A CHALLENGED CIVILISATION: the rise and rise of divisive belief






A challenging opener as my thesis for this week: the acceptance of divisive and discredited mores and ideologies by a minority is at the core of our species problem.

Consider for a second what happened in Japan earlier this morning. New data emerged to show that consumption fell by 0.8%, while the Yen remained stubbornly strong as a currency. A BoJ spokesman admitted, “there simply was no sign of a driver in the economy”.

Gloom on the Nikkei? Not a bit of it: the index shot up by 7.2%, despite the glaringly obvious fact that Abenomics are going nowhere. Abenomics will remain in the straitjacket, in the padded cell, in the insane asylum,  with no release date in sight.

The commentariat’s ‘analysis’ of this extraordinary crowd behaviour was first, that the market had been oversold last week, and second, that the Tokyo exchange needed to catch up with the rebound in Western markets from last Friday.

So to be clear about it, Nirp has so far done nothing except the opposite of what it was supposed to do, Japanese debt (at 260% of gdp) will offer the attractive carrot of paying to lend to Tokyo, deconsumption is accelerating, the biggest QE per head in history still can’t get inflation going, and all this makes Japan such a gold-plated safe haven, the currency is rising to make export trade even more difficult. So let’s have the biggest market rally since 2005, and then we’ll have the full set.

On this sort of thinking sits the fate of the world economy. And that economy faces a dire future because of the glaring disconnect that continues between the financialised capitalism of monetarist drivel, and the real global slump out there which, without QE being counted as ‘gdp’, would be even more bleedin’ obvious.

A couple of talking heads on the business channels were openly suggesting in the last hour that we should abandon monetarism in favour of – you’ll love this – “more innovative economic stimulation”.

Anchor: What do you mean by ‘innovative’?

TH: Oh you know, infrastructural investment, government schemes and so on….

Anchor: Like FDR’s New Deal then?

TH: Correct, yes.

Anchor: From 1934?

TH: Yes.

I’m on the case of inventing a more innovative method of cutting grass myself. It looks remarkably like a pair of nasal-hair scissors, but it’s very innovative.


Now think for a few moments about the state of the ‘Opposition’ Labour Party in Great Britain.

I’m sure most people who don’t know any better would agree that Labour’s role is to be the Party of the Underdog, and the opponent of all things colonial or imperial. Which probably explains why the bunch of corrupt bullies in Brussels-am-Berlin who pummelled the Greeks into submission after grabbing most of the old Soviet satellite States seem so attractive to the Party, and why the vast majority of Labour members are anti-Brexit.

Although split on almost every other issue, Labour remains rock solid in its support for a dysfunctional currency, and the creation of an EU Standing Army by an Italian. What it appears to be divided about, however, is how to oppose the destruction of legal rights, communities, police objectivity and media freedoms in the UK by a Government chiefly run by incompetent pillocks with an odd gleam in at least one eye.

Since 2010, when Ed Balls allowed Camerlot into power by alienating the Liberal Democrats, the Party has landed not a single telling blow on the corrupt liar Hunt, the featherweight Osborne, the heartless Duncan-Smith, the constitutionally braindead Theresa May or the empty superficiality of David Cameron.

Taking the main scandals and banana skins one by one, the right wing media exposed MP corruption, left wing journalists and luvvies revealed Newscorp criminality, the WASPI women with SNP help highlighted the female pensions scam, another group JENGba is leading the charge against the nakedly ‘Special Powers’ potential of Joint Enterprise law, and NHS staff themselves – with huge support from all corners of the blogosphere – have been left to defend the best thing Attlee Labour produced. Potentially the biggest scandal of all – the HSBC/BBC link – has been publicised by one man, Nick Wilson…who lost his home and his life chasing this truly foul bank to earth.

Burnhamite Labour and the previous Ed Miller Band seemed content throughout to follow the Blairite strategy of running away a lot. Burnham himself, for example, has pledged his support for JENGba, but done nothing. Faced with a vote about bombing Syria, he abstained.

Now – through their own smug idleness – Fat Labour has been thrashed by the Corbynistas of the New Honest Left. The honesty soon ran out of principles it could break and present as ‘inclusivity’. The Party billed by Ed Minigland as Your Friend in Tough Times has adandoned even more of its traditional franchise, in favour of simmering mutual detestation of the bicycle brigade on one side and the Thatcherlites on the other.

In a nutshell, Labour is torn by the choice between failing monetarism, and reversion to the old mix of TUC barons alongside those who cannot go more than 24 hours without expressing solidarity with Urugayan radical feminist collectives. As for the only solution open to post-Miliband Labour – an alliance with the SNP who are at least as Left as them and share the blind Pugh approach to Brussels….since last September, the phones have not started ringing. If you want a measure of how ecumenically useless Labour can be, you could do a lot worse than study the unravelling shambles that is the Left Out axis on the Brexit issue.

As a species, we are abandoning new frontiers in favour of fundamentalism, and eschewing cooperation in favour of catechism.

One can see it happening in social policy, politics, economics, fiscal approaches, religion, feminism.

It is confirmed through the linguistic defence mechanisms the self-appointed priests give themselves: ‘No Turning Back’ in the UK Conservative Party, and ‘Progressive’ among US Democrats being two classic examples.

There is a well-trodden Roman Road here, and the staging points are called Process, Consistency , Loyalty, Heresy, Extremists, Failure, Special Powers, Room 101, and Fascist Consensus.

Keep right on to the end of the Road

Keep right on to The End.

Related at The Slog: The sorry predictability of Health Secretary Hunt

54 thoughts on “A CHALLENGED CIVILISATION: the rise and rise of divisive belief

  1. And, this today in the Indie, how much longer before it’s a criminal offence NOT to purchase something you neither need nor want?

    ‘Israel boycott ban: Shunning Israeli goods to become criminal offence for public bodies and student unions
    Critics say move amounts to a ‘gross attack on democratic freedoms’


    One wonders just how much pressure was applied and by who.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Maybe weere all too much heads up taking note of everyone elses bizniss.
    More heads down enjoying whot weve got and maybe running a corner shop or ebay site and doing it propaly to make a nice stash of cash for the grandkids.


  3. On this article i think its a GOOD time to reveal the true Da Vinci code,remember the back drop to the Old Testament being writing in the first place,the evil in Sodom,Cain & Abel betrayal & the biblical plagues,the treatment of woman all point to human free for all do as you please no moral or regulative come back,no policing, no justice and the problems this created for the survival of humanity itself,So forget miracles they can’t happen & the bible actually doesn’t claim they are miracles,just humanity as never grown up! Whilst all in this chaos like the world just now depravity reigns hunger grows betrayal is rife Sodom cities with rape & mistrust grows as we fall further & further the land is un-cultivated in so many lands that the biblical plagues will return & exodus begin.The bible tells us to trust not mistrust & all these problems will ease ,tend to the land & when plagues hits help thy neighbour that economics is best served not by selfishness but by mutuality,humanity can’t grow or ultimately survive unless fighting stops & peaceful co existence thrives.
    We have seen this throughout our history but keep allowing ourselves to be herded back,remember the DEVIL will enter the house(in more ways than one) the code is simple & the wars to defend this code even just!(for all those that think all religious wars are over ideology) many are over preserving the code.
    So go get hold of the Old Testament & swap GOD for GOOD and the DEVIL for EVIL,one letter in one letter out & read the book like a economist,take this interpretation Jesus(New Testament) didn’t turn water into wine GOOD allowed to feuding families to unite ,water irrigated both their the lands & wine a long & difficult thing to make grew & Jesus attended the marriage that GOOD (trust) had prevailed over sometime over EVIL
    We live in the times of mistrust,(& the disintegration into chaos)but at some stage trust must & will win out!


  4. essiritussantos… You have of course every right to expound the contents of the connections you have carefully wrought within your conciousness. It would appear you are not alone in this preoccupation, & to me at least, it appears that the whole of humanity in there flow from cradle to grave, strives to do the same. Some, in fact most, tend to opt for “Off the Shelf” cognitive structures. Of which I believe you have a modified version. The pre-millennial “Wrath of God” version with extended antithetical thinking & flame effect paintwork?

    I’m afraid you are less than certain to find appreciation here. I suspect, this really is a work space for development of newer concepts & designs. I’m sorry if my honesty upsets you, but don’t feel disheartened, there are many forums on the internet for discussion of your model.

    best wishes, BG


  5. Billy Gruff you must be the fastest reader in the west! if you have re-read the bible in that context i wrote in since i published!
    Why not try it!


  6. ps and since it is relevant to how John wrote this article,i think this is a appropriate place to point this out
    As a species, we are abandoning new frontiers in favour of fundamentalism, and eschewing cooperation in favour of catechism.
    Are we really or are we abandoning Catechism because of ignorance!


  7. Essiritussantos,

    Are you today’s troll?

    Juxtaposition of the Da Vinci code AND the bible???

    1/10 must try harder.


  8. No Steve am not! but i do like to test,open thought processes up! & question everything even Myself! applying economic theory to all religious books,as been very enlightening to me!


  9. Do I call you Ghost or Essiritussantos?

    Posting a reply under your other identity, 0/10.

    Back troll school for you.


  10. Steve when i first joined this sight it was under the intention of using Essiritussantos but a mix up or some how i had to use the ghost now for some reason every now & again Essiritussantos pops up & i post under it! normally i quickly make this clear,however the second & third post continued under E,only upon clearing my cookies & re joining the blog was i able to post under the ghost! but it was interesting to see the response i got! if you don’t believe me,their is little i can do,i can only think it is because he has added the like buttons which i think is a good idea!that this occurred at all!


  11. ‘financialised capitalism of monetarist drivel’ .. its it very good phrase JW.. and the bouncing cat bounces higher when bad news is good news once again…. print moar print moar…. print as much as you can and all the rope will hang you..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. stephenroi I would say Yes! but then i believe people will get behind anything at any time even when they don’t know whether it is on the way up or down! if it offers hope & feels & sounds sensible


  13. Ghost

    “ps unlike gemma am not be imitated”

    You can’t demand these things: if the dim witted of this world can’t understand you, they’ll turn to slander instead.


  14. I may not have been clear Gemma,Sorry,just pointing out i wasn’t being trolled it was me!but not put particularly well by me!


  15. *** Despite “An amazing recent revaluation, I will post this near finished reply as I think it way add some insight***

    I’m concerned that we are straying too far from John’s topic essiritussantos, & I can see that you have found a link between his writing & your own posting, & that is why I said “You have of course every right to expound…” I do feel I’m in danger of abusing the owners good grace for allowing my contributions to his discussion area, by perusing your points over his own.

    Never the less I will crave John’s indulgence in replying to your assumption of my “Speed reading” as it were, the bible. I am Dyslexic, yet despite, or maybe because of. this I am a good listener & a diligent, if somewhat slow reader. As a child of the 50’s I have been subject to much of it’s content through the medium of speech. There are some good & honest reflections of life in there that continue to relate to all of us, be it some two thousand years going forward. It still has worth.

    Anecdotally. I had reason to discuss this self same subject during a period of convalescence, wile living in a remote part of West Wales. There was a knock on the front dour & when I opened it two smiling, respectable dressed, men in their early middle age, were standing there. They asked me the very same question in respect of the bible. Not a subject I had visited much at that time in my life, but with time in my hands & an eager mind starved of discourse, I invited them in. Well the time fairly whistled by, for me, The History & the story I remembered came fresh to my mind as if in some way it had perpetually resided in the deeper recesses of my mind. We talked excitedly about many things, but seemed to get stuck on the innate fallibility of man. I was disappoint when they started looking at their watches, there was more to be explored here, & despite there protestations, I cajoled them into another cup of tea. The next half hour was quite uncomfortable after my bringing up the ethnicity of the savours female line, & dropped to an all time low when I got on to the subjects of the adoptions of the faith by the Roman State & of accommodations in the writing of the fallible scribes. I think the inpass occured with my voicing similarities to what we now describe as “Mental health issues. In fairness I may have demanded more of their precious time than most would see as fair, but I thought it a little less then amicable as they refused to moderate their pace as I accompanied them on their walk to the next visit they intended to make. They had promised to return, but never did. My final words now seem to some degree prophetic, & may go a long way towards explaining why further discourse between us is rendered without reason. As I slackened my pace I shouted a fare well as a my personal explanation. ” For all the connections of are souls, I still fell I am no part of the whole” They turned glowered & went.

    Another time maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. From where I stand, most of this problem comes from people not being able to think for themselves. They want to follow the herd, and if the herd is following someone, they don’t question the direction.
    You look at the politicians, the economists, the scientists, the bankers. All of them follow the momentum, whichever way it is headed. All dissenters are either ridiculed or silenced.
    What kind of education did these people get?

    I thank whoever invented the Internet (apparently Al Gore). Without that, all these bloggers and commenters would be propping up the corner of their local bars, howling at the moon.
    At least with t’internet, we can howl in unison.
    Might save us.
    Keep howlin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. @FTW
    Couldn’t agree more. This internet thingy, although a double-edged sword in terms of government surveillance, has certainly educated me as to the true nature of the elites who rule us. Without it, I might still believe the fiction peddled by the BBC and Grauniad. The problem is that it is too little, too late, and the vast majority spend their time online watching kitten videos or state-sponsored propaganda. I remain embarrassed about my attitutes and beliefs as a young man, but at least I could plausibly plead ignorance in those days. I do wonder how long the web as it is at present will survive without corporate and government censorship. When will it be deemed illegal to read the comments on Craig Murray’s site or Zerohedge for example? Injustice can only thrive when free speech is suppressed. For decades it was silenced pretty effectively by the corporate control of the MSM and it would appear that they are criminalising dissent at an accelerating rate.


  18. I see that in the FT it states that Draghi is all ‘set’ to boost the Eurozone. Just the same way he’s boosted it before, or does he have a secret booster that so far he’s kept quiet about? Or maybe it’s more print, print, print? After all, that has proved to be so successful on so many occasions in the past one wonders why he isn’t at it all the time, oh wait, he is….


  19. Billy Gruff thank you for your reply,am not religious in any way of believing in God the devil miracles but i do ask the question why write it!why embellish it,was it a Dickens of its era? what truth if any is it telling us! & how if any truth is in the embellishments,sorry if it sounded like preaching but like you am dyslexic & without computers could not join in!(& their is little if any other books from this time on public view) but i see nations,states institutions, unions,class able disabled religions all turned against & i just really asking on Johns line g,it may seem like we are heading back to religious doctrines & fighting ancient conflicts but it also looks to me that all religions are being set against themselves(gay marriage in the English) abortion in the Roman & the Muslims factions also against each other,but is it a attack on the power of these collectives to unite,maybe even together against those that want to oppress & rule over & through chaos !
    It is a unusual ask,but i never factored in that some may already taken a similar path!

    Steve it simple think economics & it effects & change God into good & Devil into evil & see how it becomes that most things (if not all if thinking of what the future might be) & history itself,that the book isn’t has ridiculous as Mr Richard Dawkins would have you believe.
    ie without co-operation peace & trust could the science really bring humanity anything,ie if science is to flourish so must humanity


  20. Ghost,

    Does this answer your final paragraph?

    In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

    Graham Greene


  21. Do you think Corbyn will get anywhere near a mandate from the British people? His rise to fame via exploding Labour membership in the run up to his election, is rather dodgy I think. With todays tinternet, things are very easily organised and mobilised in this regard. It could be a bit like crowd funding., funding a desire with a bag full of electronic tat.


  22. @ KFC

    Draghi is planning how to change ECB rules about the purchase of toxic debt and calling it an investment. Once they figure that out the real QE can begin.

    Happy days are here again…….


  23. Steve one had a much larger population,one is isolated,one hadn’t had the influx of a slave empire to enhance its indigenous population,one isn’t positioned to trade with many various nationalities & cultures nothing is as simple as good is good & bad is bad,such are the numerous variable involved,some above many more not!but perpetual destruction oppression (USSR proves that,& possible the fact Switzerland never needed to be more innovative wasn’t all good!) but the fact that one Bernoulli brothers ,Henry Dunant ,Auguste Jacques Piccard & a reformist Huldrych Zwingli a few others for such a small nation,may mean you have upset a few people,in your simplistic response!


  24. Wow! Billy Gruff, (new kid on the blog) you have obviously learnt a new word since yesterday; how many times have ‘glowering’ and ‘glowered’ appeared in this hallowed demesne? Now, learn to spell and be grammatically correct, and someone might take you semi-seriously…


  25. Incidental, & on topic for once, does anybody have any feelings in the increased talks of cash free economies Norway & Germany have recently discussed this & the introduction of standard fixed personal state payment (benefit), I think that was Finland & Holland.

    I’m sure they will sell it as a way to reduce corruption & recognition of the individuals right to a place in society. But I rather worry about the integrity of those who will administer the system… All seemed a bit too Eloi & Morlock to me?

    p.s. the ghost, we will talk more about “Getting our mucking (Typed) words Fuddled”, but not now, JW respect.


  26. celebrate the roundabout going faster as they have to print moar. they cannot stop now. stocks will probably continue to inflate until they approach infinity when everything else will have gone down the plughole…


  27. the ghost (sic), as a formidable and relentless Victorian pedant, I cannot forgive members of BAMBI (believing apostrophes may be ignored); I, too, used to be dyslexic but I’m all right nwo. Blessings be upon you.


  28. “…someone might take you semi-seriously…” & there lies the greatest nightmare. I have seen no contentment, or lightness of being, in those who are compelled to battle, bolstered by their vicariously acquired “own” self belief.

    I have been so relieved when I’ve stumbled into those few that have provided me with guidance to become myself, rather than the offer of training to become like them.

    If the manner of my attempts to communicate offend you too much, please ignore them, or refer it to the proprietor of this place, & I’ll abide by his requests.


  29. JW,

    You’re on to something. We Midwesterners never thought much of the dismissive attitude that New York City folks have toward the opinions of others, even realizing that their attitude may be necessary to preserve their sanity amidst a cacophony of millions of voices. There is a limit on how much time all of us have to thoughtfully reflect on the opinions of others. Perhaps the internet is making New Yorkers of all of us.


  30. “A CHALLENGED CIVILISATION: the rise and rise of divisive belief”

    I’ve been pondering this all day and am still not sure. However, what I will say is that one of the most murderous occasions in recent history still impacts on me. This is because the statement has great resonance today. We all must remember the day George W made the comment ‘ You’re either with us or against us’ – a chilling moment during the Iraq debacle – a very public announcement for what has since proved to me to be the incessant, aggressive,violent and totally irrational behaviour of the so called elites toward anyone of difference – even within own countries. The current Tory Slaughter Club are redefining everything as it opposite – social care is actually social cleansing. Good health care is actually privatisation. Freedom fighters, dissenters, anti-fracking campaigners are TERRORISTS. This inversion is deeply worrying because soon, unless we are careful, we will all be the enemy – FULL STOP.- in fact some would argue we all are already the enemy.

    There is little scope to rationalise with those purporting to claim ‘ it’s the right thing to do’ – their zealous, madcap words and actions are just that and they are killing people all over the planet because the populations of the world are expendable. The rich elite are not – or so they think – divisive belief

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s