Mainstream Science Starting to Catch On to Medicinal Benefit of Shrooms

There was news this week that a preliminary study has found potential value in psilocybin as an antidepressant. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has many thousand years of use as an entheogen of extreme power, but has been known to the Western public for only 70 odd years, and for most of that time it has been illegal.

Magic mushrooms were made illegal for the same reason that the other psychedelics and cannabis were made illegal – because they dissolved a person’s psychological conditioning and allowed them to step outside of the brainwashing and think for themselves.

It’s been known in the West for at least ten years that psilocybin was effective as an antidepressant. It was also known that the best way to use psilocybin was to take it once every few months, not once every day, which makes it far less profitable than legal antidepressants.

There are several ways that a psilocybin experience can serve as an antidepressant. The deconditioning effect of psychedelics is probably the strongest way, and if a person is lucky, their trip will be about the joy of realising that a lot of thoughts that weighed them down were false and they will laugh as they realise they are liberated from them.

The joy that comes with the psilocybin experience can also be used in a therapeutic manner to revisit old traumas, especially ones that had been buried. Being able to revisit these experiences from a place of peace and acceptance is often an effective tool for healing them. In this way, many of the repetitive, anxiety-based thoughtloops that characterise the depression experience are broken.

The Nutt study might inspire a wave of peer-reviewed clinical research into a subject that the underground has long known about: the psychologically medicinal use of many psychoactive substances. As mainstream psychology starts to rise from the pathetic stupor it fell into on command of the politicians who were fighting a war on consciousness, it will likely explore the medicinal benefit of other psychedelics for the mind, in particular LSD, MDMA and cannabis.

Coincidentally (or not?), the NZ Herald article came in the middle of magic mushroom season, so if you wanted some you now know what to look for.

Or you can ask any shaman you might know if they can guide you through a trip – much safer that way.

Too Little, Too Late

After months of dithering, Labour Leader Andrew Little appears to have finally figured out what the majority of us have long known – that medicinal cannabis ought to be legal in New Zealand. Having watched from a safe distance as braver people raised the cannabis issue, and having consulted the polls, Little seems willing to take a tentative step onto the battlefield.

As most of our readers are astute enough to know, democracy is about begging the loudest for the scraps from the master’s table. Little’s concession that he would permit his subjects to use medicinal cannabis in a few limited cases marks the first time that anyone sitting at the top table offered cannabis users so much as a tidbit.

In this sense it is something positive, as Little appears to be marginally more enlightened than the ruling National party. In a wider sense, it is still an insult. Much of the reformist talk is about how cannabis ought to be treated as a health issue and not a criminal one. This sort of mealy-mouthed diarrhoea is why cannabis users do not get behind any of the candidates in the public eye.

Cannabis is a human rights issue. It is therefore neither a health nor a criminal justice issue, any more than my ability to publicly advocate for cannabis law reform. People have the right to grow cannabis for personal health reasons unless there is a compelling reason to deny them that right. This is the case with alcohol and tobacco right now.

In the linked video piece, Little claims to want to see more evidence and research before the question of decriminalising “marijuana” could be possible. But can he cite the evidence and research that makes it illegal right now?

Little is quoted in the article as being concerned that “For brains that are still developing in their late teens and early 20s cannabis use even to a modest degree can still cause long term brain damage. So I’d want to know we are addressing that real risk to that issue.”

What Little should be saying is that cannabis law reform will move New Zealand away from the current tinny-house distribution model, favoured by the National Party, which sees cannabis get into the hands of teenagers in New Zealand every single day.

If cannabis use in teenagers is an issue, then New Zealand needs to have a cannabis model that minimises this. Legal cannabis sales along the same lines as alcohol and tobacco would mean that retailers had to take responsibility to check for proof of age or risk a loss of their license to sell.

Obviously, tinny houses seldom check for ID – so the current New Zealand policy of leaving cannabis distribution in their hands is a very bad one if the mental health of young people is a concern. If the polls turn out to support Little’s vague signal in the direction of supporting cannabis law reform, there is every chance that Labour might considering creeping another step towards a humane cannabis policy.

If Little was serious about closing the gap between his party and National, he would support the introduction of the Colorado model to New Zealand, as this has clearly been the most successful model of those trialled overseas.

The Consequences of Letting Morons Dictate the Nation’s Drug Policy

Stuff recently ran a piece of Drug War propaganda titled “Christchurch man nearly died after taking psychedelic drug NBOMe”. Leading with the tabloidesque sentence “A former university student who spent more than a week in a coma after taking the potent psychedelic drug NBOMe had to learn to eat and walk again,” it gets worse from there.

Nowhere does the article concede the most elementary point about this incident – that the Government’s refusal to allow sale and consumption of known psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin and mescaline is what led to this experimentation with NBOMe.

Exactly as it was with “synthetic cannabis,” and exactly as it was with alcohol prohibition, the criminalisation of a recreational drug that the general population is very familiar with and which they more or less know how to handle has led to terrible consequences.

As for any psychedelic, if NBOMe was manufactured and sold legally, it could be sold in regulated, measured doses. This would have allowed “Michael” to simply go to Erowid and look for descriptions of experiences from users of NBOMe.

Had he done so (and you’d think anyone smart enough to get into uni could use Google and find Erowid) he might have found the page that says “With few exceptions (e.g. mescaline-NBOMe), compounds in this group are active at verly low sub-milligram doses. These chemicals have nearly no history of human use prior to 2010 when they first became available online.”

Of course, misjudging the dose is many, many times more likely if you have a black market product, and since there is neither a white market for NBOMe, nor one for the better-known psychedelics, “Michael” probably had little idea of what he was getting himself into. Stuff has little idea either, as the article claims that NBOMe “mimics lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)”

One thing is immediately clear: this incident would not have happened if LSD was legal. For pragmatic reasons it is necessary to concede that the idea of a shop that sold various psychedelics to the public is for now a cyberpunk fantasy. John Key’s New Zealand is too culturally primitive to even get its head around medicinal cannabis, let alone the differences between 5-MeO-DALT and 5-MeO-DiPT.

Ironically, this propaganda piece may have had an undesired effect. Anyone who has heard the call of the shaman* could understand a deeper meaning in “The last thing I remember was having a full out-of-body experience like I left my body and … I felt like there was some other force putting me on the scales deciding whether I should live or die.”

Hopefully this leads them to someone who has a better idea of how to elicit a psychedelic experience than by experimenting with NBOMe.

If New Zealand’s drug policy wasn’t determined by morons who could just have well been acting on behalf of Torquemada, we might have, at least to start with, regular doses of the big five major psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT and MDMA) available from chemists, as there is a large amount known about all five of these chemicals.

So here’s the message to the crusty, useless old dinosaurs like Peter Dunne – get out of the way and let someone young and in-touch sort out the nation’s drug policy. Your hamfisted efforts are going to be scrapped as soon as you’re out of office, so why delay?

* Shamans generally don’t recommend insufflating research chemicals that no-one in human history used before 2010.

The Left/Right Paradigm Is Collapsing

The cozy left/right paradigm, which had for so long explained so much when it came to people’s political choices, seems like it’s on the brink of collapse. The American Presidential primary races have already shown that it is necessary to update the old models of how people behave.

The conservative Republican Party seems like it will nominate Donald Trump to contest the Presidential election. Trump is a mercurial candidate. His policy on trade and economics is extremely unorthodox for a conservative – he promises to make it more difficult for American capital to move overseas in order to save labour expenses. This means that Trump is appealing to the people who have lost out to the economic liberalisation of the past 30 years.

Trump is difficult to pin down to a position because, on issues such as abortion, gun rights, welfare cuts, immigration and cannabis law reform, he blatantly says completely different things depending on his audience. This might make him more of an opportunist than a traditional conservative. It could make him anything.

For the liberal Democrat party there is Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a psychopath. If you don’t understand that Hillary Clinton is a psychopath, watch the following video.

Hillary Clinton is glad about the murder of Gaddafi because Gaddafi’s Libya completed the Great Man-Made River, a $25,000,000,000 engineering marvel, without borrowing a single dollar from an international bank. This feat absolutely terrified the banking and finance industry because it demonstrated that they were not necessary if a leader wanted to make improvements to the standard of living of their country.

Clinton’s largest campaign donor is the bank Goldman Sachs, who once paid her $675,000 to give three speeches. So it’s clear that Hillary Clinton is just a whore for the banks and finance industry, willing to go as far as murdering their competitors. She is bought and paid for. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she also voted for the Iraq War, which was probably the stupidest thing America has done since Vietnam.

In my cyberpunk novel The Verity Key, set in 2072, the conservative and liberal parties have become so rotten with corruption that they have collapsed into the Establishment Party to defend their common interests.

This looks like it’s starting to happen, in the USA at least. It appears as if there will be an unusually high proportion of natural Democrat voters that will vote for Trump because his mercantilist policies would help the average worker, and an unusually high proportion of natural Republican voters that will vote for Clinton because she represents the capital interests that are the foundation of keeping the rich in America rich.

Also, there is large support for Bernie Sanders, who likes the Nordic model of governance, and is therefore even more anti-establishment than Trump is. It is believed that an appreciable number of Sanders supporters will vote for Trump because they believe that Hillary is rotten to the core (the phrase “Bernie or bust” has been trending on social media).

All of this suggests that the cozy left/right paradigm that, until recently, had helped make sense of people’s political decisions are starting to collapse.

The Most Dishonest Phrase in the English Language

The most dishonest phrase in the English language is the phrase “linked to”. Because it is such a powerful tool for deception it is also very common, and using it is one of the go-to strategies for any propagandist. It can be seen everywhere, every time someone dishonest wants to scare people into associating something neutral with something bad.

One of our readers sent in the following example of shameless propaganda, from the conservative New Zealand newspaper the New Zealand Herald. Titled simply ‘Cannabis use leads to early death’, it states “the research found that men who used marijuana heavily in their late teens were 40 per cent more likely to die by the age of 60.”

Although this particular bit of propaganda does not use the phrase ‘linked to’, it might as well have done (in fact, this piece was not particularly subtle). The information is presented as if heavy cannabis use in the teens is linked to a 40% higher chance of death by age 60. Which it is – but not in the way that you might think.

In a way, everything in the world is linked to everything else. VJM Publishing is linked to Adolf Hitler because we both write primarily in a language belonging to the Germanic family. So the phrase ‘linked to’ has almost no information value anyway, even if it was used honestly.

The Herald piece goes on to say “International research has also found a direct correlation between high cannabis use and lower paid employment and relationship difficulties.” This is another example of the propaganda technique that is the subject of this article.

Cannabis users tend to be younger than average, as older people tend to prefer alcohol as their drug of choice, and more often use no drugs at all. There is a direct correlation between youth and lower paid employment, for the simple reason that young people have had less time to get qualified and/or build a career. So it’s understandable that there is a direct correlation between high cannabis use and lower paid employment – and it has absolutely nothing to do with any ill-effects that cannabis may have on a person.

The most evil thing about this line of propaganda is that most of the bad things these people are linked to are the consequence of what has been done to them by the Hate Machine. The Herald article doesn’t look into whether Swedish cannabis users of the 1970s were more likely to die of suicide for reasons such as having had to endure a prison sentence (a common punishment for cannabis users in 1970s Sweden) and the concomitant psychological damage, or from having had to endure the moronic prejudice of the cannabis-fearing masses.

Either of those things could explain the link better than the possibility that cannabis was inherently bad for the physical or mental health. But the implication made in the mind of the reader is, clearly, that cannabis use is bad for the health.

Every time you hear that something you thought was neutral is “linked to” something you thought was bad, ask yourself if the link actually means that one thing caused the other or not. If the information you are hearing is propaganda, chances are that it didn’t.

A Basic Understanding of Authoritarianism

People who think for themselves and who are happy are, in general, not responsible for the inhumanity that has been caused by following orders. This is one of the findings that have come out of the extensive psychological research into the phenomenon of authoritarianism.

The sort of person who psychology considers “authoritarian” isn’t just someone who is rude and bossy (although they usually are). An authoritarian facilitates authoritarianism in all aspects of life – if not by overt means then by tacit support to the actions of other authoritarians.

For example, authoritarians are more obedient to authority than non-authoritarians. They are more accepting of wiretaps and illegal searches by government agents. They are less likely to believe that any given authority figure has done something wrong. This latter point is reflected in the tendency of authoritarian jury members to pass lenient judgment on members of the power elite, such as businessmen and Police officers.

Being an authoritarian correlates highly with being religious, with being dogmatic and with being fearful. Interestingly, authoritarians do not generally realise that they are these things. Social conformity is associated with authoritarianism, and so is the belief that the world is a dangerous place. The more dangerous a person thinks the world is, the more likely they are to have an authoritarian political orientation.

Authoritarians have been shown to fear changes to the social order, security or cohesion. This leads naturally to a hatred of people who try to change the social order. This has obvious application when applied to a foreign military threat, but it is not limited to the wider out-group. Authoritarians also hate people of their own group who try to change the social order.

If you look through history at every advance in the human condition, it can be seen that authoritarians were there, opposing the change and trying to destroy those bringing it. From the abolition of slavery, to women’s suffrage, to the drug war of today, authoritarians have opposed every change in the social order, no matter how compassionate the change.

The greater the perceived threat to the social order, the greater the hatred from authoritarians. It’s not surprising, then, that anarchists are generally considered Public Enemy No. 1, with communists, socialists, feminists, drug law reformers and homosexuals among the rest of the most hated.

It can be seen, therefore, that anyone wishing to make a change to the social order will be feared, and consequently hated, by authoritarians. it doesn’t even matter if the proposed change is clearly a good thing, because authoritarians tend to be less intelligent and thus less likely to appreciate that the change is a good thing.

Perhaps the best way to get around authoritarianism is simply to present an image of being an authority. This is essentially a question of black magic and is outside the scope of this article.

What is The Hate Machine?

The Hate Machine is invisible. It is not a thing written down. Loyalty to it is not given with an oath, but by an act of will, new in every moment. The Hate Machine is the sum total of all human endeavour and action that is ultimately motivated by the emotion of hatred. Every decent person intuitively understands that, before there can be peace on Earth, the Hate Machine must be stopped.

Thanks to the psychologist Gordon Allport, who developed a scale of the level of prejudice in a society, we have what is known as Allport’s Scale. This is essentially a measure of the gears of the Hate Machine.

First gear is known as antilocution. This occurs when an in-group freely disseminates negative images of an out-group, such as hate speech. It isn’t clear where the boundary of hate speech, well-meaning criticism, and taking the piss is, but with some thought it’s also clear that this doesn’t matter. If it moves up towards second gear it may have been an act in service of the Hate Machine.

Second gear is called avoidance. In second gear the in-group tries not to associate with the out-group. At this level are things like basic apartheid, where, for example, a beach might be divided into whites-only and blacks-only sections. Also at this level is the phenomenon of a person not wanting to talk to another one because of not liking a group that that person is in.

The third gear is called discrimination. At this level the in-group actively denies opportunities to the out-group that the in-group takes for granted. An example of this is practice is the Jim Crow laws of the Southern United States. Among other things, these made it harder for blacks to register to vote and to cast their votes, which led to an underrepresentation of black people in civic offices.

Fourth gear is physical attack. Here the in-group actively destroys out-group property in an effort to intimidate or drive away the out-group. There can also be violence against individuals or groups. The best-known modern example of this is what Israel is doing to Palestine (it is arguably impossible to have colonialisation and ethnic cleansing without hitting this gear), but the lynchings in the American South were also well-known examples.

Top gear, or fifth gear, is extermination. At this point the in-group is actively trying to destroy the out-group. This is distinct from the fourth gear in that here the objective is to eradicate. Examples of this include the Nazi genocides and the colonisation of Australia and the Americas. This stage of hatred often goes unnoticed for the reason that there is often no-one around to remember the side that got wiped out.

In a way, hatred makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. If you have your own survival resources under control and “in the bank”, then you might as well encourage the destruction of everyone who doesn’t, as this will not only increase the value of the resources you possess, but will decrease the number of competitors for those resources. This is perhaps easiest to understand from a game theoretic perspective, and is possibly the reason why hatred is so universal.

Writing about the Hate Machine has a certain irony, as it is impossible to label any group of people as being responsible for the Hate Machine without joining the Hate Machine itself. This is to say that as soon as a subset of humans are isolated from the others and made to bear responsibility for evil or for badness, then hate has entered the thoughtsphere. This is evident from considering what the first gear of the Hate Machine is. It’s possible to say that the Hate Machine is run by hateful people, but there is little other than that that can be generally asserted about it.

All of this brings us pretty close to the definition of what the Hate Machine is in politics. It is the people who want to make it legal to treat other people according to the higher levels of Allport’s Scale. The Hate Machine is those people who want to make it possible to avoid people for arbitrary reasons, to discriminate against people for arbitrary reasons, or worse. It is those who want liberty to act on their emotions of hatred without worrying about the natural consequences of acting from a place of hate.

In a sense, then, it is unnecessary to describe what the Hate Machine is. The important thing to keep is mind is that when a person makes a move to act from a place of hate, the social, economic, cultural, legal and political factors that support and protect them are the Hate Machine.

Green Agorism – Towards a Counter-Economy Based Around Cannabis

Agorism is the philosophy that a society without coercion and violence can be attained by means of what is called ‘counter-economics’. Counter-economics is the sum total of all non-aggressive social interactions that are forbidden by the state, such as drug dealing, gambling, prostitution, smuggling, alternative currencies and alternative education. It is similar to what is understood by the term “Black Market”.

The title of this article – “Green Agorism” – refers to the possibility that a system of agorism could work if cannabis replaced fiat currency in the Black Market. For cannabis to work as money, it has to be able to fulfill three functions: it has to be able to serve as a store of value; it has to be able to serve as a unit of account; and it has to be able to serve as a medium of exchange.

This use of a smokeable commodity as unit of currency has a precedent with tobacco almost 400 years ago in the colony of Virginia. Of course, no anarchist can trade their currency for slaves, as was done with tobacco back in the day, but then the sort of person who accepts cannabis as a trade is not likely to be a slavedriver anyway.

For most of human history, the primary medium of trade has been silver coins. An electrum alloy (55% gold, 43% silver, 2% copper) was used in the first ever coins, in Lydia 2,700 years ago. The rest of the time, silver was used for everyday trading and gold for major purchases (c.f. “Silver is the currency of gentlemen, gold is the currency of kings”).

At the time of writing this article, a cannabis preparation in smokeable form (like marijuana) trades at about ten times the value of bullion silver, by weight. By volume, of course, it depends on the form of the preparation. Cannabis flowers are very light for their weight (an ounce of marijuana is several hundred times less dense than gold), but a preparation made of pure THC, or something close to it, could also work.

If 10mg of THC is roughly equivalent to a joint, then as little as 1kg of it might be worth $500,000 or more. This would make it possible to use cannabis in a way that replicated the bimetallic standard that existed before fiat currency – one trades cannabis buds for daily purchases and preparations of pure THC for major ones.

In this manner, cannabis can serve as a unit of account. Daily purchases could be totaled up like silver, and the grocery shopper, for example, might get a bill for 8g of cannabis flowers. Major movements of currency would be more like gold. The GDP of an area under green agorism might be measured in kilograms of pure THC equivalent.

The demand for legal cannabis in the USA is expected to be so great that the industry will surpass the size of the film industry by 2021. Thus, there is a continual demand for cannabis. This makes it useful as a medium of exchange. If a large proportion of the population is using cannabis for whatever reason then they will have a rough idea of how much equates to a given number of grams, and they will also have a demand for it.

One of the egalitarian things about BitCoin is that anyone can mine it. All that is necessary is a computer and the right software. Like BitCoin, anyone can grow cannabis – all that is necessary is dirt, water, air and light. This means that there is a natural anti-hoarding mechanism built into the use of cannabis as a black market currency – anyone can grow it, which puts a bottom limit on how poor anyone can be in a green agorist society (assuming they have the wit to grow weed). The fact that cannabis flowers will deteriorate and become unsmokeable replicates the depreciating value of currency in the Woergl experiment, which led to people spending their money faster, thereby generating economic activity.

If you look at the sectors of society that really get fucked by the way things are – the young, the poor, non-whites, people of alternative sexual orientation, the mentally ill, the creative and free thinkers – most of them are cannabis users. So the people most likely to want to opt out of the Hate Machine are the same people who naturally place a high commodity value on cannabis. All of this makes cannabis a natural choice for a free currency in a post-Hate Machine world.

How Many People Died From New Zealand’s Refusal to Legalise Medicinal Cannabis in 2009?

Knowing that cannabis saves lives, it is interesting to calculate the number of lives that would have been saved had the New Zealand Parliament given their subjects permission to use medicinal cannabis in 2009. There was an unprecedented opportunity to do so owing to the fact that the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill was before Parliament.

Although medicinal cannabis had enough favourable evidence to be legalised in California in 1996 under the Compassionate Use Act, and although 63% of New Zealanders were in favour of cannabis law reform already by 2009, the New Zealand Bill was rejected, 34-84.

Making this calculation would give us some kind of measure of how much damage, in terms of human misery, is created by Members of the New Zealand Parliament and by those who obey their decrees. Had people been allowed to use medicinal cannabis from 2009 without fear of being destroyed by the Police, a number of lives would have been saved in the seven years from then to now. This article attempts to calculate how many people died as a result of the New Zealand Parliament’s refusal to legalise medicinal cannabis in 2009.

A study published in the American Public Journal of Health suggests that the suicide rate in the general population of an area decreases by 5% after medicinal cannabis is made legal. The study stated that “The negative relationship between legalization and suicides among young men is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events,” which is, of course, a fact well understood by the vast majority of cannabis users.

We know that 500 New Zealanders kill themselves every year. 5% of 500 is 25. So we can conclude that 25 people have died every year from suicide as a result of medicinal cannabis being illegal over the past seven years.

Thus, we can conclude that the New Zealand Parliament’s refusal to legalise medicinal cannabis in 2009 has so far driven around 175 Kiwis to suicide.

Of course, there are other ways to die than suicide. Traffic fatalities are also very common. A study published by the University of Chicago Press revealed that traffic fatalities fall between 8 and 11% in the year after medicinal cannabis is legalised. The study puts this down to the fact that, when given the choice, many people prefer cannabis over alcohol, and when they do they are safer drivers (usually because cannabis is consumed at home and so they don’t drive at all).

The road toll in New Zealand for the last 12 months statistics are available was 308. 9.5 is a good mid-range figure between 8 and 11, so we can predict that around 29 (308 x 9.5%) lives would be saved every year from traffic fatalities that did not happen.

Thus, we can conclude that the New Zealand Parliament’s refusal to legalise medicinal cannabis in 2009 caused around 200 extra traffic fatalities on account of incentivising the section of the population with the poorest impulse control to drive drunk instead of a safer alternative.

This study also points out that “[Medical Marijuana Laws] are associated with decreases in the probability of having consumed alcohol in the past month, binge drinking, and the number of drinks consumed.” Considering the influence the alcohol industry has over New Zealand Parliamentarians it’s likely that they have been chucking a few dollars towards them, especially conservative ones.

We can conclude from this study that the New Zealand Parliament’s refusal to legalise medicinal cannabis in 2009 led directly to around 375 non-medical deaths. This suggests that each of the 84 MPs who voted against the Bill have the blood of four people each on their hands.

The Concept of “Left vs. Right” is Hate Machine Propaganda

In order to control a population, that population has to be divided against itself by fear. Absent fear, a population cannot be ruled for the simple reason that they will not submit to the rule of any other person and will naturally destroy anyone who tries to force them to. Anyone fancying themselves as a ruler, then, needs to divide the population anyway they can – and the concept of “left and right” is one of those divisions.

What does left and right even mean? Originally the terms referred to the position of politicians in the French National Assembly during the French Revolution. Supporters of the king sat to the right of the President, and supporters of the revolution sat to the left. This convention continued into later assemblies, with supporters of the status quo sitting to the right and supporters of change sitting to the left.

This relation to the status quo is said by some to be the very definition of left and right. More precisely, the right wing is in favour of the status quo, which in practical terms means being in favour of the landowners and the rich, as once a person becomes a member of this class they feel little desire to change. The left wing in favour of change, which in practical terms means being in favour of the renters and the poor, as members of this class generally experience having a low social status and naturally seek to “fix” this.

Some others, particularly Americans, relate the terms left and right to the size of the state, roughly measured by the proportion of the national GDP that is taken in by the government in the form of taxation. In this sense, leftists want to increase taxes and social services while rightists want to increase freedom and liberty from government interference.

Others might say that left and right correlated with feminine and masculine. The feminine left (which sometimes gets called the “Nanny State”) is associated with nurturing and co-operation, and tends towards sharing and egalitarianism. The masculine right is associated with competition and inequality, and tends towards hierarchies and harsh punishments.

Yet another distinction – which is a particularly modern one – has it that the left is in favour of the underdog, while the right is in favour of the dominant party. This line of thinking defines the left as a broad tent of various interests that include those of ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, drug users, autists and anyone else with a grievance. The right is then the natural party of heterosexual white men, especially old and Christian ones.

These are just four of the many different axes upon which the terms left and right have been drawn. It’s apparent, then, that left and right have become so conflated over the decades that the terms are almost meaningless; no matter what someone claims to be a defining characteristic of either left or right, there will always be someone who can mount a well-reasoned (at least on superficial appearance) argument against that. After all, it’s impossible to be both against big government and for building a large military, and it’s also impossible to be for freedom and for the government taxing the citizenry to pay for it.

Moreover, anyone associating with so broad a label as either left or right will find themselves inevitably set against things they actually support, and vice-versa. Legion are the leftists against mass immigration to the West on account of the effect of this on local wages. Legion are the rightists who wouldn’t mind paying a bit more tax as long as it went to schools or hospitals.

Whatever the origins of the terms left and right, it is clear that nowadays both terms are Hate Machine propaganda. We know this is true because neither term is associated in the minds of anyone with anything positive. Supporters of both left and right are relatively neutral about their own side. But their opinion of the other side is regularly driven by fear. American leftists fear that Donald Trump will alienate Muslims and attract terrorist attacks. American rightists fear that Barack Obama will take their guns away. New Zealand leftists fear that John Key will sell the country to the Chinese. New Zealand rightists fear that they will soon need permission from the local Maori to visit the beach.

Both leftists and rightists fear these things because the mainstream political narrative is a torrent of fear (politicians are black magicians, therefore they work using fear, and the media uses black magic to attract attention). Behind the torrent of fear is a system of control. The Hate Machine doesn’t care if you are left or right, so long as you pick a side and enter the melee, because the more people fighting the more fear and the more fear the more hate and the more hate the more control.

A better way to judge the merits of any political proposal would be to ignore which party proposed it, and to consider the effects of the proposal in terms of whether it brings fear into the world or takes fear out of the world.