Modern Marxist Mistakes

This is essentially a post about a very typical characteristic of people today who claim to be Marxists, yet still cling to consumerism because it’s simply too convenient to abandon in the name of living up to one’s ideology. So they aren’t Marxists really, just capitalists who complain about capitalism. Also, bear in mind that I’m talking about postmodern, not modern Marxists. The title just worked out nicely.

The grand German Mac daddy of all things communist, Karl Marx. Ironic, considering Germans have always avoided Marxism like the plague.

The grand German Mac daddy of all things communist, Karl Marx. Ironic, considering Germans have always avoided Marxism like the plague.

Here’s my experience of them, which I believe to be quite accurate.
The typical postmodern Marxist is an academic. We all know that students in university tend to be bent far more towards the left than other members of society, probably due to their lifestyle, which is financially humble and also very comfortable and sheltered. Furthermore, a student typically has no fiscal responsibility to anyone except for himself. I believe students are subconsciously conditioned after a couple of years in this environment such that they do not appreciate how different life is in the real world. Thus, socialism, perhaps extreme socialism, might seem more familiar and practical than the life of a suburban middle-class SUV driver. No doubt, they’ll receive a rude awakening when they leave college, start a family, and realise what real financial responsibility is, not to mention that they can no longer depend on their parents if they need new cars. Hence the socialist mentality is gradually replaced by a heavy and more sincere consumerist lifestyle. Ideology matters little when you’re gunning for that new house in that nice neighbourhood. Go figure (six-figure?).

Some of these students become politically ‘Marxist’ before the ideological pathways in their brains are obliterated by their affinity with new, shiny, expensive things. These are, in my opinion, the stereotypical postmodern Marxists. If you are reading this, are a Marxist and do not feel you are accurately represented by the aforementioned description, then I do apologise. One can only experience and understand so much in 18-19 years.

So what are the ideological thoughts of these people? I don’t want a lengthy post, so I’ll stick to the primary cause for their allegiance with socialism, an approach which is fatally flawed. Many of the guys I’ve talked to tend to think capitalism is bad because of its requirement of ‘constant growth’, which I also happen to believe is true. They say that the world’s resources are being depleted by the capitalist consumer, and that this will ultimately plunge the world into chaos once something essential like oil runs out. This is indeed founded on truth. A typical first world consumer, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, might consume several times the electricity, water and food of a typical impoverished person in a third world country.

Here’s where the disagreement (read: fatal flaw) emerges. The postmodern Marxist lives under the delusion that redistributing wealth will somehow cause the world to stop consuming resources.

The problem, however obvious, can be highlighted with the following parable I just made up:

John is a consumer. However, he grows disillusioned with his lifestyle because he consumes far more than he needs to survive, which he feels is wrong. So he participates in a Marxist revolution and the whole world goes communist. Now, John consumes a tenth of what he did before, and what he used to consume is now being shared between five other people whose standard of living has risen in proportion to how much his standard of living has gone down. John is now a fully-fledged Marxist. But he realises too late that, despite having redistributed his resources, the world as a whole is still consuming the same amount of resources and will ultimately run out of something, just as it was going to before, except now the world has no incentive to find a solution, because Marxism is centered on the principle of staying the same, rather than growing. Only now does John realise the absolute necessity of constant, dirty, unfair and unbalanced economic and consumptive growth which is typical of a capitalist system.

The moral of this story is that capitalism does not consume resources: people do. They are not going anywhere, which is why the typical postmodern Marxist is incredibly flawed by blaming capitalism for the fact that resources are being consumed at a phenomenal and indeed unsustainable rate ^_^

This has been (Post)Modern Marxist Mistakes with Savva Pouroullis.


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Filed under Economics, Politics

Fictional Literature’s Role in the Real World

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world – P. B. Shelley


While Shelley was obviously a little biased for poetry, I believe what he said, but I extend it out to the genre of fiction as well, which is closely tied to poetry and all literature which embraces the obscure and the abstract.

One of the most annoyingly incorrect statements one can make is that fiction is a waste of time, an unnecessary hobby of mankind which we could do without. I cannot express through the written word how that statement frustrates me. But, I find solace in the fact that it is usually exclaimed obnoxiously and with false confidence by those who know next to nothing of reading and literature in general, or by 4chan’s /lit/ page, for which I still haven’t forgiven them.

Here’s the truth :

Fiction of all kinds acts as a kind of time capsule in a way that non-fiction cannot. It preserves the mannerisms and cultural idiosyncrasy of an epoch within the pages of a book, or the lines of a poem without ever emphasising them. It is a masterful skill, a difficult thing to do with success. It requires absurdity from the very beginning, or it will collapse simply from being unoriginal. It ironically creates another, separate era which does not exist and places those mannerisms within it in such a way that the true culture can be observed, scrutinised, and critically analysed.

By rejecting the relatively temporary surroundings of its contemporaneous age, a fictional work affords itself the ability to stand the test of time. By giving itself a unique setting, a fictional work can be understood universally and across different cultural ages. Consider the fact that literature is itself a means to empathy. This definition would thus place fiction at the pinnacle of all literature.

This is what Shelley thought, just for the augmented insight:

Poetry comes from the erudite and the thoughtful. When a system is in dire need of change, it is the poets who trigger this change through their poetry. They change minds, liberate thoughts and foster dissent against that which would oppress the otherwise oblivious man. As he describes the thought racing through everyone’s heads in Mask of Anarchy, Shelley shows us how overwhelmingly powerful an idea can be compared to, say, brute violence and undirected anger, which usually ruins more than it can fix.

What is your favourite genre of literature and why? Comment like you’re being paid for it.

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Filed under Literature

The Ultimate Unification of Humanity

What is it about humanity that forces people to categorise one another? Despite living in the most culturally diverse era of human history, we still tend to cling to old beliefs, traditions and points of origin. There are still concepts like nationalism and patriotism, which I find hard to discern from each other when things get heated. But what would eradicate all petty human differences for good? Turns out, there’s a definite answer.

There are still cultures in existence which advocate against pluralism and cosmopolitan life. Yet, it was predicted by (just about) everyone that once the Cold War ended, there would be a new era of globalisation and of absolute ideological unity. This never happened. In fact, quite the opposite happened. While each respective ideological faction in the world has been progressively weakened and diluted since, say the Great War, which might be considered the epitome of nationalist conflict, these factions have perhaps grown even more threatening  and aggressive in order to implement their own way of life on a global scale. Furthermore, at least for the past 50 years, the world has had the security of choosing between ‘Communism and Capitalism’, which seemed a relatively simple, black and white choice. Now, world relations are too complex to imagine for the average human, and even powerful bodies like the UN struggle to keep up with the world’s affairs and the needs of these differing cultures, some of which view all other cultures as abhorrent and unworthy of existence.

I believe there is one solid solution which would surely unite all humans. This would act as a radical shift in humanity’s context, and people’s perception of humanity as a whole. Despite the extraordinary advancements in astronomy and our understanding of the vastness of the universe, humans have yet to accept their utter insignificance in the cosmos. Or rather, they fail to contextualise it, because we still feel quite alone and sovereign in our little branch of space. Regardless of how huge the universe is, we still have not encountered anything which might suggest that we are not the only contemporary living thing in this general area of the Milky Way galaxy. In a nutshell, we still think we’re the ‘center’ of the universe, even if we know it to be untrue.

What if we did encounter something? What if humans – all humans – simultaneously looked up and saw something utterly alien, something unimaginably different, and then looked back at the humans around them? Suddenly, after centuries of ideological war to eradicate the petty differences between us, the man on the other side of the world would seem closer, more familiar and more friendly than ever before. After years of hatred, and after having expended millions of lives in the name of uniting humanity under one banner, we would realise that we were in fact under one banner all along.

I believe that on the day we make contact with an intelligent, ‘intimidating’ alien race, racism, nationalism, and all other ideological hatreds between us humans will disappear from the earth, and be replaced with Humanism, the love of all humans and all things human. While this might not be fair to the aliens and would bring up further moral concerns about what rights we should grant that which is not human, it certainly would be better for us. Goodness knows we need a little more empathy between humans of ‘different’ backgrounds right now.

This was just a thought I had a few months ago. Share your own thoughts in the comments if you wish.


Filed under Philosophy

On Melissa Bachman and Hunting in General

Well, if you don’t know about it already, a well-known TV presenter took a picture of herself with the lion she shot on a farm in South Africa. She was recently brought under the all-powerful microscope of society to be scrutinised and threatened by people who know nothing about what she did, except for the bare basics. Some of these comments, made by respectable people, celebrities and the common internet junkie, have been deplorable in their own right, calling this woman things like ‘monster’, ‘evil’, and ‘poes’ (If you’re not South African, this is a very rude word which one certainly would not use publicly to describe a person).

+10 points for the smile, Melissa. I don't care what the internet says. I have my own opinions, and I think you're alright.

+10 points for the smile, Melissa. I don’t care what the internet says. I don’t derive my opinions from the masses, and I think you’re alright.

And yet, the people doing the insulting don’t know the details of the situation, They simply follow others on-board the train to ‘higher moral ground’ and from there grant themselves the power in numbers to publicly condemn this woman without consequence. I find this quite disturbing. It brings to mind the idea that civilisation as we know it is only separated by a thin veil from absolute chaos. People just need an insignificant incident to excuse themselves from virtue and act with impunity.

Let’s get down to it then. Yes, yes, the moral saying of the day is that hunting is evil, that we should condemn it as a barbaric, savage act of cruelty to animals. I think that’s a perfectly valid opinion, or rather, it would be if we did not live in a society which uses animal products on a massive scale, which effectively makes anyone who uses the colourful aforementioned words look like a total moron (I’m looking at you, Jeremy Mansfield. Way to go for propagating ignorance and redundant values).

Here are some fun facts I picked up after 5 minutes of research: Throughout the world, 50 billion chickens a year are raised (meaning this number will die within the year) for human consumption. These chickens are kept in cages which are comparable in size to an A4 paper. You eat chicken burgers/chicken fillet/eggs/chicken wings/chicken anything, really. This means that you are condoning the mass-genocide of animals every year. What’s that you’re sitting on? Leather? No, no. It looks more like SHAME.

A typical and very legal chicken laying farm.

A typical and very legal chicken laying farm.

My frustrations on the subject: It’s alright to condemn hunting if you’re a vegan and live like a hippie. But it’s not alright to condemn hunting when you eat meat, own leather products or use animal produce in any way, which implicates almost everyone on Earth. They have a name for someone like this: Hypocrite.

How (Legal and Illegal) Hunting Works: I live in a country which makes a great deal of its annual income from the hunting industry. Do we hunt animals in the wild? No, not legally. There is a reason for this, which is quite simple. Animals don’t really survive out in the wild – lions, leopards, rhino, you name it, they mean only one thing to poachers: money. A poacher is not restricted from finding these animals out in the wild. They are in essence walking money. A hunter-friend of mine tells me lions can be worth R200 000 and up. However, the legalised hunting industry in South Africa makes use of game farms, which are basically vast areas of untouched land which are fenced off and filled with a very low density population of animals of any variety. These animals are allowed to breed naturally, are not fed any funky stuff and pretty much lead the life of an animal in the wild, except that their natural predators are replaced by humans. Game farmers are people of the land. They live right next to nature every day. They rely on it for their livelihoods, and thus have an incentive to ensure that the population of animals on their farms does not decrease. The game farmer will allow hunters to enter the farm and enjoy a drive through the beautiful South African savannah for a few hours while searching for an animal. Professional hunting standards dictate that when you shoot an animal, it has to be an instant kill. This is enforced by the fact that animals are tough and will run away and die somewhere else if you hit them in the wrong place, and the hunter will end up having to pay a small fortune to take nothing home. The hunter pays for what he kills, the farmer ensures that the animal population remains consistent and a healthy ecosystem remains on the farm. A species like the west African lion, which would otherwise be hunted to extinction by poachers in the wild, is guaranteed survival as a species, protected from poachers who don’t care about how they kill, or how many they kill.

Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks.

Why the Hunting Industry is Essential to Animals: That sounds very counter-intuitive, but it’s an established, albeit little-known fact. Let’s think about what would happen if hunting in South Africa were banned, if the fences came down and the hunters stopped coming and paying to hunt animals legally. The populations of these animals would decline dramatically, simply because there isn’t much ‘wild’ left. Old game farms would likely be turned into crop farms or developed, driving the animals into ever-shrinking habitats. Do the maths: So much land = so many animals. The less land, the less animals that can survive. Then take into account the poachers. Do you think they’d let a walking moneybag like a lion walk around in the wild for long? Consider every valuable animal in South Africa extinct within a few decades, probably less. Then the less valuable will follow as the numbers dwindle. Furthermore, consider the implications for the local environment, which would ultimately suffer in the total and very sudden absence of these animals. Whether you like it or not, hunting is here to stay. It is the foremost effort of wildlife conservation in South Africa. It’s sustainable, it’s definitely more humane than the factory-farms you get your burger-patties from, and it’s profitable so you can be damn sure it’s not going anywhere in a while.

The Moral Implications: A dear (and very sexy) friend of mine highlighted that she finds hunting more or less acceptable provided it’s not for recreation and that the catch is used to make food, etc. These two things are not mutually exclusive. Any hunter worth his salt knows how to turn his catch of the day into a month’s worth of delicious biltong (South African beef Jerky, but aeons better) or knows someone who can do it for him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy the South African scenery, breathe the fresh air, enjoy looking at the other less interesting animals as he drives by and, of course, experience the thrill of having caught the damn thing. Believe it or not, aiming and firing a VERY heavy rifle at a moving animal’s head from far away is tough, and any human who doesn’t celebrate his or her ability to do it right is certainly not doing it right in the first place.

What? Jus' cause I'm ugly, you don't care if she kills me?

I’m a fish, and I know you don’t really care so much when you see this photo, because I’m not as gorgeous as that lion. You’re such a good person.

Hunting, whether you despise it or celebrate it, is an art as old as the human race itself. Sure, the weapons have changed, but the feeling of earning your dinner for the night with sweat and hard work is as ingrained in us as any emotion. It’s the exact same feeling the hunter feels today. It’s like experiencing a little piece of history.

Remember to like this and follow my blog if you share my interests.

And always remember to stand back and look at the big picture before stoning someone to death.

I won’t be posting related articles because they are all essentially saying the exact same thing, which happens to be incorrect and uninformed.



Filed under South Africa


Let’s take a break from politics. I like to do a light-hearted music post once in a while, especially considering I’m busy writing my final school exams, and since I’ve explored so many genres which sound epic and yet receive so little attention, I thought I’d share some A Capella stuff with all of you.

Pentatonix is by far the biggest group out there, and by my judgement, they deserve it. Their group consists of a tenor, a female, who I would say can sing pretty high but sings in the middle too often to be called a soprano, a mid-range guy (Don’t know what to call that, actually), a bass singer who pretty much functions as a part of the beat too, and a very talented human beat-box (who is famous in his own right on youtube for playing the cello while beatboxing).

Part of their appeal to me is that they remained loyal on youtube, and that’s my domain. Unlike some other artists/youtubers who debuted on youtube and then abandoned their fandom when things became better for them (That’s you guys, Bieber, Dawson, Fred, among others), PTX has continuously and consistently posted new content on youtube spreading across many genres. They even did a history of music video, touching on stuff from the Renaissance to now. While they have yet to cover anything Van Canto style (Long Live the Metal), I am impressed nonetheless.

Please watch their new daft punk medley cover. It is fantastic. You will experience ecstasy in your ears.

That’s all for now.


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Filed under Music

Fascism and Democracy (and why neither is out of the fight yet)

I’ve always asked myself if there will ever be a political system which truly benefits humanity. I found that there were two ways to look at it.

On one hand, a political system could be geared towards total efficiency and dedicated to the long-term survival of the human species. With this in mind, one must imagine a world where this is the highest priority in a governing body, superseded by absolutely nothing. In such a world, what place do freedom and individualism have? Not even a back seat, actually. They are not needed. In fact it’s quite the contrary. However, in a world where security means everything, freedom cannot exist, for where there is freedom, there is a little ‘chaos’. Bear in mind that I’m using all these terms very lightly and in a broad sense. With ‘chaos’ comes the ability for someone to destabilise a system, and a governing body with the interest of security would not want that. On the other hand, you have the truly free society, where crazy, weird stuff happens everyday, and the government keeps its nose out your life and just makes sure the potholes are being filled in. In such a world, you could get your face eaten by a madman, be sued for spilling hot chocolate, or tell the government that they suck without much fear of being locked in a cell in Guantanamo Bay, where there’s only one kind of meat-based food.

Let’s get back to topic. To summarise, I believe the two paths a country can go are either towards fascism, or towards total democracy. Whether it will ever reach either one is questionable, if not impossible. I don’t think either can exist for long, anyway.

Let’s move on to fascism first, and see why a country would want to even dip a toe in that pool.

This world would by default have to be totalitarian, ruthless and honestly quite miserable. It’s comparable to that of the world described in the foremost dystopic literature, such 1984, or the film V for Vendetta (I’m not sure whether or not it’s a book adaptation). In these worlds, life is indeed tough. In order to counter the toughness, the people forsake their freedom (which they think will be a temporary situation) and hand their lives over to a fascist/communist group, which gladly cements itself in place. When the hard times are over, the institution remains. People grow accustomed to it and stop struggling. This is the typical process by which any self-respecting fascist group would do it, since just forcing it on the population can only lead to insurrection, as Uncle Sam learned the hard way in Vietnam. In a modern Western society, we are quickly taught the disadvantages of such a system, which I am confident you all know well. Let’s get something straight – I don’t like fascism, because it attempts to implement artificial selection, which I believe is not ideal to a functioning society. I also believe Communism (or any form of far-left socialism for that matter) is pretty much the same thing as fascism. BUT, the advantages it offers are not objectively ignorable, just because we currently live in a relatively ordered and peaceful global era.Here are some interesting characteristics of fascism which might make it attractive to a government or people.

1) A socialist aspect of fascism is required in any war situation, because if you need 10 million bullets, and nobody actually manufactures bullets on a regular basis in the beginning of the war, you have to force those locksmiths and brass handle-makers to start making bullets instead. This is the most widely known and acceptable advantage of such a thing. Indeed, the epitome of freedom and democracy, old Uncle Sam, took control of industry during WW2 and told everyone what to manufacture. So did Britain and every other country fighting a war, ironically using the very same methods they were trying to purge out of the Nazis and other nationalist extremists.

2) Conscription. Yes, yes, this is a thing that is used in many democratic countries, etc. But I consider it a trait of a military state, and thus a trait of fascism. Remember, just because it’s fascist, doesn’t mean it’s not being used by anyone. My own  country of origin has military conscription, because we have a lumbering giant right up north of us that would love to sink its teeth into the second half of our country. I recognise this as a fascist element. I also recognise its necessity.

3) Total security – Fascist states have no moral obligations to respect their own people. Because of this very simple fact, they can and will do whatever is necessary to prevent any threats against the country from become more than a mere nuisance. Typically, this element is represented by secret security councils, spy agencies and souped-up military spending. Back in the days of Apartheid, this concept was taken to the extreme in a place called Vlakplaas. The atrocities that occurred there by the hands of a secret security branch of the government represent how far some fascist governments are prepared to go for information. And we all say it’s in the past, but the thing is, it’s still happening, in ‘democratic’ countries, no less.

Killing Nazis has officially received the Chuck Norris Stamp of Approval.

Killing Nazis has officially received the Chuck Norris Stamp of Approval.

However, fascist principle come in many shapes and forms. The Nazis were obviously not seen for what they really were by many of Germany's citizens.

However, fascist principles come in many shapes and forms. The Nazis were honestly not seen for what they really were by many of Germany’s citizens. Sounds familiar.

The Italian guy who failed to be a Macchiavellian. More like a Macchiafaillian, AmIRight?

The Italian guy who failed to be a Macchiavellian. More like a Macchiafaillian, Am-I-Right?

Damn true, my good man. Today the world is still under threat, perhaps more than ever, as the image of fascism slowly fades from people's minds and they forget what it looks like. At least when they were fighting Germany, the average citizen was passionate enough about freedom to actually critique their government for trying anything too dodgy.

Damn true, my good man, even though you probably meant Russia. Today the world is still under threat, perhaps more than ever, as the image of fascism slowly fades from people’s minds and they forget what it looks like. At least when the democratic people of the world were fighting Germany, the average citizen was passionate enough about freedom to actually critique his government for trying anything too dodgy.

And now, let’s take a look at democracy, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and why it is the dominant system of government in the world today. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms which have been tried from time to time (good old Churchill said that in a speech).

Democracy entails handing power over to the people, more specifically the majority of the people, regardless of their ability to use it to their own benefit, or their intention to be involved in politics at all. Democracy originated several times in several places, but most notably and successfully in ancient Greece, more specifically in Athens, where oligarchy had previously been the system of the day, while the Spartans were living it up in a communist lifestyle and the Thebans were… oiling each other. The main point is that democracy was not originally designed as a group of semi-disinterested people choosing a sovereign leader who would pretty much be expected to solve everything within a few years. Real democracy is referred to as Direct Democracy. This means that every citizen takes an active role in government and debates new proposals for laws and actually elects (the equivalent of) every person in the cabinet/Senate House/Congress/whatever your country uses. Modern democracy is hardly as ‘democratic’ anymore, mostly due to the logistical impossibility of getting several million people to vote for every member of parliament and maintain an up to date knowledge of the goings-on in a parliament which might be situated hundreds of kilometres away. But electing a single president or prime minister is the most reasonable option left, so let’s get right to it.

Democracy has both advantages and disadvantages, as do all political systems. In a world where freedom is supposedly the top priority of any population, democracy is certainly very important and the most desirable system out there. Here’s the reason it isn’t perfectly cemented and is in danger of being replaced by something a little more sinister:

The more democratic a country becomes, the more chaotic and individualist it becomes. This means there is a higher probability of crazy, unpredictable things occurring. This can be exemplified in the internet, which is not a country, but is a realm in which near-total anarchy reigns. By anarchy, I mean absolute democracy! If you comment in a way that is not liked by many people, they can individually contribute to removing your comment by down voting it, etc. Parallel to that, anyone can pretty much do or say anything with little consequence. Of course, the larger crowd will drown it out with their own 2 cents. But that’s the essence of freedom, isn’t it?

Implementing Control Vis-a-vis the Citizens’ Demands – Chaos and unpredictability are any government’s nightmare, and democratic or not, a government will attempt to implement some form of control. That’s understandable. That’s natural. But where is that line meant to be drawn? How important should the citizen’s rights be, as opposed to maintaining order? This is perhaps the most difficult conundrum a governing body has to face, especially if their intentions are good. It is my belief that the citizens themselves must choose for themselves, collectively and decisively, without room for any governing body or media network to decide for them. What do I mean by this? The question: Do I want freedom, or do I want security? Because I cannot have both in disproportion. The more security, the less freedom and so-on. The citizen, the individual must take a side (After careful thought). Upon taking a side, the citizen must act, debate, argue and explain his or her view. This is the responsibility of a democratic citizen. By doing this, a government can be made aware of exactly what the citizens want and change according to their wish, even if it disagrees. That’s the way the cookie crumbles in a democracy.

Implementing Control Behind the Scenes – This is a big one. The USA has been caught totally red-handed recently by traitor/enemy of the state/hero of freedom Edward Snowden. Forget your opinion on him.  He’s not important. What is important is the information he released. I honestly can’t believe the lack of reaction the citizens of the USA have had to the subsequent info that came out from the leaked data. But that’s a whole other blog post. Even the Nazis couldn’t out-fascist the American government on this. The reason I say that is because the Nazis all knew what they were getting into. Their opponents were ready to leave the country in protest and their supporters thought they were being saved from the clutches of their captors. They (some, not all) welcomed the control, the regimented nationalism, the racism and the renewed military might, but the Americans are totally unaware! If you were to ask a random stranger on the street, they would most likely tell you that the USA is the most free and liberated country in the world. Now that is absolutely masterful fascist practice. A democratic government will often attempt to do this, and it is indeed a fascist principle. It’s probably the greatest threat to genuine democracy in the world today.

The Responsibility of the Citizen – The most neglected principle of democracy is a citizen’s total obligation to be politically active. This does not mean turning up once in a while to cast a vote for one random person whose image has been distorted either by his own media projects or his opponent’s. Genuine democratic involvement means scrutiny of your own government: making sure they do what they promised to do. It involves debating and explaining your political views to others, as I mentioned earlier. Most importantly, it involves Not Taking Shit From Your Government, lest they forget who elected them in the first place. Unfortunately, nobody remembers this anymore, nor do they practice it or teach it to youngsters. I grew up unaware of this, all through my high quality private education. I had to figure it out myself, in my own time. That’s wrong. That’s a good example of how distorted democracy is growing, and why it is getting weaker. This explains why governments can actively spy on their people and torture enemies of the state in offshore prisons while still successfully claiming to be  democratic and free.

I think I’ve ranted enough here. I’m all out of breath anyway.

If sufficient debate is generated, and enough interest is shown, I’ll continue the series on this. There’s so much to write about, it’s dizzying. It’s also  quite strenuous to write these things, as it’s hard not to wander off on a tangent. I must have deleted half the volume of this post because I had spontaneously written a whole paragraph on an unrelated topic that could solicit its own post.

I encourage any and all viewers to comment, argue, disagree and quarrel. Debating is a responsibility, not a right!



Filed under Politics

Extract from ‘War of the Element’

This was one of my favourite moments to write. It depicts the first naval battle to ever occur in a hundred years of war. I was inspired by the concept of the ‘risks were too great, and the potential gain too small’, which was mirrored in WW1 when the world’s souped up navies only actually participated in one major naval battle in a five year war. Compared to WW2, where half the damn war took place at sea, and dozens of ships went down at a time and were simply rebuilt.

Well, here’s the piece. It describes Vorith’s newly selected war council, as permitted by the democratic leaders of the Inner System. One of them makes it onto this council for the merit of being a veteran and a politician. The rest are inept at being wartime leaders, and Vorith knows that. Ignis is not really involved in the broader strategic thoughts on the war. However, his task is such that he needs to know what’s going on, and thus receives a seat on the council.


The Quasar fired the first shell of the battle. Over three million fleet personnel thought briefly of their families, their parents, their lovers, or their children. The sound rang through the halls of the Inner System flagship, signalling the beginning of the second most decisive battle in history, while others saw the shell hurtling through space with ballistics detection. Space warfare was counter-intuitive. While thousands of tonnes of explosives were being fired in bizarre proportions and speeds, silence reigned in the void, only disturbed minutes after the battle had truly begun as the first of the missiles penetrated an escort ship’s hull, rending the left side of it and tearing the life from its interior.

The sun shone coldly on the scene. Its weak rays bombarded the frozen bodies suspended in space. Some were punted out of the way by the lumbering ships, travelling at only several hundred kilometres an hour. It was dreadfully slow in the vastness of space. From deep within the confines of The Quasar, Vorith received reports and plotted his next moves. With the help of a hand-selected council, he had successfully maintained a powerful grip on the situation. General Shellet was his new right-hand man. Not only had he proven his worth as an able soldier, but his prowess as a man between the political and military spectrum in the last few months had revealed him to be an asset like no other.

Other members of Vorith’s war council included the first-man of The Quasar (simply because the captain was far too busy commanding his own vessel), the Captain of The Nebulous Spirit (The Inner System’s prototype stealth-ship), as well as Lucas, the only political leader to be invited into Vorith’s war council. Four other generals were included too, though Vorith had a sour gut-feeling when it came to them. They didn’t seem to care much about anything, and had what was commonly called ‘tunnel vision’. However, Vorith couldn’t hope to command the entire military unquestionably unless he had orders coming down from every high-level leader.

Finally, at the end of the table sat Ignis. The heat that radiated from him appeared intense, but really settled into an ambient warmth. Nothing he touched burned.

In a cacophony of silence, the ships played out their roles, zapping warheads in mid-space and firing their own back at the enemy. Ship after ship was destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in a second, and a million more in another. The fight continued for a week, a week of constant tension, of knowing that one’s life depended on the whims of chance. Slowly, by process of blunt attrition and slow strategic manoeuvres, the Outer System fleet was whittled down. It was comparable to a week-long game of chess, with thousands of pieces on the board, but enough time to ensure that each one was in its most advantageous position. Vorith had never played this kind of game before. It was the largest naval battle in history, but he trusted his instinct and the strategic advice from his council, and it seemed to be working.


Needless to say,


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