“Controlling the population according to mathematics generated by masons…”
Philip Green, in charge of overseeing the cuts we “are forced to make”, recently spent four million pounds on his daughters birthday. Let that sink in. He and another handful of people constitute the two percent of super rich bourgeoisie who run this country in their own (and their puppet’s) interest. More and more people are waking up to this, witness the demonstration a couple of weeks ago; five hundred thousand people drawing links between the emergence of the super rich, the destruction of the welfare state and the obscene banality of everyday life in late capitalism.
At the same time, a lot of people who have been radicalized by recent events (to be honest I challenge anyone to listen to the smarm of an Osborne for more than a syllable without immediately dreaming of having a Lenin or two instead) still have ideas that are marked by the thinking of the class they are trying to rebel against. This is natural, they run the schools and newspapers as well as industry and government. People who have been brought up all the lives to think that they can never run anything, that there only hope of a better life is winning the lottery, will sometimes struggle to get to grips with the most fundamental rule of history and politics; power is already in the hands of the people.
Fighting for social justice and radical change from below has to begin with that very point. It is the workers, those who have to sell their capacity to work (by brain as well as body) who build this world, who lay the roads through the wilderness, who design the bombs that flatten schools. Every member of the ruling class relays on a thousand workers, not just those from whom they extract a profit, by smashing wages, increasing hours and fiddling taxes but those whose drive him to meetings, cook his food and put his kids to bed. Any serious political radical starts from this point and then asks how this immense strength can be made concrete, how it can be realised. Not to do so is to fall into the comfortable suffocation of lethargy and fantasy.
Take for instance the ubiquitous conspiracy theorising that still does the rounds in many (pseudo) radical circles. Apparently, one should not be so naïve as to think that those people who appear to run the world, against the interests of the vast majority, do so. Apparently they are mere puppets of the illuminati or whatever. The childish logic of this nonsense is evident to anyone who believes that tables (which look like they have legs to hold up the glasses of water and paper we put upon them) are actually holding things up. The conspiracy theorist sees this state of affairs and thinks; “haha idiots, I won’t fall for these tricks, just because there is a clear and obvious answer does not mean I will believe it. Look at this Rihanna video I have reversed, clearly, she is a member of a sinister organization who disguise the fact that there is a secret invisible goblin under every table keeping it up”. Presumably, Jay-Z invented table legs to confuse us.
I am not here to pick apart the myriad of conspiracy theories that still do the rounds. I have neither the time nor the arsedness. I just want to point out how they can turn good people, asking serious questions into lethargics, who think that all political activism takes place on the internet, and that to quote Immortal Technique is to win an argument. Listen, anyone who has heard me speak at political events knows that I love his brand of millenarian poetry, but that is precisely what it is: poetry. The man is an artist and a poet, and I flatter myself with those words too so let me say this; not everything a poet says is supposed to be literally true. Metaphor is generally taken to be the aim. Aside from anything else Immortal Tech is a card carrying Communist (witness his first album cover), and will be thus aware that conspiracy theories have been a tool of rightists and reactionaries, ever since the Kings and Priests of Europe blamed the Great French Revolution on Jews and Freemasons.
Speaking of Jews and Freemasons, the reader with a grasp on conspiracy theories will have noticed that I have not, as of yet talked about one of the most repugnant factors of conspiracy theories; the ever present anti semitism. A conversation I had with a young, genuine lad I met recently who had a real desire to ask questions about racism and economic exploitation, brought this into focus. I was sickened to discover that the group he was active with (who as hebrew israelites are at the forefront of conspiracy nut jobbery) have taught him holocaust denial and leader worship. Worse than this, in explaining to me his theory that slavery was about “taking away identity” (rather than theft and murder) he made a point about modern Haitians corresponding to the mystical Levi’s, and (get this!) blaming the present state of poverty in Haiti on the people themselves for dabbling with Vodoo! This story is precisely that told by French colonists and missionaries to justify the poverty they forced on the Island and its peoples by looting it of all its resources (including millions of gold francs). You see the danger here, these cultic reactionaries belittle the glorious anti Imperilaist history of Haiti, essentially taking the sides of French and Yankee imperialism, just to construct a story to keep a young man, genuinely interested in improving himself and fighting for social change in their grasp. When I showed him the flaws in his anti semitic ideas his standard response was that I should “discuss it with the elders”. This same view “discuss it with the sheikh”, has also been put to me by Muslim conspiracyists and my answer remains the same; I want to talk to you brother, I don’t give a fuck for “elders” or “sheikhs”. Unless one has had one’s irony gland surgically removed, it strikes a funny note to see that many conspiracy theorists are religious. As the good book says, “When I was a child I thought as a child, spoke as a child, acted as a child. Now I am a man and I put away childish things.”
So for god’s sake don’t show me pictures of Obama’s birth certificate or Rihanna’s hand symbols; I really don’t care. Conspiracy theorists want to think they know the world, that’s why they tell these stories. All they succeed in doing is creating an enemy so immense, that they can’t begin to think up a way to fight it. How many David Icke chatroom regulars where on this months march? Exactly. The truth isn’t “out there”, its right here, in the public school boy with a trust fund of thirty million quid, who runs a government with people he went to college with, for the benefit of the two percent of our population who have a life like his. No conspiracy, no secret mystical symbols. Just theft, oppression and injustice.
I salute anyone who is beginning to think about the problems we face and how to overcome them, about how we should act to change the world, but I urge them to do just that. Don’t spend all your time on the internet, don’t decode pop music lyrics and don’t listen to priests of whatever brand. Think. Think and act.