- By which I mean adherence & loyalty to the Establishment narrative of an essentially benign, well-intentioned, 'Washington Consensus' promoting British State, busily engaged in 'making the world a better place' - or words to that effect. Since rank, position and place are of no consequence to me, I took the Red Pill.
For better or worse, the results are manifest in this blog
In modern Britain, loyalty and adherence to the 'Consensus Narrative' - manifesting, in Richard Heinberg's memorable phrase, as 'The Consensus Trance' and instinctively understood by the ambitious - remains absolutely central to success in Business, Public Affairs, Academia or the Main Stream Media, trumping all other considerations - including intelligence and ability. Why? - Because, proportionate to one's approach and proximity to the thresholds of REAL power, to EFFECTIVELY question it is to threaten and therefore become toxic to the Arbiters of your advancement, whose rank position and place depend upon it.
But... BIG BIG BUT.... It turns out the narrative itself is entirely bogus. It is a clever ego-stroking Orwellian illusion designed, developed and moulded by self-perpetuating Power Elites to serve purposes far and away removed from those of fond and credulous popular belief. The history of Gallileo's run-in with The Roman Inquisition over 'Heliocentrism' and its implications for the teachings of the Catholic Church is an apt analogy.
My own adherence to it was shattered by deep involvement in what on any scale of serious issues facing humanity must rank close to bottom - The UK Campaign for Hunting - but it brought me face-to-face with gross abuse of political power together with the deception and sheer viciousness that our police are capable of when 'given their head' and under orders from their political masters.
The result was my 'Blue Pill/Red Pill' moment and the shattering of some cherished and long-held beliefs (or rather illusions as they turned out to be). As a consequence, life in polite orthodox company (ie among those living the 'consensus trance' which, by definition comprises the overwhelming majority) has become 'difficult'. My contributions to discussions on politics, philosophy and world affairs in general are likely to be considered, in varying degree, unwelcome, threatening, scary, treasonable or simply mad; which naturally enough renders me 'persona non-grata' in circles where I cannot be indulged or patronised as the token madman - which in practice means whenever such discussions arise (attempts at patronising or indulgence being hazardous to the intellectual dignity of those inclined to try so-to-speak)
It has one overriding, neurosis banishing consolation though: that of genuine, relaxed, honest, open-minded, sceptical, illusion less enquiry, free from any pressure - self-imposed or otherwise - to align with the powerful (ALL power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely) and I therefore sleep like a baby.
Some other consequences of 'Taking the Red Pill' - in no particular order:
- Deep and abiding distrust of 'The State', its Apologists, its Spokesmen and especially its 'Security' Services and Enforcers.
- A clear understanding that the central operating principle of the State Executive Branch and its myriad collaborators in the Senior Civil Service and Judiciary (including Privy Council rank politicians of all Parties) is deception, compounded by obsessive secrecy and born of fear of the general population, which must therefore be subjected to ever more comprehensive and intrusive surveillance. A safe operating assumption for the average Joe is that, if government clearly wants you to believe a particular proposition, then it is almost certainly false.
- Conservative, Labour, LibDem, whatever. All are effectively hitched to the 'Consensus Narrative' and hence distinguishable by little more than their differences on the trivia of domestic politics. They generate a lot of heat and noise but very little light; they inflame passions; they inspire blind loyalty and/or visceral dislike but, on the epoch-defining issues of the age they are either silent (eg. peak... oil - or rather peak-just-about-everything) or complicit (eg. the need for perpetual 'growth' on a finite planet as a sacrosanct article of faith - together with the essential 'goodness' and benign intent of the Western World). Deviate persistently and effectively from these 'Articles of Faith' and you (Gallileo) will relinquish any prospect of political advancement (support from the Catholic Church) - If you are lucky enough to avoid the Guantanamo's of this world and escape with your life that is. (As a relevant aside, did you know that, with just 5% of the planet's population, the self-proclaimed 'Land-of-the-Free' boasts close to 25% of its prison population? ( more here ) - and very profitable business it is too for the Private Contractors that run most of it - the shape of things to come eh?)
- Outright rejection of "The 'WAR' on Terror" as an honest, accurate description of the over-arching issue facing the world - The first time in history that we are allegedly waging war on an abstraction with nobody available to agree armistice terms; perpetual war for perpetual peace is the promise; a plausible and to date supremely successful method of keeping populations fearful and thus placid and grateful for the State's 'protection' - very useful for diverting a bit of self-righteous anger at the 'enemy du jour' too (like 'Hamas', or 'Hezbollah', or soto-voce 'Muslims in general', or .... whoever; you get the drift - we just gotta have enemies you see. Scary Evil Baddies - preferably of dark complexion and with unkempt beards - that we can get all worked up about). It will be over when our political masters tell us it's over. In the meantime, be afraid. Be VERY afraid - but take care crossing the road since you're several thousand times more likely to be killed that way than running into a 'terrorist')
To be continued......