Friday, 25 January 2013

Religion as a Tool for Social Control

Man's mind is irrational at times and while we are rational in how respond to fear the response to the fear of alienation was the irrational with the manifestation in the mind of man of religion. You are stung by a wasp and what do you do? You swat it with a paper or you avoid it for a few minutes, you do not come after the wasp with a flame thrower and seek to smash the hive and set it on fire. Religion is a lot like that, our fears of alienation played on our minds and the response was to invent religion - the flame thrower on the wasp hive. That is not to say the religion does not have a role to play in society, it can act as a glue to bind those whom are being oppressed. Bedouins being a nomadic people were those often living in the desert and were often people of a modest disposition in contrast to towns people whom would trade and live off the profits they made from trading. Under a prophet the Bedouins were united in their fight against oppression and as such there becomes a vicious cycle with a correlation between religion and economic gain.

Past History however has shown that religion grew too big for its boots and inevitably became a focus for past rulers to seal their rule with an iron fist. An unruly people require great resources in order to be ruled so man power is not exactly available but the next best thing is that of dieties, the rules of the gods that browbeat society into a particular way of thinking and seek out a malleable populace to conform to their way of thinking and via cognitive dissonasance then other people follow likewise influencing others via their peers or their family. Hammurabi of Sumer was the first ancient king to realise the value of religion from researching this topic. Through his codes he ruled with people never questioning his authority lest they be judged by the gods whom they believed in

Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.

Modern day Ireland is getting used to the last vestiges of the RCC looking to obtain control via proxy organisations and others acting in the name of god. Recent calls for abortion were met with a reaction from 15,000 pro lifers bussed down by parish churches and money spent by religious organisations to ensure that they are still on control of the country. Having seen their definition of the family undermined by the potential legalisation of same sex marriage, the Iona institute launched a campaign to keep the definition of the famiy as per Bunreacht na h-Eireann arguing that such a change would inevitably impact on the development of the child. The extent of religious control does not extend just to that of social policy and research has touched upon it as a tool for the control of wealth to benefit the bourgoise in society where the vast majority of wealth lays.

Frederick Solt from the University of Illinois looked at the use of religion as a tool to keep the poor as exactly as they are, poor. His research took into account the correlation between religiosity of those whom were rich and those whom were poor. They labelled this theory as the 'Relative Power Theory'. Their conclusions were that religion takes the place of materialism in their lives and the priveleges of the rich are kept intact. Which brings us back to the whole vicious circile that we mentioned earlier in the post.

Research by Pippa Norris, at Harvard University, and Ronald Ingelhart, at the University of Michigan looked at modernisation and its affects and they came to a conclusion which some people will agree with. The less people have the more likely they are to turn to religion as they see financial security as the replacement for this and are turning their backs on religion. Europe has a low level of believers in place of the USA where there is no welfare model as we have in Europe so people will not believe in a god in Ireland but are more likely in America.

Not a comforting thought, you are either financially secure or are more than likely religious but its rare we find both and the poorer you are the more religious you may become, a cog in the machine of that religion . Doing as you are told for fear of ending up in hell which is if you are poor, where you may very well be......

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Vatican and Mussolinis Millions

This report floated on by me today so why not share

Mussolini gave the Vatican a couple of million in return for them recognisiing his fascist regime. Knowing full well that there would be a lot of malcontent from the catholics in Italy if he didnt have them by his side, he poured millions into getting them to recognise his government in 1929. The value of the little project has grown to about £500m and now the Vatican owns property in London, Paris and Switzerland thanks to their investments. The Guardian queried who some of the people were pulling the strings but had doors shut in their face...

Reconstructing Society

Culturally Ireland is at a dead end , this is not about the music or the films or the traditional aspects of what people think of Ireland when they hear culture here in Ireland. We are talking about the norms and values here that Irish people have clung to for hundreds of years as a way of life and are scared rigid that they should change some great misfortune should befall them.


Norms are the accepted way of behaving in a particular social situation and values are the beliefs that drive these behaviours. Often these are influenced by family or outside forces. Eg. Britian occuping Ireland for 800 odd years saw people develop this want of houses , "we must own property" .

How the System Currently Works

In any organisation whether it be a political or corporate or otherwise, they tend to attract people of a similar mindset ending up with cliques or similar like minded people. Place this into a hierarchy of society and those with the most resources end up dominating the political or social landscape. At the moment the bankers, property developers and others with financial clout own the arses of most of the general populace. Capitalism has encouraged behavioural normalisation where materialism has become a value and the accumulation of wealth is seeing as being the main driving force behind our very existence. These small groups of people at the top of the hierarchy are the ones whom are dictating the pace of society and its development . As to the apathy of the people (a phrase I have used more than once) this stems from being too comfortable and not liking change. Change interrupts their little routines.

What Im Proposing
A complete change of the system but that may not happen with our generation but should start with the next generation. David Knott a researcher in London showed that there was a significant benefit in encouraging children to have positive values if they are taught early . Two of these are important

-Educational Achievement

Education is the one way that definitively creates employment, contributes to the lubricating of the wheels and cogs of societies and ensures that there are less reasons for the those in society to be on the peripheral as they are afforded more and more opportunity to develop. Education could also take a more holistic approach to children. Teach them more about their emotions, that of others.

-Personal Responsibility

We take responsibility for our mistakes and are accountable to both ourselves and each other.

Its going to be hard to tackle the current apathy that is present but we can install the building blocks of a better future through change. Create more community based programmes, educational programmes and opportunities. Create a curiosity in the world.

We will teach society with better norms and values that drive people to help one and other, teach them to be self autonomous and not be servile.
Below are the links that act as a reference


Iona Institute and Gay Marriage

Iona Institute came out with this marvellous piece of work telling us why the marriage of a man and a woman is unique. The video purports to tell us that we should not redefine marriage but that every child is deserving of a mother and father . At the end of the day the whole video (two minutes in length) is patronising claptrap. Other people on social media have felt that the video was homophobic while others are looking on in disbelief that such an organisation comes out with such bullshit. The Iona Institute of course was founded by David Walsh , a former editor of the Irish catholic magazine.

Despite a tweet asking David if I am not capable of being in a loving relationship and raising a child, no tweet was forthcoming in response. Am I somehow of a lesser individual based on the boll*x contained in the video? The video is offensive, its telling me I am not capable of raisng a child nor what I could provide could be a home.

Wikipedia defines homophobia as

Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, and may be based on irrational fear.

Using that definition people can decide for themselves...

Evidence has shown that children raised in same sex marriage do just fine and this has been the case for years.

Thats just a report of a summary but more evidence backs this up as opposed to some evidence coming out of America from faith based organisations which have some bias.

Rest my case...

Update: The video was removed from You Tube for alleged breach of Terms of Service. While this was resolved Iona were puzzled but said it related to an e mail they missed to verify their account.

Friday, 4 January 2013

The Rise of Fascism - Could Ireland be Next?

After World War 1, the Treaty of Versailles placed a cap on the size of the German army and their military equipment and vehicles. The German economy was crippled as Germany had to pay repatriations for their actions in World War 1. This created a vaccum which lead to the Nazi’s coming to power under Hitler and his promise of numerous labour reforms and other such things built on a platform of lies. People, having been disenfranchised realised that this man could be their saviour and embraced him as their next leader. Hitler knew he was on to a winner, being a speaker who told the people what he wanted to hear and having built an effective propaganda machine. The propaganda machine worked on the premise of the “Stab in the back theory”. This theory, in laymans terms, told the general public that Republicans, communists and the Jewish population had sold the Germans out and were to be held accountable for the downfall of the German state along side the Treaty of Versaille. Lacking an effective leader and effective leadership, Hitler settled into power much in the same way as Mussolini did in Italy and instigated his programmes of extermination and extended this further (WW2 etc.) The dramatic rise in power was down to a number of factors but the primary factors were the following

-A lack of leadership from the political establishment.
-Disenfranchisement of the people.
-Populist politics that told people what they wanted to hear.

There is those whom if they believe in nothing will believe in anything as the expression goes. On that basis that is what happened in pre WW2 Germany and this is the danger that is ever present in Irleand.

Economic stagnation, high unemployment have all contributed to a people whom are disenfranchised and lost. These people are undergoing a period of discovery in looking at alternate parties or are wallowing in complete apathy like complete idiots which will be their downfall. Fine Gael have provided no leadership and are at the beckon call of Angela and her cronies while the country is on its knees having been raped by the IMF for all it is worth. Our fellow working class in Greece are suffering worse with no fuel, people dying as there is no medicine or hospital staff and high rates of suicide. All of this in Greece has contributed to the rise of the fascist Golden Dawn party akin to the rise of the Nazi’s in Germany. On the grapevine we are hearing about a new far right party that is rumoured to be looking for members for its ranks. Could the same happen to Ireland? A new far right fascist party?

Lift the Gay Blood Donor Ban

As the IBTS wish everyone a happy New Year on their facebook page , it came to mind that the discriminatory practice of discriminating against men based on sexual preference is still in operation. In June 2011 James Reilly sent a letter to Edward Poots, minister for Health in Northern Ireland in which he outlined the principle reason why the ban exists:

 based not only on risk factors for HIV but on other blood borne agents known to be associated with MSM (men who have sex with men) behaviour”.

The UK has looked at things differently however and taken a different approach to how things are. The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs has relaxed the ban and now men whom have not had gay sex for more than twelve months will be able to donate blood should they wish which is in complete contrast to the archaic and prehistoric policy implemented by the HSE and the IBTS. People whom have had unprotected sex are also included in this as are people whom have engaged in oral sex . On the IBTS website the question on men who have sex with men (MSM) is not covered

While HIV testing can give a false positive, the rate of this is very very low ( HIV and other diseases do not discriminate on the basis of gender and sexuality. While HIV cases are higher amongst MSM this is not to say that the gay community is at fault for a lot of these cases as all it takes is one man (or one woman for that matter) to infect any number of people .

Time to end the ban now...

Speaking Irish improves the brain!

Scientists are to investigate changes in brain functions among people who are fluent in English and Gaelic.

The study involving Glasgow and Edinburgh universities will require its test subjects to speak Gaelic exclusively for about 40 days.

The research aims to add new scientific evidence to suggestions that people who are bilingual have enhanced problem-solving skills and flexible thinking.

The study will include MRI scans to help detect changes in brain functions.

The study asked people to only speak Gaelic for forty days. Afterwards tasks were set for people and it appears that Gaelic speakers did a lot better than other monolingual English speakers with faster response times and more lateral thinking. Is this because there is perhaps more neurons in the brain, better cross functionality. From personal experience and perhaps Apjp and others might be able to help, the principles of learning a language certainly aided me in learning other languages. The basic structures of language, as advocated by Chomsky IMO kick in and we are capable of learning other languages with some ease .

Long Term Leasing

Long term leasing is a widely used model on the continent . Maybe some of our members here can fill me in more but Im surprised the idea never took off here. Is Irish obsession with owning a property because of the English denying it to us? Was Dev afraid of the Commies taking over and put property ownership into the constitution as a result? The only place I have seen long term leasing has been in the County Council and social housing but nothing in the private market. Would a model where peope can take out a twenty or thirty year lease not be a lot better than the current system which advocates house ownership? Any thoughts on it?

The Bits about the Bible you never hear...,_but_you_do_anyway

So some classics for your amusement..

Shellfish. Leviticus 11:10 reads, "But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you." And shellfish is right in that wheelhouse.

Football. At least, the pure version of football, where you play with a pigskin. The modern synthetic footballs are ugly and slippery anyways. Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads "You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you."

And you're doubly breaking that if you wake up, eat some sausage then go throw around the football. Or go to the county fair and enter a greased pig catching contest.

But my favourite...

Letting people without testicles into church. Whether you've been castrated or lost one or two balls to cancer isn't important. The Bible doesn't get that specific. It just says you can't pray.

Deuteronomy 23:1 reads (this is the God's Word translation, which spells it out better), "A man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of the Lord."

Oh, and the next verse says that if you're a bastard, the child of a bastard... or even have a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of a bastard, you can't come to church or synagogue either. Deuteronomy 23:2 reads, "No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord."

If a woman is menstruating...

If a man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and uncovers her nakedness, he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

Slave ownership..