Anyone who has not been living under a rock for the past few decades, and certainly post Brexit, will have failed to notice the rot and corruption that enshrouds our institutions, businesses and indeed our families. Like the pungent scent of rotting vegetables, this moral decay has attacked everything in its path – both of value and of little worth – leaving behind the stench of its presence while the true scale of decay is yet to be revealed. No individual, group or professional body is immune, for we have corporately neglected a rule that the controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson makes in his 12 Rules for life. We have failed to clean our rooms, or more specifically, behind the fridge.
Now in the grand scheme of things, if the population of plant earth suddenly donned rubber gloves, and with a bucket of hot water and diluted Dettol (or equivalent), then went to work in the limited floor space available to the hidden procreation of grunge and decay, the result wouldn’t exactly be stellar. The environment lobby would be up in arms for all the mites and bugs we unwittingly destroyed, and no doubt our water bills would sky rocket as major infrastructure improvements would be required to support processing all the dirty water. Jordan Peterson was speaking more figuratively than literally, insomuch as the chaos and disorder behind the Samsung, LG or Hotpoint is a direct reflection of the order and chaos in our lives, and why it is important to have a semblance of control over our universe if we are to remain balanced and secure members of society.
Personally though, while I agree with the metaphor used, I would respectfully suggest we also need an understanding of our universe, and how it works from a metaphysical perspective. There are human laws, physical laws and dare I say it – spiritual laws. In our social circles, we create a set of rules as well, and woe betide the person who transgresses such boundaries. We live in a law based universe, which is part of the reason that anarchists and saboteurs of every stripe have such rebellion in their hearts. If you believe you – or indeed your values – are better or greater than the system, the rules cannot possibly apply to you.
Hence the four wisest words I can think of that were ever uttered by a political leader, those of Pontius Pilate. What is the truth ? These four tiny words encapsulate the human struggle on a daily basis, especially in this age of fake news and disinformation. These four words, along with “Who am I ?” and “Why am I here ?” are the bedrock of human quest, indeed existence. Until a person has faced and indeed grappled with these deep issues, they are but children. Unanswered, these questions gnaw away at our very value and worth as human beings, and the dirt behind the fridge collects until threatening a local fire when the motor of conscience overheats or just fails, dropping into a watery pool of sociopathy or existential crisis. Once you strip the human of humanity, you are left with the most dangerous of beings, the form and face of compassion covering a heart of brutal pragmatism in its search for power, control and survival. Or to package this another way, a conscience killed can no longer accept the authority of others, or indeed any system of conscience. That particular channel of communication is now closed. All pleas for mercy, logic, or compassion are worthless.
Truth is immutable. Be you dead or alive, rich or poor, it is the one factor in life you can depend upon. We are all born, we will all die. This foundation is what we must build upon if we are to make any sense of our crazy world. By joining together with others who have encountered, experienced the same deep revelations in a language we all understand and agree upon, we build a community, and in effect, a common codicil. The joker in the pack is always time, for we cannot predict when we are going to shuffle off our mortal coil, or indeed when our observations will become reality. Those, like myself who have had quite a few brushes with death, will appreciate a “higher power” or maybe if they don’t appreciate the complexity of the universe, put it down to luck. It is said that the fool believes in his heart there is no God. I would agree with that statement. I will leave it to you to decide if I am a fool in your opinion or not.
The age old question “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around does it make a sound” is the classic straw man distraction. In truth it does, as anyone with a recording device can prove. If you were to pass away tomorrow, gravity would still (probably) be in force, so if you are a bit on the heavy side, ensure you have decent pallbearers. Nevertheless, the truth is relentless, ongoing, everlasting. Hence why it is so difficult to embrace fundamental principles in our age, as our lives are so complex and brief. We need to look at the basic building blocks, to try and understand for ourselves what is going on. We need to ask some simple, but deep questions.
The most important commandment of the 10 that I know of is number 9. All the others can be considered clearly self explanitory to those in a civilized society, not only in their simple logic, but benefit. The 9th however, Thou shalt not bear false witness, has a much deeper and important significance. For to break it is to shatter the fundamental support upon which all the other commandments rest, insofar as being the precursor of all wrongdoing. In all likelihood, break any other commandment and your plea to breaking the 9th will undoubtedly fall into the category of “I would like this additional offence to be taken into consideration m’lud”.
We have got to the stage now that ignoring commandment 9 is de rigour if one is to even to survive with any form of dignity by the time we rot. As a former small business owner, I know the labyrinth of civil law exists to benefit the larger corporations, and he with the best lawyer and accountant will always succeed over the smaller fish. The director of a major European motor manufacturer once proudly boasted about the VAT fraud his company managed to keep off the HMRC radar, while at the same time blackmailing the company I consulted for, to support his student daughter with a new PC when such items were the price of a few heavyweight mortgage payments. Throwing in a brand new PC for a renewed contract was a small price to pay, and despite my strongest objections and some degree of bad blood, I was overridden in that “commercial” decision. The deal was done, only to end up with darker consequences for the business later on. Once you open the door to corruption, you open a stairway to the pit.
These little lies, permeate every area of our life. The signing off of documents, the pseudonyms and false identities used online, the falsehoods we tell ourselves, all add up. We get to the point that we cannot tell truth from lies, our justifications result in a bulwark for our own inadequacy – for we know in out heart of hearts that we are just as guilty as the next man, but because we have caught them out red-handed we can claim moral superiority. I am convinced that the blue collar, working man is much less susceptible to such bullshit as can be seen by the grass root support against political correctness. PC is in effect a direct affront to the 9th commandment, insofar as you dare not speak as things are, rather one has to stay silent or pay the price of speaking the truth. Further up the greasy pole of advantage and opportunity, you have many get out of jail free cards as you want, but if you are on the lower part of the food chain, speak the truth and unless it is amongst your peers, it will not be welcomed.
I have always been a great believer in the maxim if you want to change society, change yourself. We are currently facing the greatest global dystopia in generations, and Brexit et al are just the birth pangs in what promises to be a crisis beyond anything our forefathers imagined or indeed experienced. With all the Churchillian spirit in the world, the global forces that have infiltrated traditional systems and have indeed created new ones, are no match for the old fashioned values of honesty, truth and dogged determinedness. We are desperately in need of introspection, a communal and corporate re-evaluation of where our society has ended up, and indeed where it is going. As an unrepentant Brexiteer, I hold no bitterness whatsoever towards the Remain camp. I’m sure some of the planks that support my argument are just as rotten as those that support the Remain argument. What I am convinced of beyond all reasonable doubt, is that both sides are being played, and that a much bigger stake is on the cards.
Never in my lifetime, have I seen division so clearly manifest in our society. On a simplistic level, some might consider this a winnowing of the wheat, a sheep and goats moment. I disagree. I think a lot more pressure will need to be applied before the truth starts to come out, and the full extent and toxicity of the poison that has been injected into the veins and arteries of the United Kingdom is revealed. Ultimately though, it is critical that no matter of what side of the Brexit divide that we rest upon, that we embrace truth, and rather than point fingers at each other, indulge in some national and personal introspection. No matter what the outcome of the next few months and years, the level of damage that has happened below ground since at least the end of World War Two will need to be honestly addressed if we are to recover as a nation.
For any hope of a national recovery, irrespective of the outcome of the 2016 referendum, as a nation and individuals we will need to honestly look at the pool of vomit that has been regurgitated over the past three years by both sides. Maybe more poison needs to come out, and possibly some blood as well, but we cannot carry on the way we are. This nation needs healing, and it is abundantly clear that the current establishment are incapable of delivering anything but morphia. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear will understand what I mean when I say corporate repentance is the only solution to our predicament.
© Rookwood 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file