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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Nonpartisan Media Power

On the Seventh Point of the Mont Order




Alternative media site or account A endorses politician X’s campaign. Is this really a productive thing to do under any circumstances, for those wishing to challenge the “mainstream” narratives in the media?

Much of the alternative media on the web today consists of independent bloggers who are tired of the “mainstream” and want to fight back against it all. A particular nuisance to many people is the tendency of some papers and broadcasters to demonize.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is the prime example today of a victim of this demonizing of political opposition in the supposedly free press. And in the UK, many independent bloggers have thrown all their support behind Corbyn. Similarly, in the US, many microblog users and small columnists have dedicated themselves to expressing support for Bernie Sanders. But is this good?

Much like more formal civil society bodies, the Mont Order information-based society declares neutrality in its code (although it does not forbid its members taking their own positions) when it comes to political campaigning. This may be the wisest route for alternative media, because we should not want to be tied to a specific politician, especially in the event that this politician fails on promises and deservingly becomes unpopular because of this failure.

The purpose of media should be to criticize, much as the purpose of engineers is to find faults and repair errors. If alternative media simply tie themselves to political alternatives, such as Corbyn or Sanders, they are sacrificing themselves for these men and their political careers rather than seeking out their own type of power. The power of information, like the power of money, may, in fact, be greater than the power of politicians.

Someone who has squandered their credibility and the demographics of their readership by backing a political candidate will not be able to see the full extent of the power of information. They curb their own influence. The Mont Order knows it is better to be there as neutral actors, when the power of information reaches its greatest height, than to be buried with some dishonored political figure or movement. This is how other bloggers should learn to think. Criticize and offer perspectives, don’t support.

In addition to the dangers of backing politicians and parties mentioned already, there is the aspect of technological change invalidating the former necessity of big political organizations. This has already been addressed in thefirst commentary in this series. It can be added that the youth, in the West at least, tend to think far less now in terms of party allegiances and allegiances to political figures. There is a tendency to instead support campaign issues, as is enabled through internet searches and campaign groups dedicated specifically to these issues that can be found rapidly online.

Some grassroots campaigners, for example, support relaxing anti-piracy laws, or relaxing the legal controls over certain drugs. These people are not looking for a movement or political authority, and are quite satisfied with pressure groups dedicated to the issues only. Adding important faces, symbols and other dimensions typical of a movement only gives people things to lose faith in, whereas the raw political issue being talked about lacks this weakness.

Consider that there is widespread interest in the transparency and anti-surveillance currents of activism and information-sharing online, and in grassroots activism in the street too. While Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are icons of this organic campaign emerging from society, they are not leadership figures. They preside over no organization. And yet, if we look at those men and the issues associated with them, we see forces much greater than the political opposition parties in some countries.

The “Snowdenistas” lack an actual name or even a political party. However, these nameless masses managed to receive promises from the US President, who could not ignore the mass indignation over the facts revealed by Snowden, and had to make at least some effort to reform and rein in the National Security Agency (NSA). It is questionable that Obama was either able or willing to really make concessions to those critics, however. But can the political opposition in the US, at this time the Republican Party and smaller parties including the Libertarian Party, claim a similar policy victory over the incumbent government while the Democrats were in power? It is not likely. They need to win elections, whereas pressure groups can get what they want without capturing state power.

The nameless opponents of surveillance and the growth of the national security state in the US, who are everywhere and lack any formal organization, could have done far more if only they were more concerned than they actually are. In reality, the issue is not yet devastating enough to people’s lives to really force them to use every option to compel the government to obey the wishes of the people. Voting may also serve as a way of letting off steam, as most people are too busy at work most of the day to realize that the vote they cast at the end of it is actually worthless and cannot deter the state’s ongoing massive violations of their civil rights.

Politicians and parties are transitory as always, but the will to power – the will of the hungry and the oppressed to get what they need — is something that can crash through to the halls of power without ever declaring a formal organization at all. Led by just an internet connection and their anger, human beings could make or break some forms of political power. If you got rid of formal political organizations tomorrow, the world might even be more democratic and representative based on the popular issue-driven model rather than authority-driven ideological platforms.

What is advocated here is not that bloggers, grassroots activists and civil society practice a type of anarchism, or refuse to believe in all organization or authority. It is simply advocated that politicians and organizations in general not be taken too seriously, and that no-one invest too much time in defending them. People are bigger than their parties and their leaders, and should think bigger.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Future of Migration (Part 2, Mont Order February 2016 discussion)

L'ORDRE: It's like I was watching this panel. Just today. Just earlier today, this short panel. It crossed over some of that subject. One of the guys on that panel was saying, you know, stop scapegoating refugees. It's a fascist belief or political view to demonize the refugees. But then on other hand, one could just as easily say that the demographic shift, those people coming in, is what's causing the fascist beliefs to proliferate because a lot of these groups you know like the BNP and the EDL. All these nasty groups in Britain at least, wouldn't have any traction with the population if there wasn't perceived to be a social problem in the first place that they were using to recruit people. At least that's my view.
MIKE: Well I think there's a certain level of fear that's involved and this. In America the point where veterans aren't getting enough funding, why are people coming in as immigrants getting that? And it's a false narrative. There are two different separate departments that have two separate budgets that have nothing to do with the fact that veterans may not be getting money. There's no issue on immigrants coming in, it's two different parts of the government.
MONY: OK wait, stop. I want to say something that needs to be said. I think the biggest fallacy is that you can separate military from immigrants. Because since World War Two. Soldiers have been marrying women abroad, bringing them home, and it's part of the culture. It's part of the culture, it's ingrained. A lot of mixed children from before the 80s, before the 70s, were born into the military. And people don't understand that they are spitting on the people who fight. So it's like the most insulting rhetoric they could tell the brats. Eventually I think it's going to come back around to the right wing who just doesn't seem to get it.
L'ORDRE: You mean Donald Trump and the Donald Trump types?
MONY: Yeah exactly they don't get it and people like Trump or basically home breakers, and very invested in penning in the population. It's much harder to get out of this country now than ever before.
L'ORDRE: The way I see it. A lot of the reason why in the past in Britain and other E.U. countries integration was more successful than what it seems to be today is because of the numbers of people involved. You know, like when it's just a small quantity of people coming in resettling, people are alright with that because they think you know, it's just a gradual process of people what they want to be assimilated into the society. But what's happening now with the way people perceive it now, with the Syria refugee thing. They see it as being like D-Day. You know, it's just a massive quantity of people isn't it? Millions of people, all trying to be admitted all at once; They're all trying to be admitted into these countries all at once, millions of people?
MONY: I feel very sad for them. I'm very sad for this, it's the most tragic thing I can possibly imagine. But I've been trying to rationalize this from an anthropological point of view and historically, mass migration went with famine and what have you. And yet we are at a point in the world where we simply can't accept the fact that people want to move around. We're so busy trying hold up the state and financial apparatus, people really feed into the imaginary boundaries and the flying a piece of cloth you know and getting way involved with it. And I'm like you, you guys need to settle down.
L'ORDRE: And it's not it's not so much that there's something wrong with these people, the refugees. They're no different than anybody else. It's just that any overpopulation or influx of millions of people into a region is going to destabilize that region. It doesn't really matter who they are they could be from any country or any part of the world and it would still have the same repercussions. So I'm of the view that it is kind of a crisis.
MONY: Absolutely.
L'ORDRE: There are some people within the Mont Order who have circulated their views as well, who say that it isn't a crisis and the whole concept of it being a crisis is something that should be denied. I don't quite agree with that because if all these refugees - they could come from anywhere and it would be the same issue. A population issue. It is kind of like overpopulation. If the birth rate suddenly shot up and there were suddenly hundreds of millions of new people, that would cause a crisis as well because suddenly you don't have the housing space.
MONY: About opening the borders, a lot of people complaining that the Middle East is not doing enough to take in the refugees and that's it's becoming a -
L'ORDRE: Well they know what happens when you do that because Lebanon did exactly the same thing and with the wars that were in the area. The result was the war spilled over into their territory so they know that it's a bad idea. It's not a bad a bad idea because of the people, it's not that all these people are terrorists. It's an unstable situation and those people have problems that led to that war in the first place. And they kind of take those problems with them. In Syria where you've got different sects of people like the Kurds, different elements of the population, they all try and get out, to Germany or wherever it is that they're going to go. And then they carry on battling each other when they get there, into the country they moved to. They'll confront each other in demonstrations and things like that. If there were enough of them they'd probably start shooting at each other as well, but it's only because the number of them is quite limited at the moment that they wouldn't start shooting each other at this stage.
MONY: What do you guys think could be done better in response to the crisis?
L'ORDRE: Well I think the issue should be resolved in the region where the conflict is happening, in a way. So in. Within Syria. This is one of those things, isn't it? Where you can either be completely isolated from the events in which case you take no responsibility and no responsibility over any of the people. Or else you get heavily involved in which case you become responsible for all those people. In a way the West by being involved in Syria is responsible for a lot of these people. That's the way I see it. It's responsible for them fleeing that area because of the level of intervention there already is. You know like if you go back to the Iraq war and so on. I don't think there is a solution to be honest. I don't normally proclaim solutions. People always ask me, what's the answer? Sometimes there just isn't an answer. Sometimes you just have to let those events come to fruition. And we can pick up the pieces later after you know, whatever's happened. Maybe it will lead to a war but if it does lead to a war, it may just be inevitable. A bit pessimistic to think that but it might be true.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Mont Order February 2016 Part 1: Introduction

Participating members

 

Mike Dodd: Host. Former Mont member.

 

L'Ordre: Friend of the Mont Order society and author at Dissident Voice. Follow on Twitter @LOrdreNet

 

Dirk Bruere: Nominal leader at Zero State. Transhumanist Party UK activist and NeoPax founder. Follow on Twitter @dirkbruere

 

Syeda Qudsia Mashhadi: Editor of the Pakistan-based politics newsletter Voice of East (VOE). Follow on Twitter @QudsiaMashhadi

 

Dee Helene: US-based activist and author of Diary of a 99 Percenter. Follow on Twitter @DHelene42

 

Mony Price: Political futurist blogger. Follow on Twitter @MonyPrice

 

INTRODUCTION

 

MIKE: Figured we can go over the citizenship item. I have now I sent out a PDF.

 

L'ORDRE: Some bullet points I think we can just go through.

 

MIKE: The idea was to keep that issue as simple as possible. It's not to cover like everything citizenship would cover. It's basically almost like a basic human right item. And the way I meant to write this up as was between native citizens to their countries. Should be one set for those folks. And then another set for global citizens. Obviously there are more rights for native citizens for obvious reasons[1]. For the global citizens it's more of a right for them to return home. To pass through territory. Should be necessary for them to get back to where they belong. Right to representation and again some basic rights for food water shelter and emergency help

 

L'ORDRE: I just thought I'd point out Mike that the issue to do with people returning to the country of origin. It seems that in a lot of politics. A lot of current politics. It's more an issue to do with people not wanting to return to the country of origin that's usually the issue isn't it, nowadays, wouldn't you agree?

 

MIKE: Some folks currently in the European situation. It's more of a right to pass through. As far as returning home - that's assuming there's not a world war.

 

L'ORDRE: Yeah. Because I mean. For example a country like Syria might want its citizens to return home because it doesn't want there to be a drain on its resources, on its population. You know. if more talented people left. The thing is that they might not want to return home. On the other side as well, you've got people that are annoyed at what they perceive as a refugee problem. Well it's not my opinion that's just the opinion of a lot of people.

 

MONY: Yeah I saw the footage of the protests in Greece. I couldn't believe how angry the local population is. I mean they were really angry. I was like wow, you know, this is not what I thought would have happened, fifteen years ago.

[1] Counter-argument presented on p. 11-12

Read the full text at Academia

Friday, 8 April 2016

Fwd: THE COVENANT OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD WITH THE MONKS OF MOUNT SINAI

Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa on Beliefnet: Anti-LGBT Legislation passed under guise of "religious freedom" is full of hypocrisy.

I have been watching with amazement the political rhetoric of some politicians who vow to defend "religious liberty." In several states, politicians have either enacted, or tried to enact, laws that are clearly discriminatory against LGBT fellow citizens, in the name of "religious liberty." The latest is Mississippi, which passed a law, HB 1523, which:

promises that the state government will not punish people who refuse to provide services to people because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage, extramarital sex or transgender people.

How can this not be considered discriminatory? How is this any different than refusing to serve a client who is Muslim, or African-American, or has attached earlobes? Can you imagine what would happen if a Muslim business owner refused to serve an LBGT client out of his "religious beliefs"?

Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/commonwordcommonlord/2016/04/anti-lbgt-legislation-and-religious-freedom-anyone-else-see-the-glaring-hypocrisy.html#ixzz45GOzhhi2

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