Play It Backwards

Most of history would make more sense if we went backwards. generally peaking back is a direction that has more constants in it than forwards. But even without those the general tenure of going back takes us into a place where we can accept ignorance because people did not have access to knowledge and the battles seemed to be well defined: women’s rights, end to slavery, children’s rights, animal rights… none of these are arguable.

Today we have the spectacle of human rights that are not human rights, they are citizen’s rights. Today the metropolis comes with a series of demands we have never seen before. For in the city and with modern medicine people live who years ago would have died before they ever found a voice.

And when one voice is found, every voice is found. And every voice must be heard. The cacophony is too much for people who still have to understand how knowledge works. So they look backwards. To simple demands.

And become fascist.

Our Rulers Я-Us

The most successful leaders, it is said, go and do what the people want but make the people think it is their decision.

There is some truth to this observation but how much is different for different tribes. It is obscured by the language of nations which we are so fond of using and does not allow for the power of oratory to sway opinion. That said there is a fascist side to our thinking (look how we universally treat animals) and there is a totalitarian side to our natures (capitalism is the totalitarian power of money not to allow other forms of society.)

There is also the gentler side to our natures broadly described by ‘altruism’ in which our decisions are made with less vanity and under the auspices of that famous phrase ‘there but for the grace of god go I.’

The thing is as tribes we move very slowly and our political decision making has as much psychology in it as reason.

The Big Idea

What is it to have a big idea?

I was talking with friends who said the immense political ideas have gone from the world, the days of Communism versus Fascism dominated the first half of the last century. I suggested we tend to think of big ideas as bigger if opposing sides fight it out on the battlefield but we should not belittle the ideas that are ruling us today, good or bad.

To restructure our relationship with nature is the most fundamental change to the thinking of the human race in its known history. To redefine what money is for and how we apportion it the most challenging thing humanity has done with the financial system since its creation.

Either one of these immense structural changes to our thinking will reverberate down the centuries whether we are in existence to hear it or not. They will change the way we develop and run society and they will lead us into conflict in their own way, in their own time.

How we come out of that conflict will define us.

Fascism Never Goes Anywhere

The Code of Hammurabi is the oldest set of laws that have survived the millennia and it reads as a pretty much fascist handbook. Every slight against the =state is punishable by death, having your nose cut off and other memorable legal acts of violence.

The Circus Maximus in Rome was a completely fascist  concept and survived on domination, conquest and slavery.

After the Second World War 70,000 paid up members of the Nazi party were allowed to go free and you can find some of them recorded telling audiences where they went wrong and how to get it right next time.

The new Nazi’s marching in America surprise no one who knows American history. The thinking that created them in prevalent in Australia and right across the Arab world. The chauvinism  that is prepared to denigrate all other life in a thirst for personal status. The lust to be in control. The need to in command. And the horrific voyeurism to be the one who walks away from a  massacre. To see blood flowing and for it not to be ours.

We excuse this fascism in our movies, in our fairy stories, in our national myths. We excuse it in our politics when we talk of ‘other countries’ as if we were not one race with many cultures.

Underlying Management

I have often wondered about how one kind of evolved brain could hold so many contrary options about the same things given the same senses and facts. Why is one person’s brain socially minded and another not so. I think the underlying ways in which assumptions are laid down in human thinking is one of the reasons when crisis hits so many can be relied upon to become fascist.

Children are taught and there is no doubt at all that opinions can be taught because the assumptions they are formed upon are never questioned. It is also a matter of argument which strands of thought are taught, but not that we have set pathways in our brains. Meaning that once we are taught a certain response to an idea, that response remains a constant. It takes a lot of planning to alter the direction of a road once it had been built. People who think their ways out of their childhood teachings are few and far between and highly intelligent.

Then there are the responses that are natural to our animal behaviour, including the ones that say we are not animals. The need to be supreme in our own eyes, part of a set way of doing things, part of a community.

When you take all these together you begin to see why human beings congregate into nations and why nations vie with each other. You begin to understand why sports exist, why we need leaders and how easy it is to despise each other.

None of thee things are rational but they all have a rationale.

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