Hypocrisy in Green

Also published at

To date, Greta has been recognized as a great inspiration by almost all political camps in the Western world. However, her opinions on system changes have been met with total silence.

A three-degree meteor – bringing massive-scale refugee movements, water shortages, wars over natural resources, the extinction of more animal species and the destruction of our natural environment – is heading straight for the earth. It will strike if there is no radical change, but our economic and political rulers have no radical changes to offer. They still try to market themselves as authoritative, knowledgeable and with big green investments and optimism because “the technology exists”, right?

The presumption is that it is major green investments and innovations that will solve the climate issue. But the tendency in industrialized countries is that companies have stopped investing, that they increasingly hoard their profits according to the IMF. The latest trend is so-called “superstar firms” such as Blackrock, Google and Apple that buy up smaller companies, creating technology monopolies, thus replenishing their savings without investing. Capital is stockpiled instead of being used to contribute to solving inequality, climate injustice, lack of trust which could all lead to a breakthrough in the climate negotiations. In the US alone, $4 trillion dollars is kept in the large companies’ “cash vaults”. We see no political will to change these structural problems either in the US or Europe. But for the public, everyone wants to cuddle up to Greta and appear progressive.

The latest example is the EU climate initiative Green Deal marketed as Europe’s equivalent of “putting a man on the moon”. The EU will, supposedly, “stimulate and facilitate”, raising €1tn within ten years, which will lead to CO2-reducing initiatives. It may sound ambitious, but you have to ask where the real priorities are. Is it the climate or big companies and banks that are being protected? A €1tn to save the world can be compared to the four times larger amount of €4.2tn spent to save the banks between 2009 and 2013. The flaunted €1tn is not money set aside, it is a promise to banks to underwrite private investment. Thus, the public takes the risks of the bank loans while companies use the financing and top up their savings. What is actually taken from the EU budget is not €1tn, but only €7.5bn, which can be compared to the €29bn that is being invested in an environmentally harmful gas infrastructure. The “moon landing” is nothing but smoke and mirrors and hypocrisy!

The climate correspondent and Swedish public-service journalist Erika Bjerström recently classified Greta Thunberg as a left-wing populist despite Greta’s clear references to climate research. Her argument is that Greta raises justice issues – that she points out that in reality it is “public opinion that runs the free world. In fact, every great change throughout history has come from the people” – and consistently criticizes our economic and political leaders and thus, as Bjerström puts it, does not give people any hope. Instead, she would prefer Greta to bless the EU’s Green Deal.

No, it is not people’s protests or activism that we should support or young people’s demands for system changes we should believe in. Instead, are supposed to continue to rely on a combination of what is increasingly evolving into a centralized capitalism with executive politicians in green makeup, on banks and technocrats. As an individual, you must instead deal with all the concepts of guilt and shame. We should not even have children because they, like halogen lamps, consume too much energy. Life itself is to be sacrificed while visions of an essential new social order must at all costs be undermined and its critics side-lined. The governing bodies will not budge. They will not work for system changes that give us a society where people have the right to take action and the right to a healthy planet. On the contrary, the Davos crème de la crème, parliamentarians, authorities, journalists and think-tanks will meet such thoughts with resistance.

The climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) was labelled by the British liberal think-tank Policy Exchange an extremist organization aiming to break down liberal ideas. Furthermore, the British group National Counter Terrorism Policing Network considers XR to be an extremist organization alongside neo-Nazis and Islamic terror groups.

How long will it take before Greta and Fridays For Future are targeted? How long will society allow a younger generation to be happily liberated from the poisonous realism of the establishment, openly and disparagingly speaking their mind about the rulers?

Finish off Brexit and stop embarrassing the Democracy

Also published on Democracy Chronicles

It is 3 ½ years since Britons voted for an exit and still the British Parliament has not been able to deliver what the voters decided. It was not part of the vote to clarify HOW it would be done, if it would be a hard or soft Brexit, for example, only THAT it would, or would not, be done. It is the task of the political system to take care of HOW as well as THAT it happens, and it has failed at both.

The main reason for this, from what we hear in news broadcast after news broadcast from all over the world, is a boundlessly painful process where adults in the room behave like selfish kids. The members of the House of Commons, including the Speaker, have created something that can be likened to a parliamentary coup that gives them the opportunity, on a daily basis, to put forward new proposals and then vote them down. We see a parliament in which everyone is given the chance to set terms and block them at will, depending on their special interests. We see a government that is unable to rule, and an opposition that defies it at every turn. We see parliamentarians without any respect whatsoever for the voters’ decision and instead, many politicians and much of the media lay the blame for the Brexit mess on the electorate who, they say, voted the “wrong way” and created it.

Anti-Brexit supporters are seeking a new referendum, even though the problem is obviously down to Parliament and the politicians. What would a new referendum achieve besides a second chance for the Remainers and for the secret dream of the whole European establishment that, covertly, they may be able to get their way. Furthermore, seventy percent of the British public do not think a second referendum would be any help as the country is still as divided on the issue of leaving the EU as in 2016, although the marginal majority are now the Remainers. Everyone understands that a new referendum cannot be called every time there is a marginal change in public opinion.

All factions have agreed on a new general election, but only on their own terms. Currently scheduled for the 12th of December, if it gets off the ground, it is nothing but a cry for help and not a decision made out of consideration for the voters. The British Parliament has simply hacked its way out of the Brexit mess; a mess that may well continue forever after the election if the same parliamentarians reclaim their seats. 

In my most secret fantasies, I see an international political decontamination brigade that, out of nowhere, blasts a hole in the wall of the House of Commons, and flushes it clean with high-pressure washers. And afterwards, Democracy’s own security forces install a new parliament which acts on behalf of the voters, and the decision administrators, the MPs, are subordinate to the decisions and not the other way around.

Order! Order!

There are those alongside me who harbour dark thoughts, apparently. According to surveys conducted by Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh, British voters, whether for or against Brexit, think that “the risk of MEPs being subjected to violence” is “a risk worth taking”.

 Great Britain, it’s time to let go of the EU now. In unbalanced relationships, you come to a point where it hurts more to stay put than to leave. It is better to release the tension, to part and from this find a new foundation from which to work. Right now, the whole of Europe is getting daily doses of learning that our democracy and parliamentary systems no longer deliver. The fact that extreme political alternatives are popping up in the wake of this is a consequence for which none of those who defend the development gutlessly should blame any other “extremist force”.

At the moment, British politicians are blocking the work of the EU and all of Europe. You actually have to get a move on!

At the same time, it is regrettable that the UK should leave the EU because I believe that all international forces, not least the UK, are needed to counter the greatest threats to humanity; the climate, the finance industry, right extremist forces and a diminished confidence in democracy. The latter keeps growing every hour that goes by. The political fatigue in the UK will, if it has not already done so, reach the same levels as, for example, in Greece after the 2015 election or as in today’s protesting Chile and other parts of South America. A new democratic regime and deeper involvement of voters, a bottom-up-democracy with a chance to have greater influence in politics and to participate in social and economic issues are the only things that can rebuild people’s respect for politics and parliamentarians. We would have needed Great Britain to push for this in the EU. Instead, they are becoming a cautionary example.

The contempt for the radicals

Also published on Democracy Chronicles

In the New York Times article “What’s Wrong With Radicalism” (December 11) columnist David Brooks generalize about radicals. And actually, if one thoroughly consider his exact conclusions even though it’s nicely put together,  it carries a patronizing tone. Having all radical political voices of today bundled into an unserious package should be met.  


If you have a radical view of societal change today, you belong to a mob of factually misguided, gullible, irresponsible, malicious loudmouths who create unrest.

That is the conclusion of New York Times columnist David Brooks’ analysis in his article “What’s Wrong With Radicalism”. An easy and ingratiating read for the diminishing host of readers who are still convinced that the cause of increasing populism, the mistrust of the establishment, and a new political landscape across the western world is only an unusual virus; namely this radical, malignant and infectious mob. But it will soon pass; the well-established politicians, economists and opinion leaders are the obvious shepherds and healers.

There is something religious about this. Or at least a strong sense of escapism. Thoughts veer towards the Titanic and the orchestra that played for the 1st class passengers until the end. Well-dressed, cultured and wealthy people, mostly men, who share an illusory culture that just has to remain.

To me – politically engaged in an activist movement consisting of 70000 members with concrete economic, social alternatives to the current order, in pursuit of genuine democracy and transparency – and others who left the sinking ship long ago; columnists such as Brooks seem like a dying race, with neither political argument nor vision. In the United States as well as in Europe, wise and innovative people and activists work to create a different and worthwhile social structure that can put an end to people’s increasing distaste for those in power and politics.

The Panama papers, paradise leaks, persuasive and dishonest presidents, surveillance, a small autocratic clique of people in the financial industry who are allowed to own most of the world´s resources, media companies controlling millions of people’s digital lives, increasing numbers of people suffering from mental disorders, and globalization that has removed power so far away from people’s everyday lives that no one cares anymore, are some aspects of our reality. Perhaps Brooks considers this fake news and behind the denial is, of course, the insight that this miserable state is not caused by “political fools”; it has been created by all the common democratic and undemocratic forces that have, for so long ruled the western world. Most of the passengers aboard this sinking ship are now trying to protest, knowing that we have crashed into an iceberg – and knowing who steered us into it. But in one of the sloping salons you will find people like Brooks. Clad in evening dress, puffing on a cigar, still in the process of ordering the best available cognac, in conversation with a small clique of opinion leaders who live in the past.

It may be that in this time of doom some of the passengers are screaming, are raging and shoving at each other and that every little pronouncement is not always true, but still, in comparison with Brooks, they stand on firm ground in the understanding that our society no longer primarily serves its citizens.

The social body and the threatening infection

It is a common view that 2017 is a politically unpredictable year and unpredictability is anything but what our Western society wants.

On the wish list are: Stable economic growth; political stability; a reliable government; a steady cycle of work and consumption and, not least, a reliable information system – a news media which reflects and analyzes what is happening as the “voice of society”. All of these are interdependent in the “social body”.

Many scoff at this kind of holistic approach. They believe that, on the contrary, society is made up of different stakeholders such as rival companies, the news media and a variety of political currents, preferring to stress that it is these differences that have created our eminent society and provided its diversity, dynamism and vitality.

Nevertheless, everything is dependent on a common system of norms. Without its common standards, the social body would quickly disintegrate. Principles and ideals such as representative democracy, liberalism, capitalism, competition, individualism, hierarchical arrangements, materialism, the human being seen as primarily an economic creature, and so on are ways of thinking that we never question but take for granted. Why would we not? Every conceivable alternative would be worse anyway, isn’t that right? For most people the machinery is, in short, just “our civilization”. Everything west of the United States and east of the EU is generally seen as less civilized.

One might think that it would be the most learned, the most successful people who had the ability to look further and avoid this sectarian, societal self-image. But much of what happens is the opposite of that: The most successful and prominent people are those who have dug deepest into the current system. They are the ones who have been most richly awarded in our society by being the most diligent in following standards and adapting to them. They will not betray “their law”. No, it is not intellectualism and in-depth knowledge that give people wider perspectives. On the contrary, it’s the ability to deprogram from the existing order which provides that liberating sense of clarity and insight. But the most profound insights are often left unacknowledged because they rarely serve the governing system. This applies in all social orders of the world and for all its dissidents.

Brexit, the US presidential election and the inauguration day have unveiled and exposed the social body for those who might have believed that society consisted solely of independent competing forces. Throughout the Western world, a wave of condemnation is currently emanating from the influential people in society towards all those who don’t support the status quo, whether it’s to do with Hillary Clinton, the European Union or trade agreements. Suddenly liberal, conservative and socialist seem to have merged into one and the same political force. Throughout the entire Western world, news media convey similar analyzes and the same conclusions. Banks in France unanimously refuse to lend money to the “wrong” presidential candidate and their campaign. The social body that never was now emerges into its complete form. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both attacked the prevailing system. One had more success than the other but in both cases their rhetoric was grounded in the only currency that ultimately counts; people. Real people who think, feel and make definite choices. And more and more people seem to be veering away from society’s accepted standards.

A rot is spreading rapidly in the West.

The social body is infected, it has a fever and is feeling desperately ill. Millions of people are increasingly rejecting their own civilization. The Western social body’s defense system has no remedy against this epic threat; it trembles and cringes in pain, anger and fear. Its mouth – our old media – sometimes judges, sometimes threatens the citizens to quickly return to the “right thoughts”, because everything is a misunderstanding. Mostly it’s Fake news, the Russians are to blame or Nazis are hiding around the next street corner. During the Christmas holidays Barack Obama signed the ”National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA), thus also legalizing the “Global Engagement Center”, the propaganda center that will fight ”false information” as well as allow non-governmental organizations the right to gather information and contribute towards counteracting false information about the US and its allies; the new Riders who will carry forward the “good” eye of Sauron. The rot must be combated; Western ideals must prevail.

Society’s foundation and source of energy is the citizens themselves and when only a quarter of the US population support the old ideals and, furthermore, lose or when the European population reject the EU, the bedrock of Western culture has eroded significantly.

The Panama documents revealed economic crime and corruption endorsed by Prime ministers and thousands of economic stake holders. The societal body is already full of rot and on the ropes; everyone knows that. It is in a state of denial, like an old dictator who, before his fall, threatens with even more control, censorship and external menaces.

All the while, people look around and let the old decompose.

Are we doomed or do we hear the sound of new activists marching?

Partly published in Adbusters Magazine 129

In countries without any form of democracy the walls are visible and let the citizens know they are trapped. The walls in this world are towering everywhere, which makes them so difficult to discern. Most people still have jobs to go to. We have the “free” news media. We have our democratic elections and our supermarkets are well stocked. Everything seems to be normal and yet something is wrong. The new alloy of power: our banks, corporations, state authorities, media etc rules from an untouchable globalized layer of power. A new world culture settles like a light snowfall. Quiet and peaceful, it stealthily fills our everyday lives. A blanket named globalization and human disconnection is thrown on us. A death by suffocating seems to be the only path ahead for our souls.

This monumental and invisible culture shift is a fact but at the same time there seem to be a major change in people’s consciousness going on. A new kind of activist has multiplied. But before discussing the new activist let’s have a general look at the development of resistance.

It’s a documented fact that the number of protests and demonstrations increases year after year, not only in North America and Europe but all over the globe. There seem to be a global turmoil that nobody dares or manage to explain. On the establishment’s defense-radar the number of new echoes,  the populist blips has grown. They reveal a breach of contract between the people and the system. The “enemies” are now inside the gates. They’re in the parliaments and maybe in the White house. But are fascists the kind of resistance that we’ve been waiting for?  No, but what’s interesting is people’s mistrust and a growing feeling of “I have had enough” which necessarily don’t have to be mixed with how it’s manifested.

We live in a circular flow of labor and consumption that is invented and driven by capitalists, upheld and protected by politicians, normalized by the news media, energized by the masses that are supervised and controlled by state-authorities. Masses are running for consumption when they in fact are the ones being consumed. Can we expect a general mistrust being expressed in terms of political philosophy rather than a burned car? People are fucked up by a system that’s getting more and more uniformed, distanced and less caring. They’re looking for revenge and someone to accuse for their miserable struggle for money, respect and dignity in this western soap-opera.

But the growing resistance is also coming from what I call the new activist.

The new activist has stopped dreaming the impossible dreams. The old activist, the old revolutionary chooses between individualism OR collectivism while the new one can see the spirit of free will and individual expression grow together with solidarity in a society not based on fear and competition. The old revolutionary gladly accept politics that bunch infants together in day care centers clearing the way for adults and their careers in the treadmill. They ignore the social engineering of defenseless babies, young kids and their need for love, trust and their parents. The new activist see parents and children together and parents developing themselves in a society with another economic model.

The new activist can see all implications and is, unlike the old activist, not blinded by party issues, politically biased thinking, media campaigns, blinkered opinions or other binding associations.

He or she prefers to search for the truth rather than for opinions or judgments. A prerequisite for the creation of peace is that truth comes before identity.

The new activist is a truth seeker; someone who has left the introvert schisms of the old world behind. The new activist is not just the one leading the struggle for the poor against social injustice, even though that kind of activist also changes things. The revolution will be played out as much within the middle class as any other part of society. The conservatives, autocrats, hawks and patriarchs exist in all camps. The new activist is like a sniffer dog detecting power strategies and corruption and then exposes it without hesitation as he/she has no “club” to protect.

The new activist is an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary. He or she sees “the whole picture”. When that happens, one no longer holds prejudices and is less likely to envisage potential enemies and short-term goals. 

The good news is, those new activists are spreading like a prairie fire, creating confusion and fear among main stream media editors, old world politicians and political analyzers as the old world framework seems to crack everywhere.

The new activist, just like the masses of people that have had enough will never start a movement. They are the backlash brought about the new world culture. They are everywhere and maybe for the first time in history a leaderless evolution can take place instead of repetitive revolutions driven by control-freaks doing careers.

The New Devil or the One We Know

Also published on Democracy Chronicles

A wave of populism is sweeping across the Western world, and right now it’s most clearly exemplified in Donald Trump. The established politicians, culture writers, editors and so on are the ones who usually possess the most sensible and thoughtful insights, unlike populists who are blatant, emotional and dangerous; basing their opinions on simplifications and disaffection; not on the facts.

Western-style Government is fundamentally based on the premise that power should be based on the people. But maybe this is an outdated view. Today, society is much more complex. The consequences of referendums are incalculable for most voters, and therefore polls, where people with a lack of knowledge are given the same voting rights as those who have more insight into the issues, may not be appropriate. The entire Western establishment agrees that Brexit was a disaster.

And perhaps populist views and populist politicians should be kept out of the public debate as far as possible as they are irresponsible and even dangerous. The debates on integration issues, foreign policy and the views on leadership, schools, care, democracy, etc. would be more constructive if they were built on the established views and public reasoning and based on liberalism and the Western democratic culture rather than populist stupidity.

Anger, denial and a deep lack of self-confidence.

Populism occurs in response to elitism. To the traditional politician the populist is regarded as simplistic and irresponsible just as the powerful are seen as simplistic and irresponsible to the individual who seeks his own role as a grass roots citizen, the genuine article. Globalization has reinforced the vertical and hierarchical social order. Furthermore, power today is situated in a single cloud in which parliamentary democracy, capitalism, banks, intelligence services and media service providers can no longer be distinguished.

The anti-populist and simplistic political promises of “change” that characterize most Western elections lack value because they are rarely met. In our Western societies, no fundamental changes are created. On the contrary, it seems that Western culture has solidified around work and consumption as its only vision, with more and more stressed, tired and sick citizens. The trend is less analysis, less reflection and increased, convulsive social pace and more individualism.

One might ask which option carries the most superficial messages? Is it the simplistic discontent-confirming populist or the traditional, familiar and reasonable political hawk promising change but delivering the status quo. Is it the new devil or the one we know?

Many people fear a new wave of fascism. The only question is which one; the nationalist and humanly intolerant one? Or the incumbent hegemony: the power-hungry, dogmatic and increasingly fearful and controlling one? Is it Trump’s catastrophic view of women we should pay attention to or is it Clinton’s classic, ingrained patriarchal order we ought to examine? How is it possible that 40% of all voters ignore the fact that Trump doesn’t stick to the truth? Perhaps because the truths and the good argumentation that Clinton represents have never delivered in practice; within the social reality of the citizens.

Maybe we should ask why politicians, courts, banks and the media continue to lose people’s trust. Perhaps that would be something to pay attention to instead of the next political sex-scandal which makes our present state of democracy look like a burlesque show.

The most interesting thing is that there is a profound change in people’s view of the social order. Reduced confidence and increasing indifference to those in power have created new trends and new political thought structures not only among popular protest movements throughout the Western world but also among the ordinary citizens.

The carousel does not end on November 8; it has only just started to spin.