Category Archives: Opinion

Trump and the Taiwan Gambit

Taiwan has become a new “eastern pivot” for Donald Trump. Against all international laws and UN charters, he is approaching Taiwan, as indicating to the world that regardless of the established world rules which make Beijing, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), the official and legitimate Authority of China, with Taiwan being a part of China – the self-styled emperor, Mr. Trump, pretends he prefers dealing with Taiwan as an independent country. By doing so, he intends to invite others to do likewise. Trump wants to make Taiwan an ‘ally’ – dreaming of setting up a US base on the island, thus further encircling China. It is the old game, divide to reign. But he can’t be as ignorant as to believe it will actually work. It’s just one more thing to annoy PRC. Frankly, seen from a step back, it looks more like attempting to dump one of those primitive Trumpish ‘diplomatic’ bombshells on PRC’s back. Provoking the Dragon?

Dragons can be lethal, especially if exposed to nonstop strings of insults and debasement, attacks, and threats, sanctioned with trade wars, subjecting US$ 200 billion worth of Chinese exports into the US with 25% import tax, and, mind you, Trump just issued a new threat –raising the ante to US$ 300 billion, in case China refuses to attend the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on 28-30 June 2019. Can you imagine the insolence, ordering President Xi to attend the G20 summit?!? The man has indeed no manners, diplomatic or otherwise.

Trump further bragged on Monday, 10 June, that China will make a deal with the United States “because they’re going to have to.” And what would be the deal? He never explained. He added, “China has lost trillions of dollars since he, Trump, was elected president.” Imagine this impunity in recklessness!  Well, surely, President Xi Jinping will not be duped or blackmailed by Trump.

On another front, Trump threatened Mexican’s new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, AMLO for short, with a 5% tariff on Mexican agricultural exports to the United States, if illegal immigration to the US would not stop. AMLO approached President Trump with an open letter, saying that he seeks peace and not confrontation, dialogue not war, and that AMLO’s government will do whatever is in its power to stop illegal migration to the US.

He stated, correctly, that a trade war would do more harm than good to both nations. Trump then dropped the threat, with worldwide publicity, to make sure his ‘goodness’ is recognized the world over. However, just a few days ago, Trump threatened Mexico again with the 5% tax, in case AMLO’s promise doesn’t hold and poor Mexicans keep illegally crossing the border into the great Promised Land (no, not Israel, but the western extension of Israel).

Of course, this tariff has nothing to do with trade. It is punishment, a sheer demonstration of supremacy. And, never mind, Trump probably doesn’t understand that California’s agriculture thrives on the low-wage illegal Mexican and Central American immigrants.

It is nevertheless amazing that the (western) world stands by and dares say NOTHING. The threats of sanctions seem to be effective. Anybody, or any nation that refuses to go along with Washington’s thuggish criminal behavior, may be subject to punishment, be it by trade and/or financial sanctions, or outright military intervention. There is no international law, no rules of the community of nations, no political common sense that is respected by Trump and his handlers, and the world is afraid. Even though so far most of the threats have amounted to nothing more than ridiculous blabber and saber rattling.

More threats were thrown at Iran, with more sanctions and economic strangulations if Iran doesn’t “behave”.  Actually there are hardly any explanations given what “good vs. bad behavior” would mean for the US, other than Washington’s repeated empty accusations of Iran being a nuclear threat, disregarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or nuclear deal signed in 2015, freeing Iran of any further accusation of wanting to become a nuclear power (which, by the way was a farce in the first place – the subject for another essay).

This so-called nuclear deal was signed by the 5 UN Security Council members, including the US. But as we know, under pressure from Netanyahu, Trump reneged last year from the deal – and since then horrendous sanctions of economic strangulations and foreign asset confiscations – outright theft, in clear text – were imposed by the US on Iran, with ongoing pressure on the EU to do likewise. According to Trump – and his two minion mouth-pieces, Pompeo and Bolton – more are to come.

To that, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, stated that Iran will not be blackmailed and added the philosophical observation that Trump’s economic wars around the globe will eventually backfire. Well, yes. Trump’s reckless playing with tariffs, sanctions and other punishments around the globe will eventually drive everybody away from dealing and trading with the US, including away from the western monetary system. It’s the silver lining of the dark-dark US cloud. It’s economics 101.

Propelled by German business interests (but at the same time limited by Washington [and Brussels] on what he is allowed to say), German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, visited Iran a few days ago to seek a compromise for Germany and other EU members to still hold on to the Nuclear Deal, because Germany’s economy wants to deal with Iran, yet, seeking concessions from Iran that may assuage Washington. But Iran’s Foreign Minister, Zarif, didn’t fall for it. The meeting ended in nothing. Good so, because there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that any ally (except Israel) could do to change the Bully’s mind on Iran.

Frankly, does Trump seriously believe he possesses all that power over other world leaders? Or is he, Trump, just a convenient lackey of a force much stronger behind him, a force that controls both the Pentagon and, more importantly, the western financial and banking system – the Zionist designed western dollar-based monetary system. This Ponzi scheme has been able for the last 100 years or so – and as we witness, every day more – to usurp the world, holding it hostage, with artificially created economic booms and busts, with economic sanctions, strangulations, confiscation, with the theft of nations’ foreign assets and even their reserve funds, if they don’t bend to the will of the self-proclaimed super power USA.

Yes, it’s a fading super power, but it still has control over its forced allies and vassals – many of whom, by now are sick and tired of their ally-cum-vassal status, as they realize what their losses are. They believed in economic, diplomatic and military privileges, but are gradually awakening to reality. Progressively they see the empire as what it is, a shiny, blustering, preposterous house of cards that may come crashing down at any time. Their anger and courage of Washington’s vassalic allies is slowly raising, and they will eventually break out from their repressive situation. When that happens – and Trump is hastening that moment with his erratic ‘sanction-prone’ behavior around the world – a grand geopolitical shift for the better may take place.

With this partial backdrop of what the globe is facing – Taiwan is just becoming the latest peon in the war for preparation of Washington’s big WAR – dominating China and Russia. Making Taiwan – which is legally and by all international rules part of PRC – a US ally and vassal, would further close the US power circle around the East Asian space. Trump may believe he is moving closer to ‘checkmate’, dominating the formidable Russia-China alliance.

With all the flattering and roses the leaders of Taiwan may get from Trump, do they realize that their role will just be that of one more enabler to enhance the empire’s dominion and increase the US’s wealth by helping it steal more of the world’s resources?

In the end, Taiwan may just become a mess, a chaotic island with lots of loose ends, with people pulling in different directions, as they realize that their government has been “bought” to give away their partial sovereignty and well-being, and they will raise up.

Taiwan, just look around the world! The latest example being Sudan. Orchestrated chaos is controlling Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria? And look what is being planned, so far without success, in Venezuela? Taiwan will just be another pawn on Zbigniew Brzezinski’s legendary Grand Geopolitical Chessboard.

The US has been fomenting worldwide hostility against China and Russia for the last 100 years, and especially since WWII, intensified by the fake and false Cold War, made possible thanks to an all-western-dominating AngloZionist lie-propaganda machine.

We know about “Russia Gate”, the never-ending bashing of President Putin and Russia. The more subtle US attempts to destabilize China have started soon after China had become fully self-sufficient and autonomous, when she gradually opened her borders to integrate into the world with exports and attracting foreign investments in the 1980’s. The so-called Nixon ‘ouverture’ to China, Nixon’s one-week trip in 1972 to Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai, was perhaps the first attempt by Washington to use the huge Chinese market for US exports, and at the same time constraining China’s rapid and foreseeable economic growth. Indeed, China grew exponentially and in 1986 gained observer status at GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), a precursor to WTO, and started negotiating membership of the World Trade Center of which she eventually became a member in 2001.

Trade, Chinese highly competitive exports was then – and is today – a key issue for the US goal of world hegemony. In anticipation or rather to prevent China from becoming a world economic powerhouse, Tiananmen Square protests were introduced in 1989. The lead-up to the so-called massacre was a huge false flag. A student protest movement, funded by the US State Department, through the infamous NED (National Endowment for Democracy – an “NGO” specialized in “regime change” operations – see also Venezuela). The 4th of June crackdown had been prepared months before, guided by the bloody hands of US Secret Services, CIA, NSA, and most probably MI6. The “students” had no common cause for the protest, just a sudden desire for more “freedom”, “reforming the communist party” without citing specifics they wanted reformed.

The 4th of June 2019 anniversary of the ‘massacre’ 30 years ago, is used by the western media to propagate against Chinese “tyranny”. The news of the massacre was repeated every hour on the hour by almost all radio and TV stations throughout Europe, lest you might forget, and the too-young-to-remember – should learn and be prepared for the coming Chinese monster. That’s the goal of the corporate presstitute. And they may succeed, as sleeping people have no clue of the truth, nor are they interested in abandoning their comfort and facing the inconvenient truth.

Let’s just juxtapose the forced memory of Tiananmen Square with real atrocities being perpetrated by the west, as these lines go to press. Take Yemen, devastated by the west and its proxies, chiefly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with weapons and funding from the US, the UK and France. Yemen is a non-aggressive peaceful country. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the last 4 years of this atrocious war, most of them children and women, thousands from cholera and other water and improper hygiene related diseases; two thirds of the population suffer from famine. The related death toll is in the tens of thousands. This is exacerbated by the Red Sea Port of Hudaydah, the gateway for most of Yemen’s imports, being shut by Saudi and Qatari armed forces, so that not even emergency aid enters the country. The UN calls it the largest humanitarian crisis in recent history. You hardly hear anything in the western news about this western-funded and executed atrocious mass killing.

False flags from Tiananmen Square, to 9/11, to the Ukraine Maidan, to the sporadic string of terror killings in Europe and the United States, by ISIS / IS Al-Qada and associated groups –  all funded by the empire and its proxies and vassals – to the more recent ‘regime change’ or Color Revolution type protests in Hong Kong, the Umbrella Revolution of 2014 and street protests of the last week, with thousands of protesters in the street against a Beijing initiated extradition law to be introduced by Hong Kong’s legislation are all US / western instigated, funded and guided so as to provoke and destabilize China.  And foremost, demonize China in the eyes of the western world. Most western countries have extradition laws for criminals to be turned over to the jurisdiction of the country where they may have committed the crime. But that’s not mentioned by the corporate lie-propaganda.

These permanent aggressions against the world power China, a world power with a pacific non-expansive life philosophy, could badly backfire. Just imagine, Beijing may eventually get sick and tired of Washington and its vassal-allies meddling in PRC’s internal affairs, could easily repeal Hong Kong’s semi autonomy and incorporate the city fully into the territory of the PRC – complete with Chinese laws, obligations and benefits. As simple as that. What would Washington do? What would the west do?  Scream murder?  Well, they do that already, so it couldn’t be much worse. A military aggression on China?  Hardly. The West wouldn’t dare. Attacking China is attacking Russia. There is a strong alliance between the two countries, one that was made even stronger by several new agreements signed between Presidents Putin and Xi during the recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Similar provocations are planned and take place with Taiwan. In April 2019 the US sent two destroyers into the Taiwan Straits, claimed by mainland China as their territorial waters. Germany, which according to their armistice status’ obligation of non-confrontation and non-aggression, is considering sending a war ship to join the US and French warships in an attempt to demonstrate to the world that these are international waters.

What if such provocations, rather than gathering more world recognition of Taipei’s self-styled autonomy, they prompt President Xi Jinping to close in on Taiwan and actually absorb the island as a PRC owned territory? This would just conform to what Taiwan nominally already is since 25 October 1971, when the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 declared The Peoples Republic of China as the sole legal China.

Switch to another corner of the world with a different but very much connected scenario. Early this morning, 13 June, in the Strait of Oman, about 25 km from the coast of Iran, a Japanese-owned and a Norwegian oil tanker (the owner of which is an old friend of Iran’s) were attacked. Explosions and fire broke out, some seamen were injured, and 44 were actually rescued in the Gulf of Oman by Iranian ships. As of now, it is not clear what happened and who the perpetrators were. Never mind, Pompeo immediately accused Iran for the attacks – and keeps doing so, stating falsely that video evidence – never offered to be seen by the public – showed it was Iran. Why would Iran attack a Japanese oil tanker, while Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is visiting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Thursday, the very day of the attacks, for talks to maintain the treaties of the Nuclear Deal?

World! Let’s face it. Only an idiot will believe that Iranians are so idiotic as to attack foreign vessels in the Gulf, clients and friends of Iran. If this smells like a false flag – it is a false flag. Carried out by whom? Could be the Saudis, Israel, the Emirates, Mossad, the CIA, MI6… any one of the puppet allies of the emperor.

People, where are we going? As a result of this incident oil prices rose immediately by up to 4% for fear that worse might happen, namely that Iran might close the Strait of Hormuz through which about 25% of the world’s hydrocarbon are shipped. A closure could have oil prices jump to USD$ 200 / barrel or more – and sink the world in the worst recession of recent history. In the meantime, Wall Street bankers, notably Goldman Sachs, who have ample experience with oil price manipulation, are already playing with oil futures which under such a scenario could bring them hundreds of billions while the rest of the world goes belly up.

On another, but very much related topic: Many, especially unaligned countries, are losing trust in the US and especially in the US-dollar. They are quietly switching their reserves to Chinese yuans and / or gold. Trump’s handlers know about it. They may be contemplating as a last resort a new kind of gold standard. Losing out on dollar hegemony is one of the reasons they are pushing The Donald into a trade war with China. The (US) expectation is that a trade war with China would debase the Chinese currency, thereby discredit it and make it unattractive as a reserve money.

Creating a conflict between PRC and Taiwan, might, from a US point of view, have the same effect, degrading the yuan, in addition to bringing other Asian countries on board, those who are themselves worried about their territorial waters; i.e., the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia.

And yet, in an opposite corner of the world, namely in the swamp of Washington, the same Pompeo who just found another reason to increase sanctions on Iran, is utterly upset that his plans in Venezuela didn’t work out, because the stupid opposition cannot unite, cannot be trusted. That would leave only the ‘military option’ on the table – but that military option is too risky with Venezuela being supported by her strong allies, Russia and China.

Friends – what you must be aware of – all the dots of conflicts, wars, threats, harassments, false flags, sanctions and otherwise punishments, lies and lies and lies around the world, are dots that must be connected. Only then will you get the Big Picture – and to understand the Big Picture is crucial. It is at once hilarious for the phantasy it portrays and catastrophic for the danger it presents. For the owners of this Big Picture, the Washington Swamp and Israel, it represents the illusion and desire to achieve the US-Pentagon-Banking plan within the PNAC (), a wishful thinking of Full Spectrum Dominance.

This Big Picture is best portrayed by Chris Black’s latest master piece: This Outlaw Power: America’s Intent is to Dominate China, Russia and the World.

• First published by the New Eastern Outlook.

Reclaiming Autonomy = Rejecting Bureaucracy

In the 20th century, several radical thinkers of considerable stature aimed to rethink, and possibly transcend, the premises of State-oriented, progressive-political ideology.  Pioneering sociologist Max Weber critiqued the massively-encroaching “bureaucratization” of all aspects of everyday life — the diminishment of the unique individual into a “calculable person” (to use Foucault’s phrase).  Like Weber, Michel Foucault valued the rational/scientific legacy of the Enlightenment, but deplored the “management” of “employees/citizens” that came in its wake.  Similarly, Lewis Mumford — another major, post-Marxist revisionist now (almost) entirely forgotten — offered a “libertarian” and de-centralized vision of vibrant social communities, as an alternative to the bureaucratized “total society” (which he termed “the Megamachine”).

In this essay, I’m turning to a brief re-examination of the unorthodox ideas of Ivan Illich, whose best writings — notably Deschooling Society and Medical Nemesis — aimed to question the entire edifice of the “managed society.”  Certainly, we’re well aware that, with the imposition of colonialism, a vast and varied multitude of localized folk-knowledge and ways of living were destroyed. In the aftermath — and this historical process is still ongoing! — individuals were deprived of their land and modes of adapting, and forcibly transformed into subjects of State and Capital.  Reciprocal sharing and learning of traditional life-skills were replaced by “managers” and “experts,” who dictated new definitions of “needs” — now to be fulfilled primarily through market-based consumption of their goods-and-services.  Informal learning was replaced by “education,” subsistence techniques by mechanized/chemical “agriculture.”  Traditional practical knowledge, as well as folk-wisdom, were soon lost as was “the pleasure derived from personal autonomous action.”  Formerly self-regulating individuals became “consumers” of newly-imposed “commodities,” such as seeds, tractors, “infant formula,” and so forth.  Moreover, the expanded definition of “needs” — consumption of which now required imposed wage-labor and acquisition of debt — transformed formerly independent, adaptive persons into bondage to the State and its corporate masters.  In short, as Illich put it, people were “dis-abled” from their former competences, becoming “clients” of varied “experts” and “managers.”

Like Mumford, Illich condemned the crushing of individual creative adaptation, and with it the person’s “confidence in his own unaided capacities.”  Instead of enhancing the self-awareness and habits of good health, people — as we see all around us today! — were soon rushing to “the doctor” at the first sign of an ailment (usually self-correcting).  The burgeoning medical industry, imposing a monopoly on the definition of “health,” claimed the exclusive power to define “sickness” and its appropriate “treatment” (all at substantial cost, of course, to the hapless “patient”!).  (Parenthetically, one might insert a word of skepticism regarding proposed U.S. “Medicare-for-All” — given this well-documented study by James Leiber: Killer Care: How Medical Errors Have Become the Third Leading Cause of Death.)  As the individual felt increasingly unable to cope with the difficulties of family and social life, he increasingly turned to “family counselors,” “financial advisors,” “personal coaches” — even “sex therapists” (cf. Thomas Szasz, Sex by Prescription).

Thus, the inexorable historic shift, from prideful autonomy (and dignity) to what Illich termed “heteronomy” — i.e., total dependence on, and control by, “managerial-elites” and the commodities they now insist are “needs.”  Certainly, given the labyrinthine web of “services” in which most of us find ourselves enmeshed, Illich’s ideas today, if anything, constitute an increasingly urgent wake-up call.  Totally rejecting the dependence imposed in consumer-society, Illich to the end celebrated “the advantages of self-chosen joyful austerity!”

Germany, Japan, Iran and Trump: Will Reason and Harmony Triumph in the World?

Japan used to be the number one foreign consumer of Iranian oil, slipping to number two as China increased its purchases. Now, obliged to defer to the U.S., Japan purchases none. Germany has been Iran’s largest European trade partner, and was hoping for major deals following the conclusion of the Iran Deal in 2015. These plans have been sabotaged by the U.S. using its control over the international banking system, one of its main weapons to use against free market principles and free trade, to inflict pain on people who do not submit, and to (try to) assert its global hegemony.

Both Japan and Germany (whom you recall were the U.S. two greatest adversaries in World War II and who emerged soon after the war as close U.S. allies, the third and fourth largest economies, after the U.S. and USSR.  Both not coincidentally were occupied by tens of thousands of U.S. troops from their defeat in 1945, politically controlled by the U.S. and incorporated into its military alliance network, as they remain 74 years later.

(Notice by the way how the Soviets, who defeated the Nazis on the all-important Eastern Front, losing as many as 30 million in that effort, and who occupied what had been Nazi-occupied parts of eastern Europe, withdrew from Finland and Austria while the U.S. consolidated its grip on postwar western Europe, while shaping the emergence of pro-Soviet client states in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany (after the U.S. unilaterally declared West Germany an independent state), and Bulgaria. Other ostensibly socialist states (Albania, Yugoslavia, Romania) always retained a high degree of independence vis-à-vis the Soviets. The U.S. meanwhile pronounced the Truman Doctrine (justifying any means necessary to defeat communism, from electoral interference to assassination to coups and wars) and in 1949 created NATO as a ferocious anti-Soviet military alliance. The Soviets responded seven years later with their own much smaller Warsaw Pact alliance that, of course, was dissolved in 1991, when NATO should have been. The U.S. remains tied by expensive military alliances with the now-reunited Germany and Japan, and continues to station more soldiers in those two countries than anywhere else. They are followed by South Korea (part of the Japanese Empire during the Second World War) and Italy, showing that the U.S. is still in a perverse deluded way fighting that war.

Both Japan and Germany—the third and fourth largest economies in the world, whose combined GDPs equal about half the U.S. figure—oppose the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from, and seek to destroy, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed with Iran four years ago. They want normal ties with Iran. They fear the real prospect that crazies around the U.S. president—known, rapid war-mongering, fanatically Zionist, pathological liars, bible-toting nutcases, smug psychos and wild-eyed brutes like Jared Kushner, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo—will arrange a war to bring on the apocalypse they so crave.

They are surely indignant that a man as obviously as moronic as Tillerson intimated is ordering them, in their maturity, and their nations, in their dignity, to obey U.S. orders to isolate and provoke Iran. And worried about the possible consequences of Trump’s madness and vulnerability to the arguments of evil advisors. They will surely be trying through flattery and patient argument to promote talks with the Iranians.

Trump says he doesn’t want war. He says he wants to talk, but leaves it to the Iranians to call him, to show their respect. He says he doesn’t want regime change (although Bolton surely does and says so continuously). He says President Rouhani is probably a “lovely man.” He just doesn’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons.

The Germans and Japanese know Trump likes others to come to him. So they will get on the phone and urge Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif to stoke Trump’s ego and call him. And they will say, just repeat what you have many times, guarantee him that Iran does not want and will not build nuclear weapons. Give him a way to back down, like the Mexicans just did. Let him claim a better deal, if that allows trade to get going…

Trump is a profoundly ignorant if not stupid human. He genuinely might not know that U.S. intelligence services have been saying since 2003 that Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program. The IAEA has ascertained this. The Iranian supreme leader has issued a fatwa banning the production or use of nuclear weapons. The leading western authority on Iran’s nuclear program, Gareth Porter, has exhaustively documented the fact that Iran has never had a serious program to produce nuclear weapons, at least not since the Islamic Revolution.

Anyway, by suggesting that his only demand is that Iran not acquire nukes, Trump allows the Iranians to say, “Fine. We agree. What more assurances do you want?” And then, if his advisors are in the room, Trump will say, actually, we want more than no nukes, we need to you to obey us in all these other areas Pompeo has announced. You have to stop missile tests, and end aid to Hizbollah, Hamas, Iraqi Shiite militias, Houthis and the Syrian government. Only then will we let Japan, Germany and all the countries we indirectly control trade with you.

The German foreign minister Heiko Maas has visited Tehran to meet with his dignified, level-headed counterpart. Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is heading to Iran Wednesday to attempt to mediate between his U.S. bosses and the Iranian leadership. He is perhaps in a good position to do so. Abe has been Japanese prime minister since 2012—a very long time for a Japanese leader. He is an extremely reactionary figure, proud grandson of an accused war criminal who also served as prime minister (1957-60), advocate of constitutional revision (to legalize the huge Japanese military), promoter of a view of history in which Japan once led Asia in sloughing off colonialism. He has deliberately provoked the Koreas and China by statements, actions and threats involving contested claims over islands. His tax hikes and austerity measures have produced much pain for the Japanese. I have no fondness for the man.

But I would like to suggest what he might, speaking from his own point of view perhaps, say to the Iranian president.

He could begin by pointing out that Japan, as a close U.S. ally due to its post-war fate, must follow its leadership on foreign policy. However, he might add that for years Japan was Iran’s number one oil purchaser nation, before it was overtaken by China. Now it buys no oil from Iran; it is not allowed to, due to U.S. secondary sanctions. But for a time Japan, which has towed the U.S. line on virtually all global matters from the time of the Occupation to the present, did have a strong trade relationship with Iran, receiving special permission from the boss-nation to do so due to its complete dependence on foreign oil. (South Korea received this too.) So there is precedent for Japan playing a slightly independent role.

Moreover, there are reports that in the current situation Abe wants to play less the role of messenger than mediator, which makes sense from the point of view of his nationalist agenda.

Abe could further note that Japan and Iran (Persia) have had a trading relationship (since at least the eighth century CE, actually); have until recently enjoyed scholarly exchanges (such as Japanese archeologists’ work with their Iranian counterparts in exploring likely ancient Buddhist sites); and share a history of avoiding western colonization. Both cultures value etiquette, patience, calm and reason.

Abe and Rouhani no doubt share a common contempt for Trump as an ignorant, rude, unpredictable, dangerous, posturing buffoon. This would be how most world leaders see him. But they also no doubt grasp that his vanity can be used to defuse him. So Abe will say, as friend to friend, why not call him? Say that you are contacting him in response to his public invitation and whatever private communications there have surely been, because you have made statements that suggest you want to ease the “tensions” the U.S. claims have gotten higher recently. These statements include a perhaps facetious statement that you, Rouhani, are a “lovely man;” that he is not calling for regime change in Iran; that he wants to make a deal with the present government; even that he wants Iran to thrive under the present regime. All he wants, he insists, is that Iran not get nuclear weapons.

Call him and call his bluff. Remind him that the Iran Deal virtually prevents Iran from getting nuclear weapons any time soon, and that the IAEA knows that, and the UN knows that, and the signatory nations except for Trump’s know that. Offer him even more iron clad assurances; he won’t know what you’re talking about. Dangle before him the prospect of the Nobel Peace Prize. Let him announce that trust has been achieved and the U.S. now looks forward to investing in Iran, which like North Korea, has awesome prospects.

The current head of the IAEA happens to be a Japanese flunky of the U.S.  (He was elected in July 2009 to succeed the Egyptian, Mohammad ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in part due to his refusal to bow to U.S. disinformation about Iran’s nuclear program provided by the likes of Bolton. There were six rounds of voting, the U.S. each time opposing the favored South African candidate. Amano was more suitable because a diplomatic cable released by the invaluable Wikileaks indicated that Amano “was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”)

The other day as he opened a meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors, Amano stated blandly, “I… hope that ways can be found to reduce current tensions through dialogue.”  In other words, he faults both sides for such “tensions” and is probably saying: “Meet with Trump, President Rouhani, to reduce these tensions!” May the Iranians respond to Trump’s clueless provocations with a mix of calculated taqiyya and principled insistence on established international law, putting the bullying Wizard of Oz in his place, daring him to please Natanyahu, Jared and MbS by provoking war. And may Trump back down, agreeing on some formula allowing him to claim some victory that had eluded Obama.

A Green Global Party?

Following the lead of the late Ulrich Beck in works such as Risk Society and Power in the Modern Age the time has now come to ask ourselves whether or not the Green party is already or is about to become a global political party.

First a little background in theory. Beck was, of course, famous for introducing the idea of a “risk society” and “second modernity”. What he meant by these phrases was that the modern world had left behind earlier forms (First Modernity) of national community and entered a phase where the complexities and uncertainties of the modern world led to the creation of a “global risk society”. In other words, a global technical modern society creates problems that only a global political response can effectively solve.

Related to these ideas, Beck also thought that traditional notions, practices, and institutions of the nation state would not be up to the job of meeting complex global challenges whether in the environment, finance, or the political sphere.

What was needed among other things was a new “cosmopolitan politics” both as a form of world consciousness and global practice.
For the latter, Beck proposed the formation of a global political party.

He supposed, quite rightly, that such a party would grow from urban, “world city” roots. In this, he was not mistaken.

For the modern Green party is most definitely a progressive, urban political phenomenon.

Its recent impressive showing in the European Parliament elections (particularly in Germany) seems to tell a story of a growing regional (if not yet global) political consciousness that is frightened of the future and is ready for present political action on a local, region, and worldwide scale.

The Green party, due to the nature of the threat it wishes to solve, is well suited to play the role of a global political party able to transcend its various national roots.

All Green parties are focused on the global nature of climate change.  In order for each of them separately to achieve their self-professed goals they must to a much greater extent than other political parties work across borders which is to say transnationally.

This is exactly what Beck had in mind.

A world political movement, capturing the attention of the most progressive elements of both Western and (eventually) non-Western societies (many of them located in Global cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Sao Paulo) working transnationally to affect change in global society.

The Green party has all the potential elements of a world political party focused on the environment and social justice.

One of the key questions now is: will such a party be able to take effective root in, at least, two of the world’s greatest polluters: China and the USA?

Without the participation of these two nations (regions?), the Green party movement will ultimately prove ineffectual.

In the US, either the Green party will find ways to make itself more palatable to the American electorate or the most progressive fractions of the Democratic party will have to declare common cause with the world’s potentially first global party.

For now, we must agitate, advocate, and assist by all reasonable means the necessary birth of this potential global instrument of collective salvation.

The Future of Democracy

The word democracy derives from the Greek words that means “people govern.” Generally, it is assumed throughout the world that the democratic way of decision-making is the best possible and therefore, the most acceptable. The only problem is that nobody knows what exactly it means. It would be ideal if people mutually agree and create rules on an equal basis that would be valid in their collective, but it is impossible to achieve because every society brings an unlimited number of decisions about which all people cannot decide on either due to lack of interest, knowledge, or time.

Therefore, today an indirect form of democracy where people elect at the polls their representatives in government is generally accepted. Candidates who win the most votes of the people receive the mandate to govern on behalf of the people in a given period. The peoples’ representatives in government should represent the interests of their electors, but they cannot successfully do it, because they have insufficient insight into the wishes of the voters who have elected them. It goes without saying that an elected government has no desire at all to meet the needs of those people who did not vote for them. Besides that, representatives of the people are quite privileged, and as such they more often represent their own interests or the interests of a privileged class of people who help them in elections rather than the interests of the people. So that in practice, indirect forms of democracy cannot adequately follow the will of people and therefore, they are not satisfactory. Also, the democratically elected leaders can cause significant harm to the people of which there is not an adequate defence. For example, democratically elected Adolf Hitler and George Bush are remembered mostly by the destructions they initiated “in the name of the people.”

The will of people may be followed to a greater extent by a direct form of democracy through referendums, where people directly decide on issues of self-interest. The intention of the majority of people accepts or rejects the proposed decision. This form of democracy also has significant disadvantages. Firstly, I would mention that a majority of people might outvote a minority and thus cause inconvenience to the minority, which is unacceptable. The principle of consensus among representatives of people on issues that people should vote about, make such a form of democracy more acceptable. But direct democracy is rarely applied, primarily because governments do not like people messing with their businesses and then because the organization of referendums is not a simple process. Finally, each society brings a vast number of decisions about which one could not call for referendums because people do not have enough knowledge about making all the decisions or are not interested in it or do not have time to participate in them. And so decisions in society are always brought by privileged authorities that do not follow the will of the people sufficiently.

Does this mean that the will of the people cannot be carried out? That democracy cannot be developed? Scholars of social sciences do not see a solution to the problem of democracy and cannot establish any consensus on how a developed democracy should look like. The establishment of a developed form of democracy requires the discovery of a new pathway that will effectively implement the will of people. To reach it, one needs to think outside the box. I have managed to create a straightforward and original way, leading to a fully developed democracy.

*****

Let’s allow every person, who within the scope of his activity can affect us in any way, to do it freely upon their will. We do not even have many choices because we cannot interfere with the freedom of activities of presidents, doctors and mechanics, or any other worker, nor do we have the ability, nor the time, nor the right, perhaps not even the desire to do so. However, all these people may create advantages and disadvantages through their actions to individuals and society. We indeed have developed the ability to sense whether or not the activities of a president, doctor, mechanic, or any other man, brings some advantages or disadvantages to us. And according to it, we should have the right to award a person who through his or her acting creates convenience for us and punish a person who does inconveniences to us. Such a right would certainly direct all people to perform the least inconveniences and the greatest conveniences to other people. Such an orientation of society would undoubtedly follow the will of all the people in the best possible way and therefore, would present a developed democracy.

My philosophy is based on the equal rights of people because it is the only proper orientation of society. In this regard, let each person have the same power to punish let’s say three individuals who hurt him the most in any month and to award let’s say three individuals who realize the most significant benefits to him each month. This is the essence, and the rest is a technical matter about which I won’t bother you much here. I propose that the rewards and punishments have an equivalent value of one dollar. Each award a person receives from somebody will bring them one dollar and each penalty will take away one dollar from them. In that manner, all people will become the same authorities who have a small direct power in society.

Given that all people will have equal rights and the power of evaluation, and that they can give their rewards and punishments to other people regardless of any written rules, such a democracy will present the form of anarchy. That is the reason why I have called such an evaluating system democratic anarchy. I am confident that this is the only possible path toward full democracy and good society.

Democratic anarchy will direct each member of society to respect other people. People will become values to all people. They will create the most significant possible advantages for the community and diminish or abolish the creation of all forms of disadvantages. Such a measure will definitely decrease uncontrolled or insufficiently controlled individual power originating in privileged social status. I have to stress that the privileged status of individuals causes the greatest inconveniences and problems to society. In this straightforward way, the populus will realize a great direct power in society for the first time in the history of humankind, which will result in highly harmonious and constructive social relations.

Many people, including university professors, have given me remarks in the sense that people are not able to objectively judge other people. I have answered them that objectivity is desirable but not essential. People will judge others the way they feel, and every person is obliged to take into account the consequences his actions may have on other people. By adopting this system, this will happen, and that is what will bring considerable benefits to society. Furthermore, a system that supports the equal rights of people will develop objectivity in the community, and when that happens, people will certainly objectively judge other people.

Individuals will not have much power in society, but their evaluations joined together will be very powerful. A person who receives a large number of negative assessments would try hard to avoid doing anything inconvenient to other people. Besides, the person who receives bad evaluations would never know who has evaluated him negatively so that he would try to improve his behaviour towards everyone. As a result, bullies will not harass children at school anymore; bosses will not abuse their employees at work, neighbours will not produce noise at night, salespeople will not cheat their customers, politicians will not lie to people, etc. They will all try to please other people in the best possible way. This is what will take privileged powers from all the people; this is what will eliminate social evil and form a good society.

The system of democratic anarchy will especially affect authorities. The higher the position an authority has in society, the greater the responsibility they would bare to society. For example, The President of the US might get 100,000,000 bad evaluations from the American people for bad policies, lies, and criminal aggression on countries. That would cost him 100,000,000 dollars in only one month. On the other hand, I doubt that his supporters would certainly evaluate him positively because they might easily have higher positive evaluation priorities and would spend their positive evaluations elsewhere. Non-privileged presidents would no longer dare perform bad policies anymore. And if it happens somehow, they would run away from their positions very fast. Only the most skillful and brave individuals would dare lead countries. They will not be authorities anymore, but our servants.

People will judge other people freely. In this regard, I have received many complaints in the sense that people may evaluate other people maliciously because of spite or envy. I answered that such a risk exists but I would add that individual assessment of one dollar might not cause significant harm to anyone. The damage that an individual can make is insignificant compared to the damage authorities can make because they often pull back the whole society. Take the example of Adolf Hitler and George Bush again. In the system that I have proposed these individuals would get so many negative evaluations from people from the very beginning of their careers that they would no longer dare to cause evil. Their followers would receive negative assessments as well so that organized evil would hardly rise in such a society. It is possible to forbid people who receive a large number of negative evaluations from governing society. In this way, authorities will no longer dare to carry out aggression and wars. Is it worthwhile to allow individuals to wrongly judge others for one dollar if such trials would abolish all forms of destructiveness in society? Sure it is. Also, the new system will develop objective values and the conscience of the people where malice and envy would hardly exist. If something like that would still exist, each person would be able to correct a possible wrongful assessment that he gave to another individual by instigating a correct evaluation even many years later when he experiences enlightenment under the influence of the new system. And he will.

So what if influential people who own mass media unfairly accuse someone of evil in society and thus prompt people to give bad evaluations to the wrong person? Such things are easily possible in today’s society. However, there is a proverb that says: “Lies have short legs.” One day the lie will be revealed, and then I would not like to be in the skin of these individuals who lied because they will be punished by the people for sure.

Democratic anarchy will finally and unconditionally create a good society, and therefore it presents the greatest invention of all the time.

*****

Under pressure from democratic anarchy, an elected government will inevitably follow the needs of the people. The authorities would indeed not dare to make the most important decisions for society alone because they can easily make mistakes that might bring about the wrath of the people and a large number of negative evaluations. If the authorities are not sure what the needs of the people are then their responsibility, clearly defined by the fear of peoples’ evaluations, directs them to discover love towards peoples’ participation in decision-making processes through referendums. In this regard, they will develop a simple, fast, and efficient method for direct decision-making of the people, most likely over the Internet.

The people will directly create the macroeconomic policy of the society because it is the foundation that directs the economy, and that means an entire community. How? Quite simply, one first needs to enable every person to decide how much money from their gross income they want to pay for taxes. The average values of all the peoples’ expressions will determine what percentage of salaries each worker will put aside for taxation. Furthermore, in the same way, each person can decide on how tax money is spent. Each person will determine how much tax money they would set aside for: the defence of the state, public safety, education, health, housing, recreation, infrastructure, etc.

Theoretically, people can decide on a collective consumption within the consumer groups as much as they want. All these groups of shared consumption will have a far greater overall impact if they are democratically allocated. Following the living experience, people will learn how much money should be collected for taxes and what the best way to spend it is. Thus, this spending will follow the needs of people in the most efficient way because it will no longer be alienated from society. In such a way, the people will become active members of society and so they will accept their community a lot more. Given that the new system offers stable and good relations among nations, people will no longer allocate money for the needs of armies and armies will cease to exist. In the democracy I have proposed, war will no longer be possible.

The people must directly make strategic decisions in society because that is the only way the policy of society certainly follows the interests of people. Professionals could make all other decisions, and they will be directly responsible to the people for those decisions. Once people get the power to participate in the decision-making process of their own interests and when they can judge those who make decisions on their behalf, which will present the most developed form of democracy. There’s no better political way. Such a democracy will realize all the dreamers’ dreams in the history of humankind. Once such democracy is accepted, people will become so satisfied with it that they will not allow anyone to seize it from them.

*****

This is just a basic idea about the future of democracy. It cannot be understood well enough without reading and analyzing my book Humanism available free of charge here: Table of Contens.

Homo Sapiens: Not a “Machine”!

There is no such thing as “my body.”  I am a human organism (Homo sapiens), synergistically comprised of organs, tissues, and fluids.  Reciprocally interacting, deviation-reducing processes maintain an essentially balanced “steady-state.” Biologist Walter Cannon, referring figuratively to this “wisdom of the body,” coined the term “homeostasis.”  Thus, when any disruption occurs, the organism makes the necessary corrections: up-to-99% of bodily “ailments” are eventually self-correcting and self-repairing.  The very word “dis-ease” still suggests such overwhelmingly temporary disruptions of the norm (the steady-state).  (The cybernetic metaphor, terribly over-extrapolated these days, is somewhat applicable: deviation-reducing, “negative-feedback.”)

Yet the dominant “medical model” remains, even today, Cartesian: the “mind” (formerly “soul”) engages in cognitive functions of perception and “thought” — all the while encased in a material integument (“the body”).  This body, then, is deemed a “machine”–and like any machine, subject to “dysfunctions” and “breakdowns.”  If the much-maligned auto mechanic — now equipped with computerized “diagnostic” equipment! — sometimes recommended unnecessary repairs, so our “doctors” now use an impressive array of blood-tests, X-rays, and “scans.”  What could be the cause of your symptom?  Difficult to say for sure — since there are now some 13,000 identified “treatable conditions”!  Still, some “irregularity” is often detectable (despite the high-frequency of “false-positives” and “over-diagnosis”!).  (As to the latter, one remains a bit skeptical about “pre-cancerous” lesions and such.)

Why — like other mammals and primates — move about, eat when hungry, walk, dance, lift, climb, carry — all beneficial to organismic well-being and resilence — when one can have a worn-out (or atrophied) “part” simply replaced (knee, kidney, heart–eventually, brain?).  “Spare-parts” are available; no need to be a healthy (i.e, whole) human organism moving and acting in a field of ever-shifting, open-air perceptions, sensations, feelings.

This persisting Cartesian dichotomy has also promoted a kind of grandiose delusion: “hyper-cerebral,” physically alienated techno-wizards offer up a vision of a near-future world wherein the annoying limitations and demands of “the body” may be circumvented. Even 20 years ago, “Singularity” promoter Ray Kurzweil was already proclaiming this forthcoming “Age of Spiritual Machines”!  Faux-”feminist” Donna Haraway offered her preposterous “Cyborg Manifesto”; after all, simply because the human female ovulates and lactates — like other primates — it doesn’t mean that these troublesome “limitations” cannot be transcended (through the “liberating” power of technology, of course!).

What of the elemental joys of kinesthetic awareness?  Proprioceptive sensation?  The primal delights of touching and feeling?  Even the “aches-and-pains” which, however bothersome, remind us that we are alive?  Such technologists, presumably of stunted sensibility and repressed desire, evidently see no experiential loss.  They, instead, envisage a world of limitless power and control: “immortal,” dis-embodied intelligences which, having long ago left earthy pleasures behind, may soon leave the Earth altogether.

The End of Anarchy and The Solidification of the Global Class

There once was a world where state actors operated in an anarchic international environment, where maximizing their overall power was their goal, and war was their means of achieving it. That world is now dead.

In its place we have the current spectacle of what were known as the “great powers” who are now, at least, formally if by no means fully, democratic and economically interdependent on one another and informally, if firmly, coordinated by transnational elites.

However, lest we be confused by their seeming historical similarities, this situation is very different than the one the world found itself in during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries.

Then, the world was both far from being even formally democratic and world capitalist elites were only beginning to form and more importantly were locked in lethal competition with older more parochial elites representing the still powerful aristocracies, militaries and agrarian concerns. For anyone who might want to learn more, Arno J Mayer’s classic The Persistence of the Old Regime is an excellent guide to this period.

Although much has been written about the “democratic peace”, a doctrine at least as old as Thomas Paine and Immanuel Kant, we might wonder how much the current era also known as the “long peace” is a product of an increase in the total number of democratic or semi-democratic states, especially the most powerful ones or is rather the semi-surreptitious erection of an overarching system of global elites united by their global economic interests and disciplined by the military/state security apparatus of their universal pay master or locus primaria: the United States.

After the classical world of power politics gasped its last (1945), the United States found itself in an unprecedented world historical situation: it could mold, coerce, cajole, and most importantly penetrate an exhausted world economically, militarily, politically, and culturally. This it did with unexampled speed and skill relying in part on its aura of victory over Fascism. It built both visible and, most importantly, invisible bonds to its long term interests which both quickly and over time also became the core interests of its new client states and their local/”national” elites.

The second phase of American Hegemonic Expansion occurred throughout what was known then as the “second” and “third” worlds; the communist and non-aligned states. Through a careful policy of coercion and corruption (the use of criminal organizations often went hand in hand with the use of security forces) the United States was able to convince and ultimately co-opt much of the world’s remaining elites in their lucrative and superficially attractive skein of capitalist production and consumption and cosmetic democracy. It was and is the world’s most effective formula for world domination to have ever been devised. It is the very life-blood of Pax Americana.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the regions of the world that are not under firm American Hegemony such as some parts of the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa are the locations of the most violent conflicts. In part, these regions are still operating under the old Hobbesian conditions of anarchy and war. They either “suffer” from not being of sufficient interest to Superpower or are locally too costly to integrate into the world system at present. This, of course, could change at any moment when and if transnational elites hit upon novel ways of making these “war-torn” countries of benefit to themselves. The historical record says they, ultimately, surely will.

Thus, unlike the nineteenth century, the world system is far more stable under a tightly knit regime of interdependent elites dedicated to the pursuit of their own personal interests which are well served by their collective organization by Superpower or Empire. Ancient anarchy has been therefore drained from the international system, and as Negri and Hardt have pointed out in their books on Empire all conflict within the system is more of a local civil war rather than an ultimate challenge to the whole system.

It should not be totally surprising that the current international system represents the ever increasing homogenization of the interests of a group of people since the world is both materially and culturally expressed in the power of a Hegemon.  American hegemony reproduced itself through the expert use and production of Baconian power and knowledge (and some geographic and historical luck). It is a totality that came of age when the old elites (remnants of the feudal ages) were militarily eliminated and new elites (primarily communist and nationalist and oftentimes both) were unable to be successfully born. In a world of mass surveillance, hegemonic power, elite interdependence, sophisticated consumption, and democratic ideology; what contradictions, if any, could liberate humankind from the sweet bondage of ever growing economic prosperity and, at least for the Great Powers, international peace through the solidification of the directory of the Great Global Class of the Twenty-First Century?

The Professor and the Poet

I have been pondering lately the significance of two elder visionaries who have exerted a lasting influence on me – Noam Chomsky (90) and Bob Dylan (77) – the former because he is an intellectual ‘rock of Gibraltar’ now in his ninth decade, and the latter because I recently saw the Nobel Laureate perform in concert more than half a century after the lyrics of his timeless classics became etched in my youthful brain.

Interestingly, both men were (are) word geniuses – one being the heralded poet- musician ‘voice of a generation’ and the other the ‘father of modern linguistics’ – who have radically changed the way we understand language, the world and ourselves.

Bob Dylan created some of the most powerful and enduring songs of the last century – Blowin’ in the Wind, Like A Rolling Stone, The Times They Are A- Changing, Masters of War, All Along the Watchtower, Mr. Tambourine Man, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall… – and was a seminal figure in the 1960s counterculture, even though he has balked at the idea that he was its spokesman.

Whether one views Dylan as the poet laureate of the youth counterculture or not, his lyrical masterpieces certainly helped shape and define that unique period of social change in modern history.

The enigmatic Dylan has undergone many transformations during his long and storied career, alienating a fair share of his fans in the process, and has remained throughout largely indifferent to the masses, including critics, the media, and his concert audiences. A master of reinvention, the chameleonic artist has done whatever he chooses to do and gotten away with it, in large part because he is the legendary Bob Dylan, a mercurial soul who has always followed his own muse rather than the expectations of others.

Noam Chomsky is a celebrated philosopher-scientist-activist who in the 1950s revolutionized the study of language and cognition with the development of his theory of universal grammar, which posits the existence of linguistic knowledge innately structured in the human mind that renders possible its infinite creative potential, and has been an unrelenting critic of U.S. foreign and domestic policies and its corporate media since the ’60s. A brutally honest man, Chomsky has angered ideologues of all political stripes by bringing to light hard truths about our nation that most are unwilling to acknowledge, especially its reckless and bloody military exploits around the world fueled by the powerful military-industrial complex President Dwight Eisenhower warned the American people about in his 1961 farewell address.

The distinguished MIT Professor Emeritus has transcended both left and right, liberal and conservative, in his quest to speak the unvarnished truth, no matter what anyone else thinks and how much criticism is fired his way.

The two iconic historical figures, while similar in some interesting respects, are also different as night and day.

Chomsky at 90 years young is the same anti-authoritarian thinker he was in his 30s when he expressed early and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War (for years, he refused to pay a portion of his taxes, supported those who resisted the draft, was arrested several times protesting the war, and was on “Tricky Dick” Nixon’s enemy list), and to this day remains an uncompromising voice of reason and conscience in a world filled with injustice, oppression and violence. The celebrated scholar and dissident possesses a deep ethical core that does not change with time, and his rare moral courage and towering intellect have combined to serve as a force for good in exposing evil in the world.

Chomsky seems to personify the hero archetype1 that the renowned depth psychologist Carl Jung discovered in art, mythology and legend throughout the ages and in different cultures around the world, and which is part of a shared human collective unconscious.

Dylan’s unique genius lies in his elusive and unpredictable nature. A modern embodiment of the age-old trickster archetype2 Dylan is a man of mystery who has worn numerous masks over the years and broken many rules along the way. His protean persona has undergone dramatic changes – Bob Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, transitioning from folk to rock artist, turning his back on the counterculture he helped spawn, preaching mini-sermons from the stage during his ‘born again’ Christian phase, serving as a corporate pitchman for gas-guzzling cars and “ladies undergarments”, crooning Sinatra songs and appearing on stage looking like Liberace… – and who always seems a step ahead of those seeking to label or categorize him.

Dylan has been described by some as the consummate sellout artist for behavior exhibited as far back as the mid ’60s when he abandoned his acoustic guitar and “went electric” at the Newport Folk Festival, turning off many folk music purists in the process, to his recent appearances in commercials for Chrysler and Victoria’s Secret. His most ardent fans blow off such criticisms by emphasizing that the artist has earned the right to do whatever he wants, and Dylan himself could probably care less about any of it.

I wondered myself while watching Bob Dylan perform recently, WHO IS THIS GUY?, and could not help but think of what the bard once said about himself, “All I can be is me, whoever that is.”

In a similar vein, Bono, activist and lead singer for the Irish band U2, once said of Dylan, “The reason I’m never bored with Bob Dylan is because there are so many of them.”

Dylan and Chomsky are in classes all their own and, despite glaring differences, share certain admirable traits and qualities: They are both iconoclasts who have challenged the conventional order, marched to the beat of their own drum, and chosen not to heed much what others, especially those in positions of power and authority, think. In other words, they are boldly unorthodox individuals in a world where most are content to blindly and unquestioningly conform to the social status quo.

Finally, each of these gifted geniuses has carved a unique niche in their respective fields – Dylan in music and literature and Chomsky in philosophy, linguistics and psychology – and each has exerted a positive influence in my life, helping to open my eyes to the world around me and think more critically about it, and for that I am grateful.

  1. The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long- hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious.” Carl Jung, Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, (Volume 9, Part 1), August 1981.
  2. “…his fondness for sly jokes and malicious pranks, his powers as a shape- shifter, his dual nature, half animal, half divine, his exposure to all kinds of tor- tures, and – last but not least – his approximation to the figure of a savior…”  Carl Jung, on the Trickster.

Reclaim Our Power or Face Extinction: The Choice is Ours

Do you find yourself unable to nod off to the sweet bliss of ignorance or denial when contemplating the catastrophic state of the world? Do you find yourself feeling deeply concerned about the enormous harm occurring to humans, our fellow Earthlings and this beautiful planet, our home? Do you find yourself feeling deeply concerned about our future—for humanity, our children/grandchildren, and our fellow living beings?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, and if you’re not willing to “ask your doctor” for a pill to push these thoughts and feelings away, then it’s likely you’re finding yourself struggling with one or both of the following dilemmas:

(1) How do I find the courage to continue trying to make a positive difference in the world when so much is broken?

…and (2) How can “little me” make any real difference in the face of it all, especially considering that a select group of extremely self-centered individuals seem to hold all the power?

And if humankind has any chance at all of making it through the next few decades, let alone transitioning to a genuinely sustainable society, then I think we have no choice but to face these dilemmas head on.

I think that we really have to begin by addressing the first dilemma, because it’s hard to do much of anything at all, let alone enjoy our lives, when our spirits are being crushed by such despair and hopelessness. I think that Joanna Macy, the pioneering deep ecology teacher, healer and activist, offers a powerful way to work with this dilemma in her definition of “Active Hope”:

Active hope is not wishful thinking. Active hope is not waiting to be rescued by the Lone Ranger or some saviour. Active hope is waking up to the beauty of life, waking up to the beauty of life on whose behalf we can act. You and we all are capable of falling in love with life at the moment when it needs our response….

It is a readiness to engage and a readiness to discover the strengths in ourselves and in others, a readiness to discover the reasons for hope and the occasions for love, a readiness to discover the size and strength of our hearts, our quickness of mind, our steadiness of purpose, ready to discover that again and again….[Seeing] active hope as a verb, it is something you can do even when you’re feeling discouraged.

In other words, even when the future seems completely hopeless, by embracing our strength, our love, our values, our spirit in this here-and-now moment, then that’s enough to make whatever life we have left one worth living. And regardless of what may become of humankind or the Earth, we are still all destined to die someday, and we still have this life to tend to. If more and more of us can make the transition to living this way, then it may well be that such an attitude is humankind’s best chance for survival. And even if it’s already too late to save humankind, at least by living this way, we can still make the best of the time we have left.

The second dilemma we face, then, is, How can “little me” make any real difference in the world in the face of so much inequality and devastation?

In order to address this dilemma, I think that we first must start by openly and honestly facing the reality of our situation, as difficult as that may be to do.

Evaluating our Challenges

There are a number of very “inconvenient truths” that I think we must first come to terms with before we can do the hard work of contributing to the positive evolution of humankind. Actually, let me reframe this and say that the very act of openly acknowledging these truths, facing them head on, and working to transcend them is the first step in humankind’s evolution to a sustainable form. So what are these inconvenient truths?

A form of essentially unbridled plutocratic capitalism has worked its way into virtually every corner of human society. While there may be some degree of genuine democracy still gasping for breath within some of these systems, for the most part, what has developed is an increasingly globalized plutocracy that has become corrupt to the core—a system that prioritizes competition over cooperation, and personal profit above people and planet. It is a system devoted first and foremost to maintaining and increasing the wealth and power of a very small minority of wealthy individuals.

And, as an inevitable by-product of such a system, there exists a ruling class of obscenely wealthy and powerful individuals who essentially own most of the world’s resources and governments, and who strive with all their power to maintain and increase their personal wealth and power, feeding their apparently unquenchable greed for such by virtually any means imaginable. If you think I’m being overly dramatic, try spending a day hanging out in an industrial slaughterhouse, trekking across the Alberta tar sands, or picknicking within one of the many war-torn regions of our planet unfortunate enough to contain resources that the ruling classes drool over.

The system has evolved in such a way that the more power/wealth we have, the more comfortable we become with the status quo, and the less compelled we are to work towards a more harmonious and equitable world. Hence, the world has evolved to the point where the large majority of the global population live in relatively abject poverty, requiring nearly all of their willpower just to maintain their day-to-day survival; a moderate number of the population live in the “middle class,” typically devoting much of their personal time and energy to increasing the profits of their employers and the ruling class, but generally not being miserable enough to push for major change; and finally there is that very thin sliver of pie at the top that rules the roost; i.e., the ruling class.

Most of us, to varying degrees, have become personally conditioned and desensitized by having been raised within such a broken system. Most of us have developed a general condition of learned apathy and helplessness, and for the most part, we have become generally desensitized to the enormous pain and dysfunction within the world around us.

Given the fragmented and isolated nature of such a broken system, many of us have unsurprisingly become personally addicted to certain harmful behaviors—the excess consumption of products we really don’t need or that are built on the backs of exploited and poverty-stricken people; eating foods that are harmful to the environment and other sentient beings; burning excessive fossil fuels; and numbing away our unpleasant feelings with alcohol and drugs (recreational as well as prescribed—the rulers are more than happy to help us out with this, so long as they get paid for it—“just ask your doctor…”).

Finally, no matter how you look at it, the prognosis for humankind is very poor. To begin with, there is the serious risk of a major (possibly nuclear) world war as the various ruling factions become ever more desperate to maintain their grip on their power and the rapidly depleting resources of the world. And even if we set this issue aside, the multiple disasters taking place within the broader living systems of the Earth—accelerating climate change, habitat loss and species extinction—are extremely urgent. So urgent, in fact, that a number of highly educated ecologists and climatologists have concluded that it’s already too late—that a number of tipping points have already been set in motion, and that the Earth is likely to become uninhabitable for humankind in the very near future. Some are (slightly) more optimistic, but the general consensus is that the situation is seriously ominous.

Evaluating our Strengths

In spite of what appears to be an extremely difficult if not impossible hand to work with, I believe that we still do have a lot going for us.

For one thing, we’re still here, and the major Earth systems are still mostly functioning, though certainly somewhat beleaguered. But I don’t think there’s any doubt about it—if humanity has any chance of pulling through this crisis and remaining a member of the Earth community beyond the next few decades, then we’ve really got our work cut out for us. We all have to really buckle down, face our challenges head on, acknowledge (and appreciate) our strengths and resources, and especially for those of us fortunate not to be living in abject poverty, we also have to be willing to make a number of sacrifices.

Here is a summary of what I feel are our most pertinent resources:

We have our “basic goodness.”  In spite of the widespread ignorance, disconnection and desensitization caused by having been raised within such a broken social system, most of us have personally experienced the fundamental “basic goodness” that lies within us, fleeting and/or buried as it may be at times. This consists of our capacity to recognize and actually feel within our bones our interconnectedness with each other and with all living beings; and to experience the genuine compassion, kindness and care that naturally emerges when we do so.

If you find yourself feeling a bit skeptical about this one, take a moment to reflect on a time when you felt deeply connected to a loved one, a child, a companion animal, or a beautiful sunset or wilderness landscape, even if you have to reach way back in your memories. Hopefully when you do, you can feel at least a hint of these “unitive feelings.” These feelings of love, compassion and kindness emerge in us naturally, spontaneously, when we feel deeply connected to another; and when we allow this awareness of connectedness to expand to embrace all other beings, then… well, it’s beyond words, really; and if anything can save us, this is it.

Human beings are extraordinarily innovative, imaginative and productive. Looking around at the state of the world today, it’s certainly justified to suggest that these particular qualities of ours have actually gotten rather out of hand. But what if we find a way to marry these qualities with our capacity to experience deep interconnectedness and compassion for others…? What if…?

Human beings have the capacity to self-reflect, to be aware of our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and impulses, and to reflect upon the consequences of our actions prior to acting them out. Granted, we often neglect to do so and simply let our impulses and auto-pilot behaviors run the show. But we do have this capacity nonetheless; and just like a muscle, it’s one that gets stronger with practice.

Solutions

Now that we have made an assessment of our most essential challenges and resources, let’s turn to the issue of solutions. How can we harness our strengths and resources to address the very serious challenges that face us? In particular, how do we shift our course to a long and prosperous future, one that is harmonious with our fellow Earthlings on this wonderful planet? How do we address the dysfunctional behaviors of ours that have led to this disharmony and destruction? And how do we address the dysfunctional system that continues to reinforce such behaviors?

First of all, understanding and dealing with the ruling class…

Let’s start by looking more closely at the system of unbridled plutocratic capitalism that is surely one of the largest thorns in humanity’s side when it comes to any movement towards positive evolution.

As mentioned above, both the primary fuel and the toxic by-product of this system is an extremely wealthy ruling class. First of all, I want to say that I personally identify as a humanistically-oriented psychologist (among my many other identities), and I have faith that there is a “basic goodness” that exists within all of us, even those who have been deeply wounded and/or corrupted in various ways; though for many of us, it may take a lot of healing and/or effort to uncover that “goodness.”

Even when I reflect upon the nature typical of so many of those in the ruling class—someone who justifies the hoarding of millions or even billions of dollars while so many others in the world can barely feed their family or send their kids to school, or someone who justifies the bombing of thousands of innocent people in order to increase their personal wealth or power—I still do my best to remember that although they may have become completely lost in their own greed, fear and disconnection, there is still a human being with the potential for goodness lying somewhere beneath that mess.

But that certainly doesn’t mean that the rest of us should continue to condone such behavior, and allow such individuals to continue doing so much harm. Au contraire, for those of us who haven’t lost contact with our compassion towards others, I feel it is nothing less than our duty to humankind and all other life on this planet to do our utmost to prevent these people from causing so much harm. This is the concept known as the “protective use of force” within the Nonviolence philosophies.

But then the problem arises—even if we would really like to stop such harmful behavior, and even if we can find the courage to do so, how do we stop the behavior of people who are essentially the acting rulers of human society?

In order to answer this question, I want to suggest that we turn this question on its head and ask ourselves, How exactly is it that the ruling class has managed to co-opt the remaining 99+% of us to do their bidding? The answer, I believe, is relatively simple. They are masters at blowing on the embers our own potential for fear, greed and disconnection; at crushing our potential for compassion, connection, mutual empowerment and kindness; at skillfully sowing seeds of animosity and hatred among us; at widely spreading misinformation over and over again via mind-numbing news, television programs, commercials and other media; and by tossing well-placed “breadcrumbs” to maintain the loyalty of those members of society that they most desperately need in order to continue enforcing the status quo (particularly the judges, politicians, police, soldiers, and psychiatrists, among others).

As a seasoned and well-traveled psychologist myself, having studied human nature through the lenses of a number of different worldviews and cultures, I feel confident in saying that this is not conspiracy theory—this is simple human nature, and the ruling classes know exactly what they’re doing. As human beings, we have the intrinsic capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness, and for experiencing the profound unity and interconnectedness among all life on Earth—what I and many others refer to as “basic goodness,” among other similar terms. You could say that these virtuous qualities come “wired” into us.

And yet we also have the capacity to experience overwhelming hatred, fear, greed and helplessness. When we feel threatened or experience scarcity, it is these latter qualities that typically come to the fore. Again, this is well established psychological and neurological science. And the ruling classes have developed great mastery in cultivating these latter qualities among “the masses.” In fact, it was pioneering psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s own nephew, Edward Bernays, who first formally developed the concept of “propaganda” and played a prominent role in educating the ruling and corporate classes in exactly how to use propaganda and other forms of misinformation to shape the behaviors of “the masses” for the benefit of further enriching the wealthy and further disempowering and dividing the rest of us.

So we’ve simply got to face this unpleasant truth—the ruling classes know exactly what they’re doing with regard to maintaining and increasing their wealth and power, and they are very well skilled at blowing on the embers of our hatreds, fears and ignorance. However, I believe there is a crucial piece that they are missing, what I would call their Achilles heel.

Those individuals at the “top” who are so dedicated to maintaining and enhancing their personal power and wealth? By the very nature of being in such a position and having cultivated such a toxic frame of mind for so long, they have also been intensely blowing on their own embers of hatred, fear, greed and disconnection. I venture to say that these qualities have become so exaggerated and entrenched for most members of this class that most of them have completely lost sight of the more noble aspects of their own nature—the capacity for love, compassion, kindness and the interconnectedness of us all.

Research shows that the richer you get, the more your happiness depends upon personal power, status, and personal achievements; and the less able you are to experience the much richer happiness that is associated with love and compassion for others and an appreciation of the wonder and beauty of the world. And for this very reason, I would say that most of the members of this class and the system that they perpetuate are completely blind to the fact that the hell and suffering that they bestow upon the rest of the world is also fuelling their own misery—certainly in the future, but even to some degree in the present.

Even while these individuals revel in their wealth, they are only further isolating themselves and fuelling their fear and greed with their behavior—they are certainly not fostering compassion, love and kindness, which involve far more pleasant states of mind. In essence, then, the ruling classes have become deeply addicted to their drive for wealth and power, and when combined with their vast power, their addiction is causing enormous harm—to human society, to the Earth, to our fellow Earthlings and ultimately to themselves. Of course, these people are human, and they deserve our compassion and kindness as much as anyone, but their destructive behaviors must somehow be stopped.

So this brings us back to the question of how do we stop them? Well, for their sake and ours, their destructive behavior simply has to be stopped; and that means that we simply have to find a way to take our power back (remember, “simple” does not mean easy!) So how do we do that? Let’s start by looking at strategies that we’ve already tried:

Will we have to violently revolt? The history of humankind is filled with bloody revolutions—when the poverty-stricken lower classes finally became so fed up with being enslaved and exploited by the rulers that they put their lives on the lines, grabbed their pitchforks, their swords, their guns, or whatever weapons they could find, and violently revolted. But even when such revolutions have succeeded, the end result has typically been little more than a transfer of power from one set of self-centered rulers to another.

No, many of us have come to feel strongly that if we truly want to evolve into a nonviolent, equitable and sustainable society, then the means to do so must also be nonviolent, or we merely perpetuate the same violent, self-centered and authoritarian system. I think that Martin Luther King, Jr., stated this principle well when he said:

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.1

So then what about grabbing our signs, raising our voices, and loudly protesting against the system/government/corporations/rulers?  While such a strategy is (or generally intends to be) in line with the principles of nonviolence, I would say that the benefits of such strategies vary widely depending upon their intent. If the intent of such protests is to build connection and solidarity among “We the people,” and to alert each other to the destructive behaviors of the ruling class, then I would say, Yes! protesting has demonstrated itself to be an effective strategy for this, and for healing the many ruptures within our society, and to counter the harm caused by the “divide and conquer” strategies of the ruling class.

However, if the intent of such protests is to try to persuade the ruling class to more seriously consider our needs, or to intimidate them into changing their behaviors, then I would say that this approach will most likely just fall on deaf ears. Sure, they may throw out a few “breadcrumbs” to quiet “the minions”; but otherwise, members of the ruling class are far too content with the status quo and far too addicted to their personal wealth and power to be so easily persuaded to share more of that wealth and power with the rest of us than they absolutely have to.

What about trying to change things from the inside?  As much as I would love to see this work—virtuous individuals pushing into the higher echelons of politics to try to make a difference—the reality that so many of us have painfully witnessed is that in the large majority of cases, such individuals are either slandered or intimidated out the door, are effectively side-lined and muffled, or they themselves become personally corrupted and co-opted into the system. Sure, occasionally the rare virtuous individual has managed to instill some positive change using this strategy, but in the larger scheme of things, what we typically get are more “breadcrumbs for the minions” if we’re lucky.

Reclaiming the power that we already have…

So what’s left?  We shake off this trance of learned helplessness, and recognize that we already have the power. Our so-called leaders have essentially become a bunch of lost addicts perpetually seeking their next “fix.” And in the same way that attempting to appeal to reason is generally ineffective for someone gripped by a serious addiction to drugs or alcohol, so attempting to persuade the ruling classes to drop their addictions is also likely to be largely ineffective. What generally is an effective means for helping an addict to come out of their addiction is to support them in coming out of their isolation and in developing authentically loving connections with others. So if we really want our leaders to come out of their addictions, then I think the only way is for “We the people” to lead by example—to stop allowing the ruling class to blow on the embers of our fears, hatreds and disconnections, and to begin cultivating our compassion, connections and kindness. As for the “leaders”—well, they have a choice—they can ether join the party or get out of the way.

So what does this look like in more practical terms? In simplest terms, I would say that we each need to do the difficult work of taming our own “wild” minds in the same way that we would tame a wounded and wild animal—with persistent yet loving discipline. First of all, we face the hard reality that those who have been raised in this society (in other words, all of us) have developed certain fears, addictions and disconnections that contribute to the perpetuation of a highly dysfunctional and destructive human society; and then we actively begin taming our own “wild” minds to reign in our destructive impulses and addictions, and to actively foster compassion, empathy and kindness towards ourselves, our fellow humans, and the other living beings with whom we share this world.

To get more specific, this entails:

Actively and regularly connecting in a more mindful and kind way with our own inner experiences—our feelings, impulses, needs and values. Examples for this kind of work would be contemplating/reflecting/reading/writing about our interests, our concerns, our values, our passions; or getting in tune with our bodies via yoga, meditation, exercise, mastering a physical sport, art or music.

Actively cultivating our kindness and compassion for and connection with others. Examples of this are consciously considering the consequences that all of our actions and purchases have on other people and living beings; spending time in heartfelt dialogue with others, making sure to practice empathic listening and heartfelt expression; having fun with other people and animals; spending time in the outdoors.

…and refusing to support the harmful practices and organizations with our money/purchases or our precious time. This would involve things such as actively boycotting products that are violent/exploitative of other people, other Earthlings and the environment; and being selective about the kind of work that we do and who we work for. Of course, our individual circumstances vary, so we simply have to do the best we can with where we’re at.

  • I think it’s important to acknowledge that those of us who are wealth-wise in the global “middle” are in the best seats for fostering real change—on one hand, it’s less likely that we have become as hopelessly addicted to wealth and personal power as those in the upper classes; and on the other hand, we aren’t so overburdened by simply trying to find the next meal, clean water, and a warm/safe place to sleep as are those in the poorest classes.
    …..Furthermore, the purchases and consumption habits of the middle-class, as well as the fruits of our labour, are an enormous source of wealth and power for the ruling class and fuel for the continuation of this broken system. Our collective refusal to continue supporting these harmful industries would deliver a huge kick in the gut to this plutocratic system, and possibly even a fatal blow (please forgive the not-so-nonviolent metaphors); and at the very least force the ruling class to adopt less harmful behaviors in order to maintain their profits.
  • Another key point that needs to be mentioned here—when it really comes down to it, the ruling classes are only able to continue enforcing their power through the threat or use of violent force, combined with a steady stream of misinformation (i.e., the police and military being the front lines of this, with the justice system, various “secret services,” the mental health system and the corporate media providing close back up). Yet most of the individuals employed within these systems are not themselves members of the ruling class, though they generally are targets of customized misinformation campaigns, and/or enjoy certain privileges involving additional personal power, wealth, job security and other enticing breadcrumbs to maintain their loyalty.
    …..This situation opens up a tremendous vulnerability for the ruling class—one they certainly don’t like but about which they have no choice. Imagine for a moment if a movement of virtuosity and compassionate civil disobedience were to take hold within any one of these social control agencies. Remember that old expression—“Suppose they gave a war and nobody came”? What if the police and judges began coming forward and saying, “Enough! We’re not going to let people rot in prison for nonviolent crimes,” or “No! We’re not going to treat people differently based on the color of their skin or their country of origin.” What if the psychiatrists and psychologists began standing up and saying, “Enough! We’re not going to keep enriching the pharmaceutical industry by putting more and more adults and children on their brain-damaging drugs.” What if the soldiers handed in their guns and their drone remote controls and said, “No Way! I’m not going to kill any more people for the sake of making the rich richer.” What if…?
    …..The good news is that such movements are starting to take hold, but the bad news (and not surprisingly) is that there has a lot of resistance against them with ever increasing crackdowns on whistleblowers and other dissenters. Here are a few of the more well-known examples of courageous dissenters that have almost certainly generated some inspiration among others in their respective fields:  (ex) Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg,  and (ex)US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, (ex) CIA and NSA employee Edward Snowden, About Face: Veterans Against the War, and Psychiatrist Dr Peter Breggin.

We have the option to bypass the rulers and their broken system altogether and create our own “imaginal cells.” There is an intriguing process that occurs within a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly that may offer insight into how humankind as a whole may make the transition from a “voracious caterpillar” to a “lightly treading, pollinating butterfly.” Dr Sailesh Rao of Climate Healers puts it like this:

When a caterpillar nears its transformation time, it begins to eat ravenously, consuming everything in sight. The caterpillar body then becomes heavy, outgrowing its own skin many times, until it is too bloated to move. Attaching to a branch (upside down, where everything is turned on its head), it forms a chrysalis—an enclosing shell that limits the caterpillar’s freedom for the duration of the transformation.

Tiny cells, that biologists call “imaginal cells,” begin to appear. These cells are wholly different from caterpillar cells, carrying different information, vibrating to a different frequency—the frequency of the emerging butterfly. At first, the caterpillar’s immune system perceives these new cells as enemies, and attacks them, much as new ideas in science, medicine, politics, and social behavior are viciously denounced by the powers now considered mainstream. But the imaginal cells are not deterred. They continue to appear, in even greater numbers, recognizing each other, bonding together, until the new cells are numerous enough to organize into clumps. When enough cells have formed to make structures along the new organizational lines, the caterpillar’s immune system is overwhelmed. The caterpillar body then becomes a nutritious soup for the growth of the butterfly.

To analogize this with the evolution of humankind, we can say that these imaginal cells represent the many groups of people around the world who are choosing to bypass the dysfunctional plutocratic system altogether, taking strides towards much more connected, mutually empowered and environmentally sustainable communities. One particularly promising movement in this regard is the steadily increasing rate of eco-villages and sustainable intentional communities popping up around the world. See here, here and here for examples and more information. See here for a compelling little video illustrating this concept.

Finally, to get even more specific with regard to effective solutions, the Centre for Nonviolence and Conscious Living (CNCL) has developed the Conscious Living Resolution, which is a list of here-and-now strategies we can all begin to incorporate into our lives, starting today. Given the vast inequality of the world and our individually unique circumstances, each of us will have a different starting place with regard to this list—which of these strategies we’re ready to begin adopting and/or strengthening, and which may appear too daunting at the moment. We simply invite each person to mindfully connect with the suggested strategies on this list, and see what naturally resonates with you, and which of your “edges” you feel that you’re ready to push. And, of course, feel free to follow your own internal “nonviolence and conscious living” compass to add other strategies to this list that resonate for you.

To Conclude—Reclaiming our power and our future is what naturally happens when we reclaim our lives

Speaking for myself and many others I know who have ventured down this path to varying degrees, I can say that this is not an easy path. We’re human, we make mistakes, we become overwhelmed by our feelings and impulses at times. Breaking harmful habits and addictions and challenging our long-held beliefs and perspectives can be extremely difficult and humbling. But have faith that the rewards are likely to far outweigh the difficulties. After all, regardless of what may become of humankind in the future, we still have to live with ourselves and each other right now. Do we want to continue living in a society (and with states of mind) based mostly on fear, hatred, greed and disconnection? Or would we rather work towards a society and a personal state of mind based more on compassion, connection and kindness? Sounds like a no brainer to me!

There are certainly no guarantees that humankind will be able to pull through the extraordinarily destructive social and ecological patterns that we’ve set in motion. But as long as we’re still here, we might as well give it all we have to maintain our existence and fight for a world worth fighting for.

And if that doesn’t ultimately pan out, well… at least we can do our best to go down smiling.

Find out more about the work of Dr Paris Williams and the Centre for Nonviolence and Conscious Living at cncl.info

  1. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967, p. 67.

The Bilderbergers in Switzerland

The 67th Bilderberg Meeting will take place in Montreux, Switzerland from 30 May – 2 June 2019, where the about 130 invitees – so far confirmed – from 23 countries, will stay at one of Switzerland’s most luxurious venues, the Montreux Palace hotel. About a quarter of the attendees are women.

The Bilderberg meetings started at the onset of the Cold War, as a discussion club of American and European leaders, a fortification against communism, in clear text, against the Soviet Union. The first event took place in 1954 at the Bilderberg hotel in the Dutch town of Oosterbeek. Ever since, meetings of the Bilderberg Group were held annually, in different locations in the western world, most of them, though, in North America.

It’s not a coincidence that the Bilderbergers meet in Switzerland. Switzerland is one of the Group’s favored host country outside the US. Switzerland hosted their gatherings at least five times before this upcoming Montreux event (1960 – Palace Hotel, Bürgenstock; 1970 – Grand Hotel Quellenhof, Bad Ragaz, St. Gallen; 1981 – Palace Hotel, Bürgenstock; 1995 – Palace Hotel, Bürgenstock; 2011 – Suvretta House, St. Moritz).

The conferences of the Bilderbergers are the most secretive events, managed by those who pull the strings behind world leaders – politicians, corporate CEOs, big finance, and other business execs, artists, and the who-is-who of the world elite. And we are talking of the western world. Other than about ten attendees from Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria and Estonia, participants are North Americans or Europeans. The rest of the world doesn’t count.

The Bilderbergers are strictly a western dominion. The farthest east they go is Turkey. It’s like the carrot to Erdogan, hoping to draw NATO Turkey back into the camp of the west. But how much longer? Turkey, forever wavering between east and west, has more than one leg already in the east – eyeing entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – not exactly the eastern version of the Bilderbergers, because the SCO is an open forum for economic development policies and defense strategies, no secrets, no manipulation western style.

This year’s Bilderberg meeting will be chaired by Henri Castries, France, Chairman of the Paris-based Institut Montaigne, a non-profit think tank working on public policy and social cohesion. Other prominent attendees include Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, and the driving force of these events and protégé of Rockefeller’s, former US Secretary of State (and war criminal), Henry Kissinger; France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire; Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, from the far-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy; Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s Defense Minister from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU); – and, perhaps most noteworthy, Jared Kushner, personal advisor and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, and intimate friend of Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

This means that Israel will be represented at the highest level. From Switzerland attending will be – among others – the current President, Ueli Maurer, who, it is rumored, will hold behind closed-doors talks with Mike Pompeo about Iran whom Switzerland is representing vis-à-vis Washington. The Presence of Kushner, Pompeo, secretive Iran talks smells a rat.

The Bilderbergers are associated and its members are overlapping with those of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Trilateral Commission and the London-based Chatham House which makes the rules for the meetings – and let’s not forget, the World Economic Forum, the infamous WEF that takes place every January in Davos, Switzerland. The WEF represents a relatively transparent window to the world, with, of course, also its secret, behind closed doors meetings, whereas the Bilderbergers are an all-round secret organization. The Bilderberg meetings – so they say – are informal talks, allowing the participants to freely use the information they receive. But they are not allowed to reveal the identity or the affiliation of the speakers, nor of any participant in the particular talks.

Switzerland, one of the most secretive countries in the world – the world of banking, the world of big finance, safe haven for international corporations which not only get away with low taxes, but also escape standards of ethics they otherwise may have to apply doing business, exploiting natural resources, in developing countries. They are privileged, just by being domiciled in Switzerland. The Helvetic Confederacy is a country run by the fiefs of western money, of the western FED-directed and debt-based pyramid monetary system, a Ponzi scheme that has survived for the last hundred years led by the Rothschild banking clan and Co. They are closely associated and control the western banking system’s gold bunker, the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) in Basle, also called the central bank of central banks. The BIS is intimately linked to Swiss finance. The BIS, located conveniently close to the German border, has also served as intermediary for the FED to finance Hitler’s war against the Soviet Union.

What better place for the Bilderbergers to concoct – not to say conspire – their vision of the world’s future?

It is no coincidence that Switzerland was spared from the destruction of both WWs. It’s the only OECD country, where laws are made directly by big-finance and big-business; i.e., where parliamentarians are sitting on the Boards of Directors of corporations and financial institutions, while making the laws for the people, a country where basic business and corporate ethics get short-shrifted and are overruled by flagrant conflicts of interest, a country where a white collar interest group makes the laws that suit big capital. Again, what better place for the Bilderbergers to meet?

Switzerland has become the epicenter of neoliberalism over the past 30 years or so, and is ideal for the behind the scene discussions and agreements, visions of New World Order strategies. The first item in this year’s Bilderberg meeting’s agenda is “A Stable Strategic Order”, a euphemism for One World Order or New World Order.

Other official agenda items include “The Future of Capitalism”, “Russia”, “China”, “Weaponizing Social Media”, “BREXIT”, “What’s Next for Europe”; “Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” – and, of course, not to be missed in conferences of such importance, “Climate Change”. Imagine, with such a benign agenda, what will take place behind closed doors?

One of the permanent agenda items which is close to Rockefeller’s heart, the current thriving force behind the Bilderbergers, and is being propagated, by his disciple, Henry Kissinger, is the reduction of world population so that the few on top may live better and longer with the world’s rapidly diminishing resources.

So what are not agenda items, but might certainly enter the realm of population reduction, are, permanent “wars on terror” that justify mass killings and the related horrendous, never-spoken about quantities CO2 and other greenhouse gases they emit; 5G (the 5th Generation of deadly radiation) to facilitate our communication, meaning more effective surveillance, imposed artificial intelligence (AI), more efficient digitalization of money, and likely though delayed, but exponentially increasing, cancer rates; Bayer-Monsanto’s poisonous GMOs and glyphosate products; artificially planted deadly epidemics, like Ebola; the US Air Force’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) for weaponizing climate change, bringing about famine and misery by droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other climatic calamities and probably much more.

This is, of course, only speculation, being deducted from the Master Goal of the Bilderbergers; i.e., population reduction. But perhaps I’m totally wrong. As everything is secret and most likely nothing of the behind the scene talks and decisions will penetrate into the media, only hear-say and, of course, conspiracy theories, it is well possible that the Bilderbergers are what they propagate to be – a peaceful, dialogue seeking group of people, who is committed to the values of democracy and freedom – and entrepreneurship. And – hear-hear! – “Talking about the future of capitalism does not mean that we consider it to be the only possible system,” as organizer André Kudelski told the Swiss newspaper 24 Heures.

In that he is right. Capitalism is not the only viable system. In fact, it is THE system that is NOT viable, as it spreads injustice, inequality, crime and misery around the globe and, therefore, is certainly not sustainable. Yes, Bilderbergers, start thinking of an alternative, one that brings social justice, inclusion, equal opportunities and spreads wealth more evenly around the globe – one that brings PEACE, so that we all may live well, not wealthy, but well.