The echoes of the past that today’s intelligentsia probably don’t want you to think about

My brother had to sit through another contextual studies lecture at university, this time he was introduced part 1 of a four part documentary series by Adam Curtis entitled “Century of Self”, which is all about how the thinks the idea of a consuming self was manufactured by society, and last night he invited me to watch it because he wanted to see what I thought of it. And let me just say something up front: I personally detest Alan Curtis. I think of him as someone who trades in sophistry and generates a living from it (does that Nixon documentary he aired on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe ring a bell?). Weirdly enough it’s not so much that the documentary I’m talking about is based on complete lies – there is factual content to be found within the documentary – but Curtis’ argument is also misleading in that he presents half-truths alongside otherwise factual information. But the documentary also provides a fascinating window into a historical parallel to the political travails of the current era.

This film (which is subtitled “Happiness Machines”) centers around the exploits of a man named Edward Bernays, an advertiser, propagandist and innovator in the realm of public relations during the 20th century, and how according to Curtis he was responsible for the creation of modern consumer culture. Right away I have a problem with the essential premise. According to the film, Bernays seemed to view humans as passive consumers who are ruled by drives that they cannot control (he even seemed to view the masses as stupid), and that by satiating their desires they can be controlled, deriving his theory from Freud’s theory of the unconscious. But strangely enough the film often makes it seem like Bernays is responsible for implanting desires into peoples’ heads that they didn’t have before, and that this is where today’s consumer culture comes from. But it seems to me that all Bernays did was exploit desires that were already there and do what we already know advertisers do today – take a desire that already exists, and appeal to that desire and convince people to follow that desire via persuasion.

I had a similar discussion in a dissertation-themed contextual studies lecture once when one of the speakers talked to us about advertising and subliminal messaging – he argued that we are driven to want something that we otherwise wouldn’t through carefully crafted imagery, while I pointed out that many of the drives being exploited via advertising – lust, envy, hunger etc – are already present in the human condition. All the advertisers do is find a way to titillate them in order to achieve the outcome of consumption. It’s not exactly brainwashing in the strictest sense. The film makes it seem like corporations and politicians create desires, but desires are not created by others. They already exist, just that they can be awoken through the power of suggestion. And man’s desires and needs are part of a hierarchy – we don’t just pursue only what we need, and then have to be conditioned into wanting more. Once we have the lower parts of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs fulfilled, we can pursue other desires, like the desire for self-improvement for instance. Hell, I’d argue that even the basic needs spring from one desire in particular – the desire for self-preservation. After all, if we didn’t want to stay alive, we would we bother killing animals for food, building shelters or fires for warmth, drinking water or even sleeping, and if we didn’t want to continue a line of succession for the species, why would we procreate?

The film seems to present Bernays as responsible for getting people to trade stocks, pushing what would become the first department store, convincing women to smoke and getting an entire generation of Americans to believe in the magic of the free market. And this guy claims he’s not a leftist. For starters, the idea of a market where people trade in stocks or bonds has been around for centuries, dating back to at least the 17th century via the East India company, and the New York Stock Exchange we know it has been around since 1817. Also the first department store was established in 1858 and the idea that begun to spread before the 1920’s, free market capitalism has a long history, the ideological formations of which dating back to the likes of Adam Smith, and women have been smoking for centuries (though there may have been a social taboo surrounding it). And you can find most of that out with only a couple seconds or a minute on Google. It’s not great that you can find flaws in Curtis’ case so easily.

Apparently, at some point during the 20th century, confidence in the idea of democracy was weakening. It was increasingly believed that Man was incapable of making informed, rational decisions, was dominated by unseen and dangerous unconscious forces, and because of that Man was by nature an “unrational” being and needed to be controlled. Bizzarely enough the Russian Revolution, which happened in 1917, was seen as evidence by the media class of the day, who were according to Curtis influenced by the pessimistic view of human nature held by Sigmund Freud, that Western democracy needed to be challenged because of the mob mentality that erupted in Russia was proof that humans could not make rational decisions, seemingly invalidating a key principle of democracy, despite the fact that Tsarist Russia was both an autocracy and an empire – the opposite of the kind of republican democracy envisioned in the United States of America. Of course, not that the Soviet Russia that succeeded it was any better (in fact, arguably it was somehow worse). Bernays’ daughter Anne recounts who her father felt that democracy could not be trusted because he couldn’t trust “all those publics” to make the right judgement and not vote for the wrong person or have the wrong desires, which sounds like what the Remoaners were saying after they lost the Brexit vote. Are you beginning to feel like you’re in familiar territory yet?

A contemporary of Bernays, a political thinker by the name of Walter Lippmann, advocated for the concept of an elite group of people to manage democracy on behalf of the people and control their opinions through communication and media. Apparently he too was influenced by Freud and was interesting in psychological persuasion techniques, like those of Bernays, to convince the people that what Lippmann’s elites said was true, one of the methods of which was to form a “barrier between the public and the event” thereby allowing for the manipulation of information for public consumption. Well fuck me if that doesn’t sound like the mainstream media we have now. Oh and by the way, Lippmann also happened to be an advocate for socialism, and he was a member of various socialist groups including the Socialist Party of America. And isn’t that just magical? A socialist intellectual arguing for an elite, aristocratic class to stand above the people? Why is that relevant you might ask? Because it sounds a lot like the thought process behind the conception of the idea of the European Union before World War II and the actual foundation of what would become the European Union afterwards. Before World War II there was The United States of Europe, a paper released by Arthur Salter which documented his vision of supranational governing entity to govern the nations of Europe. After the war, Monnet, another leftist (not a died-in-the-wool socialist, but a consistent supporter of the French Socialist party), paved the way for federalism by working to pool economic resources into what would become the European Union, which over the years would grow from a supranational economic power, to a full-blown supranational political one with its own anthem, treasury, borders and the ability to override the will of its member states, managed by an elite technocratic class who cannot be elected or ousted democratically and obsessively and single-mindedly march toward the fruition of their “European project”. It’s like a billion-piece jigsaw puzzle suddenly falling into place, to quote Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, as if I needed another reason to despise the American, British and European left.

Bernays apparently felt like they had to guided from above (like in conventional religion, much?), believing in an “enlightened despotism”. Which, honestly, sounds a fucking lot like Bob “MovieBob” Chipman’s Twitter feed, a Guardian column about Internet “hate speech” or every filum of technocratic, anti-democratic dribble spewed from the leaders of the European Union. Assuming this is true, then we have a modern media and so-called liberal class that is full of people who follow the doctrine of Edward Bernays to this day. For today’s progressives and “liberals”, you can’t trust humans to think for themselves and you can’t trust them to be active citizens in a democracy, democracy doesn’t mean anything if they don’t vote the right way, so you have to convince them through propaganda to vote the right way or else the end of civilization as we know it is inevitable. That, my friends, is the philosophy that our political class follows today.

Apparently there was talk of the idea that, because Man is unrational and driven by unconscious desires and needed to be controlled because of it, a leader could ascend to power by taking the deepest fears and deepest desires of a subject or a citizen and appeal to those desires and use them to your own purposes. When I saw that with my brother I thought “this sounds like naked demagoguery” – demagoguery being when someone neither uses conventional reason nor speaks truth to power, instead cynically manipulating deep-seated longings and even prejudices in order to ascend to power – and this is what every Guardianista, every Clintonite and every modern leftist think that the likes of Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and the European far-right are doing, to the point that I honestly ask myself, how come the former are not ardent supporters of the latter?  If they truly believed that Donald Trump existed solely to give . Oh that’s right, because Hillary was the one actually doing this. Using sentimental slogans (Stronger Together anyone?; by the way, the Remain camp called and they want their originality back) and appealing to the vapid political and social climate of the day (for fuck’s sake she even had selfies taken of her as part of her campaign) rather than honestly addressing the issues outside of towing the Democratic party line. And that’s not getting into her corporate backing or the numerous wrongdoings that are now out in the open for all to see.

Or maybe it’s not because of Hillary. Maybe it’s because the media is the one decided what the terms are for being a demagogue. Someone speaking truth to power on anything, to those people, whilst going against the established order of things is a demagogue to those people. Either that, or it’s their job to make you believe that this is the case – which, let’s be honest, it is!

By the way, if you want to see what an actual demagogue looks like in my country, consult Owen Jones’ speech at an NUS rally circa November 19th 2016.

Getting back to the point, we also have Sigmund Freud coming out with his own take on civilization, which he felt was not an expression of human progress but instead nothing more than a necessary cage for human passions that would otherwise become dangerous. Apparently Freud felt that humans constantly needed to be controlled, and freedom of self-expression was impossible because it would bring about destruction. The implication is, thus, that humans are incapable of controlling themselves and constantly need to be guided by someone else. The problem I have with this is that this is not the proper remit of a government. It is true that humans can’t contain the savagery of a lawless state of affairs on their own, try as they might, and there is the need to outsource the need for security and stability to a larger body of power (hence, government). But a law enforcement can usually only contain savagery and criminality after the fact, they cannot and should control the passions of a citizenry. The onus is on individuals to at least attempt to control their own passions. Otherwise, if you want to live in a Demolition Man or Minority Report style world then go ahead – enjoy governments that act on the thoughts, feelings and desires of others rather than on actions and real issues and actively attempt to control or outright police them at the expense of your own freedom – but I would rather not. And the idea that civilization doesn’t bring content? Sounds like something I actually used to believe not too long ago, but now recognize as bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, modern civilization has its problems and can be a limiting force on the human spirit, but the idea that civilization doesn’t bring content or progress can be refuted by literally any technological and economic advancement that has ever been made in any civilization in the realms of not just entertainment, but also medicine, security and raising the standards of living. Anyone who actually believes that people aren’t happier living in a civilized society than otherwise should spend sometime in the pure state of nature, divorced from civilization and its benefits, and then see if that makes you much happier (I’m looking squarely at the anarcho-primitivists).

Let me tell you, I find the central premise of Lippmann and Freud’s assessment of human nature and democracy and their proposed solutions to both to be ultimately insensible. Don’t get me wrong I am apprised of the fact that there is indeed the innate capacity for savagery within the human species, and the fact that human history with resplendent with accounts of violence, war and mayhem, whether it’s in the name of either God (or the gods), a higher set of ideals or simply perceived self-interest. But I am also apprised of the underrated capacity for what others might call humanity. We are, at least in part, social animals. One of the key aspects of our survival as a species is the ability and willingness to cooperate with each other to achieve a desired goal, in fact I am willing enough to concede that certain fundamental aspects of our civilization is probably doomed without it. But more importantly I’d like you to just ponder for a moment: if we are all irrational, all eternally guided by unconscious forces and we are in no position to control ourselves, then who is? Who is enlightened compared to the rest of us beasts? Who then is fit to control us besides the strong, and the next strongest after him? What is the guarantee that the philosopher kings that Lippmann and his modern inheritors (like the EU and MovieBob) advocate for aren’t going to be exactly as irrational and beastlike as the rest of us? If we are not without sin by dint of our very humanity, why are they without sin, and how is that decided? This is why I don’t like the benevolent dictatorship concept. Not simply because at the end of the day it’s still a dictatorship, but because I don’t trust the dictator be benevolent, especially given that human history is also resplendent with the fallibility or outright corruption and even despotism of its leaders and elites. And ultimately, these people, whilst holding us as utterly savage and as falling short of their ideal of a rational human, hold that the solution is to controlled by an elite class who they expect us to believe will not be more savage than us.

Case in point, we get to how the Nazis seemed to take the ideas of Bernays and the growing despair about democracy and ran with it, blaming democracy and capitalism for economic decline and unemployment and that by sacrificing individual liberty and giving up the will of the people to a totally centralized state under National Socialism. You see, the 1930’s was a time that began fresh off the heels of the Great Depression, and this caused people to lose faith in both democracy and capitalism. At the same time eugenics was a part of popular ideology and was seen as desirable, while fascism was a growing ideology that was gaining some support, including in UK (with British Union of Fascists), Japan (with the rise of extreme militant nationalism) Spain (the rise of fascist groups such as Falange) and Italy (with the rise of Mussolini). Nazi Germany thus can be understood as an unfortunate of its time – a time were desperation and a crisis of confidence in democracy led people to genuine political extremism (unlike the modern populist wave that is still being spun as political extremism). And guess who admired Bernays’ work and used it to build the foundations of his own propaganda campaign? None other than Joseph Goebbels. He kept Bernays’ books in his personal library and studied them attentively, despite the fact that Bernays himself was a Jew and Goebbels a Nazi (not that the Nazis didn’t believe that Jews could collaborate with the Nazi regime, of course). From there, the Nazis aggressively propagandized the German people to accept the rule of a political elite with complete control over German society that would eventually destroy anyone it deemed undesirable.

For a party that embraced the idea that democracy threatened to reek destruction upon society, we all know the barbarism they inflicted on Germany and the nations it conquered in pursuit of its ideological goals. Just think about it: the Nazi Party wanted to save the German people from the “irrational” power of selfish individualism and the destruction it was perceived as causing by inflicting an irrational totalitarian regime upon the German people and liquidating people on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexuality and political opinion? This, though it is an extreme example, is a demonstration of why I find the Lippman and Bernays way of thinking to be internally inconsistent. For an influential political intellectual and a talented propagandist, they were both fools.

And you know what I find unbelievable? If Curtis was correct then we must come to the conclusion that the Second World War traumatized the entire world, with the Western world particularly troubled by the horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany, and yet the Western World has somehow managed to convince itself that the path to saving itself from repeating those horrors is by applying the same philosophy of propaganda, and the worldview that accompanied it, that the Nazis via Joseph Goebbels built on and utilized in order to convince the German populace that democracy needed to be discarded, the state needed absolute control of public life and that Jews, non-Aryan Europeans, gays, political opponents and other “untermensch” needed to be exterminated. That is nothing short of the grandest folly that the Western world has ever imbibed in, grander even than the phenomenon of political correctness and cultural Marxism we are seeing today, itself still carried forward by the doctrine of propaganda. Among the clear lessons of World War II is not that there is a dangerous force within humanity that must be controlled at all costs, but that some of worst horrors in human history were incited by the propaganda that men like Bernays and Lippmann thought were instrumental in subduing the irrational powers that caused them!

Yet here we are, living in an age where the mainstream media in the Western world can lie to your face in order to try and control what you think, and now outright browbeating the people with the causes of activist journalists, and Western leaders view the solution to the world’s ills as being more centralized control over the lives and minds of their citizens. And at the vanguard of this is the modern “liberal” left, who have been supporting a propagandist media, corporatist politicians, authoritarianism, and social engineering and they been in the business of propaganda through the media and through universities in order to disseminate their ideology.

The connection between all of us is the zeitgeist of Bernays’ and Lippmann’s time – the zeitgeist where Freud’s view of human nature has been taken as the basis of a worldview that holds that human beings must be controlled by a higher societal force in the form of an elite class that will propagandize them by manipulating their emotions and desires, because they thought humans could not be trusted to make rational decisions –  a view that, if Curtis is right, was discredited by the rise of scientific political polling. The rise of fascism in the 1930’s sprung out of this zeitgeist, and the modern antipathy towards democracy among the progressives echoes it. For all the sophistry that’s sometimes scattered throughout the film, there is a valuable window of insight into a historical parallel, if not a historical root, to some of the modern travails of our political climate.

Fuck Edward Bernays, fuck Walter Lippmann and fuck the modern inheritors of their way of thinking.

Now I would like to address the people who took the side of the mainstream media, social media, popular groupthink and the ideological agendas that they supported: you are all fools. You have been misguided by an elite class that, despite demonstrable failure in its worldview in the past, continues to follow the doctrine of Bernays, Lippman and Goebells whilst actually believing that this will prevent fascism from claiming the world within our lifetime. The only chance you have of escaping the cycle of history is to reject the mainstream media, cut yourself off from the zeitgeist of social media and the corporate culture that lingers over it, free your mind from the boundaries of herd mentality and think for yourself. And the only chance mankind as a whole has of becoming free from this is if those of us who succeed in doing this learn to spread this authentic free thinking to others as best they can without force.

Edward Bernays (left), Walter Lippmann (middle) and Joseph Goebbells (right)

Edward Bernays (left), Walter Lippmann (middle) and Joseph Goebbells (right)

If you actually want to see the documentary here’s the link:

Chaos shall make America, and the West, great

Apologies in advance for subjecting you to another lengthy post about the electoral victory of Donald Trump, but there are some things I’ve been thinking about not just with Donald Trump getting elected, and the prospect of his presidency as I now see it, but also the prospect of other political developments – which I will get to later on in this post. Essentially, I want to talk about what I think of as some of the wider ramifications of Trump’s victory, and I had no desire to split my points into separate posts.

Before I get to my main point let me first explain that I am not one of those full-blown hardcore supporters of Donald Trump who likes everything he has to say, nor am I a supporter of the Republican Party, nor have I been in favor of a Trump presidency from the beginning. At first I disliked him because, at the time, I actually thought that he might become some kind of unstable dictator. I reluctantly supported Bernie Sanders, despite his very socialist-sounding platform, on the grounds that he seemed to be a politician who wanted to offer meaningful change to the political system (particularly on the point of money in politics). I wanted to see him defeat Hillary Clinton, mostly because already hated her (she was, let’s face it, literally the establishment candidate, and I despised her newfound sense of identity politics the more I learned about it). But before the Democratic primaries ended, it was starting to look like Sanders’ revolution was full of crap, and after New York he lost big time and it was starting to look like he was going to lose. Plus, I got sick of all the talk of Bernie’s revolution after that loss. Then for a while I supported the Libertarian Party and their nominee Gary Johnson. While this was the case, I learned more about the election cycle, and I had learned about the narrative that had been crafted by the establishment, as well as everything about how the left-wing/progressives had come to be the establishment and the elite and I realized that Trump was not the man that they painted him to be (though he may be many things) and I was appalled at the level of half-truth and manipulation that had been presented to me. However, this didn’t push me towards Trump just yet, it just made me give him the benefit of the doubt.

Then the DNC leaks came, and I learned that the DNC deliberately rigged the Democratic primaries in a concerted effort to secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton. And after the primaries ended, more leaks followed, showing more collusion and more corruption with the media and various other parties to manufacture the Clinton presidency. Then Gary Johnson started acting like an idiot, rather than the sane third option that I thought he was, and kept going from there, and in the end he failed to make it to the presidential debates. Then more leaks, the Clinton Foundation, the Veritas tapes and the stupidity of the Billy Bush tapes scandal came up. And not to mention, I learned about her no-fly zone plan and the fact that it would actually require going to war with Russia, who controls the airspace, leading to the prospect of a new Cold War with Russia turning hot which, in the worst-case scenario, would actually involve nukes, which would lead to the same nuclear annihilation we all feared in the 1980’s. And not to mention the literally Cold War style propaganda we’ve seen, blaming Russia for everything under the sun. So after rejecting the establishment narrative, seeing the corruption and subversion of American democracy and watching the third party I supported reduced to abject failure, I decided that Trump, despite him being an often thoughtless buffoon, was the only option left. Not that this is all he was, mind you. If he was truly nothing but an idiot, I suspect he wouldn’t have gotten very far. In fact, I at least think he was clever enough to use the legitimate issue of Hillary’s corruption and use it against her. And in the end, I think that at least Trump might actually disappoint on at least some of his promises (like building the wall on the southern border for instance), because even though the Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, I know for a fact that a lot of Republicans still don’t like Trump or his policies (as a matter of fact, quite of few of them abandoned Trump over the Billy Bush tapes), so he could wind up having to deal with being blocked. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, I believe would have an easier time getting what she wants. After all, we know for a fact that she not only has years and years of political experience behind her and also connections with powerful and wealthy interests. I doubt that she will have much trouble getting most of what she wants. And don’t kid yourself, she wants more war in the Middle East and she wants to get America into a war with Russia.

Anyways, long story over, now that Trump has won the presidency what do I see? The media in abject horror, having to face the fact that the candidate they banked on and backed wholeheartedly has failed – despite the conspiracy orchestrated by the DNC and despite collusion with the media. Those who supported Hillary, both the public and celebrities, gushing with sadness, believing what they have been told (remember, these people actually believe, or have taught everyone to believe, that Trump is literally the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler). Much of the world taken by surprise, when frankly the people should have known better than that. And mass protests on the streets, sometimes with people resorting to vandalism and, in a few cases, even possibly people attacking other people who voted for Donald Trump. The supposed good guys, in service of what they believe to be their greater good, have truly unraveled or shown their true colors now that they realize that their preferred outcome will not come to pass. And while they speak of fighting the rise of hatred, it is in fact their own hatred and irrationality that is on public display. The old order of things is, clearly, undergoing a major shake-up. And this is kind of what I want to see happen.

You know what the irony is? I bet some of Trump’s supporters, at least some of the more Alex Jones-y types out there, are the kind of people who fought that Hillary Clinton represented a kind of “New World Order” and they thought that they were going to stop the formation of a “New World Order”. I say, hogwash! I believe Trump and his supporters have done the opposite. Far from stopping the formation of a new world order, they have pushed back against the old order of America and they look set to establish a new one. And it shall be forged out of chaos.

The chaos I speak of is not necessarily the entire country descending into total anarchy, but rather the same kind of massive overhaul that we Brits experienced with the Brexit. I’m sure my fellow Brits know what I mean. The Remaoners (might as well drop the formality with them) refused to accept it, and British politics had unraveled, but it had also been revitalized. Public participation hasn’t been so important in ages. Before the Brexit came along politics was lifeless, useless and seemingly distant from the common person. In the run up to the vote, the establishment was against Brexit – world leaders tried to discourage Britain from leaving, the political establishment waged a propaganda war (Project Fear) against the British people, and they even went out of their way to use taxpayer money to produce a booklet in order to persuade the average voter to vote Remain. After the vote, the political parties in this country (most of the main ones anyway) have undergone a lot of changes. David Cameron resigned and so the Conservatives had appoint a new leader, and thus we had a new Prime Minister. Labour has unraveled as well, undergoing massive division to the point of gutting itself. Nigel Farage stepped down as UKIP leader, naively assuming that his work was done, leaving a power vacuum within UKIP, but also subjecting it to a greater state of in-fighting. The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are at the vanguard of the old order of things, taking up the side of 48% – the people who lost and now want to oppose a legitimate democratic mandate. Not sure what the Greens are doing though. They seem to have faded into the background in all this. We underwent a lot of tension, division and we voted to cut ourselves off from an overly centralized economic union with superstate ambitions led by unaccountable bureaucrats who, for a clear majority of people, do nothing for the people and think only of their own advancement. And when we voted to Leave, our political establishment and landscape unraveled, and politics had been revitalized by the referendum, which by the way had record voter turnout.

Donald Trump’s electoral success is having a somewhat similar effect, only so far it doesn’t look like any of the political parties are undergoing any major changes (that and I’m not sure how high voter turnout was in the recent presidential elections). American politics is in an interesting position. On the one hand, this election cycle has been a shitshow and the average voter has never had a more negative opinion of either of the mainstream candidates – both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been despised by large sections of the public, and I’m assume a large number of Americans didn’t bother to vote. On the other hand, now that Trump has won, I think that once people realize that they cannot undo the election result no matter how many American flags they burn, and that the electoral college will most likely not do it for them, I think it will dawn on them that, like with Brexit, participation in democracy becomes more important than being angry at Trump and then releasing your anger on everything around you.

Talking of Brexit, there’s something else to look out for. Last month, while we were all thinking about the US presidential election, Iceland held a general election of their own and the winner was the Independence Party. Iceland is not part of the European Union, but it seems the possibility of becoming an EU member is a contentious issue. Not to mention, Iceland had its own Project Fear. And next month, Romania and Macedonia will hold their own general elections. Romania is an EU member, while Macedonia has yet to become a member. In addition, Austria is having a redo of its presidential election in December, and it seems that the right-wing populist party – the Freedom Party of Austria – has been growing in popularity while the more mainstream political forces have been in decline. And don’t forget 2017. In March, the first country to have a general election will be the Netherlands, and it’s possible that the European migration crisis and recent Islamic terror attacks will play a part in convincing people to vote for Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, which is anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism and anti-EU. In April, France will have its own election, and it has been anticipated that the French government’s and the EU’s lackluster response to the spate of terror attacks it endured over the summer will prove to be quite a political windfall for a Eurosceptic hard-right party called Front National. And then there’s Germany, which appears to be at the center of Europe’s problems. Not only is Germany bearing the brunt of the issues generated by mass Middle Eastern and North African migration, but its government has been working with social media companies to prosecute individuals who dissent from its agenda. I anticipate that Germans will have a lot of resentment for their current government and the EU, and will probably elect a new government just to oust the current one. It doesn’t help things for Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor, that her party has suffered defeat in recent local elections. In in October, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg will have their own general elections as well, and it looks like there may be resentment for the EU growing in the Czech Republic. Depending on who wins in these elections, there’s a chance that more EU referendums will be held in European countries within the next few years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the populist right, Eurosceptics and generally anti-establishment forces in Europe found themselves emboldened and inspired by the success of Donald Trump’s campaign. After all, no one expected a radical populist to win the democratic mandate of the American people and thus get elected as President of the United States of America, particularly when the entire establishment was against him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole thing sparks a chain reaction across Europe which will weaken the European Union and cause it too to unravel, and perhaps eventually collapse.

Going back to America, I think a Trump presidency with a Republican Senate and House is going to have another effect. I expect the pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans to be in conflict with each other, as they do not all agree on Trump’s policies. Read some traditional conservative outlets like The Blaze, Red State or The Federalist and then read outlets like Breitbart and you’ll understand the split between the conservatives who are for and against Trump. If anything, I think it shows that party unity isn’t a guarantee with the Republicans. However, I think there will be a shift towards the right in America, possibly even in other parts of the world as well. The left has suffered a major defeat in this election, and the regressive left and progressives in general have paid a heavy price for glossing over Hillary Clinton’s obvious dishonesty, corruption and warmongering ambitions with the perverted cult of identity politics. People fed up of the regressive left are likely move to the right, and Trump’s victory may validate this in the minds of many. But there is also a movement of classical liberalism on the Internet, particularly on YouTube, consisting of people who are just as content to criticize conservatives and the alt-right as they are to criticize the regressive left. And let’s not kid ourselves: after Trump, the regressive left will lose the power of Western culture that it once had, and after successfully defeating the establishment, Trump will become part of a new establishment. This is what rebels and revolutionaries do, for their basic goal is ultimately to overtake the system and replace it with their own design, the only other option being to ride out into the sunset and let someone else do it. Not to mention, I think there will still be plenty of people who don’t like the fact that conservatives now control the government and still don’t like Trump all that much. They won’t change anything through protests, riots or political violence, so in Trump’s America they will have to actually participate in democracy, which means engaging with the system via political pressure. If you don’t like what the conservatives might do, remember that democracy doesn’t begin and end with elections – or referendums for that matter. The will of the people is not limited to a vote, and a government bound to democratic principles is unlikely to pursue something massively unpopular unless it didn’t actually care or had vested interests driving it to begin with.

My hope is that Americans, as well as all of us in the West, will recapture what Saul Alinsky considered to be the essence of the democratic way: conflict. Not in the sense of civil war or political violence, but rather a conflict of culture and ideas, the same conflict that enriches democratic societies and human ways of live. I’ll quote Alinsky himself, and this is a quote I find very fascinating:

Conflict is the essential core of a free and open society. If one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Chaos is a necessary thing in this world, at least under the right circumstances. Alinsky correctly identifies this harmony in dissonance as the lifeblood The only time you don’t find this harmony in dissonance is in totally authoritarian and totalitarian societies, where this is no freedom and thus no room for a conflict of ideas and values to happen. It is absent only in societies that do not even breathe. And yet I fear we are losing this lifeblood of democracy, and not just to a new rise in anti-democratic sentiment. When think of Western democracy before 2016, I think for the most part of a culture and system that inspires apathy. The public has been lacking confidence or even interest in the institutions of democracy, our leaders seem like they’re just typical gormless politicians who don’t give a damn about the common man, the media is less than objective towards the establishment nowadays (whilst being very adversarial towards certain figures opposing the establishment) and powerful and wealthy interests have a foothold and can influence both politicians and the media. These are not good signs in what should be a healthy democratic culture. Without the shockwaves and the unraveling of the old order of things produced by Brexit, Donald Trump and the rise of populism, this would not change and thus stagnation would become inevitable – at least before the new Cold War goes hot that is, but I bet few people would even notice by then because the West would be too inculcated in pop progressivism and identity politics to even realize what is going on before it’s too late. In the case of Brexit, this is also necessary to stop the centralizing of international power which would invariably come at the expense of democracy – this is what “ever closer union” means, by the way: national identity and national power being slowly conglomerated into a single international entity, one that will require authoritarianism.

In addition to this, I think we as a species are becoming weak. We are becoming complacent, dependent on the establishment and external forces to guarantee everything for us. Our minds our becoming weak and we need a great unraveling of this weakness, we need this system to be shocked and challenged so that, ultimately, we will become greater and more evolved for it. And this is being facilitated, if not outright engendered, by a combination of the chilling culture of political correctness, celebrity culture, consumerism, and in general the soft attitude that seems to come with mainstream culture. Mark me when I say this needs to be corrected, and we cannot do so under the current order of things. Ironically, it can also be shown that the establishment has proved somewhat complacent in its own right. It took its own power over the Western zeitgeist for granted, while refusing to engage openly and honestly with any dissenting influence.

And this is why ultimately, I now not only accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections but am ultimately in favor of it in the long run. Not only was Hillary Clinton defeated, but potentially so was the current culture dominated by the kindly authoritarianism brought about by the regressive left and the weakness it engendered in the human spirit. A brief forest fire is often necessary to clear the way for new life to grow and allow the seeds of certain pine trees to be released – therefore, constructive chaos becomes a necessity in the presence of stagnation. Trump and his campaign are proving to be that forest fire. At any rate, I would prefer the proverbial forest fire across the West to the prospect of a nuclear war. The chaos I speak of is necessary in order to wake up the vast majority of people, shake them up and force them to adapt and look at the world as it really is, detached from what they have been fed by the mainstream. And this will put society in much better shape than it is now in the process, having been forced to re-examine itself and undergo a significant paradigm shift. Ultimately, I think this will rejuvenate a culture wh


Democracy in the UK may well be a sham

What the fuck?

Seriously? What the fucking fuck!? What the fucking hell is this bullshit I have heard this morning!? It’s hard for me to be charitable in describing the profound anger that coursed through me on hearing this news.

Apparently, the British High Court has decided that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot invoke Article 50 and officially leave the European Union without a vote from MPs in Parliament. We already had a democratic vote, a democratic referendum, and Leave won. This was our vote, and it’s being taken away from us right from under our feet!

What part of “we won, you lost” doesn’t the establishment understand? What part of democracy don’t they understand? What is even the point of having a democracy if the people can vote for an outcome and then that outcome can be effectively blocked by some elites who had no say in the matter?

The imbeciles that swarm our government want you to believe that it’s not clear what a Brexit means, even when it should be obvious what a Brexit means: leaving the European Union. That means no longer being part of its trading bloc, which no longer being subject to its regulations or to its centralization of power or to the rule of super-rich bureaucrats who cannot be accounted for in any democratic process. What part of that was lost on people? Oh that’s right! They didn’t care about democracy at all! People only cared about economic benefits and immigration. And their precious cult of diversity in the case of the Remainers. When I voted Leave I did so without a care in the world for any of that because all that mattered to me was liberty, freedom and sovereignty. To me, therefore, there is no confusion. And I don’t care if you feel misled or misinformed during your vote. You made your bed, now you can either lie in that bad or get fucked!

What’s worse is that the politicians also kept pushing the lie that people have changed their minds, when in reality only a small segment of the population changed their minds. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Parliament gets to vote on this, the outcome will be Remain because of the anti-Brexit sentiment that pervades much of the government based on what I have seen of them both before and after the Brexit vote.

If the government betrays the people by refusing to accept their collective democratic will, then they will have undermined democracy whilst keeping their own country beholden to an anti-democratic economic bloc headed by delusional elites who don’t give a fuck about the man on the street and can’t be voted out of their jobs. They will have rejected liberty, and chosen tyranny. And if that happens, I will have a burning hatred of this country, or at least just this country’s government, for a long time. And then, one day after I graduate from university and am fully financially prepared, I will be happy to set foot on the United States of America.

Setting the record straight about democracy

This post is just a quick post wherein I feel the need to set something straight regarding a post I wrote in November which is otherwise fine. In “The ballad of order and chaos“, I expressed a certain disdain for democracy as being vulnerable to mob mentality and “unbalanced avarice”, and advocated for some kind of meritocracy instead.

Now I think, for starters, how is democracy not meritocratic? You have to get out there and earn the trust of the majority of your electorate in order to get elected into any kind of office. Second, democracy is the only way there can be any shared power between the elected and the electorate, the state and the people. Without it, you have illiberal states that enter into mostly exploitative relationships in the sense that the state holds too much power over the people and the only way for people to influence the government is to protest, and there is no guarantee that the government will listen. Third, to see the argument of concern for mob mentality as a justification for rolling back democracy, particularly during the EU referendum and the aftermath of the vote, convinces me that such an argument is wholly illiberal. Not to mention, how do you guarantee that putting democracy out of the picture won’t get rid of any kind of mob mentality? You’d have revolutions that end up in mob mentality even in non-democracies. If I’m not mistaken, that’s what happened to Libya.

Also, world order? What was I thinking?

The day we won

This morning I received some wonderful news: we, the British people, have voted to reject the will of the European Union. Brexit has been a spectacular success. And it surprised me that this might be the case. At first, it was starting to look like we might remain in the EU after all. Nigel Farage was ready to concede defeat. But when I woke up this morning, my brother told me that Brexit had been a success. 51.9% of people voted to leave the EU, while 48.1% voted to Remain. I’m happy to say that I was one of the people who voted to Leave. Even more surprisingly, while Scotland and Northern Ireland were predominantly in favor of Remaining, the vast majority of Wales (where I live) was in favor of leaving (though the capital city, Cardiff, was pro-Remain). This vote has been an exciting one, and it was interesting to find out that my brother and I, by pure coincidence, happened to be voting the same way as my mother, my father and my grandmother. As an admittedly as first-time voter, I feel like I have stood up and been counted in a decision that will effect the British and European political landscape and possibly even the global order, and that I have grown to appreciate participating in democracy since last year. I kind of expected us to be very different people. Not long after I found out we have left the EU, our Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would resign in October, which frankly came as even better news – not only have we voted to leave the European Union, but David Cameron’s career as PM is also finished.

I’m going to be honest, I think that David Cameron took the result better than I expected him to. He has congratulated the Leave campaign for its passion and its spirit, and even though he is resigning over this vote, he respectfully admitted defeat like a man of virtue. That is something I never thought I would say about David Cameron. He handled it better than Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats, that’s for damn sure. Farron accused Jeremy Corbyn of being spineless in the Remain campaign, and is now still thinking the Liberal Democrats ought to make the case for a pro-EU Britain. What a joke. He handled it better than The Guardian, which quickly burst into depression after having defended the establishment so enthusiastically while slandering ordinary people. He handled it better than Scotland, who aren’t going to take Brexit lying down – not to mention, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has condemned Brexit as “democratically unacceptable”, which is obviously just some nonsensical way of saying that she doesn’t like the way the British majority voted. And he handled it better than fucking Jerry Barnett of Sex and Censorship who remarked that Brexit was “good timing for his new book on fascism”. What a piece of scum. He insinuated that the Leave camp was nothing more than a collective outcry of hatred, xenophobia, and fascism. I personally, have met few to no Brexiters who exhibited such traits, and can find no evidence of fascism in the Leave campaign. I would have thought Jerry Barnett would have been above this. This is a man who, three days before the referendum, wrote a post condemning the identity politics that has taken over the left wing, and he himself noted that it was the horrible evil through which anyone who disagreed with a narrative was dismissed as a bigot. How is tarring Brexit voters as fascists any different, you brazen hypocrite! It’s also worth noting that Barnett claims that the EU is on the side that against censorship, when in fact this is a proven lie. In fact, if you think a giant bastion of authoritarian corporate power that we the people can never control or hold to account is our ally on the matter of censorship and freedom of speech, you are very uninformed.

Speaking of handling Brexit, it is very telling that a number of people on the Remain camp are saying that they will leave the UK because Britain left the EU. They are considering leaving the country over a result they didn’t like, after condemning Leave-voters as “quitters”! This is textbook brazen hypocrisy. What’s more, some have decided to sign a petition calling for a second EU referendum. Are you people kidding me? This is pathetic. But, ultimately, it is perfectly consistent with their support of the European Union – an antidemocratic institution that has, in the past, either ignored the will of the demos in its member states or tried to alter it. What’s even worse that they took to slandering the generations that raised them and secured their future for them simply because the majority of them decided that staying in the European Union. The young pro-Remain people are shocked, SHOCKED, that the will of the British people doesn’t necessarily revolve around them. They can’t bear to think that anyone else knows better than them, so they decide to slander their elders, perhaps even their own family members, as xenophobes, as bigots, racists, and out of touch. All because they, quite frankly, have their heads full of bullshit. They believe the EU represents inclusion, friendship, tolerance, diversity, togetherness and all that progressive stuff, but that is not the EU that I and everyone else who voted Leave understands it to be – put simply, they chosen to reduce the issue to love vs hate, and not as a matter of principle but as a matter of blind group-think. And to that end they will slander their elders and the working class, they will sign a petition, they will moan about how shameful it is to be British and to be concerned about national identity, and as I write this post they are planning on protesting the will of the demos just as the leftists did last year in order to try and get the Conservative Party out of government. As I said earlier, we have stood up and have been counted. Those who voted Leave are celebrating what it is to be British and the principle they fought for, while many of those who voted Remain are now openly rejecting the will of the demos and acting like fucking children. And the thing is, it strikes me as rich that they accuse us Leavers of being bigots and fascists and of poisoning British politics, when they are among the most hateful people in the country. They talk of Leave encouraging “divide and rule”, why they have divided the people and stirred the pot for ages!

The irony of all this is that it seems that re-electing the Conservative Party may, in the long run, have been a good idea after all. Think about it: David Cameron promised the British people an EU membership referendum last year, and now we had it and we’re going to leave the EU. If they didn’t win the general election, I don’t think we would have had that referendum at all. Believe me, out of all the other parties you may have voted for last year, only the Tories and UKIP wanted a referendum. If we voted for Labour, the Lib Dems or the Greens, we might not be at this historic point. And all you people who may have voted Remain in order to oppose the Tories? You people should be happy because, yes, while we will still have a Tory government, the PM you wanted to get rid of is now resigning his leadership of the Conservative Party! Is that not a plus side for you guys?

But out of all this, I feel like I have grown a lot from this. And even though I might feel a little more attached to America, I can honestly say I feel proud to be British, and happy to be a citizen of this country, or at least for now. And if America loses its way with no going back, I’d rather not live anywhere but here in Britain unless I had a damned good reason not to. I have gone from doubting democracy on my blog to embracing it wholeheartedly as an important cornerstone of the Western tradition of liberty, and I think I have some newfound respect for the old working class in my country. But there is more to be done. The Tories need a new leader, and there’s word that Labour might get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. All the while, both the British and the European political landscape is set to change and there is no going back. Scotland, as I said, won’t take this lying down and there’s talk of another Scottish referendum. All the while, EU referendums are being talked about for European countries like France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and even Germany, and I have a feeling that the tensions between the European establishment and the people will continue. Not to mention, I believe the American political establishment still has their eyes on post-Brexit Britain and are looking for a stake in it. But this shift we are seeing in the political landscape of the UK, Europe and possibly all of the Western world will is palpable, the chaos that awaits it and the establishment shall be interesting to follow. All the while, I promise to be as mindful as possible and do whatever part I can. And if Brussels rejects the will of the British demos, I will make my voice heard.

But for now, I am happy take up Nigel Farage’s suggestion that June 23rd be celebrated as Britain’s Independence Day, and I would celebrate it just as I would celebrate July 4th as America’s independence day and the birth of the American ideal. Stay awesome Britannia!

Let the Union Jack fly on.

Control and the political dichotomy of the people and the state in a Luciferian context

There was a video released by Michael W. Ford on his YouTube channel about the Greater Church of Lucifer and its focus. It was very inspiring, and it particularly gives a good idea of how to conduct yourself as a Luciferian, shows me that having like-minded individuals doesn’t detract from your own individuality or that of your path, and actually inspired me to print out and laminate a business card  with the 11 Luciferian Points of Power on it, so that I can carry the 11 Luciferian Points of Power with me everyday and hopefully remind myself to pay closer attention to them and try and apply them regularly in my life. In other words, a good reminder of the basics for Luciferianism.

For your potential viewing and learning pleasure I will put the video itself below.

There’s actually one unique point I feel inspired to comment on as the main subject of this post: that the Luciferian understands that all politics is ultimately about control, and that control is not in itself a bad thing. For a while, I thought about that? In what sense is control not a bad thing? It’s a common thought that control means the ability of external bodies such as the state to impose their own will upon the individual, without the consent of the individual. Naturally then, it could be assumed that the obvious reason why a person like myself would support libertarian political philosophy and libertarian spiritual philosophies such as Satanism and Luciferianism would be because people like me detest the idea of control in the external sense, because we don’t want to be controlled by anyone. But in the internal, individual sense, control means something rather different. Self-control is a good thing, it’s one of our important faculties as beings with individuated consciousness capable of mastering our own destinies. It’s also vital is we are as a species to achieve any kind of self-sufficiency, or if we are to avoid lapsing into mob-mentality and complete suggestibility. It’s precisely because most of us do not believe we can control our own lives and achieve that self-sufficiency that the imagined need for external authorities arises in the minds of many people. As author Ryan Holiday put it:

Control and discipline of one’s own reactions make for a successful person and a functioning society. I don’t think you want to live in a world where that isn’t the expectation of each of us.

It’s also vital that we don’t practice any kind of restraint simply for the sake of submission to polite “society” or for the sake of winning the favor of others, but instead for the benefit of yourself so that you may cultivate discipline, patience and mastery, and fully cultivate any kind of autonomy. You can’t be a fully autonomous human being if you lack the self-control that makes you completely suggestible to various whims and negative emotions any more than you can if you are a complete robot or drone constantly acting in obeisance to the will of others without any sort of independent thought whatsoever.

Politics as simply external control, however, is something that can seem like a sensible conclusion. Once you look behind the certain of often baseless moral hyperbole, you may find that few politicians are ever interested in a greater ideal alone. Worse, if they are, they may be devoted only to that ideal, and either uninterested in its practical implications or unable to answer for them. One need only look at America’s current presidential election cycle to see this play out. That’s not to say it isn’t admirable to sacrifice pragmatism in the name of a principle, after all I tend to instinctively be a “liberty over prosperity” person myself, as evidenced in my own personal Euroscepticism – while others in the UK may prefer to Remain in the EU out of concern for the country’s economic standing, I choose Leave as a matter of the principle of independence from a distant and indifferent external authority regardless. But the thing with many idealists out there is they may be blind to any concern for pragmatism or practical application of their ideals. Only their crusade matters.

But getting back to the point, it does seem obvious that many politicians are only out for some kind of control. Any attempt to find any moral justification in authoritarian or illiberal legislation being proposed by governments or politicians yields the same result: that there is no real ethical or logical value in them, so they are purely mechanisms designed to bring control into the hands of the State, or sometimes into the hands of other bodies such as religion. A good example is probably the anti-pornography legislation that the UK government has been trying to introduce, with of course some backing from the British press (and not just sensationalist papers like the Daily Mail, but also “educated” papers like the Guardian and even The Independent). A familiar argument is that pornography is supposedly damaging the minds of those exposed to it and increased availability leads to sexual violence. However, research done on the subject suggests exactly the opposite: that increased porn availability reduces sexual violence rather than increases it. Indeed, this debacle is a very old one. In America during the year 1970, then-President Richard Nixon tried to get rid of pornography and claimed that its “warped and brutal” portrayal of sex was damaging the public at large. His own administration, upon conducting research on the subject, produced a report which concluded that there was no evidence that pornography had any harmful effect on anyone, and naturally discouraged anti-pornography legislation for adults. But Nixon himself rejected the report and its content as morally bankrupt and continued to oppose the right of adults to watch pornography regardless. In the absence of any ethical or logical justification, it was nothing more than a move to put control of some of aspect private life in the hands of the state.

Since the dawn of civilization, or even the dawn of mankind and communities in general, Man has attempted to exert control over populations of people. In the ancient world, it was perhaps more transparent, especially on the matter of war. From wars carried out by nations to conquer foreign territories (from the ancient world right up to the modern age), to civil wars fought in divided and fractured nations (the many wars fought between rival powers in China and Japan are a great example), the aim is often quite transparent: domination, control, the establishment or preservation of one’s political power. Whether or not this was good or bad was usually not a matter of principle, especially not in the modern Christian sense, but rather – as always – dependent on who was wielding power. A good ruler may have put conquered territory to good use and enriched the lives of newly conquered people, preserved a just and prosperous civilization by fighting wars of defense, and used his/her power to enrich the nation or community or simply preserve what is already good. A bad ruler may have treated a newly conquered people with cruelty for no good reason, subjugating them and his/her own people, often for short-term and petty gains, cultivated a corrupt civilization, destroys anything good about it and established dominion and took power only for the sake of having dominion over others and carrying out cruel, extravagant or tyrannical whims. Sometimes, though, a bad ruler is simply an incompetent one, or even one who will not accept and use the strength and power that he/she needs in order to do any good for a nation or community. Even so, power is power, control is control, and many of the dichotomies in our civilization have been ultimately of power versus power. History will always have its way of deciding who was good and who was bad, or rather help us make that judgement for ourselves, but ultimately political power is neither good nor bad, unless applied in such a way by the individual. Just as, like Michael W. Ford said in the video I put here, the individual can make the GCOL great or diminish it entirely through his own efforts or lack thereof, so too is power as tool that can generate, preserve, destroy, or diminish based on the individual wielding it.

What’s important to remember is that in the ancient world, there was simply the rulers and the ruled, and the relationship between them was mostly static, rather than dynamic. Sometimes there was room for the people to rebel against their rulers, but very rarely did it feel like the people had the “right” to dissent (the Mandate of Heaven in China is the only example off the top of my head that I can think of, where the people actually have the right to get rid of their ruler if he is found to be unjust at least in the eyes of Confucian morality). And usually, civilizations were ruled by monarchs who wielded basically absolute political power. With the rise of democracy (read: representational democracy, not direct democracy), the people generally have more of a say with regards to who rules them. This doesn’t always mean more freedom for the people from control, and there’s the chance that such very freedom can be put to a vote – the people have sometimes willfully given control to the State through the vote. But it does mean that the people have a more dynamic relationship with the state, and they can win some control from the State. Representational democracy, from what I understand, hinges on a kind of balance or power struggle between the powers of the state and the people, even though I generally prefer that the best government is the least and favor the rights and freedoms of the people. I also notice that the fascists, the totalitarians, and the authoritarians always seem in favor of disrupting that dynamic relationship in favor of a more static one, perhaps suiting their extreme black-and-white outlook. The anarchists, and to some extent the communists, also want to do away with this dynamic relationship in favor of “rule by the people” or “stateless society”, thinking that the people have the self-sufficiency to do without it or will just operate out of “the goodness of their hearts”. But, until such time as we as a species at large cultivate such self-sufficiency that we no longer have any need of governments and external authorities, we will have to deal with the dynamic relationship and power struggle that defines our democratic civilization, continue to strive to make it work for us as best as possible, and maybe we’ll get a little closer towards achieving the self-sufficiency that will make external authority obsolete for the vast majority of people. In a sense, that is how you free Mankind from external control: not by working to replace the dynamic relationship found in democracy with a more static relationship (thereby reverting to the ancient past) or by destroying it entirely for a species who has not achieved the self-sufficiency required to do without it, but through an evolutionary process – one that, for better or worse, democracy is very much a part of.

Why mob “justice” is likely to be a fatal flaw for democracy

I came across a Vox article that focused on all the commotion about killing of a lion named Cecil and the phenomenon of mob mentality and mob “justice”, and I begin to feel that mob mentality is a very real and growing phenomenon, one which cannot be allowed to grow lest it evolve into the cause of rampant disorder and fear. I could see myself fearing the prospect of a world where the mob is allowed to the point where it targets anyone who is different, which would inevitably include myself and thus present a personal danger to me, while invading everyone’s privacy, and I could feel an ethical desire to have a role in seeing true justice overcome mob “justice”. But there’s more to it than that. The fact that mob “justice” runs on the lowest common denominator, a group of individuals targeting who ever they feel like based only on brash subjective judgement that are made without contemplation, it feels a lot like how democracy tends to run on the lowest common denominator, because a lot of people go against a candidate for failing to please the common people (at least that’s the vibe I get in my own country). And as I’ve mentioned before, in our liberal and democratic “society”, the government has an awful lot of potential to acquiesce to the mob mentality of the lowest common denominator. The lowest common denominator is also capable of getting the government to babysit them because they failed to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens as long as they nag them enough.

The thing is, the whole reason many of us embrace democracy with the lack of contemplation that we do is because it puts the people, or at least the majority of people and by extension the lowest common denominator, at the center of matters of governance. It requires that we have a lot of faith in the people to do the right thing, or simply to have the right opinion and use it to influence things, and it always assumes the people are always interested in making things better for everyone. A problem with that is many people are likely to be more interested in their own conveniences, desires, or even opinions, than in serious contemplation on proper governance, and principles that would be conducive to said governance. The people have their opinions, but you can’t assume they agree on anything. We’re dealing with whole populations; the larger a group of people is, the less likely it is that they will come to an agreement on anything. It should also be remembered that everyone has their own opinions, and everyone argues with other people about said opinions. No one can totally agree with everyone except on the simplest and most universal matters. We think way too much about the Western world being a democracy just because we get to vote for our leaders, when in fact it feels like we’ve never had pure democracy. Pure democracy would mean that the rule of the people is total, which would mean a rule by the people and nothing but the people or the masses. That’s pretty much the same thing as mob rule when you get right down to it, but more importantly, it’s also rule by a huge and disparate group of individuals (in other words, everyone) who will be incapable of agreeing on anything, and to me it seems it doesn’t take long for there to be a situation where one group of people suppresses the other in such a way that the other party has less rights than they would in whatever system we’ve got now. We don’t have pure democracy. All we have is the ability to vote for the person we like most without knowing their true merit or talent, and the ability to tell people in government what they think hoping that they care enough to pay heed.

The problem with giving the people too much power is that most of the people have no idea how it should be used, and do not spend a lot of time thinking about it. When you democratize justice, you are making it so that the masses at large try and make decision on right and wrong, to try and protect the innocent, and to try and punish wrongdoing. You only have to look at recent examples of mob “justice” to see what the justice of the masses is like because they do not know anything about criminal justice systems, likely no more than I myself. When you live in a state where the masses try to dispense justice, you might as well pray to whatever God from on high you believe in to send plague, fire, or lightning bolts on wrongdoers because even that would be better because you are unlikely to wrongfully shame or harass someone by doing so. You don’t even have to actually do anything wrong for the mob to descend on you: you just have to be suspected of doing something wrong (like with Sunil Tripathi, who was accused of being one of the Boston marathon bombers and whose family Reddit users started hounding because of it, after which it was found he committed suicide), or of being associated with someone who did something wrong. Hell, on many social media sites, all you have to do is express an unpopular opinion, say something offensive, or even just say or do something stupid, all often without any idea that the mob of the average Twitter users, for instance, will descend upon you for it. And what about when people dig into your private lives and details and reveal them to the public, or when hackers threaten to expose personal data kept on a website? Is that justice? And don’t get me started on people like Anonymous, people who feel they can hack not just disreputable organizations or faceless corporations, but celebrities who likely have nothing to do with whatever politics they’ve been espousing, and call it a morally justified act, all while flying the flag of collective anarchy. Their self-righteousness is not only boundless, but it actually seems befitting of their time. In my opinion, if you give too much power to the people, all that means is more idiots either abusing that power or simply not knowing how to use it and going on to do stupid if not heinous things, and if we have pure democracy, or just plain democratize the rights of justice and liberty, the only thing that can arise is disorder and failure.