My strategising is based on this narrative:-
Firstly I am going to begin with race and knock it on the head. Race is not a big issue but it has been made into one. Before I continue my analysis I must apologise to all the racial minorities within the 1%-satrapies who are deeply suffering from racism – and I also apologise to those white people who are suffering from racial attacks as a consequence of racism. BUT all of you are suffering because of the 1%. The white people who see race as the issue are being played, and the suffering that is caused is all as a consequence of 1%-exploitation.
Race is a dominant issue in western politics at the moment. Why? Because of the way the 1% are manipulating race. Race has two functions for the 1%, cheap labour and scapegoatism. In the US this began with the slave trade – very cheap labour. When the North realised they were missing out on this cheap labour there was a war, and then black people were exploited everywhere in the US. Who benefitted from this? The 1%.
It is significant that there has been a rise in racism following Occupy. During Occupy most people recognised that the problems in our society were caused by the 1%. There were of course the racists – the white supremacists – who have always seen race as the issue, but they were not vociferous until along came Trump-puppet who gave their supremacy views legitimacy. Now 7 years later on the surface of the US they only see racial politics as race has been scapegoated as the main political issue.
Race is inextricably linked with 1%-exploitation. The 1% need to accumulate their profits but they cannot be exposed as they were during Occupy. So through their propaganda machines on MSM and the internet racial division has been exploited.
Who controls the jobs? The 1%. So when there are no jobs it is because of the 1%. This is not only because of choices made within their own borders but strategies the 1% use overseas. Most people “love” where they are born, there is some natural attraction to their land, they are conditioned to their culture, and only upheaval forces them to leave. The US economy, the 1%-accumulation, started with the exploitation of slaves, and then was extended to Latin labour. But why would the Latin people want to leave their homes? So the US developed a foreign policy that created dictatorships throughout Central America. It became difficult to find work in their own countries because of the exploiting puppet governments so they sought work in the US. These workers were gratefully received as they were hard workers and cheap labour. First with black people and then with Latin peoples the US built up its economy. Then at the end of the second world war they went in, collected the spoils, and since 1945 there has been a violent US global hegemony.
And I choose the word violent because it is absolutely appropriate – it is perhaps even downplaying the terror that is used by the US satrapy. At the end of the second world war nuclear bombs were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are a number of people in the know who consider that the war had been won, but they wanted to strike terror – nuclear bombs. Since 1945 there have been wars involving the US throughout the world culminating in perhaps the most ludicrous terror-driven war in Afghanistan. In the Trump presidency a MOAB has been dropped there. Why? What was the supposed reason for the war? The search for bin Laden who was killed years ago. As an observer from afar this war can only be seen as what it is, war driven by profits (MIC) and driven by the export of terror to ensure compliance with US trade exploitation – 1% profits.
This approach to profit-making is not new. European countries began these wars for resources, in fact the wars in Europe that led to the US hegemony were as a result of colonial powers fighting over resources in Africa. Basically European colonial powers in their greed fought each other into the ground, and the US stepped in for the spoils.
Race is not the issue, exploiting race for profit is. Foreign policy, designed to get cheap natural resources, also create the puppet dictatorships within the colonies that force some people to seek money in the hegemony – following their money. It is perfectly reasonable for people to want to live happily within their own cultures, it happens all over the world. But what does not happen all over the world is that 1%-exploitation adopts a policy of foreign interference creating cheap migrant labour that they then use for their own profits and as scapegoats for the social life the 1%-policies have destroyed.
Within NATO countries there are growing nationalist movements that have been created by the effects of 1%-policies, the nationalist baying of their media both on MSM and internet, the promotion of crime within the non-white communities, and the lack of job opportunities for the non-whites in those countries. Remember who controls the jobs, who controls the money that pays for jobs.
For Liberals to focus on identity politics exacerbates the problem but it is understandable that they have been diverted by conditioning into this confrontational cul-de-sac. The 1% do not want the Liberals to see that they, the 1%, are the fundamental cause of the problem as was generally recognised during Occupy.
But we have to understand that it is the white nationalists who are being deluded the most, and they need to confront their governments about these delusions. Especially they need to confront Trump-puppet. Trump basically won the election by playing on the fears of ordinary people who did not have jobs. He blamed non-whites and when he got into power the 1% duly obliged by providing cheap labour. Whilst they are in work they are far worse off than they used to be. The strategy is very sound for the 1%. Their profits were suffering because of the high cost of living in the US. The 1% scapegoated race and got white people back working for less money.
But this Trump-puppets government needs to be confronted by the very white nationalists they are manipulating. How are those white people ever going to have a white country again? And that is assuming it ever was a white country as the US is a red country. Firstly their wealth was created by slaves and migrant labour, many of whom are now citizens. How are they ever going to leave the country? Would they ever leave with any of the earnings they had created? Why do migrants still come to the US? Because there is work for them. If the government doesn’t want more migrants why don’t they punish the employers who are bringing them to the country? And if they don’t want migrants, why do they have foreign policies which have globally increased migration from countries whose infrastructure has become so damaged through war? There is no consistency in a government strategy of white nationalism because the strategy is not white nationalism but cheap labour and scapegoatism. White nationalists through manipulation are on an emotional high, it is time that some of these nationalists used their intelligence and started to question a government whose manipulation is so divisive, and who are using your desire for a white community to create havoc and diversion whilst the 1% manipulate for profit.
Simply put, the issue of race is fundamentally manipulation, the creation of a scapegoat by using people that the 1% had turned immigrant as cheap labour. But it is far easier to describe the issue than it is to resolve it. Primarily because the 1% are continually financing this race issue. But a sensible analysis just turns around and says these delusions are just confusion and deflection, the 1% are the problem – NOT race. Unfortunately whilst there is the continued financing of racial division there is no end to the problem. Non-whites are not taking the jobs, they have always been there as cheap labour; it is the 1% who have stopped employing. There has been a continued development of automation because computerised automatic factory systems are cheaper. That is where the jobs have gone – 1%-profits. But we blame migrants.
So the first strategy is that we stop focussing on race and accept that we need to focus on the 1%.
If race is not the issue, is the issue government? And then we can see the next delusion – electoral democracy. This chimera of electoral democracy is played out across the NATO world. There are two parties, one more right-wing than the other. We are given a choice of right-wing or less right-wing, and we invest all our activism in this electoral process. Trump-puppet has been a real Godsend for stimulating this electoral process. Under Trump people have begun to see that government can make a difference – because he is such a gross man. Trump tore up the rule book of these electoral democracies. There were unwritten rules of common decency that were presented to the electorate, and with these rules there was little apparent difference. Trump broke these rules first by his attacks of people in his own party, and then by the attacks on the opposition. The smear campaign against crooked Hillary was the lowest of the low, and because the world has never seen such an appalling campaign some of the mud stuck. We have to know that now in politics some candidates will say anything to get elected. If we know this we can discern truth or at least discern lies.
Trump-puppet has completely ignored any connection to truth. Jim Acosta has lost his credentials through doctored footage. What Trump has learned is that he does not have to speak the truth, not as previous politicians words which have some vestige of truth. Whatever he says the Liberals will attack him whilst his own people will agree. There is no desire for truth on either side but the people who are being manipulated the most are the MAWPs, the Trump-followers who are accepting his lies as truth. When have we ever trusted politicians? When have politicians ever spoken the truth? So why does Trump speak the truth?
And if we are seeking the truth, aren’t we going to look for truth amongst the moral, people with moral integrity? When has Trump ever demonstrated sila? The problem in the election was, when also has Hillary demonstrated sila? But in political history when have politicians demonstrated sila?
And the reason for that, our voting patterns are based in greed so we vote for those who assuage our greed. Look at Liberal voting patterns in my lifetime. People of my age were greatly influenced by the changes brought about by the hippy movement – I certainly was. There was such an air of change. But these people grew older, maybe they became more material, focussed on their homes, and in the UK there was the recent Brexit vote in which people my age supported the exit. Such a move to the right would not have been thought of on Carnaby Street.
That is a description of a voting pattern but it is not an understanding of what is our electoral democracy. We are deluded into thinking that by voting for the two parties we will be making a change. Part of the frustration that has led to the recent errant voting is that people are just so completely disillusioned. Because their voting had not been producing change, they are now voting for populism, voting for demagogues whose voices appeal to the baser interests. This is dangerous because it has the potential for fascism. And the problem with fascism is that the 99% die but the 1% don’t – the 1% on either side of the war don’t die.
This voting delusion leads to apathy, and that is the required result for the 1%. When people are apathetic consuming wage-slaves this enables the profits. If people are active within their communities promoting their own interests this distracts from work and consuming reducing profits. This is essentially what the 1% seek from an electoral democracy – apathy.
But perhaps the people most conned in this electoral process are the activists, the activists seeking change. They have been bought off by the delusion of power through electoralism, and they focus their energies on the electoral process. They focus energies for change on a process that is designed for apathy. This activism is misdirected, and diffuses activism and any movement for change.
Let’s be clear, most of the electorate perceives the candidates as opportunists and liars. Voting patterns are usually based in tradition. As evidenced by the hippy-to-Brexit description, in the end people voted by tradition. This voting process is not a process of truth-seeking analysis, it is simply conditioned. This suits the 1%, it suits the opportunists participating to become puppets within the 1%-satrapy, but it does not suit the activists. Nor in the end does it suit the conditioned voters, but they don't see this.
In the recent US mid-terms I see Ghion Journal writing about the pointlessness of voting, I see people standing up commending the participation in the voter process. And then I watch Trump deflect the process by sacking Jeff Sessions, condemning Republican candidates who did not seek his support, and removing credentials from a reporter using doctored footage. Where is the victory for people with the Democrats gaining the House? What is the Democrats’ first proposal – electoral reform? It is of course corrupt but the Democrats as a party are only interested in their own power. Ocasio-Cortez had to demonstrate about the environment.
Where has all the energy for change gone? Dissipated in an electoral process. There will always be opportunists seeking power, what we need is a process that produces betterment in our communities. Instead of focussing our activist energies in power, a place where the ego is supreme, we need to turn that energy into our communities. Instead of a cycle of electoral activity activism needs to be ongoing compassion helping each other overcome suffering. As soon as we focus on community activism we are helping. It cares for people, and because people are then valued it helps people become active themselves caring for others. Activism produces activism and focuses that activism where it is needed, not in the corridors of power which are controlled by the 1%.
What happens when that community requires funding? Then there is confrontation because people find out that the electoral system is not there to give funding. But committed activists, pathtivists, continue with their activism, and gain respect from ordinary people. If the activist becomes electoral the people see power-seeking, they see ego, they do not see compassion.
So what happens with the electoral system if activists don’t bolster it? It still remains there offering a delusion of change but this time activism is focussed in the community, voting interest remains with the community saying what are you offering us? Opportunists will chase the votes, and will be forced to change their agenda. Instead of voting for the established two-party system, opportunists will be forced to come to the people, and ask what the people want. Community activism changes the political agenda, it changes it to compassion for the community.
This community activism is not saying withdraw from the voting process, it is saying activists step aside from the ego, and stop working for a process that is designed for apathy. Don’t work for votes, work for community. Vote only for people who are promoting community.
Let’s be clear electoral democracy is important for the 1%. Citizen’s United is a landmark judgement that tells all the voters that the 1% controls the electoral system. There are candidates who stand and say we do not accept 1%-money; maybe vote for them. They are not 1%. But then as community activists say to those candidates what are you going to do for the community? We are not here for your ego, we are here for our community, what are you offering us? If they offer nothing don’t vote for them. People are voting for their community, they are not voting for 1%, they are not voting for opportunists, they are not voting for politicians who are using the non-financed road to ego and personal power. They are voting for community, they are voting for how their vote has benefitted the community.
To summarise the US situation, voting Dem/Rep is a vote for the 1%. There are people who are refusing 1%-money but do they offer a solution to ordinary people if their purpose is to participate in the US 1%-satrapy. Activists are propping up the 1% electoral democracy, refocus activism into the community. Make representatives accountable to the community activists and the work the community does. Not having worked in the US grassroots I cannot strategise beyond these principles.
Having talked mostly about US corruption in politics, I would like to consider UK whose corruption is similar although not as overt – Citizen’s United. I also would hope to give more practical strategic advice. More money goes into the Tory party, as Jeremy would say “the party of the few”. In fact there is a particular situation in the UK with regards to Tory finance, and that is Europe. It is the Tory party who have divided Britain over Europe, and as the Tories are the party of business how did this happen? Because business has two multinational links, links with Europe and links with the US. Because of divisions in the Tory party over the EU the Tories lost power to Blair in 1997. This was because the Tories were divided over Europe. In terms of populism this issue is presented as British nationalism, but remember Britain is also a 1%-satrapy, colonially they were the first 1%-satrapy. So a divided Tory party is a reflection of divisions in business, whether multinationals link with Europe or the US. Once the Tories got back in power after Blair then Brexit became a possibility and there was a referendum. Even when the vote was made, the Tories were divided about how to negotiate over Brexit – hard and soft Brexit, business interests dividing the party and the country.
Blair maintained power for a long time by being completely compliant with business interests especially his subterfuge that led to UK participation in the Iraq war despite opposition from the British people. Early on in the debate over Iraq a referendum was taken, and the vote for war was in the low 20s. Blair made the decision to promote the war, and used government officials (civil service) to come up with reasons for supporting a war. In the end they went in under the pretext that there were weapons of mass destruction, and none were found. Prior to the decision to go to war there was the largest peace-time demonstration against the war (wiki on the global effort). But Blair still went to war against a clear mandate of the people. In the end he was rewarded with a job as the Quartet’s Middle-East peace envoy – ie maintaining Israel’s interests. Quite simply Blair is an instrument of the 1%.
For a while I was very active in grassroots political activism, I will discuss my own role in this later when I discuss political ego in detail. In the UK representation begins within wards, many wards make up councils, councils make up constituencies, and constituencies provide MPs. These Members of Parliament form the supposed democratic body that make the laws of the land. In the UK there is also the House of Lords, a non-voted body to provide checks and balances. Perfunctorily this body (House of Lords) rubber-stamps laws but if Harry Perkins or Jeremy Corbyn got into power we might see something else. Working from the grass roots an ordinary citizen would have to be accepted by the ward, voted onto council, then voted as candidate for the constituency, and then voted for in an election. This might be a sound process except that it has now been perverted by the opportunists who are the 1%-puppets, the neoliberal majority of the Labour party. The Labour party management at various stages interfere with this pathway to power. I watched as young people would regularly do all the administrative work of maintaining ward activity, newsletters, meetings etc, but when it came to nominating candidates for office from council up to constituency the Labour party machinery stepped in to ensure the candidate was a suitable puppet. In other words the political process used up the energy of the young activists to build up the party but then made sure they had no power.
The other avenue of mainstream political mainstream activism was trade-unionism, the situation here is no better. Most of my own work at the time of my political activism was as an NUT trade-union activist. My school had a particularly difficult headteacher who was an incompetent bully. The teachers were united against him, and I agreed to be their representative. As an organiser I was fastidiously democratic, discussed everything with the membership, and lost promotions. The headteacher’s bullying mentality could not cope with proper negotiation so to put me in my place he made sure I got no promotion. Over the 6 years at the school I watched new people join the department and get promotions. I accepted this loss of income because I knew that the membership would not commit their income, strike or any such measure to protect my job. When the bully recognised that I could not be bought off by losing promotion, he instigated disciplinary proceedings using a concocted situation involving a teenage girl and her parents who were governors. The situation had no sexual connotations but in a warning letter he talked about my relationship with teenage girls and when he was playing that dirty I knew I had to resign from the union; one term later I was given a bonus.
The union structure was school branch, local association, division, and national. Not only was I the school rep but also the association secretary. Most of my time I was just doing admin to keep the association going, mailings, meetings, passing on information from headquarters. The union was very similar in structure to the Labour party in that the leadership had been bought off and were more concerned with their power and their own jobs than any issue for the benefit of members. Membership was the big issue for them because they needed members to pay the subs to keep their jobs. The weapon of any union is the withdrawal of labour. The leadership should have been using the power of that weapon to negotiate better working conditions for teachers. However they were in a dilemma because every time they had a strike they lost membership – less subs and so their jobs were threatened. So the leadership avoided strikes, the only time they ever had strikes was when pay had sunk very low. Whilst they had regular negotiations about working conditions, if management did not agree nothing happened – they would not risk losing membership over class size for example. In the end the union became an organisation that provided legal protection in case of any altercations with students.
Through the union I personally helped people. There was a situation at a local school in which a careerist headteacher bullied her staff. There was one member who stood up to her but he would lose his temper with her – losing his temper never violent. One time there was a confrontation in which he lost his temper and she accused him of assaulting her. She contacted the local education office, accusing him of assault, and the education office had to act on this. I was called in to represent the member in the situation. He was distraught – visibly shaking, he admitted losing his temper but there was no violence. There was a procedure for dealing with situations, the member is given paid leave whilst the education office investigated the allegations. Perhaps this is the only way the situation can be resolved but it was one that my member didn’t want. My job was to get him into a meeting with headteacher, education office, myself and the member to agree that he would be suspended with pay. I calmed the guy down, and he was suspended. I gained housepoints in this meeting because my own headteacher had been blowing in the ear of the education office as to how revolutionary I was, and I did just what the education office wanted!! I became the point of contact for the member, and I remember having interminable conversations with a vocational teacher who was being kept away from his vocation. The primary school was a church school, and the teacher was a verger at the church. He was known for being a good man, and in the end the education office reinstated the member and the headteacher moved on. I called the teachers to meet me, and they were a bit unwilling. They were scared for their jobs. The suspended member had their backing even though they knew he was ebullient but definitely not violent. They were all scared. They didn’t want to talk to me in case I stood up and said that the teachers knew the headteacher was a bully and that they defended the member. But the member suffered whilst he was under suspension because the headteacher was using the disciplinary procedure to stop anyone from contradicting what she said, she used the discipline procedure to enforce her authoritarianism.
Usually the union and its agreements benefitted teachers by protecting them. The union established working conditions that were more favourable to members than the government with its minimal budget wanted. But the union was not an organisation for social change. Whilst collective action such as a strike was a potential weapon against the 1%, the teeth of that action had been pulled by the neoliberal control of unions.
In the UK they also have another interesting trade union structure, and that was the TUC and the Trades Councils. National unions affiliated to the TUC, and then sent representatives with affiliation fees to a local TUC called the Trades Council. This local Trades Council would then decide on trade union action, often community-based. For example the Trades Council I was involved with ran a Mayday festival. We also organised the local poll tax campaign, and helped organise the local response in fighting the first Iraq War. It was a campaigning organisation and did not organise strike action although we would support union action with donations. There was a strong community feel to this organisation, it was officially representative within the mass movement, but in truth did not have many teeth.
I now want to look into my own personal history with political activism to try to demonstrate that that activism is based in ego, arrogance and power. I fell into activism very quickly once I moved away from the destructive political environment in my first school. In my second school the headmaster was a bully, and so I got sucked in as union rep when the existing guy left. This man was so damaging to education in the school but once appointed there was nothing we could do, and the union was one way of fighting his excesses. Whilst there was no doubt justice in what I was fighting for, there was also a great deal of ego. As one comrade once told me the NUT members were using me as a figurehead at the school to fight this bully, and I paid the price by losing promotion. If my ego was not so invested in it I might well have been more sensible and demand more action from them rather than letting them raise my head above the parapet.
But by that time political activity was central to my life. Towards the end of my time in the first school my efforts to support the black kids in education had widened into a recognition of the struggles of black peoples globally. It coincided with my editing the Young Journal, and the good people I met through that – not just the kids but in the community. I met the two Africans who grounded me in international politics and an understanding of colonialism, and when I began working in the community of my second school it was with international work.
I started first with a local group of the World Development Movement but these were people who intentionally avoided any political connection with regards to world underdevelopment. This was tied in with charity laws – if political no charity status, but that suited the liberalism that was prevalent throughout such activism; they wanted the problem to be solved nicely and go away and just focussed on awareness. This is part of a prevalent ego problem in activism, they fool themselves into thinking that if people are aware things will change. If that were true things would have changed before I was born, people know what is going on but for varying reasons do not act on their awareness, I will discuss what they choose not to be aware of later. The only people who focus on awareness are activists, many believe that awareness, some just follow what they have always done.
I moved away from these good-hearted people who were avoiding the problem, and joined an organisation called the Labour Aid and Development Committee. Whilst I always claimed I was working for the movement, my actions in this organisation just show how power-hungry I was. There was a local LADC with a member who was also in the WDM, and this put me in touch with the national group. Living near London I attended national meetings which were small. There was a woman running it who I thought was too wrapped up in the names of party politics; this was ironic because that is exactly what I started to do. She said it was time for her to move on, and I agreed to be national secretary. I inherited the database and duly performed all the administrative functions to keep the organisation going. But that was all that was happening, I was keeping it going and it did nothing. Because of my position I spoke at the Fabian society – something of meaning, but the organisation itself did nothing. It was just about me and power disguised by mass movement terminology. What I was doing was just opportunism, and maybe if I had tipped my cap long enough the opportunity for more power might have arisen.
There was something international happening in the Labour party, and I got on my high horse about why I was not invited as National Secretary of the Labour Aid and Development Committee. I spoke to Walworth Road (HQ at the time), and some guy said to me something like “LADC might be a national Labour organisation but really all you are is a database of 300 names”. This was my ego totally put in its place, and once my conference (below) was over I resigned as secretary, and no-one was interested in pushing paper so it died then – I don’t think it resurrected since.
My conference was another ego thing, it was meaningful, an event to be proud of, but in the end it was just ego as nothing was built. Within the local organisations we began discussing International Trade Union Solidarity (ITUS) so we decided to put on a conference. At some point it very quickly stopped being we and became I. Basically other people in the organisations fell to the wayside because I was too active. We held meetings and they rubber-stamped activity but I went ahead and did far more. By the end I was doing the work, they tagged along as part of the organisations but were not committed.
I remember a bust-up with an Oxfam organiser. Oxfam had initially agreed to sponsor the conference but one of those who fell by the wayside had complained about my bulldozing. The organiser was correct when he said the people were not feeling involved. They weren’t, they didn’t want to do the work. But of course my ego was bulldozing away. I suspect the conference was also too political for Oxfam, Oxfam people were always compromised by the charity laws. How can political consequences not involve political action? That’s liberalism for you. It was true of the conference situation that if I had not been so active the conference would not have happened, but because of my bulldozing it was a one-off, and the movement is not built by one-offs. It was a one-off of my ego.
The conference was a relative success in that there were 35 attendees, people learned, and went away happy. There was a fund-raising dance in the evening, and the conference ended with a planned plenary that became dominated by the Sisters of the Long March doing an impromptu performance at the end. I later learned in Botswana that it took nothing for Tswana women to burst into traditional dance - the Sisters came from Natal though, don't think they were Tswana.
After this conference I had little to do with the Labour party, and focussed on Trades Council and the NUT. It is only since I stopped political activism that I have realised how much ego and the search for power was wrapped up in my Labour political activity. In all this activity you were somehow connected with power, fighting it or directly connected to its decision-making. Rallies, platforms, meetings, they all had a connection to the power, and within it somewhere and somehow you hoped to affect this power.
So when I talk about pathtivism, path activism, I am not talking about the ego and power politics. I am talking about community activism, working within the community, helping people in the community. That is the focus. There is no cut-off point, no clear boundary, no point at which you can say objectively this is ego, it is too much about you. Party politics occasionally interacts with the community but because of the basic lack of activism party activism is about ego and opportunism, no matter how much Marxism the individual knows.
Of course every community activism involves money, and quite often money can be sourced politically, the council, requests to political organisations, but for me community activism has to be the guide, not the party that is dominated by opportunists even though local activists might be good comrades. Trade unions are of course work-based but through Trades Council they can be connected to community activism. But again the ego attraction of power is an issue within the trade union movement.
Community activism can transform to political activism as with actions against the Gulf Wars. In practice those actions were led by the political but were only effective because of community activism. As community activism transforms activism in general, the political would hopefully be directed by the community. Activists will seek their compassionate rewards within the community, and the opportunists will turn to this activism for their lifeblood. The activists can then dictate the terms in which the opportunists will get the support of activism.
There is an aspect of aversion that arises from the egos of those who have once been attracted to the power of politics. They deduce that neither party makes a difference, and therefore they will not vote. As it stands this is true but there needs to be an agenda attached to this non-voting aversion. And that agenda should not be based in ego ie political parties getting more meaningful so that the once-averse can become active again. That agenda is the community. Activism changes the community not politically but works with the community to become more active. This activism has then harnessed true democratic power, and the political becomes attracted. And the community says we do not want your politics you want our activism, what will you give us?
As an interim there is political change – possibly. In the US and UK there are Sanders and Corbyn. It is worth examining the forces arrayed against Corbyn, and to see how these forces have been manipulated to use the egos of many of the participants in this political power. I have always liked Corbyn, and even though I never met him he always had a good reputation, a Trot who worked for his constituency – he might even have been a member of the LADC. Before I talk about the actual forces Corbyn is fighting, I want to refer to Harry Perkins and A Very British Coup. This mini-series was based on a book by Chris Mullin MP. Chris Mullin was an astute politician who focussed on one campaign, and was successful – “Free the Birmingham 6”. As you can imagine England being at war in Ireland led to all kinds of extremism in politics, and Chris Mullin navigated these waters successfully to eventually secure these guys release. If you look at it now you might say he failed because the forensics that the plastic coating on the back of playing cards is now known, but the forces to keep them in prison were very powerful. And he spearheaded a campaign to get them out. He knew politics, and when I watch A Very British Coup, I love Harry Perkins and see how much control the 1% have – and that was back in 1988. Details of the forces have changed since then but not the underlying power and influence.
Corbyn now bears the brunt of these forces. The story goes that in the recent leadership election (2015) there were 4 Blairite candidates so Corbyn got on the ballot as someone different. He won - surprisingly to me. Immediately the Labour MPs in parliament called for a vote of no-confidence, one of the 2 on the motion was Margaret Hodge. A second leadership election was called, and he increased his majority – they haven’t tried that again. Corbyn appeals to the mass movement as a focus for change, his populist appeal is based on genuine Marxist politics as opposed to populist racism embodied in Trump – for a while the UK had their racist opportunist in Nigel Farage but his following has dissipated, at a guess because the 1% wanted him out because he was taking Tory votes. Since Corbyn’s election the 1%-establishment has put up all kinds of opposition, and mass movement activists have wasted a huge amount of time working defending him; I think Sanders’ support is somewhat similar.
The most ludicrous divisive tactic is antisemitism. If you read left-wing Jews they have long since recognised that the Israeli government have been trying to equate anti-Israeli government feeling and pro-Palestinian opinion with antisemitism. This is what is happening with Corbyn, he is famously pro-Palestinian so they are calling him antisemitic; one figure doing this is Margaret Hodge who never wanted him - remember the no-confidence vote. The row is so divisive that Jeremy has to demonstrate his antisemitism, and there are plenty of Jews willing to support him. But these are not the establishment pro-Israeli government Jews. And these establishment people are powerful so the row has just dragged on-and-on-and-on. Corbyn’s position is very clear stated repeatedly (paraphrasing) we must listen to the concern of the Jews and act accordingly. Perhaps the biggest legitimate concern about antisemitism revolves around the Jewish bankers. This is the kind of stuff that Alex Jones has put out, and it has stuck with some emotive left-wingers as well. There is no doubt that there are powerful bankers who are also Jewish; they are not however powerful because they are Jewish, it is not Jewish religion or Jewish attributes that make them powerful, it is simply that they are 1% - loaded with power and influence. When Corbyn attacks the bankers (as discussed by Jimmy Dore), all kinds of 1%-sponsored antisemitism comes out of the woodwork and Corbyn is smeared as antisemitic.
One of the significant aspects of the fanning of the antisemitic flames has been the participation of the Guardian. As discussed in the chapter on discernment we grew up understanding the media (because there was no internet) and were critical of the Guardian when it was appropriate to do so, but we knew their true colours. These were shown over antisemitism.
The Labour party is having all kinds of rows created by the 1%. Now that the people have voted in Corbyn, they want to vote in more people who represent their interests. One of the things that Blair did as a manipulative power politician was to get his own people into power manipulating the selection process as I have discussed earlier. Now there is a deselection row as the membership don’t want these neoliberal puppets. The media calls it deselection, they don’t call it democratic voting.
As part of the control there is also another row connecting this. The Labour party historically grew out of the mass movement, and want to maintain links with the trade union movement. So part of the selection process involves the unions. The union leadership has been compromised by the 1% so how MP candidates are voted for has been controlled. Much activism is going on trying to deal with this.
And then there are the Trots in the party. I mentioned how their rabid intellectualism screwed up my first school - in Ch4 Discernment, similarly it has its impact on the Labour party. It was known in the movement that the 1% financed some of the more divisive of these rabid intellectuals, in much the same way that it was known that anarchist organisations were also financed by the 1% to promote non-voting as an option. Momentum has been very powerful in promoting Corbyn but they have been disrupted by power grabs so confusing that from the outside even with knowledge of how these things work I cannot tell what is going on. Fundamentally Momentum is in the grip of ego because of people interested in power.
Corbyn has become an astute politician but whether he will be able to navigate the power of the 1%-manipulations against him, I don’t know. What I do know is that there is so much activism around Corbyn the community is losing out ie party politics is controlling the agenda of activism. This of course is what the 1% wants, if it is not based in community activism then the 1% benefit. I would however still vote Labour.
In the US mid-terms there was an increase in non-1%-funded politicians such as Ocasio-Cortez. How much are you supporting the establishment of those parties if you vote for them? I would suggest it’s a step in the right direction - getting the money out of politics. But unfortunately when Democrats and Labour want money out of politics, a lot of their instincts are because the money is going to Republicans and Tories, if the establishment hacks of these more left parties were getting the finance they would probably not be shouting. Those who are averse to voting have a decision to make about these non-funded politicians, and that decision should be based on how much they respond to the community.
However I was heartened to see Ocasio-Cortez first response after the mid-terms was to support an environment campaign. I will be discussing the integral position of the environment when considering pathtivism as the inner path. But be clear. Gaia is the number one priority. As human beings we suffer, and activism helps free us from suffering. But that compassion can only function if we prioritise Gaia, and Gaia is being destroyed by the 1% - Chomsky on Evil Elite. Building up from the community our activism needs to respect our Gaia and we can take our lead from the indigenous peoples whose wisdom is inextricable tied to Gaia.
In summary politics at the moment is concerned with rhetoric. The opportunists stand up and spout the rhetoric, voters choose their rhetoric and then are disappointed. It is time to change the vote to be concerned with actions. The community activist works in the community to show where action is needed. If the politician does not provide funding for the action then the politican will not gain the support of the community; an active community acting in Unity.
To begin with this strategy will help the more right-wing of the two parties. Right-wing populism is based in rhetoric only. The rhetoric is racist. Maybe the action will give some people more jobs from their masters – the 1%. But right-wing rhetoric mainly attacks because what they are in favour of is 1%-exploitation. But voters need to go beyond rhetoric voting for action in their communities, voting in a two-party system is not community-voting, it is simply voting against the other.
So the second strategy is for activists to focus on community activism, and stop using their energy to prop up the electoral shamocracy. Make the opportunists support action in the community, seek support from the community.
The zandtao narrative recognises that the 99% have been indentured as wage-slave consumers:-
As activists we have to consider consuming in two ways:- mindful consuming and consumer power. In the last chapter I put forward two measures of discerning people. Those with sila and those who talk and mean sustainability, people who combine both I will call Gaia-conscious. Gaia-consciousness is a way of life, and I suggest it is a way of life for an activist. Following my path from an early age link being green was always there in part, my activism was green in part, but I was not Gaia-consciousness. Gaia-consciousness needs to be mindful, and for Buddhists mindfulness is constant awareness. Gaia-consciousness has to be constant awareness. Spiritually Gaia-consciousness is significant but for the moment I want to consider practical Gaia-consciousness and that means mindful consuming.
Gaia-consciousness brings mindful consuming to the forefront. In our personal lives is our consuming necessary? The question I have effectively asked “Is my consuming reasonable?”, but reasonable is a comparison. And when I compare my consuming with that in the capitalist world I am reasonable. But my consumption has not always been what is necessary.
In this world we see wealth, and there are always comparisons with that wealth. Relatively speaking what harm I do with my consuming is minimal compared to the excesses of the psychopathic 1% - psychopathic for this reason. We must avoid comparisons, and think in terms of our own consuming; is our consumption necessary?
Reduction in my own consumption will have minimal impact. Back in the 80s there was a global movement concerning recycling. This movement altered the consciousness of housewives who would normally be apolitical, but there was only minimal improvement in Gaia. And that is because our consumption is dominated by an exploitative 1% who have continued to control governments, and exploited Gaia’s resources. And in general we are conditioned to consume the products of that resource exploitation.
We must stop comparing, relatively-speaking is not sufficient. It is necessary to consume mindfully ourselves, and pressure the 1% to provide products that are environmentally-friendly. I have been parts of movements who have tried, made these comparisons, and given up – or more correctly compromised. This compromise is part of the dispossession, the compromise was because I was not true enough to my Gaia-consciousness – my path was not true enough there. We are at a stage where sacrifice is required, mind you, shame on me, we have been at that stage all my life – it is just worse now.
In the UK we have a phrase “keeping up with the Joneses”. This basically means in every middle-class home, in the home of every Liberal, we are competing. We are competing to have the latest gadget, we are competing with the latest fashion. We are forced to wear various forms of uniform for work, suits, being respectable etc. Apart from being clean do we need a variety of these? We waste our time with consuming entertainment and drugs. What about getting together and listening to each other? In our houses – not in pubs. Why not just entertain ourselves by being together and talking? Talking can be fun if we are not ashamed or guilty.
What about food? Do we eat to provide ourselves with the nutrition to live a healthy life? Or do we eat to show which restaurant we have been to? For those who can afford it, do we eat organic? Or does our wage-slavery make us too busy to cook fresh foods, to spend the time finding organic veg – free-range eggs?
All my adult life there have been various levels of green activism, yet why do we still have single-use plastic bags? Why is the gyre expanding? The 1% should be ashamed of this as they could invest in the research and development that would enable better recycling. Instead industrial responsibilities are passed onto government, or ordinary consumers are blamed for using plastic bags. Ask consumers to change but blame the 1%, we cannot choose single use bags.
Why aren’t our cars electric run by rechargeable lithium batteries? Because of the 1%, we know this. Can you afford and use a car (EV) that is electric – use it based on the current limitations? Why do we still have these limitations when R&D could have removed them? The 1% - shame them. Look at the advances in smartphones and computers, why? Because there has been investment, the 1% choosing the way the market goes. Do we need every upgrade?
The point about mindful consuming is that we need to be conscious of how we spend, and try to reduce it. Make some sacrifice but not so much that our lives are “hell”. Spend what we need, not what we have. Do what you can. All of this is positive mindful consuming but it needs to be continued. And it needs to be mindful 24/7 and 24/7/52/50years.
Now the above are suggestions about mindful consuming, it is not a charter that must be obeyed. That does not make the concerns for Gaia any less worrying but compassion comes first. People are struggling, Gaia asks us to struggle to learn. But this struggle is made far worse by the demands of the 1%-satrapy. Please do not add to the pressures of this struggle, help each other.
Don’t try to shame each other, the only people who need shaming are the 1%. We should try to do better but without the 1% changing the way we know Gaia now has to die. Look at the world. It is dominated by cultures which are run by their own 1%, and their peoples are all conditioned consumers. Some are worse than others, some are more destructive than others, but they are all destructive consumer cultures dominated by their 1% seeking wealth. Shame the 1%, but don’t shame each other – there is enough struggling in this world. Follow the 4th agreement (App A) – always do the best you can.
So the third strategy is to be Gaia-conscious, always do the best you can. Don’t shame each other, but shame the 1%.
As activists I think leadership should be exemplary. I would like to see activists being the embodiment of Gaia-consciousness, their very way of life being an example of how to consume sustainably. I certainly know that was not the case amongst the political activists I knew (including myself) who were helping in the struggle. If activists ate organic food then their energies could be used to make organic food more available. The more efforts activists put in to promote green approaches (EV, solar panels etc.), the more consumer pressure is put on the 1%. Activists, try to lead by example.
There is one aspect of consumerism that is under-utilised by the movement, and that is consumer power. It is the weapon I feel the movement should be using now that withdrawal of labour has been greatly undermined.
Consumer campaigns can be effective but people have to be patient. The first campaign of note was the anti-apartheid campaign to boycott South African produce. Whilst there were a number of factors that led to the end of apartheid the boycott campaign contributed. Quite simply white South African farmers needed to sell their produce and people in the West were not buying them.
There is a similar campaign over Israel – the BDS movement. British councils have been taken to court (discussed in this article) over their desire to boycott Israeli goods. If the Israeli government is using the law to fight BDS it shows BDS is effective, and as a pro-Palestinian I encourage support for this consumer campaign – as do the Palestinians “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality”
Amazon business practices seem to be some of the worst of the internet 1%. Previously Amazon workers, working a full working week, still needed food aid. There was a public consumer campaign against Amazon, I don’t know effective it was, but Amazon workers have been paid more.
When I think back to Trades Council days, I could imagine promoting grass roots consumer campaigns through the Trades Council. I am certain they are supporting BDS now but far more could be done. Green movements, the Peace movement, they are already mobilised to participate in consumer campaigns. Working with them and promoting such through the Trades Council would be a good example of consumer power.
And the final strategising in this chapter I come to the people who are the problem – the 1%. I personally do not know these elite, I can read Gore Vidal to begin to understand them but I have no personal knowledge. Putting Icke aside, these people are humans so I can ask questions concerning basic human nature. All around me I see people sitting on compassion and becoming screwed up because of it. Without the path of compassion people hold to conditioning and become addicted. And these insane elite are addicted - to money, power and influence. I don't have to know them to know that. They establish a protected lifestyle in which they do not see the worst consequences of their neoliberal system, but their compassion is still inside them causing problems, causing addiction. What pain must the Koch brothers be feeling because they have promoted climate denial, they are literally promoting denial of who they are, how that must hurt.
In the same vein, as Chomsky said on Democracy Now "So, Donald Trump, for example, is perfectly aware of the dangerous effects, in the short term, of global warming. So, for example, recently he applied to the government of Ireland for permission to build a wall to protect his golf course in Ireland from rising sea levels. And Rex Tillerson, who was supposed to be the adult in the room before he was thrown out, as CEO of ExxonMobil, was devoting enormous resources to climate change denial, although he had, sitting on his desk, the reports of ExxonMobil scientists, who, since the '70s, in fact, were on the forefront of warning of the dire effects of this accelerating phenomenon. I don't know what word in the language - I can't find one - that applies to people of that kind, who are willing to sacrifice the literal - the existence of organized human life, not in the distant future, so they can put a few more dollars in highly overstuffed pockets. The word "evil" doesn't begin to approach it. These are the kinds of issues that should be under discussion. Instead, what's being - there is a focus on what I believe are marginalia." (clip) Is that not a description of insanity - destruction of Gaia for a few more dollars? It makes no sense, it is insane addiction.
I have a view of Occupy that points to the vulnerability of these insane. Whilst Occupy was only part of a global movement (including Horizontalidad, Arab Spring, Podemos), it gained a great deal of publicity in the West. Perhaps its most lasting impact was the recognition of the source of the problem as the 1% - terminology that is in common usage now but was never in use prior to Occupy Wall Street. The 1% were labelled. Then Occupy was smashed, and 7 years later we are more divided than ever because of the confusion caused by the huge investment by the Dark Money Network. To me these are connected, the 1% did not like being labelled - they did not like the recognition.
Shame these people. Call them insane. They are worse than evil - say this. MSM glorifies them but we don't have to turn round and believe their PR. These people are insane and evil, and are killing us off. Say it. Just one of these oligarch families giving up on their excess (not becoming poor just giving up excess) could have major repercussions - it would not be token.
They want us then to say "what about the foundations?" - Bill Gates etc. These foundations are propping up neoliberalism, they are not working to bring it down. The foundations will invest in products of the neoliberal system to "help people", it is just another way of perpetuating the system.
To be honest it is not that easy. Bill Gates could walk into the projects and give away his excess, and there would still be the projects - discussed here. But with clearer thinking (only alluded to in the blog) we can begin to make effective change. And the answer is a return to the indigenous. The process of accumulation of wealth has had the effect of accumulations of peoples in cities - drawn to the money to survive. For Bill to give his money away in these cities would simply propagate the accumulation. It is necessary to be more strategic. We need to decumulate – a process of decumulation.
When I talk about returning to the indigenous I am not talking about an impractical 'back to nature" process that would not be possible for most people. Firstly we have to stop the accumulations of peoples in cities, we have to enable these people to stay within their indigenous communities. Now that Bill Gates could do. Go back to a community and ask them how he could use his money to enable their communities to be local, organic and sustainable. Bill will not have the answers but these people will. And most of these people would not look twice at an opportunity to return to/remain in their indigenous communities - to live with their wisdom.
However we are all indigenous peoples so Bill can go to our rural communities and ask them "how can we be local (rural), organic and sustainable?" And they too will know the answer, so more and more people will not have to accumulate in cities.
Let's go back to the projects - the council estates in Britain (or elsewhere). In these places there is crime - the frightening Lamont Bishops, or the fearful “King” in “The Hate U Give”. Lamont is the top of the pile but he is just making a living. To survive he has to make the people in the projects criminal - he has no choice. The people in the projects try to survive but unless they are particularly strong (and many are), they or their family have to get caught up in the gangs, become part of Lamont's world. Within the projects it is the strength of Lamont's world that makes it impossible for Bill Gates to go in with his excess, give it away, and make a change.
But with the indigenous localisation approach, there is less accumulation in the cities. There are fewer people in Lamont's world - he has less power. Maybe there are people in the projects who can return to their own communities. Or maybe these people can be relocated to such communities.
I immediately ask about technology, technology is an integral part of 1%-accumulation and we cannot leave technology behind. We need our toys. But such toys can be bought with Bill Gates's excess, within the local communities there can be the car, mobile phone, laptop, fridge and microwave whilst at the same time people are living in harmony with nature through localisation, organics and sustainability. A balance can be found with sufficient of these 1% excesses to harmonise technology with the indigenous way because there is excess to buy these things.
So to the insane elite I say "return to the indigenous". Take your excess, go to them and ask them how it can be spent to maintain or return to an indigenous way of life. Insane elite, in this way your money can be used to help. Isn't this what Occupy was about?
And to everyone else, I say "call them insane elite", make them guilty for what they do, appeal to their compassion, make them recognise that they are people who, as Chomsky says, are more than "evil". Life is easy for the elite, they can buy what they want, but they can't buy harmony with their own compassion. Make them feel this.
And foundations, go local, help people be local, ask them how your money could be used. Learn to find the genuine people - if you are genuine yourself. Good development agencies know who.
So the fourth strategy is return to indigenous - be local, organic and sustainable. Tell the insane elite this is what to do. Decumulate.
For the spiritual I want to look at awareness, I specifically want to discuss how we are selectively aware. When we consider our own awareness we fail to direct it to its proper conclusions. When the Christian Liberals of the World Development Movement were choosing to avoid the political, they were choosing to be unaware. For example they were choosing to avoid the part Christians played in colonisation, and how colonisation produced the underdevelopment. When people buy into bipartisan politics they are choosing to be unaware of the 1%-satrapy, they are choosing to be unaware of political decisions that kill people in war, they are choosing to be unaware of their involvement in that killing. When I describe wars as wars-for-profit and that we vote for governments that participate in wars-for-profits, we are not being aware that we are responsible for killing. We are not aware that the wealth in the UK is not based on what our protestant work ethic produces but that we have exploited in our history, and once we have accumulated that accumulation begets itself. Even the bricks and mortar of the homes we grew up in are tainted by the blood of colonial and neocolonial wars. It is our compassion that understanding this awareness needs to be driving our activism. So in this sense we are not aware because there is no such drive, and by the same reasoning we can know we are not following our path because we have not found the compassion that drives our activism.
So why does our awareness go here, why does it avoid? Because of ego. How can we admit that the people we grow up with, our families and our communities, can accept that they are causing this killing? We have to cut through the conditioned apathy and begin to show the world for what it is. The 1% are an insane elite, and we as ordinary people accept this so that we can benefit with our standard of living. If we promote activism people will wake from this conditioning, and say that it is our right not to contribute to this senseless murder and killing. When we empower ourselves with activism, not disempowered party politics, we can make our own decisions, and eventually make those decisions the decisions opportunists have to make.
I have spent this chapter discussing politics and strategies for ending suffering, how many spiritual people have been completely turned off? I am spiritual, I have conscious awareness, I am separate, I meditate, and I have peace and calm. (For a spiritual person how many “I”s have I used to describe the way to be spiritual? )
Spiritual is not separate, it is unity. We are one, Gaia. Shouldn’t we be active in helping each other? Community activism, not party politics. Help people empower themselves to work for change in their lives – end their own suffering.
And when they become empowered, they will see the egos and opportunism that are causing them problems. They will see the pervasive power of the 1%.
Spiritual people, it is your duty to be active – to help end suffering. Of course there are monks as teachers but the purpose of their teaching is to help us do, help us be active. Our meditation can activate us. We don’t have to become rabid demanders of change, meditation can give us the needed calm to work within the movement of community activists to create change, to provide the spirituality the movement is lacking – to end suffering.
And for those of you just starting, just becoming spiritually aware, you might say “too soon”. It is never too soon. When you help others you help yourself. Work with people and together you can feel the strength of compassion. You don’t have to be a finished work of art, the manifestation of Nirvana, to be an activist, just help, work with others build compassion, build activism.
So spiritual people this chapter is about you, it is showing you how to help, and not make the mistakes of people who are not spiritually aware, not aware of their ego, not aware of their desire for power. That is pathtivism, aware activism.