Blaming the Victims – again!

In the UK Boris Johnsons hasty and spurious pandemic ‘Freedom Day’ turned into ‘Freedom to Spread the Virus Day’ and has now eased the path for a ‘Blaming the Un-vaccinated Month’. This latter level of outrageous chutzpah by politicians and medical officials should not surprise us. The bourgeois elites of past and present generations have always tried to divert problems arising from their capitalist system on those who become its victims. The latest ‘blame game’ tactic associated with the ongoing Corona19 virus Pandemic, is now being directed at the non – vaccinated.

Those with longer memories than the much maligned goldfish, will remember that very early on in the pandemic, nurses and care workers were also blamed for not using protective gear correctly. Later still people who failed to abide by the first and second lock downs were blamed for the spread. Next came those who refused to wear masks who were castigated for being selfish and not thinking of others. The continuous and intentional disparagement of victims of the pandemic was (and is) designed to divert attention from the real culprits in this whole tragic episode.

The real culprits in the spread of the 2019 pandemic are those politicians and senior medical advisers who in lucrative government positions failed to prepare for a pandemic which was expected, then who failed to provide PPE for hospital and care home staff, simultaneously failed to put restrictions on the borders of countries and then failed to provide clear and consistent information and advice. Now it is the turn of those who are hesitant or averse to having a vaccination to be blamed. There is an increasingly authoritarian tone coming out of the mouths of these very same elite political and medical actors who created the problem to blame the un-vaccinated.

From Biden in the USA to Johnson, Gove et al and Macron in the UK and Europe, those suffering from or practising vaccine avoidance, are being aggressively targeted and character assassinated as being selfish and irresponsible. Yet these very characteristics of selfishness and irresponsibility are those which actually define the elite and their class, rather those among the real victims among the general population.

The servile press, who have proved incapable of having an independent or critical outlook, are now echoing the latest mantras of this blaming the victim tactic and this sets a dangerous precedent. If enough people out of frustration or anger at their situation just swallow this latest garbage gutter press opinion then it will effectively drive a wedge between the vaccinated and un-vaccinated victims of this pandemic. Such a response would collude with the elite intention to divert blame away from them and away from their system of production and governance. It amounts to a similar tactic to those who blame relatively affluent working class pensioners for the poverty that working class students and young people experience. It conveniently avoids blaming the system which handsomely rewards the elite and leaves the victims squabbling over inadequate social welfare provisions.

This Covid blame tactic is also a modern example of the historic bourgeois patriarchal game which tried to blame the size of women’s brains, or their menstrual cycle or their less robust muscles for the fact that they were being treated unequally at home or work. Similarly, dark-skinned victims of European elite colonising atrocities around the world were blamed because they did not have a monotheistic religious ‘god on their side’ or modern technological equipment. That same type of inverted mentality – in modern guise – also insinuates that young unemployed and low-paid people, of dark or pale skins, are at fault for not having the correct qualifications. It ignores the fact that a system of employment which only needs a certain (restricted) number of low-paid employees, and by necessity must discriminate by ‘selection’ on whatever basis it prefers.

The present system of exploitation relies on short memories, lazy intellectualism, ‘officially approved opinions’ and dualistic forms of thinking among the masses. Liberation from this exploitation requires the opposite: long memories, vigorous intellectual activity and dialectical thinking. [See ‘The Dangers of Dualistic Thinking’ on this blog.] The following fact needs to be stressed and widely publicised. The first quarter of the 21st century has produced a conjunction of multiple factors of crisis (economic, financial, social, ecological, political and medical) which existentially undermine the current system of production and consumption. These are not factors which can be solved on the basis of the system which produced them. They can certainly be ignored – but not wished away.

If the reader doubts this latter assertions, try to imagine how the problems of unemployment, social care, financial instability, ecological destruction, heatwaves, floods and fires, this current and further virus epidemics, essential species loss and political authoritarianism can be effectively slowed or reversed on the basis of the present capitalist mode of production. If, on the basis of the pro-capitalist elite handling of Covid 19 pandemic, you can’t imagine any of these problems being tackled effectively; then where does responsibility lie except in the hands of those who have recognised this inability?

All movements for radical change commence with a few who recognise the need for radical transformation rather than reformist tinkering but lack the ability and numbers to institute it. Their initial task, therefore, is to refuse to be hoodwinked by elite divisive propaganda and to broadcast the all-round negative reality of the system in a non-sectarian way. Real positive change can only begin to occur when a sufficiently large ‘critical-mass’ emerges which have understood the current system and in particular have understood the mistakes of previous attempts to change the mode of production.

[Use the following link to download a free document containing short articles on many of the multiple problems covered in this and other similar articles.]

Roy Ratcliffe (July 2021)

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Are viruses mainly a medical or a social problem?

In a previous Corona Virus Pandemic article (ie No 11 April 2020 on this blog) I pointed out the complete neglect in all countries of a strategy to prevent the outbreak of virus epidemics and pandemics. Over 12 months later and there is still no other official strategy than to manage a pandemic – after it breaks out! Moreover the main tool in that management strategy is now to use profit-based vaccines. The almost universal assumption of bourgeois political, medical and economic elites remains that the Covid 19 pandemic of 2019 (and onward) is mainly a medical problem and it is a problem to be solved by medical means.

The most senior medical advisers in Europe and North America still characterise the current struggle to subdue this most recent pandemic as a war between humanity and a virus in which medicine has to beat the virus. This conclusion ignores the fact that the most reliable means of preventing it’s circulation – so far – has been by social means. Lock downs, masks and social distancing, the former albeit used too late and utilised as blunt instrument, have been the most effective methods of depriving the virus of the human means of survival. Vaccines may make the survival of most viruses more difficult, but they do not remove the ability of them to survive and mutate by circulation within human communities.

In other words it is not the virus’s ability to mutate into variants and multiply which makes it spread, it is the way society is organised which is responsible for the way this virus (and any future virus) circulates. The cycle of viral infection spreading is well known and obvious. In this case, from its initial animal source of circulation (stage 1) it is passed to a human primary source (stage 2) and is then passed on to a first social circulatory phase (stage 3) before that early group (work or social) carries it forward and exponentially passes it on (in a modified form) into a wider social epidemic phase (4) and then other multiple social groups carry it beyond this to a global pandemic (stage 5). Viewed in this way it becomes clear that the solution to preventing virus spreading from animal communities to human communities is not to try to manage the pandemic once it gets to stage (4) or (5), because by then it is too late. Not only are people dying unnecessarily but economic activity, other health activities and social activities are seriously disrupted or curtailed.

Just as it is impossible to vaccinate the entire world (not enough vaccines, too much vaccine hesitancy, virus resistance to vaccines via mutation), it is also impossible to eliminate viruses from animals and nature. They abound there and are an established and essential part of life on earth. Furthermore where they circulate within wild animals they do so without causing animal epidemics or pandemics. Indeed, animal and human immune systems probably comprise of many RNA strands donated from historically adapted/mutated viruses to live non-parasitically or even beneficially within their hosts. However, whilst we certainly have to accept the existence of viruses, the idea that we have just to accept virus epidemics and pandemics, as some politicians, medical experts and vaccine producers suggest, is actually untrue. Furthermore, that form of elite misinformation and/or disinformation is an extremely dangerous piece of nonsense.

For example, we humans have to accept that fire destroys our buildings but we do not have accept that we can do nothing about it. Safety, measures are sensibly put in place such as sprinklers and fire proof or fire retardant materials are used (hence official culpability in the UK for Grenfell Tower fire etc). Similarly speed kills, but speed limits and seat belts save lives. The list of such prevention examples could go on almost indefinitely. Despite the flouting of many prevention measures by irresponsible actors, the idea that humans should give up on preventing bad virus epidemics ‘and learn to live with them’ is quite frankly elite nonsense: probably motivated by ignorance or self interest. However, since humanity cannot prevent virus pandemic deaths by means of vaccination and humanity cannot prevent them by entirely eliminating viruses, a vitally important prevention strategy can still be sought elsewhere.

The logical and rational answer, as with other prevention measures is to look at the chain of events from origin to outcome and see which link in the chain would be most effective in identifying, containing and preventing it going further. If we consider the five stages of virus transmission outlined above, it becomes obvious that stage (1) is not sensible since virus circulation among animals is normal, and when within animals viruses are impossible to identify which are problematic to humans. That stage is too early. It is also logical that waiting to stages (4) or (5) is far too late. Indeed, those are the stages that governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been trying to manage ‘it’ and failed miserably as we have been experiencing since 2019. So that leaves stages (2) to (3) as phases or stages to set up measures and protocols which monitor those working in close proximity to animals. It is here that viruses can (and do) enter a human and can go through an initial phase of adaptation. In other words a successful virus will undergo an adaptation or mutation and become partially or fully adapted so as to continue its life cycle in humans in general.

If monitored and identified at that stage (2) or even after it had entered into immediate work and social networks (3), it could then be contained by isolation of a relatively few individuals and those within their immediate social circulatory groups. Careful protected medical intervention, could ensure maximum beneficial outcomes to such small groups and the rest of humanity could continue their lives as before. It therefore came as a pleasant surprise to me when near the end of writing this article I was made aware that some among the medical profession had arrived at a more sophisticated version of the above chain of known transmission. I am therefore indebted – yet again – to Randy Gould (who regularly sends me interesting links) for a link to an academic article which appears below. That link (clicked or pasted into a search engine) produces an important and far more detailed article than this one. It also includes a graphic representation of the social circulatory model the authors suggest is the rational one to be used as a guide in targeting a prevention strategy.

However, I think it is unlikely that the current governing elites and medical establishments will follow this alternative model or the advice offered by this group. The former have ignored even less challenging conclusions from all and sundry including their own advisers. To hope they will admit even relative incompetence and embrace another model of intervention is a rather forlorn one I suggest. However, this alternative strategy needs to be recorded and recognised beyond any dusty academic archive it may get sidelined into. If there is ever a future mode of production not dominated by capital and pro-capitalists which encounters such future problems it is worth knowing that a serious and well considered attempt has been made to alert us to focus on social solutions to socially produced problems.

Roy Ratcliffe (July 2021)

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For those as yet unfamiliar with the term ‘critical race theory’ (CRT) I will attempt to shed some light upon the phenomenon and at the same time criticise it from a revolutionary – humanist perspective. For some time CRT has been the product of a radical trend of academic thought which although originating in the USA has spread to Europe and elsewhere. In its essence it amounts to a legal and academic critique of civil rights legislation and other bourgeois laws on discrimination around the spurious concept of race. In other words CRT is a more assertive intellectual reaction to the fact that after decades of struggle, people, originally of enslaved and colonised countries currently resident in the USA, Europe and elsewhere are still not represented in many occupations in proportion to their numbers among the general population.

The adherents of the CRT trend consider that discrimination within western capitalist societies is primarily a result of institutional dynamics rather than the result of general capitalist inspired exploitation and individual prejudice. It is this alleged ‘institutional dynamic’ which upholds what CRT exponents generally class as ‘white privilege’. Like many other ‘conservative’ thinkers, humanity is dualistically divided by CRT advocates into at least two virtual (and thus false) categories (races) of humanity – in this case black and white. It is a form of mythopoeopic consciousness which creates and perpetuates a long held virtual reality, for there are no black skins, no white skins and despite ancient religious and modern secular inventions – no races.

These categories of patriarchal and bourgeois created ideology are simply elite inspired inventions. Consequently these dualistic forms of mythic consciousness and activism such as CRT, Black Lives Matter, etc., collude with bourgeois and patriarchal inventions of race and thus conserve and perpetuate these mythopoeian based categories which are used to justify exploitation. They then connect them to the reality of class discrimination under the capitalist mode of production. In this way they delude themselves (and those under their influence) to think that their sophisticated intellectual constructs are a correct image of reality.

In the real practical world, although there is massive discrimination, there are only pale and dark skin colours and no races. So the problem of general discrimination within capitalism – via bourgeois and CRT constructs – is transferred to the abstraction – institutional dynamics. It is this abstraction which then supposedly ensures that the ‘selection’ and appointment of candidates for jobs, positions and posts – at whatever institutional or occupational level – primarily discriminates against dark-skinned candidates. This is clearly not true universally nor in individual countries.

Overlooked by this CRT virtual reality construction is the fact that ‘selection’ is always personal discrimination in one form or another. Discrimination is perpetrated by those individuals who are ‘privileged’ to do the selecting. Moreover, discrimination is the fundamental basis of all class divided societies including capitalism. In marriage, friendship, occupation and community, class divided societies invariably discriminate against the designated ‘lower’ classes, no matter what the actual colour or shade of their skin. The middle classes do likewise.

Within countries dominated by dark skinned elites or multifarious religious elites, people similar to them will in general be more favourably selected than those of different skin colour or alternative religion. The modern bourgeois concept of ’positive discrimination’, hinges around this basic fact of pre-capitalist and capitalist forms of discrimination. It is important to recognise that Critical Race Theory does not wish to end discrimination, it’s advocates, just like ‘Me Too’ advocates just want to end the form of discrimination which affects their chosen constituency.

Critical Race Theory advocates accept the continuation of current capitalist mode of production along with the current divisions of labour between those who work manually for low pay and those who occupy the more privileged ‘clean’ occupations of academia, media, entertainment and sport. They merely wish to reform certain areas of capitalism in such a way to allow more dark skinned access to positions of power, wealth and status. Advocates of CRT do not consider positions of social power, wealth and status as problematic in themselves, so CRT is not a revolutionary trend of thinking but a conservative trend. It seeks to conserve capitalism by marginal reforms.

However, to some sections of the conservative elite middle class, CRT appears radical and assertive because it desires uncomfortable changes for them. And it is this ‘reform’ change aspect which has provoked the conservative and reactionary wing of the capitalist and pro – capitalist elite to accuse it of being influenced by Marxism. Consequently a war of words and further job and sinecure discrimination and termination has broken out in many US Universities and academic circles. The clash is between ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’ wings of the pro-capitalist establishment.

However, CRT advocates such as Derrick Bell, a Harvard University academic have expressed the opinion that they have no time for ‘Marxism’. In the use of the term ‘Marxism’ we encounter a further ‘virtual reality’ confusion of mainstream academia who have yet to comprehend the difference between the revolutionary – humanism of Karl Marx and the sectarian dogmatists such as Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky. The latter 20th century middle-class academic and legal reformist radicals falsely claimed to be following in Marx’s footsteps, when in reality they were perpetuating class-divided ‘big’ state-capitalist societies. [See the article ‘Marxists against Marx’ on this blog]

Indeed, Paul Macomb a CRT supporter, in attempting to define the trend, has classified CRT as a ‘Radical Liberal’ theory. That in my opinion is still not accurate, but it does take us closer to understanding it. My own characterisation of ‘Critical Race Theory’ is that like, ‘Black Lives Matter’, the ‘Me Too’ movement and ‘Extinction Rebellion’, it is simply another ‘liberal reformist’ trend. Moreover, it is one which in the current period of radicalised and decaying turmoil of the capitalist mode of production, appears in the bourgeois world of virtual reality as far more radical than it actually is.

The current period of capitalist crisis appearing within six fundamental areas of life (economic, financial, social, environmental, ecological and political) has been deepened by the health crisis triggered by the global Covid 19 pandemic. Each of the above areas has produced many seemingly radical single issue movements as reactions to the severity of the crisis. The advocates of each single issue (now often desperately and widely affected) articulate a present existential situation particular as the central ones requiring urgent solution. The solutions they imagine are by reforms to the existing mode of production – exclusively in their own chosen sector. They primarily see the world from their own particular sectional perspective – based upon the immediate material conditions they are living within.

However, by wearing such single issue blinkers, reform activists are blind to the larger global picture of humanity as a whole. Rising above this narrow restricted view to see how all these important issues are linked by the fact that they all are products or by-products of the capitalist mode of production, is at the moment beyond them. A whole generation has been blind-sided by the failure to recognise that the phenomena of Marxism, Communism and Fascism, were nothing more than previous middle-class radical forms of saving capitalist style relationships of exploitation by means of one party authoritarian States.

The fact that these state capitalist forms were administered by different political elites whose political perspectives were superficially opposed, has served to obscure the fact that their social and economic positions were almost identical. They all – without exception – intensively exploited wage labour by controlling private and/or state controlled capital. The modern middle – class, now horrified by the state capitalist forms their activist predecessors instigated in the 20th century, are still pursuing their interests – but now by other reformist means. Amazingly, they seek to reform a system of production which is not just massively oppressive to workers everywhere but is destroying the ecological and climatic foundation of all metabolic life forms upon which all human societies rest.

This liberal reformist activism occurs at the same time as the class system – by multiple inbuilt rivalries and nationalist orchestrated competition – is also undermining the solidarity and cooperation of working class humanity. International solidarity is now more than ever, necessary to solve the global problems currently facing humanity. Yet these and other such ‘globally renowned left wing scholars’ (sic) are publishing expensive books, holding elite participant conferences on this and other ‘topics of interest’ (such as re-invigorating another variant of top down ‘Marxism’) whilst enhancing their status and stipends, and all this as the capitalist system collapses around them and us.

Marx once wrote of an earlier 19th century generation of reformist intellectuals who sought to tinker with bits of capitalism; “These gentlemen, as has been proved, are chock full of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideas.” (Marx to Bebel, Liebknecht and Bracke). The new 20th century petite-bourgeois intellectuals have yet to see past their class arrogance. It is they, who now seek to “teach what they have not yet learned” (ibid), along with the other ‘self-made’ (sic) middle-class saviors of capitalism such as Musk, Bezos, Branson and Gates, etc., – some of whom think taking the rich into space will benefit the whole of humanity. They are all now part of the problem for humanity, not part of the solution.

Roy Ratcliffe (July 2021)

Mythopoeia. Although commonly applied and understood in the realms of fiction and mythology, this term has wider scope and implications. It also applies to a framework of thinking deeply immersed in categories already mythicalised (such as God, Race, Bolshevism, Maoism etc.) and whose thinking also becomes dominated by the immediate impact of an existential issue or situation. Those prone to mythopoeia are often ‘involved’ as participants in the issue or situation rather than as analysts of it. They invariably blend the past mythic language and understandings with a contemporary existential situation. As for example many Zionists with regard to currently defending and reclaiming land mythologically ‘given by God to a chosen people’. (sic). RR.

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In the UK the public are not being informed of the statistical evidence nor the modeling of them being used by the Conservative government to justify it’s decision to end compulsory pandemic measures here. The ill-thought out and erratic measures so far taken in an attempt to mitigate the continuing spread of the Covid 19 pandemic, have allowed the spread of the virus to continue. The latest figures for the UK infections and deaths are 5, 000,000 cases with over 128,000 deaths with vast majority of these (4.3 million and 113,000) occurring in England. The lame and misleading rhetorical question of Boris Johnson; “If not now – when?”, completely misses the point.

The possible ending of pandemic restrictions is openly admitted by the government to be necessary in order to restart the (their) ‘economy’ and they are prepared to risk another 100, 000 people dying in order to do so. This is to be expected for ‘their’ version of an economy relies upon exploiting working people in farms, factories, offices and shops to mass produce and then mass consume the very commodities and services whose supply lines are routinely uncovering viruses and destroying the health of people and the planet in multifarious ways. To try to convince people that ‘personal responsibility’ is a sensible strategy, they have concluded that the link between hospitalisations and deaths has been broken by their so-called ‘successful’ (sic) vaccination programme.

However, as the title of this article implies, this coincidence between a reduction in deaths and vaccines during this pandemic does not by itself prove that vaccination has caused the difference between these outcomes. Nor does it prove that vaccination will end the current or any future pandemic. No matter how much the elite and the vaccine profiteers hope for vaccination to save the capitalist system, their hope and narrowly focused propaganda will not determine what really happens. The factors which reduce deaths from virus spread are well known. 1. Reduced contact between people. 2. Improved citizen individual health and cleanliness. 3. Those who have contracted the virus at least once and survived (natural immunity). 4. Scientifically developed and confirmed barriers and medicines and remedies.

The first three of these prophylactic barriers to contagion are obvious and do not require a technologically advanced mode of production based upon profit to be successfully implemented. They just need a humanist approach to production based upon need. Thus the various lock downs, social distancing and masks reduced aerosol contact between people; those with low virus exposure and strong immune systems, or anti-bodies have also cut the link. These have all worked to reduce the hospital numbers and deaths. To elevate vaccines as the causal link is a political ploy. Those who were previously weakened and not sufficiently protected are among the 120, 000 who have died because from the outset in 2020, the elite placed the capitalist mode of production above the needs of protecting the vulnerable. The numbers could have been far less! The current focus and reliance upon vaccination by the political elite is merely a continuation of that same narrow minded elite defence of what is left of the capitalist system.

However, it is clear from the failed global distribution of vaccines, that vaccination is not going to prevent the virus from spreading globally nor will vaccines save the capitalist system. Even in the advanced capitalist countries which have hoarded more than enough vaccines for every citizen, the vaccination programme has failed to convince everybody to have repeated jabs. Nor have the pro-capitalist elite in the UK and elsewhere enabled everybody to isolate themselves even if they wanted to. The situation in other countries is even worse. This vaccination, profit-based techno-fix safety net, is full of excessively large holes and meanwhile the virus is continuing to mutate. Also full of holes is the complicated, confused and contradictory guidelines now suggested for opening up the entertainment, sport, arts, leisure and holiday industries.

A significant proportion of the economic activity of advanced capitalist countries is based upon businesses which require the maximum possible number of paying customers on a regular basis in order to pay overheads and make a profit. However, for many businesses, these maximum seating capacities will not be filled in the short, medium or even long term. In the short term, after this current deregulation, large numbers of people – vaccinated or not – will avoid crowded venues and those with bureaucratic entry requirements. Such safety minded or anti bureaucratic ‘boycotts’ will result in more business closures and redundancies with the consequential unemployment effecting the medium term viability of many businesses. In the longer term, the activities of many businesses, will also need to be curtailed because their methods are too polluting, too destructive or too dangerous to people and their environments.

The green capitalist fantasies of a future world of electric cars, lorries, trains and planes, will not save the system. This dream of stimulating further decades of continued overproduction by eco-transport methods will soon be shattered by the fact that they and their production will be no less (indirectly) polluting than petrochemical based transport. Moreover, given the productivity of modern production, those vehicles which are produced will come from one or two advanced countries. Instead, in reality, the accelerating collapse of the capitalist mode of production which will be experienced over the next year or two and beyond, will be an even greater shock to people than the Pandemic itself. The current euphoria of many people at hopes of release from lock downs and regulations and a return to pre-covid sport, leisure and holiday entitlements, will be short lived.

Humanity will eventually be forced to wake up and confront the fact that going back to a previous capitalist ‘normal’, or going on to a future capitalism based upon high-tech conspicuous consumption, will not be possible. The difficult and demanding necessity of transforming the present hierarchical and unsustainable mode of production based on profit to one based upon sustainable egalitarian human need we will require a different understanding and a different way of relating to other human and non-human beings, than the ones which currently dominate our species. So instead of Johnson’s misleading pandemic rhetoric, I suggest the following; ‘if we don’t start thinking differently now; then when?’

Roy Ratcliffe (June 2021)

For further analysis and critique of the Covid 19 Pandemic response as it unfolded during 2019/2020, a document can be downloaded by clicking on he link below.

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The resignation of ‘cock-up’ Matt has finally happened. It is interesting to note what caused the suggestion to resign by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the actual decision to do so by his Health Secretary. It was not because of the appalling level of deaths in the care sector under his watch, nor the failure of the test and trace initiative which has contributed to the huge Covid 19 death rate in general. Nor was the failure to sort out the financial barriers to self-isolation for the self employed. The failure to ensure that the UK national borders would prevent the virus in its numerous variants from sweeping through Britain, was also not enough. However, being caught clutching a consenting (?) female assistant’s buttocks, whilst kissing her was apparently sufficient to ‘prick’ his and Boris’s conscience and trigger a further ‘incompetus interruptus’ of health service leadership.

The whole pandemic episode epitomises (and Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson personify) the continuing bankruptcy of the capitalist mode of production. Among the elite of, ‘me, me’ capitalism, the system can only produce human beings who are either incompetent or grasping opportunists. Even during a world altering pandemic, in politics, entertainment, sport, media, travel and science, the elite are exclusively fixated on their own entitlement to continue to take advantage of every lucrative opportunity that comes their way or demand public money to compensate any shortfall. As the climate and ecological crisis mounts up and working class human communities around the world face floods, famine, fires, drought, air and sea pollution, collapsing infrastructure, unsafe buildings and depleted food resources, the elite exert every pressure they can in order to re-open business to start the very activities which created the above noted problems in the first place.

Even the environmentally aware middle-class are only prepared to advocate more environmentally friendly travel and recycling, not question the whole basis of the present system of production, consumption and energy sapping conduits of supply. The medical profession have completely bought into the pro-capitalist mantra of ‘vaccinate the world’ because they and the political elite have no intention to stop the profit based economics system which continues to unearth the viruses and spread them along its supply chains. The medical profession have not even woke up to the fact that the ‘vaccinate the world’ is an absolute fantasy and is no different than the previous failed ‘feed the world’ fantasy promoted decades ago. The capitalist mode of production is not willing or able to deliver food or vaccines to the world, because it’s method of production is based upon a greedy elite being provided with wealth and profit, not ordinary people being provided with what they need. [‘Where have all the vaccines gone – long time passing’. Apologies to BD]

Its time to wake up to the fact that for some time the capitalist system has been steadily collapsing from its own internal contradictions. The Covid19 virus has not caused the capitalist system to collapse, as some superficial observers have concluded. The virus itself is a symptom of a progressive deterioration of the planet and it’s ability to sustain human life. Every natural barrier the system has overcome on the planet since the 19th century; time, distance, temperature, physical and environmental barriers, has come at the cost of depleting the very animal, vegetable and mineral foundation upon which all life – including humanity – depends and upon which it all rests. Sadly, the entitlement ideology of advanced industrial capitalism has infected the lower middle and working classes to such an extent that those who can still afford to travel abroad are eager or even desperate to do so.

The risk of introducing more virus variants to their communities on return; the inevitability of increasing the pollution and ecological damage of distant people’s; plus the exploitation of nearby cheap labour on holiday, cruise ship or business trip; these bi-products of ‘holidays’ and ‘entertainment’ are not considered their problem or concern. The phrase ‘enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think’ has never been more apt both at person level and at a species level. Environmentally, it really is later than you think. Saving the planet from pollution and ecological devastation and humanity from lethal viruses is going to be a herculean task. It will not be achieved by the current elite ignoring their own rules, the rest of us relying on the Hancock’s of this world. And it will not be achieved on the basis of the economic system they uphold and defend.

More people need to get serious about understanding the fundamentals of the system which governs all our lives and stop relying on the Johnson’s, Hancock’’s, Macron’s and Biden’s of this system to sort things out. They have already demonstrated their class interests and incompetence. For people who are seriously concerned, there is a price to pay. Like any serious endeavor it requires hard work in study and activism – nothing less is required.

Roy Ratcliffe (June 2021)

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On Wednesday 26th May 2021, the title of this blog is how Dominic Cummings referred to the British Government elite during the the Corona Pandemic from February to September 2020. Leaving aside the insult to real donkeys, what he forgot to mention was that he was one of the well paid beasts, plodding around Downing Street. Moreover he chose to donkey off to Barnard Castle, not caring about the lives of essential workers and other citizens. Despite the obvious spite triggered by his treatment from his previous buddies, what Mr Cummings revealed was confirmation of what many people, already knew. Mr Cummings ‘lions’, the nurses, doctors and essential workers in the UK, were left to fend for themselves. However, Mr Cummings analogy of lions and donkeys is far off the mark.

If anything lions, as predatory hunters, are parasitic on other life forms and should not be a term applied to nurses and essential workers. These live to defend life not take it. However, lions as top of the food chain killers, could be applied to the governing elite. The Tory ‘pride’ in their Number 10 den, like those in the wild, were not concerned with how the ‘herd’ was fairing. The virus for a time, was therefore allowed to rip through their ranks, and their ‘immunity’ was left to chance. Not long after this, in another lion-like demonstration of elite power, some were making a ‘killing’ on government contracts, while the bodies ‘piled up’. Those in the den at number ten, were getting the ‘lions share’ of what could be scavenged. Indeed, like all top-of-the-food chain predators, the capitalist and pro-capitalist elite, throughout the pandemic were (and still are) concerned primarily with their own welfare.

Keeping with the Cummings analogy for another paragraph, as with hard working, loyal, real donkeys, the working class beasts of burden were being worked to death with no sanctuary in sight. Nurses, doctors, care workers and others carried burdens far beyond what should be humanely contemplated. To expect the Tory elites, as with all other elites, to admit to anything which does not reflect well on them is a waste of time. Instead we have already witnessed a strategy of damage limitation. The governing elite here in the UK are constantly asserting that the lack of preparation was because the virus was new and no one could anticipate what happened. But this assertion is definitely not true, either through ignorance or manufactured memory loss. Although Dominic Cummings made lack of preparation a part of his criticism, he too fails to mention an important government document. The existence of the 2008 UK National Security Strategy, was (and still is) being ignored. This is because within it, scientists and experts agreed a serious pandemic was “highly probable”. It also laid out detailed advice on how to prepare for it.

Mr Cummings revealed that within Downing Street, there was a trivialization of the new ‘flu-like’ virus and suggestions were made of just letting it rip through the community to achieve “herd immunity”. [Herd immunity is achieved when the weak are killed off, but the stronger survive and henceforth have natural immunity.] He also suggested that lies were told regarding testing, and tracing and that positive Covid19 carriers would not be sent to care homes. But of course they were, and many thousands died unnecessarily by this failure. He claims Test and Tracking was delayed and then stopped soon after it started. We knew that. Similarly, national borders were not closed because the Prime Minister and his supporters prioritised the economy. The tourist industry and import and export capitalist were listened to rather than medical experts and practitioners.

The priority given to the capitalist producers over non-profit based production, continued to outweigh any concern for the health of people; hence the reported inner cabinet comments such as ‘let the virus rip’; ‘let the bodies pile up’ and ‘we will hit and hope’. Indeed, this is still clearly the attitude of those in government, to those of us considered as part of the herd. Is this why the Indian variant is being allowed to be passed along the wide open transport links between the UK and the Indian subcontinent? I think we know the answer. Although, Mr Cummings, was (and is) part of the problem we face, at least through anger at his treatment, he has merely confirmed the attitudes we suspected existed within government. However, many people had already deduced these attitudes must have existed within government, simply from the actions, and lack of actions, of the elites in the UK.

The general rule applies: Take more notice of what people do, than what they say, particularly if they are politicians. For those who hadn’t the time or the energy to follow the antics of Mr Cummings and his Tory predators, the link below will deliver a document which did follow them during 2020 and beyond.

Roy Ratcliffe. (May 2021)

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The dynamic and tragic situation in Palestine is difficult to understand if the fundamental causes of the conflict are not adequately understood. From the perspective of the average working person, the intractable dispute between the Jewish settler state and the indigenous Palestinian people often seems confusing and senseless. Indeed, there is an almost unanimous effort from capitalist elites and their supporters in the west, to paint the situation in as complex shades as possible. In particular the known links between previous European colonialist enterprises in North and South America, Africa and Asia, and Israel are being deliberately ignored. Yet it is a fact that the state of Israel has been established by Jewish Zionists in almost an exact copy of the same way that European people previously established states in North America, South America, Africa and some parts of Asia.

In each of the above cases, after a period of time, the indigenous people’s of these continents and regions began to resist the unwelcome activities of the invading colonisers. The response of the colonists to native resistance was to begin the ethnic cleansing of the native people’s from the land – by all means they felt necessary! In North America the coastal Indians were pushed inland and later they and the Plains Indians (Blackfoot, Shoshone and Cree) were massacred and the remnants driven into reservations. A similar pattern took place in South America, where practically all the indigenous people’s (Quechuan Tupian and Panoan etc.) were wiped out by European weapons or diseases in order to allow Europeans to possess the entire continent. In Africa, eventual resistance by (Zulu, Maasai, Yoruba etc.) tribes and others a similar fate was meted out by the superior weaponry in the hands of the European invaders.

In each case, the native victims were blamed and demonised for this resistance to European colonial dispossession and certainly sometimes this resistance took bestial forms. However, the undoubted bestiality of the Christian colonists was denied or hidden and that of the resisters exaggerated for obvious propaganda purposes. Moreover, only a tiny minority of people at the time protested against this international level of genocide and they too were vilified, marginalised and even victimised for protesting over what was taking place. Yet a pattern of occupation, subjection, suppression and elimination of ‘people in the way of European progress’, was the basis of the existing nation states of North America, South America, Africa and Asia. Understanding this pattern of colonial expansion provides an explanation for the persistent and aggressive actions of elites in control of the state of Israel and also part of the reason why elites in charge of many other nations, such as UK, France, Italy, Germany, United States, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, etc., are reluctant to condemn Israel.

They are all mostly still in denial about the treatment of the people who suffered at the hands of their own nation-building predecessors.

It is therefore, important to understand that the state of Israel and its supportive citizens is simply the last remaining (and as yet unfinished) example in such colonising processes. The final solution to the problems attached to the instigators of colonial expansion in general is when the indigenous population has been demonised and fully subdued and/or overwhelmingly eliminated. That was the case in North and South America and Australia. Furthermore, it is not sheer bloody mindedness and inhumane aggression which motivates such callous indifference to the human suffering involved in colonisation. Undoubtedly these symptoms exist among some sectors of a population, but they are not necessarily general. It is actually the unfolding logic of these expansionary enterprises that motivates and produces the aggressive actions on the one hand, resistance on the other and also motivates the silence, or complicity, of many Jews in Israel and non-Jews in the rest of the globe.

If a group of people decide to invade and occupy a country and to stay there uninvited and unwelcome, certain things follow. They need to take over enough land and resources to feed, clothe and house themselves and if ever more colonists decide to join the initial group, then ever more land and resources are needed. If the land and resources are limited or already possessed, displacement or destruction of the aboriginal people becomes a logical outcome. Moreover, the new-born generations produced by the first and subsequent colonists, have an attachment to occupied land as – home! From then on defending ones home and resources, becomes an existential reaction from both the indigenous people and the colonising people alike. Demonisation of both sides follows. Without a knowledge of the historical process of colonialism, the ensuing unequal struggle for existence in Israel and Palestine appears (falsely) to be one which both sides are equally responsible. It’s the Israeli occupation which is at the bottom of everything.

So the above outline, sums up the situation in Israel and what is left of Palestine. If we add into the above non-elite scenario, the fact that the governing elites in Israel desire more and more Jewish people to become citizens and thus need more and more land so as to sustain and increase the tax base needed for their own welfare and future wealth accumulation, then we understand the purposes for which the armed forces of Israel are being used. The additional ‘crime’ of the Palestinians in the eyes of many inhumane Zionists is that they have refused to be fully subdued and eliminated. They are still resisting and fighting back! Under the present system both sides, although massively unequal, are locked into a death spiral. This explains why the past 70 years of humane appeals and numerous United Nations Resolutions, to end the Israel – Palestine conflict on the basis of the existing capitalist system have failed. They will continue to fail and this is why the demonisation of Palestinians and their understandable resistance will continue.

What is needed is not only a revolution in thinking by the younger generation of working class Palestinians and Israelis, which would be welcome, but a revolutionary-humanist overturning of the existing mode of production along with it’s class distinctions and political forms of control. The resources of the region are sufficient – if equalised out – to ensure everyone has a decent home, food, water, housing and job – which is actually what is needed. That existential need will be unattainable on the basis of the present system in which an economic, financial and political elite absorb most of the wealth and leave the working classes on both sides to fight for the few remaining slices of cake or crumbs which are left. Working class people everywhere, white collar and blue need to side with the Palestinian oppressed but from a consistent anti-capitalist and revolutionary-humanist perspective.

Roy Ratcliffe (May 2021.)

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In the middle of any existential struggle to survive, it is to be expected that more people who choose to vote in bourgeois democracies, would vote for those who are the most active in implementing solutions to problems faced by the electorate. The Covid19 pandemic has been a year of such an existential struggle to survive for most countries. Indeed in the UK the Covid 19 casualties have been 127, 000 dead and many thousands of variously injured casualties and still counting. The Tory government led by Boris Johnson has bungled many things, sleazed their way through dishing lucrative equipment deals to their rich cronies and demonstrated double standards with regard to self-isolation. However, compared to the Labour Party and its leadership, the Tories have been positively dynamic and have been rewarded for it by the election results.

Before proceeding further, it needs to be understood that the British electoral system is in the firm hold of two trends among the British Middle-Class. One historic middle-class political trend (the Labour Party) traditionally represented the patronising, do-gooding elements of the British middle-class. It often contained (and sometimes was led by) charismatic, energetic upwardly mobile, working class members. The other historic middle-class trend (the Tory Party) traditionally represented the self-interested middle-class, entrepreneurs and small business people. This party often contained (and was often led by) well-groomed Aristocrats. The ‘essence’ of the day to day exploitation of working people was not in dispute between thesee two trends, the only difference was whether the iron fist that repeatedly crushed working class citizens was naked or cushioned by a velvet glove.

That broad scenario is still generally the case, except that the leadership styles of both British parties had over a few decades, undergone a considerable change. The leadership of the Labour Party has progressively become more aloof, groomed and distant; the leadership of the Tory Party has become, less aloof, less groomed and less distant. It has reached a point in 2021 where the leader of the Labour Party is an aloof, hair-groomed, knight of the realm, Sir Starmer; the leader of the Tory Party ‘Bojo’ is a bonhomie, outgoing, joker with unkempt hair and similar manners. Not only are these two personas almost the complete opposites to each other, but they are opposites to their leadership predecessors. The Labour Party is now led by someone who is pretending to be a caring aristocrat and the Tory Party is led by someone who is pretending to be a caring ‘man of the people’.

Neither are trustworthy of course. However, with Boris you know what exactly what you get. We get a male-chauvinist, ‘Artful Dodger’, with his ‘got to pick a pocket or two’ associates lurking behind the Downing Street facade. With Sir Starmer you get what you see – next to nothing! The best I can reveal that he is a pro-Biden, vegetarian, Arsenal preferring, royal establishment supporter, but not much else. However, this difference in persona and dress style also corresponds to some extent, to the Party policy differences as to how to manage the multiple crises now facing the capitalist mode of production. The Labour Party rejected the Jeremy Corbin one – nation ‘Spirit of 45’ state expenditure reforms and has opted to drift into an ossified Blairite New Labour conservatism. On the other hand, the Tory Party rejected ‘Thatcherism’ (and via Teresa May) has now opted for a ‘clownish’ version of ‘one nation Toryism with the crucial addition of high levels of Labour-Party-type state expenditure. This is a tactic which has obviously worked – for now!

Unlike the popular media, we should also keep in mind that these (as well as previous) voting patterns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the British Working Class, because so far only 35% of citizens have voted. This means that almost two out of every three people found neither leaders or parties were worth voting for. And this rejection of capitalist forms of democracy is not simply a negative emotional outcome. It at least means that an overwhelming majority (possibly 2/3) of British citizens after many decades, no longer have illusions in any form of bourgeois politics. The idea that voting for political elites will change things for anything better than what already exists has been progressively discarded. Even among those who still think voting is a rational form of activity, very few now have a sheep-like form of political party loyalty. The break with those two bourgeois voting illusions is a step in the right direction.

It is likely that the next change in consciousness, like previous changes, will be determined by the social and economic conditions which emerge from the current existential skirmish with the microscopic virus Covid19. The UK population already has a percentage of the population who wish to get back as close as possible to a version of previous capitalist normal. Undoubtedly, there is another percentage who wish to have a different more egalitarian form of capitalist normal. There is even a small percentage who wish to have a radical, more ecological ‘green’ capitalist normal. However, very few have – as yet – recognised that any form of capitalist future is as existentially threatening to humanity as any number of future Covid – type Pandemics. However, a glimpse of what form of capitalism is to come, has already been partly revealed.

A section of the capitalist and upper-middle class, here as elsewhere, have amassed further wealth due to the Covid lock – down period. The extremely wealthy are poised to invest their tranches of capital in various directions once workers are free of restrictions and can be put to work making profits for them. Another section will re-open their profit making enterprises with some obvious Covid-inspired modifications. One will be the rapid increase of home working for their employees. Where this occurs, this will transfer the costs of providing a working space, heating, lighting, cleaning and toilet facilities from the employer to the individual worker. A rise in the rate or mass of profit may result for some capitalists but it will result in a loss via more costs to workers. Yet another, modification to working conditions for workers will take the form of fewer employment opportunities and fewer work colleagues.

Another section of the previous employing class have undoubtedly been bankrupted during the Covid crisis and some have been forced to join the ranks of precarious workers. This will increase the numbers seeking employment at the same time as a decreasing number of job opportunities become available. Future unemployment, low pay and precarious employment, will threaten not only more peoples‘ health, housing (rented and mortgaged) but also homelessness and family break up. These changed circumstances for working people will impact upon their consciousness. Undoubtedly a struggle will ensue as to who or what will receive the blame for these unfolding circumstances.

The ruling elites and their supporters everywhere, will probably orchestrate (or support) a campaign to blame one or more of the global working-class victim groups. If the victims do not successfully counter this ‘blaming the victim‘ by pointing out the role of the capitalist economic system, it will be because they have not been assisted by those who have the time, the ability and the knowledge to do so. Now is the time to put sustained efforts into preparing a non – sectarian, revolutionary – humanist movement to intervene in those future struggles.

Roy Ratcliffe (May 2021)

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Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges facing anyone interested in the progress of radical economic thinking over the last two centuries are the three considerable volumes of Das Kapital (or Capital). These volumes are based upon the extensive research by the 19th century Revolutionary-Humanist, Karl Marx. Perhaps the first hurdle to overcome by many people is a commonly-held, but mistaken assumption. It is that what Marx wrote was in some way responsible for the authoritarian practices and attendant atrocities carried out by those such as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao and their many sectarian followers. For, in the 20th century, in revolutionary Russia, China and elsewhere, these claimed to be acting in line with Marx’s thinking. However, Marx, as he once emphatically declared himself, (and from exhaustive research I can confirm) was definitely not a ‘Marxist’.

The second hurdle to overcome is the sheer length and complexity of Marx’’s detailed forensic work on Political Economy – Das Kapital! The three volumes of this particular research amount to 2,157 pages, the last two thirds of which (as with his previous Grundrisse notebooks) are mostly constructed from unfinished notes. In this particular case they were compiled by his loyal friend and collaborator Frederick Engels. As Marx noted about his economic researches, (in an 1872 preface to Volume 1); “only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits”.

Indeed, I suggest, having read it, that Das Kapital, should be an important intellectual foundation for any serious revolutionary anti-capitalist movement. So if any new, or existing, activists consider that they would like (or ought) to make the attempt to climb this particular anti-capitalist Everest of economic critique, I offer the following documents as a possible preparation for that task.

By entering the long Web links below into a search engine, compilations of my own notes and extracts taken from the three volumes of Capital, during my second reading of them some decades ago can be obtained. These notes reduce those steep paths from 774 pages down to 47 for volume 1; 523 pages down to 49 for volume 2; and 860 pages down to 63 for volume 3. Although this is a considerable reduction, (ie 2,157 pages to 159) I have tried to faithfully capture the dominant ‘essence’ of each chapter in each volume.

I have also made occasional comments (identified by the bracketed initials RR) linking 19th century events with contemporary examples. However, they (and the chosen illustrative quotations) remain my own individual perspective and selections. These much abbreviated inclines, may still involve passing through a number of complex twists and turns, but during the journey there are some spectacular Revolutionary-Humanist viewpoints and insights – as outlined by Marx.

Roy Ratcliffe (May 2021)

Link to notes on Volume 1. Capitalist Production:

Link to notes on Volume 2. The Process of Circulation of Capital:

Link to notes on Volume 3. The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole:

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Whether or not Boris Johnson uttered the following sentence, “I would rather let the bodies pile upthan order another lock-down”, or something similar, back in August 2020, they do represent what has happened in the UK and elsewhere since the Covid19 epidemic morphed into a global pandemic. The figures speak for themselves. In the UK at least 127,000 bodies have so far piled up; in the US 574, 000 bodies; India 195, 000 bodies, and globally 3, 100, 000 bodies have piled up. Whether spoken or thought, the neo-liberal capitalist elite system has preferred to allow 3.1 million bodies to pile up rather than close down – or radically alter – its normal economic practices.

Indeed, ‘let the bodies pile up’ could well stand as a future epitaph on a monument or preferably a gravestone erected to the capitalist mode of production.

This article is too short to include an accurate assessment of all the human bodies which have piled up since the 18th century period of European wars for capitalist domination, including the colonialist period, the imperialist stage of world domination and the post Second World War period of localised wars, such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq 1, Iraq 2, Afghanistan, Yemen etc. So let’s just remind ourselves of the bodies piled up due to two 20th century globalised wars between the two rival capitalist camps headed by Germany on the one hand and Britain on the other. The first World War (1914 – 18) an estimated 21 million dead bodies piled up; the Second World War (1939 – 1945), an estimated 70 million dead bodies piled up.

It should be absolutely clear that the last two or three generations of elites in control of capitalist countries would rather ‘let the bodies pile up’ than significantly alter their profit-based method of production. It is also clear that the new 21st century generation of capitalist and pro-capitalist elites are no different in this regard. So no matter whether they openly say (or in April 2021 deny saying it) that ‘let the bodies pile up’ that is exactly what is actually happening. So it must also be what many influential people, such as Boris Johnson are actually thinking if not saying. And all across the globe bodies continue to pile up in order to keep capitalist forms of ‘business as usual’ open. But we also know that business as usual capitalist competition is not only devastating human beings, it is also devastating the ecological basis of all life-forms.

The same week that the ‘let the bodies pile up’ phrase was revealed in the UK, another news-bite phrase was uttered – this time in the US. Joe Biden, in announcing a post-pandemic economic development plan, declared, ‘America is on the move again’. Revealingly, he emphasised that America on the move meant not just re-booting the internal capitalist form of production but also competing with China economically and militarily on the world stage and beating them. In other words, the massive overproduction of everything containing surplus-value (ie private profits from unpaid working class labour), is to continue in a more reinvigorated form. This on a sliding scale, is also essentially the same mantra coming from most economic, financial and political elites. These views demonstrate that the elites everywhere do not understand that they are part of the problem for humanity, not part of the solution.

Indeed, despite their obvious failures, the elites everywhere self-indulgently think they are the most important part of any future solution. More problematically, they have convinced many among the middle – class and working class to believe them. Consequently, large sections of humanity have not yet started asking the right questions, let alone envisioning appropriate solutions. Deliberately educated to rely on borrowed thinking handed down by ‘experts’ in the pay of capitalism, most people – as yet – think the current economic system is the best possible. They have bought the political message that despite the obvious mess in health, social care, housing, pollution, ecological destruction, climate change, unemployment and poverty, they should welcome the return to a pre-covid (Doctor Pangloss viewed) normal. Meanwhile the bodies are continuing to ‘pile up’.

If it is correct that only a changed reality can alter ideas and opinions which have been accepted as ‘normal’ and mostly ‘useful’ for a generation, then hopefully a change in thinking should  follow recent events. The new reality of a Covid19 infected, climate destabilised, polluted and extinction-prone economic system, sooner or later, should challenge and change what has been a normal and useful form of thinking for global citizens. However, it will take a critical – mass of people to actively challenge existing norms and then adopt new perspectives on economic and social activity, before masses of people will join a practical campaign. A campaign to change the mode of production to one which benefits the whole of humanity and the rest of the biosphere. Hence, the name chosen for this blog site and the motive for the ideas presented and developed in the new ‘Introduction to Revolutionary-Humanism’ (see below).

Roy Ratcliffe (April 2021)

By clicking on the long Web link below, (or by copying and pasting it into a search engine) a copy of a new document ‘An Introduction to Revolutionary-Humanism’ can be obtained at no cost. In 35 short chapters of explanation and criticism, it covers the many forms of exploitation, oppression and patriarchal prejudice which characterise the capitalist mode of production. The document builds on the original anti-capitalist perspective of Karl Marx – as it was before his firm revolutionary-humanist principles were ignored or suppressed by subsequent generations of sectarian dogmatists. Presented in what I hope will be easy to understand language, the chapters in the document are aimed in particular at anti-capitalists, humanists and eco-activists, but has also been written with an even wider and more general audience in mind.

If the web link fails to deliver then a copy of the document can be requested by email to

The link:

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