Resistance: Intellectual self-defence

7f. Forms of Resistance and Protest

Intellectual self-defense is a useful personal attribute in an Age of Insanity. There are lots of bullying and manipulation techniques that people use, so its good to be able to spot them. The ‘dominant narratives’ in our culture have entrenched ideologies, neatly summarised below by Wendell Berry. The assumptions he lists as the basis of capitalism need to be questioned at every turn.

The Global ‘free market’ economy is inherently an enemy to the natural world, to human health and freedom, to industrial workers, and to farmers and others in land-use economies; and furthermore, that it is inherently an enemy to good work and good economic practice.

I believe that this perception is correct and that it can be shown to be correct merely by listing the assumptions implicit in the idea that corporations should be free to buy low and sell high in the world at large.

These assumptions, so far as I can make them out, are as follows:

  1. That stable and preserving relationships among people, places and things do not matter and are of no worth.
  2. That cultures and religions have no legitimate practical or economic concerns.
  3. That there is no conflict between the ‘free market’ and political freedom, and no connection between political democracy and economic democracy.
  4. That there can be no conflict between economic advantage and economic justice.
  5. That there is no conflict between greed and ecological or bodily health
  6. That there is no conflict between self interest and public service.
  7. That the loss or destruction of the capacity anywhere to produce neccessary goods does not matter and involves no cost.
  8. That it is alright for a nation’s or a region’s subsistence to be foreign based, dependent on long-distance transport, and entirely controlled by corporations.
  9. That, therefore, wars over commodities – our recent Gulf War for example – are legimate and permanent economic functions.
  10. That this sort of sanctioned violence is justified also by the predominance of centralised systems of production supply, communications and transportation which are extremely vulnerable not only to acts of war between nations, but also to sabotage and terrorism.
  11. That it is alright for poor people in poor countries to work for poor wages to produce goods for export to affluent people in rich countries.
  12. That there is no danger and no cost in the proliferation of exotic pests, weeds and diseases that accompany international trade and that increase in the volume of trade.
  13. That the economy is a machine, of which the people are merely the interchangeable parts. One has no choice but to do the work (if any) that the economy prescribes, and to accept the prescribed wage.
  14. That, therefore, vocation is a dead issue. One does not do the work that one chooses to do because one is called to do it by Heaven or by one’s natural or God given abilities, but does instead the work that is determined and imposed by the economy. Any work is all right as long as one gets paid for it.”

Charlemagne was also known as Charles the Great, and was king of the Franks between 768 and 814, and emperor of the West between 800 and 814. He founded the Holy Roman Empire, strengthened European economic and political life, and promoted the cultural revival known as the Carolingian Renaissance. He proclaimed that “To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

This is because so many of our understandings are ingrained into our culture at the level of its written and spoken language that they can dictate our thoughts. for me there is little to be gained from arguing with people using language, when patterns are so deeply ingrained. What we need is a language of the heart.

Identifying some of the false arguments as presented below can help to open up the language, but don’t expect to make many friends if you use them!

Ad Hominem: attacking the person’s character rather than the argument

Straw Man Fallacy: misrepresenting an argument in order to make it easier to attack

Hasty Generalisation: using small numbers or single examples to represent the all

Begging the Question: Prove a proposition based on a false premise

Post Hoc / False Cause: Claiming that because something happened before it must be the cause

False Dichotemy: Reducing the argument down to two possibilities

Ad Ignorantum: Claiming that because you are ignorant it must be true

Burden of Proof Reversal: Laying the burden of proof onto the one questioning the claim. Also called ‘Gish Gallop’, a favourite of Trump’s

Non Sequiter: Assuming ‘this’ follows ‘that’ when there is no logical connection

Bandwagon Fallacy: Just because people think it is so doesn’t mean it is true

Because our language is so tied up with the ways we are persuaded to think, it is very important to question these ‘linguistic pre-emptions’ to get at the truth. There are many ways to counter the imposition of false stories and myths that condition us to behave as slaves. However – meaningful dialectic just isn’t what it used to be when people invest their egos in entrenched positions and refute everything that doesn’t support their belief systems.

It is very easy to find new stories for yourself when even just growing food, foraging, knitting clothes or making your own stuff have all become acts of resistance to corporate control. I love it that growing my own food and knitting hats is an act of resistance. It makes picking hazelnuts and blackberries so much more exciting!

Parliament Must Die contains quotes from: A. Greenburg, M.D._Abraham Maslow_Albert Einstein _Alnoor Ladha_Andrew Gwynne _Anneke Lucas_Arthur Koestler _Arundhati Roy_Asgeir Jonsson _Barbara Max Paul Hubbard_Bertrand Russell _Bill Mollison _Buckminster Fuller_Calcida Jethá _Caroline Lucas_Charles the Great_Chief Arvol Looking Horse _Christopher Ryan_Copernicus_Daniel Christian Wahl_Daniel Pinchbeck_Darwin_David Edwards_David Holmgren _David Icke_Dieter Duhm_Donald Worster_Donnachadh McCarthy_Doreen Massey_Doris Lessing_Dr A Bartlett Giamatti _Dr Claire Wordley_Dr Jay Cullen_Dr Kathy Sykes _Dresden James_E C Lindeman_Eckhart Tolle_Edgar Cayce _Edward Snowden _Ethan C Roland _Ewen MacAskill_Galileo_Galtang and Ruge _George Monbiot_Gerald Heard _God in Genesis_Greta Thunberg_Gudrun Johnsen _Guido Dalla Casa _Gustave Le Bon_Guy Fawkes _Henry Cloud _Henryk Skolomowski_Isaac Cordal _J Eliot_Jack D Forbes_Jack Forbes_James Gordon M.D._James Lovelock _Jeremy Lent_Jeremy Rifkin_John Cleese _John Hammell_John Hilary_John Trudell_Jon Stone_Jonathan Bartley_Julian Assange_Karl Marx _Karlos Kukuburra_Ken Ward _Lee Williams _Leonard Higgins_Lierre Keith _Lord Strasburger_M Knowles_Maddy Harland _Marianne Williamson_Mark Boyle_Martin Kirk_Martin Winiecki_Masanobu Fukuoka _Matthieu Ricard_Mogens Herman Hansen _Nafeez Ahmed _Nanice Ellis_Neil Dawe_Nikola Tesla_Noam Chomsky_Olafur Hauksson _Osho_Paul Hawken_Paul Levy_Peter Joseph_Peter Macfadyen_Pope Francis_President Franklin Roosevelt _Rabindranath Tagore _Rene Descartes _Russell Brand_Safa Motesharrei _Seyyed Hossein Nasr_Sigmund Fraud_Silas Titus _Simon Mitchell_Sir David Attenborough_Sir Isaac Newton_Sir Joshua Stamp_Skip Sanders _Steve Kent _Sting_Terrence Mckenna_The Dalai Lama _Thomas Berry_Tom McKay_Tyler Durden_Walter Bradford Cannon_Wendell Berry_William Derham_Yaneer Bar-Yam

banner for Parliament Must Die