Letter to The Editor

To The AustralianThe claim by NSW Supreme Court judge Ronald Sackville that it is 'of profound importance' that we have national laws against 'anti-Semitic speech and other forms of hate speech' ('Triggs "is confused over role at HRC”', 2/2) can be validly challenged. The terms, simply, are too vague and too liable to legalistic misuse by interested minorities in order to curb free speech on controversial topics. There is plenty of evidence from many nations, such as Canada and Germany, that this is so.

What truly is of profound importance is that we should have genuine free speech on religion and race in our nation. Merely tinkering timidly and hypocritically with the language of 18C will not bring this about.NJ, Belgrave, Vic

Restoration of The Commons

from the Social Credit Discussion Group:Question and statement:It is true that Social Credit was never proposed or discussed by the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, or even the great Reformation theologians. It may be one way of improving the distribution/sharing of wealth, but not the only way. According to Acts of the Apostles, the earliest Christian community held all goods in common. No one kept anything for him or herself. Similarly, the great cenobitic communities of pagan, Christian, and other (such as Buddhist) traditions. In our contemporary times, the Focalare Economy of Communion takes a different approach to achieving a degree of equity in a community. In fact, in terms of spiritual development and commitment, these traditions offer something that Social Credit does not: personal gift and personal renunciation. Social Credit seems in some respects rather like a way of restoring the "commons", the pre-capitalist provision that certain lands were dedicated to communal purposes, so anyone could graze stock, gather wood, catch game, etc. of course, after the notorious Enclosure of the Commons, appropriation of that common resource for the private exploitation by the gentry, country-folk who snared a rabbit for the pot could hang for poaching.Social Credit seems to postulate an analogy to the "commons" in the society's endowment of technology, institutions, etc.  Please correct me if I misapprehend that point. G

Response:Yes, Social Credit is a method of restoring the commons within the context of an industrial or high-tech economy. By taking advantage of the flaw in the existing price system, i.e., the fact that the financial system creates costs in the form of debts to the banking system (since most production is undertaken on the basis of short-term and/or long-term bank loans) at a faster rate than it distributes incomes to consumers (in the form of wages, salaries, dividends, profits, etc.), Social Credit proposes to introduce a new principle of distribution that would represent the 'free gift' or 'free lunch' inherent to economic reality.

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LESSONS IN FREEDOM WE ALL NEED TO LEARN by Betty Luks

My interest was sparked by John Roskam’s article “In Government, Less Is So Much More” - Institute of Public Affairs, 27 January 2017.He writes:  According to the results of an international opinion poll released a few days ago, there's an "implosion of trust" around the world.  The findings of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer reveal just 37 per cent of Australians trust the government. The comparable figure in the United States is 47 per cent, and 36 per cent in the UK.

Despite all the business bashing of recent times, Australians have more faith in business than their government, as 48 per cent of Australians say they trust business.  Only 32 per cent of Australians trust the media. To put that into perspective that's only one point higher in trust that the Russians have in their media, and it's 15 points lower than that for America.

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ALL ON BOARD FOR CHINA'S 'SILK ROAD' JOURNEY - TO HELL? by Betty Luks


 The headlines read:  'Silk Road' freight train from China arrives in Barking, UKThe first direct rail freight service from China to the UK has completed its 18-day trip and arrived in London.  The train left the city of Yiwu, on China's east coast, this month and travelled 7,500 miles (12,000km), crossing seven countries, before arriving at a freight depot in Barking.  The service delivered 34 containers of clothes and high street goods.China Railway already runs services between China and other European cities, including Madrid and Hamburg.  The service passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before entering the UK via the Channel Tunnel.In order to make the journey, a number of different locomotives and wagons were used as the railways of the former Soviet Union states have a larger rail gauge.However, the rail firms say the service is still cheaper than air freight and faster than sending goods by sea.  The service is part of China's One Belt, One Road programme - reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes to the West.Continue reading: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38666854

Question:  How are the British people going to buy China's goods when so many do not have jobs and depend on their welfare cheques, those who do have jobs already have so many financial commitments - let alone the taxation and other government charges  - and the private debt structure is so high?  I am reminded of that story Anthony Cooney tells of the American unionist attending the opening of the Ford Motor Company's first automated production line.  He was asked just  how he was going to collect the union dues from the automated machines - machines are not paid wages!   Wages are the workers' purchasing power.He smartly retorted:  How are you going to sell products to these machines? 

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‘DEMOCRACY’ IS …..by Betty Luks

I don’t know about you but I have a far different concept of what constitutes a ‘democracy’ than does the recently-retired American vice president, Joe Biden.
According to CBNC (18 Jan 2017) the fellow had this to say to the elites attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.“The gist of his speech was simple: At a time of "uncertainty" we must double down on the values that made Western democracies great, and not allow the "liberal world order" to be torn apart by destructive forces.”

The ‘destructive forces’ being of course the world’s people wanting their lives and nations back from the control of the ‘world elite’.
 
Biden, we read, also went after Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, saying he is using "every tool" in his power to whittle away the European project, and undermine Western democracies. Biden accused Putin of wanting to "roll back decades of progress."  Biden said Russia used "cyber aggression" to meddle in the U.S. election, an assertion supported by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. He also warned that we will see further interference from Russia in the future and said the "purpose is clear" — that Putin wants to see a "collapse of the international order.""Simply put, Putin has a different vision of the future," the vice president warned…”

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MYTHS, LEGENDS AND SPIRITUAL SURVIVAL by Betty Luks October 2007

I recently came upon a copy of Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop's "War Diaries" published forty years after WWII. Sir Edward was one of Australia's great heroes. In the foreword British officer, Colonel Sir Laurens van der Post wrote of his brief experiences with the American and Australian soldiers of war, along with the British, in the early days of the Japanese internment and he described prison life as "the war within the War"

For the first three months and under the inspired leadership of (then) Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Dunlop, an all out effort was made to not only invest the resources available to them for "the physical well being" of the men, and to unite them as of the British-Commonwealth, but a "vast educational system was set up" to cater for their mental and spiritual well being.

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THE CAUSES OF WAR ARE IN EVERY VILLAGE by Betty Luks

It suddenly struck me that Professor Jordan Peterson and C.H. Douglas were/are really ‘on the same page’ – Douglas of course eighty years ago.  Also as Jordan Peterson says in one video segment there have been great advances in the last 50-100 years in the discipline of Psychology (just as in the understanding of the social credit within societies as Social Credit teaching brings out).

In his November 1934 BBC broadcast on “The Causes of War” Douglas asked the question, “Is Our Financial System to Blame?” In answering his own question, he thought it important there should be agreement on what was meant by ‘war’ and gave the technical definition of the time:“Any action taken to impose your will upon an enemy or to prevent him from imposing his will upon you.”

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Bring on the National Dividend!

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-17/davos-world-economic-forum-confronts-globalisation-revolt/8188960Technology to have a bigger impact than globalisationHowever, Mr Minack said while it may be possible — not to mention also nonsensical and painful — to reverse globalisation, it is also most likely pointless as well, given an even bigger threat to jobs and wages is coming down the tracks.Technology and the developments in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence will simply eliminate the need for many unskilled workers in both developed and developing economies."I think that globalisation has had a bigger effect than technology on incomes of unskilled and semi-skilled workers over the past 15 years," Mr Minack said."But the next 15 years will see a reversal: technology, not globalisation, will likely become a major adverse influence on less-skilled workers' incomes."In other words, the globalisation debate heating up the chilly climes of Davos may well be already out of date.Sure, the threat of trade wars and insular politics still abound, but it could all be about battles that have already be lost and won, not ones to come.The dynamics that have led to disgruntlement and alienation are only likely to intensify from here.

WHAT IS ‘THE STATE’ FOR? by Betty Luks



In Dr. Jennifer Oriel’s opinion “Politicians are elected but by no means are they representative” (The Australian 16 January 2017).  In fact she thinks: “Political leaders are in a state of advanced denial about the decay of liberal democracy and their contribution to its decline.  Their refusal to adopt realism in analysing the root causes of rising nationalism, popular democracy and counter-revolutionary movements is self-serving. It enables the political class to sustain denial in the face of overwhelming evidence that their old world order of supranationalism, centralised power and political correctness has done incalculable harm to the free world…”

In fact, political scientist Dr. Oriel is on record as writing:  “Unless the major parties correct their course, it seems likely that a Donald Trump-style politician will rise to prominence in Australia. The appeal of populist and nationalist politicians lies in their novelty, their revival of patriotism and pride in Western culture. The five causes that fired Trump’s ascendancy are being championed by anti-establishment figures across the West. During the past week, three of those causes came to the fore in Australian politics: sovereign borders, the PC establishment and freedom of speech….” (The Australian 22 November 2016)

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THE PROCESS IS THE PUNISHMENT by Betty Luks


It was James Delingpole quoting Mark Steyn’s words “The process is the punishment” that reminded me of that day in 1988 and my experiences at an Office of Multicultural Affairs one-day convention.  I summed up my experiences and my understanding of what it was all about in a letter to the then President of the Victorian RSL Bruce Ruxton (found here (http://alor.org/Volume51/pdf/Vol%2051%20No%2021.pdf)

The main thrust of what was really intended is summed up in the following words: “There was a lawyer in the group who saw it as important that such legislation was put into effect to silence such people as Bruce Ruxton and Nancy Wake.  It was suggested there may already be criminal laws that would effectively deal with such as you, but this lawyer thought it was bad tactics to treat you as a criminal. Why, the people may even see you as some sort of a hero and public anger would be aroused!  Better to deal with the likes of you under the civil laws and try to hurt you in other ways.  I guess psycho/politically and/or financially.

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THE LOGOS: IT’S IN THE VERY WARP AND WOOF by Betty Luks


Joanne Nova has posted on her website an article on an American climate scientist by the name of Judith Curry, which I think bears repeating:  “Judith Curry resigns — “battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide” It is sad to see that Judith Curry will not be continuing her research. The dead hand of buracademia drives out the best.

From Mark Steyn, who doesn’t hold back:  “…distinguished climate scientist Judith Curry had decided to resign from her position at Georgia Tech: The superficial reason is that I want to do other things… The deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.Dr Curry elaborates: A deciding factor was that I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc.

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More for Pauline: GENUINE DEMOCRACY IS DECENTRALISED CONTROL OF POLICY MAKING

We must always keep the fact firmly fixed in our minds, that genuine democracy is decentralised control of policy making. This is in harmony with the Christian philosophy that all power and authority should arise from within the Individual, who should have the greatest possible self-determination.

There are two basic philosophies in the world, each diametrically opposed to the other; obviously these two philosophies and the policies arising from them, result in two different types of organisation. All organisation has to do with the association of individuals.

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SOCIAL CREDIT IS ‘PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY’

The following is taken from Geoffrey Dobbs’ “What is Social Credit”:  “Social Credit is a name given to a certain movement of the mind and spirit (not an organisation) which stems originally from the mind and writings of a man of great insight and genius, the late Clifford Hugh Douglas.  Its aim is to ‘bind back to reality’ or ‘express in practical terms’ in the current world, especially the world of politics and economics, those beliefs about the nature of God and man and the Universe, which constitute the Christian Faith, as delivered to us from our forefathers, and NOT as altered and perverted to suit current politics or economics, which stem from a non-Christian source.

If we define ‘religion’ as that fundamental belief about the nature of things which determines and directs a man’s life and behaviour (his life- policy so to speak), in such cases it is the ‘ideology’, whether of Left or Right or Centre, of this Party or of that, which is the man’s actual religion; his Christianity is a secondary matter, a mere opinion which he favours but does not ‘bind back‘ (re-ligare) to the real world.

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A PLANNED SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM: THE CHINESE COMMUNIST’S IDEA OF ‘SOCIAL CREDIT’ by Betty Luks

China Watching:Beijing wants to create a nationwide ‘social credit’ system that compiles digital records of citizens’ social and financial behaviour to calculate a personal rating that will determine what services they are entitled to - and what blacklists they go on.- - Wall Street JournalIt has come to our notice that a system of surveillance planned for the citizens of Communist China was described in English as a ‘social credit’ system.  Of course it sparked our immediate interest, not only by the term used but the underlying philosophy upon which it is based.  But let’s mull over this news for a while - what does all this mean?

First why use the English term ‘Social Credit’ for such an Orwellian Chinese Surveillance System?  A term that was coined nearly a hundred years ago and which the mainline media has avoided the use of, in relation to, and any reference to, Clifford Hugh Douglas’ writings and proposals.Of course there are a number of serious issues involved with what has happened but I think we have to ‘start at a beginning’ in order to get our minds around it all.

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SCIENCE AND RELIGION by Geoffrey Dobbs

In 1976 biologist, philosopher and social crediter Geoffrey Dobbs presented a paper to a Science and Religion Forum (An expansion of a discussion paper read to the Science and Religion Forum on April 9, 1976, at their meeting at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park on the theme: Man’s Responsibility for Nature) in which he observed:

“Science shares with religion another dimension, beyond the cerebro-verbal plane of academic philosophy, namely that of the external world, in that its thoughts and symbols must be ‘bound back’, in detail, to an external, non-cerebral, non-verbal, reality. ·       It is of the essence of the scientific method that theory must constantly be checked by observation and experiment. ·       It is of the essence of religion that the professed faith must be put to the test of practice, both on the individual scale, and on the more visible, general, social scale. ·       It is of the essence of words and of symboIs of all sorts, that their connection with the referent is indirect – entirely through the human mind, and hence easily confused or diverted or even inverted.

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SOCIAL CREDIT PHILOSOPHY

Taken from the Social Credit Training Course by Eric D. Butler: C.H. Douglas has made it clear time and time again that Social Credit is far more than a monetary reform scheme. Speaking at Westminster in 1936 he said: “As I conceive it, Social Credit covers and comprehends a great deal more than the money problem. Important as it is, primarily because it is a question of priority, Social Credit involves a conception, I feel a true conception… of the relationships between individuals and their association in countries and nations, between individuals and their association in groups.”

In 1937 Douglas said: “In my opinion, it is a very superficial definition of Social Credit that it is merely a scheme of monetary reform….” Douglas’s first book was “Economic Democracy”, published just after the first World War. W.L. Bardsley, writing in the English “Social Crediter” of December 23, 1939, made the following comment:- “Most of ‘Economic Democracy’ had been written before the end of 1917, amid the distractions of war, and its length is barely 25,000 words, yet close study shows that no aspect of the vast subject was untouched, either fully, or in principle, or by stated exclusion. To read it after 20 years is to be amazed at its author’s complete vision of all that others have comprehended, step by step in the interval."

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SOCIAL CREDIT’S UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHY


First an email from Canadian M. Oliver Heydorn informed his readers: “This is a very moving blog from Dr. Jordan Peterson from the "University" of Toronto who is currently being persecuted by the cultural Marxist drones in Canada for his common sense.Every Social Crediter should listen to this speech in its entirety because in several places he describes beautifully the underlying philosophy of Social Credit when it comes to the proper relationship between the individual and the group. Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and tenured professor of psychology at the University.For those who want it in text form, the presentation by Dr. Jordan Peterson is here: jordanbpeterson.com/2016/12/new-years-letter/

My New Year’s Letter to the World, by Dr. Jordan Peterson Dear World: On January 16, I am going to talk with Sam Harris, on his podcast, Waking Up with Sam Harris. Dr. Harris is one of the so-called New Atheists, of which there are four. Like the other three Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins – who, by the way, I have always wanted particularly to debate — Dr. Harris is a smart guy, and I’m certainly not complaining that I will encounter him, instead of Dawkins. So I am preparing my arguments, carefully (although I have been doing so for years.) The specific ideas I am going to share with you today were obsessing me the moment I woke up, somewhat fitfully, this morning, so I dictated them to my son, and then edited them.   The central problem of human beings isn’t religion, as the New Atheists insist. It’s tribalism. We know this in part because chimps, our closest biological kin, go to war, and they are not religious, although they are tribal. Tribalism also has a central problem — and it’s not competition, despite the tendency of competition to produce, at least temporarily, winners and losers. it’s cooperation, because cooperation is what allows us to exist as bounded groups. A group, by definition is a collective cooperatively aiming at something. It can’t be aimed at nothing, because nothing cannot unite. It only divides. Thus, attacks on collective purpose, because of its tendency to produce tribalism, merely divides. The politics of identity, which emerge when the central purpose is criticized too destructively, inevitably produce the situation described in the story of the Tower of Babel: Everyone fragments into primitive tribes and speaks their own language.   One alternative to fragmentation is union under a banner – a collective ideal, cause, or purpose. The problem with uniting under a banner, as the postmodernists who push identity politics rightly point out, is that to value something means simultaneously to devalue other things. Thus to value is an exclusionary process. But the alternative is valuelessness, which is equivalent to nihilism – and nihilism does not produce freedom from exclusion. It just makes everyone excluded, and that is an intolerable state, directionless, uncertain, chaotic, and angst-ridden. When such uncertainty reaches a critical level, the counter-response appears: first the unconscious and then the collectively expressed demand for a leader, possessed by the spirit of totalitarian certainty, who promises above all, to restore Order. Thus, a society without a unifying principle, oscillates, unmoored, between nihilism and totalitarianism. Human beings have been wrestling with this problem since the beginning of civilization, when our capacity to form large groups, for all its advantages, also started to pose a new threat: that of the hyper-domination of the state, collective or purpose. But without the state, there is just fragmentation into smaller groups. The group itself cannot be done away with because for better or worse, human beings are social animals, not loners, like sharks or tigers. We’re team players, but being on one team means not being on others. This means that any given team sidelines, marginalizes, and alienates those who cannot play their game, as well as conflicting with other teams.   In the west, starting in the Middle East, thousands of years ago, a new idea began to emerge (evolve is not too strong a word) in the collective imagination. You might, following Dawkins, consider it a meme, although this is far too weak a word. This idea, whose development can be traced back through Egypt to Mesopotamia, before disappearing into unwritten history, is that of the Divine Individual. This eons-old work of the imagination is a dramatic presentation of an emergent idea, which is the solution to how to organize social being without falling prey to nihilistic divisiveness or deceitful totalitarian certainty: The group must unite under the banner of the individual. The individual is the source of the new wisdom that updates the antiquated, nihilistic or totalitarian detritus and glory of the past.   For better for worse, that idea reaches its apogee in Christianity. The divine individual is masculine because the feminine is not individual: The divine feminine is, instead, mother and child. However, it a hallmark of Christian supposition that the redemption of both men and women comes through the masculine, and that is because the masculine is the individual. The central realization – expressed dramatically; symbolically – is that the subordination of the group to the ideal of the Divine Individual is the answer to the paradox of nihilism and totalitarianism.   The Divine Individual is the man that every man admires, and the man whom all women want their men to be. The Divine Individual is the ideal from which deviations are punished by the group with contempt and disgrace and fidelity to which is rewarded with attention and honour. The Divine Individual is not the winner of any individual game but the player who plays fair and is therefore continually invited to play. The Divine Individual is the builder, maintainer and expander of the state, he who boldly goes where no man has gone before, and someone who eternally watches over the widows and the children. His power of direct and honest communication is that which identifies, discusses and resolves the continually emergent problems of human existence. He is the Saviour of the World.   The primary image for women is not the Divine Individual, because of the heavy burden they bear for reproduction. It is, instead, the Divine Mother and Child. This is not to say that man is the Divine Individual, and woman is not, although such confusion is understandable, given the complexity of the problem. Men, like women, have the Divine Mother and Child as an element of their personality. In men, however, it’s in the background, so to speak, as the Divine Individual is in the background of the psyche for women. Men, by necessity, play a less primary role in the care of children. This frees them to act as individuals in a manner that up to now has been nearly impossible for women. Identification with these images is belief in them. Belief is not the statement of agreement with a set of facts, but the willingness to act something out, to become something, to stake your life on something. For men and women alike, this means voluntary adoption of responsibility – responsibility for oneself, family and state. In that responsibility, and not in rights, resides Meaning itself – the meaning that makes life bearable.   Societies that refuse to recognize both of these elements therefore doom their inhabitants to purposelessness, unhappiness, sterility, and the aforementioned dangers of nihilistic divisiveness and deceitful, oppressive totalitarian certainty. The meaning in responsibility is the necessary meaning in life, which can serve as a counterbalance to its terrible fragility and tenuousness. People must unite under the banner, not of their group, and not of nothingness, but of the individual. This is a brilliant and intrinsically paradoxical solution to the problems of nihilistic nothingness and too-rigid group identity alike. It is the consciousness of the individual which transforms the chaos of potential into habitable cosmos, as the greatest origin stories repeatedly insist. It is that same consciousness which stands up, rebellious and revelatory, to break down the pathological and too rigid order of that cosmos when it has become old, infirm, wilfully blind, and corrupt. It is that consciousness which is the image of God. It dwells within every embodied human form. The fact of its existence is the reason that the Law of the Land itself must be bound by ultimate respect for the individual, regardless of his or her sins and crimes.   It is that consciousness, not the objective material substrate of Being, which should be regarded as the ultimate reality. There is no self-evident reason why dead matter should be given ontological primacy over living spirit. Although doing so has produced a massive increase in human technological power, it has left that power in hands of an increasingly disenchanted populace, and that presents a mortal danger. Such power must be wielded by those who have truly and voluntarily accepted the responsibility of Being, lest it prove fatal.   The West has long been the civilised embodiment of the idea of the divine individual, who does exactly that. That’s what the voluntarily lifting of the cross of suffering symbolically represents. For all its faults, which are manifold, the West has therefore served as a shining beacon of hope to those destined to inhabit places too chaotic or too rigid for the human spirit to tolerate. But the West is in grave danger of losing its way. The negative consequences of this can hardly be overstated.   A close reading of 20th century history indicates, as nothing else can, the horrors that accompany loss of faith in the idea of the individual. It is only the individual, after all, who suffers. The group does not suffer – only those who compose it. Thus, the reality of the individual must be regarded as primary if suffering is to be regarded seriously. Without such regard, there can be no motivation to reduce suffering and, therefore, no respite. Instead, the production of individual suffering can and has and will be again rationalized and justified for its supposed benefits for the future and the group.   Effective birth control has emerged as one of the consequences of our powerful technological materialism. This has been accompanied by the rise of states sufficiently civilized so that women who inhabit them can walk the streets unaccompanied in safety. We do not yet know how to balance the opportunities thus provided for expanded female individuality with the eternal necessity for a woman to serve as the Mother of the Divine Individual. Dividing our civilization into polarized ideological camps of female group identity and male group identity is certainly not the answer. We have to be honest, male and female alike, about what we really want, as individuals, and talk it out. We know beyond dispute that societies who emancipate their women are much more productive and peaceful, and that the relationship is causal. Thus, it’s not a matter of if but how.   But such emancipation places a dual burden on the now more autonomous woman, who is required to balance manifesting the potential of her individual spirit with the necessity of desire to bear and rear the next generation of mankind. To live with free women, and gain the advantages of their freedom and sophistication, men must therefore bring their shadowed psychic identification with the Divine Mother and Child into the light, without losing their Divine Individuality in the process. They must consciously, voluntarily, deliberately and strategically accept their responsibility for the relationship between autonomous female companionship, support, love, and the responsibility of producing that next generation. This means rejecting, among other things, the misbegotten idea of casual sexual gratification. Sex is either the impulsive, short-term gratification of a domineering biological impulse, or the union of two conscious spirits taking responsibility for what they are doing. The former is not commensurate with the demands of an advanced civilization, which requires the adoption of responsibility above all for its preservation, maintenance and expansion. It is for this reason that the sexualized interactions between young men and women – in universities, for example — are increasingly and inevitably falling under the harsh and tyrannical regulation of the state.   In the west, we are, as well, shuttering our great cathedrals – those marvelous, monumental embodiments of the idea of the Divine Individual on which our civilisation is based. This is no mere practical, material, matter: it is a symbolic and ideational process whose importance cannot be overstated. Without that central idea, we will dissolve, and be lost. It is time for each of us to consciously realize what the great symbolic stories of the past insist upon: That we are all sons and daughters of the divine Logos, consciousness itself — Bearers of its Light – and that we must act in accordance with that great central fact, lest all hell break loose. This means, above all, to tell the truth and to care for one another, starting at the level of the individual and proceeding from that, out to the broader reaches of society itself. The alternative, as those same stories have also always insisted, is the more permanent instantiation of the horror that we already saw manifest itself in multiple forms, in the last bloody, terrible, century.   We need to wake up, individual man and woman alike, and we need to do it now. Each of us must take the world on our shoulders, insofar as we are capable of that, and adopt individual responsibility for the horrors and suffering its existence entails. In that we will find the Meaning without which Life is merely the suffering that breeds, first, resentment and then the desire for vengeance and destruction. We need to take responsibility, instead of incessantly insisting on our rights. We need to become adults, instead of aged children. We need to tell the truth. We need justice and compassion, conjoined; not judgment and pity, which crush and devour.   So, in the coming year, make yourself a better person. Fix what you can and would fix. Start now. There is something right in front of you, demanding repair, calling out to your conscience, if you would only attend to it, for your corrective efforts, however primitive they may yet be. Start small. As you master the process, you can safely and competently expand your reach. You will then become able to fix bigger things, instead of making them worse, in the arrogance of your ignorance. If you do this, there will be less pointless and unnecessary suffering, and the world, for all its shortcoming and faults, will be a better place.   Until we can imagine better than that, that is Meaning and Purpose enough. Happy New Year, and best wishes to you all.

THE SUN WILL RISE, THE LIGHT WILL SHINE by Betty Luks

I enjoy reading articles by Israel Shamir even if I do not always agree with him.  Before the Christmas Season, he began his article by describing the northern hemisphere’s weather conditions: 

“It is so dark now in the North. The Sun rises at 10 am to go down at 3 pm. White and plentiful snow and glorious stars outside and Christmas trees indoors make this darkness bearable – just. Here one understands why the people of the North had viewed Yuletide with great anxiety: they never were quite sure whether the Darkness would actually lift and pass away and the Day would gain this year, too. Last year it worked, but who can be sure that this year the Undead creatures won’t keep the Sun in eternal captivity?...”

Coming from the land of sunshine, Australia, I have to use my imagination to picture what it must be like to live in a snow-bound Darkness for days, even weeks, on end.    

WILL SOME GREAT CITIES ‘SINK INTO THE MISTS OF TIME’?

I can still remember the small cramped grocery-cum fruit/lolly corner store near my childhood home. The owner/manager gave personal service and would deliver the goods when requested to do so. That corner store disappeared from the local scene many years ago and we now have huge shopping complexes – which I have to admit I try to avoid.  I don’t like having to fight my way through the crushes of people, usually going in the opposite direction and just as frustrated as myself. Next is my intense dislike of peak-hour motor traffic excruciatingly slowly making its way in and out of a city’s business district. Well, it looks like technology could be coming to the rescue of such suffering cities.  In fact one economist’s blog thinks technology could even kill off such cities as we now know them.

According to Thomas The Thinkengine Blog: The Big Picture: What if technology is going to kill the city as we know it? Many companies are releasing technology to make working from home easy. If you find one that works, pay very close attention.  If working from home becomes functional, many office workers may no longer have to live near their offices, or even in the city at all.

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‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER STILL FLOCK TOGETHER’! by Betty Luks

Thought I better be clear in my mind as to what are the current definitions of some words seen in mainstream news reports these days.  Being of an older generation the terms and/or words could have had their meanings deliberately changed from when I was a girl.

Identity Politics:  According to one internet source “identity politics” means: A tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics. According to another source: Identity politics definition, political activity or movements based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize ...   And then there is ‘populism’: At its root, populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite. The word populism comes from the Latin word for "people," populus. Or another source: Populism is a political style of action that mobilizes a large alienated element of population against a government seen as controlled by an out-of-touch closed elite that acts on behalf of its own interests. The underlying ideology of the Populists can be left, right, or middle.

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