The Daily Mail has been almost universally condemned for attacking Ed Miliband through attacking his long-dead father. Ralph Miliband was a Marxist academic and activist, a Jewish immigrant to evade the Nazis and served in the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was accused by the Daily Mail of hating Britain when he actually hated many aspects of bigoted right-wing ideology in Britain.
There are similarities between the Daily Mail and this blog. We both have a huge online readership and influence and we both attack politicians. The Daily Mail is traditionally more open to conspiracy theories which I find refreshing.
The differences are ideological and that I often attack people who have already attacked me e.g. Tony Blair, David Blunkett and all the has-been old New Labour Home Secretaries and of course Ian Blair. My attacks on family members have probably only extended to Cherry and she was very closely associated with Tonee. I could very easily hint at obvious, acknowledged issues about the Blair ‘family’ as I’m doing right now. I very occasionally get the wrong target but I do apologise for it.
A comment made it through the spam filter today. It was spam. Please feel free to comment – it’s likely to be published so long as it’s not spam.
I’m not talking about representative democracy here:
What I’m talking about is self-determination. How is that different to democracy?
A huge problem with the West’s idea of democracy is that it’s so-called representative democracy and the representatives are not accountable or held to account.
Edit: And why is self-determination so different to democracy? Should it be so different?
I suggest that the idea of self-determination is very close to the idea of democracy except that contemporary democracy is perverted and divorced and opposed to the interests of those that are subjected to this so-called democracy.
It’s not that difficult really, is it? Those that claim to be democrats …
Later edit: The role of lobbyists is so pervasive in (yet another edit: and is so perverse in) UK politics .
A repost from Deep DT’s reality cracking pages from 1998. Thinking about it, I’ve only just realised how deep this article is ~ I had no idea first time round. There are still copies of this article published and accessible.
Altruism* and charity
* – altruism, giving without any personal benefit.
In Britain, and quite possibly worldwide(?), students are actually taught at colleges and universities that altruism does not exist. It happened to me when I did my degree some time ago and it happened to a friend taking his degree last year. I think that it’s taught to new students before they are practiced at analysing an argument and before they are encouraged to have their own opinions and to argue with their lecturers. It is presented as accepted, objective fact without a real opportunity to disagree.
The argument goes like this. Social Psychology’s ‘reward theory’ states that for every act of giving, there is an equivalent ‘value’ received in return so there can never be altruism because the giver always receives something of equal value. Just search the net on altruism and I’m sure that you’ll see the argument. The trouble with the argument which seems lost on the academics is that it’s a totally ‘tautological’ or circular argument – you are within the argument – it can’t be disproved because of the way it’s stated. Now, if the argument was stated that altruism does exist, that there is never such a thing as an equal exchange – that could not ever be disproved either.
Let’s take an example. I’m on a crowded bus and I give up my seat to allow a pregnant woman to sit. Now according to ‘reward theory’, I didn’t do this because I am willing to help strangers when I’m able to and when it’s fairly easy to do so. No, I received from this ‘exchange’, good feelings for myself equal to the value of the effort expended. What nonsense, but the trouble is I’m within the argument which ASSUMES that a trade occurs and defines the reward in terms of that trade.
To disprove this theory, people are forced to find an example where there is obviously no reward for the ‘altruism’. The normal example is the anonymous kidney donor. Oh no, say the reward theorists, he receives a kidney’s-worth of good feelings. And any other example you think about, freeware, helping a blind person across the road, anything at all. The point is that the theory is based on the assumption that it’s innate for people to trade. It supports the dominant Capitalist ideology and states that you don’t and can’t do anything for nothing and that everything has it’s price.
Is there any hope for humanity if we teach and are taught that we cannot relate to each other than on this basis?. The implications are quite horrendous – that the concept of charity does not exist, that economic aid requires an economic return (which is often the case in practice) but I think the main point is that we are being taught to be fantastically selfish – worse than that – we are being taught that there is no other way except to be fantastically selfish, individualistic and self-centered.
By accepting this teaching we are transformed into individual consuming units. Individual consuming units are important because they mean greater demand for consumer products. However, they also mean loneliness, solitude and alienation from others. Can you really love someone on this basis? I think that it was Caesar who originally developed the theory of divide and conquer …
There is a tradition of denoting something by it’s opposite. Marilyn Manson’s ‘Beautiful People’ for all those that died on 7 July 2005 from many different religions and belief systems ~ indeed actually more than that ~ the day after Dubya’s bicycle accident on his birthday. Robin Cooke wrote about 7/7 shortly before he died on Ben Stack.
Then there’s kaleidoscope. the word “kaleidoscope” is derived from the Ancient Greek καλ(ός) (beauty, beautiful), είδο(ς) (form, shape) and -σκόπιο (tool for examination)—hence “observer of beautiful forms.” Who was it that mentioned “kaleidoscope” (and “tea and biscuits”)?