These Are Strange Times We're Living In

Yes they are, and I think we all know it. Many of us are reluctant to admit it; but many of us are aware of it; and once you're aware of it, well... how can you ignore it?

War is everywhere. Be it for religious, political or commercial reasons, make no mistake, the heat is on. The rabid dogs have been unleashed and are biting at the heels of humanity. The world's most powerless powerful man, a snake-eyed Texan (named Bush I think, not that he's really one to worry about - he's too ignorant to know what he's doing; though I'd love to know who prompts him in his earpiece when fielding awkward questions from the media), was the other day declaring to the microphones of the syndicated press with trademark snide-ness to 'make no mistake, we are at War here.' Against who, what or why no-one can really say, especially those who are fronting it. The so called 'enemy' changes on a whim; a regime which is perceived to be a political asset at a certain time will be supplied with weapons from clandestine government sponsored arms trade deals only to be declared a rogue state and a threat to [rich Western] society years later once the goalposts have shifted. The culture of paranoia is here, now, available 24/7 via any medium you choose. You name it; it's there for the takers. And who's taking? Those who try to make out they are giving, mainly. Power [just say that word...] is a big deal. To some people it is a very big deal, and they want a piece of it. Once they've got a taste, they want more. If religion is the opium of the masses, Power is its' crack cocaine.

Money used to be the way to gain power; accumulate, consume, live your dreams through the promises of adverts, feed the machine. Money is no longer enough for the people who want power now though. Just as religion fell out of favour to money as humanity's favourite folly, so now money has fallen out of favour to the intangible, unquantifiable concept of absolute power. 'We've had them dancing to our tune for so long now,' the string pullers theorise, 'why not rein them in nice and tight?' Consumer spending is down, Western economies are falling in favour of Eastern ones, people are beginning to wake up to the maths of capitalism and realise that the balance does not lie in their favour.

Capitalism has been living on borrowed time in the West. Ever since Nixon took the dollar of the gold standard in the early 70s, the economic market has been based on fickle shifts, backroom deals and economic tinkering. When everything is relative, nothing is absolute, especially the so called wealth of the West, and the so-called wealthy know it. We may be entering a crucial period of man's history, much seems unsettled at present, or maybe it's a just one of many pockets of turbulence along the ride, who knows? It's hard to get perspective when the media barely skim the surface of what is really happening. The pace of life is quickening and for many it is hard to keep up. The pressure is building and the cracks are beginning to show. With most public services now privatised, governments are struggling to remain either profitable or relevant, relying on warfare, arms deals and the invention of new laws to sustain their privileged position. The paratroopers are rolled out with the paranoia, with propaganda no longer a fringe method of communication; the media are happy to oblige in developing the official line.

Yes, the war games are in play, make no mistake. But War does not sit well with the public and governments know it, spending millions on extravagant schemes in an effort to make War seem justifiable. But War is never justifiable, merely a sign of political failure, an inability to use power responsibly and positively. War is really a last resort control method, and control is a big thing for those who have power and wish to keep it. To have power is to have a status above others. To keep the power then, you must keep people below you, goes the thinking. With the big corporations holding all the money and the function of government changing to that of military protector and lawmaking buddy of the money-makers, comes big stakes and the need to ensure their citizens go along with the game plan. Hence the UK governments’ salivating appetite for the ID card scheme. After over two years of battling to get the controversial idea discussed in parliament and subtly but steadfastly attempting to coerce the strongly resistant public opinion in their favour, they have had to admit that they have 'oversold the idea of ID cards based on the benefits to the state and not of that to the public.' Anybody who believes that the government acts in the interests of the public should strongly consider this admission - it speaks volumes on the current mindset of policy making which is in effect at Downing Street. Even prominent Judges have spoken out against it - and when you see that the justice system is more liberal than its government you know things aren't quite right.

The ID card scheme extends beyond the issuing of cards to include a national database system which logs when and where the card (which would be required for many everyday transactions) is used, allowing government intelligence agencies to monitor and create a permanent log of your every move, accessible at their convenience. The implications of this are frightening, providing the basis for an Orwellian Big-Brother-esque police state (I know it’s an over-used phrase but what other point of reference is so analogous?). To distract the public from such matters, the establishment deals out many distractions to keep attention elsewhere, with newspapers and magazines happy to devote endless pages to celebrity and TV gossip and other staged matters designed to keep people in a state of suspended belief. Hence the current popularity of reality TV shows. Blur the boundary of what is real and what is staged, make the viewers at home feel that they too could be on the TV, half drunk on a sofa drivelling on about themselves to somebody they barely know, just like they do at home, except on national TV for millions of people to see. Oh, the irony of people being more concerned about Big Brother the TV show than they are about the Big Brother which is creeping in to encroach their lives in an all too real way.

Maybe the present reality is too much for some, they just want to stay in their comfort zone, in the bubble, not crack the shell and step out into the real world. These people need to fix up. To step out in the world is to grow as a person, not to worry about getting knocked or getting hurt or making mistakes for these things only serve to make you stronger and help you grow. Once people grow and become strong as individuals they realise they don't need to depend on the authorities and their umbrella groups to provide a framework for their existence, nor branded consumables to provide their enjoyment. This is a spirit which grows from an initial awareness and provides a state of being with a code to live by which reveals the true beauty of the world.

The human race existed for centuries without the over-baring un-necessity of governing rule. At least not in the sense in which we know it to exist today. Man is capable of judging for himself what is good and what is bad and is perfectly capable of applying that theory to others as well as himself. A government enforced code of living is not required for harmonious existence. Laws are no substitute for morals. In fact, given the current perversion the state is given to, lawmaking trends tend to oppose the natural moral code of man. The achievements of the elite are heralded at the expense of the progression of the race as a whole. Billions are spent by the rich on exploring space for dubious purposes while millions lie starving in the gutter. The priorities of the dictating minority are all skewed. People are not seen as equals; short term gains are all the narrow-minded, short-sighted power grabbers can understand. Instant gratification, the unachievable promise of the modern construct, has those hanging around the corridors of the powerhouses salivating like dogs in some kind of turn-of-the-century lab experiment. And they expect those they perceive as below them to follow suit. Yes, the trickle down theory is in effect.

But, in ever growing numbers, we are proving them wrong and refusing to play their game. Growing numbers of people are becoming aware of what is happening off-stage and the word is spreading. People are withdrawing from the mainstream, many aren’t sure where else to turn as yet, but the options are growing. The tide of mass consumerism is going out. High-Street spending is in constant decline, people are beginning to realise that the life they are being spoon-fed is an unfulfilling sham, invented for someone else’s gain. The proliferation of cheap technology in the developed world is allowing people to find their own voice, entertainment and audience. The so called ‘freedoms’ of the west have undoubtedly permeated society to a level where, in the right hands with the right focus, they could be used to bring about the empowerment of the individual and the marginalisation of the power of the state if the awareness and the willing is there in sufficient concentration. This theory would explain the sudden interest of the authorities to remove the few meaningful freedoms which remain. ‘We’ve had it good for so long, don’t let the proles get a foothold now,’ seems to be the mentality of the upper echelons.

Currently, much seems to be in the balance and it is very much upon the shoulders of individuals to educate themselves as to how the world in its current incarnation works and how it has the potential to work more harmoniously. None of these concepts are new; history has being repeating itself with regard to such matters for time immortal. But, as with all chains of development, periods of particular intensity are stumbled upon from time to time. Now may be one such time in the history of mankind and the balance of power lies not with the few who claim to hold it, but with the vast majority who are told they are subservient. Such is the perverse nature of our time. If the awareness spreads and the collective consciousness grows to encompass a significant spread of individuals, as it seems to be doing, then hopefully the efforts of the powerful minority to subvert mankind to its cause can be abated. If not, we may well be entering more than a period of turbulence in the ride. That is the level the stakes are currently at. Who will cash in their chips first remains to be seen but the desperation which is apparent from the actions of the power-holding organisations of governance suggests that the favour lies with the enlightened masses.

For the good of the human race, who are after all only one species of many on one planet of many in a galaxy of many, the continuation in their struggle against oppression from the few ignorant members of their own species who wish to exploit their own race for personal gain is the most positive and responsible way to benefit mankind as a whole. All else is bullshit. In-fighting and other such negativity achieve nothing expect for steps backwards and a dissolution of an otherwise achievable harmony.

The crux of the situation lies in people being prepared to reject the spoon-fed doctrine of unreality and search out the truth for themselves. If a significant body of people push for this, walls will crumble, borders will dissolve and the world will be a bigger, freer place. If, on the other hand, the Power-Mongers are allowed to have their way (something which requires nothing more than a lack of resistance to their goals) then life as we know it, with the freedom to be an un-oppressed individual as a human right, would cease to exist. For many people it already has.

While we can still make choices, we must make the right ones; uninformed decisions at a time like this could pave a road we don’t want to go down. Stand Firm.

August 2005