Blasting your way to freedom
Published: Fri, 11/05/21
Today is the 5th of November, the day in England known as Guy Fawkes day when there are firework parties. The fireworks are detonated in order to celebrate the occasion in 1605 when a plot to blow up parliament with the king inside was foiled. The plot involved several provincial catholics who hoped that getting rid of the new protestant king, James the first would bring more freedom for English members of the Church of Rome to practice their faith. Those who celebrated the failure of the royal assassination attempt and were glad to see the plotters executed believed that protestant England had been saved from coming back under the authority of the pope, backed up by the military might of Catholic Spain.
In recent years memes have circulated with messages such as: ‘Guy Fawkes was the only man who entered parliament with honest intent.’ and the iconic Guy Fawkes mask has become a symbol sometimes worn at anti government protests. Was the Gunpowder Plot, as it is popularly known, a failed attempt to restore freedom of religion to England? Or did a protestant country have a lucky escape from the re-imposition of Catholicism? These issues may seem arcane and irrelevant to us today. However, it is worth noting that in a rural society, which most people lived in until the Industrial Revolution was well under way, it is relatively difficult for the authorities based in the capital city to interfere too much with the everyday life of ordinary people. The biggest restrictions on life actually come from the seasons, the weather, and the basic struggle to stay alive. Some government intervention in terms of infrastructure provision, financial support in times of hardship, and some medical assistance might have been quite welcome in 17th century England. Apart from the introduction of gunpowder in the 14th century, there was very little technological development at the time of Guy Faulks that the Romans would not have recognised. Some activities such as road building had actually declined since the legions returned to Rome in the 5th century.
The past 150 years has brought us a huge development in material wealth. There is relative freedom from hunger, absolute poverty (even in old age), illiteracy, and for many people, there is little worry about cold, exposure, violence, or preventable disease such as cholera or rickets. We have also enjoyed pretty extraordinary freedom to travel huge distances very quickly and comfortably. Most people have enjoyed adequate incomes with freedom to spend their money as they see fit, and even borrow sufficient to buy property. There is a good deal to celebrate and someone of my age, background, and nationality has been able to enjoy a pretty good life spanning the second half of the 20th century and the first fifth of the 21st.
However, although we seem to have enjoyed a good deal of physical and material freedom, I do not believe that there has been a corresponding expansion in psychological, mental, and spiritual freedom. In one sense no one else can be blamed for the constraints on the modern mind. You can confer freedom of movement just by giving someone a driving license, the keys to motor vehicle, and enough money to buy fuel. Revoke the license, or deprive the driver of access to fuel and a car is just so much scrap metal. Freedom of the mind is much harder to restrict in a free thinker, and almost impossible to confer on a closed mind. However, along with all the technology and material benefits which have changed how we physically live in the past couple of centuries there has been a corresponding effort to manage our thoughts as well. State provided education, mass media, social media, all managed in accordance with the art and science of propaganda. There have also been some major tests of what the majority of people will go along with in terms of disruptive events that really should be questioned, but just seem to be taken at face value. I could list the key examples of the 21st century but you either know what I mean, or else I will just be inflicting cogitative dissonance on you and I don’t like to be cruel.
As I have suggested before the human race is at a tipping point. Either we fall into a totalitarian hell and the minority who are prepared to ask the difficult questions are silenced, maybe permanently. Or, a sufficient number of people wake up, stop being afraid, stop being ignorant by willfully ignoring the evidence which is (presently) widely available, and refusing to collude with tyranny. There is no need to detonate explosives under our ‘rulers’ as Guy Fawkes tried to do. All we need to blow up is our fear, ignorance, and collusion and the world changes, but the longer we leave it, the harder it gets.
PS I have some diaries again this year, a week to view, pocket size, includes a pen. If anyone would like one I will be happy to send it to you. Let me know your address, if I do not already have it and I will put it in the post.
Some relevant links
What is propaganda? Your mind cannot be free until you can recognise when you are being manipulated. Once you know what to look for you will notice propaganda everywhere. A good introduction to propaganda here
Your freedom to eat what you want is being eroded. The climate change conference taking place now has nothing to do with ‘saving the planet’ and everything to do with coercion. Excellent presentation here from the Ice Age Farmer
It is a shame we are not talking more about the real damage that is being done to the environment and our well-being by electromagnetic pollution. Arthur Firstenberg wrote an excellent book called ‘The Invisible Rainbow’ about mankind’s troubled relationship with electricity. This article reports on the damage being done by the latest developments in wireless communications