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≡ last five posts

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DTU: declining totemic utility

A comment made by actress Adjoa Andoh during coverage of the coronation has been the subject of over 8,000 complaints to Ofcom, Britain's media regulator. The words merit being quoted in their entirety: "Looking at all those young people, there is a bit of me that has gone from the rich diversity of the Abbey to the terribly white balcony." Seems like a pretty important bit of the lady. It's her honesty and capacity to tell it like it is. The Abbey was the centrepiece - the showcase. It was the theatrical extravaganza intended to make observers suspend disbelief; an attempt to pull the ermine veil over everyone's eyes by agency of "fairy-tale monarchy magic". Andoh could see through the smoke and mirrors, and gently note the reality of the balcony: Racial exclusion from the inner circle. It's okay for people of colour or anyone else without "noble" lineage to hold a silly prop or sing a song during a cringeworthy, primitive ceremony, but that's where the white line is drawn, and the white wall goes up. Of course, people are born to nobility. It isn't a quality that has to be developed, earned, or demonstrated. As the royal family are the poster people for the very noble(!) British establishment, its membership should worry that the jig is up. Even Ofcom, in an exemplary decision, has refused to ratify the complaints on the basis of freedom of expression. The coronation was a mass awakening for millions. They saw the balcony of truth. The difference between that and the stage managed Abbey is like the difference between walking from Sheppard's Bush into Chelsea and Kensington. Systems of control often rely on the mass acceptance of symbols and rituals that are intended to create a shared interpretation of social reality. In the British case it's just old and cheap psychological tricks that are rapidly losing their traditionally trance inducing effect. The illusory unifying force of the Crown has given way to the reality of the division it inevitably creates. Misdirection lead to the big reveal.

Mon, 05 Jun 2023 15:15:17 GMT post menu

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A cry for help?

There has been justified outrage in the press over the arrest of six members of the Republic pressure group on the morning of the Coronation. A lot has been written about the implied threat to democracy and human rights. It's mainly articulate criticism of the apparent overreaction of the Metropolitan Police to peaceful protest. In their defence the police have cited the new public order legislation that provides for arrest if they suspect that an identified disruptive act will be carried out. They didn't draft the law, or vote for it, although they undoubtedly had some advisory input. In any event, it's difficult to see the way the police enforced the law as anything other than a win for republicans, or anyone remotely concerned with human rights. Firstly, the police have drawn attention to this appalling new statute. Secondly, from what could be deduced from videos, they allowed Republic members to be interviewed and to continue carrying their banners as they were taken away. That easily distracted from the pageantry. Thirdly, the token act of detaining a few republican protesters while most of them were permitted to remain efficiently focused a lot of minds on the issues. In other words, the police may have done a bit more for the cause than would have been accomplished without their intervention. The British cherish their freedom of expression, perhaps more than they do their "royals". It's one of the genuinely great traditions this country has. So it seems reasonable to suggest that the police would hesitate to interfere, or take such disproportionate measures. Is it possible this was their way to direct the public gaze? Although the issue of ending the monarchy is often suppressed, or ignored in the media, this time the concept of a British republic made headlines. Is it time to act to support the creation of a republic in this country before it is embarrassed beyond redemption? Please help to maintain the momentum, and honor the courage of those arrested, by signing Republic's petition on ActionStorm. It's just to secure a public vote on the future of the monarchy. You can also sign a petition for a referendum on the UK government site. It is worded optimally to flush out a condescending response (if it reaches 10,000 signatures). Follow this link: Post #069 Link

Sun, 21 May 2023 09:01:05 GMT post menu

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let's try capitalism

A frail old white man in a golden carriage is a fitting emblem for our present national malaise. It might as well have been Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns from the Simpsons instead of Charles III. Monarchy may be unjust, racist, imperialist, oppressive, antediluvian, and humiliating for the British masses, but remember, it's also a paradigm of waste. Having an hereditary leader has worked in the distant past to create authoritarian control over simple agrarian societies with a population deprived of access to information. In complex modern economies it is an enervating anachronism and the template for ultimate failure. Inheritance has limited utility under capitalism. Market economies need to use resources efficiently, and having them remain in the same families over centuries is no guarantee of that. Following traditions for the purposes of concentrating wealth will result in both economic and environmental catastrophe. Most people are engaging in tasks and activities devised for maximum benefit to greedy misers. They rarely question whether these acts are wise or in the longer-term interests of humanity. Sadly this blind obedience is construed as a sign of intelligence. Since the Thatcher Reagan Rand Greenspan axis of simple-minded evil came to pass, labour can be brought cheaply. These cheergreeders have rendered the masses susceptible to relentless coercion as the population swells, but greed is an impostor as a market force, and what we live under is therefore far from capitalism. Modern societies have to be managed to prevent monopoly, cronyism, dangerous speculation, bubbles, fraud, bribery, and price fixing - every conceivable type of crooked behaviour. Competition must be protected. There is no capitalism without regulation because it is a system, not an atavistic dystopia where parasites can rig the game at extreme social cost. The narrative is being set mainly by sociopaths, and seldom by philanthropists, but market societies had better be run for collective benefit rather than the persistent advantage of the few. Otherwise they are reduced to casinos for degenerate speculators. That way lies ruin. Everyone knows this is true, but we deny the reality in the hopes it will go away, and that the insanely self-serving propaganda of the greedy will transmute into golden scripture. So much of what is said and published is in the furtherance of that inane fantasy.  Is it time for the ultra-rich and corporations to account for themselves, to pay taxes, and to pay to clean up the mess they have knowingly created? They've been given long enough without checks and balances to demonstrate good faith and responsibility. The reality of a cost of living crisis is proof of an absolute lack of self-control or restraint. They will threaten to take their money and assets and leave, but at this juncture, have we been driven down so low that they won't find a better deal anywhere else in the world? Besides, in a well-managed economy someone would be incentivised to fill the gap. Capitalism belongs to the people if they are being served by an effective state that incorporates non-partisan collective bargaining. Doesn't the invisible hand of the market deserve laws to save it from the visible hands of interfering scammers?

Wed, 17 May 2023 13:28:12 GMT post menu

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dark horse

Joe Biden has delivered what could be described as a superlative rebuke to the British establishment in the form of an ostensible gaffe. In talking about Anglo-Irish affairs he has managed to remind the world about Britain's brutal Black and Tans. The mistake was passed off as confusion between the All Blacks rugby team and the reviled mercenary force defeated by Irish republicans about a hundred years ago. Under normal circumstances we might think this was another senior moment for the incumbent US president, but context suggests a different interpretation. As it follows Biden's robust decision to skip the coronation, and his stated intention to "keep the Brits in line" over the Northern Ireland peace accord, this was unlikely to have been a faux pas. His acts are collectively perhaps the highest profile integrity move by a president since Bill Clinton decided to grant Gerry Adams a US visa in 1994. Just a few weeks ago it was improbable that Biden would get a second term. Who knew he was a statesman of this quality? If you think the British Empire did any good during its appalling history of atrocities, just ask yourself why Irish and American revolutionaries were prepared to suffer and risk so much in order to rid themselves of it. By vehemently retaining symbols and institutions that are synonymous with imperial tyranny, members of the British ruling clique wilfully stain themselves with the blood of those who fought imperial oppression. Cowardly bullies are eternally tainted with the blood of heroes. If you try to cite the record of British colonialism in any positive way, you are an advocate for slavery, genocide, torture, exploitation, racism, and injustice. Is it finally time for America to have an overtly special relationship with the Irish Republic? That would make a lot more sense than any connection with Britain. Go Joe.

Fri, 12 May 2023 04:34:32 GMT post menu

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new clothes

It has taken many generations of the those privileged by birth in Britain for them to reach this moment of inadvertent honesty. On 6 May the British establishment will unknowingly capitulate. They will come out as chauvinistic oligarchs and plutocrats, confirming the suspicion of most people. In going ahead with the coronation they seem dumber than the monkey that grabs food inside a trap, but won't let go of the bait even when that would release its paw. They have considered themselves safe from scrutiny for so long, they wilfully overestimate their collective influence and invulnerability. Why else would they hold the smoking pistol of imperialism and slavery with a grip so tight it would make Charlton Heston blush? If they think they can count on the support of most people in Britain, that might be an epic miscalculation. We are living with the catastrophic fallout of hereditary authority. If we were enjoying the fruits of genetically enlightened or gifted leadership things would get better. Our lives are caught in the vortex of an inexorably downward spiral because there is no such thing - that's not how genes work. We're being told we must suffer greater relative deprivation while they get unjustifiably richer. There can be mindless obedience, or mindless conformity, but mindless leadership is a non-sequitur. The days of inheriting influence, position, and privilege may never be over, but there is now greater awareness of a rigged game being played at extreme cost to the masses and the environment. As King Chuckles is being told to support an enquiry(!) into the indisputable connection between monarchy and slavery, get ready for whitewash in the white Palace. Chucko will need to sell more safe havens to his fellow autocrats or dictators around the world if he is to have enough bags of cash to buy a sanitised version of the history of British royalty. Can centuries of dirty dealing and whiter than white supremacy be expunged from the official record? Establishment figures may optimistically believe a cover-up can make the monarchy easily severable from the pernicious deeds that created its wealth. They know you can pay an historian to say anything. For example, some will happily allege that Jefferson was a racist, or that Washington was a robot sent from the future. They will assert that Michael Collins was a twelve-legged space alien if that's effective propaganda. Chucky's state media cronies will try to publish a rebuttal even while monarchy is twisting in it's death throes, like any primitive, slimy creature whose intelligence is confined to the most rudimentary survival instinct. Behold its thrashing coronation contortions. Britain's establishment will moronically preside over a bastion of waste and exclusion. Nothing must stand in the path of their hereditary privilege, but the monarchy is progressively less effective as a talisman against their culpability for a history of exploitation, war, torture, murder, and enslavement. If they are not directly responsible for the transgressions and injustices of the past, they still hope we can be fooled into forever excusing their miserly grip on the benefits of that shameful history of outrages. The British people are unlikely to accept a swelling sense of guilt that is the result of the monarchy's declining totemic utility. The magical dream is rapidly dissolving for Britain's legion of sleepwalkers. A systematic dismantling of the symbolism and ideological weapons of empire has been denied them. In the absence of reform and reparations the cover story of the empire's "civilising mission" can only be a source of intensely derisive incredulity. The awakening is therefore going to be a trifle rude, and it starts now. Yes folks, we can freely note, with complete intellectual honesty, that the emperor hasn't any clothes, and that it's a decidedly ugly spectacle. Britain under its monarchy is like a tedious joke. We've waited too long for this coronation punchline.

Mon, 01 May 2023 14:12:20 GMT post menu

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