VJMP Reads: David Seymour’s Own Your Future I

A Liberal Vision for New Zealand in 2017

Today, VJMP Reads has a look at Own Your Future, by ACT Party Leader David Seymour. This is a 192-page book of essays published by the ACT Party along the lines of previous ACT Party efforts such as Closing the Gaps and I’ve Been Thinking.

Previous VJM Publishing publications, such as Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand, tells us some basic facts about the ACT-voting demographic. Although few in number (a mere 13,075 in 2017), they were the wealthiest voter base of any party, as well as the most likely to be born overseas and one of the best educated (along with the Greens). Asians like them the most, white people the next most, and Maoris the least.

We have also seen that people who donate to the ACT Party get the worst return on their investment, with the party gaining 22 votes per $1,000 spent on the 2017 campaign. This compares to 388 votes per $1,000 for Labour, 452 for National and 4,761 for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (even the vanity project that was The Opportunities Party managed 62 votes per $1,000 spent).

So who are ACT, in the words of their own leader?

The Introduction runs to sixteen pages, and is worth studying on its own. It starts off by telling the story of the struggles of a wealthy couple to subdivide their land. Hilariously, by the third page there’s already a reference to how, under communism, “people starved by the million”, so it’s already a fair bet at this early stage that the book will be full of far-right-wing American-style libertarianism.

On page 12, Seymour states that he grew up “not rich”, and also states that the first time he realised that the Government might not have our best interests at heart was at age sixteen. Seymour was born in 1983, which would make him around 8 years old at the time of Ruth Richardson’s infamous 1991 Budget, which ripped the heart out of the New Zealand poor. Had it not occurred to him in the aftermath of the social destruction wrought by this that the Government is not on the people’s side, then it can fairly be said that he was unusually privileged, if not actually sheltered.

In fact, the truly sheltered nature of Seymour’s life comes through in lines that would be comic genius in any other context. How else to read “Auckland Grammar is a particularly barbaric place for some kids. I vividly remember one kid getting a tennis ball to the head, it bounced lightly but its power was symbolic”?

Like most men of his time, Seymour is a materialist. He is proud to have supported liberalising the abortion laws. ACT wanted to introduce laws that would make New Zealand a better place, in Seymour’s estimation, hence his support for them. This is stated very matter-of-factly, with no explanation as to why he thought that ACT in particular were best suited to make New Zealand a better place.

Inevitably, Seymour has a go here at the eternal ACT bugbear, the Resource Management Act. He writes that the poorest fifth of New Zealanders spend almost half of their income on housing today, compared to only a quarter of their income 26 years ago. All of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of the RMA, which has strangled the rate of house building. “That’s why people are living in cars and garages.”

The obvious rejoinder to this claim is to point out that New Zealand has the highest rate of immigration of any OECD country. Seymour anticipates this, and writes of the immigration question that opinion is divided between “National’s naivete vs. the racism of New Zealand First.” Like many middle-class white people, Seymour appears to be unaware that New Zealand First’s strongest supporters are Maoris.

Seymour generally doesn’t seem bothered by anti-Maori racism, as shown by his rant about “million after million for various Maori centric projects and separatist legislation”. Racism is, perhaps, only real to Seymour when it prevents wealthy foreigners from immigrating here (after all, as noted above, Maoris don’t vote for the ACT Party).

Going by the introduction, this book seems like the closest thing to a neoliberalist manifesto New Zealand has seen recently. What Seymour appears to be about, fittingly for someone who represents foreign wealth, is freedom for money. He’s not interested in freedom for people. Freedom for people comes incidentally, in so far as those people have money.

One gets the impression that if Seymour could stuff the entire South Island into a giant machine that sorted it out into its constituent minerals for the sake of most efficiently selling it all off to foreign speculators, he would be happy to do so. This book, therefore, promises to be a journey into the mind of an absolutely fanatical die-hard neoliberal.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Who Owns The New Zealand Media?

Whoever owns the New Zealand media sets the public narrative in this country – do we know who that is?

In more sophisticated countries, informed citizens go to considerable lengths to detect any biases among the people reporting the news. This is necessary to make sure that one develops a balanced, nuanced and independent opinion. Kiwis don’t generally bother with such things, preferring instead to believe everything we’re told like the good little lambs we are – except for this article.

It’s often remarked upon, by foreign visitors, that New Zealanders blindly believe everything they hear in the news. Conditioned into obedience by a brutal state education system that encourages bullying, social and emotional abuse, Kiwis are too afraid to question anything even vaguely resembling an authority, such as a television.

Given that we don’t question what the media is trying to tell us, it’s worthwhile figuring out who owns our media, because these same people effectively own our beliefs and opinions. In other words, let’s find out who own our minds.

We can find a ranked list of the major players in New Zealand cyberspace from Alexa. The two major internet portals in New Zealand are the New Zealand Herald and Stuff. You could confidently argue that the New Zealand online mediascape was an effective duopoly, with NZH and Stuff the only real players.

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) controls the New Zealand Herald brand, ranked by Alexa as the 9th biggest website in New Zealand. NZME is a large media conglomerate (by NZ standards, anyway), as can be seen from the list of newspapers they own at the bottom of their company page.

Finding out who owns NZME is not straightforward, because they are a publicly traded company on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. Helpfully, their own investor relations page lists their top 20 shareholders, but this doesn’t lead very far. All of the major shareholders are banks or holding companies for banks.

Number one on the list is Citicorp Nominees Pty Ltd, which is based in Sydney. According to Bloomberg, this company is a subsidiary of Citicorp Pty Ltd, which has been incorporated since 1954 and “provides a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate, and institutional clients primarily in Australia.”

One would think that this would surely be the end of the trail, but no. Citicorp Pty Ltd is itself a subsidiary, this time of Citigroup Holding (Singapore) Private Limited. This too, is a subsidiary: of Citigroup Asia Pacific Holding LLC, itself a subsidiary of Citi International Investments Bahamas Limited, itself a subsidiary of Citi Overseas Holdings Bahamas Limited, a child entity of Citigroup Inc.

Citigroup is a gigantic American bank, one large enough to be considered “too big to fail”, with its origins in the City Bank of New York, chartered in 1812. The closest Citigroup has to an owner, at 7.06% of the shareholding, is Vanguard Inc., “One of the world’s largest investment management companies” (as per their company page). In second place, at 4.76% of the shareholding, is State Street Corporation, another investment management bank. Third, with 4.51%, is BlackRock Inc., yet another global investment management corporation.

So that line of investigation doesn’t lead to any specific names, but neither is it any easier trying to figure out who is behind any of the other of New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s major shareholders.

J P Morgan Nominees Australia Ltd is at third place on the NZME shareholder’s list, with 12.69%. Finding out out who owns JP Morgan Nominees Australia Ltd is no easy task, as the article linked here demonstrates. One passage from the linked article reads “Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to track down the identities of those underlying shareholders through the various financial structures that hold shares for each other and on behalf of each other.”

If it’s practically impossible to find out who owns NZME, what about finding out who owns Stuff, the 3rd largest website in New Zealand?

Investigating this is just a shorter path to the same place. The Stuff brand is owned by Fairfax New Zealand Limited, a subsidiary of Fairfax Media Ltd., which is also publicly traded on the ASX. As it turns out, the second-largest shareholder of Fairfax Media Ltd. is none other than Vanguard Inc.

They only own 2.26% of the shares, however, so can only give us a clue as to the ownership of Fairfax Media Ltd. Looking down the list of funds and institutions that own shares in Fairfax, there’s little more than a pile of asset management companies, wealth funds and banks. As with Vanguard, BlackRock also appears on the list of major owners of both Citigroup and Fairfax Media Ltd.

The story with television media is little different to the story just described with print and online media. The New Zealand television market is, like the print and online media markets, an effective duopoly between Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and MediaWorks New Zealand.

TVNZ is Government-owned, but is almost entirely funded by commercials and is therefore little different to any other commercial broadcaster. MediaWorks New Zealand, for its part, is entirely owned by Oaktree Capital Management, which is (you guessed it) another global investment and wealth management fund.

In summary, no-one has any fucking idea who owns the New Zealand media, apart from the small niche carved out by TVNZ and the independents. Trying to pin it down to any one person is like trying to catch shadows in a jar. The best one can say is that the New Zealand media is ultimately controlled by global wealth management funds and corporations and their nominated representatives.

Being owned by such institutions tells us that the New Zealand media is run for profit and probably has little agenda other than commercial. In other words, there is little in the way of direct political propaganda or slanted editorial content, but one can expect the quality of the journalism to degrade to that which appeals to the lowest common denominator in society. Indeed, it has.

The astute reader will have drawn a connection between all of this bank ownership and the never-ending series of “I became a homeowner at age 21”-style stories. The reason for this is the banks benefit directly from a shallow, consumerist, disposable culture in which it’s considered normal for people move away from their parents and get a massive mortgage so that they can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest to a gigantic, parasitic investment corporation.

In other words, the owners of the New Zealand media directly make money from consumerist culture, in particular from people taking out loans to buy shit that they don’t need. This is why all manner of wasteful, extravagant and unnecessary consumer purchases are advertised, and normalised, by the New Zealand media.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Our Mental Health System Shouldn’t Run on WINZ Logic

A lot of people complain about the way WINZ treats its clients, but their logic makes a certain sense. By verbally and psychologically abusing many of the people who come to them for help, WINZ staff sharply reduce demand for WINZ services and thereby save taxpayer money. This is called WINZ logic, and our mental health system runs by the same principles.

WINZ logic seems to appeal to the vast majority of New Zealanders. We like to consider ourselves a people who have “hardened up”, and who don’t need faggy things like welfare. Moreover, the high levels of diversity in our society mean that those at the top are unwilling to pay taxes for the greater good, because those taxes won’t be helping people like them. So we make sure that WINZ runs an extremely tight ship, where there is absolutely no wastage.

Somewhere along the way, someone working at WINZ realised that many of their clients could easily be discouraged from seeking WINZ services. Many people who need WINZ services are socially outcast or psychologically damaged, and so they are easily disheartened by abuse. If these people were spoken to like thieving, bludging, malingering scum, instead of being treated like fellow humans who need help, they were less likely to come back and ask for more money.

Ultimately, the essence of WINZ logic is this: the more unpleasant the experience of being a WINZ client can be made, the fewer resources WINZ clients will collectively consume.

With ever-tightening social welfare budgets under nine years of a National-led Government, treating the clients badly became the default way to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. If someone really needed a benefit, WINZ logic claimed, they’d keep coming back despite the mistreatment. So treating the clients badly achieves the twin goals of saving money while still helping the needy.

Unfortunately, our mental health system works on the same logic. In order to save money, patients are systematically verbally and emotionally abused by support workers. They don’t admit to this, and nowhere is it written that this is official policy, but it’s apparent from collating the experiences of many users of the mental health services that this is the case.

The logic appears to be that it’s better for a hundred schizophrenics to starve in the street than it is for one person to perhaps get a benefit that they didn’t 100% need. After all, a severely mentally ill young person who is unlikely to work again is liable to cost the country up to half a million dollars in benefit payments alone over the course of their lives. If people like this could be convinced to commit suicide instead, the potential savings could run into the hundreds of millions.

This might sound implausible to some, but it’s a natural consequence of neoliberal reasoning. Human life has a dollar value. If mentally ill people can’t contribute to the tax farm, and if we can’t just kill them directly, we have to encourage them to kill themselves. This reasoning was introduced to New Zealand by Ruth Richardson in the 1991 Budget and it’s now an indelible part of our culture. After all, we already have “by far the highest youth suicide rates in the developed world”.

If this wasn’t true, then the experience of being a user of the mental health services would be entirely different. One would be treated much like a person ill with a physical illness – as a fellow human being who had had something unfortunate happen to them and required care in order to recover to normal function. Doctors would answer your questions honestly. Consultations would work towards improving your mental health rather than merely assessing your work readiness.

Further evidence for this comes from the refusal to acknowledge cannabis medicine. Despite the fact that there was enough evidence for the medicinal value of cannabis for California to make it legal already in 1996, New Zealand politicians and doctors still have their heads up their arses. Now even Zimbabwe has legal medicinal cannabis.

What this approach to cannabis tells the mentally ill in New Zealand is that the mental health system isn’t really interested in helping them. It’s just: “Take these sedatives and get back to picking cotton.” It wouldn’t matter if 100,000 people all lined up to tell doctors that cannabis had helped them sleep or had helped with anxiety, depression or suicidal ideation. No-one’s listening, no-one cares.

Our mental health system shouldn’t run on the WINZ logic of withholding aid to as many people as possible. It should be recognised that an investment in a person’s mental health now will have excellent returns in both their future productivity and future unwillingness to use mental health services. The emphasis should be on treating them well so that they can get better and we can save money over their lifetime, not treating them like shit to save money this month.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

How Terrorism Works

The 2005 London terror attacks killed 52 people; a decade later, the British Police are so intimidated by Islam that they won’t investigate Muslim grooming gangs even when they have raped hundreds of British children

Terrorism often seems senseless to modern, pampered Westerners. Killing for the sake of killing is a long way from our everyday lives of peace and bounty. But terrorism isn’t just killing for the sake of killing – there’s an established calculus behind it, and it works. This article looks at how.

The ultimate reason for committing any act of terror is to induce submission in an enemy population towards the collective that the individual terrorist is a representative of. The idea is that the terrorist does something so horrifically cruel and destructive that the observers of it become afraid of attracting the wrath of the terrorist or his allies, and so become submissive towards them.

The first king learned that submission could be induced by publicly smashing the skulls of his enemies in, and the natural logic of dominance and control that applied thousands of years ago also applies now. For instance, the vast majority of us are submissive towards government representatives because we have observed that governments will spare no cruelty when it comes to getting their will through.

This is no accident; all Western governments have purposefully committed acts of cruelty towards those they claim to be representing, for this is the simplest and most effective way to induce submission. Had they not done so, they would not exist.

The same is true of religions. All Abrahamic religions encourage and promote human rights abuses, whether those be infant genital mutilation, denial of rights to women or homosexuals, the murder of unbelievers or the incarceration of medicinal drug users. Neither is this accidental. All of these cruelties create an impression in the minds of the victims – an impression of the frightful consequences of resisting these people.

The purpose of terrorism, then, is to create an impression that it’s better to go along with the wishes of the collective you represent than to resist them. Therefore, submission means you can get your will through. Every woman burnt at the stake is another woman who doesn’t resist the will of the next priest to come through the village.

In the world of 2018, we can see that repeated acts of Islamic terror in Europe have led to incredible freedom and prosperity for that religion. British Police are so scared of being called Islamophobic that they happily turn a blind eye to thousands of young girls getting raped by Muslim grooming gangs – a phenomenon most recently uncovered in Telford – but they’re more than happy to arrest people for growing medicinal cannabis, knowing they can do so without risk to themselves.

This fear is a direct consequence of Islamic terrorism. In other words, the British Police have been successfully terrorised.

This is how fear and terrorism work, and it’s how the usual way that territories get conquered by foreign invaders, because the locals seldom acquiesce to such a thing without coercion. The British did similar things when they built the Empire, which is what makes it all the more surprising that they don’t resist when it’s being done to them.

Every Islamic terror attack in the West, especially if the attacker dies in the act, makes Westerners ever more impressed by the strong will and faith of Muslim people and ever more willing to bow down to those Muslims rather than stand up to them and risk being killed. The public response to terror attacks is usually horror and condemnation, but the unconscious individual response – especially among individuals who adhere to slave morality – is to be impressed by the bravery and conviction of the killers.

Terrorism bypasses the rational mind and makes its appeal directly to the unconscious. When laid out like this, it’s clear that terrorism is simply a form of iron magic like any other. All successful uses of iron magic induce submission in observers, and broadcasting those terror acts into every household during the evening news is a genius way of amplifying the magic.

All this is lost on the Pastafarians. There have been several cases where individuals have ostensibly had their religious rights denied to them on the grounds that Pastafarianism isn’t a “serious” religion. They all miss the point. A religion counts as a serious one when its followers are willing to slaughter anyone who mocks or disagrees with them. That’s the only way that the rest of us can be forced to take the kind of garbage written in Abrahamic holy scriptures seriously.

Every Westerner instinctively knows, whether they’re willing to admit it or not, that if they stand on a street corner wearing a Bomb Muhammad tshirt mocking the prophet of Islam, pretty soon a Muslim will come and stab or shoot them to death or run them over. So they don’t mock Islam, neither on the street corner nor anywhere else. From the terrorist’s point of view, that’s victory.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Humanity’s Greatest Conceit

Many people are happy to hold the belief that other creatures have a “lesser” or “lower” form of consciousness to themselves, despite the absence of a logical basis for it

The single greatest conceit of the human animal is that humans like it are somehow more conscious or self-aware than the beings who make up the rest of the animal kingdom. This belief is not only insane and irrational, but it has had devastating consequences for the rest of the Earth.

When it comes down to it, no-one has any fucking idea who or what else is conscious. This follows simple logic. After all, how could we possibly know? Each one of us can assert with absolute certainty that, as an individual, they are conscious, because being conscious of your own consciousness is sufficient evidence that it exists. But this gets taken to illogical conclusions.

The vast majority of humans labour under the erroneous assumption that other creatures are only conscious to the degree that they are like those humans. A chimpanzee is considered to be very similar to us relative to the rest of the animal kingdom (and it is if the comparison is made in physical and anatomical terms), but this has no relevance to whether or not the chimpanzee is conscious.

If we can’t observe or measure consciousness in other humans, then we can’t measure it in other creatures either. So if consciousness has never and can never be either observed or measured in other creatures, then any belief about the consciousness of another creature must of necessity be an article of faith.

Simple enough, but the difficulty arises when this iron-clad logic meets the infinite human capacity for self-delusion. The vast majority of people make the erroneous assumption that their brain generates consciousness and therefore that other creatures are similar to the extent that their brains are believed to be similar.

But this is pure superstition, and not logical.

Even worse, despite being a majority, are those who assume that they are superior to all creatures of “lesser” consciousness, and that the supposed lower consciousness of other creatures give us a green light to abuse and exploit them.

It’s common for humans to look at a cat and think we see an animal that is uncomprehending of the greater existential questions, but how can we rule out that the cat has long since solved all these questions and is now blase about them, to the point that any human wondering about them merely appears sophomoric?

How can we know that the cat, who sleeps 15 hours a day, isn’t meditating for most of this time? Cats might all be spiritual masters on the order of Buddha.

How do we know that the ant that appears to go forward mindlessly, isn’t at perfect peace with its role in the world and accepts it without reservation?

The logical flaw is also evident if one observes that many people are willing to assume that these creatures have less consciousness on account of that they didn’t evolve as much of it as we did – but they aren’t willing to make the same assumptions of different races, even though the logic is the same.

The argument that differing selection pressures could account for differences in consciousness between humans and the other mammals, but could not also account for differences in consciousness between white people and black people, is a contradiction on its face.

Humanity’s greatest conceit is that our consciousness is somehow more special or worthy of not suffering than the consciousness of other creatures, and this line of reasoning is what has enabled the rape of the planet that has occurred over the last century.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

What Was Done To The Colonies Is Still Being Done – To Us

Nothing has really changed from 1860, except that the propagandising of the slave system has become more sophisticated

The herds of the West have been conditioned to react to the word “colonisation” with horror and guilt. From the late 1400s until the European empires were wound down after World War II, ghastly crimes were indeed committed by colonial invaders against the native peoples, all over the world. But what this focus on historical crimes overlooks is that these same crimes are still being committed, by the ruling classes against the middle and working ones, to this very day.

In 1860, shortly before the American Civil War, the total slave population in the United States stood at 3,953,761, or 12.6% of the total population. In the Gulag system at its height under Stalin, there were believed to have been up to 6 million people incarcerated.

Most people agree that slavery and Communism were two of history’s greatest evils. But in 2013, there were 6,899,000 Americans under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) – about 2.8% of the total population. Although smaller as a percentage of the national population, in absolute terms it still represents a greater number of unfree people than under either slavery or Communism.

In fact, it amounts to about 25% of the world’s population of prisoners, and not all of them are in there because of murders, rapes and armed robberies. Far from it. Because of the War on Drugs, the population of non-violent drug offenders in American state or federal prisons has increased twelvefold since 1980.

The same strategies that the colonial powers used to subjugate their client populations are being used today to subjugate the peoples who are still their client populations – only instead of being done to dark-skinned races by lighter-skinned ones, it’s done to the working and middle classes by the ruling ones.

Today’s system of convict labour achieves almost everything that was seen as desirable in a slavery system anyway. Some refer to this as the ‘prison-industrial complex‘, because the profit incentive seems to have led to people being imprisoned for the benefit of shareholders in private prisons. These prisoners are often paid less than 20c an hour for their labour, despite that their productivity is dozens of times higher.

So the mentality behind the great colonial enterprises of enslaving millions and extracting resources from them in the form of labour not only still exists but it still manages to enforce its will in the 21st century West. The only difference is that, this time, the people are enslaved through the prison-industrial complex, and mostly for arbitrary drug offences.

Some groups are hit harder than others by this approach. Black people are imprisoned at the rate of 2,306 per 100,000 people, which means almost 1 in every 40 American blacks are in prison at any one point in time, and for black males the rate is an incredible 4,347 per 100,000 people, about 1 in 21.

The mentally ill also suffer atrociously in American prisons, regularly being subjected to corporal punishment for reasons related to their condition, such as becoming confused or anxious or having difficulty following instructions.

The truth is this: the ruling classes only recognise each other as true human beings, and all lower classes are considered some kind of animal to be exploited. Emphasising the racial aspect of the crimes of colonialism, as is common today, only serves to shift the blame from the ruling classes who planned and designed it to the middle and working classes who were forced to help carry it out lest they become the next group of victims.

Colonisation was never a matter of race, and it didn’t stop happening after the European empires fell. It was always a matter of class, and it simply shifted from being done to them over there to being done to us over here.

The Real Slippery Slope Is Doing Things to People Against Their Will

Some people are making the argument that the legalisation of same-sex marriage was another step on the slippery slope to legalising pedophilia, and that it was a mistake to let gay people get married – perhaps even a mistake that needs to be corrected. This argument is becoming more and more common as pedophiles are starting to argue their position with renewed vigour. However, as this essay will show, not only is this line of reasoning fallacious, it also diverts attention from the true problem.

The argument against same-sex marriage seems to go like this. There is a scale of sexual degeneracy, like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where the depravities at one level make the depravities at the next level seem not so bad, and this leads to those worse depravities being indulged in, and so on until civilisation has collapsed.

And so, the loss of absolute paternal authority over the family and over unmarried females led to prostitution and whoring, which led to divorce, which led to homosexuality, which is now leading to pedophilia and which will inevitably lead to bestiality and necrophilia.

This is how many religious and/or stupid people have been conditioned to think, but the reality is different.

The sliding scale is not of depravity, but of consent. Once a person has done something to another person without that second person’s consent – and got away with it – they are incentivised to do it again. Many sexual predators get an egoistic thrill from doing things to someone without their consent, and it’s this that constitutes the real psychological slippery slope.

If there is a slippery slope that leads to pedophilia, it begins with impoliteness, which paves to way to rudeness, which escalates to verbal abuse, then physical abuse and then which leads to expressions of utter contempt such as rape, kidnapping and murder.

Legalisation of homosexuality cannot fall on a point along this slope, because homosexuality is consensual (at least, it is not inherently non-consensual, unlike having sex with someone too young to give informed consent).

Essentially, the slippery slope we should be worried about is disregard of the suffering of others. Not the feelings of others – the error of confusing feelings with suffering is what has led to the social fascist culture that we have today. We should be worried about people who disregard the suffering of other sentient beings, and see to it that the freedom of these people to cause suffering is restricted when necessary.

This is not to say that we need to make rudeness illegal. What we need to do is remove the elements of our culture that consider it acceptable to do things to people against their will, such as steal from them, or coerce or trick them out of wealth. This will have to happen on both the personal and collective level.

On the personal level, it might be worth encouraging the kind of philosophical and meditative traditions that have led to personal insight in the past, because this usually leads to peace of mind and a cessation of suffering. Hermeticism and Buddhism are examples of the traditions that lead to an appreciation of honest inquiry.

On the collective level, we need to stop conducting wars against each other. The first one we ought to stop is the War on Drugs. The politicians who have fought this war against their own people for almost a century have done so against the will of people, for the people have always been against it in any place where they have been honestly informed with the truth.

Unfortunately for us, the War on Drugs has normalised things that would have been best left taboo, such as imprisoning someone without that person having harmed another person. This was previously unthinkable in earlier times, when correct jurisprudence demanded that some harm must be demonstrated to have occurred before the court could ever have the right to punish someone.

It has also normalised the people do not have to consent to the laws that they are forced to live under. At school, we are taught that this is totalitarianism and evil, but our own governments do it to us without our consent, and they get away with it.

If pedophilia ever does become legal, it won’t be because homosexuality was legalised. It will be because our culture has made it normal to do things to people against their will, to force and coerce them into obedience.

Charlie Manson: So Close And Yet So Far

Charles Manson: got a lot right, got a lot wrong

Charles Manson: thought by some to be a genius, thought by many to be a maniac. Only a select few realised that he was both. In his actions relating to the infamous Family killings, Manson almost showed humanity a new way of relating to power, but a poor choice of target disqualify his actions from being considered anarcho-homicidalism.

Much like Adolf Hitler, Manson kept a coterie of devoted followers on account of an extraordinary level of charisma and penchant for giving lectures about the degeneracy into which the outside world had fallen. Also much like Adolf Hitler, Manson had a lot of excellent ideas that lacked execution, with consequences that the world would not forget.

One of the excellent ideas that Manson had was that people ought to rise up and challenge the control system, on account of its incredible corruption and the lies and destruction that it has wrought upon the Earth. Rising up against liars and thieves who have wormed themselves into positions of authority is the basis of anarcho-homicidalism, and no doubt Manson played on natural anarcho-homicidalist sentiments when he persuaded Watson et al. to do what they did.

Nobody can stand in judgement, they can play like they’re standing in judgement. They can play like they stand in judgement and take you off and control the masses, with your human body. They can lock you up in penitentiaries and cages and put you in crosses like they did in the past, but it doesn’t amount to anything. What they’re doing is, they’re only persecuting a reflection of themselves. They’re persecuting what they can’t stand to look at in themselves, the truth. – Charles Manson

Some might argue that Manson was an anarcho-homicidalist, on account of that much of his stated ideology was anarchic, and so the homicidal actions of the Family were also anarchism. It could indeed be argued that the Family actions were anarchic, because behaving in that manner is demonstrating very clearly that one has no rulers, but actions only constitute legitimate anarcho-homicidalism if they are conducted against someone making an attempt to enslave another.

It’s not really fair to target members of the cultural elite on that basis alone, for the reason that they are not the ones holding the reins of power. Sharon Tate was an actress – an influential position admittedly – but no-one took orders from her. She didn’t threaten anyone into coercion; she didn’t try to enslave anyone. She was just a pretty face that people paid money to look at for a few hours.

There was perhaps an element of jealousy in Manson’s selection of target, in that he had found it difficult to break into Los Angeles cultural circles, and so chose to target those who had. Such motivations cannot be considered anarcho-homicidal in any real sense, because they didn’t target anyone who held real coercive power, and were not motivated by the ideal of liberation.

This absence of coercive power meant that the people the Manson Family killed were not aggressors in any real sense, and therefore killing them could not be justified in self defence.

If Manson had targeted politicians instead, things would be very different. America was embroiled in the Vietnam War in 1969, and the Government was drafting young men to fight it without their consent, on pain of imprisonment. Killing any prominent warhawk or supporter of the Vietnam War would have been a legitimate act of anarcho-homicidalism, and would have been much more effective than abusing the draftees when they returned.

Charles Manson and his Family had more or less the right idea; their major error lay in the selection of a target that was not directly trying to enslave them.