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If Britain did not belong to the EU it most certainly would not try to join it now. Even the ‘Remain In’ advocates concede that it has deep flaws, a dysfunctional common currency, a failing migration system, a lack of democratic accountability, fraud on a vast scale, and an overweening bureaucracy and regulatory culture that stifles productivity, competitiveness and freedom.
Only two things can keep Britain in the EU - GREED and FEAR.
GREED plays to Big Business; the EU provides the perfect vehicle through which Big Businesses can advise on a regulatory culture to exclude their small business competitors. Madness lies this way, small businessess provide most of our employment, and all businessess start small.
GREED plays to the Political Class; the EU provides incredibly well paid jobs for defeated or retired politicians, or for those politicos who don’t even want to risk trying to get elected.
GREED also plays to all those who get EU subsidies like Universities and bodies representing ‘deprived’ areas. However as Britain remains a large net contributor to EU funds anyway, it seems myopic of these bodies to demand that Britain remain in the EU. They should instead demand that a Britain free from the EU gives them the subsidies they need directly rather than pay in to the EU coffers first and get only half of it back. Outsourcing the subsidy mechanisms makes no sense whatever.
FEAR plays to those who prefer the deeply flawed to the slightly unknown. Nobody really knows what effect leaving the EU will have on British employment, trade, security, and finance, some think that all of these may deteriorate but only by a little for a short while, some think that they may all improve a bit almost immediately. However nobody can make a case that Britain cannot stand on its own two feet and that catastrophe would follow Brexit. Project FEAR lays founded upon exaggerations from the GREED lobby.
The argument that Britain should remain in a flawed EU to try and reform it seems utterly fatuous. The attempt to negotiate a few paltry changes before the referendum has yielded nothing of substance and the Eurocrat Synarchists remain as committed as ever to their power grab of political union.
If Britain goes for Brexit others will follow and the whole creaking EU structure will likely collapse and we will have done everyone a favour. After that we can perhaps gradually rebuild something better in Europe, a Europe of independent nations cooperating on just those matters where it makes economic, military, social, and cultural sense to do so.
If Britain capitulates to greed and fear now and votes to remain in the EU, then the EU will take that as unconditional surrender and jackboot its way all over British Common Law and the elected British Parliament as it subsumes and assimilates us into the Euro-Synarchy.
Expect absolute rule from Brussels from people of the calibre of Tony Blair. People who think their own deluded visions and self-aggrandisement actually means what’s best for us, and who will lie and dissemble and eventually screw up bigtime, in their quest to achieve it.
Science & Politics
On the subject of Euro Fraud and Euro Screw Up, have a look at the latest from CERN
The Large Hadron Collider project begins to look evermore like a metaphor for the EU itself. Built upon rather questionable assumptions at vast cost for reasons more political than scientific, the LHC has not really done what it says on the tin; or on the Nobel Prize citations either.
However after such vast expenditure they have had to trumpet almost complete failure as almost complete triumph.
A vast pyramid of committees designed and built this machine and its experiments on the basis of theories which had unresolved contradictions with other theories. It has so far failed to produce any sort of clear strong signal amongst the blizzard of statistical data and dashed hopes that it has generated. A tiny bump on a graph at 126GeV might correspond to a boson like particle, however that doesn’t mean that they have found a Higgs boson to confirm the Higgs Mechanism which supposedly gives matter about 1% of its mass (in contradiction to General Relativity theory).
Well now they have just found another tiny blip on a graph at about 750GeV. If they had found this first no doubt they would have celebrated it as THE discovery of the Higgs boson. This sort of thing risks bringing science into disrepute. For the sake of having a grandiose Euro mega-project they didn’t invest in many smaller more modest and better thought out experiments and collaborations, but went for broke and created a mess instead.
At such high beam intensities, energy and mass tend to freely interconvert and for fleeting fractions of a second, highly unstable configurations arise and then almost instantly fly apart again into fresh showers of configurations which eventually decay back into ordinary stable particles. It seems that with enough energy you can convert almost any configuration into any other and the whole notion of ‘fundamental particle’ becomes questionable, particularly when the protocols of data collection and selection and statistical manipulation allow for the abstraction of any desired result from the resulting mess. Thus we see the triumph of theory and political policy over empirical science.
Something similar seems to have happened at that other cutting edge of science up at the cosmology end of the scale. The standard model of cosmology with its big bang beginning and subsequent expansion has achieved a massive inertia because of all the government money that has gone into it. Academics have closed ranks around this theory because their grants depend on excluding all dissenting views and all dissenting interpretations of the data generated by their increasingly expensive experiments. Instead they develop ever more tortuous arguments for preserving a theory that looks increasingly flawed.
Magic & Philosophy
I always enjoy looking at the entries on Magic and related topics in the Catholic Encyclopaedia. They sometimes prove thought provoking because they usually turn reality on its head for faith based motives, so if you consider the exact opposite of what it says you can sometimes learn something. Try this for example:
“It is not true that "religion is the despair of magic"; in reality, magic is but a disease of religion.”
The Occult entry then goes on at some length to variously opine that Magic cannot happen because of its physically impossibility, but that Magic does happen but only with the ultimate permission of god, either under his direct aegis or that of evil spirits (?!).
In reality humanity has always enjoyed the three perspectives of Materialism, Transcendentalism, and Magic, or if you like, a belief in the powers of Common Sense, Faith, and ‘Intent plus Imagination’.
In practise all three of these perspectives have to varying degrees always influenced our beliefs and actions and they probably always will.
All religions seem to begin with magical events and myths and then as they develop, the priesthoods tend to try and reserve magical activities to themselves. If the religion fails to live up to expectations the laity often begin to dabble with magical practices themselves also.
Materialism, the belief in the cause and effect relationships between phenomena, does not represent some radical new world view that arose with modern science. Even the fashioning of the simplest stone tools requires some pretty acute appreciation of how stuff works. Materialism never strays all that far from Transcendentalism or Magic either. Materialists regard the laws of the universe as effectively transcendental and they regard intent and imagination as essential in their exploitation of them.
I just read Mind Tricks, Ancient and Modern, by Steven Saunders, Wooden Books
I picked it up whilst lecturing on Chaos Magic to the Bristol Quest Conference.
This quirky little gem opens with Getting Out of Your Box, the idea that we all inhabit mostly a box of faith, or of science, or of philosophy, and the suggestion that we try looking at the other two from the inside as well as from the outside.
I feel most at home in the box of Natural Philosophy which contains the sub-boxes of Science and Magic, so from that perspective I shall ask of Faith:-
What Do Spirits Do?
I asked a wise man, how come fairies wear clothes?
He said, fairies are there to represent humanity back to itself, hence the clothing.
That seems about right; they personify our feelings about nature and our desires and fears about interacting with it.
Something similar seems to apply to all the gods and goddesses; they reflect humanity back to itself in aspirational form, so that we can believe in ourselves.
They help us to justify what we do, they can en-courage us to excel.
Believing himself the son of Zeus, Alexander conquered an empire.
Do spirits really exISt? Well I don’t know what anything ‘IS’, I can only know what phenomena do, and how that doing resembles or differs from other forms of doing.
To that extent I prefer to choose my inspirations from the gods and goddesses that we can imagine, rather than from the celebrities that the media manufacture for us.
So I suppose I have Faith of a sort, if only faith in my imagination, but I now have a goddess for that as well – Apophenia, and for some reason I seem to prefer to see my Muse naked.