm and gentle owner, the dog, after only brief hesitation, slinks (as though sensing its error but being powerless to do otherwise) to its original master.

Humans, though, are usually a bit more sophisticated – or so we like to believe. For one thing, unlike dogs, we have an intellect. But do we use it?

For instance: Though we all know it makes no difference what they say (because they’re usually compulsive liars - just to get themselves elected), do we ever really listen to the opinions of our prospective MPs before we vote for them? More likely we measure the accent in their voice, the way they dress… all kinds of irrelevant trivia, and so long as they don’t blurt anything too controversial we brush over their actual words – which, if they avoid the lies, will be solid either with obvious facts or else with ambiguous, high-sounding irrelevancies.

But even then, when - like that arch-criminal Blair - they sound so indisputably reasonable when they declare in a friendly matter-of-fact tone that they intend to bomb the living daylights out of a whole nation (ie, Iraq - 'shock & awe'), many are taken-in. Who were they shocking and awing - and massacring - but mostly little frightened kids, who if not now dead are maimed for life physically or mentally or both... and poor old women.. etc.

Everyone in the UK who voted either Labour or Tory in the last election were either brutes or thick: ie, taken-in by lies or just ignorant. Reflect: how would Blair's political rise have fared had his accent resembled that of David Bellamy, or his mannerisms those of a Frank Spencer?



It has always been obvious to me that most people see the world from a very different angle to how I see it. Otherwise, virtually everything in society would be done differently. I recognised this even before I was five years old, and nothing I've witnessed since then has given me reason to change that view. So this little essay is intended to explain the reasons why my thoughts and opinions are as they are.

Regular visitors to this website will already be acquainted with the perspectives I’m about to clarify. But consider: who doesn’t have their own particular base upon which is constructed the edifice they call their opinions, their outlook, their whole perspective on life? In this respect, I’m the same as almost everyone else.

In one brief paragraph, here are the principle ‘crimes’ I’ve been accused of: I attack the Establishment at every opportunity; I refer scathingly to most traditions and orthodoxies – especially religion; my portrayal of business and politics can only be described as contemptuous, and of most who serve those institutions (and likewise anyone holding a position of authority) as vile, detestable, corrupt and hypocritical; I scorn ritual, and despise hierarchy… and regard blind loyalty as among the most heinous of follies.

The things I denigrate here are, it seems to me, very much intertwined and represent the essence of all that prevents us from evolving towards a greater, worthier future: of individuals, societies, cultures the world over, living harmonious, joyful, fulfilled lives blighted only by the unavoidable circumstances of the human condition: such as illness and death – no doubt members of a mature intelligent culture would have learned even to ameliorate (or acquiesce to) those.

I imagine that a few who read this site – who enjoy the quirkiness of some of the stories and essays therein – occasionally struggle to tolerate the frequent, seemingly irrational, jibes and attacks I launch at what seems just about every aspect of society. I suppose, to them, I am something of a maverick, a madman even, a depraved cynic, a disillusioned loser screaming venom at the system that has doubtless rejected him - a failure, who from sheer spite, is out to discredit everything other people are inclined to admire or respect - especially the wealth and power which have shunned him.

Accusations like these I completely refute, but - as I say - it’s what I imagine people might think; I’ve no way of knowing because readers are disinclined to offer an opinion. For all I know, those who read this site concur with what I say, at least after due consideration. Maybe it is purely for the jibes that some readers visit: what better for an intellectual ‘pariah’ than to find someone of like-mind? What better than to stumble on a fearless comrade who screams your philosophy for you from the rooftops? Although they are unpopular, my perspectives are, I well know, shared by many.

Despite a few token (and obscurely placed) conflicting opinions, the news-media would never proffer such an ‘extreme’ view, for instance, as: “Had Hitler invaded the UK in WW2, he would have confronted precisely the problem the US/UK now confronts in Iraq.” In other words: a patriotic Englishman in an invaded England would behave precisely as (or with even more passion and rancour than) an Iraqi resistance fighter in contemporary Iraq.

Every day the establishment propaganda maligns Iraqi ‘insurgents’ and ‘terrorists’ who are actually resistance fighters (more fanatical and murderous, indeed, than those in WW2 France, and probably rather less calculating and effective, but nonetheless equivalent) - who if their country had never been manipulated or invaded, would be living ordinary peaceful lives like most people in the contemporary West.

Curiously, this perspective seems to occur to very few. Here’s another: “What was the massive bombing of Iraq and the killing of thousands of civilians by the US/UK – if it wasn’t grand-scale terrorism?” Why, I wonder, are so few people able to recognise this for what it was? Are they blinded by decades of propaganda, or are they just plain stupid? If I can see it as clearly as the new Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter, then why not everyone?...

Peter Ustinov made the poignant observation: “Terrorism is the war of the poor; war is the terrorism of the rich.

And it looks pretty certain from the many reports – which are still emerging – that a US-neocon conspiracy was behind the 9/11 attacks(last item) : a ploy to ‘justify’ taking-over-the-world by force. And those neocons colluded with the progeny of Nazis originally recruited into the CIA in the early 50s, all associates of corporate enterprise – who backed Hitler… Do I need to continue? The history is there for the reading: ie William Blum's assessment (last item). Whichever side you’re on, the facts are the same. There is no dispute. The only argument is: which is most beneficial for the present and future of the world: corporate Nazism, or liberal socialism?

(What’s liberal socialism? I hear someone ask. ‘Liberal’ these days has come to mean a free-for-all to business, so it can crush, exploit, pollute, profiteer, rip-off… with impunity; in other words: do what it damn well likes. And socialist… well, wasn’t Hitler a National Socialist? So you see the problem with semantics. What I mean by ‘liberal’ and ‘socialism’ are as in the OED.)

Quite apart from whether it has ever been genuinely tested, I do not subscribe to communism, nor have I ever. A communist is someone who believes everyone should receive the same income regardless of what they do – assuming everyone’s needs are about the same. Human nature being what it is, this is rife with practical flaws. Even within a family unit when everyone supposedly loves one another, it would be unlikely to work. For example: I am a lazy sod; I would sooner live in a hovel than slave in a factory or office in order to afford a sumptuous abode; and besides, wandering about, swimming and idling, is to me the essence of life. Why should I receive the same income as the man who gets up at 06.00 and comes round in a big lorry to collect my rubbish? To me, this man is a hero. If a person puts themselves out and works hard like this, they should receive proper reward. It’s only reasonable; and anyway, who would do the duff jobs otherwise?

But this is misleading. What, for instance, is ‘proper reward’? And as things stand, the duffest jobs are often the worst paid. Those who do them can’t usually get anything better – and such people are severely exploited (known to employers, I shouldn’t wonder, as ‘compliant suckers’). Incongruously, the highly paid jobs are generally more pleasant than collecting rubbish (which is why that’s where you’ll find the most sharks). And if you already have money, you can receive an income from that – and, like me, do no work at all; but, unlike me, do it in luxury.

I used to live in West London; I worked a 7-day fortnight of 12-hour days. On my days off I sometimes cycled over to Windsor Park – always a splendid day out. And there, quite often, on weekdays, one could witness polo matches, horse trials, all kinds of big marquees would have been erected, with hoity-toities drifting in and out, tipping back the Champagne, flaunting themselves, wandering around in jodhpurs and riding boots, carrying and waving little whips, speaking in highbrow accents. All this was something I made a point to avoid after my first encounter, but I would often see the trimmings: Jaguars, Porches and Range-Rovers would be lined up on the grass, and the horses would shine like walnut veneer – the dogsbody servants busy brushing them, leading them about, taking care of the chores. Sometimes, a few older men strutted about in tailed suits - the women in fancy hats. Where did their income originate? What kind of houses did they live in? Did they work?


Ever since I spent 3-years from the age of 15 in that dirty stinking polluted factory (described in ‘The Button’), the air fogged with dust and fumes, the heat and smell insufferable, the surroundings gloomy, harsh and oppressive… everything: your clothes, hair, skin, infused with grime and the stench of rubber; your ears assaulted by a constant roar from machines interspersed with banging, clanking and thudding… a place where hundreds of other poor devils sweated away their lives… for what? Some kind of pittance?… But wasn’t this what they were ‘intended’ for by sway of their ‘education’?… And in those days these dust filled, deafening conditions were all entirely legal … ever since then, ever since that supremely educational experience which no university, however grand or advanced, could have even given a hint of… ever since then I have detested Class, Privilege and Status and all that goes with them: managers, hierarchies, business… the whole hideous gleaming showboat sewer of capitalism. How could anyone with more than half-a-brain conclude otherwise?

Things are long overripe for change. Why, I ask, should the haves be allowed to continue to take form the slaving have-nots as they’ve been doing since before time immemorial? (see 'The Great Fraud') What right do the rich have to keep taking from and oppressing their weaker kin like this? It is only possible by their overwhelming strength of confidence: to dominate – combined with their downtrodden victims’ absence of confidence (knocked well out of them from before kindergarten). Why in hell - I used to wonder - do we have government and legislation and law if it isn’t to correct this perennial crime? Stupid question? Yep, because ‘government, legislation and law’ are precisely the means by which the huge continuing injustice is maintained and perpetuated. But read on…

I confess, my own lifestyle is now that of a middle-class layabout – minus the luxury, since I'm not rich. There’s enough to scrape by, earned, saved and inherited - amazing what you can do if you have few expensive tastes, and lovers who fend for themselves… (well, to some extent; after all, remember Henry Miller’s famous words? They’re on page-1of his first book, written in Paris around 1931: “I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.”). And I’ve managed to string along this way for more than 16-years - latterly assisted by a meagre pension; and recently a small inheritance has secured my situation for the foreseeable term. Nevertheless, if we are to regard ourselves as even half civilised then everyone should be entitled to a generous minimum subsistence – EVERYONE (foreigners included; for, believe it or not, they are human too). And ‘UK plc’ generates a handsome dividend - currently paid to the few-percent wealthiest in our midst.

No-one would dispute that all businesses for which shares can be bought exist solely or primarily to make money. And any enterprise whose principal function is to make money must be corrupt - if for no other reason, it forces an entirely mercenary approach to every activity and dealing. Ask yourself: what precisely is money? What does it represent? Is it not simply ‘work-time’ – man-hours (or woman-hours)? If a business accumulates a surplus, then someone is being swindled: either workers are underpaid or customers overcharged – and this argument applies from accessing the raw material, through the manufacturing processes, to the consumer, and then final disposal.

True, if a business fails to make money, it folds. It should, of course, break even. In practice this means profits must equal losses over some preordained time – a process the tax man could easily control. (Tax should be linked to risked loans from a national or international bank which offsets failures against successes – making stock markets redundant). But have you noticed how the highest taxing countries in the world are also the most desirable to live in? Have you noticed that nearly everyone in such countries enjoys a decent lifestyle, though there are very few millionaires?

Question: If you ran a business, would you be content to profit from your own mother? That is, would you pay her less if she worked for you than you were making from her work (over and above costs including your own 'generous' salary, investment in future development, and so on)? And if you were selling, would you charge her more for the product (over and above…etc)? If not, then why would you if it were anyone else? And if you would, then pity you!

From as early as I can remember, I have never seen merit (necessity, yes, but not merit) in the concept of doing something solely for money. Indeed, it is almost unusual for successful entrepreneurs to set out solely with that aim – those who do usually fail (ie, see ‘Tactics’ 1985 by Edward de Bono). Yet in our capitalist world we have to make money in order to live – admittedly, in the UK there is the barely adequate dole to fall back on. When I once worked purely for money I felt compromised, tainted, predatory – as though I was committing some immoral act. Not only is there no merit here, but the process is riddled with potential hazards and shortcomings - as, for instance, noted earlier: the mercenary perspective. If the purpose of everything is only to make money then you are going nowhere, achieving nothing, you are merely marking time, existing in a static mind-numbing interstice - as well as exploiting (with no regard to whether this is negative or positive).

For a whole society setting out to purely make money – come what may – means ultimate chaos, worse than that in a world of innovators and no conformers. Everyone has their price. Who wouldn’t - who doesn't alrteady - sell their soul at a price? By which is meant, as I've said: we are all latent, if not actual, mercenaries. This means we would do anything - ultimately! And that's precisely how stock-markets function: the proverbial machine gone berserk (as in horror films). There are exceptions, as ever, where individual people are concerned - but experiments consistently show that what I say here is predominately true. See a classic example from Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath' as analysed briefly in 'The CND Conference'.

Think of it: the mandate of a business – within the law (which business creates anyway, and bends or breaks as it pleases, taking the negligible consequences in it’s stride) – is to make as much money as possible for its shareholders. This means that a business is obliged to drive down what it pays for raw material, including labour, and drive up what it charges for its product – that is, within the constraints of competition (often quashed by clandestine cartel). It also means that a business should expand whenever possible to increase both its profit and asset base (value).

The upshot of this is that all business should strive to grow indefinitely, to take-over or be taken-over by other businesses, so together they might ultimately dominate every market that exists on the planet.

Profit-driven logging and ranching is destroying vast areas of forest in the Amazon and Indonesia - where man-made fires pollute millions of square miles for weeks at a time; forest that would take huge investment and hundreds of years to replace. Ie, In 2004, 26,000 sq. km of Amazon rainforest were burned – see: George Monbiot’s article - October 18, 2005: http://www.guardian.co.uk/bse/article/0,,1594799,00.html

Even more ominously, in the US, oil and arms companies pay vast sums for advertising and propaganda so their representative is elected to the White House from where they seize hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue with which to pay themselves for weapons and otherwise fund barefaced attempts to plunder $trillions worth of oil, massacre tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people, and use bribery and terror to dominate and rule (via idiot native stooges) an entire region of the world: IRAQ.

We see how, against all advice (except from financiers), the US government has allowed oil prospecting in Alaska, where pipes have now fractured due to corrosion and global warming expanding the ice, causing huge spills and environmental damage - rarely reported in the principal media.

This list goes on. This is the very worst kind of mob rule. IRAN should install a nuclear deterrent as a matter of urgency – lest the US/UK invade with their slaughter and pillage as they have done in Iraq (and Afghanistan). The laws the US/UK have broken are staggering; see:

This all generates huge reconstruction and security contracts for related BUSINESSES; we see how part of this ‘oil bonanza’ involves the car INDUSTRY who advertise incessantly; and we see how it also ‘fuels’ the expansion of the airline INDUSTRY whose ever growing profits are as nothing compared with the irreversible environmental damage they are stacking-up for future generations.

This is BUSINESS! The Establishment, the Government, is all FOR BUSINESS, ever greater concessions, increased tax-breaks… for BUSINESS. Big Contracts and Subsidies for: Shell/Exxon… Halliburton… Monsanto GM… Pharmaceuticals… Contaminated beef Producers… Pesticides… Nuclear Processing… Arms Manufacture… Airlines…. Yes, all for BUSINESS.

Socialism and handouts for the rich Business elite, Capitalism and exploitation for the poor enslaved downtrodden masses.


So It Goes

As a youth, I thought – naïve, gullible nit-wit that I was – that the function of government was to so manage society as to protect its citizens, to make their life good and worthwhile, to provide public services: education, health care, social security, protection, … etc. as a priority.

What a numbskull! What a great lumbering ignoramus I must have been. If business grew and thrived in this system, I thought, then fine, but it would have to take second place because citizens came first. Business, I thought, would have to adjust to fit around that, and if a business made loads of money then it could reinvest and expand as well as pay taxes, otherwise maybe even receive tax concessions – as should any budding or struggling concern.

BUT profits above that, as well as big salaries, would be taxed appropriately in order to fund those social obligations that make for civilisation in which business and everyone can operate – and which should be ENJOYED BY ALL.

What a monumental thickhead I was! The propaganda was so shrewd and sly - or was I just so breathtakingly stupid? – that I failed even to notice its existence. In those days I was a real know-nothing, an utter dolt, a blind, crazed idiot. I knew more about DNA and brain surgery than politics – ie, something close to zilch: because the truth is that politicians do not represent, and never have, those who elect them – ie, it rarely makes a difference which party wins; only minor peripherals are affected. True, peripheral issues can have a profound affect on those it concerns, but in the grand scheme they are usually irrelevant. Politicians are either primarily sympathetic to business, or else are bribed or threatened to be so. Otherwise they are OUT (unless they are independent - or a 'colourful' maverick). Nothing could be more evident.

The public, as ever, are but the mere fodder of business: first, factory and office slaves then overcharged customers. Yep, business wins all round, while WE lose. Furthermore, most products are entirely unnecessary. Whoever made a new kind of shampoo because they wanted people to smell nice? Think of all those useless artefacts people spend their years in factories making (and which other credulous fools buy after watching the TV ads). What a colossal waste – of resources, lives, everything… burning-up the planet just to make some rip-off bignut (who invents a new attractive bright-yellow plastic gizmo) a load of easy dough!

No, I’m not against fun and toys; quite the reverse in fact. And Yes, I know Douglas Adams covered all this in his masterful satire ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide…’ but who noticed? Everyone was too taken with the novelty - and with laughing! It was the same with Dickens’ portrayal of poverty; people were so swept-up in the pathos that they failed to hear the messages that blurted ad nauseam like a muted foghorn into eternally deaf ears. So none of it changes anything.


If there HAS to be school, then consider this:

Instead of compulsory (a self-defeating adjective) school - try free powerful 'theatre': studios, exhibitions..... Every 'school' (instead of the current test-mad cattle-shed assembly line) should resemble an exhibition with displays, stands and workshops, offices and lounges, like an ever-budding THEATRE: a THEATRE OF LIFE! And for kids to be introduced to this in ways that suit them as individuals, and which help them appreciate it, dig it, relish it, by being involved, submerged…. alive with activity... or if they prefer: as observers, onlookers, spectators... after all what are students in lecture-rooms? This constructing, planning, designing....could form a microcosmic replication of the CREATIVE world in all its fabulous mad variety! Or resemble TV studios - with all the peripherals: scenery, costume, graphic design, artists, carpenters, actors, writers, engineers, musicians, special effects… dive in, and LIVE!

Teachers should have no authority in the traditional sense. Their authority would exist only in their technical and social skills: their job would be as assistants and enablers (modelled, perhaps, on Kafka's eminently accommodating, all-embracing 'Theatre of Oklahoma' - though without the 'sinister' aspects). And their skills would include being inviting, entertaining - and like rangers in the US: everybody's friend, kind, considerate, sympathetic, natural, as their real selves. This might seem a rare quality, but in fact it's not. And it would be an extremely enjoyable occupation too - unlike the present grind and tedium of classroom teaching with all the sordid and destructive discipline and control, things that make kids miserable and negate what education should be about. This is what kids should experience and enjoy. Everything positive and adventurous - to include frequent visits to other places and 'schools' (exhibitions), exchanging ideas, innovations.... What a superb start in life...

The only issues that should be emphasised (to everyone) are: always question, consider your physical and mental health, be conscious of the human destructuction of the planet... and fully aware of the lethal corporate machine that rules.

But, dream on… because first the Murdochs and O’Reillys and other media oligarchs of the world must be removed, and the arch capitalist neocons with all their politician and billionaire corporate chums who effectively sit with them at the helm… all those who wish to get ever-richer by furnishing their factories and offices with slaves who are only too glad to escape those dreary classrooms where they've been forced to spend the best years of their life... learning tosh for the most part so as better to serve those overruling corporate oligarchs. It would be easier to move a galaxy! Another subject; another time…

By ‘business’ I am NOT referring to small outfits: bakers, tailors, second-hand book shops, independent garage workshops, builders, plumbers etc, or any outfit up to a size beyond which most of those involved take a level of interest in what they do.

As in the old days (which were bad and exploitative enough – but before stock-markets and the massive growth in industrials and multinationals, etc), a village would have its cobbler, its ironmonger, its dairy… small set-ups whose owners were primarily concerned with providing a decent service and retaining some kind of a positive reputation. Their customers were often their friends. Many like this remain and continue to surface. True, some get rich and spread their activities a bit, both geographically and in what they do, while others remain poor – depending on many factors – but in bygone days few worked purely for money. Money was NOT the only driving force – even if they did criminally exploit their staff; but that’s the incurable capitalist disease, and is just one of the many reasons why, whatever else, I remain above all an anti-capitalist. Why a businessman (or woman) can't simply take a salary from their business in accordance with a reasonable - even generous - assessment of their worth - instead of ripping-off their employees and taking £millions, is a mystery to me. It has been known, but seldom. For a refreshing new take on the present (elite driven & perpetuated) chaos, see: The New Economics Foundation

But this too, of course, is why unions exist (for all they’re worth these days - especially when they betray their purpose by funding what has essentially become in part a non-sympathetic political party: New Labour: a supporter not of struggling small business but of big £multibillion turnover business). I’m not suggesting we return to those ‘bad old pre-multinational days’, which is impossible, but am just clarifying that we are now in ‘worse new days’ – in other words: all our days are constantly rotten with capitalism and rip-off; there has been an explosion in the number of millionairs in the west (and how, I ask, can ANYONE be worth THAT?).


One of the worst aspects of the above scenario - whether involved in worthwhile products and services, or absurd wasteful ones - is that most of us are enslaved. From birth, virtually, till we are teenagers, we are tailored and prepared for the next 40+ years of ‘internment’, until we are old and no more use – neither to industry nor to ourselves: retirement age. Our whole lives, essentially, are engineered to suit BUSINESS, to make money for SHAREHOLDERS. (In a communist country it would be the same - except that profits, I suppose, could be minimised and any surplus used to offset loss-making ventures or help fund public services.) The moneyed middle class, of course, are entirely exempt from this hideous exploitation of those trapped in poverty.

Those of the thicko pillock-head brigade that I once belonged to, AND those whose interests lie ‘you-know-where’, will insist till the sun goes down that business exists to provide you and me with various produce, and that profit is merely a necessary trade-off of competition – a process that hones efficiency. And they declare this initially convincing humbug with such conviction and over-brimming confidence that nearly everyone is taken-in – as I shamefully once was.


That virtually everything in this world revolves around business is, it seems to me, the most despicable situation imaginable. What a pathetic, contemptible state of affairs! What a shameful, pointless destiny! What are we? After tens of millions of years of struggle, of emergence from our entrapment as mere instinct-driven animals, of finally evolving our amazing bicameral mind (without which we would have no intellect), after millennia of passing through dozens of remarkable stages of social development, of constructing whole civilisations, cultures and philosophies, after hundreds of years of discovering, experimenting, of science, of learning about the world, creating art, writing books, building universities and deepening understanding… (albeit predominately for the privileged, the elite)… after all this we end up in a world run by vain, ignorant, brutal ‘Right’ men (and women): swindlers, shysters, thugs, gangsters and grab-it-alls who care not a rub for anything but seizing power, becoming rich and increasing their stranglehold ad infinitum.

These ‘primitives’ are not only insane (see 'Dragons of Eden'): they are a liability, a threat to the survival of us all. Their very nature is irretrievably infected with an outmoded instinct, once crucial, now redundant and gone feral, a mutated relic out-of-control, running away with itself – and which can be defined as: ‘blind, stupendous, unconstrained greed’. These are the effluent - the affluent effluent - the dregs, the remotest, most backward reptilian element that has survived, by sheer pugnacious grit, down the aeons, while the rest of the human race – 95% (see: 'Meaning...' first item on page), that is – has evolved a gentler, more refined, philosophical, and altogether wiser and pragmatic outlook, an outlook that is now not only conducive to, but imperative for, survival. (These topics are detailed splendidly in Carl Sagan’s ‘The Dragons of Eden’ 1976 and Colin Wilson’s ‘A Criminal History of Mankind’ 1984 - ie, see links above).

But the marauding reptile-brained capitalists are well advanced in shifting the planet towards its grave – at least, so far as humankind and higher animals are concerned. Notice how with such supreme confidence business (and its politician stooges) have dismissed any notion that global warming might have played a part in the record strength of recent and ongoing hurricanes or (Ant)arctic ice loss. Under huge pressure they are beginning to recant - they are beginning to see that already they are soon going to lose. But see how they squirm, and see how they twist any fact, shift any goalpost, dream-up any scheme, so they might (against the 'tide' - both meanings) retain their freedom to despoil the planet for personal gain.

What, for instance has been done so far to restrain airlines - a huge contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide - which is already more than double, according to Al Gore's frightening documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth', the level it's ever been before (as tested from Antarctic ice-core samples), even millions of years ago when the world was largely tropical - and yet, as is also known, atmospheric temperature and carbon dioxide concentration move in tandem.

Obliviously, government refuses to legislate: businesses continue to manufacture and sell pollutants, weapons, drugs, trash… Crucially, all this is possible ONLY with the bribed and hoodwinked collusion of the 95%. Why, I wonder, is this huge 95% majority so apathetic, unmoved, uninformed, so easily controlled and manipulated? Why are they (we) so incapable of rising up and stopping this mad rush to self-destruction which that untamed 5% who run everything are so assiduously and heinously engaged in? Can it simply be a matter of who holds the purse-strings? Are we really so apathetic, so unremittingly blind or mercenary (or both)?

Years ago, aggressive tribes overran weaker adjacent ones and stole their land. The consequences were local and insignificant. Nowadays, those in command (invariably the most aggressive, ruthless, tyrannical from their society) are psychologically no different – they are just as primitive, stupid, greedy and vicious; human evolution is slow – yet now the scale of the territory in their sights is global. And their weapons are, not just bombs and guns, but wealth and power above all, which they use to prey on and corrupt the feeble naïve acquisitive ignorant masses.


If you read znet, and its regular contributors such as Chomsky, Pilger, Monbiot, Frisk… etc, you will find many who share the perspectives I have outlined.

But what proportion of the general population observes our world this way? Most are swayed by misinformation with which they are constantly bombarded, and make ‘judgments’ they believe are sound even when they take no interest in, and know nothing about, the issues. Meekly, and scarcely without question, they ‘believe’ their disreputable leaders.

Does all this explain my position so far? Does it invite accord?

And what about religion? I criticise only organised religion. Set-ups with hierarchies and rituals designed to turn people into unthinking zombies, with rules solid with prejudice, bigotry and pettiness which no amount of reasoning can show to be rationally justified, where the motive is to control and subjugate, to blind and repress. Who, but a true villain, could fail to abhor these?

On the other hand, though I am a deep-rooted atheist myself, I see nothing wrong – in fact, a great deal in favour – of believing in a spiritual aspect to life, even the teachings of Jesus, of St Francis, Mohammed, Buddha or whatever other true and saintly character from history (or mythology) you care to name who preached love and kindness and generosity and humility and everything that vehemently opposes what business and hierarchy and money and power stands for. This kind of private belief should always be seen as sacred, principled, upright and honourable, for these have no time for violence or prejudice of any sort – whether racial, sexual, cultural, religious, whatever. If they do then they are essentially shot with treachery, they are a menace, a blight on humanity – and should be outlawed – any thinking person would reject them outright (except maybe for academic study).

By ‘outlawed’ I mean that it ought, by law, to be STOPPED from being shoved down people’s, especially children’s, throats – nor for that matter should anything be so shoved – not by parents nor anyone.

But why do I distrust people in authority? What is it about them that I so despise? Apart from the lesson of experience, just observe the logic: Who are these people in authority, how did they get there? Some: scientists and engineers, surgeons and orchestral conductors; architects, artists, drama producers, for instance, even perhaps on occasion judges, have superior skills. Their position usually deserves respect; it derives from true merit. But in just about everything else, those who are promoted or put into a position of authority are appointed not by virtue of skills at all, but because they will DO AS THEY ARE TOLD.

Pretty-well everywhere I’ve worked I’ve seen people promoted who are at best mediocre when it comes to doing the job, whereas highly proficient alternatives are passed-over. The reason: because the former are judged to be reliable – that is, they will OBEY regardless; whereas the latter are inclined to first consult their conscience (which may amount to nothing more sinister than treating subordinates gently, with consideration, as most if not all people deserve – but authority prefers harsher attitudes, imposed discipline, tight control… otherwise, they fear (presumably?), anarchy will result. Then where will we be?).

I can well understand an employer promoting only those who can be relied upon to obey. But this means that all the way up from the first rung, most will be hardly competent (proficiency and obedience usually don’t go together, because only stupid people blindly obey) - and worse: they will be ‘Yes Men’. And the most lethal people that exist are those who have sold their souls – and will do anything. Once promoted, this is often what happens: they owe allegiance, they feel honoured, valued, respected - rendering them even less likely to question an order. And the more they obey, the higher they rise, like the biggest turds in a cesspit, until they are incapable of independent thought. It is they who are the real enemy in our midst – the traitors and turncoats… blackguards the lot of them! How can they be otherwise? Their confidence – boosted by constant approval from their superiors – is unassailable, it is as solid and impervious as iron. They experience not the briefest, flimsiest hesitation or doubt. Total confidence reigns supreme.

“What about you?” I hear a distant voice, “All this you’re spouting here sounds pretty confident. How do you account for it? Or are you too a hypocrite?”

Yes I’m a hypocrite. But not for slamming the overweening confidence that’s characteristic of those in authority. I am full of doubt, often my mind brims with misgivings and reservations for everything I say. I generalise constantly. I am probably the least confident writer on the net. For me self-assurance balances with uncertainty like two sparring rivals on a see-saw whose weights are governed by strength of argument more than conviction. It’s a battle for supremacy – and here, concerning the issue at hand, as always for this topic (by some curious fluke), confidence wins. The flotsam is discarded and the result emerges with anti-capitalism triumphant.

Most of my essays are written under great clouds of doubt. I have on occasion sought tacit reassurance from the work of other writers or commentators (ie, as from Pinter for instance), or have otherwise dismissed my qualms and got stuck-in, spilled everything out onto the page just as it comes. True, I’ll revise later, rearrange this and that, tone down a bit here, bolster there, smooth over the rough parts, offer a sugar-pill or two, maybe slide seamlessly into some controversial topic, gently, slowly, stalking like a cheetah – and then pounce! This can be tremendous fun, and I might sit there nursing an odd nutty sense of self-indulgent madness, like a comedy writer cooking up jokes and then laughing at them; but strictly it’s an intellectual challenge - which (and here’s that ever-lurking misgiving once again:) is never quite up to scratch, not for my money. But I keep going...

If you asked a million people, every one, I’d wager, would have witnessed (probably on many occasions) the irresponsible wielding of power by someone in authority. Schools, offices, factories… are bursting with these confidence-freaks, numbskulls who’ve found favour by obedience, and subsequently – frequently – perform beyond what they believe their boss(es) would like: as the over-zealous, pedantic, doctrinaire, bigoted tyrants they often are, or soon become. Confidence! Overblown confidence. Like that arch-criminal Blair, they haven’t the slightest doubt that they’re right. Such people (in my experience) are virtually ALWAYS wrong.

So those who have gained authority by virtue of other than their technical competence, are a big problem. Even for an employer, unwitting as they regularly are, such people can be a millstone not so much because their competence is lacking (after all, most people can do most jobs) but because their cavalier approach is likely to provoke latent insubordination in those under them - which might otherwise have no reason to exist.

Those who are promoted nearly always go this way, their whole personality changes, it kind-of notches up into another region of behaviour which shows on their face, in their mannerisms, in fact in everything they do… I won’t rub it in, because sometimes none of this happens, and although a person might sell their soul, they can be uneasy at having done so…

These will be the most congenial – and in the contemporary work setting – the most competent managers of all. Although they can still rarely be trusted by those below them, their staff will be more efficient, cooperative, resourceful, with less sick-days, less rivalry than otherwise… an altogether tolerable situation. My own experience includes both, and variations between.

But none of this solves the problem of capitalism. Although, as the well worn saying declares: ‘there’s nothing so certain as change’ - the big question is: Will capitalism be destroyed, or will capitalism destroy us instead?

Take another look at planet Earth in about 500-years… It’ll be one of the two, for nothing could be clearer than the fact that capitalism and planetary survival are utterly incompatible.

Finally: It’s generally considered that capital punishment can only be justified as a deterrent, but all evidence shows that it fails to deter. This means that such a fate would be inappropriate even for people like Harold Shipman who would have been stopped if a few key people had been awake – or had it not been for the mad folly of blind loyalty. Either way, regardless of his fate, no sane person would emulate him. On the other hand, I’d judge that if Blair and Brown and Prescott and Straw and all the rest of our so-called ‘representatives’ (including senior members of the opposition) who voted for - and are entirely responsible for the UK’s part in - the invasion of Iraq, were tried at Nuremberg for colluding in genocide and were subsequently hanged, then it would provide a very definite deterrent to future politicians. What those MPs have done is unforgivable, though even for them I would not advocate revenge or punishment - which can only be counterproductive - but if hanging them is likely to make their successors think twice before committing similar atrocities, then hanged they should be. As a rule, only politicians and their military marionettes commit genocide. (Again, see the array of serious crimes ALL these people are guilty of: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10621.htm )

Yet the politician’s job (naïve, know-nothing me once thought) is to prevent war and killing, not instigate it! It’s as if the Kray twins were in charge of Scotland Yard… Or the CEO of Shell was running Greenpeace. (which actually often happens when an outfit passes a certain crucial size or power) But no; it’s much worse than those; and far more sinister!

But the deaths in Iraq remain ongoing, while the grief - which will linger perhaps for generations - must be overwhelming. And the cause is beyond all sense, reason or decency: untold BUSINESS greed… engineered in part by politicians (nearly all lawyers, especially note, rarely practical people like engineers or scientists) who claim to represent you and me. If only, instead of civilians, the misguided retaliating suicide bombers would target the real culprits: the politicians (who are too well protected) - then there might be a change of policy: -

It is my belief that it was the IRA attack on Thatcher’s mob in Brighton which inspired a subsequent determination among top politicians to address conclusively the grievances of the IRA. In other words: as soon as the political elite realised that instead of the ‘dispensable’ public, it was their own lives at risk, they did what should have been done decades earlier. Freedom fighters take note!

Some mornings I listen briefly to Radio-5 and hear the traffic reports, and I think: all that mayhem out there, all those jams, all that chaos, agro and fumes, all that hassle, stress, madness and waste - and for what? I’ll tell you for what: for BUSINESS! To make ever more profit for BUSINESS! That’s what. I’ll bet that 80% of commuting is down to people rushing to slave for some business or other – and probably less than 20% of that will be useful business… Well, it’s a thought, but whatever the true percentages, it’s business that’s plunging the planet irreversibly towards the inevitable, ever widening abyss.



Take a look at JOHN PILGER’S site and his account on the disastrous failure of writers and the media, and on how playwright Harold Pinter shines like a beacon above them all. 

This is an arresting, enlightening yet scathing report. Anyone who doubts the toadying and ineptitude of our current media – or who is yet to recognise the vital importance of independent writers like Pinter (who, in fact, are extremely rare) – should read it.

Luckily, there are independent reporters, though, and it is from them where I, for one, obtain the real news – on the net – instead of the incessant propaganda of the BBC in particular, and all usual media: TV, Radio, Newspapers… To get an idea, you only have to read the recent media-lens item ‘REAL MEN GO TO TEHRAN’ (Oct 20th): http://www.medialens.org/alerts

(Incidentally, to address a topical issue: Should a country that was re-formed by short-sighted, biased politicians at the end of WW2 - and which continually re-elects a mass murderer as its leader who's now luckily as good as dead (Sharon) - be wiped from the face of the Earth? I’d say SO! – and its population spread evenly across the USA, it’s obsequious benefactor. The only current threats to this world are Blair and Bush - and the repression they and Israel stand for.

Q: Why do all media commentators refute this obvious fact, and respond with shock when it is suggested? A: Because otherwise their career would be instantly ended, SILLY!)


Every time I read through a commentary or essay I’ve written on this site, I see everywhere room for corrections and qualifiers and further expansion, explanations and justifications. The process seems interminable – trying to anticipate readers’ questions and cover them adequately in a few concise words. But it’s impossible for a lethargic individual like me to address more than the most salient questions. I’d be at it all day, and there’d be no time for slacking – my favourite pastime, and chiefly what I live for (maybe what we should all live for?).

Of course, if any questions were to fly at me from somewhere out there in the ether, then I’d certainly respond. But no-one ever bothers. I’ve yet to receive a single acknowledgment of recognition of the mere existence of this site from anyone – apart, that is, from people I already know. Because of this reluctance to communicate, however, I try all the harder to make sure my commentaries are reasonably comprehensive and self sustained, and don’t leave too many unanswered questions. But disagree as much as you like, because if what I present here gives people a nudge and gets them thinking then I’ve achieved my aim. And either way, keep reading, keep swearing at me and my outlandish ideas – but most of all: KEEP SLACKING! Remember, time happens only once.

---------------------- / / --------------------