Winter Oak

Winter Oak
29 May 2023 | 1:53 pm

1. Two UK events in June

by Paul Cudenec

I am greatly looking forward to two public appearances I have lined up in the UK for the weekend of June 17 and 18.

The first is in Worthing on the Saturday morning, at the premiere of a short but inspiring documentary by Ma'at Films called Spirit of the Downs: Perseverance brings Success.

This celebrates a very unusual phenomenon – a protest campaign that achieved its aims!

The struggle in question was one of which I was part, a decade ago now, when I lived and worked in West Sussex.

We found out that Worthing council was selling off publicly-owned downland at Cissbury Ring and together managed to mobilise large numbers of people in a short space of time to force them to stop.

Not only that, but the land in question was eventually given official "public access" status, which was a big win for the people of Worthing.

More info can be found here, with a teaser for the documentary here.

I say a few words in the film and will be taking part in the panel discussion and Q&A session at the event, which will run from 10.20am to 12.30pm at The Studio, Connaught Theatre, Union Place, Worthing BN11 1LG.

Entry is free/donation, but you have to reserve your place in advance.

The following day I will be heading to London for an event kindly organised for me by my friends at Real Left, whose anti-WEF conference I addressed in March.

June the 18th seems like the perfect day to visit the city, as I still cherish fond memories of the Carnival Against Capital, held there on that date in 1999.

"An evening with Paul Cudenec", which starts at 5pm at Angel Church in Chadwell Street, Islington, London, EC1R 1XA, will see me reading from my latest work, The Great Racket, which is now available not just as a pdf but also as an actual book, and also from 2022's The Withway.

The Great Racket examines, as its subtitle sets out, "the ongoing development of the criminal global system".

It effectively charts a year of intense research and reflection in the course of which I identified and described, with increasing certainty, the existence and nature of a deeply unpleasant global network or entity whose centre was difficult to identify but whose key institutions clearly included the United Nations, the WHO, the WEF, the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements, as well as the BlackRock/Vanguard financial empire.

In The Withway I write about the way in which we need to embrace values which represent the opposite of the grim future of slavery offered by this system and I frame this in terms of re-establishing connections – social, natural and metaphysical – which have been stolen from us over a long period of time.

There will be a chance to ask questions and buy signed books and we will then decamp to a local pub to continue the conversation over a pint or two.

Like the Worthing event, it is free/donation but you are asked to reserve a place in advance – see the Real Left website.

Hope to see some of you there!

[Audio version]

Winter Oak
24 May 2023 | 5:23 pm

2. Anti-transhumanists target Milan Baby Fair

Resistance to the odious transhumanist agenda is causing a stir in Italy, with multiple protests against the Milan Baby Fair.

As we reported in January, artificial reproduction technology, including artificial wombs, is intended to replace natural childbirth, creating a world without mothers where a baby is just another profitable product that has to be purchased from the usual suspects.

In a bid to alert the public in Italy as to what is being planned, campaigners targeted the event on Saturday May 20.

Resistenze al nanomondo and FINAARGIT – International Feminist Network Against All Artificial Reproduction, Gender Ideology and Transhumanism – were joined by the Popular Assembly Resisting Transhumanism of Bergamo in organizing a "sit-in" protest.

Their leaflet explains that the new genetic engineering technologies include in vitro fertilization, reproductive genetics, oocyte vitrification, egg trading and embryonic genetic selections.

It warns of "an enthusiastic submission to the world vision of the technocrat managers of human livestock" that could see transhumanism advanced in the name of freedom of choice and the so-called 'right to a child'.

But in reality it would lead to the end of all freedom, self-determination and of the very meaning of being human.

"Transhumanist eugenic technocrats aim to normalize the artificial reproduction of the human as the normal way of coming into the world.

"Birth becomes the stake for a profound ontological and anthropoligical transformation of the human being. We fight for the unavailability of bodies. Against all artificial reproduction and genetic engineering technologies".

Their protest was also supported by feminists from Genoa and Milan, by a Catholic network drawing support from various cities in Italy and by a Marxist group from Milan which also opposed the "Green Pass" (vaccine passport).

Two other separate protests were held at the same time at other entrances to the fair, the first by the feminists of RADFEM and Inviolability Network and the second by mainstream right-wing political parties the Brothers of Italy and the League.

Silvia Guerini of Resistenze al nanomondo is a leading critic of the transhumanist agenda in Italy and has helped raise awareness of the issue in independent and Catholic media.

She said: "We managed to create a context in which one could not fail to take a position both on this Baby Fair and against surrogacy, but also more generally on artificial reproduction.

"All voices against this Fair had to point in this direction. The message that has emerged solidly is that assisted reproduction techniques were not created to deal with infertility but to select and produce children".

More info: www.resistenzealnanomondo.org

Winter Oak
23 May 2023 | 9:53 am

3. The Acorn – 83

Number 83

In this issue:

  1. Defending people and land
  2. The worm behind the facade
  3. Nature that is us
  4. Fredy Perlman: an organic radical inspiration
  5. Acorninfo

1. Defending people and land

by Miguel Amorós

"A Power based on Authority can of course use force, but while Authority can create force, force can never, by definition, create political Authority".

Alexandre Kojève, The Notion of Authority.

Judging by the brutality with which public force – that of the State – is deployed against protesters who disagree with their governments, we can deduce that popular sovereignty, supposedly the foundation of parliamentary regimes, is a mere pipe dream.

As Benjamin Constant has previously pointed out, "modern" individuals in representative democracies are only theoretically sovereign: their freedoms are restricted to the limited sphere of private life.

The right to tell others what Power does not want them to hear, for example, is not one of them.

Neither is the right to make decisions on matters of concern to the community, or the direct, continuous and daily enjoyment of individual political rights.

There is no point in even mentioning common law. Old-style capitalism has wiped out the remains of the society it shaped.

In party regimes improperly termed "democratic", while on paper political power belongs to the people or the nation, it is really the power of the state, the body that holds and wields it.

Every state relies on its monopoly of force and uses it however it likes in order to impose its authority.

The use of force – repression – has no predefined limits and so when power is really challenged it gives itself free rein. Use and abuse are indistinguishable in an authoritarian police state.

The state reacts violently, in fact, whenever disillusioned people act for themselves and not only ignore the state but, worse still, do not even recognize it.

This is the trouble with the State today: it is so fragile that any act of disobedience is seen as defiance, undermining the authority that the State wants to impose through misuse of the law and the excessive, intimidating use of force. The State knows no other way.

We saw this in March 2023 in the protests against the construction of a mega-reservoir in Sainte-Soline, France, but we could also cite recent Iberian examples: the protests against the high-speed rail line in the Basque Country, the eviction of communities in Itoiz and Fraguas, the struggle against high-voltage power lines in Girona.

Any protest beyond the established channels, whether in defence of land, jobs, pensions, prisoners' rights, or even of a liveable natural world, is considered criminal, a public order issue, in short, an act of rebellion against the State.

Those usual channels – parliaments, unions or subsidiary associations – are not working as they used to and are losing their effectiveness in neutralizing environmental conflict and masking territorial imbalances.

The current crisis is an economic, social, political and territorial crisis.

To solve this crisis in its own favour, the dominant techno-capitalist entity is ramping up its devastating development of the land through new energetic and digital infrastructure, white elephant transport schemes, the monopolization of resources, mass tourism, industrial agriculture and intensive breeding. The state is now nothing more than the armed wing of this entity.

To recapitulate: the terroristic adaptation of rural and urban space to the global market leads to a multi-faceted crisis that undermines local interests and uncommodified ways of life, but above all subjugates the whole of society to economic and financial requirements.

This causes a downgrading of the political regime's social base, which necessarily provokes a popular self-defence response outside the institutions and, to a great extent, against them.

If broad alliances are formed between various affected sectors of the population and deserters from the system, and passions are stirred by a wave of indignation, it is possible that, where politics has fallen into disrepute in a context of unbearable economic oppression, an anti-industrial movement without masters or established intermediaries could emerge.

It cannot happen in any other way. The days of institutionalized professional representation are numbered. Saying "no" is at the heart of the protesters' demands for direct democracy.

A federation of rebels with different ideological backgrounds and varying objectives is shaped via resistance networks and continuous meetings on roundabouts, in squares, public places or at rural festivals.

Defending the territory and nature against all forms of threat forms the basis of the anti-capitalist front par excellence.

Only this defence of the territory can open up horizons of freedom and emancipation historically linked to the struggle around work.

Against the private quest for profit, this defence is the only one capable of restoring sovereignty to life.

The "not here, not anywhere" reponse to destructive mega-projects is its primary slogan.

Resistance to techno-capitalist violence no longer stops short at lists of grievances or complaints to the authorities.

Growing strength and experience prompt meaningful actions such as occupying land, blockading unwanted schemes, sabotaging machinery or barricading roads.

Most of all, it is about inciting a real public debate on the common use of land, water and natural heritage, whose conversion into capital is at stake.

The atmosphere is so overheated by the state's policy of scorched-earth fait accompli that the defenders are now allowing themselves to take offensive action, which the state, as the enforcement agency for economic interests, cannot allow.

The time has come for confrontation, confrontation which will have to grow in size if life and freedom are to prevail.

Staying patient puts this moment off, but will not stop it happening, because the necessity remains intact.

From A Contretemps

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2. The worm behind the facade

by Paul Cudenec

The mighty edifice of the Nation-State is a glorious thing to behold.

It towers imperiously above you as you dutifully play your civic role in keeping the Great Treadmill turning.

Decked out in the national colours, it boasts huge frescoes illustrating your country's origins, its traditions, its heroes and its martyrs.

It celebrates the pillars of its rule: its democracy, its wealth and its strength.

Moving parts bring this heritage to life, as the scales of justice tilt to and fro before finding equilibrium, as the sword of the law strikes down on imaginary wrong-doers and as coloured wooden figures representing the dominant political parties revolve in and out of sight through the mechanical doors of power.

The Nation's great monuments and feats of engineering are depicted, in awe-inspiring relief, and above that images of recent heads of state topped by a 20-foot portrait of the current Leader, jaw jutting forward in princely pride.

Above, so high that you have to strain your neck and shield your eyes from the glare of the sun, are writ the words that bestow ultimate legitimacy on the State, a God-given commitment to the highest of human ideals.

And all the while blares out, from the imposing pipes of an automated and gaudily-decorated fairground organ, your national anthem, and other patriotic melodies designed to stir within you all those fine feelings required by the State: credulity, obedience, submission and conformity.

When it declares yet another state of emergency and demands that everyone run twice as fast on the Treadmill, and take half as many breaks, you are happy to comply.

When it calls upon you to denounce any neighbour seen to be shirking or complaining, you enthusiastically unleash your moral outrage.

When it calls for a million more children to be fed into its Official Orifice in order to maintain Growth and Prosperity, you leap into action with your virtue fully signalled.

The State's spectacle has entirely dominated your world since you were four years old and first stepped on to the Training Treadmills it so generously provides.

It is unquestionable, invincible and irreproachable, its non-existence simply unimagineable.

And yet, one strange day, when you felt sick of the crowds during your Treadmill break, you wandered far to the edge of the Inclusive Comfort Zone and saw something that changed your life.

From your new perspective, you saw that the edifice was nothing more than a facade, propped up from behind like film-set scenery.

And you were horrified to see little creatures running around the place behind the scenes, busily manipulating the moving parts.

Before you could see any more, you were spotted by a Public Protection Patrol and frogmarched back to the Treadmill, to the boos and jeers and pointing fingers of all those good citizens who knew better than to venture to the fringe.

For a while, you kept your curiosity at check, fully aware that you were under observation.

But then, later, you took the risk and wandered casually to the opposite side of the Zone to see behind the scenery from another angle.

Again you noticed the nasty little figures scurrying about and as you tentatively walked nearer you saw that they looked something like goblins, or perhaps minor demons.

As they moved the levers behind the scenes, the scenery on the facade pivoted in the opposite direction, the illusion thus relying on inversion.

With a start, you realised that the Patrol was after you and, knowing that there was no way back from a second offence, you made a dash for the facade itself.

As you grew closer, closer than anyone was ever supposed to get, you saw that the paint was clumsily applied and chipping off in places, while parts of the oh-so impressive surface had clearly been glued back into place after falling off.

Rounding the corner, you sent goblins running for cover. "Ultra-extremists! Left-Right conspiracy terrorists!" they shrieked, evidently scared out of their little wits by the sight of a real human being crashing into their cloistered world.

With the Patrol at your heels, you dashed forward, with just one glance over your shoulder to see the vast empty wooden expanse of the back of the facade, which, like the props which held it up, was obviously rotting away to the point of inevitable collapse.

You found yourself running parallel to a great plastic pipeline leading from the Official Orifice to what you now saw was a huge reservoir or lake, with some kind of mechanical arm moving back and forth across it.

To your horror, when you drew near you realised that this reservoir was full of the bodies of the children delivered through the Orifice and the arms were blades, cutting their flesh into bloody pulp.

Giant tubes reached up out of the grim mess, sucking the flesh-pulp still further on.

As you rushed forward, breathless, in your determination to elude the pursuing Patrol, you nearly stopped dead in your tracks when you identified for the first time the recipient of this food.

An enormous white worm, or grub, lay on a kind of grotesque throne, wriggling and palpitating as it swelled still further in size thanks to the incoming pulp from not just one but hundreds of tubes attached to its slime-covered scaly body.

And how this worm stank! You felt you were going to vomit as you advanced into its miasma of gangrenous greed and putrid power.

You saw now, as you clambered on to the lower parts of the worm-throne, where the other tubes were coming from.

In each direction they reached from the back of a facade much like that of your own Nation, though the outlines and sizes differed greatly in character.

You could hear music, as well, coming from all around, a confused cacophony of patriotic pride interjected with stern announcements and decrees in a hundred different languages.

Looking behind you, you saw the Patrol advance and feared the worst. But then, inexplicably, they hesitated and turned round.

What was this? A small group of people had followed you in your dash behind the scenes and were waving frantically at you as they advanced.

Another Patrol was following them, but on their heels was an even larger group of intruders.

In fact, you realised with a thrill, there was a massive flow of people leaving the Zone and penetrating behind the facade.

You heard a shout and over at the other side of the worm you saw two people waving at you, who had evidently made a journey like yours from another Nation.

Over there, another! And another! And behind them, partly hidden from view, great floods of humanity rushing in your direction.

The people, everywhere, had broken through and there were just too many of you for the Patrols to do anything about it.

Emboldened by all this, you started to climb the sides of the worm-throne and, as you did so, you broke off a length of wood hanging loose and ragged from the ancient and unsteady structure.

Trying not to breathe too deeply of the rancid air, you reached the top and before you lay the flesh of the beast.

Without even thinking, you plunged your wooden stake into the vile body, and when you pulled it clear, you did well to avoid being sprayed by the evil fluid that spurted forth.

Again and again you struck and as you did so you were joined by others, dozens of others, hundreds and thousands, all using whatever weapon they had come across to stab at the worm, some even tearing at its flesh with their bare hands.

Others set about ripping the tubes from its body so that it could no longer grow fat from the flesh of their children.

You had no notion of time passing, but when the worm was dead, the throne demolished, tubes hacked into pieces, goblins banished, facades pulled down and treadmills turned into firewood, for the first time ever you felt free and truly alive.

[Audio version]

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3. Nature that is us

by Deepika

Nature is meant to be free, boundless, and abundant. And essentially, we, human beings should be the embodiment of this very nature – free in spirit and thought, abundant and knowing no boundaries.

But we gradually are shifting to just the opposite. We have forgotten our free spirit, we have forgotten our limitlessness, and we are transforming ourselves to mere machines.

We are becoming less human, devoid of emotions as we follow through the crowd and moving towards a state of 'human' extinction.

We are hooked on to our phones and television sets, we soak in every bit of the 'news' and we do not question the whys and the hows.

We let our lives drag on, in everyday routine. We rush for our jobs, to earn our breads, we follow the rules blindly, we do not get into confrontations, we do not like to challenge nor be challenged, we do not want to fall into bad books, and we come back to our comforted netflixed zones where we can stay distanced from reality as much as we can.

Nature has room for everyone to grow, the bird, the trees, and the flowers. Each blossom in their own time, each patient to wait for their season.

But humans have forgotten the art of waiting, of patience and never think twice before joining the mad rat race; ever willing to jump on the other, trounce the other, the degeneration of humans is quite evident.

The last two-three years have been a mess of sorts and probably a manifestation of what was building up for decades and the next few years may be worse unless we "build back better" by going back to nature.

Humans have complied blindly to norms dictated, devalued family system, and focused on individualism.

There has been some deep social engineering, a subtle push to accepting an easy life, and thereby taking us away from reality.

Machines entered our lives, and somehow made us feel that they would ease our labour, make us comfortable and give us back 'time'.

Not that machines are all bad, and some automation and ease in life is not needed, but what has happened is the misuse or over-use of machines.

We accepted that as a norm and from cooking to cleaning, we have been adopting an easy way out. We no longer grow our crops, we hate to peel vegetables, we trust frozen super market foods and more than often we do not like to wash our utensils and at this rate, it does seem like we may not want to chew our food soon.

Now with the 'time' that the machines have blessed us with, what do we do? We spend hours on online video games, we watch games which others play, we watch movies and we call these all entertainment.

We follow the online 'heroes', we attempt to live their lives, we chase their lifestyles and we end up in stress.

We forgot physical work as we remained glued to our TVs and mobiles, we became physically weak and we gobbled some pills hoping all will be okay.

We ended up becoming weak, kept on 'testing' ourselves, chewed more pills and we thought we were doing just fine so long as our bills got taken care of by some insurance where we paid more money than the benefits we supposedly received.

This kind of programming since years has had a very deep impact on us so much so that when these very external agents from our online lives told us that we were sick even when we had no symptoms, we believed them.

So, we went and 'tested' ourselves based on a 'test' recommended by them. We got gripped in such fear that we accepted external interventions without questioning.

We see the consequences; we see the sufferings and yet we continue to remain blindfolded and we continue to trust the narratives.

And at this rate again, we are not headed anywhere but in making ourselves mechanical, fearful, lost and the very antithesis of what we call 'human'.

What may be the way out, one might ask; the answer would be to go within, to our natural self, to mimic nature, to grow, to love, to be fearless.

We sure cannot be defeated if we have the kind of will-power which we have inherited from nature, to recognise the strength we have within, to slow down when needed, to breathe and to fight our fears.

Reaching for limitlessness, to touch the sky, to walk the waters, expansion of ourselves and love will surely work when everything else fails.

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4. Fredy Perlman: an organic radical inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

Fredy Perlman

"The Progress of the machine is first of all an unrelenting war against everyone and everything that is not a machine"

Fredy Perlman (1934-1985) was an anarchist author and publisher, the co-founder of Black & Red Books in Detroit, USA, who fiercely and eloquently condemned the modern system of artifice, destruction and exploitation.

Describing the system's historical emergence, he wrote: "By undergoing what will be called Industrial and Technological Revolutions, the Great Artifice breaches all walls, storms victoriously through every natural and human barrier, increasing its velocity at every turn". (1)

"Lush forests and prairies are reduced to plowed fields. Entire populations of animals, sometimes whole species, are exterminated. Human communities are gunned down and broken up, their last remnants deported to concentration camps". (2)

"The Progress of the machine is first of all an unrelenting war against everyone and everything that is not a machine". (3) "Death is always on the side of the machines". (4)

Blake - Urizen

Perlman was inspired by organic radical William Blake, even using his art to illustrate his own work, translated Guy Debord's La Société du spectacle into English and influenced the green anarchism of John Zerzan.

Combining cultural and economic analysis, he showed the way that power and money had progressively gained a stranglehold over our world.

He identified this malignant force as being behind the rise of nation-states and the associated idea of nationalism.

Perlman argued: "Nationalism is the opposite of imperialism only in the realm of definitions. In practice, nationalism was a methodology for conducting the empire of capital". (5)

The end result was thus "seemingly-independent repressive nation-states invisibly but indissolubly interlocked by the tentacles of bankers and merchants". (6)

People within this global system accepted money as an equivalent for life and therefore the "sale of living activity", paid labour, became a condition for their survival, he said. "Daily activity takes the form of universal prostitution". (7)

They therefore lost, or rather were robbed of, nearly everything that once gave context and meaning to human life.

"The increasingly numerous urban zeks concentrated in factories are, in fact, despoiled of every last trace of community, and in this sense they are more like domesticated cattle or sheep than like human beings in the state of nature", he wrote. (8)

factory workers2

"Joy ceased to be life's aim; life itself became a mere means; its end was profit. The variety of hundreds of cultural forms was reduced to the uniformity of a unique routine: work, save, invest, sell, every day from sunrise to sunset, and count money after sundown". (9)

"Reduced to blank slates by school, we cannot know what it was to grow up heirs to thousands of generations of vision, insight, experience". (10)

Perlman saw how the invasion, occupation and development of North America by European tentacles of the system had amounted to a "process of unfettered industrial destruction". (11) The USA was brought into being by "land grabbbers, speculators and their allies" he said. (12)

"Surplus peasants were imported from the run-down estates of post-feudal Europe… Sold plots by land investors, transported to plots by railway investors, equipped by farm implement investors, financed by bank investors, furnished and clothed by the same interests, often by the very same Houses who had provided them with everything else at a rate of profit no previous age would have regarded as 'just', they boastfully wrote their relatives in the old country that they had become their own lords, that they were free farmers but in the pits of their stomachs and in the missed beat of their hearts they felt the truth: they were slaves of a master who was even more intractable, inhuman and removed than their former lords, a master whose lethal power, like radioactivity's, could be felt but not seen". (13)


He did not shrink from deploying the term "usury" to describe the practice of the financial parasites who had become dominant in Europe since the end of the Middle Ages, before spreading across the world.

"Until the Renaissance, Europeans considered Usury a monstrosity. They associated the practice with alien ancient Etruscans and Carthaginians or with alien contemporary Jews and Muslims, and they called its practitioners bloodsuckers. Now European Usurers who call themselves bankers and investors replace saintly Anchorites in the paintings depicting the exalted". (14)

"Usurers are the greatest Lords and princes of the realm. Greatness comes, not to those who serve the gods, but to those who serve the devil… The exalted are the unprincipled devotees of the fourth beast of the Book of Daniel, the servants of Leviathan". (15)

This last term was the title Perlman chose to give to the global system in his best-known work.

As early as 1968, Perlman had named the enemy as being "a single world system" (16) and by 1983's Against His-story, Against Leviathan! he was describing it as "a single Leviathan which holds all Earth in its entrails". (17)

This was "a beast that originated in Ur, a beast whose artificial progeny would eventually swallow all human communities and, by our time, begin to eat the Biosphere". (18)

"The Leviathan is a thing, and from its standpoint, humanity as well as nature are also things, objects, either obstacles or potential instruments", Perlman warned. (19)

Fredy Perlman against his-story

"The liquidation of free beings is in fact Leviathan's central project, and communities that nurture free beings are its greatest enemy". (20)

He judged one of its distinguishing features to be "the repression of the natural and the devotion to the artificial" (21) and, indeed, he called Leviathan "the almighty artifice". (22)

Another was its use of lies and deceit. It constantly sought to conceal the ugliness of its own essence: "Sheer violence cannot view itself in a glass; it must prevaricate; it must cover itself with masks and then with more masks over the initial masks, because the violence keeps showing through". (23)

To do this it had invented the myth of progress, the biggest of big lies, which insisted that its cancerous and destructive growth over the centuries amounted to "a steady ascent from a hellish Dark age to an electrically illuminated heaven". (24)

The almighty artifice also has a long history of using controlled opposition movements to recuperate potential resistance and use it in its own defence.

Perlman highlighted the Roman Catholic Church's hijacking of the nature mysticism of St Francis of Assissi to form its Franciscan wing, noting: "This abominable recuperation will be remarkable until our time, when the metamorphosis of partisans of universal liberation into policemen and jailers will be so frequent that it will no longer seem remarkable". (25)

In opposition to the reign of Leviathan, Perlman looked to another way of living, outside the perspective of the monster's linear lie of historical time tied to its "inexorable March of Progress". (26)


This different way of being certainly existed in ages past: "Rhythms were grasped with symbols and expressed with music. Musical knowledge was knowledge of the important, the deep, the living. The music of myth expressed the symphony of rhythm that constituted the Cosmos". (27)

But it also lives on in the present as, simultaneously, a memory of how things once were in a long-lost Golden Age, a Garden of Eden from which humankind had been cruelly evicted, and the burning desire to return to that paradise in the fututre.

It was this knowledge, that Leviathan's civilization was an aberration and that another world was always possible, which inspired generation after generation to resist the dominant power.

"The struggle against His-story, against Leviathan, is synonymous with Life; it is part of the Biosphere's self-defense against the monster rending her asunder", declared Perlman. (28)


"The resistance is the only human component of the entire His-story. All the rest is Leviathanic Progress… I take it for granted that resistance is the natural human response to dehumanization and, therefore, does not have to be explained or justified. The forms of resistance are sometimes original but usually they are inspired by earlier forms". (29)

Like Ernst Bloch and others, he saw a thread of resistance running across many centuries, linking Taoists, early Christians, pantheists, Bogomils, Cathars and Brethren of the Free Spirit, medieval radicals whose aim was "to overthrow the separations, to remove the masks and armors, to return to the original unity, the lost community of free loving kin". (30)

He was particularly enthused by John Ball and the 14th century peasants' revolt in England: "The English radicals are not a few visionaries who move from town to town in couples. They are more numerous than anywhere on the continent. All of England seems to rise up against Leviathan, peasants as well as artisans, even poor priests. And the rebels know what they don't want as well as what they do want. They don't want a Civilization, which they call Usurpation". (31)

Perlman traced a source of inspiration behind this spirit of resistance to the original Zoroastrian vision of a permanent struggle between Ahura Mazda, the light and the truth, and Ahriman, the darkness and the lie, aka Leviathan. (32)


He said that in Marguerite Porete's classic mystical text A Mirror of Simple Souls "Zarathustrian light, a light so bright that it blinds, shocks the individual out of the dark Leviathanic pit, wakes her from the centuries of stony sleep". (33)

This powerful spiritual motivation, this commitment to the light and "The Way" (34) was, for him, an essential component of our resistance: "The most spirited revolutionaries are those who think the gods are fighting alongside them". (35)

The depth of Perlman's opposition to the system, in all its aspects, meant that he had little time for contemporary anarchist comrades who had "not even become aware that there is a contradiction between anarchy and industry" (36) or who were "committed neither to freedom nor to community". (37)

Karl Marx

And he was frequently scathing in his analysis of Marxism, describing its founder as "an enthusiast for the application of science to production" (38) and writing of "a pseudo-resistance which was in fact an instrument for the final reduction of human activity to a mere variable of Capital". (39)

His critique echoed Debord's criticism of the kind of fake rebel who absurdly tries to express his opposition to the spectacle by using the language and syntax of that same system. (40)

Perlman explained: "Many of the terms used by Marx to describe people's activities have been raised to the status of external and even 'natural' forces which determine people's activity; thus concepts like 'class struggle', 'production relations' and particularly 'The Dialectic', play the same role in the theories of some 'Marxists' that 'Original Sin', 'Fate' and 'The Hand of Destiny' played in the theories of medieval mystifiers". (41)

soviet electrification

He described the way that this limiting dogma had gradually steered Marxism completely away from anything resembling authentic resistance to Leviathan: "The Third International did not only come to terms with capital and the state; it made them its goal". (42)

Describing Lenin as the "general manager" of Russian capital, he wrote : "The goal of the dictator of the proletariat was still American-style progress, capitalist development, electrification, rapid mass transportation, science, the processing of the natural environment. The goal was the capitalism that the weak and inept Russian bourgeoisie had failed to develop.

"With Marx's Capital as their light and guide, the dictator and his Party would develop capitalism in Russia; they would serve as a substitute bourgeoisie, and they would use the power of the state not only to police the process, but to launch and manage it as well". (43)

Perlman even managed to work a condemnation of 20th century communism into his account of the English Peasants' Revolt!

He wrote: "The nightmarish will to universalize labor camps, which will later pass for radicalism, is what the English rebels are against. The English insurgents announce the end of the Leviathanic world, not its completion.

"The condition the insurgents want is not universal villeinage but universal freedom; it is the condition of communities of free human beings in the state of nature, unencumbered by Leviathanic separations and usurpations". (44)

soviet industrialism

But, at the same time, he was not blind to one area of useful analysis from Soviet communist theorist Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, which we would do well to bear in mind today.

This concerns the origins of the wealth with which the ruling class sets in motion all the machineries of its ongoing exploitation.

This initial capital comes from plunder at home and abroad, from land grabbing and the eviction of peasants, from, in short, the theft of other people's homes, possessions and lives.

Explained Perlman: "The expropriated fields, forests and animals were garnered as bonanzas, as preliminary capital, as the precondition for the production process that was to turn the fields into farms, the trees into lumber, the animals into hats, the minerals into munitions, the human survivors into cheap labor". (45)

highland clearances

Crucially, and very relevantly at the current time, this injection of raw wealth has to be repeated at regular intervals, because the business-as-usual profiteering is prone to various crises and would otherwise eventually grind to a halt.

Perlman pointed out: "The primitive or preliminary accumulation of capital is not something that happened once, in the distant past, and never after. It is something that continues to accompany the capitalist production process, and is an integral part of it.

"The process described by Marx is responsible for the regular and expected profits; the process described by Preobrazhensky is responsible for the takeoffs, the windfalls and the great leaps forward". (46)

Leviathan is an all-devouring beast and nobody is ever safe from its insatiable greed, particularly when it feels the need to reset itself or build itself back better.

As Perlman warned back in 1979: "For two hundred years Capital developed by destroying nature, by removing and destroying human beings. Capital has now begun a frontal attack on its own domestics; its computers have begun to calculate the expendability of those who'd been taught to think themselves its beneficiaries". (47)

Fredy Perlman3

1. Fredy Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan! (Detroit: Black & Red, 1983), p. 292.
2. Ibid.
3. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 291.
4. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 45.
5. Fredy Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', 1984, Anything Can Happen (London: Phoenix Press, 1992), p. 106.
6. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 237.
7. Fredy Perlman, 'The Reproduction of Daily Life', 1969, Anything Can Happen, p. 33.
8. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 178.
9. Fredy Perlman, 'Progress and Nuclear Power', 1979, Anything Can Happen, p. 74.
10. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 10.
11. Fredy Perlman, 'Anti-Semitism and the Beirut Pogrom', 1982, Anything Can Happen, p. 81.
12. Perlman, 'Progress and Nuclear Power', Anything Can Happen, p. 74.
13. Perlman, 'Progress and Nuclear Power', Anything Can Happen, p. 75.
14. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 230.
15. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 232.
16. Fredy Perlman, 'Anything Can Happen', 1968, Anything Can Happen, p. 9.
17. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 43.
18. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 245.
19. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 232.
20. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 254.
21. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 155.
22. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 238.
23. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 141.
24. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 179.
25. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 189.
26. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 291.
27. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 241.
28. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 266.
29. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 184.
30. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 205.
31. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 212.
32. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 77.
33. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 205.
34. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 79.
35. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, pp. 101-102.
36. Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', Anything Can Happen, p.113.
37. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 204.
38. Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', Anything Can Happen, p. 108.
39. Perlman, 'Progress and Nuclear Power', Anything Can Happen, p. 76.
40. Guy Debord, Commentaires sur la société du spectacle (Paris: Gallimard, 1992), p. 38.
41. Fredy Perlman, 'The Reproduction of Daily Life', Anything Can Happen, p. 32.
42. Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', Anything Can Happen, p. 113.
43. Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', 1984, Anything Can Happen, p. 115.
44. Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan!, p. 213.
45. Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', Anything Can Happen, p. 109.
46. Perlman, 'The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism', Anything Can Happen, p. 108.
47. Perlman, 'Progress and Nuclear Power', Anything Can Happen, p. 77.


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5. Acorninfo

Whether it's digital currency, smart cities, genetic "vaccines" or Sustainable Development Goals, Russia is on the same nightmare technocratic path as "the West", as this piece by Riley Waggaman clearly demonstrates. Opponents of the US/UK empire should avoid the trap of assuming that a "multi-polar" BRICS+ world order would be an improvement: the Great Racket is a truly global one and it's the same financial interests pulling the strings behind the scenes everywhere.

* * *

The construction of an airport on top of mangrove swamps in El Salvador is a text book case of how so-called "development" is imposed by means of corporate-captured state force. "Community members report that members of the Armed Forces and the National Civil Police are being mobilized to act as security for the company's machinery", writes Aldo Santiago. Nothing beats a "public-private partnership"…

* * *

How was it that so many so-called "anarchists" fell into lockstep with the Covid narrative, wonders Dave of The Stirrer in a thoughtful recent post. He adds: "Not only did they buy into the narrative, the f**kers were actively enforcing it and shaming anyone who didn't comply. 'Anarchists'? Maoist zealots would be a lot closer to the truth with some of them".

* * *

"Yesterday, New York City announced its plan to track the 'food choices' of New Yorkers using credit card data from individual store purchases. According to the mayor, tracking individual food choices is a step towards 'reducing CO2 output' ….". Sinister news relayed by Igor Chudov on his blog.

* * *

Paul Cudenec's book The Withway, already one of the free pdfs that can be downloaded from this site, is now also available as a free e-book in MOBI and EPUB formats. Get in touch if you would like us to email you a copy, specifying which kind of file. Meanwhile, Paul had a wide-ranging live chat with Rick Munn on TNT Radio this month and the recording can be found here.

* * *

"No question that the administrative bureaucracies would lock down again under the same or new pretext. Yes, they will face more opposition the next time and trust in their wisdom has fallen off a cliff. But the pandemic response also granted them new powers of surveillance, enforcement, and hegemony". So writes Jeffrey A. Tucker in a May 15 article entitled After Covid: Twelve Challenges for a Shattered World.

* * *

An interesting article from Karen Hunt features this encouraging video about a group of young Luddites in New York, breaking free from the grip of technocratic artifice.

* * *

Covid Call to Humanity is a website from the Phillippines packed with information about the Great Reset and the global transhumanist agenda.

* * *

Transgender ideology is reactionary and mysogynist, argues Laughlyn (Johan Eddebo) on the Shadowrunners blog. "The mainstream of this ideology emphasizes a radical anti-essentialism, in which is implied the position that nature and being are totally malleable, and that narrative, that intentions, can actually transform reality at its very foundations".

* * *

Connecting all the dots in this increasingly nightmarish era, where nothing and nobody are what they seem, is no easy task, but this short video does a good job in putting together some of the confusingly diverse pieces of what James Corbett terms The Agenda…

* * *

"Your city is being designed into 15 minute zones… In case your zone is declared a containment zone during an 'epidemic' you are screwed. You are rendered very easy to contain and control and become subjects of tracing, tracking, testing, treatment, isolation, and you guessed it, vaccination. You are a guinea pig for all purposes". This is the warning from Jagannath Chatterjee in a piece asking "Are you DUMB enough to live in a SMART city?"

* * *

What wonderful news! A blockchain-based SmartKey has been produced which "redefines Access Control to Smart Cities of the future". The promotional video focuses on all the doors this device will apparently open, whereas the grim reality is that the technology is all about locking us up.

* * *

Acorn quote:

"Human sensations are Nature's self-expression. They are the earth's awareness of herself. They are like the blossoming of flowers – the only way in which the rooted life of the organism can realize itself and be itself" – John Cowper Powys.

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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Winter Oak
18 May 2023 | 2:43 pm

4. Resisting and revealing the plutocratic occupation

by Paul Cudenec

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the screening of a 90-minute documentary about the 2018-2019 Gilets Jaunes movement in France.

Shot in and around the city of Toulouse, La Vie de tempête (literally "life in the storm" but entitled Full Yellow Jacket in English) is a very moving account of this important popular uprising against the plutocracy.

It combines thoughtful interviews with a dozen GJ supporters with often-dramatic footage of events on the streets, as the state launched relentless military-style assaults against protesters, using tear gas, water cannon and grenades.

The courage of those who kept going, weekend after weekend, for more than a year – notably one determined woman in a wheelchair – is humbling to behold.

The film's director, Marc Khanne, was present at the screening and I asked him afterwards whether he saw a certain continuity between the GJ movement and the current wave of protest against the Macron regime, which is also now being countered with draconian bans and ferocious police violence.

He said that he could certainly see the same élan behind the 2023 rebellion, but added that although some GJs were involved, many of the original rebels were not.

They had been drained of energy by their full-on revolt and the repression with which it was met.

Some were still in prison, or paying off massive fines, or in poor health because of injuries from police batons and grenades, or indeed weekly exposure to tear gas.

He mentioned one person who, as a result of the latter, was now intensely sensitive to any kind of chemical and could not even tolerate exposure to a whiff of car exhaust.

The original rebels have also long been identified and targeted by the state. I have spoken to GJs who have received automatic police fines just because their car registration number was recorded in the vicinity of a protest.

I think two fundamental insights shone through from the film.

The first is that the GJs were very ordinary French people, more often first-time protesters than long-term political activists, and their demands were simple ones for social justice and democracy.

It was perhaps this element that gave the movement such energy, such optimism and such outraged anger at the way it was treated by the state, in terms both of smears and police violence.

The second insight is that this violence was entirely disproportionate and very deliberately meted out in order to crush the people's revolt.

Marc mentioned, when speaking after the film, a photo he had discovered of a massive protest in Toulouse in 2010, where a crowd of some 150,000 people was accompanied by one single police car, its occupants in caps and shirtsleeves.

What, he asked, had changed so dramatically in the intervening eight years?

The answer, for me, cannot be separated from the global coup we are currently undergoing under the heading of The Great Reset.

The transition from a society that pretends to be democratic to an overtly authoritarian model has been in the pipeline for a long time now.

In the same way that 9/11 brought to an end the huge anti-globalization protests that blossomed in the 1990s, so was Covid intended to crush the new wave of revolt that was swelling before 2020.

Emmanuel Macron, the former Rothschild banker elected French president in 2017, has always been part of that process.

I cited his regime as a case study in the essay Liberalism: the two-faced tyranny of wealth, which I published on the cusp of the Covid moment, on March 11, 2020.

And in WEF leader Klaus Schwab's 2020 book Covid-19: The Great Reset he specifically named the Gilets Jaunes in his warning that "social unrest" and a "political and societal backlash against globalization" presented a "sombre scenario" for the interests he represents.

Watching Marc's film of the GJs with a few years' distance, and now witnessing the French state's treatment of protest in 2023, it is very clear to me that we have passed into a new historical phase, albeit hopefully a very short-lived one.

The latest shocking revelation is that Macron's police are now planning to use drones against protesters, not only to watch them and bark orders at them through loudspeakers, but also to spray them with chemicals that will allow them to later be identified under UV lighting.

This is not the behaviour of an old-fashioned pseudo-democratic government trying to maintain the "rule of law" without alienating the people.

This regime does not give a fig for the people or what it thinks of them.

It is prepared simply to use the full force of its power to crush all those who dare stand up to its rule.

What we are looking at is more akin to a government of foreign occupation, such as France experienced during the Second World War.

Having no affinity with ordinary French people and their wishes, the regime treats them in the way that the French state used to treat Algerians; that the British empire used to treat its subjects in India or Ireland; that the South African apartheid regime used to treat blacks or that the Israeli state continues to treat Palestinians.

It is not only France that is under occupation from the global empire of greed, of course.

But the level of resistance here has forced this truth into plain sight, has shattered the illusion of democracy for millions.

This does not, in itself, represent a victory. The brute force of the occupying force is not easy to overcome in a head-on struggle, as all those brave Gilets Jaunes who lost eyes or arms on the streets know full well.

However, forcing the system to reveal its brutality it is a necessary step in defeating it.

If we are to bring down this monstrous global criminal entity, we first have to demolish the lies, fronts and facades behind which it hides, so as to reveal the full nauseating horror of its existence and its agenda.

Like all vampires, it will shrivel and die in the cleansing sunlight of truth.

[Audio version]

More info on Marc's film can be found here, along with the chance to view some of his associated series of short documentaries showing the struggle in more detail.

A trailer for the English-subtitled version of the film, Full Yellow Jacket, can be seen here.

A selection of articles in English about the Gilets Jaunes struggle, including my own reporting, can be found here.

Winter Oak
15 May 2023 | 8:41 am

5. Work. Order. Progress.

by Paul Cudenec

A certain degree of confusion seems to have been caused by my recent article about the fast-disappearing illusion of democracy here in France.

Somebody asked me how I could, at one and the same time, point to the Macron regime's proximity to the Rothschilds and also to the fascistic tone of its politics, notably its new catchphrase of "work, order and progress".

Surely, they said, the famous Jewish banking dynasty represents something entirely different to Adolf Hitler's odious state, even its direct opposite?

Well, not really, as anyone would realise who had read The Great Racket right through to the end.

But because not everyone has the time to tackle a 300-page book of essays, let alone the sources from which I assembled the information, I thought it would be useful to summarise the ways in which the fascistic "Work-Order-Progress" agenda is, also, thoroughly Rothschildian in tone.


The Rothschilds have been identified by their critics since the 19th century [1] as exploiters of the people and still enjoy using the term "human capital" today. [2]

They are always keen on the idea of other people, little insignificant people, being obliged to work hard to make more money for them.

Natty Rothschild (1840-1915) sneered at "the much pampered and not over-worked British workman" [3] and Alphonse de Rothschild declared in 1897: "I am sure that, generally speaking, working people are very satisfied with their lot… One has to distinguish between good and bad workers. Those who demand the eight hour day are the lazy, incapable ones. The others, the steady serious fathers of families, want to be able to work long enough to provide for themselves and their family. But if they were all compelled to work only eight hours a day do you know what the majority of them would do? Well they would drink!… What else would you expect them to do?" [4]

The Rothschilds were delighted to profit from free prison labour in their nickel mines in the French colony of New Caledonia in the late 1800s. [5]

A vision of workers with no rights and no wages is the holy grail for any self-respecting financial parasite.

In a bid to minimise the costs of paying workers, their global empire never hesitates in uprooting vast numbers of us from our homelands and dumping us in some other part of the world.

One notorious example is that of the Chinese workers their associates shipped to South Africa at the start of the 20th century to work in the mines for less money than black workers.

Comments historian John Hamill: "These Chinese were brought over in the prime of life to be broken on the wheel within three years for the purpose of grinding out ever greater profits for the monsters of greed who owned them". [6]


The Rothschilds have always been big fans of order, of keeping the plebs in their place.

In the early 19th century they backed "the forces of the Counter-Revolution", [7] explains historian Jean Bouvier: "Everywhere they helped to provide money to absolute monarchies and prince-tyrants in difficulties". [8]

When revolution broke out in France in 1848, rebels targeted the profiteering Rothschilds and their railway infrastructure.

A Rothschild chateau in the Parisian suburbs was set on fire and a section of their Nord railway line near Paris suffered more than a million francs of damage. [9]

Eventually "order" was restored and it was business as usual for the dynasty.

They got worried about losing control and profits again at the time of the Paris Commune of 1871.

Alphonse de Rothschild warned in internal correspondence that France risked becoming "a hotbed of anarchy". [10]

He initially hoped to deal with the threat of insurrection by means of controlled opposition, "moderate" republican leaders "who under the present circumstances could be called on to exercise an influence on events" and who had personally reassured him of their commitment to maintaining "order". [11]

But when that didn't work, it was time to take off the velvet gloves.

Alphonse did not hide his hatred of the "dangerous classes" of Paris. The state had to "get rid of all those vermin, veritable gallows fodder who constantly threaten society", he fumed. "Purge France and the world of all those rogues". [12]

In the Bloody Week which followed in May 1871, some 20,000 people died, including 10,000 Communards lined up and shot in improvised "abattoirs" at the orders of the army commanders. [13]

In the 1880s, when British warships bombarded Alexandria after riots had broken out in the Egyptian city, Alphonse de Rothschild wrote enthusiastically of the establishment of "law and order". [14]

In 1893 Arthur de Rothschild described the use of murderous force against the Matabele people of southern Africa as "a sharp engagement… 100 of them having been killed, whilst there was, I am happy to say, hardly a single casualty on our side".

The main interest for him was that this had resulted in what he called "a little spurt in the shares" of his family's business. [15]

In the 20th century the Rothschilds' murky and self-concealing financial empire, in particular through its J.P. Morgan front, [16] funded Benito Mussolini's [17] and Adolf Hitler's regimes. [18]

What better way of ensuring "order" and sustainable prosperity for the ultra-rich than by banning troublesome trade unions and left-wing political opposition, sourcing prison camp labour for private gain, embarking on massive industrial and military spending and remodelling human life to answer the needs of their greed machine?


Progress is, of course, a deceitful term used to sell us industrialism and its machineries, which are designed to cut labour costs, increase profits for the overclass and ramp up their control over the rest of us.

As I detail in the book, the Rothschilds have been heavily involved in everything to do with industrialisation for the last 200 years, as major players in railways, mining, steel, oil, chemicals, plastics, pharmaceutics, uranium and the nuclear industry.

They are, of course, fully aligned with the "progress" associated with the Great Reset. Their employee Kate Bingham was acclaimed by The Guardian in November 2022 for "putting the UK on the front foot for early deployment of vaccines during the pandemic" and said to be calling for an "expert leader" to coordinate the country's future vaccine policies. [21]

Victor Rothschild, who worked for MI5 and for Royal Dutch Shell as well as for N. M. Rothschild & Sons, was a pioneer in the world of biotech, which is closely linked to transhumanism. [22]

The Rothschilds are also involved in impact investment, the insidious means by which speculators aim to turn human lives into digital commodities, for instance through the Asset Management division of Rothschild & Co, with its "social impact investment fund", [19] or via their St James's Place Charitable Foundation. [20]

The Swiss-based Edmond de Rothschild entity happily endorses the whole Fourth Industrial Revolution circus in the form of "Farming 4.0", [23] "Digital Lifestyle", [24] "Cybersecurity" [25] and "Sustainable Governance" [26] and has established a strategic partnership in the realm of "innovative food", technology linked to "alternative proteins", new agricultural systems and the creation of "digital solutions" to nutrition. [27]

It uses the same pompous tone deployed by Klaus Schwab of the Swiss-based WEF in depicting itself at the vanguard of "progress".

It declares: "We are bold builders of the future… At Edmond de Rothschild, we believe that wealth is what tomorrow can be made of". [28]

Their wealth, that is, of course…

[Audio version]

All images from Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis.

[1] Niall Ferguson, The House of Rothschild: The World's Greatest Banker 1849-1998 (New York: Penguin, 2000), p. xxix.



[3] Ferguson, p. 426.

[4] Ferguson, p. 337.

[5] Jean Bouvier, Les Rothschild (Brussels: Editions Complexe, 1983), Bouvier, p. 257.

[6] John Hamill, The Strange Career of Mr Hoover Under Two Flags (New York: William Faro, 1931), p. 165, cit. Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor, Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War (Edinburgh & London: Mainstream Publishing, 2013), p. 53.

[7] Bouvier, p. 70.

[8] Bouvier, p. 70.

[9] Bouvier, p. 142.

[10] Ferguson, p. 201.

[11] Ferguson, p. 198.

[12] Ferguson, p. 210.

[13] Ferguson, p. 210.

[14] Ferguson, pp. 312-13.

[15] Ferguson, p. 361.

[16] Docherty and Macgregor, Hidden History, p. 213.

[17] Antony C. Sutton, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (Surrey: Clairview Books, 2016) (1974), p. 174.

[18] Antony C. Sutton, Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler (Sudbury: Bloomfield Books, 1976), pp. 31-32.

[19] https://am.fr.rothschildandco.com/en/news/our-vision-of-impact-investing/

[20] https://www.sjpfoundation.co.uk/our-impact

[21] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/nov/30/former-vaccines-chief-sounds-warning-about-uk-pandemic-readiness

[22] https://family.rothschildarchive.org/people/124-nathaniel-mayer-victor-rothschild-1910-1990

[23] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/edmond-de-rothschild-megatrends-farming-40-november-

[24] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/edmond-de-rothschild-megatrends-digital-lifestyle-

[25] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/edmond-de-rothschild-megatrends-cybersecurity-november-

[26] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/edmond-de-rothschild-megatrends-sustainable-governance-

[27] Translated from the French-language document. https://www.edmond-de-rothschild.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Rapport-annuel/Switzer-land1/FR/Rapport%20annuel%202021.pdf

[28] youtube.com/watch?v=6yiFcN-xECo

Winter Oak
10 May 2023 | 7:04 pm

6. Taoism, Divinity, and the New Anarchism

The first of Crow Qu'appelle's conversations with Paul Cudenec from the booklet The New Anarchy: Truth, Nature, Beauty and Withness, free to download here, which now features a striking cover by artist Jordan Henderson.

"The way is broad, reaching left as well as right. The myriad creatures depend on it for Life yet it claims no authority. It accomplishes its task yet lays claim to no merit. It clothes and feeds the myriad creatures yet lays no claim to being their master". Lao-Tzu.

This quote seems as good as any a place to begin an exploration of anarchist spirituality, for the Tao Teh Ching presents the most purely anarchistic vision of spirituality that exists in any major world religion.

Therefore, it is the perfect place to start our discussion of the evolving relationship of anarchism and spirituality.

It is no secret that (most) anarchists have had an antipathy to religion for many generations, and far be it from me to pretend that this is baseless. Religion has been used as a tool of social control for millennia, and deserves much of the rancor that it inspires.

That said, I've got news for those of you at the back of the room. Materialism is a dead dog. With the discovery of quantum physics in the 1920s, science proved the existence of magic. If you believe in the clockwork universe, in which all phenomena are produced through cause-and-effect on the material plane, you subscribe to an idea which has been disproven for a century.

Let me say that again – materialism has been disproven. We now know the observer cannot truly be separated from that which is observed. There is simply no vantage point from which an observer could form a objective perspective, because we all exist within a matrix of interacting energies, and by interacting with something, we influence it energetically in some way.

Now, to me that's pretty fucking cool. It's thrilling to know that human consciousness cannot be separated from the observable, measurable phenomena of the physically manifesting universe. That means that we might have magical powers – the ability to influence reality with the force of our minds. Who wouldn't be thrilled at such a discovery?

Materialists, that's who. They are not fucking down with magic, that's for damn sure. Why not? Who knows? Maybe they have guilty consciences and are afraid of Divine Justice or something. Or maybe have a vested interest in keeping us misinformed about the true nature of reality.

Whatever the case may be, it cannot be said enough that the materialists do not have a leg to stand on. Materialism has been scientifically disproven. If you believe that you are living in a mechanistic universe where consciousness can be separated from the cause-and-effect interactions of discrete physical objects, you do not believe in science. You believe in materialism.

Despite the fact that the evidence has been in for a long time, the paradigm shift from materialism to a new understanding of reality has not yet occurred in the popular imagination of First-World countries.

Think about that. For a century, we have been living within a deceased paradigm, all because scientists don't want to admit that magic is real. It's pretty fucking pathetic, to be honest. Almost makes you wish for a good hard rain to wash away the intellectual grime of the Industrial Age, doesn't it?

If it does, then I've got some good news for you. The rain has come.

"From Wakan Tanka there came a great unifying life force that flowered in and through all things – the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals – and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred and were brought together by the same Great Mystery". Standing Bear

"While the Wise know of its existence, the Foolish do not, for their hearts are heavy with selfish desire. This harmonious Spirit exists not only in man, but also in the birds, the beasts, and the fishes, and even in plants. Beasts play, birds sing, and fishes jump; while plants flourish, bloom, and ripen. They know how to enjoy that Spirit: man oftentimes does not". Kaibara Ekken (Japanese Confucian scholar)

"The springtime wind is that which scatters the cherry blossom or that which caresses the waves. The summer heat likewise, is that which withers the full-blooming greenery or that makes the children play on the beach. Just as we discover ourselves in sorrow or joy in the midst of the wind that scatters the flowers, it is ourselves that we hear, drained of all energy, in the blazing sun which beats down on the trees. This is to say that we discover ourselves within fûdo, ourselves as a social organism". Watsuji Tetsuro

In restoring the concept of consciousness to the universe, Paul Cudenec does not draw upon any one cultural tradition. Rather, he shows that congruent ideas have emerged independently in every part of the world, and are also confirmed by the discoveries of scientists in recent years.

For example, he explains that: "Russian-Swiss scientist Constantin von Monakow devoted his life work to showing how human beings are closely bound up not just with one another but with animals, plants and nonorganic bodies, into which we merge after death. He writes: 'There is an undeniable glory in the thought that an indelible temporal bond links us, not only with our ancestors and our descendants, but above all also with the whole rest of the organic world'".

In restoring magic to its rightful place within philosophy, he does not fall into superstition or blind faith. Rather, what he offers is an anarchist conception of God, or Divinity, or Spirit, or whatever it is that you want to call the mysterious life-force animating the universe.

Of course, Paul is not the first to offer such a conception. The great psychologist Otto Gross, who converted Carl Jung to anarchism, had his own articulation of this idea. He called it Synergetik, or social energy, the force which binds together large numbers of individuals of all species.

Of this force, Paul writes: "This could be observed in a school of young fish: 'The entire school moves uniformly like an organism, particularly in fight or flight'. This natural solidarity, says Gross, is an innate 'will to relate': an urge to withness which does not need to be taught. Human beings are not separate, isolated units with no connection to those around them, any more than they are mere appendages of the collective, bound always to submit to its control. Withness is always a two-way process, a relationship and not a hierarchy. The individual thrives as a free and fulfilled human being when she or he has the support of a community. A community thrives when it is made up of free and fulfilled human beings. The richness is in the symbiosis".

Now, tell me – who could be against that? What better basis of unity than that of this social energy, of which all living organisms are a part? What basis for solidarity could be more compelling than the fact that we are all manifestations of this force?

The time has come to toss materialism in the trash bin of history and move on to a magical new reality in which we make common cause with all of our relations in this Great Circle of Life!

I rest my case.

And without further ado, I present the first of this series of interviews with the great Paul Cudenec!

CROW: In your book, you do not use the word God to describe the essence of the Natural Order of the Universe, preferring to use the word Withway, the Tao, the Dharma, Fudo, or withness. Because I am familiar with your work, I know that you are a universalist, which is to say that you believe that the universe is a single living organism. It seems appropriate to me to refer to this Supreme Being as God, and to the Withway as God-consciousness. Is there a reason you shy away from the word God?

PAUL: I think the word God risks being misunderstood – by different people in different ways. On a personal level, it takes me back to the language of a rather dry dogma that I rejected at a very early age. I have discovered and committed myself to the universal life energy through an independent intellectual and intuitive process, rather than by means of any religious tradition.

That is not to say that I have not often been greatly moved by cultural manifestations of the Christian faith, in old churches and cathedrals across Europe, as well as in sacred art and music. Islamic spirituality has also inspired me, mainly through my reading but also in the extraordinary energy I drank in during a visit to Istanbul a dozen years ago.

Sometimes it is easier for me to think in terms of Allah than of God, despite – or maybe because of – me not being a Muslim. The word has fewer negative connotations for me than the name of the stern and remote patriarch of childhood church services who would not let me play with my friends on a Sunday and apparently regarded me as a sinner, even though I was pretty sure I had done nothing seriously wrong! I have the impression that the concept of Allah is closer to the impersonal, indefinable cosmic oneness that I have in mind. But it would be disrespectful for me to generally use that term without belonging to the faith in question.

CROW: In The Withway, you refer as much to poets like T.S. Eliot and William Blake (pictured) as to classical anarchist philosophers like Pyotr Kropotkin and Voltairine de Cleyre. In doing so, I think that you shed light on something that we as anarchists should herald as the true legacy of the anarchist tradition, and that this is the enormous influence of anarchism on world literature.

Unbeknownst to many anarchists, many of the world's most revered authors were either themselves anarchists or were heavily influenced by anarchism. A short list would have to include Percy Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, Kafka, Orwell, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, Voltaire, James Joyce, B. Traven, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson.

Yet most people interested in the history of anarchism seem to overlook the most interesting anarchist thinkers. Why do you think this is, and what do you think can be done about it?

PAUL: Personally, I think it is inevitable that many great writers are influenced by anarchy, because anarchy is a human expression of the life energy itself! The trouble is that there is a secondary manifestation of primal anarchy which is tied to the political realm. Some of those you name were also anarchists in this sense, but you couldn't say the same for T.S. Eliot, (pictured) for instance. That is one reason why I wanted to feature his work in The Withway – to open out the vision I am advancing beyond the limits of the merely political, to embrace thinking aligned with my own by way of feeling and ethical aesthetics rather than simply by political ideology.

To answer your question, I suspect that, on the one hand, many of those writers would not be recognised as anarchists by those who defend too narrowly the letter of the political faith and, on the other hand, anarchist ideas and inspirations have been deliberately and systematically marginalised by the dominant system and thus not mentioned in relation to writers regarded as important. Quite a pincer movement!

What we can do about it is to broaden our vision and ourselves make the connections that others refuse to make. Moreover, we can build a culture based on the understanding of the need to do just that: one with a holistic and multi-dimensional approach built into all its assumptions and approaches.

CROW: Years ago, I wrote that the task of the revolutionary was to make radical ideas seem like common sense. One of the things that captivates me about your work is the ease with which you explain metaphysical concepts. Could you please explain why an understanding of metaphysics is essential for any truly revolutionary movement, and offer some advice to those who are encountering metaphysical ideas for the first time?

PAUL: Authentic political ideas are an extension of metaphysical thought down into a more practical level. In other words, metaphysics provides the principles required for a truly coherent political philosophy. An authentic political philosophy – which is necessarily a revolutionary one in the context of our debased and artificial contemporary society! – is not only guided by those principles but it is also aware of being so. It thus enjoys a consciousness of itself that raises it far above the level of what usually passes for political ideology today.

The first of these principles, from which all else cascades down, is that the universe is a single living entity. On a more practical level this manifests itself in the holistic understanding that everything is inter-connected. It frees us to treasure human diversity, safe in the knowledge that humans already naturally form part of one single organism. It tells us that, because of this oneness, we are capable of co-operating communally in a spirit of mutual aid without the need for top-down governance. It also reminds us of our essential belonging to nature and therefore the absurdity of seeing the natural world as an object, a mere resource to be plundered at will.

It further informs us as individuals of our need to act as what we truly are – provisional physical manifestations of the cosmic oneness – and not to base our lives on the sorry illusion of being separate beings necessarily guided solely by self-interest and the fear of personal death.

The primary principle of unity also informs our understanding of the superiority of quality over quantity, one of the most important subsidiary principles. When we grasp that the universe is one single entity, rather than a mere accumulation of smaller separate entities, we can also see that quantity is an illusion. It is merely a dividing-up of the whole into many parts. The cake is cut up into lots of slices, but the result is not an overall increase in the quantity of cake!

On the political level, this leads us to see clearly that all the production of objects around which our industrial society has been built, all its so-called fabrication of "wealth", is a pitiful delusion. In creating "quantity" it has merely cut up and moved around the existing reality and, in doing so, destroyed the quality of the original living organism (nature, human communities).

My advice to anyone interested in metaphysical thinking is to seek clarity, above all. The best metaphysicians, notably René Guénon (pictured), are crystal clear. You might have to re-read certain passages to grasp what they are saying, if you are not familiar with their approach, but the effort is worthwhile because the sense is always there and always coherent within the overall framework.

Unfortunately there is a lot of pseudo-metaphysical material around which tends to get bogged down in a lot of picturesque and unconvincing detail (there are seven types of this, 23 levels of the other, endless obscure sub-classifications and labels), often indulges in a sentimentality which has no place in serious metaphysics and, because it does not actually flow down from primal principles, can seriously contradict itself.

This kind of stuff is to be avoided like the plague. Metaphysics is about the search for eternal and universal truth and we tend to recognise that truth when we encounter it, because it is ingrained within us – even if we have never consciously formulated that truth.

If you don't intuitively recognise the truth in the writing, then it's probably not worth reading. You'd do better to go for a long walk on the hills and let the knowledge surface from within you.

CROW: Okay, that concludes our first interview. I recommend that the reader who is interested in exploring Paul's ideas check out his website Winter Oak. Since we have been discussing metaphysics, I specifically recommend the following essays:

Towards an Anarchist Metaphysics

Necessary Subjectivity

Denying Reality: a dangerous delusion

Winter Oak
8 May 2023 | 12:11 pm

7. Walking With Goats: The Softly Closing Gate

by our regular guest columnist Walking With Goats

There are two types of people in this world, a man I was working with once told me: hill dwellers and valley dwellers. He placed himself, of course, in the former category. Hill dwellers have little gladness to dwell upon but hard-won pride.

We made a festival together for a while. He dedicated his life – as many of us did then – to such endeavours. And every winter, in the very highest storm, he would take his lights and music and his huge cargo netting into the remote Welsh hills and string a carnival up inside the threat and sway of the trees. Storm parties were his offering for luck in the coming year.

The view from this hill is so frequently beautiful – stationed as it is above the surface of the mist that severs our world from that of our surrounding valley dwellers – but it is also in the path of the storm. I left it, in my wilful way, at seventeen for all the urban and urbane that I could grab. Growing up with no flush toilet in the late 20th century will enamour a girl to the cosmopolitan life. My reestablishment here upon it though – with its cleft valley view of the rising run – has transpired into a far more wilful act.

I have had to gather my willpower a good deal over the last few weeks particularly, but it's a timely topic for all human beings all over the world. As the banks start to issue chirpy "Nobody Panic!" messages and we see the shape of CBDCs begin to darken our horizon lines, the concept of free will is one that's well worth turning over.

Baby goats are wilful. Vehemently, innately wilful. In groups, their collective will swerves away from any rules based order with the repulsion of an opposing magnetic dipole. There's nothing you – nor they – can do about it.

They must jump, and they must jump as high as possible, and they must jump over a fence or onto a roof or with the aim of landing atop a windowsill or – if you're there – perhaps your shoulder blades. A compressed spring inhabits their physical soul.

And, as they grow older and come to occupy their full stature, goats will – as I've described before – do absolutely anything they can to disobey you. Such creatures are my livestock of choice. For I am a hill dweller, goatlike in more than just scent. Whatever you tell to me to do, I won't, on principle.

And now is the moment for every one of us to become goatlike, and to dubiously examine the valley that lies ahead. There's little time left to scan for alternative routes. The Spotification of our mental provinces already having softened hitherto distinct terrain, we absolutely must jump clear of it.

Shall we hold hands?

I'm quite used to mud.

'Cognitive liberty' is not a phrase that you hear bandied around a lot in farming communities, despite how popular it's becoming in places like San Fransisco Bay. Lack of mention, however, should not be taken as nonexistence. When you live with animals, the wisdom of their ways must by necessity become your own. Nameless, a thing may still be safely avoided. An inexplicable, incongruous object on familiar ground will, in fact, emit its own wide berth. So it is with Nina Farahany's ideas.

Watching her speech to Davos under the breathless ministrations of The Atlantic's CEO, you'll notice how few farmers there are sitting in the crowd. That's because cognitive liberty isn't a thing we seek.

I would say it perhaps, as a goatlike hill dweller, but the toughness of this life itself gifts that kind of freedom.

While my life of goat-headedness does not always see me physically well, the reward it bestows is a centre for my own personal solar system: the sense that I am in the right place.

It's true that when I visit Co Op – as I do on occasion for red wine – I notice that everybody else is chest infection free there.

"What's caused that then?" the uniformed human behind the till will kindly ask, (once I've located them in aisle 4 and asked them wheezily to operate it for me, old-fashioned style).

"The weather, the work, the hay, a little bit of all of it I expect."

And what I do not add is "stress."

But it is worth it. Even with all the above – I can now say, on the cusp of May – it really is.

Disease forced change this spring – coccidiosis – and no one knew where to go. One late snow, that made a 48 hour stint for the flock indoors a necessity, and everything I'd constructed over the last three years lay useless. Habits carefully nurtured, infrastructure honed, behaviour – paths, calls and responses well-polished – were all nullified. The Darlings shouted misery. Between our gardens, the temporarily erected pens served only intermittently and with confusion. There were escapes and chases, things destroyed, and all through rain and sickness.

March was characterised entirely by rain – organised, careerist rain – and by baby goat diarrhoea. I spent it envisioning my magnum opus, 1001 Ways for a Human to Interact With Mud, and I thought a lot about pity.

I thought about pity at 6.15 am, sitting under rain, in mud, washing the bottom of our weakest billy kid – Griff – for something like the sixtieth time. I thought, as he looked round at me and began to like himself again for the day, that pity was sculpted from mires such as this, always, by the force of human choice.

The male child of a milking mother is not considered, in many realms, to be a life worth saving and Griff – refusing to feed for his first few days upon the earth – had taken a lot of convincing to even seem to want to live.

"Griffin nice clean bum now," I stroked his nose and said.

So it is that this episode of Walking With Goats is offered as a celebration of life's junctions. Of our ability to choose which path we tread.

I've been lucky enough to live a lot of different lives over the years – but I never did feel like I was in the right place. My view has overlooked the rising spires of financial districts. I've slept on the lino floors of derelict buildings with lifelong squatters. I've been plied with free champagne in the discreet downlighting of Soho members clubs and smoked spliffs in South African townships. Such is the dubious privilege of the hippy child, to fit into any milieu yet be at home in none. I spent my first two decades of adulthood chasing lives that weren't mine.

And then I would run away. Two years perhaps, or three, and I'd pack a bag and leave it all behind. There was no life that fitted itself across the map inside me. I must have seemed wilful, I suppose, driven by change.

But this is what I want to say about free will – it's not what I expected. To my great surprise, it's not embodied by action at all. In the midst of the concentric circles of farming, of the seasons, the days and nights, the exhaustion and stress and cold, without much ability to action choice at all I've found my willpower coalesce by remaining still.

I was pitiable – and eventually self-pitying – by the early part of April, ground down by the never-ending shit and failure. There are only so many consecutive dawns one can spend washing diarrhoea into mud without feeling a reduction in spirit. I managed the monthlong milestone then experienced rapid decline. The fact that it was at this precise point in the emotional curvature that Griff began to 'resolve' did nothing for the turbulence that had become my own and the flock's New Normal. Usurping all other forms of order to conquer and lay waste to our lives, the diarrhoea timetable had made itself our king.

Kama was housed in temporary stabling in the barn with her two precious doe kids, Hua and Petal, sequestered from potential contagion. Thorne, meanwhile, mother to the viscerally unappealing Griff, became convinced that her sister's amenities now trumped her own. As Queen, there could be only one response to this: violence. Kama ceased wanting to be taken quietly to the barn each night after Hua and Petal's last feed so that I might avail myself of her morning milk. Kama wasn't going anywhere near her viciously jealous sister. And as the period culminated unsurprisingly in my own drastic, wet coughing sickness, Mid Wales gifting us yet another performative display of what it's made of (ice-filth), my daily trophy of milk – the small, unsullied centre of this disharmony – asserted its halo in silence on the kitchen counter by seven each morning, as if in negative space.

Surely, it asked, I cannot be what all this is for?

There it was: the freedom of my will.

It's been an epic campaign – the colonisation of humanity's free will over the centuries – and now that it's reaching its conclusion, the outlines of its strategic fronts have become far more visible. We can trace them clearly as they surface across our world.

'Brain transparency' – the future that Farahany tells us has arrived – uses wearable devices such as earbuds or, if we're feeling unselfconscious, a space age Alice band, to decode our brainwaves via AI. The whole presentation is worth your time but I would certainly recommend the five minute cartoon with which it opens. Cartoon emotions induce minimal empathy – and therefore fear.

'What you think, what you feel, it's all data,' Farahany assures us. She's excited about it and we don't need to monitor her earbuds to tell. Beneath the sniper-bedecked turrets, in the presentation suites of Switzerland, she's reassuringly convinced that the luminaries that comprise her audience will prevent it from becoming 'the most oppressive technology ever introduced on a widescale.'

Sitting by the wayside on my stool, trying to find a way to talk to you about the profound and painful implications of such technologies, unfortunately the goats can see my weakness. In my dungarees, the old tin can of Yummy One which I use to tempt and bribe them – my only way to restrain their will – is far more easily accessible when I'm holding the unfathomable objects of book and pen. Why I'd make myself weak with such paraphernalia is irrelevant to them. I am penetrable – buffeted from side to side by powerful noses. Thorne is particularly keen on shunting the pen itself. She can see it houses the concentration of my effort. Kama takes a broader sweep and barges me from behind to upend the entire stool. It's impossible for me to retain my own will, or develop my thinking, under such conditions.

Now that the diarrhoea timetable is stepping down from the throne – and in fact, with suspicious synchronicity, King Charles is stepping up – I have some time to assess the exchange I've made in the name of willpower.

There's been a great deal of crying. There always is in spring. 7am until 10 at night is built entirely of hard physical labour. Sisyphus was working in the sun and I am not. Often I'm not quite sure why I am doing this.

I said to Fran, that it's like a Ven diagram, which is slowly coming into focus as a single circle and I am at the centre. Sometimes I worry that I'm simply trying to prove I have a right to exist.

I never used to be this way. Hollywood movies entertained me. I went to parties and gave a shit about what I wore. But I don't think anyone who held out through 2021 did so without becoming radicalised.

If I have the willpower to create autonomy over my subsistence then I can have autonomy of moral code.

"Is there any banks in Wales anymore?" my daughter asked recently.

We'd been talking – as many people must be by this point, in their own ways – about financial crises. It was natural to her of course, to see the closure of our local banks' branches and cash machines as a sign of the evaporation of their actual funds. We can all find ourselves, sometimes, thinking in the natural way.

I found it difficult to explain – that the money still existed, while mostly never having existed in the first place. That they'd made too much of it, so that when people wanted to see it, it disappeared. That the dissipation of our ability to access it was not the same as its dissipation – though both were happening. Personally, I've never quite understood how money works. I've tried reading Luxemburg, I've had a go at Marx and Keynes and Smith. The 'science' of economics, which maps numerical fluctuations over the shifts and rejoinders of human action, tends to leave my cognitive processes flapping like rags in the stream. I've mentioned before, though, what I believe: that land is food is life is thought. Sometimes I think that all things are subject to the same force.

You can make out its action through the lens of farming, as well as economics, or human knowledge. On our walk, the goats and I take a higher aspect of the eastern valley view. Wales' hillsides were forested until the Bronze Age, and then lay subject to the patterns of enclosure still drawn across them in the inky hedgerows now. Between, like nodes upon this map, intensive barns have sprouted up. Chicken farms. Powys has the most per acre in the world I've heard. And I think: it's like coagulation. Inevitable. A slow beading and pooling of industry, drawing industry unto itself. A gravitational force, of mass to mass, capital to capital.

There's a lot of talk about capitalism and communism at the moment and which of them has been responsible for the most misery. Stakeholder capitalism is coming next though. Whichever way we choose to characterise its new numerical map of power, it will be written in CBDCs. Universal Basic Income will arrive that way – even Yanis Varakouvis says so. It will be fair because someone else will decide how it can be spent. It won't disappear, because it will never have been there. The world will have universal welfare, and be super productive, but without any jobs. We'll all be fed, though these farms won't be here.

The gravitational concentration of money and effort and mechanisation acts upon our world – yet leaves it empty. A strange inversion.

I'm Luddite though. I have chosen to resist this gravity of progress. Everything in my life which was once easy, I've made hard.

We live in a world of strange inversions.

George Monbiot's really into GM lab-farms now.

There have been a lot of incremental gains – I do try to focus on them. This year, my cheesemaking skills have definitely improved and the fridge isn't full of mouldy things that are covered in wax but still smell like ammonia. There's milk enough for good cheddar (geddar), halloumi (galloumi), yogurt (I really don't know how to amalgamate this word with goat) and my daughter's obligatory morning pancakes.

But the work is beyond comprehension. It uses every hour that every one of us has to give. My mother's in charge of raising the plants; a line of work which then branches out to occupy my own and Fran's summer beds. Woef – my other life partner – has many specialisms but I can note in particular fencing, roofing, flooring, drainage, sausage manufacture, braying hides, building all kinds of house (human, animal, tree). Fran has requisitioned other people's gardens and greenhouses in order to widen the footprint of our permaculture system – and we are still, in year number four, nowhere near the goal of genuine self-sufficiency. Spring seems a season carved from our collective will.

In the park, a lot of people are eating fish and chips at the moment – and it's fucking great. You can see they're having an absolute ball. They're even playing ball games.

Why? the new full moon inside the jug asks me each morning.

Serving up goats milk pancakes to my daughter's recent sleepover friends, I bemoaned the day ahead. I really, really, really didn't want to go outside and put in fence posts in the rain – not with bronchitis that wished to become pneumonia.

"Wouldn't it be great if it was just like Minecraft?" they said.

Inversion, Fran and I repeat to one another. We bought our children Lego, so that they could learn how to create complex structures, but instead the Lego has restructured them.

Dostoevsky mapped out the future that we have now arrived at with precision in Ivan Karamazov's prophetic tale-within-a-tale The Grand Inquisitor, but because more than twenty five of Dostoevsky's words at a time is like reading spaghetti, I really feel I ought to paraphrase.

"A few centuries hence… the whole of mankind will have proclaimed in its wisdom and through its mouthpiece, Science, that there is no more crime, hence no more sin on earth, but only hungry people… 'Enslave, but feed us!' they will cry.

"Man has no greater anxiety in life than to find some one to whom he can make over that gift of freedom with which the unfortunate creature is born… Receiving their bread from us, they will clearly see that we take the bread from them, the bread made by their own hands, but to give it back to them in equal shares and that without any miracle… Yes; we will make them work like slaves, but during their recreation hours they shall have an innocent child-like life, full of play and merry laughter.

… All, all will they lay down at our feet… as it will deliver them from their greatest anxiety and torture—that of having to decide freely for themselves."

Just so you know, the guy Dostoevsky has mouth these words is the Grand Inquisitor himself – and the Grand Inquisitor's a Satanist masquerading as a Christian.

Just saying.

The soft close is a sales technique that builds upon low friction commitment to guarantee that the deal is landed – and that the sales rep wins.

Fran had someone leave a coronation cup on her doorstep recently, just in time for the build up to the big event.

There's a lot of meaning to drinking from the cup of the king. I suggest you research it.

Although googling keywords such as 'The Pelagian Controversy', 'Semi-Pelagianism' and 'Pelagius the Heresiarch' is guaranteed to bring you into contact with some of the worst television you've ever seen, any interest in the history of free will makes it a valuable way to spend time. It's been absolutely ages that the moral authorities of our world have been trying to tell us that our willpower doesn't really have any freedom.

Pelagius was doing his thing around 380AD. The pictures of him online are quite flattering, but if you read up you'll find that his ascetic lifestyle did not in fact result in the chiselled jawline committed to Google's memory. Pelagius, like all truly great thinkers, was Welsh – and like most Welshmen he was capable of a sturdy build on meagre rations. Moving at the 'stately pace of a tortoise', such that he was able to develop fat 'even upon his forehead', Pelagius (or as he was called round here 'Morgan') was to construct the greatest challenge to Augustine's doctrine of squirming servile sinfulness that the Christian church would see for 1500 years.

Man, Pelagius said, was in charge of whether or not he sinned. Adam's moment of weakness hadn't made all unbaptised babies limbs of Satan. We could choose whether we would be good or bad – upon the altars of our own conscience.

It took everything the church could throw at him to bring Pelagius down. Even after his condemnation for heresy – in fact long, long after – Semi-Pelagianism remained, as people continued dangerously flirting with the idea that they were in charge of their own morality.

Free will is like that. It keeps coming back for more.

April, to my deep surprise, offered just as much faeces and freezing rain as March. The sky glowered with a hue similar to the alluvial slime excavated from a crisis ditching of the soakaway of our septic tank; a task that I was incredulous to see replace the diarrhoea timetable. I thought often that week of the cosmopolitan life and ruminated grimly on swiftly approaching, even less soluble problems.

The grass will not grow under seven degrees. Forced by such unrelenting Mid Walean temperatures to walk my sheep as well as my goats, I would have no choice but to reduce the flock to those who could be relied upon to remain by my side and more – to follow me back into the barren field at the end of their wander through the lush paradise of the byways and hedgerows that they had so recently browsed.

It takes a great deal of trust for an animal to return to a bare enclosure and see you lock the gate believing you will allow them out again. Lucy knows this – and she is right. But the other ewes – Magda, Ottie and Lottie – were sensible really, to refuse.

There's such a lot of choice for us to browse these days, it's almost overwhelming. It would be easy to think you were exercising your free will a hundred times before breakfast with nothing more than a swipe of your right thumb.

And that's nothing in comparison to what's coming next.

Humane AI is the generously titled new wearable assistant that was launched this month, with a cool blue glowing read-out that makes the palm of your hand into Ryan Gosling's and all kinds of different applications for its superior knowledge. It can, for example, scan an item of food and tell you if its ingredients are suitable for your precision health profile.

At this point though – its makers are pained to point out – you can eat it either way.

I wrote a book once, about a man who'd had his status as a citizen – and therefore all his choices – taken away. Outside the realm of the society he'd known, he sat down on the pavement and refused to go on.

These were the notes that I made for the ending, as he looked at the rush of human progress that he was no longer a part of:

I was looking for meaning then. Darwin didn't do it for me.

This human 'progress' – the unremitting forward-thrust most children of the 20th and 21st centuries have been schooled to believe is impervious to free will – gave inadequate answer to my question. The selfish gene, we're taught – innate and inevitable – dominates all life, and ineffectiveness is its only counterbalance.

Even if we try to be good, we are evil, we've been told. Programmed to consume our way into oblivion. Far from a gradual enlightenment, human advancement embodies a colonial scramble towards our own and the planet's destruction. Unless, of course, a higher policy maker saves us from ourselves.

I don't believe it though. That's the thing. I think that such a message is designed explicitly to prevent the most powerful of human progressions from becoming possible. It's designed to prevent the evolution of our free will.

Without wanting to justify a life that's brought me near to my own destruction, I've become convinced that at its centre lies a profound truth. If we can discover the outline of what it costs for us to live, and meet it with our own willpower, I believe we'll find we're very close to a state of grace.

The gates are closing though.

'Cognitive liberty' will be enshrined in such pervasive surveillance (our brainwaves available to the police, Farahany mentions in passing, as well as our employers,) that it will be hard for us to even grasp what we have lost.

Letting our AIs cue our favourite playlists at moments that they deem are meaningful, and gifted a 'new form of control' to swipe or text with just our thoughts, the transparency of our brain metrics, we're told, will earn us performance bonuses. And in order to avoid dystopia, we could simply have the technology 'placed in our own hands.' We could choose to wear the attractively knit 'haptic scarf' that buzzes every time our thoughts wander away from our work – because it will make us more productive than the girl who refuses.

Our free will eradicated before we've even had a chance to understand its shape, we won't really know what has been taken. Our thoughts nudged and boundaried by the imposition of rules that transgress our bodies, where censorship ends and self-censorship begins will be undetectable. Our children's generation will have no concept of the sovereignty of their own minds.

And as people took the injections that they were told to take in 2021, abandoning their previous understandings of society for social distancing, so the greater good – of our team, our community or our world – will be offered to us as the reason for our participation in the global mind. Its economy will unified under impact investment and CBDCs. And we won't remember what it felt like to choose our own interaction with society or sculpt our place within it. What it was like to live unprompted, or by our own moral code.

This process of unification – that will remove individual boundaries, of nation, of personhood, only to replace them with all encompassing ones – it is almost done.  

I am not taking part though. Resistance is a natural process too, and I will enact it – here on the hill, with the mud and exhaustion, with the old, breaking fences and their Mid Wales jewels: the tattered black plastic sacks which, caught on their barbed wire hooks, fly their unclaimed flags in a wind that sees no borders.

Images by Francesca Swift and Woef

Winter Oak
2 May 2023 | 6:23 pm

8. Adieu to the illusion of democracy

by Paul Cudenec

The rejection of president Emmanuel Macron's bankster regime by the vast majority of the French people could hardly have been clearer on Monday May 1 2023.

Massive crowds filled the streets across the country, with the demo in Marseille, for instance, described as "perhaps the biggest mobilisation in the history of the city".

Overall, it is estimated that 2.3 million people showed their opposition to Macron's pension "reform" and to his neoliberal agenda in general.

With opinion polls putting disapproval of the new law at 80 or even 90 per cent of the population, in an actual democracy it would immediately be withdrawn, or subjected to a referendum.

But France, like so many other countries I might mention, is not an actual democracy but a plutocracy which has, until very recently, managed to pass itself off as a democracy.

The only interests that matter are those of Big Money, of Capital. The opinions and well-being of the people are of no interest to Macron and his former employers, the Rothschilds.

This utter contempt for the hoi polloi was very much in evidence on May Day, with scenes of shocking, brutal police violence against protesters and journalists.

Vu à la manifestation du #1erMai à #Paris : une grosse charge de police. #ReformeDesRetraites pic.twitter.com/rU6W4MGEy0

— Lucas Léger (@lucas_legerTV) May 1, 2023

🇫🇷 À Paris #Revolution #ReformeDesRetraites #manifestation #GreveGenerale #Macron #casserolades #100Jours #1erMai #ViolencesPolicieres pic.twitter.com/o3RJXl4V52

— Bertasso (@edcordel) May 1, 2023

The sight of a man on the ground being kicked in the face by a cop was just another snapshot of the ongoing armed robbery of humanity by a psychopathic global criminal gang.

For the ruling clique and its corporate media, of course, the shocking element was that people are increasingly refusing to be simply trampled underfoot, or scared off the streets, by an army of "lawful" enforcers of the Rule of Greed.

Glorification of historical revolution and resistance is a constant feaure of the rhetoric of La République Française, and yet when confronted with the real-life current-day thing, the attitude of its leaders suddenly becomes that of powdered ancien régime autocrats or of wartime Nazi collaborator Philippe Pétain.

Interior minister Gérald Darmanin not only called for draconian sentences against anyone who resisted the "forces of order" on May 1 but also restated his desire for a new law that would mean anyone deemed by the state to be "a threat of particular severity to public order" could be banned in advance from all protesting.

Meanwhile, Macron's gang are intent on replacing a commitment to Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité with the new unholy trinity of Work, Order and Progress.

Try that out in German and see how it feels: "Arbeit, Ordnung, Fortschritt".


When prime minister Élisabeth Borne condemned "scenes of unacceptable violence" on May Day, she was naturally not referring to the actions of the heavily-armed police.

There was no official concern for the protester who had his hand torn off by a police grenade in Nantes or the hundreds of others who were injured.

Instead, the tooled-up robocops who spent the day viciously attacking protesters on behalf of the money-power were depicted as innocent victims, thanks largely to one Parisian molotov cocktail that found its intended target.

Some of the police "injuries" were self-inflicted, such as when a hapless cop threw a grenade at his own colleagues!

Mauvais lancé : une grenade de désencerclement jeté par un gendarme explose au niveau de la tête de plusieurs de ses collègues (@JulesRavel1)#ReformeDesRetraites #1erMai #manifestation #fetedutravail #manifestations #manif1ermaipic.twitter.com/JApaNH3sEH

— Anonyme Citoyen (@AnonymeCitoyen) May 1, 2023

And what a shame that so many banks and insurance companies had their premises trashed in Lyon, Paris and elsewhere.

CELEBRATE MAY DAY – Chaos in the streets of #Lyon . Numerous fires while all the banks, insurance companies and real estate agencies are ransacked on the way of the procession https://t.co/8GEmVfsZbX

— Keith McHenry (@keith_mchenry) May 1, 2023

Through the clouds of tear gas and propaganda, a fundamental fact is becoming very obvious in France today.

This is that the monopoly on violence claimed by the system has no basis in either democracy or morality.

It sends its hired thugs out to attack you and smears you as "violent" if you dare to resist them.

This is not new, of course. The great Leo Tolstoy declared more than a century ago: "Laws are rules, made by people who govern by means of organized violence, for non-compliance with which the non-complier is subjected to blows, to loss of liberty, or even to being murdered".

But all the time that people believe that they live in a democracy, they find it difficult to see this.

When the illusion of democracy disappears, as I think it is doing in France at the moment, the picture becomes very different.

On Monday I attended the enormous demo in Montpellier, along with 18,000 others.

The protest was so big that I managed to remain blissfully unaware of the clashes that apparently broke out further ahead when police moved in to confiscate a banner and I was left with the general impression of a festive parade in the Mediterranean sunshine.

I spoke to some of the protesters to find out why they were there.

Two of them were teachers with concerns about the decline of the education system under Macron.

"I'm angry about what is happening in our schools", said Corinne, describing a degraded system where classes were too big and it was impossible to do the job properly.

Christine added that with the latest changes, pupils would be taught to meet the requirements of private businesses.

"It's not so much educating them as training workers, employees".

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"BlackRock won't have my pension!"

Nicolas said he was fed up with politicians in general and Macron in particular.

"He is a back-to-front Robin Hood, robbing the poor to give to the rich".

His mother Sonia added: "The policies are unfair. It's always the same people who lose out".

Charlie told me he attends the May Day protest every year, but on this occasion he wanted to express his unhappiness at the way Macron was pushing through his policies without the consent of the public, having won the election run-off only thanks to widespread opposition to Marine Le Pen.

"He couldn't care less about the people," he said. "Today, we can show him that we exist".

Carole explained that she wanted to participate in the current movement of solidarity across the country.

"We have shown that France does not agree with this reform. The people has spoken".

Agnès revealed that before the pension controversy, she had only ever been on one demonstration in her whole life.

But she was there to express her opposition to the law, as was her husband, a company boss.

She said that under Macron, certain people had too many privileges and he acted as if he were king.

"He looks down on the French people. It's intolerable. It's not worthy of French democracy.

"We are French and when we are unhappy we take to the streets. It's in our blood!"

"The real viru$ is in the presidential palace"

"Compost the rich!"

"The invisible hand of the market is strangling humanity"
"Macron and his laws OUT!"
The CRS are the French state's riot police, the compagnies républicaines de sécurité.
"I am a factious ultra-left environmentalist terrorist who wants to murder the police and eat babies"

[Audio version]

See also:

When protest is branded terrorism

Macron's tear gas tour

Targeting the enemy

Winter Oak
30 Apr 2023 | 11:49 am

9. The New Anarchy: Truth, Nature, Beauty and Withness

We have brought out a new 90-page pdf booklet in association with Nevermore Media, featuring a series of in-depth written conversations between Crow Qu'appelle and Paul Cudenec.

The New Anarchy: Truth, Nature, Beauty and Withness can be downloaded for free here, and below we present Crow's preface.

"In the ruins of this civilization, we need to plant a mighty tree of authentic wisdom that will watch over the health, freedom and future of humankind for many centuries to come".

So concludes the foreword to The Withway, the 2022 book by Paul Cudenec, the mystic and philosopher increasingly recognized (albeit not by himself) as the world's greatest living anarchist thinker.

The author makes it clear that this book is not a manifesto, but rather a contribution to the process of political reorientation made necessary by the ideological collapse of the Left in the wake of the COVID psy op.

He states: "The Withway is an attempt to identify the deeper issues at stake and point at a different way of seeing the civilizational choices with which we are being collectively presented. It is not, as will be readily apparent, a political manifesto or a detailed programme for action. It is, rather, an exploration of ideas which is intended to act as a preliminary signpost, a rough sketch of the way in which many of us know intuitively we ought to be heading".

To refer to the work as a preliminary signpost is rather modest, for the author sets out an exquisitely well-reasoned argument. If its ideas catch on (and I believe that it is only a matter of time before they do), then we may well look back on this book as a turning point in the trajectory of anarchist philosophy.

So far as I am concerned, this book is as important as Ronald Wright's A Short History of Progress or David Graeber's The Dawn of Everything.

Its subject matter is something that is near and dear to my heart, because the philosophy that Paul espouses is pretty much exactly what I also believe.

For this reason, I have a lot to say about The Withway, which is the best articulation of this philosophy which I know of. Therefore, in these interviews I explore some of the ideas which Paul so skilfully elucidates in this ground-breaking new book.

But before I do so, I'd like to set the stage by saying a bit about how my story relates to that of Paul, and to that of Nevermore Media.

The truth is that were it not for Paul Cudenec, Nevermore would not exist, and I do not know what I would be doing with my life.

When I encountered his writing, everything changed for me. I knew what I had encountered. This was the antidote to the poison of post-modern nihilist bullshit which had infected the Left.

I'd found the medicine that could cure the hideous ennui of postmodern alienation, and knew that I had to do something with it. I had been searching for ideas that could serve as a basis for unity for a new political movement, and I had found what I was looking for.

The world was withering for want of wisdom, and I had discovered a fountain of wisdom which seemed to stretch back to the dawn of time.

I had my work cut out for me.

It was in the dark days of lockdown when I resolved to scour the web for whatever authentically revolutionary voices remained amidst the rubble of the Left.

It was heartbreaking to see so many of my supposed comrades betraying the values of the anarchist counterculture.

At that point I felt, for the first time in my life, that punk was pretty much dead. The culture within which I have lived my entire adult life was no more.

It felt like a world had been destroyed.

I remembered the words from a punk song – "If it doesn't matter now, then it never really did. And without this, we might as well be dead".

Had everything that I had based my life on since I was fifteen been a lie? If people were so willing to throw their values out the window at mere rumours of a virus, was it not reasonable to assume that they never truly believed in them in the first place?

Maybe anarchism was just a fashion, one that I had taken way too seriously.

And if (almost) no one else believed in the principles of anarchism, could it be that it was because those principles were not sound? Did I need to grow up and accept that state violence, economic exploitation and coercive power were simply the way of the world?

Should I accept that activism is useless, that resistance is futile, and that it is folly to take up arms against the Great Machine, whose destiny has always been to swallow up the whole world?

It was in such bitter spirits that I began my search.

My spirit was soon to be lifted, for it was not long after beginning that I encountered a blog post with an eye-catching title – Anarchists Against Freedom. Was this what I thought it was?

I clicked on it, and was delighted to see that it was. I wasn't alone! There was someone out there who felt exactly as I did about the absurd phenomenon of so-called anarchists fervently preaching compliance with the authoritarian dystopia being justified with the flimsy-ass excuse of a bad flu.

As soon as I read Anarchists Against Freedom, I was hooked on Paul's writing. Here was an authentic anarchist voice who had distilled the essence of anarchist philosophy down to its purest possible form.

I dived into his body of work, and discovered to my delight that not only was he a green anarchist, the tradition to which I also belong, but he was also well-versed in metaphysics, mysticism, literature, Jungian psychology, Eastern philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, comparative mythology, and more.

Very soon, I knew that I had encountered the teachings of a true spiritual master.

I did not need to be converted to his way of thinking. It was very much what I already believed in my heart. But his philosophy was much more fleshed-out and complete than mine.

Mine was a philosophy of the heart, and Paul Cudenec had put it down into writing, placing it in its proper place in world history.

He had explained to my intellect what my soul already knew. It was glorious.

For years, I have described my anarchism as the political expression of something which is not itself political. By this, I meant that there was something more important to me than politics. Something existed on a higher plane in my mind, where it could not be corrupted by the vulgar machinations that are inherent to politics.

Here, outside of time, nestles an idea which Jung called the Oceanic Feeling, a sense of being part of some cosmic unity whose essence is alive, loving, and fundamentally good.

I suppose this would be the difference between my philosophy and that of many Leftists, who no longer seem committed to any overarching principles. Call it what you want – I believe in God.

This has set me apart from many of my Leftist comrades with whom I have organized for years, especially the type of middle-class, urban radicals who inhabit university campuses and NGOs.

That said, I soon found that my commitment to my spiritual practice created a natural affinity amongst myself and others who shared a deeply-felt sense that things are not as they should be in the modern world.

I was never alone in my belief that it falls to all people of conscience to do what they can to bring humanity back into balance with nature.

My path led me both to participation in indigenous ceremonies and indigenous political movements, and I started assimilating more of a holistic, spiritual perspective into my political imagination.

I was certainly not the only anarchist who began to absorb such influences. Since at least 2010, the anarchist movement in Canada has been deeply intertwined with indigenous movements, to the point where it is sometimes difficult to discern where one ends and the other begins. Thus, many anarchists began to absorb a spiritual perspective by osmosis.

It was necessary. Spirituality played such an important part in these movements that it was not possible to participate in them without respecting this dimension.

The fight at Standing Rock, for instance, was not a dispute over land use, but a battle between two visions of the world.

One cosmovision was obsessed with profit at all costs, and saw natural resources as existing to be exploited, whereas the other saw nature as sacred and capitalist greed as a manifestation of a type of mental illness.

One worldview was materialist. The other was spiritual. So anarchists found themselves spiritually united against materialism. And so both materialism and atheism began to fall out of fashion.

Even veganism, which during the 90s was a defining feature of green anarchism, faded into the background. It seemed hypocritical and Eurocentric to condemn another culture for hunting when the Dominant Culture was destroying whole ecosystems at a breakneck pace.

So, for those of us who have been on the front lines for the past ten years, there is nothing new about the idea that a new political tendency is emerging.

People have been speaking of The New Anarchism for the better part of a decade, but it remains mostly an oral tradition.

The New Anarchism is not based on the idea of a revolutionary proletariat seizing control of the means of production and setting up a bunch of committees.

The idea is rather of a transformation to a way of life rooted into the ecology and cultural contexts of many different locales. If the goal is decolonization, that also means re-indigenization – to create autonomous or semi-autonomous zones within which independent communities adapt themselves to the ecological realities of specific locales.

Some have called this bioregionalism, which flowed quite easily from the values of the anti-globalization movement.

The New Anarchism aims at nothing less than the transformation of the economic and political organization of free human societies based on principles of non-aggression, mutual aid, and voluntary association.

The goal is simple – to bring human societies into harmony with nature. But the vision of the New Anarchists does not end there.

There exists also a sense that such a transformation of human activity must also be accompanied by a transformation of our ways of relating to one another, and even to ourselves. There exists an understanding that modern civilized humans are part of the problem.

Many of us in First-World countries were reared on a diet of propaganda, privilege, porn, and post-modernism. We have been taught to consume rapaciously, and to express our individuality through consumerism.

We know that we are part of the problem. And so the revolutionary project for the New Anarchists is not to bring back the Terror of the guillotine, nor to storm the 21st century equivalent of the Winter Palace, but to learn another way of Being. It is a process of healing. It is a process of learning. It is a process of Becoming Human.

That is to say, the soul-searching has begun. We know what we must do. We must return to first principles. We must re-examine our beliefs and interpretations of reality. We must be willing to adjust, to adapt, to discard that which does not serve us.

And this soul-searching must extend to the deepest levels. We must leave no stone unturned, no taboo untouched. We must be secure that we have a solid World-Story through which we are able to understand our place within this mysterious web of life we are all part of. Without this, we are adrift, plastic bags tossed this way and that by the whims of the winds.

We must question reality itself, and the language through which we construct it, and realize that Western Civilization is not, as we have been led to believe, the Supreme Apex of human potential.

We have to be willing to conceive of the possibility that the Myth of Progress was never anything but a lie invented to justify plunder and exploitation.

This leads us to biocentrism, another core tenet of the New Anarchism. Simply put, biocentrism is the belief that the natural world does not exist in order to be exploited by human beings. Rather, human beings are seen as existing within a biotic community which includes not only all plants, animals, and fungi, but also rivers, mountains, and celestial bodies like the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.

Whereas the revolutionaries of the 20th century extended a spirit of brotherhood towards all humanity, the New Anarchists extend it further still. We pledge our allegiance neither to any nation, nor any creed, but to the Great Circle of Life itself, from which we each emerged, and to which we shall return.

Some have called this progress ethnogenesis. We must become a People. We must free ourselves from dependence upon the machine, for we will never get anywhere biting the hand that feeds us, but this is only the beginning.

It is not enough to reject the Dominant Culture, but to create a culture of our own. We must become a People, and in order to do so, we must plant our roots deep in the soil of ancient wisdom, because time is of the essence.

The world is in crisis, and with crisis comes opportunity. A window has opened up. There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

And it seems that the time has now come for the New Anarchists to emerge from the shadows. It is a radical philosophy, of course, but perhaps its time has come.

What Paul has done is to actually put this philosophy down in writing, and to make it logically consistent.

Though what he writes is breath-takingly fresh and original, Paul insists that there is nothing new about this philosophy, and that in fact it can be found throughout history in every corner of the world.

And this is an area in which Paul shines, showing off his dazzling mastery of the philosophy of the world, referring as much to Eastern philosophies such as Taoism, Confucianism, and Hinduism as to the European intellectual tradition.

In doing so, he proves the existence of a philosophy which recurs time and time again in different parts of the world.

After reading The Withway, I am now more convinced of this than ever. Technologies change, ideas go in and out of fashion, but wisdom is wisdom and truth is truth.

If something is True, it is True forever. And for that reason, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to philosophy. All the answers to our questions are to be found in the traditions of the past. We need only to rediscover them.

As I have explained elsewhere, one of Paul's core ideas is that of anarcho-perennialism, which is the idea that there is a certain natural philosophy which human beings will forever rediscover.

A society can fall out of balance, forsake its ancestral wisdom, and cease to value the Truth. But such deviation from the Tao can only last so long. The universe, like any other living body, is self-regulating.

If there is an imbalance, the imbalance will be corrected. And when that imbalance is corrected, the members of that society will learn to value Truth and Wisdom once again.

So, it is with pleasure that I present this series of interviews in which Paul and explore the philosophy which he lays out in his seminal new work.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone to check out The Withway, a free PDF of which is available here.

For the Wild,

Crow Qu'appelle

Winter Oak
25 Apr 2023 | 1:10 pm

10. When protest is branded “terrorism”

by Paul Cudenec

Just a month ago, I felt the need to distance myself from a dystopian future I had once described in a fictional work.

I explained, rather apologetically, that at the time I had envisaged the post-9/11 "terrorism" bugbear still being the system's fear-weapon of choice, rather than viruses or the weather, as was now the case.

However, I think I may have spoken too soon!

With the Covid excuse wearing impossibly thin, it seems that the global governance is reverting back to "anti-terrorism" as a principal pretext for removing our rights and our freedom.

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has this month been describing opposition to the widely-detested Macronist regime as "intellectual terrorism".

Moreover, last week I reported from a protest in the Hérault department of France at which the authorities used "anti-terrorist" laws to ban the banging of saucepans, though it didn't really work!

A similar decree, again based on "anti-terrorist" legislation, was used by the Loir-et-Cher department to outlaw protest and noise-making around Macron's visit on Tuesday April 25.

This is clearly a strategy that has been decided at a higher level than the merely regional.

Meanwhile, on Monday April 17, Ernest Moret, a young French publisher, was detained by UK police on arriving by train at St Pancras station in London under Section 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He was questioned for six hours, had his phone and laptop seized, and was then arrested for alleged obstruction in refusing to disclose the passcodes to his devices.

The justification for all this was that he "had participated in demonstrations in France".

Ten years ago I was detained under the same law on leaving the ferry at Dover, in connection with the Carnival Against Capitalism being staged in London by the Stop G8 network, of which I was part.

Schedule 7 makes it a crime not to provide information to an officer if the questions are intended to investigate 'terrorism'.

But a fellow campaigner and I refused to comply, insisting that the police's questions were, instead, targeting political dissent.

The use of Section 7 against protesters has been going on for while, as this 2006 report illustrates.

"Is It Really About Terrorism?" asked the heading to the article, and the answer is clearly still "no".

The common factor to all these cases is, in fact, protest – protests against the global money-power, its gatherings and its stooges.

The term "terrorism" has been deliberately twisted out of all recognition in order to smear political dissent and to judicially enable police-state repression of protest.

We have been covering this issue for some time on the Winter Oak site.

In 2015 we summarised an important article from Guccio, an international radical magazine.

This explained that "anti-terrorism" was not at all what it seemed, but part of a global psychological war waged against most of humanity by a small controlling gang.

The authors said that the idea that anti-terrorist laws were a reaction to actual "terrorist" threats was false.

"It is known that among the 11 proposals for international anti-terrorist legislation submitted by the EU during the autumn of 2001 'in reaction to 9/11', six had already been formulated before the attacks, four were already in preparation and only one, concerning asylum and immigration, was actually new.

"We also know that the UK, one of the main engines behind this whole process, had already passed the Terrorism Act 2000 which, without saying so openly, was aimed at 'subversive' political movements, mainly the anti-globalisation movement".

That is, of course, the very legislation used last week against the aforementioned Ernest, a "subversive" who had dared protest against France's president, an all-too-obvious puppet of the global money-power.

The worldwide control of the financial power nexus, so evident to so many since 2020, was identified in the Guccio article.

The opposition, once called "the anti-globalisation movement" and now perhaps "the freedom movement", was failing because it kept on fighting repression on the national level "whereas it represents a global policy", they wrote.

They also suggested that the way we conducted our struggles could help undermine the absurd smear of "terrorism".

"When their tactic consists in ascribing a feeling of terror to any revolutionary movement, we must make people laugh, mock our enemies, show a great deal of wit. A funny terrorist is already not a terrorist any more".

They said that the "anti-terrorist" establishment had long tried to associate opposition to the system with a feeling of fear, whereas the feeling for those on the streets was one of liberation.

They wrote: "It is crucial to break this spell… spark complicity. Bind together once again the idea of revolution with the idea of increasing power, of joy".

When "anti-terrorist" laws are deployed against people banging pots and pans and when this merely provokes mockery and further saucepan-related protest, we may be setting off on the right path to exploding the "anti-terrorism" scam.

But this is likely to be a painful journey, since the global empire of greed will stop at nothing to hold on to its power.

Historical moments of impending mass liberation have a strange tendency to be interrupted by some kind of emergency…

Does the renewed use of "anti-terrorist" excuses mean we can expect a resumption of terror attacks, after a period when they mysteriously became as rare as cases of old-fashioned influenza?

If so, our critique of fake "anti-terrorism" is going to have to include an understanding of actual terrorism, not least NATO's notorious Gladio network.

And we would do well to bear in mind the wise words of Gianfranco Sanguinetti in his book On Terrorism and the State, published more than 40 years ago.

He wrote: "I have never said that the secret services were behind every single attack, given that these days even a Molotov cocktail or a workplace sabotage are considered to be 'attacks': but I have said, and I have been saying for nearly ten years now, that all spectacular acts of terrorism are either remote-controlled, or directly carried out, by our secret services".

[Audio version]

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