For us, human rights are contradictory to the rights of the people, because we base rights in man as a social product, not man as an abstract with innate rights. — Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path), Sobre las Dos Colinas[cite]
Khmer Rouge: “To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.”[cite]
In democracies, laws supporting freedom of thought, expression and debate once contrasted with the communist governments which put ideology and social stability ahead of diversity and individual thought[cite]. In practice, western media and Hollywood were all powerful, allowing the five eyes and their corporations to use censorship by noise instead of Chinese style censorship by blocking. Freedom of the western corporate press also aided the western empires in controlling the governance of foreign states through propaganda. Insisting on ‘press freedom’ throughout their empires ensured their influence was impossible to counter. China’s recent investment in media in Africa[cite] acknowledges that this is still the case in parts of the world.
Social media has in a few years drastically changed the amount of ideas and the sources which people can be exposed to. All of the governments in South America usually targeted by United States propaganda were early and heavy users of social media and the U.S. is just catching up with getting their propaganda on social media as dominant as it was in the South American corporate press. Governments around the world are finding that neither their usual propaganda nor censorship are enough to counter real grass roots movements or to stop ideas which may spread virally on their own. In addition to massive new social media propaganda campaigns and legislation countering unaccepted speech when it appears on social media, new forms of blocking which go beyond technology and reach the individual sources of thought are being implemented.
The concept of terrorism has now been used to justify Maoist style thought reform globally. While terrorism still nebulously relates to an act, the designation of terrorist does not and rights can be stripped with no trial or notice based on such a designation. The designation of terrorist can be based simply on group affiliation and terrorism acts now include expression of forbidden thought.
In Canada, terrorism is defined as an act or omission committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public “…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.”[cite]
In the UK, terrorism refers to the use and threat of action “designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public” and “made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.”[cite]
In Australia terrorism is “an act or threat, intended to advance a political, ideological or religious cause by coercing or intimidating an Australian or foreign government or the public.”[cite]
Unlike the definitions in the U.S. and E.U., which include such qualifiers as ‘seriously intimidating’, ‘unduly compelling’ or ‘violation of the criminal laws’, both Canada and the UK have designated any attempt to influence the government, the public, or any section of the public for a political, religious or ideological purpose as terrorism. While you may not go to prison for attempting to persuade your neighbour to boycott Israeli products you can certainly be designated a terrorist, put on a watch list, lose your citizenship rights[cite] and possibly be arrested in any state which shares (or steals) intelligence from these governments. Neither do you have to be expressing ideas deemed dangerous to the corporate states, simply listening to them is enough. Criminalizing ideas allows states to declare war against segments of their own population and strip them of citizenship and rights of due process based solely on their ideas.
This outlawing of diversity or individual thought is so similar to China it exposes the fact that so-called individualistic governments were never actually individualistic at all. The resistance to change is the same under both ideologies, one under pretext of a paternalistic concern for the greater good and the other openly as protection of the privilege of a few.
Since there is no terrorist act not also committed regularly by the governments of the world, the only thing separating the terrorists from the corporate states is the phrase “for a political, religious or ideological purpose”. State actors commit all the same acts in pursuit of power, celebrity and wealth. Actions taken for personal gain or as a result of following orders are not criminalized, the same acts motivated by social participation and expression of independent thought are. If you are upholding the trade economy you are not a terrorist, if you are working against the trade economy you are. Canada explicitly mentions the trade economy as something to be protected against terrorism.[cite] Terrorism laws openly exist to uphold the ponzi scheme of power, celebrity and wealth that is the current supranational empire and guard against the people having any method of escape from it.
Laws have been passed calling all citizens defending themselves or their environment terrorists. The Canadian Minister of Public Safety targets “domestic extremism based on grievances – real or perceived – revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights … environmentalism and anti-capitalism.”[cite] It is the ideology and the group affiliation which scares them, not any action, and no one is higher on their list of terrorist suspects than indigenous people. In Canada, where 78% of the world’s resource corporations are incorporated, indigenous people are specifically named as a terrorist threat[cite] along with environmental activists who the government labels as anti-oil[cite]. In 2007, the United Nations adopted a declaration affirming the right of indigenous people to free, prior, informed consent with 144 states in favour.[cite] The only four votes against were from Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The remaining member of the five eyes, the United Kingdom, does not have any people in its territories classified as indigenous.
Self defence is terrorism. Citizen armies have been replaced by corporate security worldwide and international trade agreements ensure there is no longer any regional authority over regional resources. Refugees whose homes have been destroyed are jailed for migration from places where they are dying. The mass refugee movement caused by corporate plunder is renamed as illegal immigration. Victimhood is criminal.
The motivations designated by corporate states as terrorist are all those leading to resistance from corporate plunder. Wherever we see the corporate hold on seductive coercion weakening and being diluted by other players we also see them increasingly reverting to old methods of hard coercion. The designation of terrorism has been used to allow methods so extreme they were very recently only found in the deep shadows, now openly brought forward to combat those whose thoughts have slipped out from under corporate control. Not only the torture and abuse of individuals but the mass extermination of entire populations through disease, starvation, environmental destruction and war have renewed acceptance among the most powerful. From the passive aggression of ignoring perfectly foreseeable crises like the Ebola epidemic[cite] and starvation in the Sahel[cite] to militia wars where corporate powers supply all sides[cite], environmental destruction which crushes all resistance and ongoing genocides such as Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya[cite] and Kachin[cite] people or corporate attacks on the indigenous of Brazil[cite] all illustrate what is waiting when seductive coercion fails.
Self-governance includes stewardship and use of the environment and its products by the user group. Any control or ownership outside the user group is enemy occupation, not self-governance.
Laws once focused on actions and a wealthy adult who stole a loaf of bread was to be judged in the exact same manner as a starving child. Recently, the focus has turned to judging the individual and their motivations for an act, allowing extenuating circumstances such as youth, insanity and other personal factors to influence judgments. Now we have progressed to judging motivations without any associated actions. We have attained a state where thoughts alone can be criminal. Since the same actions are legal if carried out by a government, we are even at a state where only thoughts are criminal. Foucault’s architecture as continual surveillance of the body[cite] has been extended increasingly to communications architecture and continual surveillance of our thoughts.
The solid block of common thought necessary to uphold Great Men in seats of power has a natural tendency to disperse and regroup like a true swarm. Coercive power has become more desperate to force this block back into formation as the swarm becomes louder and the points of influence multiply daily. Corporate power has expended huge energy on identifying those butterflies that may become hurricanes and discrediting and silencing them before they can build. In the end, they will fail and a new structure will emerge. Whether this new structure is built in favour of corporations or people depends on who wins the war of coercion and thought reform.
Throughout history, people have lived in autonomous and interdependent communities networked together into wider societies. We took a very wrong turn in the last brief period of our evolution. Everything about hierarchical resource ownership and an all pervasive economy built on trade has been a huge mistake with repercussions that could see our complete extinction almost immediately after adopting them. It is too late to return to our former autonomous communities and very few would want to. We no longer depend on only our own societies for companionship, knowledge or sharing. Many don’t even have one home society but belong to many different overlapping societies which have made our lives and our societies far richer and more interesting and able to accomplish much more.
The mid 20th century was the peak of dissociation in western culture. These were the dead years when people sat in their homes fully isolated and dissociated with only their television for companionship, emerging only to enter a cubicle or a factory and earn money to purchase their life essentials or a school to train for their lives in that cubicle. In that era, people attempted to fill their social void with drugs, or food, or consumerism, reaching for social approval in its dissociated form of currency and things.
Since the 1990’s, people have found a new way to fill their social compulsion and acquire new forms of approval online. People are finding new tribes in gaming and in social media and these new connections and allegiances are spilling over to real life. A turning point for the online enclave 4chan was when they met in the streets as Anonymous to protest Scientology and subsequently became a global movement and method of stigmergic action. The occupations of squares in Tunisia and Egypt inspired copycat occupations around the world, even where people had no clear idea why they were gathering or what to do when they found each other. 2011 and the years surrounding it saw a spontaneous reconnection of our societies. As soon as this became apparent, most states which saw occupations introduced new legislation banning or limiting these manifestations.
Most people enjoy helping others and few people enjoy abusing others. That is why the trade economy had to be invented and pretend its system of global slavery was helping others. The old adage “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” was co-opted by the trade economy to pretend it was helping people around the world become self-sufficient by creating jobs when it was doing the exact opposite. No one on earth has ever needed to have jobs created for them, we have all always found plenty to do. While waged labour has been considered lazy by its masters since its beginning, as have slaves, there has never been a free society that died from lack of industry to feed and shelter itself or care for its young. Human history is a history of industry as long as there is autonomy and free will over one’s own work.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Dismantle the corporations destroying his river and home and he can catch his own fish.
Self-governance is not only possible, it is what we have done throughout history excepting only the latest brief anomaly. While new structures and methods must certainly be developed to allow society to scale globally when necessary and reflect our new complex knowledge, the basic structure and memory is still there in our history and will still work. The thought reform efforts of the last many years were attempts to erase that memory, to reduce even the basic societal unit of families to trade relationships, to make a trade economy and rule by mafia seem not only logical but inevitable. While corporate control has fought to narrow and hold the public’s Overton window, others of us have fought to move and widen it. The new definitions of terrorism as attempts to influence the government or the public is a war against freedom of thought and societal auto-coercion. This is a war against self-governance.
Self-governance requires debate and free expression. For the first time, we have the communication infrastructure to enable societal auto-coercion and self-governance which can scale globally. The battle for hearts and minds is the only battle that matters and the only war that matters is the one between the oligarchs globally and the people oppressed by them. The most important weapon is global communication and the most important freedom is freedom of thought.
Excerpted from Autonomy, Diversity, Society. Citations will be transferred when I get a minute.