Wednesday, 30 December 2015

essays on Crime (2): Private Power

Adam Smith, that political thinker who was in favour of the free market, so we are told, berated “merchants and manufacturers”, who went on to use the state for their own interests, so Smith said.  In chapter IV in the Wealth of Nations, he writes:

 The capricious ambition of kings and ministers has not, during the present and the preceding century, been fatal to the repose of Europe, than the impertinent jealousy of merchants and manufacturers. The violence and injustice of the rulers of humankind is an ancient evil, for which, I am afraid, the nature of human affairs can scarce admit of a remedy. Nevertheless, the mean rapacity, the monopolizing spirit of merchants and manufacturers, who neither are, nor ought to be the rulers of humankind, though it cannot perhaps be corrected, may very easily be prevented from disturbing the tranquillity of anybody but themselves.

Actually, Smith was never in favour of the free market, which we are presented with.  These “merchants and manufacturers” in today’s world would not be merchants and manufacturers but transnational corporations and concentrated private power. The sorts of people who idolise Smith today evidently never read him. If they did, they would know that if he were alive today he would be regarded as a dangerous radical.  He would, no doubt, be spewing blood at the emergence of the free market.

Deregulation, lower taxation (for the rich) and privatisation was, in a nutshell, Thatcherism. In Naomi Klein’s book about free market fundamentalism, the Shock Doctrine, she presents a very ugly picture of countries adopting this fascist framework.  These include Chile, Iraq, Argentina, South Africa, Russia, Poland, South Korea, even the United States.  This model was adopted in Chile under Augusto Pinochet.  He was a fascist, openly so, who overthrew the Marxist democrat, Salvador Allende, in a military coup, aided and abetted by the U.S.  “Make the economy scream”, Nixon said of Chile.  This “economic miracle” people speak of in referring to Chile is a myth of sorts.  American journalist Greg Palast writes:

 In 1973, the year General Pinochet brutally seized the government, Chile's unemployment rate was 4.3%. In 1983, after ten years of free-market modernization, unemployment reached 22%. Real wages declined by 40% under military rule.

In 1970, 20% of Chile's population lived in poverty. By 1990, the year "President" Pinochet left office, the number of destitute had doubled to 40%. Quite a miracle.

Pinochet did not destroy Chile's economy all alone. It took nine years of hard work by the most brilliant minds in world academia, a gaggle of Milton Friedman's trainees, the Chicago Boys. Under the spell of their theories, the General abolished the minimum wage, outlawed trade union bargaining rights, privatized the pension system, abolished all taxes on wealth and on business profits, slashed public employment, privatized 212 state industries and 66 banks and ran a fiscal surplus.

Freed of the dead hand of bureaucracy, taxes and union rules, the country took a giant leap forward ... into bankruptcy and depression. After nine years of economics Chicago style, Chile's industry keeled over and died. In 1982 and 1983, GDP dropped 19%. The free-market experiment was kaput, the test tubes shattered. Blood and glass littered the laboratory floor. Yet, with remarkable chutzpah, the mad scientists of Chicago declared success. In the US, President Ronald Reagan's State Department issued a report concluding, "Chile is a casebook study in sound economic management." Milton Friedman himself coined the phrase, "The Miracle of Chile." Friedman's sidekick, economist Art Laffer, preened that Pinochet's Chile was, "a showcase of what supply-side economics can do."

According to Naomi Klein “In 1974, inflation reached 375 percent-the highest rate in the world and almost twice the top level under Allende.”  It was only in 1988, fifteen years after Pinochet seized power that the economy stabilised.  So real economic growth was not seen until Pinochet had been President for well over ten years.  It was the “Chicago boys”, at the University of Chicago, where Milton Friedman oversaw much of the bloodshed in Chile.  Later, Thatcher would refer to Friedman as a “freedom fighter”.  A “freedom fighter” for private, tyrannical power perhaps.

 The fascist economic model Chile adopted laid the groundwork for others to follow. In the 1980s, Russia followed the model with economic advisors, such as Jeffrey Sachs.  Janine R. Wedel of Nation writes:

 Through the late summer and fall of 1991, as the Soviet state fell apart, Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs and other Western economists participated in meetings at a dacha outside Moscow where young, pro-Yeltsin reformers planned Russia’s economic and political future. Sachs teamed up with Yegor Gaidar, Yeltsin’s first architect of economic reform, to promote a plan of “shock therapy” to swiftly eliminate most of the price controls and subsidies that had underpinned life for Soviet citizens for decades. Shock therapy produced more shock–not least, hyperinflation that hit 2,500 percent–than therapy. One result was the evaporation of much potential investment capital: the substantial savings of Russians.

 In the 1990s South Africa, under the tutelage of Nelson Mandela, Thatcherism and neoliberal thuggery was their economic model.  Mandela’s promise of nationalisation, turned into privatisation. Mandela’s successor said of himself, “Just call me a Thatcherite”.  In Iraq, after the 2003 invasion, the country was overtaken by large U.S corporations, thus resulting in economic strangulation for the natives amidst the tremendous carnage and shock, Klein speaks of. 

This is free market fanaticism to put it mildly.  These corporate elites have this totalitarian monopoly upon which entire societies work under a certain framework.  These Company Executive Officials (CEOs) have only two choices for their business model: to maximise their profits or leave the company altogether.  To maximise their profits they do various reprehensible things.  For example, they are quite content to employ sweatshop labour and pay their workers an absolute pittance; the working conditions themselves are so despicable that not even a Milton Friedman could even justify them. Another example of state protection roughly translated into capitalism.  All these major companies are able, through criminal state law, in repugnant free market societies, to avoid paying vast amounts of taxes; many of these private tyrannies pay less than 1 percent tax.

When the British government wish to implement policies concerning these colossal companies, they must regulate themselves.  Self-regulation is an interesting phrase but is often unscrutinised.  The government can make no decisions concerning these powerful tyrannies, thus asking their permission before implementing policies, which concern them.  This ought to surprise no one because such practices go on for such a sustained period.  This goes on while economic warfare is waged on everybody else.

Banking institutions are notoriously the worst offenders. These banks are nothing more than rackets and cartels. Some of these banks operating in the city of London have been known to have committed criminal acts so serious that it has even reached the mainstream media; that is rare. Therefore, these many-monied institutions are given two options after having been “found out” after committing serious acts of fraud: they can either spend the rest of their lives in prison or pay a fine, not out of their own pocket but out of the pockets of others.  The choice is inevitable. Only a madman would choose the former option.  Even after the disgraceful practices are disclosed to the wider public fraud continues nonetheless. Incidentally, banking is one of the top professions where psychopathy is prevalent.

Oil is also another area where criminal actions occur, and as is the case with banking cartels, this is widely known.  After the First World War or the Great War, as it was known seven major oil companies known as the “Seven Sisters”, devised a plan between themselves in a perverse capitalist objective.  These companies were:

      Anglo-Persian Oil Company (United Kingdom):
      Gulf Oil (United States):
       Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands/United Kingdom)
      Standard Oil of California (SoCal) (United States)
      Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso) (United States):
      Texaco (United States)
      Standard Oil Co. of New York (Socony) (United States)

Emine Dilek writes:

 In 1928, three main global petroleum producers met in the Scottish castle named Achnacarry, to sign a secret contract in order to control and distribute the world’s oil and the profits from the oil business. The agreement is known as the Achnacarry Agreement, or “As-Is” Agreement, was signed on September 17th, 1928…

Their vision was that the production zones, transport costs, sales prices – everything would be agreed and shared. And so began a great cartel, whose purpose was to dominate the world, by controlling its oil.

Soon, other biggest oil companies joined them in the plot. Now, they were known as the Seven Sisters: Exxon, Shell, BP, Mobil, Texaco, Gulf and Chevron...

At the end of the First World War, through signed treaties, France and Britain divided up the Middle East that was taken over from the Ottoman Empire. American oil companies were enraged. An American oil broker, Kalouste Gulbekian, came up with a solution. The plan was to create a red zone around the oil rich areas of the Middle East, and form a new oil company to equally own shares. The company was called Iraq Petroleum Company.

Oil filled lands were bought from the land owners without disclosing the riches their lands were hiding underneath the ground. Governments of the countries, such as the Shah (king) of Iran, were bought and paid for by the oil companies through bribes and other forms of political and military support guarantees.

Oil companies became more powerful than governments. Delivery of the oil also was such a crucial matter that in USA or Britain no one could become a President unless they guaranteed the smooth delivery of the oil to the refineries and sellers.

Oil companies were so dominant that they set the rules in every aspect of the oil production, its export and prices. Together with covert agencies of USA and British Governments, they have helped create and support the monarchies in Iran and Saudi Arabia, toppled democratically elected leaders who refused to be bribed, opposed the creation of OPEC and profited from the Iran-Iraq war, leading to the ultimate destruction of Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

BP has a wicked history concerning these matters; I cite two examples.  During the time of the Red Line Agreement it was Venezuela which became the world's’ leading oil producer; after the second world war, the dynamics of strategic power and interests changed: it was Saudi Arabia which overtook Venezuela the decades that followed this, with furtive deals with the U.S which allowed America to control oil reserves in the Middle East.  In 1952 disaster struck the western world: Gamal Abdel Nasser ruled over Egypt for almost two decades, during that time he committed one particular major crime: he overthrew the yoke of western imperialism and instead opted for Arab nationalism.

Before and during Nasser’s first few years in power, parts of the region were in turmoil. In Iran, there was a spate of demonstrations by a popular uprising.  Mohammad Mossadegh led this movement.  The main reason for the protests was the oil giant, BP. They were literally controlling vast amounts of the Iranian economy, at the behest of the British government. In 1953, when Mossadegh was Prime Minister of Iran, he nationalised Iranian oil.  The response was inevitable; the British government, backed up by their ally in North America, overthrew Mossadegh and subjected Iran to a savage nightmare. 

Fifty years later BP were at it again.  It was against another enemy of the west, Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan revolutionary or “mad dog”, if we listen to Ronald Reagan long enough.  Tony Blair, during that time, was the British Prime Minister, which is significant.  During talks with Gaddafi he decided the Libyan would relinquish his chemical weapons then he would “do business” with him.  Roughly translated as opening up the markets in Libya.  BP were once again, accruing huge profits in these somewhat clandestine deals.  It was not so long after this period that Al Baset Al-Megrahi was released from prison for one of the worst terrorist atrocities in the 1980s.  The lengths BP have gone to in order to accrue stupendous profits is quite astonishing. 

Other major oil companies tell a similar story.  However, one other area of repugnancy is the fast-food cancer factories such as McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza Hut, KFC, as well as many others.  Again, these companies have one key objective: to maximise their profits, in fact their objective is two-fold.  The other objective is to gain control over markets, thus creating smear campaigns in putting smaller competitors out of business altogether. This “junk” food which these sub-cultural, sub-human, inhumane factories operate under giving people all sorts of dietary problems and health dilemmas, including cancers, heart-attacks, strokes, and a whole array of other terrible conditions.  All this is for financial profit.  Nevertheless, one should not be so surprised because after all, we live in a world of the free market and any sort of morality seems miles away in the distant hills. 

Globalisation is an interesting term, and it ought to be tackled.  A great deal of people have written about this matter, coming to debate it from a range of different angles. One man that wrote about it was Vladimir Lenin. Nevertheless, in Lenin’s lifetime-he died in 1924-capitalism in comparison to today’s world was incomparable in terms of private power.  Enmeshed in this globalised  sort of terror is the public relations industry which Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays wrote about, and public relations is synonymous with propaganda, and propaganda ties in with the entertainment industry, which is essentially the public relations industry anyway.  It is corporate private power that advertises throughout the entire industry.  It also goes through sport, all forms of popular culture and so on.  All advertising, or rather, what is referred to as advertising, ought not to exist. It ought not to exist because it is crypto corporate fascism, and we are forced to watch this obscenity.  With marketing, they remove all other cultures and replace them with infantile, unrelenting defecation. 

 But, why? Well it has different functions of course.  In the media, it creates better selling power; it helps to depoliticise and pacify people. It de-intellectualises the individual, and so long as they are following these puerile, irrational, frivolous trends, such as spectator sports, following a person or perhaps a group of them like a religious fanatic, they are out of harm's way.  They are not thinking about the things they ought to be thinking about and of course all of this is rationalised.  This nonsense creeps into serious journals, it is even spoken by highly respected professors in educational establishments, it is on the high street, in shops, at the workplace, even on the street.  This barbarity is inescapable. Yet when one mentions Herbert Marcuse, Edward Herman or Erich Fromm, they are laughed at, branded as extremists, and told they ought not to exist. 

Never mind Aristotle’s insights, Beckett’s absurdity, Steinbeck’s humanity, Homer’s picturesque poetry, John Stuart Mill’s liberalism or anything of the sort.  Now, we are told we must forget all this insignificant indulgence.  Instead, you must not be a dinosaur and become a “modern man”, and think “business”; everything else ought not to exist at all.  For business is the new way.  If there is no profit in this or that then it really ought not to be done; what good will come of it? 

The rules of the game have changed, so to speak.  Now, even CEOs appear on television shows, encouraging their viewers to engage in real principles: the avarice of financial greed and a lust for “free enterprise”, and not much else besides.  The person who reads Sophocles or Heinrich Boll is a danger, a danger to this whole ideology.  Thinking outside of this spectrum is strictly forbidden, and for having such iconoclast beliefs, you must be eliminated from airing your insidious and tiresome views; there is no opportunity to speak in the mainstream media; you are eliminated.  This is a model, which has been hideously successful.  The career liberal journalists would rather close their vacuous mouths and do as they are told.

This is intolerable; nevertheless, it appears indomitable.  What is this called?  It is clearly a form of totalitarianism.  Nevertheless, it goes far beyond even that.  When private concentrated power controls many aspects of our peculiar lives, and in this abominable way, it is a fundamentalist sort of fascism; that is not to be mocked at.  Fascism, many people believe, are Hitler’s gas chambers, Stalin’s gulags, and so on.  Political fascism not only exists but there is financial, as well as fiscal.  For it eliminates entire sections of society, of every society.  People call Hitler a fascist; Lenin a socialist; Thatcher, a conservative and Pinochet a benevolent dictator.  They are all fascists.

 For at the heart of their ideology is free market fundamentalism.  In fact, Lenin was perhaps a more virulent free market villain than Thatcher ever was.  So in Britain, the U.S, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and much of the world have political parties with a single thing in common: they all are part of a fascist ideology because they stick to the free market economic model.  This is seen as rational governance; it should not be. 
A great number of eminent people today have their heroes, heroines and inspirations like Milton Friedman, Jeffrey Sachs and others.  However, these same people do not worship, or at least do not claim to worship figures such as General Franco, Heinrich Himmler or Pol pot.  Yet the only difference is that the economic fascists like have not been found out.

We live in an age now where people feel the inescapable need to hide their perverse acts and views because it is not tolerated by modern society, and inevitably the public relations industry is geared to protect the “ethical” companies and “green” corporations, and so on.  When people vent their ire and tempers-it is inevitably at political power and not private power. For private power is well protected and their repugnant crimes are largely hidden, and so people become unaware of such practices.  The propaganda model, which protects these criminal acts, has even metamorphosed the legacy of Adam Smith, as we have seen. Big business and private unelected tyrannies are the order of the day, nothing else will do. 
30th March-6th April 2014
This is the second part of essays on 'crime'...see my previous post for the first part.  The third part will be posted shortly.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Essays on Crime (1) Members of Parliament

There is a common maxim, often quoted by a relatively large group of people: “crime does not pay”. This adage is an absolute absurdity because it is fundamentally false. Those who commit the most loathsome and grotesque crimes are seldom caught, because such individuals get state protection to some degree, but not totally. When a member of parliament sexually assaults another human being, it is nothing more than a “misdemeanour”, or an “unfortunate incident”, when they thieve money and defraud the public purse, they have made a “catastrophic miscalculation”, when they fund terror groups, they are “acting in the public interest”, when they support the wholesale destruction of towns, villages, cities, even countries, they are “acting with the utmost decency”. Therefore, the very idea that crime does not pay is an absolute lunacy. The opposite ought to be applied: crime pays very handsomely to this class of people.

When people from different cultural backgrounds, different classes and regions use the maxim quoted above it is not in reference to the criminal class of politicians but the general population. These are the people, most of which are subject to a kind of class warfare; but for the majority, they do not even know it. Therefore, crime only applies to them; nobody else commits crimes. Open up a newspaper, put on the radio, watch news programmes on the television and on the internet. The result is entirely predictable. There are images, as well as moving images of men, women, and sometimes-even children who have committed “wicked”, “nefarious”, “abominable”, “evil”, “premeditated” crimes. We know their names because we are forced to know their names; we know their crimes, and we know their prison sentences because we are tormented by the mass media. 

After these “news” items have withered away from our television screens, we are able to vent our anger at these “sociopaths”, “lunatics”, “perverts” and “vile criminals”. It is discussed in the market place, at home, in work, at our social gatherings; it is discussed everywhere, even in prisons, and the next day the same process begins anew. We see the days go by, the weeks soon disappear, the months dissipate and so on. All the while members of parliament are committing legal crimes but are seldom reported, and when it is there is a cover-up to a certain degree by a great number of authorities including the police, the politicians themselves, journalists, intellectuals, judges, the secret services. What are these legal crimes, one may ask.

Because Britain is such a secret state and a silent one, most of the crimes committed by members of parliament will forever be unknown to the public. However, of the ones we do know about there is an abundance of crimes. For example Mr. Muhammad gives copious amounts of donations to people who like to blow people’s arms and legs off. He is likely to spend much of his life behind bars, because, it is, so we are told, funding terrorists. But when the state does it different rules and principles are applied; when the wanderer, the man with nowhere to go and no bed to sleep in, steals because he is hungry, he, for his troubles, is given a criminal record, and receives some form of punishment, but when members of parliament use taxpayers money to fund their lavish and extravagant lifestyles, stealing, as the case may be, up to tens of thousands of pounds, they are applauded by their colleagues; when the brute beats his partner half to death, he is branded the greatest monster that ever existed, and is handed a life sentence. When the government beats the heads of the electorate with an ideological sledgehammer, conducting economic warfare on millions of people, they are urged to create only more barbaric crimes, translated as laws. 

What is most repugnant about these people is the constant portrayal of them as grand moralists, and that they have “values” that they care deeply for humanity and could not even bear to see even a rodent in pain. If the majority of the population decided it was perfectly acceptable to murder, rape, rob, defraud and act cruelly to their neighbours, these politicians would support these actions because, for them, crime overrides any act of decency, principles, and good moral conduct. There are exceptions of course, not every member of parliament commits terrible abuses and crimes, but there are few of them, their voices are echoed and their names remembered.

These same politicians have been, and continue to be responsible for millions of displaced people all over the world, they are also responsible for grave criminal acts, such as concentrated bombing, invasion, colonisation, imperialism, but their most persistent war is one against their own people. In Anthony Burgess’ iconic novella, A Clockwork Orange, Frank Alexander, and we presume, a great deal of others, are put in prison because they are “subversives”. These people have the temerity to criticise the state. It is these people in the real world, not in a dystopian nightmare, that they face the boot of oppression. There is little need to put these dissidents behind bars because Britain is an open-air prison anyway. Freedom of speech, of expression no longer exist, protesting is illegal, Britain is not a police state, as many people believe, but a prison one and a police one rolled into one.

Noam Chomsky, the U.S linguist said, “If the Nuremberg laws applied every post war American President would have been hanged.” He was quite right of course. Nevertheless, almost every government of the bloodiest century in history, the twentieth century, so we are told and beyond, are guilty of heinous and immoral crimes. It is also the case every administration covers up the crimes of the previous one. Members of parliament in Britain are not quite the simpatico’s they claim to be; instead they are prevaricating, feral, bellicose and vacuous. The popular figures in twentieth century politics, appear to be heroes, and people of good character. Well that fairy tale ought to be quashed because their actions contradict this quixotic fantasy.

Ken Loach, the film director, directed a documentary called the spirit of ‘45. In it there are generous words said in praise of the Attlee Government, and evils deeds about the Thatcher administration. Well, what Loach does not touch upon is the barbaric actions of this same Attlee Government. Palestine is not mentioned, nor are the hundreds of thousands that were forcibly removed from their native land. The Israeli Historian, Avi Shlaim, highlights Aneurin Bevan's role in this monstrous affair, who was Foreign Secretary in Atlee’s Government, yes, Bevan’s role was an abominable one. Nye Bevin summed him up perfectly. After Bevan supported British “intervention in Greece, Bevan said of his fellow MP: “Mr Bevin has described what is happening in Greece. I have no time to answer him. However, there is one complete answer. Only three bodies of public opinion in the world have gone on record in his support, namely Fascist Spain, Fascist Portugal and the majority of Tories in the House of Commons”. This same Government held kept prisoners of war until 1948 and even kept them in forced labour camps; not even the Americans managed this feat, they were starved, beaten, and all this, shall we say, was in the spirit of ‘45, and beyond. Incidentally, such agreements contravene the Geneva Convention of Human Rights.

Before the Attlee Government and its peccant practices was that decorated leader, worshipped for all eternity, Winston Churchill. Heathcote Williams, the English poet, highlights some of the Great War leader’s finest achievements:

Churchill had a school-friend called Aubrey Herbert who, in 1915, wrote in his diary, “Winston's name fills everyone with rage. Roman emperors killed slaves to make themselves popular, he is killing free men to make himself famous.” “A curse should rest on me,” Churchill said, “because I love this war. I know It's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment and yet I can't help it. I enjoy every second.” “I don’t understand this squeamishness about the use of gas”, Churchill would say. "I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes." "I do not admit,” Churchill said "that any great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race has come in and taken its place”. After Hitler came to power, Churchill proclaimed that' If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable [as Hitler] to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations." And to Mussolini, whom he addressed In Rome on 20 January 1927, he declared: “I could not help being charmed, like so many other people have been, by Signor Mussolini’s gentle and simple bearing and by his calm, detached poise in spite of so many burdens and dangers. If I had been an Italian, I am sure that I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism. I will, however, say a word on an international aspect of fascism. Externally, your movement has rendered service to the whole world. 'I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.' 'After today we begin to burn villages. Every one. In addition, all who resist will be killed without quarter. The Mohamads need a lesson, and there is no doubt we are a very cruel people.” Such action was vital, Churchill argued, because the Pashtuns “recognise superiority of race”.

It was once said to me by a rather dilapidated person, but educated in some respects, Harold Wilson, he said, was one and only true leader of the working man, and a true socialist. This was no laughing matter because he was more serious than I thought possible. It is entirely possible this “mad anarchist”, as he liked to call himself, was aware of the effects on the indigenous people on Diego Garcia. These people, like the Palestinians two decades before them, were forcibly removed from their land (to make way for an American military base). According to journalist John Pilger: “During the 1960s, in high secrecy, the Labour government of Harold Wilson conspired with two American administrations to "sweep" and "sanitize" the islands”. He goes on:

"To get rid of the population, the Foreign Office invented the fiction that the islanders were merely transient contract workers who could be "returned" to Mauritius, 1,000 miles away. In fact, many islanders traced their ancestry back five generations, as their cemeteries bore witness. The aim, wrote a Foreign Office official in January 1966, "is to convert all the existing residents ... into short-term, temporary residents."

This ethnic cleansing is not even part of history. For most, it never happened. As George Orwell says: “If a leader says such and such of an event, ‘it never happened’-well, it never happened. If he says that two and two make five-well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs”.

When an “offender”, as the probation service, police and prison officers like to call men and women who find themselves confined to prison for whatever reason, are released, and placed on “licence”, a probationary period, a list of their “conditions” are drawn up. One of these conditions is usually for the ex-prisoner to stay away and not associate with any known “offenders”. Nevertheless, as we have seen, different precepts apply to statesmen and their colleagues. The most cruellest and sadistic megalomaniacs in history have been faithful allies to British Prime Ministers past, present and no doubt for posterity. These “allies” are known and so are their crimes.

 One of Tony Blair’s closest allies was Ariel Sharon, the former Prime Minister of Israel. It was Sharon, in 1982, as Defence Minister, who oversaw massacres in Shatila and Sabra but what is more obscurely known is his terrorist past. In 1953, the El-Bureig refugee camp in Gaza was subject to a bloody massacre by Sharon’s 101 units; two months later, he headed another massacring operation in the village of Qibya, Jordan. United Nations military observers described the they witnessed:

 Riddled bodies near the doorway and multiple bullet hits on the doors of the demolished houses indicated the inhabitants had been forced to remain until their homes were blown up over them...witnesses were uniform in describing their experiences as a night of horror, during which Israel soldiers moved about in their village blowing up buildings, firing into doorways and windows with automatic weapons and throwing hand grenades.

These were what Sharon called “reprisals”. In the 1970s, the same man forcibly removed thousands of farmers from their own land, their houses were bulldozed and their crops destroyed. I have deliberately left out Sharon’s biggest crimes, but an ally of Tony Blair nonetheless.

Thatcher can better her affiliations in the rogue gallery. There is Saddam Hussein, whom she supplied mustard gas to; she supported Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; the admiration of the Chilean fascist, Augusto Pinochet; the Indonesian mass murderer, General Suharto; the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin; the Mujahedeen; the white supremacists in South Africa and so on. This is true of every Prime Minister in history. They, every single one of them, are reprobates; they are amoral and scrupulous thugs. The exception, so we are told, is John Major: that peaceful and amicable man. So amiable that he bears much responsibility for the starvation and liquidation of Iraqi children in the 1990s, in the form of sanctions. He was such a good man that he was content to witness the genocide in Rwanda. Such amicability.

However, there is an important point to be made here. These members of parliament past and present whose “hands are clean”, need not expect to be applauded at all. For they are part of a system that is criminal from the outset. It has a criminal structure as well as a criminal framework and they know as much. The people they claim to represent are subjected to a sort of permanent Kafkaesque nightmare of terror. Their lives are emptied of any sort of meaning, any individuality. For that is the great evil of capitalism, it soon enough, breaks the individual. These same individuals are robbed (in the form of taxes), have their freedoms reduced (in the form of work), and so on.

If an individual witnesses a crime, and is part of that clique or clan, they are as much criminals as the perpetrators, so we are told. It should be no different to members of parliament. If they wish to be part of a criminal system, they must be designated as criminals from the outset. The free market, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, NATO, and so on are all criminal enterprises, as well as the Monarchy. People who are part of the system are part of the problem. There are lone and moral voices in the Houses of Parliament but such voices are so distant and removed from public attention that their existence is nothing but a cruel joke.

27-29th March 2014

This is the first of 8 essays on 'crime'. The second instalment shall be posted soon.



Saturday, 12 December 2015

Priests of Science

Organised religion is a rather detestable thing and so are the people that give sermons on it.  These Christian preachers know there is no God; their main desire is to contrive this fraud, to conduce the naive to serve God.  At any one time in history, recent history, we can say the world is not as religious as it was ten-years ago, or perhaps the world was not as irrational as it was ten years ago. It is just another area of authoritarianism, a way of controlling, dominating and manipulating young people.  It also helps the state’s cause to monitor these people.  If these followers of this perverse religion follow the principles of the Bible, they have no principles of their own, and therefore authorities will cherish them for they need not read their subversive minds; their thoughts and beliefs have all been written down in a book!

These priests, these vicars think they are scientists, men of science, men of rationality, of reasoning, of enlightenment; this is the new trend with these men of God.  Why do this?  The answer is rather easy: in 1859, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species appeared in print for the first time, it scandalised the church and destroyed its irrational and deranged notions of supernatural absurdities.  Ever since then new creative ideas have been expressed by the church.  They have come up with such imbecilic nonsense like “God created evolution”.  If every man and woman were asked to write his or her top thousand most ludicrous things, it would not surpass this in its idiocy.  These men of God call themselves reasonable; there is no reason behind this blatant stupidity.

The Old Testament is perhaps the most bloodthirsty book, or rather, series of bloodthirsty books ever written.  Actually, no other book or series of books comes close to the violence and terror we see in the Old Testament.  Charles Darwin comes along and introduces a new “theory” on the evolution of man, in fact it is no longer considered a theory, indeed it is more than that; it is factual.  Yet these priests of science still argue these absurdities.  Let us, as reasonable and rational people, ask these priests of science some questions.  Did God create man? Moreover, for that matter, woman too?  God created man but not jellyfish, dinosaurs, elephants and tigers.  That is totally implausible.  For it is clear man evolved from other life forms, thus disproving the existence of the Christian God, Jehovah.

This is the status quo.  Therefore, these men of science have to create another web of lies to control and manipulate the population.  “We do not take the Old Testament literally anymore”, so they say.  They have to think up of new ways to con people, this is when they become priests of science; they attempt to integrate science and Darwinism into the Bible.  Whoever heard of such a thing?  God created man, yet the earth is only six-thousand years old.  Can a single rational person believe this is possible in the modern world?  It is possible, and more.  Well over one billion people believe in this absurdity; one billion! Perhaps this should be incorporated in the Theatre of the Absurd. 

It is not even about God anymore.  They, these priests of science, like to set certain rules or principles on the naive and gullible, those that have lost hope, and those that have problems with their own existence.  They like to instruct them on morality, abortion, the holy land, marriage, the evils of homosexuals and homosexuality, family values and so on. 
This is what we are told is Christian morality.  Forcing a set of values upon “the bewildered herd”, to borrow a phrase from Walter Lippmann.  “Love thy neighbour”, “murder is a sin” and so on, yet the God almighty himself is immune from these principles.  As is well known, God, in the Old Testament, drowned the whole of humanity-apart from a few fortunates-the entirety of civilisation were wiped out because of God’s genocidal whims, yet these priests utter patent garbage saying “murder is wrong”, well condemn your God to begin with.  Christian moralists condemn bad behaviour; they condemn violence, bad language and nudity in cinema and elsewhere. They teach the youngsters and the impressionable about hell, the Devil and eternal damnation. 

This is nothing more than child abuse, and these priests of science know as much.  If your child has the temerity to think of God and myths surrounding him, if your child has the capacity to think independently and not to think of religion and the gods, if your child can cast away base ideas represented in the Bible, these priests of science must whip them into frenzy.  They will scare the life out of these children; have them believe they are going to the lowest and the darkest pits of hell, more hellish than Dante paints in his Divine Comedy.  Their desire to instil ultimate fear into the child until they succumb will never stop being tormented by these priests of science.  This is how these men induce people to join their perverse organisation.  This is why there are so many Christians in the world.  There are so many because of the manipulative practices that are used.  Threats of terror, fear and eternal damnation just being some of them. 


All human life is sacred, they tell us.  Yet, what they do fail to tell us is that God does not hold all life to be sacred.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  God, as we have already seen, was happy to destroy almost the entirety of humanity.  Nevertheless, these priests of science still maintain all life is sacred.  Therefore, these men would prefer women give birth to a baby she was adamant she did not want.  Perhaps she was a victim of rape, or worse: child abuse.  No matter, these priests of science care little about that.  In fact, they are often the abusers of these children themselves.  However, women must not have abortions, no matter what!  It is possible the mother is a drug addict; the father a brute and a drunk.  No matter, these priests of science care little for such things.  They would prefer the child to suffer, suffer at the hands of useless and worthless parents, because, of course, they care nothing for the child, they just care for the Bible, which, no doubt, they masturbate over each night, that is if they do not spend their time abusing children.

Yet these priests of science still speak of morality, virtue and other things they claim they possess.  “Abortion is wrong and child abuse is wrong unless we do the abusing”.  This is their logic, and quite a perverse logic it is too.  Yet how can this be justified? To tell these women with low levels of self-esteem, who have no confidence whatsoever in themselves, with little hope, that they must give birth to a child they utterly despise.  This is where the priests of science come in.  They bring the most desperate, impoverished and disadvantaged in society and force their obscene views on them, and think nothing of it.  These Christians will do as you instruct them; the horrors at Waco tell us as much.  Telling grown women they must not have an abortion is wicked; it is totally outrageous.  Yet in modern society, people think nothing of it.  People leave these priests of science to it.  Is it sensible that a failed state should be a parent to another?  Surely if this was the case, the state would be as bad, if not worse, than the parent. 

The Holy Land

Go to Israel and see these ultra-orthodox Jews applaud the subjugation of Gazans and what do some of these religious lunatics say? Let God decide, while the state of Israel extends their territories further and further and inevitably, their bombings.  They call it the “Jewish state”, plenty of pleasantries for the Jews and for people who pretend to be Jewish but misery for everybody else.  This is what the state of Israel calls “liberal democracy”.  There is more democracy for women in Saudi Arabia, and they are amongst the most oppressed in the world.  It is the “holy land”, and people continue to utter this two-word phrase.  It should not be uttered; it ought to be abolished immediately.  By calling it the “holy land” is every justification for the state terrorists in Israel to murder, rape and torture with impunity. 
The word “holy land” is used so often that people say it without even realising.  Yet these priests of science, who go on about helping those who need it, helping the poor, the forgotten, the homeless, well this is just untrue.  They do not always help these people, and it is a scandal they do not, they seldom speak out about the collective punishment of the Palestinians who are subject to the most terrible abuse, these are the forgotten, the homeless, and the foreigners in their own land.  They are, what Orwell may call unpeople.  They do not exist; their suffering is of no concern to these priests of science.  Yet, despite this, they still preach about Christian morality.  What is often disgraceful about their conduct is that they side with the aggressor, with the terrorists, with the lunatics who bomb sleeping children, and why?  It is nothing more than that perverse word, “religion”, “Jesus” and the “holy land”.  It ought to be the church's responsibility to speak out for people all over the world. 

Marriage and Family Values
Priests of science are forever prattling on about family values, yet these men do not speak of the church’s values.  What are the church’s values?  “Thou must discriminate against homosexuals”, “thou must abuse children”, and the most important one: “you must do as we say”.  Typically, the family must be in chains and cut off from any sort of independent thinking whatsoever, for they must be Christians who bring up their children in the Christian tradition.  It is perfectly acceptable, so we are told, to bring up your children as Christians, but what about the atheist tradition, the Marxist tradition, the existentialist tradition, or perhaps the postmodernist position.  They speak of Christian values, of parents sending their children to faith schools in order to be brainwashed.  Suppressing and oppressing women as the church always has done, and always will.  How many female popes can we name, how many archbishops, how many cardinals?

These priests should be the last people in the world to lecture on family values and marriage.  Yes, the Christian church says you may get married, but gay marriage is forbidden because of homophobic fanatics.  Some of these priests of science even forgive homosexuals for taking part on this illicit activity; how courageous of them, how noble, how benevolent.  Right Wing politicians in the United States often speak of homosexuals being “cured”, yet nobody speaks of their deranged ideologies being cured, their distorted thinking, their belligerence for abolishing the welfare state, or wanting to, for privatising public services, nationalising terrorism and so forth.  If people want to believe they have freedoms, that is all fine and good.  Nevertheless, these Christian moralists cannot even say as much.  They are controlled by priests of science.  They must adopt these so-called family values and strict rules on marriage.  Do Christians even pray anymore?  Only the fundamentalists pray today.  Maybe Nietzsche was right when he said Jesus Christ was the only Christian that ever lived, and he was Jewish.  This is, of course, if he did exist, and there is no evidence to suggest he did. 

16th December 2012

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Learning and Culture

The terms “culture vulture” and “book worm” are terms of abuse directed at bohemian debonairs. They will spit at you, hurl abuse at you, manipulate and deceive you. These people ought to be ashamed of themselves. They are no better than an oppressor. This is the sort of culture Britain likes to put up with. The man laughs at the youngster reading Goethe walking down the street but the delectable youth is too Epicurean to elicit a response. He carries on reading until he encounters his next barrage of abuse. Nevertheless, whatever the young man is reading he will never give up because he will always immerse himself in rich and high culture, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Thugs can steal and destroy his book but you can be assured the progressive will always buy another copy of the book; there is nothing to sink both women and men of thinking and learning.

It is true England does not possess the culture of Italy, neither does it possess the culture of France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and indeed all the other countries of Europe. It would be scandalous if such countries joined Britain in its cultural depravity. One cannot doubt that, in times past, Britain has possessed a great array of writers. It is an island where many novelists have appeared like no other nation, more marvellous playwrights have appeared like any other, more quality poets have also emerged. To speak of British novelists one must not compare the novels of Tolstoy and Turgenev with any English novelist, and no serious person would dream of comparing the novels of Balzac, Stendhal and Proust with English novels; it would be very foolish to do such a thing, but it must be conceded the colossal array of bedazzling English novelists the country has produced over several hundred years is enough to impress any man, woman or child. In every era there has been what we may call “a great novel”, or indeed, great novels. The eighteenth century alone offers the reader many hours developing their thoughts by reading such works of art.

Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson and Daniel Defoe are just some of these authors. Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in four parts was published in 1726 but first began writing it in 1720 or perhaps 1721. A young British audience in the twenty-first century will not refer to Gulliver’s Travels as a novel or a book but only as a movie and will discuss it as if this movie was a piece of art; something to admire from one generation to the next, when, as everyone knows, or at least should know, that such movies are only thought of and made for financial gain, and no individual, company or otherwise can be deemed artists if their chief desire is to maximise profits. Ironically, Gulliver’s Travels was the only work where Swift received any payment. He received a mere two-hundred pounds. It is clear then that writers like Swift wrote not for profit but for other reasons. I must comment of the genre of Gulliver’s Travels because I did refer to the book as a novel, which is debatable. It may be described as a philosophical romance, there is little identity with its protagonist which is part of the reason why it is not often referred to a as novel but that is a minor quibble. Novel, romance or whatever we wish to call it, these Hollywood directors who make these horror show movies become the writers of the books. Jonathan Swift gave nobody the permission to massacre his works and turn a classic piece of literature into a Hollywood movie and the fact this is not even discussed shows what kind of society we live in. Jonathan Swift was not just the greatest satirist of his day but was arguably the greatest satirist of all time.

Some years before Gulliver’s Travels was published, Robinson Crusoe or the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner, Written by Himself, was published. This is considered by many to be the first English novel but again it has been hijacked by Hollywood. That is what happens in a society that is based on greed feeding into the free market apparatus. It is enough for one to vomit voraciously. Like Swift, Defoe gave no vulture capitalists the permission to tarnish and destroy this novel. How many British men, women and children will have read the book before seeing the Hollywood deformity? It is sad to say the country to which Daniel Defoe was native to; the author of this novel is seen as nothing more than a nonentity. The island could produce the greatest works a of art year-in and year-out but the people of the island would still prefer to wipe their bottoms on these books rather than read them.

Well, what of Samuel Richardson? The two previous authors discussed are at least known by a number of people but what books of Samuel Richardson have been made into Hollywood movies? None that I know of, therefore few British people will know anything of the books he has written.

What kind of people disregards their own nation’s greatest literature and read garbage? These students in England study the most stunning literature: Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Byron, the writers already discussed and countless others, and when these students have finished their studies, they never bother to read these books again, instead they prefer to read comic books and watch their facile Hollywood heroes and the like. Emma Goldman, in 1910, writes:

In the literary and dramatic world, the Humphrey Wards and Clyde Fitches are the idols of the mass, while but few know or appreciate the beauty and genius of an Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman; an Ibsen, a Hauptmann, a Butler Yeats, or a Stephen Phillips. They are like solitary stars, far beyond the horizon of the multitude.
Publishers, theatrical managers, and critics ask not for the quality inherent in creative art, but will it meet with a good sale, will it suit the palate of the people? Alas, this palate is like a dumping ground; it relishes anything that needs no mental mastication.
That was the case in 1910 and it is still the case today, and it will be the case tomorrow, of course, Emma Goldman was a Russian living in America at the time, but her words resonate as if they were written this afternoon. In Goldman’s lifetime, from 1869 to 1940, the list of writers we can name is as impressive as any list in history. In those years people were particularly fortunate for having such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Ibsen, Turgenev, Bernard Shaw, Yeats, Steinbeck, Bulgakov, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Wilde, Strindberg, Dickens, Proust, Siegfried Sassoon, Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Fitzgerald, Auden, Borges, Joyce, Brecht, Robert Browning, Carlyle, Conrad, Victor Hugo, Camus, Sartre, William Faulkner, Zola, Flaubert, Chekhov, need we go on? Look at this array of writers in Emma Goldman’s lifetime. It is enough to send one into a depression forever and a day. If it were possible to abolish this world and adopt another, it would be no worse than our present state of literary affairs.

Daniel Defoe wrote some 560 books in his lifetime, whom could we say about that today? Nobody is the answer to the question, and indeed, the authors’ that do may as well sweat and grind in a warehouse or factory. At least they would produce something worthwhile. People who visit England, though, will find something missing. They will go around looking for plinths and statues and such things of great writers in the cities and towns. They will find very few of these, instead they will come across grotesque figures of military men, of belligerent killers; they will see political figures and the most deprived Monarchs. Manchester, that city infamous for the industrial revolution and the Peterloo massacre, Oh, citizens, tell me, where are these statues of Percy Shelley? Well, they will find the “Shelley Memorial” at University College, Oxford. The same university where he was expelled for writing the pamphlet the Necessity of Atheism but there is no statue of him anywhere in England, and why? Well, the same reason why there are none of many other literary figures, and if they are, they are just hidden away somewhere so nobody can see them without a magnifying glass. Shelley’s great poem, the Masque of Anarchy, a powerful piece of writing composed in Italy about the Peterloo Massacre, is also nowhere to be seen. His father-in-Law, William Godwin, who is considered by many to be the greatest intellectual of his generation, also, has no statues, plinths or whatever, created to remember him. You will find, though, such grand designs of Queen Victoria, or perhaps American Presidents like Abraham Lincoln, but of literary figures, there is nothing.

At least everyone should know William Shakespeare, the greatest artist that ever lived at any given time, was born on 23rd April 1564. In his country of birth, is there an annual anniversary celebrating his birth? The answer is no. It is true, in the country there is celebration on April 23rd, not celebrating Shakespeare but the mythological character of Saint George. What can be said about a nation that is ashamed to have Shakespeare as one of their very own writers? No words can describe what sort of society that could be.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the greatest eras for the English theatre and its playwrights. No other nation has compared to this period in history, not even the ancient Greeks compete with such unparalleled genius. Cyril Tourneur, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, William, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Marston, John Ford and Thomas Kyd are just some of the playwrights that were writing during this period, most notably under the reigns of Elizabeth and James. I will give a brief analysis of these artists and attempt to fathom why, with the odd exception of Shakespeare, why they have been largely ignored by the majority, and indeed a great many people do claim Shakespeare is not the author of his own plays! Whoever heard of such a thing? It is of course a conspiracy theory, this means you can say the most outlandish and imbecilic things about anything you desire, and it makes no difference how outrageous and ridiculous the claims, because not one shred of evidence in required for presenting such idiocies, which is why they are referred to as “conspiracy theories”. It should be known to the enlightened reader of literature that Christopher Marlowe died very young, at only 29, in 1593, having had the misfortune of sharing the birth year with William Shakespeare. It makes perfect sense then that these conspiracy theorists would claim Marlowe wrote the most (and best) plays attributed to Shakespeare when he was dead!

One playwright’s activities who are a mystery is Cyril Tourneur. He was born in 1575 but nothing is known of his life until 1613. Three plays are attributed to him, of which one is lost. We are told that the Nobleman, his last play, was penned in 1607, the Revenger’s Tragedy was written in the same year and the Atheist’s Tragedy in 1611. There is no question whatsoever the Revenger’s Tragedy is by far his greatest play out of the three, or rather, two. Some may argue this play, attributed to Tourneur, is best left in the past because it does not deal with issues this present century, alas it was good for its time but is not relevant anymore. That is not quite true, however. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Professor R.A Fookes writes:

The Revenger’s Tragedy is fascinating and disturbing because it reveals something unsettling about the true nature of the world, that of the present day as much as Jacobean London. It shows us a society for which Christianity provides a convenient frame or referenced themselves of good and evil, sin and divine punishment, heaven and hell, but it is, in truth, a society that only pays lip-service to such concepts and is in love with the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, and power to such an extent that in practice Christian teachings and morality is ignored. The ruthless competitiveness of such a world breeds corruption and violence that revenge becomes the only way to secure justice. 
Only a fool would argue such issues are not relevant in contemporary society. Plays like this are ignored because they are enriched with culture and learning but what a scandal it is that people sitting at home today that have never heard of it, let alone read or see it. In my view, it is very likely Tourneur did not write this play in any place, it is more likely Thomas Middleton wrote it, he has his fingers all over it, one may add.

Thomas Middleton was born five years after Tourneur and wrote some great plays, he even had a hand in writing Timon of Athens with Shakespeare. The works of Middleton include Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1611), Women Beware Women (1625), and the Changeling (1622). The Changeling was co-written with William Rowley who is a lesser-known playwright than Middleton. The plot and the subplot, which critics, not because of the themes in the subplot, have often ignored but because they are so subtle that it is terribly easy to miss, such are the talents of critics, Joost Daalder writes: “In the main, the Changeling offers us a picture of folly and madness within the mind. In doing so, it explains “abnormal” mental states. While the focus is on what happens within the individual, the impact on others is not ignored. Madness is of greater concern than folly, and is presented particularly in association with sex.

Again, few would disagree the issues Daalder briefly discusses are relevant in contemporary society, but incredibly, the subplot which deals with issues such as madness and mental states, is often omitted in performance. Saboteurs! What right does a theatre director have to omit parts of a classic play or indeed any play, such as this one? Samuel Beckett, the Irish Playwright, made sure this could not happen which is why he gave written directions saying he plays must be performed as written. For those philistines who like to modernise great plays, which is most commonly found in Shakespeare, should find other plays to perform or write their own. All these amateurs are doing is dealing with the issues in the play, so why direct the play at all? It is an entirely different matter when the director decides to omit entire plots or scenes. These are people that like to call themselves creative. They chop and change scenes; therefore, they must be “creative”. Imagine if Robert Fagles’ translation of the Odyssey or the Iliad missed bits out because he felt them to be inappropriate? Alternatively, maybe he decided to take advice from the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato:

Since the minds of the young are very impressionable we must, if we are to educate them properly, make sure that the poetry on which they are brought up is suitable for the purpose. Most existing poetry is unsuitable:
(a). theologically, because it misrepresents God. God is perfectly good, and therefore changeless and incapable of deceit, and must never be otherwise represented.
(b).Morally, most existing poetry is unsuitable because in its representations of gods and heroes it describes, and so encourages, various forms of moral weaknesses.
He goes even further, pages later:

While the story of what Cronus did, and what he suffered at the hands of his sons, is not as fit as it is likely to be repeated by the young and foolish, even if it were true; it would be best to say nothing about it, or if it must be told, tell it to a select few under secrecy. Nor shall any young audience be told that anyone who commits horrible crimes. Nor can we permit stories of wars and plots and battles among the gods: they are quite untrue, and if we want our perspective guardians to believe that quarrelsomeness is one of the worst we cannot allow Homer or any other poet to make such a stupid mistake about the gods.

 It would be unthinkable if Fagles or Pope took advice from such insanity. One must remember that in Rowley’s and Middleton’s lifetime there was no such thing as an interval. Cutting plays to bits is not artistic.

John Webster, most famous for writing the White Devil (1612), and the Duchess of Malfi (1623), is another Jacobean playwright who is largely ignored. Although he was born during Elizabeth’s reign, his first known play dates from the reign of King James. We must not labour on this because there is much speculation about the year in which he was born, he may have been born in 1578, 1575 or 1580:  

You are welcome to your country, dear Antonio;
You have been long in France, and you return
A very formal Frenchman in your habit.
How do you like the French court?

These are the open lines to the Duchess of Malfi, spoken by Delio. Of course, the Elizabethan revenge tragedies were traditionally set in Italy. I draw attention to these opening lines because it is fitting it ought to be about France. The German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche believed Paris was the capital of culture. For Nietzsche, Bizet’s opera, Carmen was at the height of culture. Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights, as good as they were, have little high culture in them. In Ibsen’s stunning play An Enemy of the People or A Public Enemy, depending on which translation you are reading, what does Doctor Stockman, the hero of the play, say about the mass majority?

The majority never on its side...never, I tell you! That’s one of the social lies that an independent, intelligent man has to fight against. Who makes up the majority of the population in a country-the wise men or the fools? I think you will agree with me that the fools are in quite an overwhelmingly majority. Moreover, how the devil can it be right for the fools to rule over the wise me? ...what sort of truths do the majority always rally round? Why, truths so stricken with age that they are practically decrepit! All these majority-truths are like last year’s pork-mouldy, rancid, half-curved ham! In addition, that’s at the root of that moral scurvy that’s been rampaging through society.
 For me, that is Britain’s attitude to high culture, to classical literature, to music, poetry, philosophy, to anything that provokes thought, and it is this damned majority that show this complete lack of taste, decency, and above all, culture. They saunter around as if they were intellectuals discussing their latest pop groups and comparing them to Keats and Mozart. These people believe everything they say, and for that reason I have to add they are not living in the real world, their minds are clouded with pure fantasy. They have no idea who wrote Paradise Lost but know every football result in their lifetime, they can name every Academy Award winner since proceedings began, and these same people memorise the lyrics of the most awful songs. With such people living in the world, we have to say it is a decaying society. Nevertheless, we must move on.

The next playwright I would like to discuss is Thomas Kyd; Kyd wrote the wonderful play, the Spanish Tragedy. If you talk to people on the streets about the play they will assume you are discussing a terrible event that had just occurred in the country, but if you mention the play, well they may have heard of it but you can be sure they have never read it. It is the character of the English. If you are reading this literature you must be a snob of some sort and have nothing else to do with your time but to read books, they say this while they remain glued to the television system, their minds being so crinkled it is unknown to them. 

Thomas Kyd wrote the Spanish Tragedy or Hieronimo is Mad Again, in 1592, and the first English revenge tragedy to be written. It is, without doubt, one of the best plays of the period. When one first reads the play, they must be taken aback by the stunning imagery and language in the text. It is entirely possible people decide not to read at all, or perhaps the unfortunate people who are not able to read, or maybe they are living in wretched conditions; living on the streets, and begging just to stay alive. Of course, my scorn is not aimed at these people. It is wonderful when the prisoner, for the first time, discovers literature. A person may have led what we may call a criminal life, but have seen real humanity through literature, and that alone is able to change one’s life. Who can forget Hieronymo's cries for his son?

As noted, Christopher Marlowe shared his birth year with the greatest writer of all-time, William Shakespeare, but the most unfortunate thing to happen to Marlowe was being stabbed in the eye by Ingram Frazer. At 29, the author of the wonderful play, Doctor Faustus, was dead. Nobody could ever make valid claim that Faustus was the modern Englishman. Faustus is everything the modern English man is not: learned, cultural, intellectual. Marlowe is, along with Ben Jonson, the most prominent playwrights of the period, behind Shakespeare. Speak to the English on the streets. Will they have heard the name Christopher Marlowe? Certainly, a tiny percentage of them will have but what will they say about him? That he wrote some wonderful plays, and that he was the first to write in blank verse, that he wrote the Jew of Malta? Maybe they would refer to some of the poetry he wrote. The average person will say none of this. They will only refer to the falsity that he was the man who wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays; despite the fact, he was dead when all of Shakespeare’s masterpieces were written. His four greatest plays, Shakespeare’s that is: King Lear, Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet were written after Marlowe was murdered. Marlowe was dead but that makes no difference to the ignorant majority. They would, and do, claim he faked his own death and set sail for Italy or some other ridiculous absurdity.

They will read or see no Marlowe play. The genius of Marlowe must have magically changed writing styles to fool us all. This is all foolish talk. Just one example will show people’s idiocies. Robert Greene, the Elizabethan playwright, is more famous not for what he wrote but what he said about Shakespeare on his deathbed. He called Shakespeare an “upstart Crow” and accused him of plagiarism; in truth, he was immensely jealous of Shakespeare. Because, by this period, he had become the most popular and successful playwright of the time. For Greene to utter such a thing is evidence that Shakespeare was popular at the time, and therefore is clear he did write the plays attributed to him.

 June 2011