At the End of the Day

Better an open-minded system than a blind belief system.

I am often accused of writing about what I don’t want rather than what I do. I’ve never been able to follow that troll line of ‘thinking’, as there are various headings at the top of The Slog, and just the one click on these will explain in detail what I want. But it is in the nature of trolls to insist you occupy a very clear structural functionalist position on all cultural issues: failure to do this, you see, means they have nothing to hate, and/or that I lack conviction because I am neither one thing nor another.

Sadly, this view goes beyond trolls and infects the Believers. These folks are like trolls, except that instead of using streams of bile and multiple exclamation marks, they do at least trot out their chosen polemic, politely explaining at the end why they cannot imagine how anyone could conclude otherwise. As these belief systems are shown over time to be increasingly irrelevant, inaccurate, naïve and then delusional, so too the Believer’s faith becomes stronger.

My problem is that I am a born agnostic. This comes from a lucky right/left brain combo that forces me to both notice flaws, and enjoy the creative process of a new approach. Settled science is an oxymoron, and no enlightenment within the experience of Homo sapiens is ever likely to be The Answer. What I or others think society should do at any given point in time can only ever be the Latest Idea, not the final solution. History shows that certainty among the faithful produces mass slaughter of the innocents.

Today, our economics, politics, and social policies are almost all cul de sacs from which there is no escape; those who support them treat every last piece of evidence that they’re utterly extinct with the insistence that One More Heave will wake them up. It is sometimes amusing, but more often terrifying, to watch.

Austerity followers, Keynesians, Neocon Friedmanites, Muslims, Feminists, liberal educationalists, social workers, dieticians, investment bankers, Tories, Europhiles, Socialists, hangers, financial journalists, human rights lawyers, Nanny legislators, equality obsessives, libertarians, trade union leaders, Catholics, Warmists, Climate change deniers, quantitative easers, floggers, moon landing conspiracists, Harriet Harman, Boris Johnson, Methodists, surgeons, separatist Scots, the BMA, homoaeopaths, sexual orientation fanatics and Birmingham City supporters. What they all have in common is the all-encompassing, cast-iron certainty that they and they alone follow the one true light…..and everything else is simply misguided tosh.

The conundrum here, however, is that they are in turn right about at least one thing. But from this one grain of truth, they conclude that an unbeatable brown-sliced loaf of healthy, nourishing bread can be fashioned. It cannot.

For the purposes of today’s piece, I want to keep things simple, and restrict the demonstration of my thesis to a couple of alleged absolutes that are clearly not at all absolute, or even remotely convincing any more – but which remain close to being religions for their followers: universal equality collectivism, and globalist neocon economics.

Collectivist socialism starts from the twin fantasy that all humans nurture infinite brotherly love for each other, and everyone should have an equal rank in society. Man is a pack animal incapable of resisting the temptation to create hierarchy, and often keen to punish those who get uppity in any way about that idea. In turn, Man is a species whose IQ, metier and chemical brain formulations vary wildly between individuals. So not only does empirical recording make a nonsense of the socialist ideal, anthropology ensures that any attempts at it will fail. From 1789 onwards in modern history, this has without exception been the case. Wherever the socialist cultural and economic model has been applied, the result has been mass executions, imprisonment without trial, perversion of the ideal, imperial hubris, and bloody carnage.

But for all that, the sans culottes, Bolsheviks, postwar Labour Government, and early Cuba of Fidel Castro were right about one thing: the elite was taking the piss, bigtime. Aristocrats, Bourbons, Romanovs and Havana Mobsters got their just desserts, and are not greatly missed by those of sound mind.

I have nothing against elites, by the way. In fact, I’m all for accountable elites whose privileges are deserved. But that was clearly not true of the above examples.

Neocon unregulated globalist economics are equally based on a ridiculously optimistic view of the bigger-brained Homo erectus we laughably refer to as Homo sapiens. The ‘theory’ states that, if left to themselves, most members of a hoarding species with an overactive danger-instinct will not only create positive, moral wealth at all times, but actually trickle the wealth down upon les Miserables, all the time donating vast oceans of philanthropic social guidance to the less fortunate, while paying all their taxes on time and in full to ensure the nearest thing to The Fair Society that can be delivered on this Earth. They will cooperate globally, exporting and importing at all times and in all ways such that perfect interdependence removes the possibility of war permanently, and economies of scale bring prices down and down and down until everyone is well off and satisfied.

It sounds terrific, but any social anthropology primer will tell you that it is utter bollocks; and again, modern history I’m afraid shows that disparities of wealth increase crime, prostitution, social instability, personal anxiety, braindead media, and derivative, stagnating arts output. Above all, the idea that what Man wants above anything else is money and material comfort has been comprehensively disproved in British, Japanese and US studies going back some fifty years or more. Further, persuasive qualitative neuroscience of late suggests a far higher interest in family, children and leisure hobby than office work and money. To be blindingly simple for a second, weekends have not evolved for nothing.

Very recent history also demonstrates across four continents that multinational capitalist business is slow to respond, delusional to a dangerous degree, dishonest at almost every level, ethically bereft among its senior ‘management’, and extremely unlikely to eschew tax evasion, let alone avoidance. Indeed, in 2012 the ideas of Milt Friedman have been disproved on so many dimensions, his followers are of late reduced to quoting the old scoundrel as if he might have been a human fortune cookie.

But here too, Friedman was right about one crucial thing: the day you give the State (or Labour Unions) any responsibility for innovation on a small scale – or running large segments of the economy as a whole – is the day good people will leave for the private sector, all commercial perspective will disappear, and useless senior Mandarins and closet Scottish Communists will aim for maximum structural complexity in order to ensure full employment of, um, senior civil servants and Scottish Communists. In short, Sir Humphrey and Red McLenin will start taking the piss.

Now, if you’ve been reading attentively, the chances are you’ll have spotted the commonality across both these diametrically opposed socio-economic belief systems: the tendency of the powerful to take the piss.

Were you to show your ultimate wisdom and make me Caesar Sloganicus, it is this human tendency I would try not to cure, but to at least control. To aim not for unachievable equality, but equality before the law. To aim not for the doomed idealism of zero privilege, but fully and recognisably earned privilege. To disabuse Union leaders, media oligarchs and bankers of the idea that their influential wealth entitled them to become the Sovereign power in the land.  And above all, to make both the political and governmental classes fully accountable for their actions.

And then were you – having observed the outstanding success of these drives – to give me the plebiscitary (and thus fully earned) title of Imperator Sloganicus I, I would enact but one body of legislation.

This would dismiss the idea that either collectivism or globalist deregulation were The Only Alternatives, and instead encourage community entrepreneurial and mutual models to flourish. It would tax multinationals fairly, downsize bourses, ban certain etrading speeds, abolish State ownership, mutualise the Civil Service, remove the nation-State from all commerce, make nationality the key requirement for any media owner, and stop all greenfield building dead in favour of land use for food.

Or put another way, build a balanced, legally competitive, economy with a lower requirement for imports, and near-zero dependence on lavatory paper masquerading as currency. I would argue that a multivariate economy of mixed motives should also produce better life balance, less mercantilist short-termism, a more ethical foreign policy, and reduce crime while increasing the belief in personal responsibility.

I think it would work better than the complete crock we have now, but I couldn’t guarantee that – and I would certainly reject the idea that the result was likely to be Utopian. So after giving it a decade without wreckers and cheats, I’d ask for an objective review, and listen to ideas about how to make it better still.

We learn from our mistakes: politicians go wrong in the 21st Century by pretending they never make any. It wasn’t Galileo or Copernicus that diluted the power of the Church of Rome: it was Rome’s insistence on total belief in what was provably untrue. Unless, next time around, enough people admit that neither collectivism nor bourse-driven speculation has all the answers, the West will decline for all time. 2012 in the US, 2015 in the UK – and probably 2013 in Germany – will be decisive in deciding what happens.

Inflexible, as we have seen from Frau Doktor Merkel’s antics, does not always mean decisive in a positive sense. Better a practical, informed system than a blind belief system.

53 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Most of the way – but – the powerful are not taking the piss deliberately – actually they believe they are superior and that they are correct – and that they will succeed and get their own way – whilst the rest of us simply suck seed.

    • JW – you are right to excoriate those who hold cast-iron beliefs and name them as below. Why such a short and narrowly-selective list? Why no protestant evangelicals, Aston Villa supporters. What have they failed to do, along with many others, to escape being named among the “the guilty”?
      “Austerity followers, Keynesians, Neocon Friedmanites, Muslims, Feminists, liberal educationalists, social workers, dieticians, investment bankers, Tories, Europhiles, Socialists, hangers, financial journalists, human rights lawyers, Nanny legislators, equality obsessives, libertarians, trade union leaders, Catholics, Warmists, Climate change deniers, quantitative easers, floggers, moon landing conspiracists, Harriet Harman, Boris Johnson, Methodists, surgeons, separatist Scots, the BMA, homoaeopaths, sexual orientation fanatics and Birmingham City supporters.”
      You are wrong, by the way, about Frau Doktor Merkel. Inflexible, she is NOT. She may be wrong, in the self-defeating. What you see as her refusal/slowness to eschew austerity simply reflects her perception as to how far and fast she can take her party and the German voter.

  2. You write “the West will decline for all time” absolutely, because any society that starts to think it needs to guard more what it has than what it can get, and for example imposes a tax on risk-taking, is going down

    Using your selections of words I would argue that “the powerful” the “not-risky”, are taking a huge piss on those perceived as “risky”, those who are therefore already been pissed on by markets and bankers.

    There is not one single bank regulator out there, that can explain why the hell capital requirements for banks must be higher when lending to risky than when lending to not-risky, since the former have never ever caused a major bank crisis.

  3. So, basically we would need to make you a dictator of the world in order to enact all of theses equalities/fairnesses :-) And if evil, unfair people tried to stop your system from being put in place, well, we could just put those people on an island somewhere to shut them up long enoigh to let this utopian world be formed.

    I like it! Let’s do it.., and I’ll be your second in command and I promise I will not let the power go to my head!

    • Already a willing acolyte steps forward to assist in this new world order, one of many no doubt, the allure of power never fails to attract.

      Nearly all of them hopefully believers in the word of Our Ward.

      As I do, in the main.

      Not so much when the word is vote for me, or when the belief in ones own press gains prominence, as the recent some that do episode did.

      But certainly when the body of the words are true.

      Still, anyone offering to deliver us from evil merits an Amen, or 33 as some prefer, especially being that you’re a theist.

  4. It appears to me that we humans cooperate when we can and kill when we must. No system can avoid that unhappy immutable fact.

  5. All the above simply underlines where we are stuck as a species, namely in the basic third dimension!! Only ascension to the higher realms will set us free, or so im told.

  6. JW. Seriously, I am in awe of your magnificent output. ’twere you wrote for a newspaper I would buy it for your column alone. Terrific.

  7. I thought I was a Socialist. I appear not to be. I have no problem with people having different rank in society, I don’t believe everyone should have the same amount of wealth. I have no problem with talent being highly rewarded. I have no problem with the laws of supply and demand. Competition is good. Aspiration is good. Greed can even be good. Piss takers who think working is for mugs should be booted out on their arses to work for the public good (not Tesco). The men who serially impregnate stupid women should be forced to work to pay for their offspring and they and the women should be made to attend parenting classes.

    My understanding of socialism is that we all contribute to the general well-being according to our ability. A dog eat dog right wing world makes the world shit for everyone, including the rich. Decent public schools, hospitals and homes benefit everyone, whether you have recourse to better private alternatives or not. I don’t resent paying tax and I would happily pay more if it was going to improve things for everyone. The sick and disabled should be looked after. Who in Christ’s name thinks it is acceptable to treat the most vulnerable in society the way they are being treated today? Seriously ill people having their lifelines cut off, cancer patients being told to stack shelves. All of them labelled scroungers and liars. I couldn’t give a toss if some lead swinging chiseller gets away with pretending to have a bad back if it means the genuinely suffering are treated with a measure of decency.

    What level of sophistication are we at when a decent person who has worked all their life can fall ill with a horrible disease and suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of the Atos treatment, labelled a scrounger and a burden on society and threatened with total deprivation? I am ashamed to live in this country at the moment. The only logical recourse for some of these people is suicide.

    Austerity is a euphemism for transferring wealth to the poor.

    We have got ourselves in a financial mess and the poor are being made to pay for it, along with the middle classes. Why the hell can’t the rich, who caused the problem in the first place, be asked to contribute? Is that socialism?

      • Yeah. sounds like the sheriff of Nottyham is back in power: stealing from the poor to give to the rich… where is robin hoodie when you need him/her

    • looks like you’re about half way along the process in waking up and becoming a libertarian. hopefully you won’t get stuck there and spout radical centerist idiocy or third way rubbish. Let me answer a few of your concerns about a no government free market existence.

      What if a good hardworking person fell ill and found themselves a burden to society?? They wouldn’ in a free market society; they are only a burden in a statist society where other people are forced to pay for them. In a free market economy they wouldn’t have had their wages pillaged by the government and would have been able to cover themselves with health insurence quite easily. Whats more as other people also wouldn’t have had thir wages pillaged, they would be more likely to feel charitable and help such an individual.

      Austerity is a euphemism for transferring wealth to (from??) the poor. Austerity is a term being misrepresented and misuesd. If austerity means cutting government spending, I’m all for it. However, if it means increasing government theft through taxation and making people pay for other people’s mistakes I’m completel opposed to the idea. We need to move back to a society where people actually pay for what they use – this would help poor people. Currenctly someone working on the minimum wage had to subsidise: policians, wealfare claiming deadbeats, schools for other peoples children, other peoples health care, the banking sector, the olympics etc etc…let them keep all their wages and you will offer them a chance to improve their own lives. And for socialists concerned with helping the poor, just look at the poverty levels and wealth disparities in socialist societies throughout history – if you want to help the poor you should be a capitalist.

      A dog eat dog (right wing??) world makes the world shit for everyone including the rich. No it doesn’t. People can cooerperate in mutualy benificia volentary agreements making the world better for everyone. In the industrial revolution we lived in more of a free market than we have now. Everyone’s living standards increased, the poor and rich alike. Or take Russia, east germany, or eastern europe – ask people living there if they think their lives were better in soviet times (even though what we currently have is not free market, but at least slightly more so than during the soviet disaster). You’re assertion if you oppose a world of people interacting out of self interest is that people need to be forced (with the threat of violence or prison or theft) to act according to virtue. Who decides what is virtuous? In our socialist society its the politicians, the media, and the accademics. All of whom are obviously careerist, bought and paid for, and corrupt. And even if we lived in a democratic society, who is to say the majority is right, fair, benevolent? I like the freedom to act as an individual, free from the mob – the mob so easily manipulated by the bought and paid for politicians, media, and the accademics.

      • @ mr maxi phycho – And even if we lived in a democratic society, who is to say the majority is right, fair, benevolent? I like the freedom to act as an individual, free from the mob – the mob so easily manipulated by the bought and paid for politicians, media, and the accademics..

        Hear hear.

      • @psycho

        As a former academic, I object to your description of academia as ‘corrupt’. I am not going to justify my position/view on yours, it’s beneath me.

        As to the rest of your posting, you make some valid points, though many would contest the price paid by workers to avoid the workhouse in the industrial revolution improved *their* living standards.

        And I speak as someone who for 55 years had half their family oppressed by Communism so am I hardly socialist.

    • Jeepers, you are definitely not a socialist. There is a really annoyingly successful tactic the British left have of presenting the contents of your second paragraph of being socialism and your third paragraph of being right wing. You could not be more wrong.
      Socialism is responsible for more repression and poverty than anything else man has devised.
      Your first paragraph is pure conservatism.You could not hold those thoughts and be socialist.
      Don’t get me wrong our conservative party don’t amount to much, I’m talking ideologies here not political parties.

    • “The men who serially impregnate stupid women should be forced to work to pay for their offspring and they and the women should be made to attend parenting classes.”

      Why wouldn’t you force the women to work instead of the men – why do the men get the double punishment and women effectively (as they do now) get rewarded (with a mans labour) for having a child which neither of them can afford ? The only thing that no-one seems to want to try is making women take responsability for producing (unfunded) babies. The morning after pill works…….abortion works………..until people start laying the blame for unaffordable children where it belongs, there is no chance of dealing with the problem. Men do not produce babies (whether they want them or not) – never have and never (for the forseeable future) will.

      Sorry about the rant – it is just that women are always saints and men are always sinners (when having sex is all either of them agreed on) – and a cure for having a child is always there for free for women – yet somehow the ‘blame’ is always passed onto the man who has absolutely no control or even entitled to an opinion on the outcome of a ‘sex for fun’ event.

      • “Quote”Sorry about the rant ” Yes, morning star and so you should be! because rant is what it is.

        another quote”Men do not produce babies (whether they want them or not) – never have and never (for the forseeable future) will”… AND the last time I checked: Women do not impregnate themselves with playdoh designer sperm! I don’t even think explaining to you about the intiricases of sexual intercourse with the intent to produce a child would help you at all, your understanding of such matters is appaulingly shallow. as to your BIG input about men being forced to be doubly punished just check back to recent history when women were not allowed to work. those pesky Feminists changed all that. Now women work and bring up the children and look after the home do the shopping and cooking.
        I can’t even be bothered to educate you, but what I would find difficult to believe .. is this : I simply cannot imagine any sane, of age, consenting woman wanting to have ‘sex for fun’ with YOU!

        ‘sex for fun’ says it all really. You are BOTH responsible for birth control. If you are unsure about your contract for ‘sex for fun’ Wear a condom and have an injection yourself and STFU.

  8. “Whenever the socio/economic model has been applied, the result has been mass executions, imprisonment without trial, perversion of the ideal & bloody carnage”.
    This is undoubtedly true, but one has to ask, why do things have to reach such a pass before any action is taken? Why do people always have to be starving, desperate, at the end of their tether, before they will come together, setting petty differences aside, in order to create a force that will overthrow these over-weening arrogant scoundrels without bloodshed?
    Will it ever happen in the West, either on the continent or on our little island, this Quiet Revolution, or will we succumb like our ancestors to the use of the rope or the guillotine, or will we just submit, & bow our heads as long as there is a tele that works & cheap junk food to be had?

  9. JW, the idea of mutuals is very alluring, but ….

    – given our inescapable pack-animal nature, how on earth does one overcome the tendency for the scum to rise to the top, as it so often seems to do in any organisation of people … from the NHS to the Knitting Circle Steering Group.

    (I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I fear it would be very difficult).

    (Disclosure: Equitable Life victim).

  10. Saturday evening,after a few glasses of a decent sauvignon blanc,in the run up to the Greek exit in September,as the market may predict in August,gold is for dreamers,sure the Spanish will be the next one down the loo,BUT ,dear sloggers,there is a buying opportunity coming in equities,after the sell off .Capitalism,don’t you love it?

    • The way I’m playing it is I’m buying gold, silver, and miners and small resource stocks between now and late september. From then I’m just saving all my wages in cash in anticipation of a big crash in equities some time early on in obamas next term.

  11. Agree entirely, how do you stop those in power / elite from taking the piss though?

    We are told and indicated by most actions that this is all part of the privileges.

    • You could try the Chinese business ‘ethics’ model – whereby bad behaviour is rewarded with a bullet in the back of the scull. I bet it would focus a few minds……………

  12. It wasn’t Galileo or Copernicus that diluted the power of the Church of Rome: it was Rome’s insistence on total belief in what was provably untrue. Source for this monstrous egregious statement? Actually the Church has held – nay and still holds that the earth is static and that the universe goes around the sun, She has never rescinded the judgement that she passed down on Galileo in 1611 and 1633 that heliocentrism is heresy. And she is right! Yea, even science is proving her right. Oh I know that I am going to be shot down as a Catholic fundamentalist crackpot, but hey that’s fine, because I would rather be on the side of truth than bow down to the god of scientism.
    http://galileowaswrong.blogspot.co.uk/. Read this site without prejudice and, suspending all received belief from the world of pop science and applying your critical skills, objectively analyse the argument as laid out: that there is more evidence for a geocentric non-moving earth than for a Copernican heliocentric one. As Sungenis, the site owner says, give one piece of evidence for the heliocentric earth. Even Einstein says that what works in his equations for a heliocentric and rotating earth work equally well for a geocentric one. In fact, there were a series of experiments in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, by Michelson and Morley which all returned the same results; that the earth was at rest and has no evidence of rotation. But the world of science couldn’t accept that, so Einstein, an atheist, came up with his Special Theory of Relativity. In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that the
    universe’s galaxies were red-shifted in equidistant concentric circles with Earth apparently in the center of the distribution. He later writes in his 1937 book about the consternation this caused in his mind:
    “…Such a condition would imply that we occupy a unique position in the universe, analogous,
    in a sense, to the ancient conception of a central Earth…This hypothesis cannot be disproved,
    but it is unwelcome and would only be accepted as a last resort in order to save the phenomena.
    Therefore we disregard this possibility…the unwelcome position of a favored location must be
    avoided at all costs… such a favoured position is intolerable…” These are but two examples from Sungenis book “Galileo Was Wrong The Church Was Right”
    And Why do we say the Church is right? Because she holds that there are objective truths that have been given by God. Her belief in the geocentric universe stems from the first few verses of Genesis where God created the world first and the sun and stars on Day 4, so it doesn’t even lend itself to a Big Bang theory (one of the proponents being Lemaitre, a Catholic priest!), the accepted dogma of the high priests of physics. Nowhere is there any mention of a moving earth in holy scripture but always a moving sun, moon and stars. In Joshua, when the Israelites were doing there customarily twatting of the enemy – this time the Amorites – he, Joshua, specifically commands the sun and the moon to stand still, not the earth.

    So the reason why the Galileo case is so important to Science and the world is that the Church has always upheld this teaching to be true in accordance with all the early church fathers and mediaevals as part of it’s infallible teaching. The god of scientism and its devotees have always looked at the Church and said oh well you were wrong there, so what else are you wrong about; and to be true, the Church has wriggled and squirmed and tried to come to terms with this upstart deity in the pantheon. But if you read his book or the articles laid out in the blogspot you will find that Dr. Sungenis posits a rational and persuasive argument for his defence of the Church’s position. But so indelibly engraved is it on our collective consciousness, so accepted in our universities of academe, that man recoils in horror at being drawn back to the obvious conclusions: the world is at rest, at the centre of the universe; we occupy a special place in the universe. Galileo and Copernicus were wrong, the Church was right, after all. But can man then make the next step and bow down the God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses and his Holy Catholic Church?
    PS In your 4th paragraph you list Catholics Muslims and Methodists, but, notice that you leave out Jews (just an oversight eh John?). Well, our pedigree runs from Adam to the end of time, as Christ promised that his Church that he divinely established on earth will last till the end of the world. For the last two thousand years He has kept His word, even if we have strayed, as the Israelites did in the Old Testament.
    If I maybe so bold, it is rather you who regard every belief system as dead-end cul-de-sacs with the same pomp and pride as the one whose motto is non serviam. But what we learn from what the devil lacked Our Lady, the Mother of God had in abundance: Humility

  13. As ever a stimulating viewpoint.
    Of course, turmoil does, at least, produce interesting (important?) art. The Renaissance in Italy, Weimar Germany, even 70’s Britain produced interesting art.
    Damien Hirst is naturally not interesting-the product of a(n) (over)wealthy class entirely secure in its status.
    Sorry, bit of a trite and unoriginal point but true nonetheless, (I think).

  14. I’ve heard it argued that the dawn of agriculture was when the rot set in.

    Only once there was a produce surplus was there something of value to hoard, to trade, to guard, to fight over and to tax.

    The hierarchical society – the playground of the socios – all flows from this.

    So, perhaps your new dawn should be based on hunting and gathering?

  15. “Catholic and proud of it!….well if you believe all that then Clapton can’t play the guitar…on yer bike religoius troll…religion as currently practised is the root of mankinds problems. My god is better than your god…RC? “Radio Controlled” from the Vatican…if your faith gives you comfort then fine, but do keep it to yourself…as maybe I should have, but as you posted it seemed right to reply; with all due respect. As Dave Allen used to sign off with – “May your god go with you”.

    “At the end of the day” you have kinda made John’s point don’t you think?

    • Where are you?
      AWT, EST,GMT,EET,MET,PST…??
      We need time to dump before you depress our portfolios please.

      • Hmm. These gentlemen seem to believe in a simultaneous deflation and hyperinflation. That’s a neat trick. A bit like a weather forecaster predicting hot and cold at the same time.

  16. “History shows that certainty among the faithful produces mass slaughter of the innocents.”

    I may be off the beat here more than a bit selecting this sentence from the whole, but if you applied the above to most everyone, you’d be closer to reality I suspect. An opinion based only on personal observation of course, so not provable and possibly distorted by my take on things.

    But when was the last time anyone here had a conversation with someone who wasn’t certain that the view expressed was correct and no other would be considered? When was the last time either side in an opposing argument changed their view during the debate? Yet surely both sides can’t always be correct so we all must be wrong about something, musn’t we?

    In my view confidence can be good and is probably essential but certainty has the potential to be anything but.

    • You’re right too course Jwoo, an individual’s perspective must by its very nature always different from everyone else, even someone who is standing shoulder to shoulder.

      It seems to me that the correct premiss for the start of every discussion is that each participant’s view is wrong, thus needing the evidence of others to prove the correctness of an alternative view.

      I wonder how difficult a concept that would prove in a world of right minded people?

  17. ” Climate change deniers, ” are included in your list.
    I am not sure who these are as no-one denies climate change. (I realise you included warmists also). If, by ‘climate change deniers’ you mean those who are strongly convinced that man-made global warming from CO2 is the biggest scam of all time, then these ‘deniers’ might more accurately be described as ‘open minded people who can see through and object to the biggest scam in the history of mankind’

  18. Almost every system would work, providing anyone who doesn’t like it, can opt out. That way you would have loads of little states, each vying to attract followers and taxpayers.
    FInd a way to make that work, and we can all be happy.

  19. Oh dear.
    This on a Sunday. I will really have to reread this tomorrow. The beef lies heavy; the Merlot gives a degree of buoyancy (to the beef) and the content (of the statement) confusion.

  20. Good post, JW. Only one odd thing, I think…. disparities of wealth leading to derivative stagnating arts output? I don’t recall the Medici were committed Norwegian social democrats with a minimum wage and progressive taxation. Rape and pillage were more the order of the day in the renaissance.

  21. John, I do embrace your ideoligy, although I am not sure why you felt the need to address them for the droll trolls. The thing about trolls are: if you are left wing – you are commy if you are right wing -you are facist if you are somewhere in the middle you are being evasive if you refuse to vote -you are not entitle to complain about the government in power. What is say to such people who question my right to express my ideoligy is this…two fingers waving at them. Simples.

    I can openly say I am very sceptible about the ‘moon landing’ ok i WILL all out and say it was just a farce. As for climate change deniers I accept climate change is ongoing but the scam of GLOBAL WARMING should be challenged. I have had the privilage of working in a private sector company. one manager for 35 staff all doing different jobs. He was an overall manager every individual was responsible for their own workload. It was tight window of output so everyone mucked in to get the finnished product out and took a pride in customer satisfaction. There was no ‘elite’ or prima donna’s. Just the owner/Director, one manager and staff. we all had bonuses equally from director to cleanning staff. We all worked over time when needed and were allowed to leave early if the production had been completed early. I worked in a public run service… staff 25, 2 directors managers 15, 3 supervisors! The rules changed almost daily. absence from suffering from stress ( and it really was stress) was exceptionally high,moral was low service was shoddy, service users were treated as an inconvenience – people to be tolerated. John, if you have the right people in the job all of your ideas could be easily achieved. As I said we used to be self sufficient until someone told us we couldn’t be!

  22. I’m voting for you – when are you standing!

    Almost everyone has made valid points with the exception of the religious person, who frankly should have read your post properly – galileo and einstein’s theories are just that. – theories – ways of looking at the world that are the best models that we have at the moment to explain how things are. The world is the centre of the universe – well it is because that’s where I live and I’m the centre of my universe!
    It always amazes me how religons try to convince us that what people thought thousands of years ago is somehow more worthy than ideas which came later. I realise our present global predicament is a bit of a backwards step from previous incarnations, but you have to look at it in terms of a much longer history. It’s hopefully a bit of a temporary downward turn on an otherwise upward slope. People used to believe in sun gods and the like – the newer religions slate them as being pagan/idolatory, etc, but the newer religions, (christian, muslim, jews etc) are just more of the same – really just fairy stories – at the end of the day, there’s as much evidence to say that santa delivers all the christmas presents at christmas as there is that god created the earth.
    The main point has to be that the unaccountable rich and powerful have to be made accountable – if you insist on being in power, you must be prepared to suffer the consequences of your f*%#ups, not expect the plebs you’re in charge of to carry the can. The people who have not grabbed the reins of power can’t be held responsible, (they only have to share some of the blame if they’ve had a REAL say in who’s in charge and what they do)

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