Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Luddites for Life

It was probably during one of his months on Skyros that Murray McGrath wrote Luddites for Life, well before there was any sign of a pandemic crisis. Certainly his choice of title for the rhyme is most apt. Luddites are remembered for their apparently negative opposition to technological progress, although in reality they did far more than merely protest. They were truly pro-life. Their love of the land, the natural world, the farm, the well-run household, arts and crafts and good work in general led them t oppose a way of life. The idea of men, women and children being wage slaves, forced to work at a repetitive, soul-destroying task minding a machine for a pittance of a money wage simply did not appeal. For the Luddites and their families, three acres and a cow were infinitely preferable. But, as Murray's rhyme indicates, the world as a whole turned a blind eye to the warnings of the Luddites and went hell-for-leather for the Machine Age.

Luddites for Life by Murray McGrath

Where is modern technology taking us?

Effective techniques every day are making us

Work, when we need to replace faulty parts,

New joints, and new livers, new kidneys and hearts.

New arms and new legs like Oscar Pistorius

Doing the job in a way that's quite glorious.

But treatments for flu, hypertension, and gout

Are doubtful at best, we're finding this out.

Failing with super-bugs, cancers and aids,

With the risks and the side effects, confidence fades.

They're studying parts, that get smaller and smaller

But profits get bigger, make many a dollar.

And how does it help in our everyday lives?

Does it ease all the worries of husbands and wives?

And their children, so precious, to have vaccination,

Do they know what they do without full information?

Interfere with the body, you're asking for trouble

Far from fixing your problems, they'll soon end up double.

So follow your heart, look after your health

Live a natural life, it doesn't take wealth

With a spring in your step and a smile on your face

You can show how it's done to the whole human race.

NOTE: Murray McGrath (1934-2020) published his Rhymes for Reciting in 2019, is also available on the Understanding Life and Debt blog for 7th October 2021.

The Great Reset has nothing whatsoever to do with preserving the health and safety of humanity. On the contrary, it is all about a global elite's quest for total power over the social order. (See Mattias Desmet on 'Mass Formation' works on the fears, doubts and uncertainties of individuals who are lacking in social contacts and worthwhile jobs. The task ahead is to break free from waged and salaried slavery, the assumption that an employer must he found to hire us as paid workers so that we can buy food, clothing and shelter. Fortunately, the concept of viable alternatives to wged and salaried empployment has been explored, explained and discussed through various movements of the past century. These include the distributists, guild socialists, Douglas social crediters, Alberta experiment, Catholic Worker, Camphill and so many more as documented in Understanding the Financial System and Down to Earth.

The time is now for all, every single one of us, to break the chains of finance and build the New Community. As explained in New View:

"The present operations of the financial system are resulting in neglect of care for the land and the natural world; neglect of the cultural and spiritual life of humanity as a whole; and, above all, neglect of what Steiner has termed "good, self-sacrificing work"i. In present times, a soul-destroying education system trains waged and (often very highly paid) salaried slaves to work for an income that will supply them with food, shelter and entertainment according to their status and selected lifestyle. In return for their chosen 'happitalist rewards, workers undertake the work required to wage war against the natural world (agribusiness), and humanity itself (armaments, nuclear power and weapons, Big Pharm products)." New View Issue 102, Winter 21-22. p44)

But what is to be done? Murray McGrath's Rhyme 'Luddites for Life' provides and excellent starting point for Round-table Discussions in the Catholic Worker tradition. (To be continued...)

1 comment:

  1. The social history of industrialisation needs to be part of the curriculum of every business school. While Douglas' National Dividend points out that we stand on the shoulders of our forebears - their ideas, their society, their machinery and infrastructure - it should be pointed out that we stand in the mire of the callous thinking and actions that accompanied the advantages and created wage slavery and slums.