Cabals and Conspiracies

One of the finest pieces of advice I was ever given when reviewing news items in international politics (or anything actually) was to ask the question ‘Who benefits?’ The result of this simple question leads directly onto the question ‘Who benefits from me believing this?’ and from there to a host of questions. It is important to note that no one can hide outcomes nor needs, they are obvious, so it becomes possible to put the world together outside of TV, newspaper and internet reports, for oneself.

Suddenly who the people involved are, where they come from, what their views are, who they work for and with, all become important. Suddenly the ways in which events can be discussed widens away from the reported facts to how human beings work. And this is where the conspiracy theorist often go wrong. Because like other human beings they look for ‘one’ other reason, for a cabal or international network of associates all aiming for the same thing.

Humans are not like that. The role of individuals in International politics and business is to rub up against each other. Jockeying for position and yes that may mean a few people work together, having been to the same schools or married into families, but for the most part these groupings are small and fight each other and use each other as needs must.

The idea that there is one ‘society’ that manipulates it all is hilarious but the idea that we are not manipulated is insupportable.

A Single Idea

How do we prove our existence? The question may seem frivolous as this is something that needs no proof except when you ask yourself simple questions such as, ‘How do we know this existence is not a dream?’ ‘Can I prove you exist and are not in my imagination?’

The idea and the attempts to prove we do exist from pure logic occupied many thinkers through the seventeenth centuries to our own day, and they came up with some very innovative answers. Using nothing but logic we had the idea that thoughts exist and since thoughts and the question, came about within a mind the mind exists and by extension the body that surrounds the mind. Another was that we exist in god’s mind and that necessitates life itself.

Most philosophers came to the same conclusions, that somehow god was involved in much of this, except one. One isolated, sometime excommunicated, struggling philosopher who concerned himself with how we gain knowledge in the first place. Spinoza simply analysed our existence pointing out that no matter how we conceive of our life, or who we give credit to for it, everything comes to us through our senses and they are deriving everything through nature around us (nature in the widest possible sense of the universe).

We cannot know anything nature does not already (without logic) know. We cannot discover anything nature does not allow to be discovered. Spinoza pointed out that to all intents and purposes god and nature are one and the same. So are we. Whatever god may be, whatever nature is, we cannot be divided off from them by so much as a hair’s breadth.

Expedient Recognition

This week the British Government recognised along with a good many other countries, the Libyan opposition as the legitimate leadership. At the same time the British Government says nothing about aspirations around the world of small peoples who are not rebelling against their own leadership because actually, it is not their own. Why do we not argue with the Chinese about Tibet and why do we not argue with the Turks about Armenia?

Actually I am sure we want to. I am sure diplomatic communiques discuss tensions around the world and the British Government takes stock and watches emerging situations. It is an object lesson to everyone to note that despite the Libyan involvement in  mass murder and despite sanctions, as long as he was powerful the British Government talked, dealt and traded with Gaddafi waiting for their moment to get rid of him through his own people’s revolution or his eventual death whichever came sooner.

The ways in which Governments deal with each other contains so much hypocrisy it could almost be described as a sin. Trade means more than people’s lives. Brutal suppression as in Zimbabwe where minimal trade is involved elicits no armed response or even a helping hand to those trying to bring down Mugabe through the mechanics of politics.

China must be forgiven for believing that as long as she pays them well, she can get away with anything with the British Government.

Brinkmanship

Watching the American arguments on Capitol Hill about the budget has been (for a foreigner) a dispiriting and banal experience. The arguments surrounding the life-blood of the American people (money) take place with hardly any real thought about what those people are suffering. It is not usual for us to think of American’s suffering, or of American poverty, but American poverty affects far more Americans than American prosperity.

Underneath the diet of the rich in our newspapers, magazines and TV are a large middle class who would be homeless within months if they ever stopped working. Underneath them are millions who barely know what it is to not have to worry about how to afford new shoes.

 Yet politicians think the important thing is to score points against their political rivals and drive them from office because being in power is the only aim of their careers. And those who have different aims seem weak and indecisive. There is a very serious crisis in the USA in that its prominence as the leading country in the world has created a natural belief  that its pre-eminence is due to something integral in the American dream. It isn’t. It is due to the exploitation over 300 years of an almost untouched continent that helped produce the greatest military in human history.

Without that there is no American dream. And that’s what has given every country pre-eminence that ever held any.

Family Secrets

I was talking to a  friend this last weekend about writing things that are true about one’s family and she commented that some of the information constituted to her siblings ‘family secrets’ and of course, no other family has ever gone through what they went through so best to keep it secret. She was not of the same mind.

My mother used to tell me that when she was young she thought her family was the only dysfunctional family and everyone else must be having normal childhoods. There are two things everyone should know about this:

Firstly, there is nothing people go through as children or adults that is not a shared experience with many other people. Neither money nor privilege nor secrecy stops families all over the world being deeply dysfunctional whilst hiding the fact from the outside world. No one is ever alone in their suffering.

Secondly by keeping things secret because one is ashamed or scared people will make fun of one or for whatever reason, makes no evolutionary sense. We can never learn if we do not share our experience and if we cannot learn, we cannot change.  By keeping quiet about our supposed unique dysfunctionality we doom others to share the same dysfunctions.

Whatever it is, talk about it, write about it, sing about it, paint about it.

City Driving

My Garmin has made driving in London easy, as if I had a cabbie in my car and what with air conditioning on a hot day one could almost say it makes the experience pleasurable. But I have heard people say that if you use one then you can be tracked and ‘they’ know where you are going and where you have been.

‘They’ of course being government officials of unspecified kinds, but these days may also include the odd rogue hacker who gets into the satellite transmissions not (as I understand) as difficult as it sounds. The idea that ‘they’ should know where one is driving offends some people but then, there is a human tendency to want to know because by knowing one can be reassured not just where one’s loved ones are but where potential threats may come from.

‘They’ knowing is not a problem about other people knowing your business, it’s a problem of what they do with the knowledge. Faceless people all over this world know my name, where I live and random facts about me that’s a consequence not so much of their interest in me as my being alive. I have a series of numbers in government from birth and anyone can find out all the public facts about my life with relative ease. It isn’t their knowing that worries me. What worries me if England were to become a regime and that data fell into the hands of enemies.

We want to anticipate the worst.

For Christina

The autumnal storms of time strip ideas
From my imagination like leaves from
A tree, which I shed on paper as tears
Of ink for roaming eyes to walk upon,
And in the rustling of thoughts grasp a vein
Of nature, which has waited for my pen
Language, books, paper before it attained
All that’s necessary to be fallen.
If there were a new season in the year
It would come after autumn’s collections
Of ideas and before winter’s ice-clear
Winds and with it would come new emotions.

Anemophilous dreams swaddled in lace
Possessing no time and causing no haste.

Blueskin the Cat – first chapter

Blueskin wasn’t bothered by thoughts of an after-life. He couldn’t spell reincarnation and hadn’t even heard of India where the people believed in such things. What did bother him for a moment was the awful memory of being strangled to death in a hanging and the loss of his beautiful blue waistcoat with the pearl buttons that had been his pride and joy as a highwayman. He remembered the sound of the drum roll and a great cheer from the crowd as his body dropped and the rope tightened around his neck. He looked down at his chest and was even more bothered to see fur had grown all over him. Fur? Black fur with a definite blue sheen? One, two, three, four paws? Paws? His chin was touching the dirty floor. He must be lying on his stomach. He glanced around at the casks lining the walls, wooden boxes stacked on top of each other and coal in a large pile. This was a cellar. How had he got into a cellar from the scaffold? Had they carried him in here and dumped him on his stomach ready to be carted away to the lime grave as soon as they were ready? He had fooled them. He was still alive. He could still move. He stretched his neck. It didn’t hurt. He tried to smile and felt fur on his lips. Something was wrong. The military had hanged too many men to make a mistake. There were smells in the air he didn’t recognize. Things he had never smelled before. He licked his nose which he had never been able to do before. He turned round very slowly and watched with fascination as a tail flicked. A cat’s tail. His tail. His tail! He was a cat! A blue-black cat. He scratched his stomach where it itched with his back leg. He sat down and looked at his rump. He could turn his head almost right round. He could see quite well in the dark and heard a few mice scuttling across the stone floor of the cellar. Muscles all over him tensed at their every movement. His mouth filled with saliva when he smelled them and he felt his claws aching to come out and grab them. He wanted to eat them! What a ghastly, terrible, catastrophic twist of fate!
He jumped onto a box and leapt in a single bound onto the ledge of the barred window. Now he was at street level and could see ladies’ petticoats and mens’ buckled shoes milling around in the square. Gaps appeared in their ranks and suddenly he saw his scaffold! The pads of his front paw lightly touched the bars in his shock. There it was. His blue waistcoat being auctioned even as his body was dumped into the open cart.
“What am I bid for this infamous coat,” called the hangman who doubled as an auctioneer, “Marv’lous workminship. Six purl buttons. Worth two pounds of money and a right good piece for conversation. Make the ladies’ blood run cold an’ ready for an ‘ug! Sixpence. Be reason’ble ‘e was wearing this the day ‘e killed Lord Duncan. Look it’s a bit o’ a celebration the roads being that bit cleaner and safer an’ all. Let’s ‘ave one pound ten shillings? One pound? Come on. This ‘s a piece o’ ‘istory. ‘Is bounty was two ‘undred pound. Worn on the day ‘e died and went to ‘ell. Fifteen and six? Sold!” Then his horse was brought forward and he saw the rich amongst the crowd going over to it to see if it was worth a few gold coins. His grey stallion. Gone for ten pounds seven and sixpence.
“Meow!” He sat down. He had wanted to bellow out, “Stop!” but instead out came a meow.
A cat’s sound. He really was a cat. He stood up and turned round again. How had this happened? Why had this happened? If he had been offered the choice he’d have preferred Hell to this! He remembered the night before. The four drunken soldiers who had chased him. The feel of the precious necklace in his greedy fingers, the scent of the lace ‘kerchiefs. He curled his claws and they scrapped at the stone ledge as he remembered the two brothers who has captured him just after he had given the soldiers the slip. He opened his black eyes as a jeer went up. Someone was holding up the trousers he had been wearing. They’ll sell anything to make some money to pay for the hanging. The crowd spat at his body on its way to be quicklimed. But he was till alive. He was a live cat. Wasn’t that better than being dead. He heard the mice again and his stomach did a somersault. UGH! The thought of it. After he had poached venison, eaten chicken, ham and eggs, rabbits and beef pies, to be brought down to mice! Little brown, dirty common mice. Yet how crunchy they would be. After being a man to be brought down to being a cat! He used to kick cats. Worse he had enjoyed kicking cats. He inflicted the maximum pain at twenty paces to a cat of any size with his expert choice of stones. He looked down at himself. He was an above average size blue-black cat. At least he still had something blue about his person. He peered at his backside. He was a tom cat. At least that hadn’t changed. The crowd had begun to disperse and he realised he had thought so much about himself he had missed the price they had raised for his belongings. His? They weren’t his anymore. The waistcoat would hardly fit a cat, even a vain cat of above average size had little use for a waistcoat with pearl buttons. He flicked his tail and watched his coffined, old body being driven to be dumped and forgotten forever. Well, maybe not forever since he was now a cat maybe he would be a man once again one day and . . . He was now a cat! Blood pounded in his small brain at the thought. No more riding across the highways. No more kissing women in keeper Filyrank’s inn. No more robbery with violence, drinking with other men until he couldn’t stand up straight. No more fighting with his fists and using bad language. No more rich and tasty meals followed by wines of the finest vintages bought with the sale of other people’s best jewels. All that was being carted away with the two men sent to see his body legally disposed of as the colonel in chief had ordered. All he had to look forward to was eating mice and rats and helping she cats have kittens. What kind of a life was that for an adventurous, tough and hardy highwayman! He felt cold and bedraggled. He didn’t even have a name anymore. He didn’t have a home…well he had never had a home so that wouldn’t make much difference. He didn’t have a horse. Who had his horse. He looked up but whomever had bought his horse had gone. He wasn’t feared by travellers any more; wasn’t respected by robbers and thieves; wasn’t hunted by soldiers. He was just a cat. To all intents and purposes he was dead.
He had an awful feeling life as a cat was going to be boring. Why hadn’t anyone ever told him if he died he might become a cat? Maybe no one he had talked to knew? Maybe it was only hanged highwaymen who became cats. No, there are too few highwaymen and too many cats for that to be true. Maybe not all cats have been people? He flicked his tail. At least he could still remember even if he could only mew. His stomach tightened. He had to eat. To eat, sleep and decide what to do. If there was anything to do. He decided to make his way to the market and see if he could pick up a few scraps of old food.
‘You’re new around here,’ observed a voice. Blueskin turned and saw a mouse sitting on one of the boxes below him.
‘Who are you?’
‘Now? A mouse, but once I was King of the Netherlands.’
‘You too?’
‘I’m afraid so. I’ve been running around for ten minutes and you haven’t moved a muscle. That’s a sure sign you’re new to this game.’
‘I…I never thought of it,’ lied Blueskin restraining his desire to leap onto the poor rodent.
‘I know how you feel. Imagine me. I had servants, carriages, palaces and lots of food and these days I have to get used to cellars, pantry scraps and avoiding cats.’
‘Is it hard?’ ‘To begin with. How are you finding it?’
‘I’m…confused.’
‘Always the way of things. What were you?’
‘I was called Blueskin.’
‘My! That’s a quick one. You’ve only just been hanged.’
‘You saw?’ ‘I like to see what’s happening in the square.’
‘Does this sort of thing usually take longer?’
‘I didn’t turn up for a week. I met a mole once who didn’t make an appearance for a whole year after being a sheriff.’ Blueskin looked down ‘I never thought anything like this would happen.’
‘None of us do. I’ve met two rats who wanted to commit suicide over it but once they realised how the system worked they decided to stay as rats. No telling where they’d end up next. A real shock to the old mind I can tell you.’
‘It certainly is,’ agreed Blueskin. ‘Well I wish you luck. I just thought I’d tell you aren’t alone. It might help.’
‘Thank you…your highness.’ The mouse twitched its whiskers. ‘Thanks for that,’ it ended and slipped away.
Blueskin left the ledge and walked across the square very much as he would have done if he had been a man. Except he was wondering just how long cats lived instead of wondering when the next coach was due. His eyes watered at the foul smell of urine mixed with the mud which didn’t leave the cobbled streets until it rained. No one knew about sewers and still less about street cleaning. His feet stank! No wonder cats walked about with their heads in the air, the smell was unbearable! As he was dawdling a girl pulled at his tail and he flew up in fright and pain spitting as if he had been spitting all his life only to receive a stone in his side thrown from a black-toothed, ugly boy standing nearby! There was laughter and a hail of other stones as Blueskin turned and ran into an alley. His side was sore, his pride hurt and his mind angry. People shouldn’t be so cruel! Ignorant! hurtful!
He stopped himself. He had done the same. Was he superior now he was a cat? Yes! He wiggled his body gently. He had better get to the market. He carried on, only now he was slinking stealthily along the walls keeping a sharp look-out for groups of children glad his body was very lithe. He wasn’t so hurt. The market was doing poor business. Stalls were half-stocked as farmers were having to bring the food in with fewer workers every day. Plague was claiming many lives. Nevertheless Blueskin could see quite a few decent scraps about the place which might be appetizing. The only problem was every other cat and most of the dogs in the town saw the same scraps. They were all fighting furiously beneath the stalls and around the people in a chaos of fur, claws, barks and bites. If you think a food-fight means custard pies and lemonade over your best friend forget it!
A food fight means being a cat facing a dog over a hog’s foot and blood being shed. Blueskin had been reincarnated with movements only a cat can perform. How to scratch a dog on the nose where its softest, flick the tail to distract its attention whilst you get a claw or two in position, twist before another dog bites your back and jump with claws extended and scratch whilst running away. Each and every one of which he used in the first minute it took to collect a piece of rotting fish from the bin beside the fish seller. He wanted some fresh fish but the man at the counter was using a fierce looking axe to keep away animals and thieves. Blueskin crept along the back of the market whilst people called out their wares and swore at urchins who stole an apple here, a choice vegetable there. He could smell a faint aroma of cooked meat probably coming from the officers’ quarters at the end of the square. The soldiers knew how to eat and officers had plenty of money. He stopped for a moment in surprise. Ahead of him he could see one of the two brothers who had saluted him as he was being hanged. One of the two men who had caught him the night before. For a moment thoughts of revenge fled into his mind and he reached down for his pistol but he ended up scratching himself. He spat. How can an angry cat avenge itself on a human being? It didn’t seem possible. Then again Blueskin wasn’t the kind to give up easily once he had decided upon something whatever he was! He swallowed his piece of fish, avoided the hostile attentions of a male cat covered in scars and licking away the blood of some dog’s nose from its claws. Blueskin ran to the far end of the square where the man was talking and placed himself close to his boots.
“That’s right. I was one of them. A close thing it was too. My associate in the business and brother has a cut across the back of his shooting hand to prove it.”
Blueskin recognised the voice of the man who had jumped on him from the trees.
“It was a fine job though a dangerous one,” responded the old baker he was talking too.
“Needed doing and the military weren’t too hot on his trail. Well worth the two hundred to be rid of him.”
“Dark it was. He rode up right under the tree but it was a near thing. Still there were no dangers we hadn’t expected. We tracked that highwayman for three weeks since his robbing of Lord St.John Thackery. Slept out most nights but we got the fox in the end. Though he was more like a cat with his wiles and craftiness. I’ve never seen a shot like it. Pitch black and it went straight as an arrow taking the pistol right out of my brother’s hand. We made him walk all the way into town to take the wind out of him.”
“There was talk he came from another place,” said the old man in a hushed whisper suggesting Blueskin was a devil.
“There was nothing like that about him. He didn’t change into an animal or disappear into a mist. And that neck was as leathery and human as yours or mine,” he grinned.
“Nay he wasn’t a devil. Far from it, a man like that could have been one of the best shots in England. Perhaps the best, mark my words.” “Well that’s as that is. Now he’s dead and we’ll get on better without him.”
“That you will. Thank you kindly for the bread old man. How much is it?” “One and half-penny.” “Take two pence and welcome to it.”
He stopped talking and looked down as a cat rubbed its blue-black back against his foot.
“Scab! Get out!” Cried the old man picking up a stone from a pile he kept for just such use. “Leave it old man. It’s a hungry cat. You’ve got quite a few here.”
“Pah! Its always the same. Like peasants they breed and breed and little else. We’re still infested with rats and mice despite the lot of ‘em. Useless mangy animals.” He put the stone back not wishing to offend a customer.
“Well a little good fortune can stretch from man to beast can it not. Let me have some of that cheese.”
The man bent down and gave Blueskin some cheese which was almost like thick creamy milk. Blueskin licked his whiskers. Blueskin could make use of him whilst he planned his demise. After all he needed to eat and fighting other animals all the time would sap his strength. Besides now he had had the fortune to find one of his captors he wanted to track down the other one. He would be nice and follow this man to his lodgings and bide his time. Maybe he could get them both killed at the same time!
Things weren’t going to be so boring after all.

Education, Education, Education

I never really thought Tony Blair was a good or even an interesting speaker though apparently most of the country did. I am however interested in the ongoing debate for paying for university education on the basis that what is paid is a small percentage of the increase in salary a university graduate may expect to earn over the period of their career. This is not the relevant equation to make because this equates education to money.

The correct  equation is to place education beside civilisation because our civilisations rest upon the quality of the education, and for that read the ability of trained minds, within the population. The entirety of the Enlightenment was created by those seeking knowledge, in tandem with those seeking money. To turn away one mind, or to have to bring in a series of new measures to assist the poor, is to betray all the values of a rounded education because knowledge is earned in a way money can never be. Knowledge is far more important that fiscal policy, and far more relevant to the future of the human race than profit and loss.

We think when one person avoids education because of the costs it is only their loss. That is the selfish thinking of the money world. It is a loss to every one of us to lose the full potential within one mind.

The Human Censor

I was very interested to learn that Hollywood had a pre-censor era of film making going up to about 1933, after which a host of rules came into force about what was and was not allowed to be shown in films. What interested me was not the actual rules but the fact that it was America that was censoring content. It went against everything Americans hold dear to their political hearts and since film making is considered an art form (and silent moves truly were in a way talking pictures are certainly not) it goes against everything artist believe in because censoring masks the truth.

This is not a problem of sensibilities, anyone can umbrage or be offended about anything, this is a problem of either not wanting to know or of not wanting other people to know. Many years ago I heard a Methodist preacher ask if there were a TV set everyone could watch, would we like to see our list of sins broadcast upon it (what sins fifteen year olds could have was not listed.) Leaving aside the silliness of his suggestion, there is that moment of discomfort that other people will laugh at you or judge you.

Censorship is all about Government control but politics should be all about how freedom harmonises with self-control, not diktat.

Resonance

Many years ago I had a teacher who loved driving vintage buses and there was a warehouse filled with them in Devon he would visit all the time. He used to have pictures of the buses fully restored and recordings of the sounds. Being a musician and organist for his church I thought he must hear the sounds differently to the wail I used to hear but one day he told my mother the screech of one of the buses in second gear going up a hill was the same sound he heard inside himself. One of his problems was that his mother had never shown him any love.

My own mother had a mother who was very distant unless you were away from her then her letters were filled with love and good advice. It is very difficult for people who are not shown love at a young age, and recognise the fact enough for it to be a problem for them in later life. Some such children grow up to compensate by adoring their own children but others just carry on the coldness. It is impossible to know why there is the difference in similar circumstances and one may suppose that though some people are unloving because  their parents were others are so because it is in their nature to be so.

Whatever the reason it is always deeply sad to forget to tell someone you love them until you are dying.

Meme

This is a word coined by Richard Dworkins to describe “the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation.” I used to call these things fads and sometimes ‘in vogue’ but I think he is aiming at an idea that may not be as transitory.

As a child I had no father and when I started shaving my mother told me to shave on my cheeks upwards so as not to pull the skin down. Hardly I think something a man would be particular about and one of the several feminine ideas my mother gave me with which I am cool about, but it makes me realise that difference is actually taught in the cradle. That we transmit a simple idea and before we know it it grows with the generations until it become ‘part of the culture’. In my mother’s case if we grew to live in a world where all men shaved upwards on their cheeks it would be because in the past history a child had no father due to divorce. It would have no other meaning.

Looking at the world and its presumptions I begin to divine the simple things behind ideas and manners we hold sacred. Lost is history like the idea of god, these things become the child and the adult and take a shape of their own in our imaginations far beyond their worth.

Memes are biologically probably necessary for communities to bond, but they are intellectual mistakes.

Fighting Tyranny

In Hans Fallada’s almost pedestrian and normal look at Nazism and ordinary people, Alone in Berlin, he relates the true story of a working class couple who take to distributing anonymous post cards carefully inscribed with anti Nazi sentiments around the city. An act that went on for three years every week and finally cost them their lives.

I recall years ago listening to a woman talking about living under Mao and how she wore a yellow silk blouse under the communist worker’s uniform and when asked why when no one could know it was there replied, “I knew it was there.”

Of course there are those who fight a regime in their minds and there are many who would say these attempts at revolting mean nothing because they are wholly personal.  And it cannot be denied when you oppose something politely or quietly, the opposition isn’t strong enough to change anything in the wider society. But small acts of bravery and opposition are nonetheless important when the tyranny is as absolute as Mao’s and Hitler’s because sometimes that is the only option left. It is more effective to do something over a period of time that is small than to get yourself killed on day one of your revolt.

 

The Art Of The Apology

It seems to me impossible to live through a week in today’s world without someone apologising for something. From the big ones, like nations apologising to nations, and races to races, to the minor ones run in newspapers of partners apologising to each other and now we see newspapers having to apologise to people. And what are they apologising for? How do you say sorry to anyone for mass murder, for lying, for betrayal? Do words even begin to make a difference?

I think we all believe that life is lived forwards and that somehow the apology puts events in the past firmly into the past so they will no longer haunt the future, but this isn’t true. Memory always makes sure events are not forgotten. The apology is a ritual, like all rituals, that gives us something to focus upon to make the transition from the past to the future simpler, by taking some aggravation out of the possible outcomes. As a ritual it is deeply flawed Because people actually believe it means something more, it means sorry.

A true apology is one given that was not expected or asked for. A true apology is not given after you have been found-out but long before. It comes from your own conscience. From what you know is ethically sound, not from a request or demand.

True apologies are thin on the ground.

A World Without Money

Since money is a system human beings created, and since we are all inculcated, one may even say brainwashed, into the  reasoning that flows from that system, I have often wondered what a world without money may look like. Since the world of money is all pervasive and there is actually nowhere on earth one may live in a large society without it, it is a matter of pure speculation whether or not civilisations could be created without it.

I am sure there would always be culture and I am sure people would always gather together but money is an expression of our desire to get something for giving something (the act of selling) which is not an intellectual but an animal response. It is however indicative of our aims in dealing with each other. To have parity, if not benefit and the intellectual side of that nature is that we could teach a difference of focus.

With a strong and worthwhile focus that directs this desire it seems to me we could build a civilisation using the less selfish sides of our minds even if it was a mix-and-match of areas where money was involved and areas where it was not.

The gaining of knowledge of the universe is one area where I would begin to take money right out of the equation from mining of the materials for use in space to the astronauts themselves. Not the least because I think it absurd to take this financial system with us into space.

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