There are several different examples of political spectrums in use today. Most people in the U.S. measure the political parties and philosophies across a horizontal line, from liberal to conservative. Others see the political spectrum as a square with totalitarianism in the top corner and freedom in the opposing corner. We tend to disagree with most political spectrums because they misunderstand the eternal struggle of freedom versus tyranny and mistakenly believe that either the right or left side is closer to freedom, or that one is better than the other. This tyranny manifests itself as non-voluntary communism, statism, fascism, imperialism, and any other form of authoritarianism. The opposite of all these power schemes is Anarchism.
In the realm of politics, economics, and religion there exists many “false dichotomies” in which there seems to be a narrow field of two options to choose from. In reality, there is actually a larger set of possibilities beyond the pre-approved guidelines. In other words, you are asked to choose between black and white, leaving you to think that the only colors in existence are black, white and maybe gray, when in reality there is a whole palette of different shades and tints that are completely left out of the discussion. The statement, “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us” is a classic false dichotomy, because it only presents two options, both of which amount to violence, while completely neglecting the possibility of remaining neutral. Likewise, the traditional left/right paradigm is also a false dichotomy which forces people to choose between two seemingly different, but equally authoritarian sides.
Anarchists should not make the mistake of believing that they are a part of “the left” or “the right”. These terms are skewed beyond repair and have different meanings in different nations and at different points in history. Alliances with right and left have failed every time because ultimately the followers of the corporate political parties are still playing into the mainstream paradigm. This leaves them open to manipulation and adopting what Konkin called anti-principles. The mainstream left and right will always sell out the principled, but misguided anarchists who seek alliances with one side over the other. We should absolutely reach out to both the right and the left and attempt to bring our message to them as much as possible, but we must be careful not to sacrifice our principles. We should work to bring them towards our principled stance. Rather than believing the answer lies in one end of the political spectrum, freedom minded individuals should work to ally with like-minds from all sides. The danger is in believing that one end of the spectrum holds the one path to liberty and that the other side is the problem. This is the same false dichotomy that we sought to escape when we first abandoned the left/right paradigm and mainstream politics.
After waking up to the reality that the Democratic and Republican parties are controlled, many free thinkers have taken to a life of activism in hopes of changing the world. However, many of these people who broke through the mainstream left/right paradigm are now falling for another false paradigm leading to the same cycle of frustration and division that is seen in the mainstream political circus.The legitimate frustration felt by those seeking solutions has caused some on both the left and the right to become even more extreme in their dogmas and in their support of government. These individuals fail to remain consistent and instead fall prey to the deception of Statism once more.
An interesting aspect of the political spectrum in America is the fact that it is constantly changing and shifting. In America, Democrats and Republicans regularly trade positions and switch stances on important issues. For example, for a period of time after World War 2, prior to the red scare and the Cold War, the Republicans were known to take strong anti-war positions. The red scare and Vietnam War pushed conservatives towards a more pro-war position while the Democrats reacted in opposition, and subsequently became known as the anti-war party during the era of the New Left. In reality, neither corporate party is truly anti-war. They simply adopt anti-war rhetoric to gain the support of people who wanted peace. In terms of economic policy, “liberals” were traditionally advocates of free markets, while in today’s political climate most identifying with that label advocate strong government control of the economy. What this tells us is that both ends of the spectrum do not stand on principles, but are constantly manipulated by media hype, the whims of politicians, and calls for “pragmatism” in the face of both real and imagined political or cultural enemies.
In America, this has resulted in what has come to be known as the “Alt-Right” on one side and the “Social Justice Warriors” (SJW) or regressive left on the other. Many of those who now identify as Alt-Right came out of the 2008 Tea Party movement and the subsequent growth of the American Libertarian movement fueled by Presidential candidate Ron Paul. The former Congressmen from Texas was a student of Murray Rothbard and has actually been very outspoken against the Alt-Right. After the Libertarian movement failed to capture the presidency and end statism, many activists found themselves disillusioned with not only the political system, but with libertarian principles. Whether or not these people ever truly understood the message is debateable, but in the end this crowd went on to support Trump and has come to be associated with wanting to violently impose their vision of “freedom”. The Alt-Right has become obsessive with combatting their enemies: leftists, commies, cucks, SJWs and anyone else who does not support their heavy handed vision of society. In their obsession with their enemies they have lost sight of the goal of freedom.
On the other side of the spectrum are the social justice warriors, the hyper-vigilant group who focus on identity politics and seek to use the force of government to censor free speech in the name of political correctness. This group is constantly looking to shame any real or imagined instance of racism or bigotry. This often has the unintended consequence of emboldening bigoted people and taking away attention from legitimate instances of hate and bigotry. This group’s roots are in the progressive movement that believed the election of Barack Obama in 2008 was their moment. After eight years of expanding the wars, the Surveillance and Police State, targeting whistleblowers, and corporatism, the progressives lost faith in Obama. Many of this same crowd had their bubbles burst once more in the summer of 2016 when “Independent” Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders handed his revolution over to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Now they spend their time focusing on micro-aggressions, “call out culture”, and the bigotry of their perceived enemies on the right. Just like the Alt-Right, they have become obsessed with their “enemy” and have lost sight of developing solutions to the two-party system.
The left and right fear one another so much that they end up embracing the rhetoric of dictators in order to vanquish their political enemies and save their version of civilization. It is common for those on the left to venerate historical dictators like Stalin or Mao, and now increasingly common for the alt-right to embrace murderers like Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet. In fact, many in the alt-right, and even some confused Anarcho-Capitalists have recently been promoting the idea of throwing political opponents or “counter-revolutionaries” out of helicopters into the ocean, an inhumane practice that was notoriously employed during Pinochet’s reign of terror. They justify this outright call for violence by citing insidious libertarian infiltrator Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s “physical removal” proposal. Hoppe is a conservative monarchist who masquerades as an anarchist and espouses authoritarian views that are in total opposition to true libertarian values. In his book “Democracy, The God That Failed” Hoppe outlines his vision of a “free” society:
“One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society.”
Hoppe goes on to express his distaste for “alternative”, non-traditional lifestyles:
“Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They–the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centred lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism–will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.”
What Hoppe is describing is obviously a dictatorship, yet his supporters will insist that these type of aggressive tactics towards political enemies are necessary in order to save “western civilization.” Hoppe’s supporters have also said that he is being misinterpreted, but it seems fairly clear he imagines physically removing people from his ideal society, not just his own property. One common refrain from the alt-right is that they are here to save western civilization, or white culture, or European values, while disparaging “Eastern civilization”. This outlook tends to mask bigoted views and completely ignores the violence of the West and the accomplishments of the East. In reality, both eastern and western cultures are responsible for great achievements and systematic violence.
Essentially, the philosophy of the alt-right is that state violence or private violence is justifiable and necessary against political opponents who have ideologies that are deemed to be threatening or dangerous. According to their logic, the ideologies of their political enemies, whether it be communism, environmentalism or whatever, are viewed as acts of aggression in themselves, and thus they believe that they would be defending themselves by using violence against their enemies. While it may be true that certain ideologies can be precursors for acts of aggression, simply holding an idea is not an act of aggression, and does not warrant a forceful response.
This illogical sophism is not exclusive to the right either, leftists are regularly justifying violence against political enemies who have not aggressed against them, but have merely espoused views which they find threatening. This was seen clearly during protests surrounding the 2017 inauguration when white supremacist Richard Spencer was punched by a black-bloc protester while he was being interviewed on the street. The attack was largely celebrated by left leaning activists who felt that Spencer’s ideology was an act of violence which justified a forceful response. This is, of course, the same argument that the authoritarian right uses to justify violence against their political enemies. Spencer’s ideas may be absolutely disgusting, but if we allow violence to be used against his ideas, then that means anyone can arbitrarily decide that an idea is a threat to their existence, and then use philosophy to justify violence on any person they choose.
On the other hand, when Richard Spencer crosses the line from simply talking about having a white separatist community to wanting to physically remove or exterminate people of color, that takes a step closer to what we call aggression. No physical act of violence has been taken, but a threat has been issued. When someone has made it clear they want to use violence against you, do you allow them to grow in influence to the point that they might actually be able to get away with violence? Or do you preemptively attack them to stop their growth? And at what point do you decide to move? Should it be once they have become backed by the force of law? If so, we would argue that criminals are already in power and thus violence could be justified against them. We do not think such an action would achieve the goal of a free and ethical society so we choose not to initiate force. But some might propose that Statism is such a threat that they should use violence against those who vote. On other end of the spectrum someone might say that Anarchists are a threat to “law and order” so violence is justified against them. You see where we are going with this. This is a slippery slope that leads to barbarism and a reversal of our progress as a species. Remember, good ideas do not require force. We can convert hearts and minds with reason and logic, as well as leading by example.
Both the Alt-Right and the SJW’s are guilty of collectivizing their enemy and refusing to judge each individual according to their own behavior. This division can even be seen within the “alternative” and independent media. Journalist outlets once responsible for hard-hitting investigative news are now simply perpetuating the same false dichotomy while pretending to be anti-establishment, as they too have fallen victim to the trap of division. The divisive “alt” media has become no different than the divisive corporate media, with extremists on both ends having endless arguments and rarely discussing solutions.
In the end, the mainstream political left is manipulated by their compassion while the right is manipulated through their desire for independence. Compassion and a pursuit of independence are both admirable qualities, but they can be used against us. The right perceives compassion as negative because they can see how the left is manipulated, but at the same time, they do not see how they are being manipulated through their desire for independence. Likewise, the left perceives independence as negative because they see how it is used to manipulate their political enemies, but they can not see how their compassion is used against them.
Both sides play into the hands of the establishment by advocating violence and division and in this sense these groups work towards the same ends despite any apparent superficial differences. It is possible for rational people to be both compassionate and independent without being manipulated by government or being divided amongst one another.
The hate and division seen in politics should make one thing extremely clear: It is not a good idea to force large populations of people in a specific geographical location to live under the same rules, adhere to the same culture, fund the same projects and so on. People are unique individuals with a broad spectrum of beliefs and values. For optimum peace and prosperity each of these unique individuals should be able to live according to those beliefs and values, so long as they do not impede on their neighbors freedom to do the same.
UK Queen’s Statues Torn Down Amid Anger Over Mass Graves for Indigenous Children
This year may have had one of the most muted Canada Day celebrations, but this didn’t stop Indigenous protesters from making their anger felt – especially in the wake of the discovery of over 1,000 children’s bodies near the residential schools run by the Canadian state and church authorities.
And with churches being likely targeted by arsonists for the crimes of Catholic clergy, protesters are now attacking the symbols of Anglo colonialism – namely, statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.
Former students have testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad children died from preventable diseases, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”
The discoveries have churned up deep-seated anguish and memories of the suffering visited upon First Nations peoples, with many lashing out at the symbols of colonialism.
At least seven churches, all but one of which were Catholic, have also come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks.
In June, a statue of the late Pope John Paul II at a Catholic church in Edmonton was splattered with red paint and red handprints.
On Thursday, July 1, residents in Canada also held organized protests and pulled down the statues of the top figurehead of British colonialism: Queen Elizabeth II, as well as that of her great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Sky News reports that the toppling of the statues was accompanied by the chant, “No Pride in Genocide!”
In Ottawa, protestors gathered en masse at Parliament Hill chanting ”Cancel Canada Day” and ”shame on Canada,” urging an end to the national holiday over the deaths of Indigenous people.
Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. The event could take place by year’s end, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
However, it remains unlikely that the British crown will offer the same amends to Canada’s Indigenous nations who, like many across the globe, suffered greatly in British Colonialism’s worldwide search for riches and glory.
3 Reasons Why Introverts Are Undervalued in Today’s Society
It’s undeniable that our society favors assertive extroverted personalities with strong communication skills and underestimates the quiet ones. If you are an introvert, you have probably learned it the hard way.
It could be that you felt unseen in the classroom as a child or teen. Or you may have watched your less competent co-workers get a promotion thanks to their social skills.
It feels unfair, but if you think about our society, it makes perfect sense. The consumerist mindset that has become our second nature inevitably affects the way we treat other people. It seems that everything, including our personal qualities and worth as human beings, is translated into some kind of market value.
In other words, to make other people see your worth in personal or professional life, you need to be able to ‘sell yourself’. Yes, this expression alone tells it all.
You need to know how to make a good first impression, say the right things, and be assertive. If you can’t do it, you are perceived as incapable and uninteresting – whether we are talking about a job interview or an informal social gathering.
But it’s not the only reason why introverts are undervalued in our society. Here are a few more:
1. They are less efficient in teamwork
Communication and teamwork skills are required for all kinds of jobs. It seems that without being able to work in a team, it’s impossible to do your job even if your duties don’t involve interaction with clients.
Introverts are much more efficient when they work on their own and are given a certain extent of independence. They thrive in quiet environments with few distractions and interactions. This is when a quiet person gets the chance to unleash their creative self and make good use of their analytical skills.
Most office jobs don’t give employees this opportunity. Office meetings, group projects, phone calls and all the other attributes of a 9-to-5 job make it almost impossible for an introvert to be productive.
2. They don’t like to be in the spotlight
Sometimes it feels like we are living in a society of attention seekers. Today, you are expected to go public about the most personal matters, such as your relationship and family life.
People share their most intimate thoughts and feelings on social media, post updates about the most trivial events, such as what they had for dinner, and upload countless selfies.
Introverts are among those who still value privacy. They are less likely to showcase their lives online or share the details of their personal affairs with the whole world.
At the same time, the quiet ones don’t like to be in the spotlight at social events. An introvert will never interrupt you. They will listen to you and talk only when they have something important to say. This tendency to avoid attention can be mistaken for insecurity and even a lack of intelligence.
3. They prefer to be real than to be ‘nice’
If you want to make a good impression on others, you are expected to be nice. But what does it mean to be ‘nice’ anyway?
In an introvert’s mind, it equals saying things you don’t mean. Quiet personalities will never bombard you with compliments or say meaningless social pleasantries just to win your fondness. But if an introvert said something nice to you, then be sure that they truly meant it.
Small talk is another component of social relationships most introverts struggle with. To them, it embodies utterly dull, uncomfortable, and pointless conversations they can perfectly do without. For this reason, introverts are often mistakenly believed to hate people.
The truth is that they don’t – they just crave stimulating, meaningful conversations and choose their social circle more carefully than extroverts.
In my book, The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, I write about the reasons why so many introverts feel inadequate and alienated from other people in today’s society. It all goes down to social expectations this personality type has to deal with from a very early age.
But the good news is that every introvert can overcome the negative effects of these expectations and find the right path in this loud, extroverted world.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
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