Friday, 25 July 2008

A tale of two books

About two weeks ago, I started to read The Paradise Papers by Merlin Stone. I was sure I had read the book many years ago but remembered nothing about its content. That is, until I opened it and found that I seemed to have internalised so many of its arguments and ideas to the extent that I had assumed they were mine. I would like to hand the credit back to her. Perhaps they came to me via another route, I do not know and it does not really matter. However they came, I was and remain receptive to them. It has been good to revisit the book after all these years and realise now that what I have gained is a level of understanding that – clearly since I forgot so much of the content - I lacked then. I am older, for a start and in the intervening decades have done a lot more reading and met a lot more people. And most importantly, from being an attractive spiritual alternative to the patriarchal religions Goddess has now become a living reality.

Now to come to the second book, which is not dealing with the lies, omissions and distortions of the established religion but the lies, omissions and distortions of our current political rulers. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, is a compelling dissection of global capitalism and its complete reliance on the exploitation of human misery of all kinds whether caused by natural phenomena such as tsunami or hurricane to massacre and torture. I am still half –way through this but am gripped by a feeling of purposeful anger. Here is the pinnacle of patriarchal thinking – that human beings are disposable assets at the service of their, almost invariably, masters. For it is clear that, barring such exceptions as Thatcher and Condaleeza (is that how it is spelt?), Rice, the principle proponents of the doctrine, from Milton Friedman, through Reagan, Pinochet, the Chinese politburo, Yeltsin, and the two Bushes, have been overwhelmingly male.

There are striking parallels between the two books and they are that both describe top-down, power-over, ways of thinking of the world. In the first, Merlin describes how this ideology was born and then became entrenched deep in our collective minds. Naomi, however, is showing how this ideology is now sweeping all before it; from the selling off of the Tsunami-ravaged coastline of Sri Lanka to foreign hoteliers – thereby ensuring that there will never again be fishing villages – to the largely privatised, murderous and deeply undemocratic War on Terror.
This is the reality that I, as a lover of the Goddess, live in. Sometimes I forget. I look back at Nazi Germany and think that it represented the summit of patriarchal thinking. I now realise that the worst crime of the Nazis in the eyes of corporate greed is that they were amateurs. Now we can begin to see how professionals operate. While retaining academic respectability and with the cleanest of hands they are raping the entire world. As they were ordered to do in the books of the old testament.

4 comments:

Paul said...

Welcome on taking the first tentative steps. I look forward to reading more.

Goddess blessings,
Paul

Brian Charles said...

Thanks Paul

I look forward to reading more of yuor blog, too. You have inspired me to get out of Budapest sometime next week

Persephone said...

This is so spot on! But there may be changes on the horizon. I'm not saying everything is peachy, but there is hope. It seems like there is a movement within the broad economic picture toward things becoming free due to the internet opening up communication and having a democratizing effect. In the US where I live, many people have a weird reaction against the very idea of anything being free. They seem to have internalized an idea that all would be chaos if people's needs were simply met with abundance and the operative principle were cooperation rather than competition. It's worth noting that our one presidential candidate who is anti-war and pro-environment, rather than the other way around, was raised by a single mother and grandmother. I'm amazed at the views you express as a goddess-centered man, esp. that you are such at all, and this too gives me hope, so it's good that you're doing a blog for that reason alone. I'm curious as to how you've ended up this way and hoping there are more like you around and ready to surface.

Brian Charles said...

thanks, persephone, i hope that you are right and that there are changes on the way.

I fully intend to continue blogging so your curiosity will, i trust, be satisfied over time, should you choose to read