road to hell is paved with good intentions, traditional folk wisdom
tells us. In recent years it has become evident that many of those
pavers are actually flawed or false assumptions.
a few... The political left represent the people (the political
right represents vested interests - the control system). If you side
with the right, you're either a capitalist or an arse-licker. The
Green Party represents the broader green movement (so how come it
carefully avoids representing blue-greens?). The left needs its own
take a look at that last one. A leftist think-tank would only work
if leftists could actually think! Nigh on half a century of
observing them, and I've never seen any evidence they can. Okay,
Brian Edwards, Tim Shadbolt, maybe one or two others – just
exceptions that prove the rule!
New Left were the happening thing when I arrived at university, early
'68. Big on rhetoric, small on substance. I was intrigued, but
disappointed whenever I checked them out. Since then, the left seems
to have gone to hell. Their only governments since Big Norm have had
a right-wing agenda – competing by pretending they can do
neoliberalism better than the Nats. Presuming the people are so
stupid they will re-elect the left on that basis seemed a flawed
strategy – it worked, but induced fear & loathing in the
was Shadbolt's two-page spread in Cracuum explaining why Labour was
just as bad as National that came at me as stunning revelation (in
1971): the left are part of the problem along with the right! So I
must reject both, to make myself part of the solution!! I've been
neither left nor right, out in front, ever since.
the early '80s green politics adopted that slogan, & I thought
“Far out, the slow-learners are getting the picture!” Immensely
reassuring - during Thatcherism & Reaganomics.
socialism produced a comfortably equitable society here in the '50s &
'60s, by the '80s it was producing hordes of public servants who
acted like petty dictators and were too lazy to run government
departments efficiently. Then we got robotic pc conformism that
turned leftists into drones.
Who's winning the human race? A: the capitalists. Why? They give
us jobs. Doing so makes them rich. Class analysis doesn't take
account of those who employ themselves, but for the majority of us,
our tacit assumption that we were born to trade on our labour
produces a dependency relation; we become dependent on employers for
livelihood and sustenance. Poor wages creates mass grievance. Not
hard to see why the right thinks the left are emotionally juvenile:
if the left were mature adults, they'd take responsibility for
themselves and become economically self-determinant. If they were
educated with a choice of collaborating for mutual benefit, their
tacit acceptance of a power imbalance would make less of them victims
of life's circumstances. Given a better choice as youngsters, more
the inadequacy of the left is deepest in the area of preparation for
career: the teenage years. It is no accident that Labour
governments are widely viewed as a bunch of teachers. More trad folk
wisdom: those who can, do; those who can't, teach. Adequate
people, according to convention, don't become teachers. So we get an
education system in which a bunch of terminal losers are employed to
stuff crap into the heads of the young, producing more terminal
losers. Then everyone wonders why the outcome is a dysfunctional,
polarised society. Doesn't matter how dire things get, the left
demands more education.
as usual persists so long as no alternative becomes available.
Models of successful collaborative enterprise have long been
available! They share profits and risks. They incorporate
participatory decision-making by all who work for each such business.
The team ethic prevails because of this incentive structure. The
left routinely whines and moans about being exploited, like children
complaining about parents. Why do they never embrace - or even
advocate - such positive alternatives? They consider themselves born
losers? Few of them would agree - but what if parents, teachers &
employers all treat them as such? Continual reinforcement will
create that subconscious identity in many. So, when that is indeed
their tacit assumption, they end up co-creating their road to hell.
think Karl Marx was a Marxist, right? Ain't so. Seems logical, but
another false assumption. Proof lies in the historical reality as
testified by his co-author of The Communist Manifesto.
Engels, in an 1882 letter cites this statement from Marx: “what is
certain is that I myself am not a Marxist”. Google that to verify
generation is maturing into political activism who cite `perception
is reality' as a truism. Sometimes it does seem to be. Politicos
who assume it as a general rule will however tend to suffer the
consequences of their flawed assumption: the difference between the
two is often apparent to a group of politically-significant others.
Those grounded in reality will polarise against those asserting the
perception. Folks will tend to realise the former group are right.
The reputations of the latter will be diminished accordingly.
1999 movie The Matrix featured a sci-fi world (ours) in which
humanity's belief systems and perception of their surrounding world
are entirely generated and constructed by alien controllers via high
technology – an ultra-sophisticated smoke & mirrors act. A
powerful metaphor for our actual collective reality!! All of us
emerge from childhood growing into a cultural matrix, brainwashed by
parents, teachers, and media, all of whom were likewise brainwashed.
The culture of a civilisation is collectively generated by
participants: in any country the national culture is largely
co-created by those in control.
controllers are mostly capitalist, but some are socialist and some
are hybrids. To survive within, we must comply as our society
requires; get real. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, as the
ancient adage has it. Work for a living - if you can find a job. To
prosper, play the game well. Pragmatism works better than idealism
(idealists focus on a better world they imagine, rather than on this
one). Be here now means accept the status quo. Yet we will only
ever get a better world by co-creating it! If we transcend the
status quo, we are free to do so. Few do. But when we do transform
our perceptions, our new reality is catalysed.
of us who have spent our lives pursuing self-development ought to
move on to community-building, in the context that most communities
now are non-local. Those of us become expert in transcendence must
accept that bettering our own lives is liable to produce narcissism
unless we act on a common-interest basis. The skill humanity most
needs now is collective transcendence. We must apply that skill to
create a positive alternative to business as usual. We must mediate
between the world as it is and the world we all need. To get us all
from the former to the latter, we must perform a collective act of
magic: manifest our destiny. If the better world we imagine seems
to distant or abstract, too ideal, and our here and now too
opressive, use the tree as our model! It is anchored in earth, yet
it reaches for the sky. Keep your feet on the ground – use the
current reality as basis and foundation. Build your processes and
structures toward the future you aspire to. Together, doing so, we
can co-evolve into the future we need. Realise, make real!
best story I ever came across that is dramatic in the way it exposes
the difference between perception and reality appeared in 1981 in a
book by the philosopher Raymond Smullyan. He reported “an incident
I read about in a book on abnormal psychology. The doctors in a
mental institution were thinking of releasing a certain schizoprenic
patient. They decided to give him a lie-detector test. One of the
questions they asked him was “Are you Napoleon?” He replied
“No.” The machine showed that he was lying!”
going on here?!? Well, our societal consensus is that science
defines reality. That's been the case for several centuries. The
lie-detector is a device used to prove whether someone is telling the
truth or not. Therefore the general perception of most people is
that the reality of a situation can be established by using the
device to verify the testimony of those involved. In courts of law
such usage is a convention. In the lunatic asylum case Smullyan
reports, the schizo patient was proven to be lying when he asserted
that he was not Napoleon. Therefore the truth is that he was
Napoleon! If you believe in science, technology, societal norms and
mass consensus, that is!
been around leftist political activists close to half a century, I'm
aware that their primary pathology arises from naïve idealism (which
I still share somewhat), which embeds in the psyche as delusion when
folk are reluctant to ground their experiences in collective reality.
Thus the left traditionally asserts that it represents the people.
The reality is that the people often vote in contradiction.
Democracy is illusory when politicos misinterpret results. When the
people vote in a rightist government, their verdict that the left is
an unrealistic option tends to be ignored by the left. You can't
credibly represent the people if you persist in ignoring what they're
trying to tell you! The people, rolling their eyes, invariably think
that the left has gone to hell. This public perception trends toward
reality the longer the left takes to transform public opinion to a
positive alternative. Here's a basic principle of social psychology
functioning as a driver of politics: a general perception will
crystallise into a shared belief via inertia, unless or until
collective reality proves it wrong! Political reality emerges from
such shaping of perceptions...
road to hell resembles a highway with multiple on-ramps. Mass
perceptions lead folks down the garden path, through the gate at the
bottom, out through the commons and onto one of these on-ramps.
Someone, like the kid who pointed out that the Emperor was wearing no
clothes, may tell others “Hey, this isn't real!” But the opinion
of a nonconformist is unlikely to shatter the favoured delusion of
the majority – particularly when that has substantiated into the
shared belief system of a social group and thereby has become a
social pathology. The indoctrinating effect is so powerful that
reality-checks roll off adherents like water off a duck's back. The
left will march on down the road to hell in proud solidarity, until
disaster looms sufficiently as imminent reality that it transforms
their perception of the social environment.
a collective shift of perception will cascade through the group:
“Oops, wrong way!” Time for a u-turn, retreat towards a place of
safety, to ascertain and explore a valid path to the future. For the
Green Party, shackled to it's leftist alignment, the inexorable
lesson of polling and election results is starting to shift the mass
perception of members out of their traditional pathology and toward
reality. So many years heading down the road to hell with the left,
we need to get back so we can save the world! Watch this space..