From the personal to the political-and back again By William Bowles
The last few months have not been pleasant for me, wrestling with my own inner demons. Yeah, we Brits are not meant to be open about our inner selves, stiff upper lip and all that crap, and, in the scheme of things there are more than enough demons stalking the planet without me adding to them.
That said, what the fuck! Where do you think our demons come from in the first place! So in the midst of all the mayhem around us, here I am struggling to write, something that has up until now anyway, been the most natural thing in the world for me to do.
That such an innate act, that of creating should be denied to me, came as a shock. Denied my own voice, I felt imprisoned inside my own skull. But even writing about such things feels like an indulgence, after all who wants to read about my personal problems when the world is going to hell in a hand-basket?
The phrase ‘from the personal the political’ comes to mind, or am I just fishing for a hook? But this is at least a step forward, I mean actually committing pen to paper and assuming it actually ends up online.
So what gives? Well, for the first time in my life I’ve been ill, nothing life threatening you understand but enough to worry me witless and as I wrote these words (as an act of catharsis), it occurred to me that dis-ease is an intrinsically political process, fueled as it is by the ‘health’ business and supported by an uncaring (indifferent) health system, where my so-called family doctor has exactly six minutes to dispense with me, else he, or more likely she, won’t meet the damn targets.
A far cry from the NHS that I grew up with, which might not have been slick and it might have been more than a little bit frayed around the edges but at least I saw the same (family) doctor every time I visited my local surgery, someone who knew me and actually cared about me as a human being and not as some impersonal victim of New Labour’s ghastly neo-fascist fantasy played out against a backdrop of vast (and inoperable) computer systems and arbitrary targets set by some technocratic neanderthals, who must—for PR purposes—pretend that the destruction of our publicly owned national health system is actually for our benefit. ‘Efficiency’ rules but for whom is it efficient? Certainly not the patient, who has been reduced to statistics of beds occupied and patients seen, a conveyor belt of bodies.
We in the so-called developed world have been indoctrinated into thinking that with the right ‘medicine’ we can live forever, death forever held in abeyance. Worse, the emphasis on an illusory immortality, has not only raised our expectations but has disastrously created an entirely new pathology, the dis-ease of health, something that we are misled into believing can be purchased like so much other consumer crap. But just like the Frog in Zeno’s Paradox, we jump a little higher each time but can never quite reach the top no matter how close we get.
As a result anxiety stalks the land as we frantically and desperately strive to achieve the impossible, some mystical state of perfection where we never age, never get ill and all live happily and indefinitely ever after (until of course, we drop dead). Most of us are not aware of this precarious state until we actually do get ill or old and fall victim to some technocrat’s nightmare scenario once we are past our sell-to date.
It also became apparent to me that the connection between the mind and the body is vastly more complex than I could have ever imagined, with dis-ease in one leading to dis-ease in the other and round and round it goes…. This came as a profound shock to me personally when I realized this. It was as if a switch had been thrown somewhere in the recesses of my brain and all of a sudden the lights came back on.
What this reveals is not academic for it exposes just how vulnerable we are to the insidious forces arraigned against us that exploit our fears and insecurities. An army of mind miners equipped with an array of intimate knowledge and tools with which to manipulate our inner selves and who push all the right buttons to get us to jump just the way they want us to.
So, the ‘War on Terror’, Islam, the ‘Other’, ‘Swine Flu’, child molesters, ‘knife crime’, the young, having a drink or whatever, are the chosen weapons of the state’s war on its citizens, used to inculcate and maintain a climate of permanent fear and insecurity. This is ‘classical’ Fascism in the Mussolini tradition, the corporate-security state in all its frightening enormity with the media its complicit hand-maiden, always ready to spread whatever virus is suitable for the occasion.
Paranoid ravings of a dis-eased mind? I think not, after all just look at how we have been barraged with frightening propaganda concerning ‘Swine Flu’. One thing the media nor the state mention is the fact that in the UK for example, around 15,000 people a year die from one kind of flu or another. Epidemic, pandemic? Whatever. One thing is clear, that at the very highest level a decision was taken to drown us with ominous forebodings of death on a planetary scale (echoes of the 1918 flu epidemic), as if death on a planetary scale is not already happening but by other means.
All too conveniently, ‘natural’ dis-ease becomes a substitute for economic and political disaster and even here the real cause of the outbreak (in all likelihood a US-owned pig factory) was carefully hidden from view (see for example ‘The A H1N1 Pandemic: Pig to Human Transmission of the Swine Flu?’ and ‘Is it the “Mexican Flu”, the “Swine Flu” or the “Human Flu”? What are the origins of the pandemic?’ both by Michel Chossudovsky) for more on this.
Perhaps our deepest fear is of not being in control and when that perceived lack of control appears to emanate from within our own minds, it becomes a raging virus that threatens to overwhelm us, at least it did with me, reducing me to a state of abject powerlessness, where intellect became a meaningless abstraction.
Collectively we are in the deadly grip of a state-induced psychosis of fear and insecurity and when one ceases to do its ugly work another is engineered into existence and it would appear, this is a process with no end in sight, indeed our psychotic political class have openly stated so, that the war on the planet, sorry, the ‘War on Terror’ will last for fifty years, surely an arbitrary number but a very revealing indication of the bankrupt nature of capitalism that it sees itself in a permanent state of destruction for the foreseeable future.
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